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SeveredSurvival
post Nov 29 2019, 05:10 PM
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so it's understood that to truly master something, you need to be able to do it effortlessly, and with a musical instrument, that means in a flow state where you should no longer have to actually "think" about what you're playing. but I find this is one of my biggest challenges with guitar, and for different reasons.

with improvising, I often find that the desire to get "out of my head" and give myself away to the gods of rock, in a moment of truly speaking through my axe, more often than note will funnel my playing towards cliche and familiar sonic territory after maybe a few measures of inspiration if I'm lucky.

with learning a piece like a solo transcription, which I've been doing lately and will use as an example, I feel like when you really learn something thoroughly, you're on this teeter-totter of forgetting the individual licks you learned over hours and hours of grinding and just letting it come out, but for me at least, I find I can actually distract myself! I'll literally begin thinking about things I have to do, and for a while, if you've learned the piece well enough, you can kind of do it on auto-pilot for a bit and even pull yourself together some times and get back into it, but often you'll get lost or at least lose the spirit of what you're playing.

what are your thoughts on this? do you have any tricks for not overthinking your playing in the moment without totally losing the overall mission?: playing your piece flawlessly, and in your own voice.

PS: does your mentality change when you're trying to mimic the exact subtleties of another's playing? particularly if you're attempting to play in a way that forces you to modify your usual phrasing or style.
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Todd Simpson
post Nov 30 2019, 11:31 PM
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For me it's mostly a matter of repetition. I would learn a piece, and then watch a movie while playing it. Eventually I'd forget I was playing and just my fingers would just move themselves without me watching. By the end of it, I'd notice that I could play it without flaw. Repetition is important. Even repetition when you are not paying total attention. I don't know if this works for everyone but it sure worked for me. Overthinking a piece and even over focus, can result in more mistakes than just letting your fingers find their way and focusing on something else, like a tv show or movie. It's hours of repetition basically. Watching a couple of movies is 3 hours of repetition. Makes practice far less tedious imho. By the end I'd be able to breeze through whatever I was working on. I learned to let my hand find it's own way without me over focusing on it. It worked wonders for my playing. But again, this could be just me smile.gif

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QUOTE (SeveredSurvival @ Nov 29 2019, 12:10 PM) *
so it's understood that to truly master something, you need to be able to do it effortlessly, and with a musical instrument, that means in a flow state where you should no longer have to actually "think" about what you're playing. but I find this is one of my biggest challenges with guitar, and for different reasons.

with improvising, I often find that the desire to get "out of my head" and give myself away to the gods of rock, in a moment of truly speaking through my axe, more often than note will funnel my playing towards cliche and familiar sonic territory after maybe a few measures of inspiration if I'm lucky.

with learning a piece like a solo transcription, which I've been doing lately and will use as an example, I feel like when you really learn something thoroughly, you're on this teeter-totter of forgetting the individual licks you learned over hours and hours of grinding and just letting it come out, but for me at least, I find I can actually distract myself! I'll literally begin thinking about things I have to do, and for a while, if you've learned the piece well enough, you can kind of do it on auto-pilot for a bit and even pull yourself together some times and get back into it, but often you'll get lost or at least lose the spirit of what you're playing.

what are your thoughts on this? do you have any tricks for not overthinking your playing in the moment without totally losing the overall mission?: playing your piece flawlessly, and in your own voice.

PS: does your mentality change when you're trying to mimic the exact subtleties of another's playing? particularly if you're attempting to play in a way that forces you to modify your usual phrasing or style.
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Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 1 2019, 05:44 PM
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For me - I try to overthink when practicing - in other words when I practice I am 110% focused. If I can't focus, I don't practice. So this is basically the opposite of Todd's method.

When I perform - I try to think as little as possible and groove with the music, if that make sense. And here I def agree with you: the more I 'think' when performing - the more sterile it sounds.



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klasaine
post Dec 2 2019, 06:22 PM
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I think when I play and I think when I practice to 'learn'.
When I'm solely working on technique - as in getting a line or a lick or a transition cleaner and faster, then yes, I will sit down in front of the TV or listen to a podcast and just let my fingers do the walking. Auto pilot.

When I'm playing any type of performance: with a band, solo, overdub or even for a youtube/instagram video - I strive to think about what the music is supposed to sound like as a whole entity. If it's with a band then I want to think about what it sounds like as an ensemble. I try to hear as a listener and constantly adjust how and even what I'm playing. It's all very instantaneous but it is conscious.

Regarding mimicking another musician's style ... yes, my mentality changes.
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jstcrsn
post Dec 2 2019, 07:21 PM
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Any song I Play live , I have to be able to play it , in my head, with out my guitar , and if I can't do that, I do not know the song well enough
I do this weather I am concerned about mimicking someone or not . It is at this point that I can embellish if I want to
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klasaine
post Dec 2 2019, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Dec 2 2019, 11:21 AM) *
Any song I Play live , I have to be able to play it , in my head, with out my guitar , and if I can't do that, I do not know the song well enough
I do this weather I am concerned about mimicking someone or not . It is at this point that I can embellish if I want to


Excellent method!
Whenever I'm having trouble with something or working on something that is really difficult I play it in my head and "see my hands on the guitar making all the moves". I do this a lot before falling asleep and as I'm just waking up.
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jstcrsn
post Dec 2 2019, 11:47 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 2 2019, 08:17 PM) *
Excellent method!
Whenever I'm having trouble with something or working on something that is really difficult I play it in my head and "see my hands on the guitar making all the moves". I do this a lot before falling asleep and as I'm just waking up.

hey . as long as we don't call our wifes by our guitar names , were good
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 3 2019, 12:31 AM
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Copying anothers playing style is an important skill. It takes listening, usually some tablature, a lots of practice. Over thinking it usually wrecks it. As I was just telling another student, one way to do it is to get something you are working on and unplug your guitar watch a move and simply play. Allow your mind to forget that you are playing. Watch the tv/movie. Repeat the bit. Wath another move. This will give you a few hours of practice that doesn't feel like practice and will let the lick go in to the subconscious part of your brain. This is the special part of your brain that can play guitar for you. Leveraging this was the key to my breakthrough. I found that after a few movies, my hand moved almost by itself. This doesn't work for everyone, the same way hypnosis doesn't work for everyone. It did allow me to stop tensing and slowing myself down. I found that if I got in to the "zone" the way I did watching a move and forgetting I was playing, that my hand would take over and it became effortless. It's the key to the player I am today. I hope this helps smile.gif

Todd





QUOTE (SeveredSurvival @ Nov 29 2019, 12:10 PM) *
so it's understood that to truly master something, you need to be able to do it effortlessly, and with a musical instrument, that means in a flow state where you should no longer have to actually "think" about what you're playing. but I find this is one of my biggest challenges with guitar, and for different reasons.

with improvising, I often find that the desire to get "out of my head" and give myself away to the gods of rock, in a moment of truly speaking through my axe, more often than note will funnel my playing towards cliche and familiar sonic territory after maybe a few measures of inspiration if I'm lucky.

with learning a piece like a solo transcription, which I've been doing lately and will use as an example, I feel like when you really learn something thoroughly, you're on this teeter-totter of forgetting the individual licks you learned over hours and hours of grinding and just letting it come out, but for me at least, I find I can actually distract myself! I'll literally begin thinking about things I have to do, and for a while, if you've learned the piece well enough, you can kind of do it on auto-pilot for a bit and even pull yourself together some times and get back into it, but often you'll get lost or at least lose the spirit of what you're playing.

what are your thoughts on this? do you have any tricks for not overthinking your playing in the moment without totally losing the overall mission?: playing your piece flawlessly, and in your own voice.

PS: does your mentality change when you're trying to mimic the exact subtleties of another's playing? particularly if you're attempting to play in a way that forces you to modify your usual phrasing or style.


Well said indeed.

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Dec 1 2019, 12:44 PM) *
For me - I try to overthink when practicing - in other words when I practice I am 110% focused. If I can't focus, I don't practice. So this is basically the opposite of Todd's method.

When I perform - I try to think as little as possible and groove with the music, if that make sense. And here I def agree with you: the more I 'think' when performing - the more sterile it sounds.
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klasaine
post Dec 3 2019, 02:18 AM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Dec 2 2019, 03:47 PM) *
hey . as long as we don't call our wifes by our guitar names , were good


All my guitars are named 'Baby' ... as is my wife. So far, so good.
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 3 2019, 03:20 AM
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Different strokes for different folks wink.gif I hope this lets you see that it really does come down to the player. For some players. really over thinking it is the key. For some players, letting the subconscious mind take over is the key to growth. It really is as individual as a finger print. As you will keep hearing over and over, "THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY", which is the honest truth of it. Finding one's own way is the the only "RIGHT WAY" there is. It's in searching for that way that we find ourselves and our best player that is just waiting within us and ready to come screaming out. smile.gif

Todd
QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Dec 1 2019, 12:44 PM) *
For me - I try to overthink when practicing - in other words when I practice I am 110% focused. If I can't focus, I don't practice. So this is basically the opposite of Todd's method.

When I perform - I try to think as little as possible and groove with the music, if that make sense. And here I def agree with you: the more I 'think' when performing - the more sterile it sounds.


We are on the same page on this one bit of it smile.gif The "Auto Pilot" method is about leveraging the power of the subconscious mind and is something I stumbled on years ago. It really helped me to play things that I could simply NOT play no matter how much I tried using conventional techniques. Then one day I'm just frustrated and started watching tv/moviie or something and repeating a bit that I couldn't get straight no matter what. Suddenly I hear the bit being played perfectly. Just bam. Ever since then I've used the subconscious mind just for this one purpose.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 2 2019, 01:22 PM) *
I think when I play and I think when I practice to 'learn'.
When I'm solely working on technique - as in getting a line or a lick or a transition cleaner and faster, then yes, I will sit down in front of the TV or listen to a podcast and just let my fingers do the walking. Auto pilot.

When I'm playing any type of performance: with a band, solo, overdub or even for a youtube/instagram video - I strive to think about what the music is supposed to sound like as a whole entity. If it's with a band then I want to think about what it sounds like as an ensemble. I try to hear as a listener and constantly adjust how and even what I'm playing. It's all very instantaneous but it is conscious.

Regarding mimicking another musician's style ... yes, my mentality changes.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Dec 3 2019, 03:17 AM
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Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 3 2019, 10:49 AM
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I used to do the "TV method" as well - but it wasn't until I stopped with that that I could see clear results in terms of fewer mistakes/sloppiness.



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Todd Simpson
post Dec 5 2019, 05:31 AM
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I'm with ya. To be clear, Real precision, requires focused thought. No doubt about it imho.

The brain out approach, helped me to quit getting in my own way in terms of too much finger tension. As Ken was saying, it's just another method. It's good for allowing the hands to stop tensing up due to the brain overworking itself. \ Even then, one has to know the lick / scale well enough to play it without looking/thinking. Recently, I was able to use this approach to play a sweep lick that I just could not seem to get right no matter how much I focused on it. Once I was able to just play it slowly without looking at my hands and forget about it and loop it while watching a show, it just clicked. Then I was able to return to focusing on it to get it clean.

I've been trying to get Phil to try this approach a few minutes each day to help relieve some hand tension.

Once I've got a lick down and i'm able to play without tensing, it's usually then that I go more for the hyper focused approach trying to remove any issues in picking/muting. etc smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Dec 3 2019, 05:49 AM) *
I used to do the "TV method" as well - but it wasn't until I stopped with that that I could see clear results in terms of fewer mistakes/sloppiness.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Dec 5 2019, 06:09 AM
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Phil66
post Dec 5 2019, 01:37 PM
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I've been trying the "Brain out" method the last few minutes of my practise session by just putting a YT vid on. At the moment I'm struggling with it. I'm not good at focusing on one thing while doing another. I can't have music on while reading a book, I either listen to the music and look at the words without taking them in, get a few pages along and realise that I haven't got a clue where the words are taking me, or I realise I don't even know what music has been on, same with DIY, can't have music on, it distracts me.

I taught myself to touch type years ago, I was sick of typing out a long email without looking at the screen and then realising I'd done it all in caps rolleyes.gif So I can now type without looking at the screen but if my wife talks to me when I'm typing, her words go onto the document laugh.gif it must be linked to the focus thing.

I will give it some more time though wink.gif


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klasaine
post Dec 5 2019, 03:46 PM
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When I practice in front of the TV, it's only things I'm trying to get faster and cleaner - not something I'm trying to learn. I already know it in my head and hands but I don't have it up to tempo or there is a transition that I'm stumbling over.
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 5 2019, 07:40 PM
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EDIT: "Brain out" Works best for me when
1.)Watching something I know very well, like Star Wars
2.)Playing something I can play without looking at my hands and without an amp, without needing to hear it. I have to know it note for note before I can play it deaf and blind.

*Just like anything, it took me practice time to figure out how to leverage this technique. Just like it took me time to leverage "Thumbless" technique. It's not a cure all, just another thing I've picked up along the way that really helps on certain bits.

For me i've used "brain out" to just loop something I've leaned well enough to play without looking, but was still using too much finger pressure. Recently I used it to practice an arpeggio which I'm going to use in quick licks I could play the arp, but it was sluggish, and way to much finger pressure as I don't do tons of sweeps. I usually pick a movie/show that I know quite well also. So it's Big Trouble In LIttle China or some movie I know all the words too. So I'm not having to focus too much on the video. That would mess it up for me. I should have been more specific on that. It can't be a new show for example that I have not seen. That just does't work for me as I just stop playing to focus on the show.

Kris mentioned that brain out doesn't really work for him either and every player is a bit different just as every brain is a bit different. As Bruce Lee said, "Listen to everything, absorb what is useful". smile.gif
Todd
QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 5 2019, 10:46 AM) *
When I practice in front of the TV, it's only things I'm trying to get faster and cleaner - not something I'm trying to learn. I already know it in my head and hands but I don't have it up to tempo or there is a transition that I'm stumbling over.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Dec 5 2019, 07:42 PM
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