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> Where Am I ? (in Terms Of Guitar Playing)
twist
post Jan 14 2019, 10:50 AM
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Hello everyone!

I just checked on my profile page that i joined almost 10 years ago. Granted i have not been really active, mostly because for a long time i could just not afford a membership and was gmc-living off the link member program. But eventually this was no longer an option for me.

In the world outside the internet i tried to work on my musical education by joining a local music school and then changing to a private teacher. The last one was a good friend of mine which made it affordable. He had to move away so for about 2-3 years i am now without musical guidance.

And recently i got more and more frustrated and feeling "stuck". I do have reasonably dexterity in my fingers and also a good amount of technical knowledge. On the other side, i do not have any useful knowledge of music theory. It is bits and pieces here and there, but nothing to rely on when it comes to improvisation. I can play some scales up and down realy fast - but that does not get you very far, it gets boring really quick. Additionally i dont have a repertoire of "classic" guitar songs to play... i just never got around learning them. On and off i have been in bands, some teenie-cover bands and a handful of more sophisticated projects, but nothing lasted, most of them disbanded really quick (i checked, it was not my fault wink.gif ) .

So this is where i am. I am in my mid-thirties, i still like to play the guitar but mostly i am playing at home alone. I have some spare time each day but i really dont know what to work on... Maybe some of you guys have been in the same spot? Any ideas?

Cheers!

This post has been edited by twist: Jan 14 2019, 11:36 AM


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 14 2019, 02:11 PM
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Hi Twist - do you have any specific goals for you playing/musicianship?

This can really help define your direction and working path.


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twist
post Jan 14 2019, 07:12 PM
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Hey,

that question is my problem, i dont really know where to go from here. I would love to have a better understanding of music theory to be able to improvise on a level above pentatonic runs but i would also like to have a bigger repertoire of songs to play.

With music theory, i just dont know where a good starting point would be and how i would approach it...

Learning more songs sounds easy, but whenever i am looking for something "classic" to play i end up with a bunch of different versions and tabs that dont really seem to be consistent. And playing by ear never really worked for me, another subject i never knew how to train...

There are so many things i am not really able to do that i cant find a good starting point...

:/

This post has been edited by twist: Jan 14 2019, 07:12 PM


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 15 2019, 08:52 AM
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Ok cool, thanks for clarifying!

We all want to be good at various stuff. However time and time again, we learn that the ones who manage to get somewhere - they know where they are heading. They are not necessarily the most skilled ones - but since they have a sense of direction - they are not just wandering in the dark.

Now there is nothing wrong with just playing for fun when you feel like it. However if you want your playing ability to improve fast - then you need to decide on a goal which you feel strongly about.

Determining one's goal is not an easy task, and it has nothing to do with practicing or playing guitar. Rather, it goes down to the big questions in life:

What makes you happy, and where does music/guitar fit into that?

If you can find the answer to these questions - you will easily be able to set up a working path towards your goal (with our help if you want!)



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Todd Simpson
post Jan 18 2019, 07:57 AM
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It sounds like you are on the path of discovery which is a good thing smile.gif It sometimes takes a while to find out what you want. One step on the path is the mentorship program here at GMC Gabe and I both run mentor programs. Mine is the "Shred Bootcamp" which is 400 curated lessons designed to teach technique and fluency of the instrument with some theory along the way. You are welcome to give it a try to see if it works for you. Just shoot me a personal message. GABE is always open to new mentor students as well! Just shoot him a personal message. Along the way you will find bits that you want to know more about, this should help you determine where you focus should be for your desired outcome smile.gif

Todd
QUOTE (twist @ Jan 14 2019, 02:12 PM) *
Hey,

that question is my problem, i dont really know where to go from here. I would love to have a better understanding of music theory to be able to improvise on a level above pentatonic runs but i would also like to have a bigger repertoire of songs to play.

With music theory, i just dont know where a good starting point would be and how i would approach it...

Learning more songs sounds easy, but whenever i am looking for something "classic" to play i end up with a bunch of different versions and tabs that dont really seem to be consistent. And playing by ear never really worked for me, another subject i never knew how to train...

There are so many things i am not really able to do that i cant find a good starting point...

:/
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twist
post Jan 18 2019, 10:09 AM
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Hey, thank you for your answers...

Well, it seems almost like a 'whats the meaning of life' question... Where do i want to go? smile.gif Thinking about it for some time i came to the conclusion that almost everything i am trying to achieve is hindered by my lack of knowledge about music theory.

Both improvising and understanding songs would be easier if i knew what was happening in terms of keys, chord progressions and all the cool stuff you just have to know smile.gif

Being a little bit familiar with my own motivation to learn theory stuff i will propably have to mix it up with some more technique stuff... Still working on an approach for my own journey... Does this sound like something that would work in a mentorship program?

Thanks smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 18 2019, 09:07 PM
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Sure smile.gif I"d say try both mine and gabes and then maybe pick one that works best or keep both if both work out. You can stop at any time and focus on the video lessons here at GMC and start doing REC program takes to get feedback on your progress.
Todd
QUOTE (twist @ Jan 18 2019, 05:09 AM) *
Hey, thank you for your answers...

Well, it seems almost like a 'whats the meaning of life' question... Where do i want to go? smile.gif Thinking about it for some time i came to the conclusion that almost everything i am trying to achieve is hindered by my lack of knowledge about music theory.

Both improvising and understanding songs would be easier if i knew what was happening in terms of keys, chord progressions and all the cool stuff you just have to know smile.gif

Being a little bit familiar with my own motivation to learn theory stuff i will propably have to mix it up with some more technique stuff... Still working on an approach for my own journey... Does this sound like something that would work in a mentorship program?

Thanks smile.gif
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twist
post Apr 2 2019, 08:20 AM
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Oh look, it only took me more than two months to make up my mind. Well not really, had a lot of work to do and just did not have the spare time to really think about this. But i just commited to a new subscription so its all going to work out now... i hope... still not sure where to start and what to do but i think i will figure it out. I will definitely get in touch with Todd and Gabe to sort out what my path will be smile.gif


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Phil66
post Apr 2 2019, 09:23 PM
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You sound just like me Twist, you need direction and guidance, you need to let your mentor know what you want, if they give you a lesson to learn for REC and you don't gel with it just let them know, you won't offend them, they want you to progress and you won't do that if you're trying to learn something you're not enjoying.

Try to put some time each day into improvising. Your ear will improve.

Join in with the collabs even if you're not into the style/genre, it will help develop the thinking part of your brain by coming up with something suitable and develop your improvisational and compositional skills and give you a break from routine.

When /if the creativity workshops come back, have a go, even if you don't get anything down, just trying to come up with something develops the creativity area of your brain.

Learn theory bit by bit, you'll get swamped if you try too much, ask your mentor to explain a little bit of theory related to what you're learning so you can use the example in a practical way to help the brain absorb the theory.

Main thing is trying to enjoy your practise, not always easy, trust me, I know, but having fun is the prerequisite for improving.

Hope this helps buddy.

Phil






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Todd Simpson
post Apr 3 2019, 03:51 AM
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Very well said!!! It's gotta be worth doing, it's gotta be something you look forward to. Whatever you gotta do to keep it interesting for you. It's very easy to jump in to it and get swamped with information and start playing bits that don't seem much fun to be playing. It's gotta be enjoyable on some level or it's just to easy to simply not practice. That one thing is the most important of all imho. It's got to be something you look forward to every day. If it turns in to pure work, something that you have to force yourself to do, it usually ends up taking a back seat to everything else in life and eventually just stops.

So job 1 is to dig in and find out what you enjoy learning and find out how you enjoy learning. Sure, there will be bits that you just have to push through, it just can't be non stop like that or folks usually just put it down. keep it Fun!
Todd
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Apr 2 2019, 04:23 PM) *
You sound just like me Twist, you need direction and guidance, you need to let your mentor know what you want, if they give you a lesson to learn for REC and you don't gel with it just let them know, you won't offend them, they want you to progress and you won't do that if you're trying to learn something you're not enjoying.

Try to put some time each day into improvising. Your ear will improve.

Join in with the collabs even if you're not into the style/genre, it will help develop the thinking part of your brain by coming up with something suitable and develop your improvisational and compositional skills and give you a break from routine.

When /if the creativity workshops come back, have a go, even if you don't get anything down, just trying to come up with something develops the creativity area of your brain.

Learn theory bit by bit, you'll get swamped if you try too much, ask your mentor to explain a little bit of theory related to what you're learning so you can use the example in a practical way to help the brain absorb the theory.

Main thing is trying to enjoy your practise, not always easy, trust me, I know, but having fun is the prerequisite for improving.

Hope this helps buddy.

Phil
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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 3 2019, 08:35 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Apr 2 2019, 09:23 PM) *
You sound just like me Twist, you need direction and guidance, you need to let your mentor know what you want, if they give you a lesson to learn for REC and you don't gel with it just let them know, you won't offend them, they want you to progress and you won't do that if you're trying to learn something you're not enjoying.

Try to put some time each day into improvising. Your ear will improve.

Join in with the collabs even if you're not into the style/genre, it will help develop the thinking part of your brain by coming up with something suitable and develop your improvisational and compositional skills and give you a break from routine.

When /if the creativity workshops come back, have a go, even if you don't get anything down, just trying to come up with something develops the creativity area of your brain.

Learn theory bit by bit, you'll get swamped if you try too much, ask your mentor to explain a little bit of theory related to what you're learning so you can use the example in a practical way to help the brain absorb the theory.

Main thing is trying to enjoy your practise, not always easy, trust me, I know, but having fun is the prerequisite for improving.

Hope this helps buddy.

Phil


Excellent advice Phil!


@Twist - Any chance you could record a video of your playing so I can give you more personalised feedback?


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twist
post Apr 5 2019, 07:59 AM
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Hey thank you to everyone for the encouraging words smile.gif

@Kristofer Definitely, i will just have to find the time smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 6 2019, 09:57 AM
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Here is the E Blues scale for the entire neck. Just having a good idea of how this lays over the neck and where the root notes are will really give you a great deal of ground on which to run when building a solo. The best part is that it's easy to transpose. Just move the root note to whatever key you are playing in. The shape is the same. So it's just a matter of where you want to start it.

Memorizing how these shapes connect is the secret sauce imho. You can build an endless amount of licks once you get this memorized.

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