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> My 2 Biggest Problems With Playing The Guitar
purple hayes
post Aug 11 2008, 02:36 PM
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1) I can't seem to remember any of the lessons I'm not currently working on. i.e. If I'm working on the Hard Rock Shred Solo this week, the 80s Spandex Metal I learned last week seems like a long forgotten memory. Is there a way to better incorporate what I've learned in the past into my playing 'vocabulary'?

2) The guitar still seems like a foreign instrument when I play it. I picked up playing again about a year ago, but it still feels weird to play on stage. I'm much more comfortable playing bass on stage even though I'm not a good bass player and my guitar to bass practice ratio is 20:1.

Any advice on overcoming these hurdles?

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Bogdan Radovic
post Aug 11 2008, 02:45 PM
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1. Well this is pretty normal..Especially when learning solo lessons (note for note)..Best thing you should do when practicing is to be very focused while playing , and when you learn the lesson by heart play it almost everyday once until you really know it by heart...Than the period of "refreshing" memory will shift to longer times.We all tend to forget songs from time to time , so regular refreshing is needed...Also your memory capacity will grow once you learn a lot of lessons/songs..Just be focused as much as you can while learning, don't rely on muscle memory.

2. This is ok too, when we don't play for some time instrument just feels weird..With a lot of practice you should be back on track and feel much more connected to the instrument and loose the weird feeling.

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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 11 2008, 02:56 PM
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I'm with Bole here - you have to play the lesson that you have learned for some longer periods of time in order to really become embedded in your memory. If you learn it and then don't play it - it's no wonder you will forget it of course. The guitar is meant to be played, and solo memory is something you have to practice as well. It's not all about fretting the notes, it's about memorizing hte melody and being able to reconstruct it later with your fingers.

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post Aug 11 2008, 04:17 PM
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Learn scales, then you'll remember the phrasings, instead of the actual notes. Phrasings are much harder to forget.

and secondly, play more.
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post Aug 11 2008, 06:04 PM
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I think it´s beneficial to have some small amount of time from your practice just dedicated to refresh things.

It´s much easier to play a hard solo let´s say every two weeks, than trying to remember it from scratch when you want to play it again wink.gif

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Ramiro Delforte
post Aug 13 2008, 04:02 AM
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The important thing when you practice some piece of music is to know that is happening. I mean, you have to be concious about the phrases and all the things that are into the solo. This is the reason why Mozart could listen to one piece one time and reproduce it as it is. He understood very well what was going on in the music, the phrases, the harmony, the counterpoint.
The best way to get into that kind of thinking is to sing the solo (if it's at high speed slow it down). Because if you sing it's in your head, in your ear and as well in your memory. That is the difference between studying something by repeating and stuying something by understanding it.
About the feeling of strangeness about the guitar I think that It could be that the scale of the instrument, the thikness of the strings and it's preasure it's very different from the bass to the guitar so you can feel uncomfortable until you get used to those things.
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Daniel Robinson
post Aug 13 2008, 06:21 AM
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I will add my two cents to this discussion.

Keeping a solo fresh in your mind can be a bit daunting even for seasoned players. I find what helps me most in keeping solo's in long term memory is to play them out of context. Generally when you learn a solo you are taking que's from the whole lesson including the backing track or song. When you put it into memory that whole context is being consumed. When you walk away from it for awhile you tend to forget small things that relate to it in the backing of the song because its alot of information to assimiliate.

What i try to do is learn a solo, then find a completely different backing track that is in the same key and relative tempo and play the solo over it. I might do this on several backing tracks. For myself at least this taking the solo out of context seems to do the trick. Maybe it can work for you.

As far as the instrument feeling foreign. It is just going to take time to make that transistion.


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Juan M. Valero
post Aug 13 2008, 09:48 AM
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I try to understand what somebody is playing in his exercise. It's the best way to be able to learn and to remember a solo. When somebody can see just lot of notes without an order maybe I can see an Am9 arpeggio, so it's important to locate all sentences in the solo and study them separately. Almost all solo can be divided in different parts like: pentatonic sentence, scale up/down, arpeggio, bend...

Lot of times I don't play all exercise, I listen it carefully and I take a look at the most interesting parts to understand what's the reason that allows this part to become more interesting wink.gif

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