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> Practice, An appreciation for what it really is.
PosterBoy
post Oct 7 2012, 06:24 PM
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I always thought that many rock guitarists were super human with regards to their speed etc.

I know I always read how in their teen years they spent hours practicing scales etc and it seemed so glamorous in a way.

Yet it never really sunk in that that's what it takes.

Being part of the GMC community has awoken the part of my brain that understands this.

That running scales and etudes etc for substantial amounts of time is what it takes to be proficient and gain the skills we all try and attain. I no longer hear a piece and try it and just think no it's not possible for me to play, I start off incredibly slowly, make sure I can hear the notes I'm meant to be playing (for me this means can I sing them?) make sure I get the fingering correct and consistent, and then fire up the metronome and the journey begins, slowly and methodically.

I wonder where I imagined the glamorous side to all this, when reading about Paul Gilbert and the rest of my heroes. There really isn't one. There are no shortcuts, no one can do it for you, it's a very anti-social and isolating part of being a guitarist (no one wants to hear you practice this stuff)

I wish I'd had this epiphany when I was younger, when my fingers might have learnt quicker, and I had less bad habits to get rid of before getting the good habits to replace them.


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bleez
post Oct 7 2012, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Oct 7 2012, 06:24 PM) *
I always thought that many rock guitarists were super human with regards to their speed etc.

I know I always read how in their teen years they spent hours practicing scales etc and it seemed so glamorous in a way.

Yet it never really sunk in that that's what it takes.

Being part of the GMC community has awoken the part of my brain that understands this.

That running scales and etudes etc for substantial amounts of time is what it takes to be proficient and gain the skills we all try and attain. I no longer hear a piece and try it and just think no it's not possible for me to play, I start off incredibly slowly, make sure I can hear the notes I'm meant to be playing (for me this means can I sing them?) make sure I get the fingering correct and consistent, and then fire up the metronome and the journey begins, slowly and methodically.

I wonder where I imagined the glamorous side to all this, when reading about Paul Gilbert and the rest of my heroes. There really isn't one. There are no shortcuts, no one can do it for you, it's a very anti-social and isolating part of being a guitarist (no one wants to hear you practice this stuff)

I wish I'd had this epiphany when I was younger, when my fingers might have learnt quicker, and I had less bad habits to get rid of before getting the good habits to replace them.


cool post, I can totally relate to that!

I always imagined the elite guitarists had a practice routine like a Rocky movie training montage. 5 years of hard practice condensed into 5 minutes with an uplifting soundtrack and then they were guitar gods.


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PosterBoy
post Oct 7 2012, 07:02 PM
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That's exactly how I saw it in my head. Rather than my own diary of

Monday
Went to work, came home, practiced my A Major scale in 4ths, managed to up my bpm another 5.

Tuesday
Went to work, came home, practiced my A Major scale in 2nd position, keep messing up on the G and B string.

Wednesday
Went to work, came home, practiced my A Major scale in 2nd position for 3 hours and I think I might be getting worse

etc


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korblitz
post Oct 7 2012, 09:00 PM
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I still think that only studying scales and arpeggios is not the way to learn. I was stuck trying to play the scales as fast as I can, but it's not a good idea. When you no sense of Rhythm or create a simple melody idea.

To be honest, it just depends. I don't want to shred, I want to play music. I can't play a single song from start to finish. And I believe that once I do that, I can't stop calling myself a beginner.

In other words, whatever route you are taking, it all leads to music. Don't forget about it. It's so easy to forget about the ultimate goal: Create Music.
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Ekilo
post Oct 7 2012, 09:03 PM
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You're not alone. When I was learning to play, many years ago, I was the same way. I rushed trying to learn things and never used a metronome. After years of "playing", I might have know only a couple of songs completely and a ton of song intros. I never tried to learn scales. I never put in technique practice. Most of the time I was just jamming with friends and drinking some beers. Nothing really productive.

A few years ago I had some events in my life that made me not want to play. I sold off everything. Then two months ago, a coworker was having issues with his bass. I offered to take a look at it and brought it home. While it was sitting at my house, something hit me. I must have had one of my buddies spirits, who I talked about playing with in between gun battles in a far away land a few years ago, give me a kick in my ass. I purchased a cheap guitar and cheap amp. I was suprised how easily what little I did know, came back. So, I took a good hard look and thought that it was never to late to learn properly. So I found GMC and am taking lessons at a local rock school. This time around my practicing and playing have gone to a whole new level very quickly. My progression is amazing even to myself. It has become a passion. I suppose I have humbled myself. No inflated ego here. The best part is that my mood is way better as well. My coworkers think I have gone to therapy to deal with the ptsd related issues and that has made me a whole lot more fun to be around and more social. The truth is, I found something that is both a stress reliever and passion.

So, back to topic. This time around I practice scales, fingering exercises and techniques. I use a metronome. I listen, watch and learn not just the "how" but also the "why". I actively look for my playing technique faults while learning songs and find a lesson to correct them. I dont set a time limit or structure any of my practices because I know my mind works better in a "free form" environment. This time around I am playing for two. Rest in peace my man, I got it from here.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 8 2012, 09:12 AM
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As long as you won't make a goal out of playing the guitar as a God, you might have a good chance to get there without knowing it wink.gif The pressure we put on ourselves is the worst thing that we can do to our subconscious mind. 'I have to be the best there is!' It is NOT a sport or an Olympic discipline.

Once again, I will use the metaphor of the foreign language: Are you a great poet/ writer if you can speak/ write lightning fast? smile.gif


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PosterBoy
post Oct 8 2012, 10:16 AM
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I agree, but I do want to be really proficient with the foundations and attain a certain amount of speed that will allow me to play what I hear in my head smile.gif

I'm hitting 40 next year, I don't see myself becoming a guitar god, but taking myself to a place where I can play at say 140bpm in 16th notes with alt picking, should be enough to play what I want, and also the journey will help me to find the best way for me to learn, practice.

Playing music will always be the end goal, these are just the building blocks to allow me to get the music under my fingers, in terms of technique and what I'm hearing in my head.

I was drilling the first 3 positions of the A major scale last night and then jammed to a C Lydian jam track, using the 3 positions (but obviously in the C Lydian Mode), and moving between them.

I have so much instructional material that I can use for this from Paul Gilberts Intense Rock to Andy James Shred in 6 weeks, that I have looked at briefly in the passed but never sat down and really worked on, because I was hoping they had a magic trick that enabled me to get there instantly.

The metronome and Guitar speed Trainer are now my best friends!


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wollace03
post Oct 8 2012, 12:09 PM
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well... I turn 40 next year, too and there are more things I have in common with posterboy..
I always bought tons of lesson stuff (Paul Gilbert - terrifying rock guitar 1+2, Angelo Batio - speed kills 1+2, speed lives, john petrucci - rock disciples, many books and online lessons). I always thought, somewhere in all these lessons there lies the shortcut and I can shred like Paul gilbert or play like Steve Vai when I just find these shortcuts..... which I never found and I never spend much time with the lessons anyway...

I never had the discipline when I was young and started to play in bands when I was 16 so I always played what I could and never really dug into technical lessons or theory....I also learned dozens of song parts but only very few whole songs and spend many hours practicing without an idea what to practice..

then I found gmc in 2008 and again in 2012 and now I practice with dedication and very limited time, due to job ad family but I am making steady progress thanx to you all!

I think, beside of his talent, Steve Vai had his 10 hours a day practice plan so there is a reason why these players are all so good...
My main goal is to write good songs and solos, learn more about theory and learn all the techniques properly, so that what I play sounds good....I am too old to become the next guitar hero and I know, that even I wanted to I would never be good enough..
I still dont like to use a metronome but I always use a backing track or a drum rhythm and thats fine..

so, there is no shortcut nomatter what the advertisments tell you and good practice works...
and gmc is the best place to learn (and I tried many other online sites!!)



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Ben Higgins
post Oct 8 2012, 03:54 PM
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It's cool when you have these revelations. I have them from time to time, not necessarily about guitar or music but life in general. You hear things and you think you understand and have taken them on board but you haven't really really felt what they meant. Then one day it just clicks. It doesn't mean anything against you as a person though.. it just has to happen when it's the right time and you're in the right place for it. We all pick up different things at different times of our life smile.gif

QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Oct 8 2012, 10:16 AM) *
I'm hitting 40 next year


You're kidding me, I thought you were around the same age as me. You're wearing it well, man ! biggrin.gif

QUOTE (wollace03 @ Oct 8 2012, 12:09 PM) *
so, there is no shortcut nomatter what the advertisments tell you and good practice works...


Very true. There is no short cut to becoming great at anything.

I will add to this, though.. that although there isn't a short cut there is still a route that is the quickest to your personal greatness and that is your personal passion. Follow your passion where it leads you and don't be tempted to stifle and delay your progress by thinking you've got to be able to do what other guitarists can. I've made that mistake before and it only leads to frustration. When you accept who you are and what it is that really floats your boat as a player it feels like a great weight has been lifted and you're free to play what you want to play smile.gif

You can get to your personal sound quicker when you're not distracted and weighed down by the achievements and attributes of other people.

P.S. That's not saying anything against looking at the things you'd like to learn, Matt. I think it's good that you've had this realisation. Just pick the stuff that really appeals to you and leave the things that are excess smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Oct 8 2012, 03:56 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 8 2012, 04:03 PM
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That's a great thought mate! I always loved playing the guitar, so maybe I didn't know this things that you have written here, but I was playing guitar all day because that's what I mostly enjoyed... the good thing was that once I learnt one tune, then I wanted to learn something a bit more difficult.... so my technique improved progressively, first with Ramones, Nirvana & The Rolling Stones, then Gun's and Roses, then Iron Maiden, then Malmsteen, then Steve Vai, an then Dream Theater, and when I could play DT songs I started composing my own stuff...

It's so true that this is a very isolating journey, even I had some phobia problems because of this... it's important to never loose the balance in life.


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 8 2012, 08:17 PM
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I wanted to congratulate you on taking a major step toward becoming TRULY GREAT player. This realization is something that one simply has hit and work through (IMHO) before you can progress much beyond a certain point/level. It does seem more glamorous than it is when you read about Steve Vai or Gilbert woodshedding for 12 hours at a stretch for years on end. Mostly it's because we see the result as fans of their work so it's like watching the Training Sequence in Rocky before the big fight. Actually doing the training sequence is quite different and there isn't any theme music playing or audience watching. It's just you, alone in the woodshed earning it.

The good news is. Nobody, I repeat Nobody can honestly fake it. Your good or your not and it's easy to hear the difference even if you just started playing so once you earn it and get "good" everyone that hears you play knows it. That's something special that nobody can take away from you. Something for yourself that you get to keep your entire life. People will come up to you and say they wished they'd learned to play an instrument. Comfort them. They probably never will. They will see the joy on your face as you play and how effortless it seems and regret not having earned it for themselves. It's a burden you will not have to bear. Carry your achievements with you in your heart (nailing a riff/scale/song) and cherish them. They are yours. You'll have earned every one.

Todd


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Ben Higgins
post Oct 8 2012, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 8 2012, 08:17 PM) *
People will come up to you and say they wished they'd learned to play an instrument.


Todd that reminds me of an excellent saying that you once shared. From my memory I think it was something you say to people when they say something like:

"I always wanted to be able to play the guitar !"

And you reply

"So did I !"

Pure genius smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 8 2012, 11:52 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Oct 8 2012, 03:21 PM) *
Todd that reminds me of an excellent saying that you once shared. From my memory I think it was something you say to people when they say something like:

"I always wanted to be able to play the guitar !"

And you reply

"So did I !"

Pure genius smile.gif



Thanks smile.gif That used to be one of my FAV sayings! But I must admit that I found it more funny than most of the people I said it too. I thought it was sorta funny and playful but some folks just don't take jokes like that very well smile.gif It's very true though, I did "Always want to play guitar" from the about the age of 5 I started asking for a guitar of any kind and kept that up until I started buying my own smile.gif

Todd


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casinostrat
post Oct 9 2012, 01:22 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 8 2012, 07:17 PM) *
The good news is. Nobody, I repeat Nobody can honestly fake it. Your good or your not and it's easy to hear the difference even if you just started playing so once you earn it and get "good" everyone that hears you play knows it. That's something special that nobody can take away from you. Something for yourself that you get to keep your entire life. People will come up to you and say they wished they'd learned to play an instrument. Comfort them. They probably never will. They will see the joy on your face as you play and how effortless it seems and regret not having earned it for themselves. It's a burden you will not have to bear. Carry your achievements with you in your heart (nailing a riff/scale/song) and cherish them. They are yours. You'll have earned every one.

Todd


This should be framed and put on every wall in every practice room. I know it is going on mine tomorrow! smile.gif


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jstcrsn
post Oct 9 2012, 01:43 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 8 2012, 08:17 PM) *
The good news is. Nobody, I repeat Nobody can honestly fake it. Your good or your not and it's easy to hear the difference even if you just started playing so once you earn it and get "good" everyone that hears you play knows it. That's something special that nobody can take away from you. Something for yourself that you get to keep your entire life. People will come up to you and say they wished they'd learned to play an instrument. Comfort them. They probably never will. They will see the joy on your face as you play and how effortless it seems and regret not having earned it for themselves. It's a burden you will not have to bear. Carry your achievements with you in your heart (nailing a riff/scale/song) and cherish them. They are yours. You'll have earned every one.

Todd

I think I am going to cry( just kidding)
that is truly is an incredibly aspirational, inspirational paragraph , Well done Todd
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The Uncreator
post Oct 9 2012, 03:07 AM
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I think practice should be spaced out with writing. I know lots of musicians, most of them dont write anything. If you just want to doodle around, or play your favorite songs, thats great. But writing, creating music, is where I think musicians learn who they are as an artist, not just a guitarist. Its where you become a composer, not just a guitarist. Eventually you will write something in your head that you cant play, but its the perfect riff or melody, and that motivations is so absolute it completely triumphs over anything else.
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Todd Simpson
post Oct 9 2012, 06:00 AM
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QUOTE (casinostrat @ Oct 8 2012, 08:22 PM) *
This should be framed and put on every wall in every practice room. I know it is going on mine tomorrow! smile.gif


Thank very much wink.gif I mean every word of it.

QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Oct 8 2012, 08:43 PM) *
I think I am going to cry( just kidding)
that is truly is an incredibly aspirational, inspirational paragraph , Well done Todd


I appreciate that, thanks wink.gif There is very real truth in there for certain. Seeing all of you guys earning it everyday (especially every one of my boot camp/marathon video chats) is actually what inspires me to dig deeper and teach better/harder. You guys RAWK!!!

QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Oct 8 2012, 10:07 PM) *
I think practice should be spaced out with writing. I know lots of musicians, most of them dont write anything. If you just want to doodle around, or play your favorite songs, thats great. But writing, creating music, is where I think musicians learn who they are as an artist, not just a guitarist. Its where you become a composer, not just a guitarist. Eventually you will write something in your head that you cant play, but its the perfect riff or melody, and that motivations is so absolute it completely triumphs over anything else.


Very true. Learning to play any instrument is the start of true musicianship, which involves creating things from your own influence/heart. Being able to express yourself with something as universal as music is honestly a blessing. But it's one you have to earn.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 9 2012, 07:35 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 8 2012, 07:17 PM) *
The good news is. Nobody, I repeat Nobody can honestly fake it. Your good or your not and it's easy to hear the difference even if you just started playing so once you earn it and get "good" everyone that hears you play knows it. That's something special that nobody can take away from you. Something for yourself that you get to keep your entire life. People will come up to you and say they wished they'd learned to play an instrument. Comfort them. They probably never will. They will see the joy on your face as you play and how effortless it seems and regret not having earned it for themselves. It's a burden you will not have to bear. Carry your achievements with you in your heart (nailing a riff/scale/song) and cherish them. They are yours. You'll have earned every one.

Todd


I will frame it in my mind for certain! Thanks Todd!


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Ben Higgins
post Oct 9 2012, 09:04 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 8 2012, 11:52 PM) *
Thanks smile.gif That used to be one of my FAV sayings! But I must admit that I found it more funny than most of the people I said it too. I thought it was sorta funny and playful but some folks just don't take jokes like that very well smile.gif


Well it's true. I get annoyed when people imply that you're kind of lucky to have the ability and it was something they always wanted but didn't get.. we've all got choices smile.gif


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korblitz
post Oct 9 2012, 09:31 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Oct 9 2012, 08:04 AM) *
Well it's true. I get annoyed when people imply that you're kind of lucky to have the ability and it was something they always wanted but didn't get.. we've all got choices smile.gif


In fact, a woman once came up to Fritz Kreisler after one of his concerts and said to him, “I’d give my life to play as beautifully as you do.” To which Kreisler replied, “I did.”
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