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> Giving Up...
MichaelRdk
post Nov 17 2013, 11:50 PM
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Hello there, not been very active here for a while, but i'm now back to hopefully learn alot of new things, get better and have a awesome time.

But regarding the guitar playing i've been having a hard time lately, been feeling like i really don't wanna waste more time to get nowhere, i have been playing for a little over 7years now and i play everyday, and rarely under an hour, and many times more, in one go or spread across the day, so i'm not just sitting and waiting for the skills to come on it's own which is also the reason why i'm beginning to get very frustrated.
In every single lesson in here i have to be at the beginner stage to be able to keep up and actually play the stuff, and beginner still at 7years of playing ? that can't be right...
I'm a fast learner and the first year or maybe two was going really great, was learning fast and felt like this was really something i could do and had a great time, after that, i've been stuck, i've not increased speed AT ALL, maybe a little but that's very little, and still sound pretty similar, my techniques might have improved to be more clear and are more accurate than before, but i still feel like this is where my wall is, and i aint getting over it.

I've been frustrated before, learning new techniques, but i fight for it and don't give up because it's hard, it is and i've accepted that, but never felt like this before, never wanted to give up before, and dont get me wrong, i dont want to quit playing guitar, i love it, but being as good as i was 5years ago is not something that makes me want to continue, cause i have ALOT to learn still.
And the thing that makes me so angry with myself is that all those amaing songs that i wan't to play i can't because they are simply too fast or have too many fast parts in it so i cannot play it. i'm still stuck with the same songs that i was playing 5years ago..

I'm a cover guy guitarist... i'm not interested in making my own music, jamming to some backing track and so on, i really enjoy playing covers (Joe Satriani, Jack Thammarat, Steve Vai, Vinai Trinateepakdee and that kinda music) i play covers by myself at home and for my friends when they want me to and that's what i want to do smile.gif
I've also never ever been looking at any music theory cause my thought was that i wan't to play the guitar, i don't really care what key i'm playing in, what scale fits where or what chord i'm playing and so on, wanted to focus on the playing part.

Do i limit myself in learning because i only want to play covers ?
should i want to make my own music ?
Is music theory important ?
Where does this wall come from ?
how do i get over it ?

I have many more questions but this is probably enough reading for you right now, i hope you can light my path, cause i really really want to be better and continue learning, i want to defeat this evil wall smile.gif

Regards.
Michael Rasmussen.
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Spock
post Nov 18 2013, 12:38 AM
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I can empathize for you man. I am the same way. I think I came to the realization myself that I will never be the speed or improvisation guitarist I hoped to be when I started many, many years ago. As far as theory goes, I think there may need to be a healthy dose of left brain analytics involved, but I don't think the left side of my brain works.

Anyway, so yes, there is frustration for me in that regard, but, I also realized that you don't have to be a shredder to write good songs. So, I enjoy writing tunes and learning the desktop recording software (Logic and various plug-ins). Writing a new song makes me feel driven. Unfortunately this past year I have had sever problems with my neck and shoulder, just had a spinal fusion on 3 vertebra in my neck and looking at one more surgery in December - so my guitar playing the past few months has been very little, but that is okay, because playing guitar is a hobby.

It sounds like it is simply a hobby for you as well, so, there is no deadline to have a new lick down. And, you will continue to get better, even though you are at a wall right now - those chops come with repetition; play something over and over for days and then don't play it for a week, when you come back to it, I bet your fingers will much more naturally go to the right place. I know that works for me. If I think about what I am doing, I will screw it up - it comes down to finger memorization. I think about where to slide my index finger on the neck, but if I think about the individual notes, I'll screw it up, over-thinking it.

Anyway, cheer up man, it will come, and there's no hurry to get there. Also, writing music may surprise you, you may find it very rewarding to show your friends melodies you came up with.

This is the latest one I am writing, still in the early phase, and I don't think I'm even going to put a solo in it, there is no place to put a solo to be honest.

It's sloppy, because this is the first recording I did of it, and I was writing the parts at the same time - but I am much smoother with it now.

https://soundcloud.com/lllspocklll/in-the-worx

This post has been edited by Spock: Nov 18 2013, 12:49 AM
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Mertay
post Nov 18 2013, 02:32 AM
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No offence just friendly advice as the wall you mentioned, when reading your comments I felt like you're the one actually making it stronger by sticking to a routine or mentality.

Why not get out of your comfort zone as seems you can't fit in it anymore? I see specific topics in this forum where a teacher guides a student, check those out.


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PosterBoy
post Nov 18 2013, 07:40 AM
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A little bit of encouragement for you which is I'm going to guess your technique and speed is far better than mine and I've been playing for 31 years.
That said I know my music theory pretty well, ear training is good (I can usually accompany a pop/rocksong I've never heard before by guessing where the melody is going etc), I can create my own parts for songs. I've played in front of people either solo or in a band since I was 12.

You say you aren't interested in doing anything else but playing covers but... You also seem to have reached a point where working towards this isn't giving you satisfaction.

I think broadening your horizons and becoming a musician rather than just being able to copy note for note what another guitarist has written (and don't get me wrong, I'm not belittling your skills and abilities saying that, as it sounds like they far out weigh mine in these aspects) might give you some unexpected enjoyment, motivation, some enlightenment and will help you with your technique indirectly.

Oh yes and the big piece of advice, Join a band!


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 18 2013, 11:02 AM
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Hi Michael, I'm sorry to hear that you feel at the point of wanting to give up. I've felt that about other things in my life before and it's not a nice place to be.

When I get like that the thing that pulls me back is to stop looking at the entire picture and instead pick one small goal to concentrate on. I saw a great phrase the other day, something like

When asked to move a mountain, don't stand there looking at the size of it, just pick up the first rock

I've had loads of plateaus in my guitar playing... inevitably there will come some moment of inspiration where I follow one little thing that keeps me occupied and then restores my enthusiasm again. For example, if I gave myself one small goal which is 'I want to improve this one lick' then I will just let myself focus on that, and only that, for a week or so. And maybe only 30 mins or so. No more pressure than that. Then I find myself actually looking forward to the next day of practise, not just to see if there's any improvement but to just enjoy the thought of dedicated, concentrated effort at one thing.

I think they key word in that is let yourself, not force yourself or make yourself. Guitar playing should be a pastime that you enjoy.. it's there to serve you.. so you decide how it goes.. and when. So remove the excess baggage of years of ambition and hope, and just let yourself enjoy the simple pleasure of sticking with one lick and casually working on it for several days.

Do i limit myself in learning because i only want to play covers ?
should i want to make my own music ?

This question is kind of linked.. there is no 'should' in music. Nobody makes the rules. Your guitar is for whatever you want it for. However, I put my own personal musical improvements down to writing, training my ear and trying out my own ideas. You could still take licks you've learned from your fave guitarists and try them out in different ways, over backing tracks. Or create your own chord progressions. Music software would help here but I started out with a 4 track recorder so it's possible to get some basic ideas down and start creating. You don't have to become someone who writes their own music but your musical ear, timing and general guitar playing should be improved by it which you can then apply to learning more complex music.

Is music theory important ?
It is but only at the right time. Music theory is crucial to our understanding of how and why music works and is a way for people to communicate across language barriers and the ages. But it is only useful at the right time. At the moment I would say it's not the right time for it.. you need simplicity and inspiration. When you start playing around and crafting some licks and chord progressions, then you can start dipping your toe into the water and learning why that scale works etc but I honestly think it would just bog you down right now.

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Nov 18 2013, 11:03 AM


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Nov 18 2013, 11:42 AM
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I read what you wrote and if you want to give up it will not make you feel good, on the contrary you will feel more frustration and this is not a good ideea.

What I will tell you, it's only my opinion, I'm not say that it's a good one but for me works wink.gif
If you like and you want only to play covers for you and for yours friends this is the part that in my opinion can limit your skills. With good ears, yes you don't need to know music theory to play covers , but I am thinking what will happen when you want to make a cover after a song but with a totally different approach then original song? In that moment it's good to know even a minimum of music theory to make a good and complex harmonization.
To make your own songs will take you at another level of music and develop other skills that you may not even know that you already have. When you finish your own song the satisfaction it's much bigger then making a good cover.
How do you get over it?
Wish yourself another level for you, make your own songs, participate in collaborations, play with a band and never, never, never thinking to give up. After a bad period always the sun will shine wink.gif
This was my advice and my honest opinion smile.gif





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Darius Wave
post Nov 18 2013, 12:51 PM
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You know getting skills is very individual thing. Some of us need more time, some of us ...less. You can't skip it and a time You spend on practice even if You play everyday through 7 years is never a guarante of anything. Though even If You play 5 hours per day this time could also be just wasted. When we talk about speed...it is sport...YES IT IS JUST A SPORT. It needs same attention and natural hands strenght + very wise momevent / breath management same as any kind of sport discipline.


When I was a teenager I had a 6 to 12 hours per day practice...because I loved to play whole day and I had time for it. Now I can tell for sure - 1 hour per day makes me able ONLY TO KEEP the skills I got as an teenager. In my particular case 1 hour per day will not make me able to improve anything more - that would need at least 2 or more hours per day. If I don't play for 3 days (very rare but hapens) I have to practice for 3-4 hours to reach my highest skills level I was able to use before.

Speed workout is not only a muscle practice - it's time that has to be spent on observations, analysis of Your own body built and very detailed experiments of all Your hand and pick angles.

I can't promise You anything that will help for sure but killer skills need killer regular practice.

Keep in mind that there is this "wall" bareer of "can't play before Your fingers remember" in case of speed playing. There is a ton of factors affecting ability to play fast.

Mertay has a good point here - very good idea to watch some other students threads. Very often people ask exactly the same quastions and have exactly the same issues.

Also You can have Your individual thread where one instructor will lead You through some particular tips that could help to improve Your playing. Consider this smile.gif))

This post has been edited by Darius Wave: Nov 18 2013, 12:52 PM


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MichaelRdk
post Nov 19 2013, 05:21 PM
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Thanks for all your inputs guys and sorry for the late answer, been a bit busy.

Maybe i set myself some unrealistic goals to start off with, was thinking i was playing okay well at around 2 years and thought with the speed of learning i had in that little time that i would probably at 5years time later be pretty good, and when you set a goal you think is realistic and gets what feels like no where it's a slap in the face..

Sounds like improvising is a good idea to spend some time on, playing around, i was kinda thinking if only sticking to covers was limiting me, but thought that i was still using the teqniques and was trying to practice some faster songs sometimes to try and practice some more speed, but maybe i do need to get a bit away from only plying covers and try something else too smile.gif

So about the fast playing, you kinda need to not know what you are doing, your fingers just have to do it ?
cause maybe that's the first thing i do wrong, i practice fast parts slow and slowly raise the tempo as i get comfortble with it, but the limit is right where i cannot keep up with the notes in my head, maybe i need to stop trying to look and see every note smile.gif

Also, what is this thread with a instructer about ? smile.gif
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Todd Simpson
post Nov 20 2013, 10:06 AM
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TAKE HEART!!!! You are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things (practicing, asking for a bit of help, being part of GMC) so success is really just a matter of planning, execution, and time. smile.gif

BEN HIGGINS gave some great advice in his post, as did Mertay, if what you are doing has stopped working it might be time to make a change smile.gif You may gain more out of "writing" and "improvising" than you think. I've found that every area of music I learn and work with impacts every other area. So writing and improving can help you pick up learning guitar bits/solos when learning covers (just for one example).

I'd suggest joining up for MENTORING with one or more instructors here. Actually I"d suggest perhaps signing up for mentoring with EVERY instructor here, (including me) and then focusing on the ones that you can see helping you get better smile.gif If you want to join up for Mentoring, just send a Personal Message to the Instructor in question smile.gif

Lastly, I'd say attend as many of the LIVE VIDEO CHAT LESSONS as humanly possible. Getting live interaction and showing your technique via vid cam is a great way to get better quicker smile.gif

Todd





QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 18 2013, 05:02 AM) *
Hi Michael, I'm sorry to hear that you feel at the point of wanting to give up. I've felt that about other things in my life before and it's not a nice place to be.

When I get like that the thing that pulls me back is to stop looking at the entire picture and instead pick one small goal to concentrate on. I saw a great phrase the other day, something like

When asked to move a mountain, don't stand there looking at the size of it, just pick up the first rock

I've had loads of plateaus in my guitar playing... inevitably there will come some moment of inspiration where I follow one little thing that keeps me occupied and then restores my enthusiasm again. For example, if I gave myself one small goal which is 'I want to improve this one lick' then I will just let myself focus on that, and only that, for a week or so. And maybe only 30 mins or so. No more pressure than that. Then I find myself actually looking forward to the next day of practise, not just to see if there's any improvement but to just enjoy the thought of dedicated, concentrated effort at one thing.

I think they key word in that is let yourself, not force yourself or make yourself. Guitar playing should be a pastime that you enjoy.. it's there to serve you.. so you decide how it goes.. and when. So remove the excess baggage of years of ambition and hope, and just let yourself enjoy the simple pleasure of sticking with one lick and casually working on it for several days.

Do i limit myself in learning because i only want to play covers ?
should i want to make my own music ?

This question is kind of linked.. there is no 'should' in music. Nobody makes the rules. Your guitar is for whatever you want it for. However, I put my own personal musical improvements down to writing, training my ear and trying out my own ideas. You could still take licks you've learned from your fave guitarists and try them out in different ways, over backing tracks. Or create your own chord progressions. Music software would help here but I started out with a 4 track recorder so it's possible to get some basic ideas down and start creating. You don't have to become someone who writes their own music but your musical ear, timing and general guitar playing should be improved by it which you can then apply to learning more complex music.

Is music theory important ?
It is but only at the right time. Music theory is crucial to our understanding of how and why music works and is a way for people to communicate across language barriers and the ages. But it is only useful at the right time. At the moment I would say it's not the right time for it.. you need simplicity and inspiration. When you start playing around and crafting some licks and chord progressions, then you can start dipping your toe into the water and learning why that scale works etc but I honestly think it would just bog you down right now.



Very well said and some great truths being spoken here by Darius. There is an element of pure SPORT to certain physical aspects of guitar. It requires stretching, endurance training, and often no small amount of tedious drills/metronome work, etc. Just like learning to shoot a free throw, or throw a pitch, time spent in training is part of the deal. And yet, it's possible to "waste" years of training if the effort is not leading towards the desired results.

Like DARIUS, I spend WADS of time practicing during my early years of playing and often struggle now to find an hour each day to simply practice. I prefer to spend at least two or more because as DARIUS says, it takes time to maintain and more time to keep gaining ground. At least for me and for many.

But again, the good news is you are here among folks who can help you find the path your fingers are seeking. So take up MENTORSHIP, join the VID CHATS, join every COLLAB project you can. Each bit you learn will impact every aspect of your playing. Embrace it smile.gif

Todd



QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Nov 18 2013, 06:51 AM) *
You know getting skills is very individual thing. Some of us need more time, some of us ...less. You can't skip it and a time You spend on practice even if You play everyday through 7 years is never a guarante of anything. Though even If You play 5 hours per day this time could also be just wasted. When we talk about speed...it is sport...YES IT IS JUST A SPORT. It needs same attention and natural hands strenght + very wise momevent / breath management same as any kind of sport discipline.


When I was a teenager I had a 6 to 12 hours per day practice...because I loved to play whole day and I had time for it. Now I can tell for sure - 1 hour per day makes me able ONLY TO KEEP the skills I got as an teenager. In my particular case 1 hour per day will not make me able to improve anything more - that would need at least 2 or more hours per day. If I don't play for 3 days (very rare but hapens) I have to practice for 3-4 hours to reach my highest skills level I was able to use before.

Speed workout is not only a muscle practice - it's time that has to be spent on observations, analysis of Your own body built and very detailed experiments of all Your hand and pick angles.

I can't promise You anything that will help for sure but killer skills need killer regular practice.

Keep in mind that there is this "wall" bareer of "can't play before Your fingers remember" in case of speed playing. There is a ton of factors affecting ability to play fast.

Mertay has a good point here - very good idea to watch some other students threads. Very often people ask exactly the same quastions and have exactly the same issues.

Also You can have Your individual thread where one instructor will lead You through some particular tips that could help to improve Your playing. Consider this smile.gif))



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Monica Gheorghev...
post Nov 20 2013, 10:48 AM
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QUOTE (MichaelRdk @ Nov 19 2013, 04:21 PM) *
Thanks for all your inputs guys and sorry for the late answer, been a bit busy.

Maybe i set myself some unrealistic goals to start off with, was thinking i was playing okay well at around 2 years and thought with the speed of learning i had in that little time that i would probably at 5years time later be pretty good, and when you set a goal you think is realistic and gets what feels like no where it's a slap in the face..

Sounds like improvising is a good idea to spend some time on, playing around, i was kinda thinking if only sticking to covers was limiting me, but thought that i was still using the teqniques and was trying to practice some faster songs sometimes to try and practice some more speed, but maybe i do need to get a bit away from only plying covers and try something else too smile.gif

So about the fast playing, you kinda need to not know what you are doing, your fingers just have to do it ?
cause maybe that's the first thing i do wrong, i practice fast parts slow and slowly raise the tempo as i get comfortble with it, but the limit is right where i cannot keep up with the notes in my head, maybe i need to stop trying to look and see every note smile.gif

Also, what is this thread with a instructer about ? smile.gif

You can choose what instructor you want between Darius Wave, Cosmin Lupu, Gabriel Leopardi and Todd Simpson and they will organized an individual program for your needs.
If you want look in Instructors section at each of they and you can see what others students work in mentoring program.
Trust me, mentoring program is the best choice for visibile improvements in a short time smile.gif
I also follow an individual program with Darius and I can say that I see every week more improvements smile.gif Honesty I tell you, it's unbelievable how great changed my playing and my thinking this mentoring thread and of course my instructor wink.gif Without Darius I'm pretty sure that my playing style still remain in the same bad way with the same bad habits. I don't have words to tell you how big is the difference since I started this program (this year at the end of July) smile.gif

All the instructors are the best of the best smile.gif Pick an instructor and with ambition and work you will reach your goal more fast than you imagine smile.gif Todd have right about signing up for mentoring with every instructor here. This is a good way to see different approach for the same techniques and to see what works for you wink.gif


BTW I'm glad to hear that you think to try something else (improvising) not only covers smile.gif I'm looking forward to hear a take from you and maybe you will want to join in our collabs wink.gif








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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 20 2013, 12:40 PM
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Hey mate smile.gif I think that everyone posting here, has added a bit of their strength and experience to yours - you should read carefully and think well. I for one will continue on Todd's trail and ask you if you would like to work with me, in respect to overcoming the obstacles in an organized way wink.gif Check this out and let me know what you think -> https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...t=0&start=0


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SirJamsalot
post Nov 20 2013, 07:42 PM
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I don't see how quitting doing what you like will be satisfying.

Are you playing in a band? I find that playing in a band replaces the need to be a super hero guitar player. You know, tons of people love all sorts of easy-progression songs - you don't have to be Yngvie to have fun on stage and entertain people. In fact, there is a direct correlation between speed / technical ability, and number of people who actually want to hear you play. People are into the lyrical/easy to understand progressions. The technical/Speed playing audience are primarily other artists. The Grunge movement is a case in point. No guitarists go to see them because of technical ability. They go because of the overall sound.

As for theory - I've said this in previous threads, and still entertain it as my view. Theory is good for noting what happene, and a reason to explore sounds I otherwise would never have ever dreampt up myself. It is also good for studio musicians who are handed a song sheet to play, especially if they have never heard the song before. It's a nerd activity, dedicated to the studious, and intended as a language and theoretical white board to settle one's curiosity of why some progression works.

Most of what you hear and come to love on the radio is a result of mood added to basic chord progressions and soulful playing. It is no the product of theory - it is the product of practice. What really should happen is you hear a chord progression, and let your passion take your fingers to the notes you want to hear, and how you want to hear them. That is the purpose of practicing - teaching your fingers, through experience, trial and error, to reach the notes you want to hear, when and how you want to hear them.

To ward off people I may have disgruntled in saying this, my disclaimer is that theory is good to study because it introduces you to new sounds and artists you may never have actually ever heard before, and in so doing, open you up to new ideas / sounds. It is also good for conveying your compositions to others, if they can't hear it, or if your transposing a piece, or explaining what is going to someone on another instrument. But I venture to say an artist is not using theory to play a soulful solo. By the time the artist hits the stage or recording studio, the piece is written and practiced, and muscle memory is the primary driver.

It's like learning to speak. As you grow, the less you pay attention to how you speak. Your vocal chords do what they do as you think what you think. You want your fingers to be like your vocal chords - you think a sound, your fingers create the sound.

Don't give up. Just take it less seriously and practice. Forget where you think you should be regardless of how many years you have been playing. That's a self defeater, because everyone wants to be better than they are, regardless of where they are.

Keep on keepin on!
Chris

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Nov 20 2013, 07:45 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 20 2013, 10:51 PM
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Well Said! I hope these reply posts get enshrined in our WIKI!! Some really great responses that every guitar player could benefit from IMHO. Most of us have had a "Crisis of Faith", so to speak, at some point. It's what eliminates many a player before they ever reach the "happy place' of being able to play, improv, perform and enjoy being a musician.

Getting over this "hump" is a big challenge to be sure. The first of many you will face as a musician. The good news is that if you make it over the hump, you can take that lesson and apply it to the rest of your life. Working through the frustration and pain of learning an instrument is IMHO invaluable as a life lesson. It's more about not giving up than anything else. Just like life itself smile.gif

Todd



QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Nov 20 2013, 01:42 PM) *
I don't see how quitting doing what you like will be satisfying.

Are you playing in a band? I find that playing in a band replaces the need to be a super hero guitar player. You know, tons of people love all sorts of easy-progression songs - you don't have to be Yngvie to have fun on stage and entertain people. In fact, there is a direct correlation between speed / technical ability, and number of people who actually want to hear you play. People are into the lyrical/easy to understand progressions. The technical/Speed playing audience are primarily other artists. The Grunge movement is a case in point. No guitarists go to see them because of technical ability. They go because of the overall sound.

As for theory - I've said this in previous threads, and still entertain it as my view. Theory is good for noting what happene, and a reason to explore sounds I otherwise would never have ever dreampt up myself. It is also good for studio musicians who are handed a song sheet to play, especially if they have never heard the song before. It's a nerd activity, dedicated to the studious, and intended as a language and theoretical white board to settle one's curiosity of why some progression works.

Most of what you hear and come to love on the radio is a result of mood added to basic chord progressions and soulful playing. It is no the product of theory - it is the product of practice. What really should happen is you hear a chord progression, and let your passion take your fingers to the notes you want to hear, and how you want to hear them. That is the purpose of practicing - teaching your fingers, through experience, trial and error, to reach the notes you want to hear, when and how you want to hear them.

To ward off people I may have disgruntled in saying this, my disclaimer is that theory is good to study because it introduces you to new sounds and artists you may never have actually ever heard before, and in so doing, open you up to new ideas / sounds. It is also good for conveying your compositions to others, if they can't hear it, or if your transposing a piece, or explaining what is going to someone on another instrument. But I venture to say an artist is not using theory to play a soulful solo. By the time the artist hits the stage or recording studio, the piece is written and practiced, and muscle memory is the primary driver.

It's like learning to speak. As you grow, the less you pay attention to how you speak. Your vocal chords do what they do as you think what you think. You want your fingers to be like your vocal chords - you think a sound, your fingers create the sound.

Don't give up. Just take it less seriously and practice. Forget where you think you should be regardless of how many years you have been playing. That's a self defeater, because everyone wants to be better than they are, regardless of where they are.

Keep on keepin on!
Chris



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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 21 2013, 09:08 AM
Post #14


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So, glad you wrote in the practice schedule thread mate! wink.gif Yer plan for the next week is ready and waiting for ya! Go check it out!

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...st&p=666253


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Fran
post Nov 21 2013, 12:45 PM
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Great advice in this thread smile.gif

I just want to add that your latest REC take was really inspiring. Well played, and it's not me saying this, it's our instructors. Maybe you should not think in terms of "lesson level", GMC lessons can sometimes be hard even at level 3, because they deal with different techniques that might be easy for some, and hard for others.

Your work on that latest take was nice to hear, enjoy your playing, and it shall "increase speed" with time. Again, sometimes most beautiful sounds are slow.


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