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> Weaknesses
Ben Higgins
post Jun 24 2015, 03:28 PM
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Most of you have seen the Vai video where he talks about how he ignored his weaknesses and focused instead on his strengths. Taken out of context, it could seem like he was advocating everyone to ignore anything they weren't good at. But delving a little deeper, what he was meaning was that there are some things that maybe don't serve us as players anyway and that, instead of devoting years to trying to force it into getting better, one could be better served by embracing their uniqueness as a player.

For example, why devote all that energy into being able to play all those Yngwie licks when you could have spent more time working on your really good tapping technique? Or maybe you 're great at something else but you wish you could do what Michael Romeo or MAB does..... why, you must ask yourself? They're already doing it so why not be content with taking a little bit of what they offer but spending more time building up your own library of licks?

We will all have things that we're good at and things we're.... not so good at.

We could completely avoid using techniques that we're weak at or we could work to bring them up to a usable standard that allows us to implement them in our repertoire to the best of our ability. We don't have to master them, however. This is potentially a controversial point among musicians if you believe that all techniques used should be fully mastered.

I personally don't believe you need to master any technique because I don't think anything can be fully mastered. There is always more to be done. Always somebody who can get more out of a technique. Always more honing that one could do. Where does it end?

I say don't look to the end. Look to the now. How does it serve you now? Can you make it work in this song? Does it sound good now? If the answer to those questions is yes then it has done its job.

If you can take an idea and practise it until it sounds good in the context you intend (a solo, for example) then it is good enough to be used. What may be a weak technique can still be utilised. So what if you can't effortlessly blaze up and down the neck with that technique? If you are able to use it for that moment and make it sound good then you are using that technique well.

So, we can have weaknesses and still work with them. Or we can ignore them. Either way, you don't have to be a master of all techniques. In fact, you don't have to be a master of any technique. I bet that none of us here are masters of a single technique at all.

So, embrace the weaknesses and enjoy working with them. A great phrase from our very own Mr Dahl is "Use your limitations as your inspiration" and he's right. Messing around with techniques you don't normally use or techniques you're not good at can often spark an entirely different approach because you're forced to find a solution to the 'problem'. You might end up combining techniques to create a hybrid approach to a run or lick.

It's all fun!


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 25 2015, 03:28 AM
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Well said!!! smile.gif A fine article indeed. It's fine to be motivated by things you want to be able to play, after all, that's why many folks pick up the instrument smile.gif But it really is important to let your weak spots serve as inspiration as well. Explore the bids that are just not your best bits. You may find licks there that you hadn't thought of before smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 25 2015, 08:51 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 25 2015, 02:28 AM) *
Well said!!! smile.gif A fine article indeed. It's fine to be motivated by things you want to be able to play, after all, that's why many folks pick up the instrument smile.gif But it really is important to let your weak spots serve as inspiration as well. Explore the bids that are just not your best bits. You may find licks there that you hadn't thought of before smile.gif


That's exactly it, T-Master. Many lessons that I've written for GMC have made me learn licks that are not within my comfortable repertoire. Some of them have given me mileage to explore totally new ideas. Some of them I learned well enough to do the lesson and that's all.


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TJHarrison5252
post Jun 25 2015, 10:43 AM
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Tapping like Eddie or Guthrie then someone comes out w/ a new way of tapping or tech. Then you say look how far we have gone in music. The old guys are laughing at the new guys and the new guys are laughing at the old guys cool.gif
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Marek Rojewski
post Jun 26 2015, 08:42 PM
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For me improving my strengths more than my weaknesses comes naturally. I always try to find GMC lessons that are great musically and more difficult than the ones I already learned, but also doable. That leads to a situation that I won't choose a lesson that consists of mainly techniques that I am poor at.

Of course I think of it as a problem, but for example my tapping skill is very low, so I won't find a "doable" tapping lesson that will sound as awesome as a "doable" picking or rhythm lesson. Thankfully there are lessons that consists of mainly the things I am better at, and have some of different stuff thrown in, so I still can improve in different things. That way I've been improving my sweep picking a bit:)

I plan to change my approach, because I start to feel that my weaknesses are to big, but this is the song of the future, for now I've been concentrating on the things I am better at.


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 27 2015, 08:36 AM
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QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ Jun 26 2015, 07:42 PM) *
For me improving my strengths more than my weaknesses comes naturally. I always try to find GMC lessons that are great musically and more difficult than the ones I already learned, but also doable. That leads to a situation that I won't choose a lesson that consists of mainly techniques that I am poor at.

Of course I think of it as a problem, but for example my tapping skill is very low, so I won't find a "doable" tapping lesson that will sound as awesome as a "doable" picking or rhythm lesson. Thankfully there are lessons that consists of mainly the things I am better at, and have some of different stuff thrown in, so I still can improve in different things. That way I've been improving my sweep picking a bit:)

I plan to change my approach, because I start to feel that my weaknesses are to big, but this is the song of the future, for now I've been concentrating on the things I am better at.


Yes, concentrating on improving your good points is like an 'instant improvement' power up! biggrin.gif

If your weaknesses are things that are either essential or things that you really want to include in your playing then it would make sense to work on them too but it depends how much you need or want them in your playing. Or maybe not? That's only my opinion after all.


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