After being here around 4 or 5 years now, I've learned a lot. However, I've also developed some very bad habits. The worst habit I've learn is not using a metronome. Rather I've been using my own internal mental clock when developing my riffs. Did this work for me? Sure, it actually has. I've created riffs, recorded them and sent them to friends who have played guitar years longer than I have and have received comments on how good I stay in time.
So what's the problem then? Well, I was feeling rather good about my playing abilities and wanted to start playing with a drummer, who was actually one of my best friends since high school. We are both 45 years old. He's been playing drums all this time, so he has a good handle on the drums and keeping time.
So anyway, I take my my amp, my guitar down to his jam room. Plug in thinking to myself, this is going to be great, I'm finally going to get a band started and applying some of skills towards making some cool rock and roll.
Well, my dreams and aspirations came to a screeching halt. We have twice tried to jam together. Both times have proven to be difficult at best. He's not able to stay in sync with me and I'm not able to stay in such with him. He will stop and listen to what I'm playing, try to get a beat going but just can't quit figure out my internal rhythm or time signature. I try to match his playing rhythm to my licks and they just don't fit.
So eventually, he was kind enough to tell me that I need to work on playing to a beat, that I needed to go home and start using a metronome. Mind you, he was no where close to being politically correct about it. :p It was not THAT harsh, but there was no sugar coating either. With my tail between my legs I went home. That was about 8 months ago. We've not attempted to play together since. Not because it ruined our friendship or anything like that. You know, life gets in the way, busy summer and all that.
So anyway, after playing for about 5 years now, I find myself having to go take paid private lessons to unlearn some of my bad habits and to get some one on one instructions on getting myself better prepared to play with others. It's kind of like "well duh" kind of stuff, but it's good because it keeps me focused and honest.
And now the icing on the cake... About a year and a half ago maybe two years ago I purchased brand new Boss DR-880 rhythm machine with the intent I would use it all the time for various reasons, one of which was to ensure my riffs matched up with a proper time signature and drum beat. Did I use it? Eh, not really. Mostly it sits and collects dust. Do I use it now? Yup, I just broke out the manual this week to figure out how to start taking advantage of all that it can do for me.
So folks, there you have it. Learn from my mistakes. No matter how well you think that internal clock is, it can fool you and give you a false sense of time. Use a metronome!
No, I'm not leaving guitar tricks. Too much good stuff here, I'd drop netflix first if it was a money issue.
[U]Ricks Current Mystery Video[/U] - Updated Monday March/02/2015