Frustration...


GreggRich1
Gregg Richards
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GreggRich1
Gregg Richards
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07/08/2013 2:30 am
Man, it can't just be that I perpetually suck, but that so far is the fact.

I worked Anders' lessons in the blues section, and it didn't take long before I thought it was me just watching yet another instructor play stuff that kicks my ass. He isn't showing me HOW to play what he is playing, he's just playing licks so fast I can't even see what he's doing. So before I complain about it, I look around and find Chris' blues videos.

He starts teaching a simple little lick and says, here's how you do it. I CAN't do it that way...I have never seen anybody else finger the fretboard like that, and all I do is buzz notes...yada yada... with my fatass fingers - he shows sort of how to palm mute. I CAN'T do it, for some reason, all I get to do is mute stuff I want to ring out. How the hell anybody does this crap I will never know.

So he says keep practicing and practicing and practicing this lick and keep going...well I am already coming up on 60 years old...how friggin long does this take??? Son of a BITCH this is pissing me off. I waste days and more days.

I have taken other on line stuff; they ALL suck at teaching. At least here they don't suck at teaching in most cases. However, there is one thing I would like to say to all instructors, all over the globe. I am not sitting here to watch you set aflame your fretboard, unless you want to take the time to show me what you are playing tick by freaking tick. I have 2 very nice guitars and right now I could use one to smash the other.

So, how's your day?
# 1
Slipin Lizard
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Slipin Lizard
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07/08/2013 4:33 am
Gregg, what's your goal with learning to play guitar? Not "I want to be an amazing blues player" or impress your friends... I mean personally, for you, where are you trying to get to with it and why? Its not a loaded question by the way.
# 2
maggior
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maggior
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07/08/2013 1:09 pm
My experience with Anders' lessons is quite the opposite. A big component of the blues is making it your own, which Anders forces you to do - especially in the second part of the blues course. Maybe it's that aspect that is frustrating you.

Most recently I've beeing going through the section where he goes over the albert and bb king styles. He breaks down a signature lick with a few variations. Then, he jams with it varying it and "making it his own".

The key piece here is *phrasing*. You can take a lick and make it sound completely different just by changing the phrasing. Anders has a section where he breaks this down in excruciating detail. I believe it is a series of lessons in Blues part 1. He even makes a "one note solo" with the focus on nothing but phrasing.

What makes Anders so great (and frustrating at the same time! :-) is his playing sounds so cool, yet he has a minimalist approach which makes you think "yeah, I can certainly do that - looks easy". Then you pick up your guitar to play along and realize you completely suck in comparison.

I found myself blowing through the first part of the course quickly and skimmed over some things I thought weren't important to me. I need to go back and focus on them more. I kind of got stuck.

If you want to learn stuff that is broken down note-for-note in it's entirety, you might want to check out some of the song lessons. Since the goal there is to learn a song and not improvise, the approach is much different. Pick a song that you like that is at your level (or a little higher) and go to town!!

You are not alone in your frustration. EVERYBODY goes through this.
# 3
GreggRich1
Gregg Richards
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GreggRich1
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07/08/2013 2:38 pm
I appreciate your responses. The one line alone (everybody goes through this) is probably most helpful; it give me cause to dive back in harder than ever.

Slipin Lizard:
My goals are poorly defined in the way you state and sadly, I know that's not as productive as it should be.

I have played acoustic rhythm guitar for a long time, and I can say I am really good at it. I am not an "amazing" guitar player, nor do I aspire to be that. I would like to be as good, clean, and articulate on electric (lead) guitar as I am an acoustic asset. I'd be totally satisfied being as good an electric guitar player as I am with an acoustic. I don't know if that makes sense. When people hear me play acoustic guitar, even other really good musicians, I am able to add a factor that I am proud of, and truthfully, I find doing that to be quite easy.

What frustrates me is how different I find these animals. E guitar can almost be described as a whole new instrument from acoustic. So, when I thought the transition would be easy with my skill level, it has been anything BUT.

I picked blues, because it is the source of virtually all lead guitar structure...not because of any particular love for the blues. I just thought it would be the shortest path.
# 4
JJ90
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JJ90
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07/08/2013 2:54 pm
Hi Greg,

I'm sorry to hear that you are frustated with your progress. I had the same as maggior. I worked through Anders' lessons in the Core Learning System and had few problems. At the end of Blues level 1 Anders plays a lot of stuff that are more for demonstrational purposes and to get ideas / inspiration. In those lessons he doesn't explain in detail the licks that he plays. In Blues level 2 he goes into more detail. I think that the increasing level of difficulty is just fine in the Core Learning System in general.

But that's the situation for me. It doesn't have to mean that it's easy for you, everyone is different.

Everyone will have those moments of frustations, even I do. Sometimes it can be difficult to break down that wall you run into. Remember this: It's easy to progress with guitar when you start out, but it becomes more difficult to get better, the better you get.

One important thing is that some guitar players get frustrated because they expect a bit too much in terms of being able to play something advanced in a short amount of time. It can sometimes take a lot of time to master those difficult guitar parts. The key is being patient!

It's important to take your time when trying to master the difficult things. This usually means to slow down parts to such a level that you can't do anything but play it right. If that means to slow it down to 40 bpm that's totally ok. Practice it right and the speed to play it normal will come. Also, a lot of guitar players tend to move away from those difficult parts and start playing what that already can play when practicing. When praticing it is important to focus on those things you really want to learn.

And on one final note: Don't get frustrated. The time you are frustrated is time you could be practicing.

Hope that helps you in some way breaking down that wall. I also recommend this effective practice series from a guy named Justin Sandercoe. He's the only other online guitar teacher I watch. His lessons are totally free but he's a professional guitar teacher and well known on Youtube.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/PC-000-Practice.php

The most important thing I learned from this series is to observe yourselve making mistakes. When you exactly break down and see what you are doing wrong it becomes much easier to work to a solution.

Please let us know what exactly you are struggeling with. Which lesson do you mean? Is it the finger placement or speed or perhaps the picking hand? Perhaps we or some of the instructors here can give you some tips on improving on a certain subject.

Hope this helps.

JJ
# 5
maggior
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maggior
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07/08/2013 2:55 pm
Yes, electric guitar can be a different beast. The dynamics you can get are different, though you can apply them to the acoustic guitar as well. Palm muting is a technique I was finally able to perform thanks to the lessons here (it was either Chris S. or Anders). I found that this technique applies to the acoustic as well and sounds pretty cool. Al DiMeola uses muting on the acoustic a lot.

As an accopmlished acoustic player, I can see how you find this REALLY frustrating. I've been a decent rythm player for over 20 years. I have some amount of technique down, but I just could not put together a decent sounding solo. I even appealed to Anders' personally for help!

I think you just need to be patient with yourself and try to focus on the lessons rather than trying to push forward through the lessons.
# 6
john of MT
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john of MT
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07/08/2013 8:55 pm
JJ90: +1

A *lot* of good stuff in JJ90's post...including the shout-out to Justin.

Everyone progresses differently. If reaching chosen guitar goals is taking too long, take more lessons and practice more. I myself have little 'talent' for guitar but I overcome that lack with practice. Lots and lots of practice. My progress is moderate at best yet I'm better than I was last month, not as good as I will be the next one.

Two quotations I keep close;

"She wasn't where she had been. She wasn't where she was going…but she was on her way."
-- Jodi Hills

"Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
-- Mary Anne Radmacher
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 7
Steve Barrow
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Steve Barrow
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07/08/2013 9:06 pm
Hey Gregg, I too am a 60 year old guy who has played rhythm guitar for years (with some band experience). When I lost my job I decided to try and switch to lead, which I'd always envied, so I joined GT. I found it very difficult at first, because (at least to me) rhythm and lead require very different techniques. It's taken me about a year of practising 6 or 7 hours a week to be able to improvise my own blues solos. I'm really please about this 'cos it's been like a lifetime ambition. I've always envied lead guitarists!
GT helped on this a lot (they aren't paying me to say this) but like the other guys have pointed out, it ain't an instant solution. Good luck with it all. Steve
# 8
Slipin Lizard
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Slipin Lizard
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07/08/2013 9:40 pm
Originally Posted by: GreggRich1
I have played acoustic rhythm guitar for a long time, and I can say I am really good at it. I am not an "amazing" guitar player, nor do I aspire to be that. I would like to be as good, clean, and articulate on electric (lead) guitar as I am an acoustic asset. I'd be totally satisfied being as good an electric guitar player as I am with an acoustic. I don't know if that makes sense. When people hear me play acoustic guitar, even other really good musicians, I am able to add a factor that I am proud of, and truthfully, I find doing that to be quite easy.


The advice I'd like to offer is going to be quite contrary to what others have said. Rather than encourage you to just keep forging ahead with something that you're clearly not happy with, I'd instead suggest you look at why you're trying to learn something that is giving you so many problems.

You're goal is quite well defined. First off,

-can you play anything on your electric that you can play on your acoustic to the point where you are happy with it? Even just a simple chord progression, but something that makes you feel good about playing guitar... it "feeds" you the same way playing your acoustic does.

If not, keep in mind that there are variables to electric guitars that can make the easier/harder to play. Thick fingers? Then look for a guitar with a wider neck.... this might be a model that you'd normally dismiss because it looks like a "shredders" guitar... point is, make sure the electric you have is a good fit. I bet your acoustic feels like a comfy pair of your favorite jeans when you play it. You want the same with your electric... or at least plenty of room for your fingers!

Once you can play something that you're happy with on your electric guitar, its time to look at what kind of lead playing to you want to learn, and WHY. If you're learning lead guitar "just because" or because you feel you should in order to be an "accomplished guitar player" then that's not really a good reason. The best players out there are the guys that know their strengths, and enhance those. Steve Vai said he never worked on his weaknesses, just his strengths. What he means is that he didn't force himself to learn stuff he didn't like to play. Forget all this "well-rounded" guitar player stuff... there are so many styles and disciplines in guitar, there is no way someone can be competent at all of them. For every gap you fill in your playing, you'll just find three more holes to fill.

Instead, think of sharing the music inside you, and the guitar is just your chosen instrument of expression. Whatever you'd like to play, work toward that... whatever feeds your passion, makes you want to share it with other people, that's where I think you should put your energy. If you don't really like learning blues licks, and get super frustrated trying to figure out how someone else is playing something, forget about it. There are literally millions of guitar players out there learning the same tired licks over and over...

Look at someone like The Edge from U2... tons of guitar players put him down, say his playing is all just the delay, or that he doesn't have any real skill. I see it differently. He approached guitar with an innocence and naivety that led to a very unique and sincere style. I read recently some advice that just said "learn sweep picking"... really? Why? We should all just learn sweep picking? Can you imagine Eno & and co in the studio recording "Where the Streets Have No Name" and saying "nice intro Edge, but maybe throw some sweep picking in there..."?

The point is, there is so much you can learn on guitar, you can't cover it all in a lifetime no matter how much you practice. Therefore, everything you decide to practice and learn should be a part of your goal, whatever that is. Don't get me wrong... if someone says "I just want to learn how to play 'Layla'... that's a goal. Its clear. There's nothing wrong with it. However, if they are really, internally thinking "because when I can play 'Layla' I'll prove to all my friends I'm as good as Eric Clapton", then that's not so good. Eric Clapton didn't write the song to prove what a great guitar player he was, and there's a ton of other styles he would be lost trying to emulate, but he's still considered a legendary guitarist.

Be really honest with yourself about your motivations as you set your goals for playing guitar. Getting frustrated isn't just a sign that you need to have more patience and buckle down. How many times have you heard of someone being frustrated in a job or career, only to realize that they needed to make a complete life-change, and when they did, they felt much better for it. Get comfortable in your own skin, embrace the guitarist that you are, and then work towards enhancing your own strengths as a player. If that means learning licks and scales, then by all means, go for it. But I get the feeling from what you've written that your heart isn't really in it as far as learning blues licks go, and accepting that might be a really good thing. For what its worth, I learned to solo using blues licks & scales because everyone seemed to say that was the way to do it. I found out much later that what I really enjoyed was learning seven-note scales, and approaching soloing by trying to derive a melody first that fit the music. I'm not an "amazing guitarist" either, but I am happy with my playing so far, and when I practice, I really enjoy it because I practice things that allow me to play what I want to play.

I'd really like to hear your rhythm playing... even just a quick YouTube video. I'd wager its probably more interesting than most solos.

I'll finish off this crazy long post with the observation that when you play what comes naturally to you on your acoustic, you're happy with it. You're so confident that you'll fearlessly show it to guitar players that are technically more accomplished than you because you know it has merit. People hear it, and like it. You find it comes easily, without all the anguish that you're experiencing trying to learn these blues licks. That to me is a sign you're following the path that is right for you. I'm sure you have something to offer in terms of lead playing too... but just be yourself and be honest about it. You may find that while its not your typical "watch me race across the fretboard" soloing, it may end up being something far more interesting to play and listen to.
# 9
GreggRich1
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GreggRich1
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07/10/2013 3:03 pm
I need to put in as much effort on my guitars as you did on that post. Thanks man-

Lately I have been having lots of musical ideas in my head; To compose them and play them is something I'd like to do. I've just been spending my time "learning" if you know what I mean. Maybe a shift in focus would take me where I want to be faster and with less pain.

A side note...I was looking over the list of the top Blues guitarists. There's lots of you tube video on many of them. I picked 2 to watch, just because they were on the list and because I never really examined their playing. They are Jeff Beck and Robin Trower. Both Brits.

After spending quite a bit of time watching these 2 guys, I came to the same conclusion about both - I think they BOTH suck.

Not as talented guitarists. Either one of them can rip across a fretboard so fast you can barely follow them. Where I simply cannot appreciate their skills, is what comes out of their heart - their "Brain-hand" connection. I simply do not like their music at all. Trower sounds like Jimi Hendrix, who also on the list, plays music that I hear and say to myself, "what's all the fuss about" - there are 10 million guitarists that are better than this guy, and play better music too.

With Beck, all that is true as well, but he really loses me with the finger picking on a Strat. He loses so much tone by finger picking it adds to the pile of things I don't like on his style. Here's where I am going with this...

Here are 3 guys that have the ability, but what their heart sends to the guitar sounds terrible (to ME). So why shouldn't I simply compile and work on what sounds perfect (to me)?...and get there when I get there.

I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and especially the extra effort for such a long post.
# 10
JeffS65
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07/21/2013 12:23 am
Originally Posted by: GreggRich1I need to put in as much effort on my guitars as you did on that post. Thanks man-

Lately I have been having lots of musical ideas in my head; To compose them and play them is something I'd like to do. I've just been spending my time "learning" if you know what I mean. Maybe a shift in focus would take me where I want to be faster and with less pain.

A side note...I was looking over the list of the top Blues guitarists. There's lots of you tube video on many of them. I picked 2 to watch, just because they were on the list and because I never really examined their playing. They are Jeff Beck and Robin Trower. Both Brits.

After spending quite a bit of time watching these 2 guys, I came to the same conclusion about both - I think they BOTH suck.

Not as talented guitarists. Either one of them can rip across a fretboard so fast you can barely follow them. Where I simply cannot appreciate their skills, is what comes out of their heart - their "Brain-hand" connection. I simply do not like their music at all. Trower sounds like Jimi Hendrix, who also on the list, plays music that I hear and say to myself, "what's all the fuss about" - there are 10 million guitarists that are better than this guy, and play better music too.

With Beck, all that is true as well, but he really loses me with the finger picking on a Strat. He loses so much tone by finger picking it adds to the pile of things I don't like on his style. Here's where I am going with this...

Here are 3 guys that have the ability, but what their heart sends to the guitar sounds terrible (to ME). So why shouldn't I simply compile and work on what sounds perfect (to me)?...and get there when I get there.

I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and especially the extra effort for such a long post.


Music has to communicate to you.

While I am not a huge follower of the three you mentioned (Hendrix/Trower/Beck), they are talented guitarists and I appreciate their skill and do like some of there songs. I mean, I wished I had written Voodoo Chile.

To the point; it doesn't matter to you, nor should it, that I like them.

Slipin said something about The Edge. Another guitar player whose style doesn't not speak deeply to me. Overall, I've never been a U2 fan but I do get what makes The Edge special. He developed a style that resonated within him and many other people agreed.

The key is to communicate something that you feel and hopefully others feel it too. In the end, that's music.

No matter the player, your heart and head tell you what you connect with. I can tell you a list pf player that are awesome....to me. So what.

As a player, that is key more than anything else. No matter if you are proficient, if people feel it, that matters.

Guitar players can bag on CC DeVille of poison all day but he communicated with people. I remember when Richie Kotzen (a great player) did an album with Poison. Great playing but not inspiring all around. It wasn't a good match. Same, if we are to take this 'hair band' path further, about Mick Mars of Motley Crue. Not a technically skilled player but it did it in a way that spoke to people.

I do like to learn new techniques like any guitar but sometimes they don't do it for me.

I stopped caring about sweep arpeggios very early on in the 80's. It was cool to watch but as a player....nothing. Left me dry.

So....what does all this mean, gotta play from the heart and not someone else's play list.
# 11
lawmason69
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07/24/2013 9:48 pm
GreggRich -

frustration is a common undercurrent to us all, particularly when trying something new on an instrument that "seems" familiar...i can speak from experience that usually i have a "reality check" moment when i'm feeling pretty good about my playing, or some improvement i've made, and then i try something just a little different...and lo and behold i have to start from zero yet again...for instance maybe as a rhythm player you can fly through chord changes with your eyes closed and can easiy substitute an open position chord with any of of the CAGED shapes or add a cool little extension...but then try arpeggiating ! same notes, but vastly different technically...

always slow down, and use a metronome...practice is equal parts boring, and thrilling...but anyone who is decent put in the work

if you're not digging guys like beck, you have to ask yourself "what do i want to play"...what groups do you like ? who still inspires you ? whatever the answer, pick a song that does it for you and start to transcibe it your self...little by little, note for note, or as close as you can get...you will enjoy it, learn more, and absorb it so it becomes your own...if you don't care too much for hendrix, why would you bother learning a bunch of his licks ? the only reason would be academic or to better a particular technique, and that is OK, but you won't be passionate about it...sometimes time in the woodshed is just work, so don't get too hung up on it

stick with the music that moves you, that made you pick up guitar in the first place, or that you enjoy listening to...sometimes that's harder - there are a million lessons on how to be a great blues player - but what if that's not your cup of tea ? well, you gotta go get your own if you know what i mean...

for what it's worth, i've been playing for a year and a half, and was breezing through the beginner lessons as a brush up...i hit the arpeggiation lesson for "house of the rising sun" and had to start the metronome at 90 BPM and slowly bump it up every 5 minutes or so, it was embarassing and frustrating...i still don't have it quite, but it's a technical skill that i need to work on so i'll put in the time - when i'm satisfied that i have gotten it down reasonably well, i will NEVER play that song again - i hate it to be honest - but it's a good vehicle to facilitate one of the many many skills we need as guitarists

remember mix it up...set goals in your practice. technical skills, theory / knowledge, and most importantly MUSICALITY...playing music is where it is AT, everything else just helps us get there

cheers
# 12
cabab11
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08/04/2013 5:17 pm
Thanks Slipin Lizard and lawmason 69. You are quite right in what you say. I finally picked up playing the( acoustic) guitar properly this year, after years of not really getting anywhere fast! I did have a few lessons to begin with , and my tutor taught me a lot, but mostly about mindset, to get past my early frustration and that you have to take your time, practice and don't be too hard on yourself. I slipped into fingerpicking by accident and found it was one thing I enjoyed playing- and I think that's the key- you learn more, when you enjoy what you play. It also helps if the teacher goes at your pace and at a level respective to you. Don't know if it's Ok to mention on here, but if anyone wants to start learning Blues guitar, there is a site called 'Blues Unleashed' with a guy called Griff Hamlin. He teaches Blues in a very easy way and plays slow so you can see what he is doing, which is what you need when you start. Even I could figure it out!!I only recently joined this site, and there are various degrees of lessons on here. If you pick something too advanced, it will discourage you. There is a difference between stretching yourself and jumping too far to begin with (I nearly fell into that trap). And if you want to hear someone who played really expressive Blues, look no further than Peter Greene of the Original Fleetwood Mac. It doesn't have to be fast , furious or all up above the 12th fret. In fact, it sounds more melodic if it isn't. So keep on going GreggRich 1-You have an advantage if you already play acoustic. Just find someone whose teaching style you like, take it steady and just build upward from what you know. Cheers!
# 13
David Portelli
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08/26/2013 1:53 pm
Originally Posted by: GreggRich1Man, it can't just be that I perpetually suck, but that so far is the fact.

I worked Anders' lessons in the blues section, and it didn't take long before I thought it was me just watching yet another instructor play stuff that kicks my ass. He isn't showing me HOW to play what he is playing, he's just playing licks so fast I can't even see what he's doing. So before I complain about it, I look around and find Chris' blues videos.

He starts teaching a simple little lick and says, here's how you do it. I CAN't do it that way...I have never seen anybody else finger the fretboard like that, and all I do is buzz notes...yada yada... with my fatass fingers - he shows sort of how to palm mute. I CAN'T do it, for some reason, all I get to do is mute stuff I want to ring out. How the hell anybody does this crap I will never know.

So he says keep practicing and practicing and practicing this lick and keep going...well I am already coming up on 60 years old...how friggin long does this take??? Son of a BITCH this is pissing me off. I waste days and more days.

I have taken other on line stuff; they ALL suck at teaching. At least here they don't suck at teaching in most cases. However, there is one thing I would like to say to all instructors, all over the globe. I am not sitting here to watch you set aflame your fretboard, unless you want to take the time to show me what you are playing tick by freaking tick. I have 2 very nice guitars and right now I could use one to smash the other.

So, how's your day?


Hey man I was there once upon a time but not any more.

Here are some pointers for you:

1) Whenever you practice something, brake it down into tiny pieces and analyse BOTH of your hands. Find out WHAT is causing the problem FIRST and then continue to practice. Practising more NEVER solves the problem if you are not practising properly so do the wise thing and see what's getting in your way FIRST! and then practice more.

2) Don't expect to play fast instantly, speed comes when your hands are both very economical and make NO extra movements, it also comes when your hands are well synchronised and when there is very little tension in your hands. In the beginning focus on removing extra tension and extra movements. You should also focus on synchronising your hands very well at slow tempos FIRST. LEARN SLOW FIRST

Of course there are more things which must be in place but it seems to me that your issues are related with not getting the movements right etc.

/Dave
# 14
Kasperow
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Kasperow
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08/26/2013 2:44 pm
Originally Posted by: David PortelliHey man I was there once upon a time but not any more.

Here are some pointers for you:

1) Whenever you practice something, brake it down into tiny pieces and analyse BOTH of your hands. Find out WHAT is causing the problem FIRST and then continue to practice. Practising more NEVER solves the problem if you are not practising properly so do the wise thing and see what's getting in your way FIRST! and then practice more.

2) Don't expect to play fast instantly, speed comes when your hands are both very economical and make NO extra movements, it also comes when your hands are well synchronised and when there is very little tension in your hands. In the beginning focus on removing extra tension and extra movements. You should also focus on synchronising your hands very well at slow tempos FIRST. LEARN SLOW FIRST

Of course there are more things which must be in place but it seems to me that your issues are related with not getting the movements right etc.

/Dave

This is all so true. And one thing I've read on the internet (and come to realize is actually true) is this: Practice makes permanent. Forget the old saying "Practice Makes Perfect". If you practice something on the guitar and play it sloppily a thousand times, you become very good at playing it sloppily, because it's what you train your hands to do. If you play something carefully and make sure to make every note ring out as cleanly as possible, you become good at playing it cleanly. So practice something at a slow tempo first. Then, when you can play it perfectly, try increasing the tempo until you can perfectly play it at full speed. It'll give you better results than just practicing and not thinking about the mistakes you make or the things that could be done better.
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
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Martin DX1K Acoustic
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Pedals...
# 15
Ludes
Registered User
Joined: 02/15/17
Posts: 4
Ludes
Registered User
Joined: 02/15/17
Posts: 4
02/23/2017 6:30 am
Originally Posted by: Slipin Lizard
Originally Posted by: GreggRich1[br]I have played acoustic rhythm guitar for a long time, and I can say I am really good at it. I am not an "amazing" guitar player, nor do I aspire to be that. I would like to be as good, clean, and articulate on electric (lead) guitar as I am an acoustic asset. I'd be totally satisfied being as good an electric guitar player as I am with an acoustic. I don't know if that makes sense. When people hear me play acoustic guitar, even other really good musicians, I am able to add a factor that I am proud of, and truthfully, I find doing that to be quite easy.
[br][br]The advice I'd like to offer is going to be quite contrary to what others have said. Rather than encourage you to just keep forging ahead with something that you're clearly not happy with, I'd instead suggest you look at why you're trying to learn something that is giving you so many problems.[br][br]You're goal is quite well defined. First off,[br][br]-can you play anything on your electric that you can play on your acoustic to the point where you are happy with it? Even just a simple chord progression, but something that makes you feel good about playing guitar... it "feeds" you the same way playing your acoustic does.[br][br]If not, keep in mind that there are variables to electric guitars that can make the easier/harder to play. Thick fingers? Then look for a guitar with a wider neck.... this might be a model that you'd normally dismiss because it looks like a "shredders" guitar... point is, make sure the electric you have is a good fit. I bet your acoustic feels like a comfy pair of your favorite jeans when you play it. You want the same with your electric... or at least plenty of room for your fingers![br][br]Once you can play something that you're happy with on your electric guitar, its time to look at what kind of lead playing to you want to learn, and WHY. If you're learning lead guitar "just because" or because you feel you should in order to be an "accomplished guitar player" then that's not really a good reason. The best players out there are the guys that know their strengths, and enhance those. Steve Vai said he never worked on his weaknesses, just his strengths. What he means is that he didn't force himself to learn stuff he didn't like to play. Forget all this "well-rounded" guitar player stuff... there are so many styles and disciplines in guitar, there is no way someone can be competent at all of them. For every gap you fill in your playing, you'll just find three more holes to fill. [br][br]Instead, think of sharing the music inside you, and the guitar is just your chosen instrument of expression. Whatever you'd like to play, work toward that... whatever feeds your passion, makes you want to share it with other people, that's where I think you should put your energy. If you don't really like learning blues licks, and get super frustrated trying to figure out how someone else is playing something, forget about it. There are literally millions of guitar players out there learning the same tired licks over and over... [br][br]Look at someone like The Edge from U2... tons of guitar players put him down, say his playing is all just the delay, or that he doesn't have any real skill. I see it differently. He approached guitar with an innocence and naivety that led to a very unique and sincere style. I read recently some advice that just said "learn sweep picking"... really? Why? We should all just learn sweep picking? Can you imagine Eno & and co in the studio recording "Where the Streets Have No Name" and saying "nice intro Edge, but maybe throw some sweep picking in there..."? [br][br]The point is, there is so much you can learn on guitar, you can't cover it all in a lifetime no matter how much you practice. Therefore, everything you decide to practice and learn should be a part of your goal, whatever that is. Don't get me wrong... if someone says "I just want to learn how to play 'Layla'... that's a goal. Its clear. There's nothing wrong with it. However, if they are really, internally thinking "because when I can play 'Layla' I'll prove to all my friends I'm as good as Eric Clapton", then that's not so good. Eric Clapton didn't write the song to prove what a great guitar player he was, and there's a ton of other styles he would be lost trying to emulate, but he's still considered a legendary guitarist.[br][br]Be really honest with yourself about your motivations as you set your goals for playing guitar. Getting frustrated isn't just a sign that you need to have more patience and buckle down. How many times have you heard of someone being frustrated in a job or career, only to realize that they needed to make a complete life-change, and when they did, they felt much better for it. Get comfortable in your own skin, embrace the guitarist that you are, and then work towards enhancing your own strengths as a player. If that means learning licks and scales, then by all means, go for it. But I get the feeling from what you've written that your heart isn't really in it as far as learning blues licks go, and accepting that might be a really good thing. For what its worth, I learned to solo using blues licks & scales because everyone seemed to say that was the way to do it. I found out much later that what I really enjoyed was learning seven-note scales, and approaching soloing by trying to derive a melody first that fit the music. I'm not an "amazing guitarist" either, but I am happy with my playing so far, and when I practice, I really enjoy it because I practice things that allow me to play what I want to play. [br][br]I'd really like to hear your rhythm playing... even just a quick YouTube video. I'd wager its probably more interesting than most solos. [br][br]I'll finish off this crazy long post with the observation that when you play what comes naturally to you on your acoustic, you're happy with it. You're so confident that you'll fearlessly show it to guitar players that are technically more accomplished than you because you know it has merit. People hear it, and like it. You find it comes easily, without all the anguish that you're experiencing trying to learn these blues licks. That to me is a sign you're following the path that is right for you. I'm sure you have something to offer in terms of lead playing too... but just be yourself and be honest about it. You may find that while its not your typical "watch me race across the fretboard" soloing, it may end up being something far more interesting to play and listen to.

This ^^ may be the best piece I have read on guitar playing in a long time.

Re: the blues that the OP speaks of and I know I'm reviving a very old post, I came opposite 180 than you which shows how relevant Slipin Lizard's post is.

Billy Corgan was the guy that made me want to play guitar. I finally got an electric and started learning but soon found I desired to play acoustic, as I was at the same time outgrowing that angst youngster period ..

Then I got super into the jam band musicians. They frustrated me though. A relative newbie, or at least someone of my talent just a few years into guitar cannot expect to try to play phish or grateful dead or dave matthews. So I quit.

Then I "discovered" Exile on Main St. when I happened to move to Chicago. And in that beautiful city was surrounded by the blues and it stirred my soul and I've been trying to learn it since.

So... what Slipin Lizard said!!


# 16

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