Great till the music starts!


Papa Rich
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Joined: 07/15/15
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Papa Rich
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Joined: 07/15/15
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08/20/2018 5:40 pm

So I have been playing, (second time around) for about four years now. I would consider myself an intermediate on most things I do. I play blues and classic rock mostly. I also finger pcik on my acoustic. There are two things that may hinder my status as a true intermediate. The first is the fact that I am not there yet with improvising, with the exception of simple blues. The other, which is the topic of this thread is, I play songs pretty well, (GT songs and other websites). I even make my own tabs at times. I can play the verses and the solos. But as soon as I put the backing track on, I lose it. I miss parts that I have practiced for months. Then I shut the track off and I am playing good again. I have an audience of none, so I can't say that I am nervous. A good example would be Tom Finch's Sweet Home Chicago. Anyone else have this problem? What do you do to end this frustration? Thanks.


# 1
Guitar Tricks Admin
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Guitar Tricks Admin
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08/20/2018 8:08 pm

Hi Papa Rich,

It sounds like your biggest struggle is with keeping up with tempo of the song. I say this because you mention you have trouble playing with a backing track. It takes a lot of time to play a song beat for beat. It sounds like you're doing all the right things though if you feel you can play a song without the backing track. I suggest using a metronome to keep the beat of the song, if you haven't tried that already. Remember, we have a metronome here: https://www.guitartricks.com/metronome.php

As far as improvising goes, that also takes a bit of time and training your ear and studying scales. Try this lesson, it might help: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1591

I hope this helps!


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# 2
Papa Rich
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Joined: 07/15/15
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Papa Rich
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08/21/2018 9:50 pm

I think you are right about the tempo. I also think that trying to play with others, (even if they are recorded), is much tougher than playing by yourself. I slowed down Sweet Home Chicago to 75% and I am much closer to keeping up. I still play better without the backing track, but what fun is that? I will stick with it and build up my speed slowly. I got nothing else to do :). Thanks for responding.


# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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08/22/2018 11:37 pm
Originally Posted by: Papa Rich

The first is the fact that I am not there yet with improvising, with the exception of simple blues. [/quote]

I have a whole series of tutorials on improvisation from square one up!

Major Key Improv 1

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=483

Minor Key Improv 1

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=491

Major Key Improv 2

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2318

Minor Key Improv 2

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2329

And I have others in blues & jazz styles if those interest you!

And the main reason I bring this is up is that it ties into your other question. The ability to improvise depends upon you already having a vocabulary to draw from. You have to already have a repertoire of things you can play on the spot.

You have to have played & repeated these things so much that they are completely second nature to you.

And this is exactly the same issue related to this question:

[quote=Papa Rich]I play songs pretty well, (GT songs and other websites). I even make my own tabs at times. I can play the verses and the solos. But as soon as I put the backing track on, I lose it. I miss parts that I have practiced for months.

It sounds like you are waiting for the part to happen that you will play along with. It sounds like you haven't quite gotten to the level of having completely automated some of these things.

In your next post you mention being able to keep up with songs at a slightly slower tempo. That's great! But it's an excellent indication that you just need to do more repetitious practice until the song parts become completely automated in your subconscious & in muscle memory. So much that you are no longer reacting to the parts of the song. You are inside them, right on top of them, anticipating the next motion instead of trying to listen, and then play catch up!

Make sense? :) Just be patient with yourself. As long as you are practicing, making gradual progress & having fun, then who could ask for anything more?

Hope this helps! Have fun with it!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 4
Papa Rich
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Joined: 07/15/15
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Papa Rich
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Posts: 89
08/23/2018 5:45 pm

Thanks so much Christopher for your detailed answer. I really appreciate it. I will for sure check out your lessons. As far as repetitious practice, it seems like I have been trying to play the song I mentioned forever. But, in order not to get bored, I tend to play the whole song as practice instead of zeroing in on the parts that I can't keep up with. I think I'll spend more time on that. Just the simple fact that I practice the song, (and others) so much I have noticed that parts that were difficult before are doable now. I guess that's the proof. As for being patient with myself, no worries there. For the few years that I have been playing I have fun no matter what. I let Clapton and friends be the experts. I just like playing. Thanks again.


# 5
fuzzb0x
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fuzzb0x
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09/06/2018 12:12 pm
Originally Posted by: leonette

I think you are right about the tempo. I also think that trying to play with others, (even if they are recorded), is much tougher than playing by yourself.

Looks like the user bhmneyla has a new account to spam the forum with


# 6
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Guitar Tricks Admin
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09/07/2018 7:31 pm

We got them, thanks!


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