Utterly lost and confused


DraconusJLM
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DraconusJLM
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04/14/2022 10:35 pm

I now seem to have absolutely no musical direction at all.

I worked through Country 1 and 2, following a quick skip through GF1 and 2 just to see if I had any gaps in knowledge.

Dabbled in Rock 1 and 2.

Surf (fun, especially as I have the pedals to really go for it)

Lots of theory lessons (I suspect I'm a little bonkers for being into theory, but hey-ho)

I'm currently working out how to play Marilyn Manson songs just for the hell of it; whilst going through the Classical lessons on here. Just how that connection works is a mystery.

I'm not exactly looking for advice on where to go (for fear of some possible, short suggestions :) ), but I really envy anyone on here who knows exactly where they want to be, musically speaking.

Perhaps I should take up knitting.............


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 1
snojones
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snojones
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04/15/2022 4:20 pm

Draconus,

What do you want to add to your skills? Once you reach a certian level of competency, music becomes less and less of lesson sequences and more about specific skills. So again it comes down to what do you want to add to your skills? What made you want to pay guitar to begin with? Have you exhusted your list of desired skills?

I have used very little of the lesson sequences, as such. I came here looking for skill development. After I joined, I came to find that I also enjoy the forum as well. It is great to be able to ask questions to a group of focused musicians. I am sure that Steve the Tech Wizzard has saved me close to what I paid for subscription. These are the reasons I am still here enjoying GT.

I have heard people echo your frustration, once the finish the beginner tutorials. Maybe some day they will have Country 3 and Rock 3, but now that is not available. What is available is a cornicopia of gruitar knowledge, techincal skills, and a lot of theory. What is required is the ablity to recognize what you lack and find the answers through the search function. At least that is what I keep myself amused with these days. My experience is that no matter how I work at it there is always more to learn. Music is bottomless, that is one of the reasons I love it so.

I would also ask..... Do you have people to jam with regularly? If not, by all means start looking for them now! Musical friends are a large part of how I have stayed enthused about playing music for decades. Applying all these skills actually comes to life when you join in with others to make noise together. Nothing better that musical cohorts to make all that arcane theory exciting and relevant..............

So I will finish, like I started, by asking "What do you want to do with guitar?"


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 2
DraconusJLM
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DraconusJLM
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04/15/2022 5:18 pm

I think one of the main problems is a lack of others to jam with. Most musicians around my age who I come into contact with seem to want to play either blues or classic rock; I've been there, done that, and would like to do something different from the usual British pub bands I've played in, and the usual songs.

The reason I've gone through so many different lessons is simply looking for something that inspires; it's just not happening, though.

I'm sure something will click into place at some point. In the meantime, I have more than enough pedals to keep me busy messing around with anything ranging from basic overdrive to sonic landscapes, via cathedral organs.....


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 3
snojones
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snojones
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04/15/2022 10:00 pm

If you don't already, write your own music! Great way to learn, apply, and actualy enjoy theory.


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 4
DraconusJLM
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DraconusJLM
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04/15/2022 10:13 pm

I already do, but my writing of music notation could always use some improvement....


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 5
DraconusJLM
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DraconusJLM
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04/15/2022 11:51 pm

Snojones, you're a genius!

Time for me to become a composer, perhaps....

I used to write songs years ago, so now maybe it's time for my symphony..... we'll, maybe an instrumental piece or three ?


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 6
snojones
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snojones
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04/16/2022 2:43 pm

Writing is where theory evolved into experience, for me. I could apply those abstract formulas to living music and see just how they effected the music. It was the bridge that melded the two together. Once that happened, I had a song that demonstrated those theories. Years later, I can still play those songs. Every time I do, I take another ride through my understanding of that theory... and it all comes to life once again.

As a added bonus... it is all recorded in my muscle memory. This means that even if my rotting brain forgets, my body does not. So as long as I play those songs, the theory is reinforced. (kind of like knitting memories)

Lastly, composing a piece, that really says what you feel, is very up lifting. Making your own music and having people be moved by it is awesome.


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 7
Rumble Walrus
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Rumble Walrus
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04/18/2022 12:13 am

Draco - what do you listen to while driving?


# 8
DraconusJLM
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DraconusJLM
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04/18/2022 12:21 am

It varies.

Usually rock, pretty much anything including thrash metal.

Other times I'll listen to classical or even opera.

Sometimes country, 80's onwards.

Anything by Tangerine Dream is my usual go-to when I want to relax in an armchair with headphones on.


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 9
Rumble Walrus
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Rumble Walrus
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04/19/2022 4:13 pm

Pretty eclectic taste, it would appear. I have to confess that I had to Google Tangerine Dream - downright shameful since I was a keyboard guy for decades. :P I played some of their tracks on Spotify and recognized a few of them - especially the one used in the movie "Risky Business".

I asked about the car because, for me, "car music" is generally like comfort food for my mind. I crave it. I like it. But, it doesn't distract me from the primary task of driving.

With that said, and holding in a very silly manner to the food metaphor, what's your Mac-and-cheese" comfort food music? That's where I'd dive in first. For me? It's definitely Allman Bros, ZZ Top, and that type of music from the late 70's early 80's and those influenced by Blues/Rock since.

I (genuinely) listen to almost anything but only really want to play some things.

Main thing for me at this stage of my life is to find a groove, drop into it for as long as it pleases me, then hop over to the next interesting groove. I have nothing musically to prove to anyone except myself.

Sounds like you definitely have the tools. Lean back and enjoy it!


# 10
DraconusJLM
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DraconusJLM
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04/25/2022 5:45 pm

Update:

Met a guitarist at the weekend who is into Alice in Chains. We're planning on having a jam soon, so I'm learning a few of their songs (and making use of somee pedals).

Also putting a few lyrics together as a side project.

As with everything else, slumps in playing only last a while.............


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 11
Rumble Walrus
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Rumble Walrus
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04/25/2022 6:19 pm

Excellent.


# 12
snojones
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04/25/2022 7:19 pm

As you put projects together, also play with theory to make changes (key modulations, tempo changes, voice leading, ect) in songs when you write the music part. I am serious that this was the place that theory became tangable to me in a meaningful way... and I get a free refresher every time I play those songs. Make theory more than theoretical abstractions, and have fun doing it.


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 13
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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04/26/2022 6:38 pm
Originally Posted by: snojones

As you put projects together, also play with theory to make changes (key modulations, tempo changes, voice leading, ect) in songs when you write the music part. I am serious that this was the place that theory became tangable to me in a meaningful way... and I get a free refresher every time I play those songs. Make theory more than theoretical abstractions, and have fun doing it.

Yep, Sno got this one on point.

A few other tips going down the road of song writing:

(1) Get some tools, like EZDummer, maybe even a bass (if you don't already have one), a DAW to record with like Reaper, and an interface like something from Focusrite. Yes, there's a few hundred dollars needed to get this stuff but having the tools will be much more fulfilling by being able to make nice, full sounding tracks. An example was something I posted here years ago that was music for a work video (the version I posted wasn't fully mixed but...). I had these tools to be able to render the full track based on what was in my head.

(2) Why number 1 above is important is this; don't try to just write with or for guitar. I've heard a million demos in my day (long ago...) and I can tell that many guitarists write only with the guitar. You say; but that's what I learned to play! Yes, as a tool. But not THE tool.

Thing is, you'll sit there with the first tasty riff you drummed up and then ask yourself; ok, now what do I do? Then you find yourself trying different chords to try to find that next interesting thing only to be underwhelmed. Like Sno said, know some of the theory stuff is good. Know the Circle of Fifths. All good stuff. However, having more than just a guitar as your tools, you start thinking of a bass groove or a drum pattern and now your playing within a song context and not just one riff to the next riff change.

Learn how to orchestrate these tools in your writing. I'd posted another work song thing here (a different one) but I did it all with Apple Loops within Garageband (I've been a Mac guy for a while now). It's was just a bunch of different loops I assembled from a drum patterns, a bass line, Guitar riff and even a little organy stuff. I did not write any of it but I did build it as an 'orchestration'. I was all little pieces that I built in to a short 'song'. It did turn out kinda cool. The lesson here is that I was literally building a song by pieces but it helps me listen to what was needed to make it interesting.

(3) Learn how to record and mix. Learn things like Gain Staging (the amount of input) and what makes for good recording practices. I used to follow the Recording Revolution years ago and there were a lot of tips on these things. You don't want to have something good but ultimately sound bad.

It's good to know things like how to get guitars to sound nice and 'wide' in the stereo field (the trick is to record the same riff/part twice but pan each track left and right). Also learning the power of EQ and know where to cut frequencies for each instrument and overall mix. Stuff like that.

------

You may already know some of this stuff but I thought I'd post it. Song writing can be fun and rewarding but these are some things I've found useful and the little bit of work I have done.


# 14
Rumble Walrus
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Rumble Walrus
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04/26/2022 10:03 pm

Wow sno and Jeff - need a thumbs up emoji here.


# 15
segal999
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segal999
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12/04/2022 7:11 pm

You can take up knitting, but don't give up on guitar 😀. I was a struggling intermediate player for years. Some things  helped me understand music and play better: 1. Understand how major and minor scales are constructed, especially the intervals. 2. Learn how to use these scales to play pentatonic scales. 3. Understand how to use scales to construct chords. That helped me a lot. I hope you find it useful.


# 16
ScubaCPA
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ScubaCPA
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12/06/2022 3:54 pm

I don't jam or play with any live players either.  But I try playing songs that I have learned to the original recordings.  At first seems impossible, then one day it just happens, and I can keep up with The Beatles and Stones etc.  For jamming I use the Smart Jam feature on my Spark amplifier.


Gary

[Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro (2), Fender Player Stratocaster (2), Fender Player Telecaster (2), Squire CV 60's Stratocaster, Hamer Ecotone, Yamaha APX600 (2), Epiphone ES-339, GTX-100 (2), Spark 40 (2), Spark Mini.]

# 17

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