View Full Version : wasting time

04-17-2003, 02:28 PM
You know, after all this time chasing a musical dream I realized something. You have to listen too yourself number one, and number two, DONT BUY ANY HOT LICKS VIDEOS. Man I wasted so much time learning chops and all this garbage that would do me no good in the end. If you wanna be a great player , learn the theory and how to read music. Do it all its all good stuff. Once you have dove into the theory long enough your ear starts picking out all those hot chops you wanted to know anyway and you can then say oh, I love that lydian riff I'm going to sit down and play that now, apposed to, MOM CAN I HAVE THE NEW PAUL GILBERT VIDEO....hahahahhhah. Man I'm a fool........ so much time.....oh well:rolleyes:

04-17-2003, 04:56 PM
seven said: listen to yourself number one

right on brother!

I think some people can benefit from the shredding videos and hot licks videos, I didn't when I was younger but some of them can give good ideas now. Experienced players can pick up some stuff from such videos but I agree that they can be a big waste of time for beginners. But, eveyone is different and some beginners are probably out there watching those videos and learning tons and actually applying it; just , in general, I don't see much benefit in learning licks without context. Other videos are not just lick based and can offer lots of insight.... just like any other product one must search around for the one that is actually useful for their needs. ..and don't be so hard on yourself about wasting time, some of those chops sure will come in handy while you're learning the theory and developing your ear and such.. like you said, listen to yourself... and focus on what you want to sound like and what you want to get out of the guitar experience...

Wyll Watts

04-18-2003, 12:14 AM
I agree to both of you actually.
Buying a bunch of videos wonīt necessarily make you better. It can even limit your development if you donīt use them the right way. If you i.e. learn a new lick or technique from some of them, try to apply those licks in your music, in an actual context.
So you gotta know what to do with the new input.

On the other hand, listening only to yourself sometimes can get you into a rut.
I have a bunch of videos, used to buy them way back when. But... I hardly ever learned more than 1 or 2 licks from one of those videos. ( i.e. I once bought the Richie Kotzen-video years ago. I did not learn ONE SINGLE lick from that video, but believe me, the intro and outro-solos and some of the licks really made me wanna sit down and work on similar stuff... I kinda saw all new possibilities )
Instead, I used them to get all new ideas, or to UP-CLOSE what is going on. You wouldnīt believe how many of my students have tried to learn a certain lick and where not able to, cuz they just couldnīt figure out there was an easier way to play it, cuz it never crossed their mind to try out things like tapping until they saw someone do it.

An old story... Greg Howe learned how to play the end of "Eruption" in the ealry 80s. He tried to play it without tapping ( !!!) using legato and fast picking. He came close to the tempo ( he said so in an old interview ), but it was EXTREMELY hard and didnīt sound as smooth.
Then he went to see Ed in concert, and suddenly understood how itīs done, cuz he saw Ed tap those licks.

When I first listened to Greg Howe the first time, I wanted to be able to play something like that. Not exactly the same licks, but I wanted to get fast, smooth runs like the ones he was constantly playing.
I had no clue how to get there. Once I saw his video, I understood those aspects of his playing, and it opened a whole new door for me... incorporating tapped notes into lines etc.
Maybe I could have come up with those techniques by myself, but those videos really pushed that door wide open, and helped me see something I hadnīt even tried.

Also, some videos really helped me to figure out whatīs going on on the physical side... "Intense Rock" ( which, to me, has more EXERCISES than LICKS ) really helped, because I a) saw exactly what Paul was doing, and thereby was introduced to the concept of the "floating hand" and b) it inspired me to hear how fast and accurate he was. It really motivated me to sit down and get to work.

So, anyway, videos like that can be a trap for some, and a launch pad for others. I think you have to know what you want, what you like, and remember that learning someone elseīs licks might not automatically make you a better player.
But it can be very helpful and inspiring to see some guys burn it up on the fretboard.
It depends on what you want, and where youīre at in your development. Itīs the same as for many other tools... some people might really improve by using a Stylus pick, others might consider getting one a bad choice....

04-18-2003, 01:50 AM
Great insight as always Eric.. I had a similar recent experience with a video called the Tony Rice Guitar Method.. I've been playing Tony Rice tunes and tabbing them out for years, but I had never really seen his left hand up close.. in the first five minutes I realized I had been using about 3 times the effort needed to execute some of his signature sounds... I still have mixed feelings about videos and magazines and such but there are just so many products out now that some of them are bound to be winners...

I see you mentioned the dreaded Stylus pick! ..that thing really helped with cleaning up a few sweeping techniques but actually hampered my alternate picking (I tend to bite into the string a little more instead of using just the very edge of the pick in fast alternate picking, seems to bring out the notes a little more so it doesn't just sound like deedle-deedle-deedle..) Well, I'm rambling once more..

Best Wishes Always,

04-18-2003, 02:43 AM
VEry very very informative post, I thought anyways thanks

04-18-2003, 03:52 AM
There's a lot of good information and different perspectives here.

I used the shred videos a long time ago, but it was mainly to get ideas like Eric was saying. It also broke down and showed how simple guitar playing can be (the licks) and how cool it is when you string together simple ideas in inventive ways and make music (the intros and outros of those videos).

If you're serious about becoming a good musician you don't need the videos, but they can help point you in the right direction with techniques and ideas.

I bought a funk rhythm video a few years ago that really helped jump start my "funky chops". It was worth the $50 to me.

04-18-2003, 05:30 AM
I have done quit a bit im proud of with my guitar playing..... won quit a few guitar competitions in my time completely improved... been flown around the usa jammin with and in front of people I'd never thought I'd meet... like uh ronnie montrose.... jeff watson... vai....gary hoey... and a few others.....but when the **** hit the fan for me... wa when i got asked to do a studio gig with a keyboardist who toured with lean rymes for a while. He said , im doing a soundtrack for a movie coming out and I'd like you too sit in and give ideas and jamm a bit and see what you've got. Well that ended in a hurry when he put a peice of sheet music in front of my face and was playing odd meter with other stringed instruments and horns with the band. I had my shot but I lost it too lack of knowledge and I'll never forget that. I figure I'm only 22 and I'll have others, and with peoples help like the great people on this site, I'll be ready to do anything that I feel the need to do. I have seen a few posts of guitars saying they dont want to read music or learn a whole lot of theory, well guys, look where it got me, I lost a cash cow job. Anyway thanks alot for all the replies. And bizzaro I'm in washington as well and I'd like to hear some of your stuff if possible maybe we can get together, take it easy.

04-18-2003, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Wyll_Watts
I see you mentioned the dreaded Stylus pick! ..that thing really helped with cleaning up a few sweeping techniques but actually hampered my alternate picking

Hey there,

yeah, I mentioned the Stylus, cuz itīs another case of "For some itīll work, for others it wonīt". And you gotta use it in the right context.
I bought a few of those years ago, and used them for like 2 days or so. I noticed that I didnīt use much of the regular pick anyway, just the tip, so I really didnīt need to use the Stylus a lot.
But I talked to others who used it to make a really big progress regarding picking, people who were able to improve their technique by using the Stylus in the right context.
The risk about using the Stylus is that you might ruin your tone... if you play that way ( just the very tip of the pick ) ALL THE TIME, you wonīt use any dynamics... all the notes will be at pretty much the same volume, and who wants that ?
So the Stylus pick is another example of a tool which might help some, while being unnecessary for others, and it should be used in the right context...

04-18-2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by Bizarro
I bought a funk rhythm video a few years ago that really helped jump start my "funky chops". It was worth the $50 to me. Hey guys!
Bizarro, would you mind sharing the title of that video? It sounds just like the thing Iīm looking for!

Bongo Boy
04-20-2003, 06:19 AM
Well, so you got to 22 before being seriously humbled. That ain't so bad. I was a smart engineer in the early 80s and got whupped by some guy that actually knew his business, and it still stings to this day. We all need to get smacked like that real good, just once--hopefully, so we can spend the rest of our lives actually learning. Trust me, it's the best thing that can happen to you, and if it happens early--that's better than later.

Life can always be worse: you could have gone on until you were 40 before getting smacked down by a legend who could see thru you (like celophane). Then, you'd start listening at 40, instead of at 22. Ain't life grand?

04-20-2003, 05:20 PM
Bizarro, would you mind sharing the title of that video?

Sure, it's called "Funk Rhythm Guitar" with Ross Bolton, by Video Progressions. Ross is an instructor at MI (GIT), and he has a very methodical approach for learning funk chops. You can tell he's a professional instructor and the video is very well thought out.

I have the VHS version, but I heard that it might be out on DVD one of these days. The DVD version would be more useful for me because I could play it on my PC. VHS tapes also degrade...:(

I think it was $50 at Guitar Center. My wife gave it to me as a birthday gift!

04-20-2003, 06:13 PM
Thank you!

04-20-2003, 06:32 PM
Seven Strings,
You have nice ideas and chops. I agree with you that if you want to be a musician for a living you are kidding yourself to not read music and immerse yourself totally in the subject.
Sure there are a lot of people that have 'made it' that can read or write or don't know theory, todays market is tougher.
The music biz is all about the 'flavor of the month', you are not going to see many bands like PRIMUS getting signed on major labels (I dig them and am just using this as an example) but you will see lots of Disney kids and the like. Some of them are going to need great backup bands to perform live with, and their producers don't give a rat's *** whether you can create great music or solos, all they want is you to perform THEIR music THEIR way and have the 'LOOK' thay want while doing it. Granted having a gig as the guitarist for someone like Britney Spears would be a great cash gig, but you wont get it without connections and a reputation as someone who can do that sort of thing.
There is much more than just improvising and writing tunes.
You can learn a lot from reading, you can secure jingle gigs and the like, which can get you through hard times.
I also believe that you should sing, especially if you are going to play in any kind of working band. Not just backup vocals either.
You gotta look at this from the economics side, the fewer people in a band the more money there is to share, so everyone needs to pull his weight and do it all, sing, front, find gigs, play, maybe play multiple instruments.
There are thousands of guitarists, how do you want to separate yourself from the crown? Sure you can play cool solos, that is cool and not everyone can, can you read charts?
I live in Nashville, and I must admit I had little respect for Country music or musicians, but since living here (I am from Michigan) I have learned that many of these guys around here can do it all.
Great chops ( not just country chops, jazz, HM everything), great readers, great entertainers, great singers. THis town is loaded with great musicians, they just happen to be in the country scene so that is what they are getting paid to play. Some of these guys have solo projects that totally kick ***!. If you wanna compete with these guys you are gonna have to have chops for all kinds of music and sight read well enough to get through studio gigs in a hurry.