View Full Version : how do i reach my goals?

07-09-2002, 11:35 AM
i have been playing the guitar for about 7 months now and i am a little confused as to which path i should take and what i should be practising to achive my goals. let me be more specific. my goal is to be able to create my own music, where i play the progression and then solo/and sing over it. i dont want to form a band and play gigs. i just want to play for my own enjoyment. what i am lacking is the "tools of the trade" i like to call them. by this i mean i can do all the simple stuff like hammers and pull offs,bends and slides, but the more advanced stuff like wild runs up and down the neck, jumping backwards and forwards, all that tricky stuff that i see experieced guitarists do, i have yet to learn. and this is exactly what i want to learn so can fill up my "tool box". my guitar teacher said to me that every great guitarist started off by learning other peoples music before they could branch off and create there own. so his advice to me was before i should even think about creating my own stuff i should go out and learn hundreds of songs and solos from other guitarists,eg clapton,vai,satriani,etc; and then when i have this extensive repitiore i can use bits and peices of them and some of my own ideas i have learnt along the way to create my own stuff. i thought wow, that will take me years!! and i dont really want to learn someone elses solo, i want to create my own! and in the last 5 months all i have been doing is studing music theroy, practising chords , experimenting with scales ,modes etc,and improvising over the same backing track trying to to make my improvising better each time. i have not learnt a SINGLE song!! sorry, i can play the progression to house of the rising sun!!!but thats it. am i going the right direction to reach my goal or should i take my teachers advice??? is it really that important to learn a whole heap of someone elses music?
PLEASE straighten me out!!Peter

07-09-2002, 11:41 AM
I depends om your goal. If you want to be creating you own music, and you hear other peoples music that you like, it might be useful to emulate it. If you were going to be in a working band then you would need to play other peoples music, or if you wanted to play jazz you would need to learn the 'standards'.
If your goal is truly to create you own music then there is no need to learn other peoples music, except to 'borrow' an idea here and there. I think you should listen to all kinds of music regardless.( not just guitar music)
You might branch out and try some other chord progressions beside 'House of the rising sun'. ( Blues maybe?) a few garden variety rock songs etc.....

07-09-2002, 11:57 AM
the style of music that i want to play/create is rock,blues, and some of the softer metal. definately no jazz,death metal,punk,bluegrass.
i want to eventually do the what satriani does, where he just goes wild over a progression for the whole song,but just my own creation. thats what really turns me on. when you mention learn "the standards", what exactly do you mean?and what would be the best way to learn the standards of the styles i have mentioned above? thanks again,James, you have been so helpful.

07-09-2002, 12:13 PM
The term 'standards' is referring to a particular set of tunes commonly played by working jazz musicians. For you I would would listen to what I liked and the stuff in there that is interesting enough to learn then find the tab or figure it out for your self. There are thousands of tabs on the net free for the asking, nearly everything Satraini has done is available.
Record similar chord progressions to the artist you want to emulate and try to cop the 'FEEL' of his/her style. I played for many years in cover bands and had to emulate many styles, this was not easy for me since there was too much me in the way. It used to bother me because I had students that could do better 'imitations ' of famous artists, I finally realized that I just wanted to capture the essence and feel of their style, in this way I ended up sounding more like they sounded 'live', and it was still me. I have developed my own style and these 'chameleons' still sound just like so and so but there is no 'them'. The biggest thing to get is to have fire passion emotion and feel, sure you need technique to help express your self but technique without feel is dry and uninteresting.

07-09-2002, 12:19 PM
great advice James and i really apreciate it. see ya later,Peter

07-09-2002, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by peter_traj
my goal is to be able to create my own music, where i play the progression and then solo/and sing over it. i dont want to form a band and play gigs. i just want to play for my own enjoyment.
Hey man, that's a noble goal. My goal is to get women to hear my playing, and to be so overcome that they will offer their bodies to me to do with what I will. :p All kidding aside, I've been trying to figure out what my goal with the guitar is. I do know I want to make music with others, and play for others, not just myself. What else I do know is I'm freakin' obsessed. For example, I've got a video of Stevie Ray Vaughan in concert. I've watched that thing so many times that last night, I turned on the tape, the sound was muted, it was in the middle of the tape, and just from watching his hands on the guitar for literally 3 or 4 seconds, I knew the song he was playing. Note to self: "All things in moderation" :D

07-11-2002, 12:17 AM
Check what Robin Trower has to say

07-11-2002, 01:24 PM
Hi Peter,

I think it's great that you have a personal goal. This is important and keeps you focussed. If someone tells you that you shouldn't do what you feel like I'd say just don't listen!!! To me it is wrong to tell you not to write songs just because you don't know 100000 other tunes.

I (well, erm about 15 years ago) immediately started writing songs and recorded them. I still have those recordings and some ideas are still quite cool. It is important to keep track of your progress and get a feeling for what works and what not. So, what I wanna say is 'Go and write and record and ...'

Second thing I wanna mention is patience. You have to be patience with yourself, be it in terms of paying the guitar or writing songs. Think of it, guys like Satriani worked 20 years on their playing and writing. I don't tell you this to scare you away but I think it is important to see the facts as otherwise this can lead to frustration.

To make it short: define your personal goals for the next year. Review them on a daily basis - are you on track? Who can help you with reaching your goals (next to iBreathe :D ). In one year review what you have achieved, and where you wanna go next. Are the goals still the same?