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thejuo
10-29-2003, 12:15 AM
hey, I just signed up to this board. Just wanted to say hi. I've been playing since 96, and am self taught.

I joined this board because I'm looking to improve my skills. I remember a time when I first started jamming with friends I learned at such a rapid pace. Now I find myself plateu-ing quicker and becoming more bored with my ability, and sometimes even get disgusted with the way I'm playing. I know it is not the best to try to teach yourself, but I was happy with the quick results and how I was sounding. NOW I want to unlearn everything because I feel like I'm stuck. I feel like I'm not improving. My brain seems to move quicker than my fingers and I can't transpose what I'm hearing in my head quick enough. My skill level at guitar and what I know about guitar do not match up. Anybody have any suggestions for practice, for perfect precision, for improving after probably learning everything the wrong way?

Thanks,

Looking forward to participating in this board

Koala
10-29-2003, 01:30 AM
hey thejuo welcome to ibreathe, for starters i dont believe you must unlearn anything at all, all this takes i perectin stuff. As of where to begin, youve come to the right place here at IBM you can find loads of articles ranging from theory, to technique, to tone to attitude, plus youve got these forums where most the time somone can answer your questions.

Welcome aboard!!!!

SillyCone
10-30-2003, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by thejuo
My skill level at guitar and what I know about guitar do not match up. Anybody have any suggestions for practice, for perfect precision, for improving after probably learning everything the wrong way?
Hi there, and welcome on ibreathemusic.com !

You'll like it here, loads of nice ppl with plenty of nice advice.

Now I'm quite new to the guitar, but maybe I could be of some help about the way you teach yourself, as I've been studying the guitar and the playing/teaching theory very intensively. My skillz on guitar aren't at the level of my knowledge either, but the biggest lesson I learned with the guitar is patience. I see my goals, and know that I'll get there in time. What time I don't know, but I feel every day I'm getting closer.

I know that if I don't practice, it'll take longer, and that keeps me going. But the mind must stay open at all times. I always consider myself a beginner, even if I feel the playing is taking shape week after week and then month after month. That's why I'm always amazed at my skills when I come back to it after doing something different :) When I learn something new, I always try to feel as if it was the first time I hold a guitar. Of course I feel the growing skills allow me to learn faster and faster, and more accurately, coz I always try to build my foundations solidely instead of fast.

So my advice is : get a new song you'd like to learn. It's always easier (and much funnier) to learn while already doing something real. But this time, try to do it as if you've never played before, and analyze every single aspect of your playing, starting with your playing position. The physical aspect of playing the guitar is very often overlooked. Then make your chords but very slowly, feeling all the muscles involved, the tensions applied. Get a metronome if you don't have one, and start playing the song along with it at very slow pace. Play very slowly and accurately until you get it totally right, then you can higher the tempo. It may not take long to review your technique. But it generally implies an acceptance to the change, which seems more difficult to do than the change itself. The labyrinth of the human mind, he...

I guess you must have received that advice a million times though...

Something that helped me a lot to feel my progress, is to radically change the subject of my study. For example, I'm playing some bossa nova on the classical guitar for a few days/weeks, and I feel I suck. I'll then learn some metallica stuff on the electric guitar. The first days of the change will feel weird, then I'll enjoy myself on the electric, then feel I suck again. Hence I pick my classical guitar again and magic ! my bossa nova playing sounds much better and I enjoy it much more :)

You could also get a teacher, if you never had one. A human interaction may bring you some pace in your teaching, like it was when you were jamming with your friends. It always gets down to one thing anyway : perfect practice makes perfect. But a teacher imposes "limits", at least reference points that help - it's always easier to follow a path than make it ! Also if the path is traced already, you can see your progress more easily.

Voilą, I rambled long enough already.

Cheers,
SillyCone.

metaljustice83
10-30-2003, 01:04 AM
WELCOME!!!!

forgottenking2
10-30-2003, 04:05 PM
Welcome to IBM. Feel free to look around and share whatever you know or don't know with all of us.

Regards,

Zatz
10-30-2003, 09:46 PM
Welcome to IBreatheMusic!

thejuo
11-01-2003, 11:43 PM
Thanks for the warm response. I will try to take my practicing slower. I tend to go through a scale or mode slowly once and then my ADD or whatever it is forces me to play (or try to) as fast as I possibly can or faster than my fingers can actually go. That's when the flubbing begins. I know I can play certain songs spot on. For instance, I take pride in being able to play "Jessica" by the Allman Brothers almost spot on, and if I improvise along with it I can fit a melody or lick right in there and it sounds good. Then I'll throw on "You Enjoy Myself," by Phish and I'll just stare at my stereo and then at my hands and just feel like I can't do it. I know that Jessica is in a much easier key and at a smoother tempo, but just as I build the confidence and speed through that song...well I'm sure you all know you can't go from Barenaked Ladies to Satch without practicing. I just need to break through some limitations, as Zen guitar teaches us, I need to have the mind of the beginner. That's the hardest part to accept and learn to do. I can learn the theory, but I have a hard time learning how to work through my limitations. I guess I don't climb every mountain, or treat my playing with the same seriousness as I do with music itself. I give the half assed effort to perfect myself. Getting a teacher would be the best thing for me. Anyone have suggestions for a good teacher in Lancaster, PA??? Cow Funk baby, cow funk.

JUO