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View Full Version : Can your playing advance without picking up your guitar?



Modal Vamp
02-17-2005, 01:13 AM
Just thought I would begin a new thread related to my last. I am back into the swing of things, practicing playing.
I was wondering if we really benefit from studying music or reading music related literature. Some days I am very busy at work-the only time that I can concentrate on music is in the car on my way to work. I can study flash cards, or read over a sheet of music I am working on. I cannot physically hold or play my guitar but I work on things I will be putting to use when I do pick up the instrument.
I'm wondering if anyone else does this. I'm wondering if it is even worth it. Sometimes I feel like why bother with all this studying if it's days before I can put any of it to use.
I usually say to myself the more I study the more easier it will all come to me...

Any thoughts?

I feel I am better off to do this but on other days I feel like it accomplishes nothing...

Los Boleros
02-17-2005, 02:05 AM
Just thought I would begin a new thread related to my last. I am back into the swing of things, practicing playing.
I was wondering if we really benefit from studying music or reading music related literature. Some days I am very busy at work-the only time that I can concentrate on music is in the car on my way to work. I can study flash cards, or read over a sheet of music I am working on. I cannot physically hold or play my guitar but I work on things I will be putting to use when I do pick up the instrument.
I'm wondering if anyone else does this. I'm wondering if it is even worth it. Sometimes I feel like why bother with all this studying if it's days before I can put any of it to use.
I usually say to myself the more I study the more easier it will all come to me...

Any thoughts?

I feel I am better off to do this but on other days I feel like it accomplishes nothing...Some of the best things you can do do not require your instrument.

Listening to your self can be the most rewarding practice. Record yourself doing a long solo over some chords. As you are driving, Listen to it again and again. Your brain will remember what sounds good and what sounds bad. You can really perfect your style this way.

Also too, working on your ear-training can help your musicianship tremendously. What you can do is record yourself strumming an E major chord wait 6 seconds then strum Em, six seconds the F#, six seconds then F#m, and work you way cromatically up to about C. Then when you are in the car, listen to the first chord and sing the scale up to the five and back down.
1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 Work your way through all the chords.

I think to answer your question, I think it is not only worth it, but depending on what you are doing and how you organise your thoughts, it is possible for this to be even better than practicing with the instrument.

silent-storm
02-17-2005, 07:04 AM
Last year I had tendonitis on and off for 6 months and a good portion of my practice would be sitting with or without my guitar and visualizing what I practice.

Really helps to create a clear image of the fretboard in your head which really helps to conceptualize things.

Also, sight reading for the sake of learning the fretboard really doesn't need a guitar at all. All your doing is looking at a note and playing it, so why not look at the note and play it on a fretboard visualized in your head, it's pretty much the same thing. You can get to the point where the image is clear enough that you don't really have to think about it. Scales can work very well in this way too, but chords get to be quite challenging.

rmuscat
02-17-2005, 07:45 AM
might find this useful... i did ...

here (http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4904)

Factor
02-17-2005, 09:18 AM
http://zentao.com/guitar/theory/notes.html

Print out the diagram of the fretboard at the near-bottom of the page. Print out lots. Then:
-fill out chordtones of chords, and play connect the dots to get new voicings, and visualize the old ones
-write out scales in an uncomfortable key, work out new ways to finger each scale
-write out arpeggioes of the same uncomfortable key (this is the same as the first!)


Get some staff paper and do the same here. Write out all the inversions (closed, open, drop2, drop3, drop2+3) of all the chords you can think of. It doesn't matter if you can't nail the chord on the guitar just yet. The key here is to get a visual connection between the fretboard in your head, and the staff on the paper. Couple this with an ear training program which would let you enter notes for intervals on the staff, and you are well on your way.

YAY: post number 100! Hurray for IBM and Me!

SkinnyDevil
02-17-2005, 05:53 PM
the only time that I can concentrate on music is in the car on my way to work. I can study flash cards, or read over a sheet of music I am working on.
I'll try to avoide driving in Mass, then (hahaha!!!).

Seriously, though.....the question, I think, is: Do you find that non-instrument musical study helps YOU? My answer to your question is "yes", but that's me. I'm sure there are those who disagree, so you have to ask yourself if you feel you've gotten anything from the study.

Yeah, I know...some days yes & some days no. But can you give an example of how it;s helped you to study? If not, you can choose to suspend study for the moment. But you can also choose to explore why it hasn't helped.

I really like all the other suggestions in this thread, by the way, as well as the links.

nivlac
02-27-2005, 11:52 PM
No, you are not alone, I also have a long commute to work, so what I do is start thinking of the guitar fretboard in my mind and work things out mentally and when I finally get on the Guitar everything just comes together and I have a better understanding of applying theory on the fretboard, so don't stop what you are doing, it's not a waste of time :)

Dommy
02-28-2005, 02:01 AM
Once you get a picture of the fretboard in your head that you associate sounds with, EVERYTHING becomes easier.