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Thread: Tips for begginers?

  1. #46
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    Tips for Beginners,

    use the "sandwich method" of practicing,

    what is the sandwich method?

    1. start your practice with a warm up,
    (something that you already know, this can be):

    an exercise, a song, etc

    the strategy is to have something that warms your fingers up and stretches them, getting your fingers moving, utilizing "muscle memory",(since "muscle memory is utilized inevitably it will likely be something that is almost automatic that you will play to warm up with)

    2. proceed to step 2 which is to practice and work on something you are etiher NOT familiar with, or have had only brief experience with
    In other words something that you don't have memorized or is not very familiar

    this could be an assignment your music instructor has given &/or a lesson, which could include a song, exercise, sight reading, etc.

    realize there are 2 main things involved in learning any musical instrument,
    A. the physical aspects
    B. the mental aspects


    3. then lastly at the end of the practice session you don't end on a "downer", meaning you don't end in frustration,

    instead you choose something at the end of your practice that is
    a. fun
    b. something you are familiar with(that metaphorically reminds you hey I can play and this is fun, and motivates you to want to play tomorrow.


    a couple other pieces of advice:
    it's been said before, but I'll say it again, any musician will have more progress if they play everyday(since it is a physical and mental instrument) then if they only do a "marathon session" like once a week on a saturday for 3 hrs.

    try to practice everyday and try to practice at the same time everyday when possible

    what I mean is that it tends to be more effective and people are less likely to cancel practices when they have practice scheduled at a specifically designated time devoted to practice, (especially for instance when they have that practice scheduled in their daily planners, then they are less likely to cancel or be distracted by spontaneous events)

    try to learn how to play the instrument both as a rhythm guitarist as well as a lead guitarist, as both are necessary to be a complete musician
    (it's important to note that many great lead guitar improvisers are also great rhythm guitarists)

    choose manageable small goals and meet those goals

    also I think from a practical standpoint that its important to have students learn the entire song, as opposed to just the challenging solo, or the cool riff or whatever, so that they can actually play complete songs with other musicians when the opportunity presents itself.

    sounds like a great Christmas present Carvinite(Ryan), and your a cool brother to want to influence, help him, and teach your brother this great instrument,

    have fun !!
    "Success is arriving at a Personal Satisfaction within yourself"

    Dedicated To Guitar!!!

  2. #47
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    One other tip ...

    ... often you will find things on guitar which seem utterly impossible. You try to play something (a flashy lick perhaps), and it just seems impossible despite all your best efforts ...

    .... but if you stick at it, and keep practicing it over & over ... then you'll be very surprised how many of those seemingly impossible licks/phrases suddenly start to click into place.

    And that's the biggest difference between those who succeed on guitar vs. those who don't.

    Ian.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads
    Ouch! I think I would take very serious exception to that idea. But I can laugh it off for now ... .

    Ian.
    sorry i didn't mean it as a personal attack. but just the observation that many people are performing the same scores, and some of them get payed more for it. alot more. so monetarily there is much value in the intangibles that are not found in the score, yet are provided by the soloist or conductor. the difference is large in that way. so although the differences would be rather subtle they are paramount and provide alot to the performance.

    i mean the top soloists and conductors don't get payed the big bucks, because they can read sheet music, or physically know their way around their instrument. these are relatively common.

    if everything was written in the score, why would you pay so much for a given conductor or soloist, when you can just find any musician that can read sheet music and get the same result?

    granted some pieces are physically demanding, and the number of musicians that can physically accomplish them is starting to narrow the field significantly, but still there are lots of those, and conducting is not really that physically demanding. that burden is carried by the performers with the instruments, though the big name on the billboard is the conductor's.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood
    sorry i didn't mean it as a personal attack. but just the observation that many people are performing the same scores, and some of them get payed more for it. alot more. so monetarily there is much value in the intangibles that are not found in the score, yet are provided by the soloist or conductor. the difference is large in that way. so although the differences would be rather subtle they are paramount and provide alot to the performance.

    i mean the top soloists and conductors don't get payed the big bucks, because they can read sheet music, or physically know their way around their instrument. these are relatively common.

    if everything was written in the score, why would you pay so much for a given conductor or soloist, when you can just find any musician that can read sheet music and get the same result?

    granted some pieces are physically demanding, and the number of musicians that can physically accomplish them is starting to narrow the field significantly, but still there are lots of those, and conducting is not really that physically demanding. that burden is carried by the performers with the instruments, though the big name on the billboard is the conductor's.
    This may be very hard for you to understand, but - if money were the motive then I would not be doing this at all. If fame or adulation were the motive, then that would also be a detraction for me.

    The idea of being paid "big bucks" or paid "millions" (or whatever you said), is just a huge turn off for me personally. If that was part of the deal, then I'd never play another note again, come hell or high water.

    For me this is about "art". And my "art" is completely incompatible with any mention of money or commercial "success" at all.

    Yes, it is necessary to earn a living wage. And it's nice if you earn more due to being in great demand. But personally I cannot let that ever be part of my motivation. Money or fame is something totally outside the music/art for me.

    Ian.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads
    This may be very hard for you to understand, but - if money were the motive then I would not be doing this at all. If fame or adulation were the motive, then that would also be a detraction for me.

    The idea of being paid "big bucks" or paid "millions" (or whatever you said), is just a huge turn off for me personally. If that was part of the deal, then I'd never play another note again, come hell or high water.

    For me this is about "art". And my "art" is completely incompatible with any mention of money or commercial "success" at all.

    Yes, it is necessary to earn a living wage. And it's nice if you earn more due to being in great demand. But personally I cannot let that ever be part of my motivation. Money or fame is something totally outside the music/art for me.

    Ian.
    Hmm, that IS hard to understand...

    Are you saying you don't care about others appreciating your music?

    For me, appreciation is what I do it for. I do play for myself, of course (and by myself), but I'm always imagining a response from someone else.

    Money does taint that response, true.
    If you overcharge, people expect more than you can deliver.
    If you undercharge, people don't take you seriously (they think that's all you're worth).
    If you play for free, people either treat you like s***, or - more likely - ignore you altogether (which amounts to the same thing in a performance art like music). (If it's free, you must be an "amateur" - interpreted not as "lover", as it should be, but as "not good enough to go pro".)
    Unfortunately we live in a society in which everything has a price, including "art". What something is "worth" means a monetary value, not an artistic value. And if it does mean artistic value, then that has to be translated into money in some way.
    In Marxist terms, "use value" (artistic quality) gets mixed up with "exchange value" (payment).
    (Of course, everyone knows the difference when it comes to arts like music - there's a constant debate about what certain artists "deserve" to earn. But however dubious the connection, it can't be broken. We may say rich artists don't deserve that much. We don't say they deserve nothing. Their fans' love won't feed them...)

    This actually ties in with the debate about intellectual coyright, and whether music should be "free". If it should - and never mind the recording industry - what happens then to professional musicians? Are there no longer any such people?

    (But then we've already taken this thread way beyond "Tips for Beginners"... )

    Personally, I've been both a professional artist (illustrator, cartoonist) and a professional musician. Both pursuits are poisoned somewhat by commercial transaction. For me the difference is that I never wanted to earn money from drawing - until I was forced into it by circumstances. But I ALWAYS wanted to be a successful musician, right from the beginning, wanted to earn money from it - even tho I was never as good a musician as I was an artist. (Maybe that's the reason: I'm not a "natural" musician, while I've always been able to draw well, without trying too hard. I had to work at music. And you know what work means... )

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    Hmm, that IS hard to understand...

    Are you saying you don't care about others appreciating your music?

    For me, appreciation is what I do it for. I do play for myself, of course (and by myself), but I'm always imagining a response from someone else.

    Money does taint that response, true.
    If you overcharge, people expect more than you can deliver.
    If you undercharge, people don't take you seriously (they think that's all you're worth).
    If you play for free, people either treat you like s***, or - more likely - ignore you altogether (which amounts to the same thing in a performance art like music). (If it's free, you must be an "amateur" - interpreted not as "lover", as it should be, but as "not good enough to go pro".)
    Unfortunately we live in a society in which everything has a price, including "art". What something is "worth" means a monetary value, not an artistic value. And if it does mean artistic value, then that has to be translated into money in some way.
    In Marxist terms, "use value" (artistic quality) gets mixed up with "exchange value" (payment).
    (Of course, everyone knows the difference when it comes to arts like music - there's a constant debate about what certain artists "deserve" to earn. But however dubious the connection, it can't be broken. We may say rich artists don't deserve that much. We don't say they deserve nothing. Their fans' love won't feed them...)

    This actually ties in with the debate about intellectual coyright, and whether music should be "free". If it should - and never mind the recording industry - what happens then to professional musicians? Are there no longer any such people?

    (But then we've already taken this thread way beyond "Tips for Beginners"... )

    Personally, I've been both a professional artist (illustrator, cartoonist) and a professional musician. Both pursuits are poisoned somewhat by commercial transaction. For me the difference is that I never wanted to earn money from drawing - until I was forced into it by circumstances. But I ALWAYS wanted to be a successful musician, right from the beginning, wanted to earn money from it - even tho I was never as good a musician as I was an artist. (Maybe that's the reason: I'm not a "natural" musician, while I've always been able to draw well, without trying too hard. I had to work at music. And you know what work means... )
    Short answer - yes, I thought it might be hard to understand .

    Long answer ......?

    Ian.

  7. #52
    Since 1988 Carvinite's Avatar
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    Hey crossroads and schooligo thanks for those!

    I liked the sandwich method man! sounds like a good way to keep him motivated when he is trying to learn something frustrating! great stuff.


    Peace,

    Ryan

  8. #53
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    Some of the best advice I've been given:
    -Visualize: whether with or without your guitar, picture the fret board and the patterns / forms (or notes) your learning in your mind.

    -Breathe: it's common for players to tense up, especially when learning something difficult. Remember to breathe normally.

    -Listen: to the players you like, realize that what you like is the feeling, (that's music right ?). It may not be necessary to copy things note for note. And certainly, in your own compositions you'll be able to convey the feeling you love.

    .....what a good brother you are !

    -best,
    Mike

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads
    This may be very hard for you to understand, but - if money were the motive then I would not be doing this at all. If fame or adulation were the motive, then that would also be a detraction for me.

    The idea of being paid "big bucks" or paid "millions" (or whatever you said), is just a huge turn off for me personally. If that was part of the deal, then I'd never play another note again, come hell or high water.

    For me this is about "art". And my "art" is completely incompatible with any mention of money or commercial "success" at all.

    Yes, it is necessary to earn a living wage. And it's nice if you earn more due to being in great demand. But personally I cannot let that ever be part of my motivation. Money or fame is something totally outside the music/art for me.

    Ian.
    this is so far from being hard for me to understand. this is exactly how i feel.

    but that doesn't change the fact that if you're good enough and rare enough lots of people want to see and by supply and demand you get payed alot of money.

    there is a reason some that perform written works of music get payed more than others. it's not the quality of the score.

    i don't understand why anything i said might lead you to believe that i support musical prostitution.

    just because your art is in demand it doesn't mean it isn't art. and of course just because it is in demand doesn't mean it is either.

    some conductors and soloists get payed much more than others. there is a reason for that.

    really if this conversation continues it would be nice maybe if a moderator or someone moved it to its own thread.

    sorry carvinite for hi-jacking your thread.

    it's a great idea for a gift. good luck with it. i noticed you got some pretty good stuff so far.

  10. #55
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    Fingerpicking - just to be clear, I’m not at all offended about what you said re. money as measure of artistic ability , but here’s the bit I was taking issue with -

    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood
    .... though what you can't argue, is that the slight differences in nuances of interpretations of pieces by soloists and conductors, is the difference between someone with a day job, or full time job with average pay, and someone living in a multi-million dollar home. and that's not because some people are misreading the score.


    What you are actually saying is that the true way to measure musical or artistic value is by money. You are saying it’s "unarguable" that the greatest musicians are living as millionaires, whilst by comparison people regarded as slightly lesser musicians can be recognised by the fact they live in relative poverty.

    My objection is - whilst it may be true that the very best musicians generally do earn more than others, there are many other factors which influence how much people ever get paid, especially in the arts. And I think it's rarely the case that the "best" or most "important" artists are those who actually get paid the most.

    More particularly - I hope fame and money is not the motivating factor for most serious musicians. If it is, and if that's the general view of people on this forum, then I'm well outside the norm & in this thread I wasn't thinking on any basis like that at all.

    IOW - I just don't like the idea that we should measure the ability of musicians purely by looking at the size of their pay packet. It may be partly true. But personally it's not an objective that I want to sign up to, because I think there is a fundamental sense in which that material view is the complete opposite of what “good” art &/or music is all about.

    That may sound idealistic. But then, I think art and music should be/is idealistic.

    Ian.




  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads
    What you are actually saying is that the true way to measure musical or artistic value is by money. You are saying it’s "unarguable" that the greatest musicians are living as millionaires, whilst by comparison people regarded as slightly lesser musicians can be recognised by the fact they live in relative poverty.


    I never said that. I never spoke about musicians in general. I never spoke about artists in general. I spoke about conductors and soloists. and still i never said that even about them.

    I said that some get payed more than others and that's not for nothing. i didn't say all those that get payed less are worse. only that some people are prepared to pay more for one performer or conductor over another although they use the same score sheet. and this is not for nothing.

    just because some get recognized as being superior does not mean that all that are superior do. but all that matters is some exist, at least in regards to proving my point that not everything is in the score. if everything was in the score in the soloist conductor world, then there couldn't be this large division of pay between performers. for my point, in this case, it is crucial that the performers are using standard notation to perform. all other artists or musicians or whatever can't be included in my example.

    and even at that, it is possible that some soloists and conductors, i suppose, are just never recognized by anyone who could help them explode in their career. though in musician circles people often are around each other, and that such a meeting never occurs is not that likely if they are 'out there' working at it. other art is different.

    and certainly music doesn't always sell because of its 'quality' but lots of people, especially younger people like music based on social groups and stuff. it's an image thing. but it's not necessarily 'better' than other music. but it's better at selling.

    but then you're in a jam, because really, what is better? it is not how many people like your music. it is not how fast you are, or how nimble, it is not anything to do with theory, since if it were, then anyone could just learn to be the best musician, which, and i know JonR disagrees, is not possible.

    is it potential that people will like the music if they hold no bias to it once they hear it? is it the music that people trained in music theory like? is it the music that the other 'best' musicians like?

    how do you go about saying that one musician is better than another?

    a conductor or soloist is easier to distinguish one as better than the other, at least to some degree. one sounds cold and mechanical, and resembles more exactly the notation, while the other is adding more nuances that listeners enjoy, at least listeners that enjoy that style of music to begin with. you might have a point with saying you can't objectively say that one is better than the other even in this case, but for my point, that doesn't even matter, the point is that some people when they play a musical score, or conduct one, add some flavour to it that's not written in the score, and large numbers of people are willing to pay more for that, than other artists, therefore, the score isn't everything.

    but this is not even talking about a tremendous free solo, that clearly is more complex and was never designed to be written or read on a score sheet. and this you have even more trouble writing exactly than a more classical typed piece.



    More particularly - I hope fame and money is not the motivating factor for most serious musicians. If it is, and if that's the general view of people on this forum, then I'm well outside the norm & in this thread I wasn't thinking on any basis like that at all.
    i'm not sure where you got this idea from. at least in regards to my posts. maybe a bit from JonR, but i do believe, from a past experience, he's not a gold digger, he just wants to create music he thinks people will appreciate. iow, people appreciating his music is important to him, that they show that appreciation by paying him or not, i don't think matters much to him.

    IOW - I just don't like the idea that we should measure the ability of musicians purely by looking at the size of their pay packet. It may be partly true. But personally it's not an objective that I want to sign up to, because I think there is a fundamental sense in which that material view is the complete opposite of what “good” art &/or music is all about.
    me either, but not everybody can judge the value of stuff without looking at the price tag. but certainly some can. were it not for that, then it would be impossible for a musician to start out poor and end up rich by virtue of their music. but you're right and i agree, for art to be art, the big money, imo, needs to be a 'chance' byproduct kind of thing. you make art as art, and then lots of people might end up liking it. to me, creating for the purpose of selling, is craftsmanship or entertainment, and not really art.


  12. #57
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    Critics know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    *toke...

    *toke...
    "If a child learns which is jay and which is sparrow, he'll no longer see birds nor hear them sing."

  13. #58
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    Just to break up this tangential stuff a bit more... (yeah, I'm as guilty as the rest)


    Tips for Carvinite's brother:

    Never compare yourself with other players. There will always be players who are better than you. And (once you start) there will always be players worse than you too (because, er, they started after you did).
    Only compare yourself with your past self. You're always better than you used to be; and not as good as you will be (if you keep practising).

    Music is a strange new land. If you explore on your own, you may stumble, you will make slow progress, you may go round in circles... but you will make your own path. If you follow directions and read maps (get lessons, learn theory), you will progress quicker, learn how to get from A to B more reliably (or even A to Bb, hehe). You will be following other people's paths, but they're often the best, tried and tested. The main roads may not be the prettiest routes, but they are the most efficient ones - everyone knows where they go, so you should as well. Use the map, but don't bury your head in it. Maps don't show everything. They are only guides. Take side roads when you can, look for places you like, follow your ear. It doesn't matter if you get lost: you are in no hurry to get anywhere...
    (It's about the journey, not the destination... )

    There's only one rule in music: IF IT SOUNDS GOOD, IT IS GOOD.
    (All the other rules are only guides to what other people think sounds good.)
    Last edited by JonR; 12-19-2008 at 04:22 PM.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood
    I never said that. I never spoke about musicians in general. I never spoke about artists in general. I spoke about conductors and soloists. and still i never said that even about them.
    Well you probably didn't mean to say that, but actually that is exactly what you did say. Check again your words in that quote in my above post.

    But look, I'm absolutely not trying to make a big deal of that, so lets dismiss it as a non-issue, OK .

    Despite appearance to the contrary, as a I said earlier - I really don't think you, Jon or I are actually very far apart at all on this stuff. The only difference for me, is that I don't want to endorse the idea that money or fame is a major part of what I would personally regard as important in music or art in general.

    That's all.

    Just a couple of other points -

    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood
    i'm not sure where you got this idea from. at least in regards to my posts. maybe a bit from JonR ....
    No, it was not aimed at anything Jon said. It was purely a response to that specific quote from you re. money as a measure of ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood
    ... a conductor or soloist is easier to distinguish one as better than the other, at least to some degree. one sounds cold and mechanical, and resembles more exactly the notation, while the other is adding more nuances that listeners enjoy, at least listeners that enjoy that style of music to begin with.
    I don't think that's actually right. I think every player adds his or her own nuances. I think that trying to analyse it in terms of one player adding "better" nuances, is fraught with all sorts of dangers. I don't think that's really the difference ie "cold & mechanical" vs. musical "nuances" ... as I say, I think all the players are adding their own style or "nuance".

    I think the difference between the greatest players and much more ordinary players, is mostly in their accuracy and control. Their mastery over the instrument is such that they can make that accuracy and control sound more like what you are calling nuances. IOW - it's not that they are departing so far from the notation or the accepted way to play the piece, but more that they are able to play so closely to the notation or the accepted/desired way to play it, that they also have time to include what you call nuances or characteristics in the way they play each note or phrase, eg better control of volume on certain difficult notes, or more control & extension in their vibrato.

    The difference with lesser players is not so much that they sound coldly & mechanically perfect according to the notation. But rather that they don't sound perfect lol. Ie they fail to master every note and phrase as they'd wish. IOW - they are making mistakes, albeit the sort of "mistakes" made by good classical players are not massive great blunders, but more like failing to get the desired volume in certain notes or failing to emphasise the vibrato as long and cleanly as they might have intended.

    Anyway ... we are indeed getting rather a long way off from Ryan's original topic .

    Ian.

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    The last page or two illustrates this:

    "You gotta like the music first. Most good guitar players, if you took away their guitars, would grab a different instrument and start over because it is the music that has them enthralled. Most guitar players who simply quit after a few months and learning a few chords are guys who wanted to "be" a guitar player."
    "If a child learns which is jay and which is sparrow, he'll no longer see birds nor hear them sing."

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