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What would make you feel you’re now a “Good” player?

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What would make you feel you’re now a “Good” player?

When strutting your musical stuff pulls potential ‘partners’ (common guitar fantasy apparently!)
2
4%
Being able to play with some mates in a band
9
19%
Achieving a certain level on an approved grading system
0
No votes
Knowing how to write and play your own songs or music
6
13%
Being able to attract students
0
No votes
Realising that learning feels like fun and not a chore and that you enjoy your own playing
6
13%
Hearing that friends and family appreciate your playing.
10
21%
Playing at a pub open mic night or similar and having strangers applaud
10
21%
Making a successful career as a professional musician
1
2%
Other. Please post your ideas.
4
8%
 
Total votes : 48

Postby cnev » February 27th, 2012, 2:59 pm

Fleaaa that is the skill I'd die for.
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Postby Chris C » February 27th, 2012, 3:32 pm

rparker wrote:
almann1979 wrote:For me the goal posts keep moving.


I used to hate that part about anything skill related, but I've learned to enjy the ride.



+1

Enjoying the ride is a key thing for me. One of the ways that works for me is knowing how much pleasure I can wring out of things that are technically very simple. Initially it was very easy to see "good" as linked only to technical ability - particularly when I had so little of it. But I learned to hear and enjoy the good in all the steps along the way. To play three chords or five notes in a way that hit some sweet spots even though there were plenty of misses in there too.

I guess it's an attitude thing, but there's not really a single "good" for me, just a chain of improving goodness. Good isn't only tomorrow for me - it's now. It's not always just out of reach, it's always just IN reach. Tomorrow's good will be different again, and better. I like to live in that cheerful space in between being permanently dissatisfied with myself, and overly smug.

Thomas Edison - who singly or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents - probably said it best (the exact words vary, depending on where you read them):

    “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

    “We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb”

    “I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work”

    “I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun.”


I've certainly found thousands of ways not to make the sound I was looking for at the time on guitar. :roll: But the process was always interesting and - as Edison suggested - the information was often useful in some other way. And it was "all fun". That's why I've finally started to allow myself to think that I'm good (despite still having very limited technical skills). I have the imagination to sometimes turn a pile of junk into something worth having, and I know how to have fun doing it.

That's pretty much it for me - be able to enjoy the journey as much as I do IS itself the main aim or destination. And, dammit, I'm good at enjoying the journey! :)

Cheers,

Chris
Last edited by Chris C on February 27th, 2012, 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chris C » February 27th, 2012, 3:54 pm

fleaaaaaa wrote:Even though theres things I still can't do on guitar - I feel I'm in a nice spot. I have always had an ear of some sort when working out things, it has become more attuned to the specifics of what is going on (rather than just getting a chord that fits I can now get the exact rhythms and notes = the specifics). Well I feel thats a big acheivement, I have also been told that not everyone has the ears that can work out things in that way but (and this is moving off topic a bit I suppose) can't everyone learn that skill too? Or is it a thing of you either can or you can't do?


That sounds like a wonderful skill to have. :D

Certainly, not everybody has that skill - but you asked we could all learn it? My guess is that "in theory" most people could at least get part of the way there, but in practice they either wouldn't or couldn't. It's a bit like improvising - it's hard to say why everybody couldn't learn to improvise solos or make up new songs, but the reality is that it comes a lot easier to some than others.

I'd agree with those who said it's a big achievement. :)
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Postby Vic Lewis VL » February 27th, 2012, 8:07 pm

I'll know I'm getting somwhere when the (very negative) members of my family pay me a compliment. Not expecting it anytime soon, although a couple of them don't actually cringe when I'm playing loud classic rock....

I've actually gone way past the stage of caring what they think, not one of them has ever said anything nice about my songs. Had a little tiff with one of Marilyn's daughters last week - her daughter has got an audition for the X factor next weekend. I said, good luck to her, but I still won't be watching it! "What, you won't watch our Lauren?" "No, I won't watch the x-factor, full stop!" I hope she does OK, but somehow, I don't think she will - her voice is average at best, and she doesn't write songs or play an instrument, even though I've offered to help. Seen videos of her performing - she's straining to hit notes. I've told her, you're the singer - get the band to play in YOUR key, not the easiest key!

I've also gone way past the stage where i'm thinking rock'n'roll superstardom is just round the corner. OK, I've written a few good songs (IMHO) and I'm a decent rhythm guitarist - but I'll never be a great guitarist. I can live with that. I can aspire to better, though - and I work at being better most days. When I can actually be bothered to pick a guitar up.

Ah, music, she's a cruel mistress. Just when you think you're getting better, there's always someone who'll bring you right back down to earth.

The songwriting muse seems to be on vacation, too - and has been for a while. last few months, I've written absolutely NOTHING worth keeping....guitar-wise, I seem to be playing the same old blues-scale solos over and over again. haven't come up with a decent riff for at least 12 months....

Ah, I dunno, some days I plug the guitar in and I'm in the zone straight away - most days, I just pick haphazardly at some chords, run through a couple of oldies, and then put it down....can't be bothered. I really am in a rut, can't even be bothered playing my own songs. there was a time a couple of years or so ago when I worked hard on at least 3-4 of my own songs every day - riffs, solos, basslines, keyboard parts, etc, etc. Not any more...I honestly can't rmember the last time I played a song I wrote. I might have just got stale, jaded, whatever....but 12 months ago, I'd have got up in the morning, put the radio on and then gone to the bathroom....now it's bathroom first, and god help anyone who disturbs the peace - I don't even bother putting the radio on. 12 months ago, I'd have put the radio on and then plugged the guitar in.....

Vic
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Postby Cat » February 27th, 2012, 10:27 pm

Vic Lewis VL wrote: lHad a little tiff with one of Marilyn's daughters last week - her daughter has got an audition for the X factor next weekend. I said, good luck to her, but I still won't be watching it! "What, you won't watch our Lauren?" Vic


Vic! Buddy...FRIEND! C'mon! Discretion is ALWAYS the better part of valour!

You owe someone roses, at least! :oops:

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Postby fleaaaaaa » February 28th, 2012, 12:38 am

Chris C wrote:
fleaaaaaa wrote:Even though theres things I still can't do on guitar - I feel I'm in a nice spot. I have always had an ear of some sort when working out things, it has become more attuned to the specifics of what is going on (rather than just getting a chord that fits I can now get the exact rhythms and notes = the specifics). Well I feel thats a big acheivement, I have also been told that not everyone has the ears that can work out things in that way but (and this is moving off topic a bit I suppose) can't everyone learn that skill too? Or is it a thing of you either can or you can't do?


That sounds like a wonderful skill to have. :D

Certainly, not everybody has that skill - but you asked we could all learn it? My guess is that "in theory" most people could at least get part of the way there, but in practice they either wouldn't or couldn't. It's a bit like improvising - it's hard to say why everybody couldn't learn to improvise solos or make up new songs, but the reality is that it comes a lot easier to some than others.

I'd agree with those who said it's a big achievement. :)


It's even got to the point where I can guess what chord is being used before I get the guitar - thats a new thing to me.
The other new thing is that I can work out the chord even if it isn't one I have used myself before, takes a bit more time and experimentation but I can do it.
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Postby Cat » February 28th, 2012, 1:17 am

You're not "guessing" the chord, you are feeling it. Maybe you are better than you've given yourself credit for?

Get the blues and you'll soon be feeling 7ths...it's unavoidable.

Feel what you play...play what you feel...just like you are starting to do of its own accord.

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Postby Chris C » February 28th, 2012, 2:09 am

Vic Lewis VL wrote:Ah, music, she's a cruel mistress. Just when you think you're getting better, there's always someone who'll bring you right back down to earth.


That's sad to hear Vic. I can only hope that you find your wings again soon.


I don't play golf but Chris (Cnev) sometimes uses it as an analogy. Musically I'm like the hack golfer who enjoys blasting round the course every weekend but rarely if ever ever wins any trophies. But from time to time he hits a few holes that are as good as the best - maybe even an occasional hole in one. Or a particular drive or putt is just so sweet that he can relive the joy of it for weeks. He knows that he's never going to match Tiger Woods for consistency (but then Tiger doesn't always either....).

When the weekend guy retires he probably buys himself a really nice set of club. They don't make a great deal of difference to his scores but he enjoys the game even more - because enjoying the game is what he does well, and the good strokes/holes/rounds that he pulls off keep his spirits in the positive zone. That's pretty much me with music - I doubt that I'll ever shoot the club record, yet it never feels totally out of reach, and just being in the game is what I really love.

So pleased don't chuck your clubs in the bushes just yet Vic. :wink: Hang in there.

Cheers,

Chris
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Postby cnev » February 28th, 2012, 5:26 am

Well Chris I have chucked my clubs in the woods on occasion...Ha..the last time I did it was many years ago and my 5 iron hit a tree square in the middle of the shaft and snapped it like a tooth pick. That was the last time I threw a club.

Vic I hear you on the family although all my daughters are out of the house on their own or at school and there's no missus to make fun of my music, but my ex was a bit like that. It was a bit different with her cuz she played guitar and wrote. She never was really harsh with criticism but she did it in her own way.

But you have to block that crap out and just do it for you. When I took up the guitar I didn't do it to impress anyone or be a rock star or anything I did it just to see if I could and it was something I always wanted to do. I always got the feeling when you mention you play guitar to anyone they automatically have a mental image of the best guitar player in the world and then get disappointed if that's not you.

I know I'd probably lose interest like you if I only was playing by myself. I'd probably still pick it up but there wouldn't be alot of motivation to do it I think that's a big reason why I continue in the dysfunctional band I'm in because despite all the nonsense I get to play with other people regularly and always have something new to work on. I do enjoy learning new songs almost as much as playing them I know that may sound weird.

Fleaa as I said earlier that is THE skill I'd love to have. I know my ear has gotten better but it's no where near that yet and it would be something I'd need to work at to develop to any level. My instructor has the most incredible ear I've run across. He can tab ut a song on the fly in no time and rarely makes a mistake. I'm hoping someday it will rub off on me but I'm not counting on it.

But as great as the skill is which essentially makes you a self sufficient player once you get on stage and play nobody is going to know who you learned the song by ear or from a transcription it all about how you play it and that right now is all I can control so I really try to play the best I can.
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Postby fleaaaaaa » February 28th, 2012, 10:42 am

Cnev.......

My ear was fairly rubbish to begin with - I could work out single notes alongside the basic chords (which is all I had to do initially as I was a bassist, though many songs did more than just root note, but you have to start somewhere right?). No one ever really paid attention to me musically I feel, my sister was given so many instruments to try (recorder, piano and guitar) and she quit them all. She even had a sudden second inspiration to play guitar again and we bought her a guitar for christmas which she didn't ever use (more fool us). Well eventually I persuaded my parents into getting me a bass, I quickly moved onto guitar as that was what I really had wanted to do (and I found a chordex in my Dad's car so I thought, I will try to learn a few chords). Well I can say that the intial part of learning is probably where most people give up, I see it with my students, they think that it looks easy, because others make it look easy but they don't ever get to see the inside of those people's houses when they spent hours of hard work until finally they got their breakthrough feeling comfortable and able to do those things the student can't do but they can do so well.

Even though my ear wasn't as good in the earliest stages, I still feel if someone had given me a piano at a young age and said "work out twinkle twinkle little star" I may have needed a little help but I believe I could have done that, who knows though? It's just conjecture on my part, but I think I could have.

Another thing that I think I only have in retrospect is that I always thought things were more complicated than they were. Many nirvana songs I thought at the time that I couldn't work it out because to me it seemed like they were doing something else, but the fact is they probably did the things I thought they did and that stopped me a lot earlier on working things out. They may have been produced to sound more than they were but 9/10 they were just simple power chords. Though somethings they tuned down, which really threw me off in the early days.

I guess I am lucky to have a fairly good ear, I have recently been forced into using it a lot more - I started playing funk, my favourite band being tower of power and whereas with the rock/pop songs I had learn't I found it easy to find a guitar pro file with TOP it was very much up to me to do the work - and guess what, I did the same thing as I did in the early years initially feeling that they were playing "something else" that wasn't on my guitar. When I tried harder and really concentrated I found it was mainly much simpler than I had thought, I also watched some great lessons on youtube (ross bolton, thanks man :P) and got a few books that got me more familiar with common funk chords.

Well anyway, I wrote an essay......... I think I kind of straddled off topic too but anyway :lol:
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Postby almann1979 » February 28th, 2012, 12:14 pm

Fleaaaa, I have been learning a lot of funk rhythm myself lately, usually Marty Swartz lessons, but after reading your post I found a 50 minute Ross Bolton lesson on YouTube.

I had never heard of him, but what a great lesson!!

Thanks for the tip :D


On the topic of a good ear, I have a bad one, but my brother in law has perfect pitch, to the point where I can play a chord, and he can say "that's an Asus4, or an Eb9 etc".

He isn't right with the extensions every time, but I would give him a two out of three success rate.

He never fails to guess if I just play a straight major or minor chord with no extension.

I hate him :D
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Postby Cat » February 28th, 2012, 12:28 pm

When I was a kid...12-ish...I finally got a "good guitar playing friend" to come over and jam with me. I was in awe of this guy: he knew at least eight chords! When he left...he knew at least nine.

Really, it's the "stick-to-it-ness" that is where your focus should be, Vic. Right now I'm working on vocals with a gal I found singing kareoke. She's nothing less than awesome...but raw. (Marry Clayton + Cass Elliott) We go over just one lead-off tune. Soon, she'll have what's in my head on ProTools. Like taking an icepick to an iceberg. Then it's on to the next one...no matter how long it takes...

If this instrument can transport you from the present to "somewhere else"...why worry about how much farther you need to go or what other people think about it? Learn to be content with one tiny chip at that iceberg, Vic! Soon enough, who knows, you'll have the world's biggest ice sculpture.

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Postby cnev » February 28th, 2012, 1:14 pm

Al obviously you picked the wrong profession !
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Postby fleaaaaaa » February 29th, 2012, 1:13 am

almann1979 wrote:Fleaaaa, I have been learning a lot of funk rhythm myself lately, usually Marty Swartz lessons, but after reading your post I found a 50 minute Ross Bolton lesson on YouTube.

I had never heard of him, but what a great lesson!!

Thanks for the tip :D


On the topic of a good ear, I have a bad one, but my brother in law has perfect pitch, to the point where I can play a chord, and he can say "that's an Asus4, or an Eb9 etc".

He isn't right with the extensions every time, but I would give him a two out of three success rate.

He never fails to guess if I just play a straight major or minor chord with no extension.

I hate him :D


It's actually a 100 minute lesson (2 50 minute videos) look for part 2 as well as the first one you saw.
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Postby Crow » February 29th, 2012, 9:04 am

fleaaaaaa wrote:Even though theres things I still can't do on guitar - I feel I'm in a nice spot. I realise a lot of the things I do are amazing to some people (though not so amazing in my mind because I can do them). I hope that doesn't sound arrogant but I will give you an example, I can hear a song and very quickly work out what is going on and play it back - now I am sure a lot of people on guitar noise can do that, but there's still a lot of guitarists out there who need a tab in order to play something (especially those slightly younger than me). I have always had an ear of some sort when working out things, it has become more attuned to the specifics of what is going on (rather than just getting a chord that fits I can now get the exact rhythms and notes = the specifics). Well I feel thats a big acheivement, I have also been told that not everyone has the ears that can work out things in that way but (and this is moving off topic a bit I suppose) can't everyone learn that skill too? Or is it a thing of you either can or you can't do?


This is a great question. I think it's a skill that can be learned. And I think it's better to learn it than to be born with it.

I was born with it. I was figuring out movable I-IV-V chords on guitar when I was six years old. In conservatory, basic ear training was easy for me. But when things got challenging -- I'm thinking of jazz harmonies here, and certain 20th century "classical" styles -- I wasn't willing to do the work necessary to learn. Everything else had come so easily, a bit of lazy arrogance had set in. Like: "If I can't hear it, it's too stupid to bother with." Because of my own arrogance, I stopped learning. Today I'm trying to learn how to hear extended chords, tritone substitutions, other "jazz" elements, & regretting my past stupidity every step of the way. It's not so easy in one's mid-50s as it might have been in one's mid-20s, but it can be done. And this is why I've set my own "good-player" standard so high. I have a lot of catching-up to do.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa
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