Learn challenging stuff before the easy? | Page 2 | The Canadian Guitar Forum

Learn challenging stuff before the easy?

Discussion in 'Theory and Technique' started by tomee2, May 5, 2019.

  1. Sketchy Jeff

    Sketchy Jeff

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2019
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Yes. Foundation first. There are players I'd call party guitar guys. They know the shredder drop your jaw lick from a bunch of songs and can pull them all out one after the other.

    But haven't ever played in a band or to back somebody up singing - can't get in the groove and play through a whole song in a musical way to save their lives. Concentrate too much on left hand fretted stuff and not enough right hand strum/pick/finger consistency and technique.

    If you like pushing the boundaries and learning the tough stuff have at it more power to ya. But your foundation playing in a live set as a less experienced player is going to rely on your ability to keep a steady rhythm, switch cleanly between 3-5 chords in the keys of A, E, D, G, and C, and play musically in conversation with a singer and bass player.

    I don't know what your tastes run to but here's a couple of examples. Mavis Staples has a damn good band backing her up. When she sings Wade in the Water there's a very talented rhythm guitar player in that band holding down an Em chord THROUGH THE WHOLE SONG with no changes at all just keeping the rhythm section locked in with the bass player and the drummer. Check out Adam Baldwin's cover of the Tom Petty song Kings Highway on YouTube. That's a 4 chord song all in cowboy chords key of G and you can pull it off without the Em if you want to. Just good steady playing in the groove. He's a great player and can really do the blues but know when to keep it to the basics. U2's Where the Streets Have No Name is all nice and delay soaked but check out the live version at Glastonbury by Muse with The Edge sitting in where it's super clear that he's mostly a very good rhythm player on a simple repetitive chord structure. Even his single note 'lead' bits are pulled out of the chord shape he's in by good right hand technique and musical judgement.

    Guitar playing is like building a house. If your foundation is good the trim will come along when it comes and it will be nice too. But if the foundation isn't there all the fancy pants trim in the world is just a pile of sticks. Build the foundation first and get in a band and play a bunch of live gigs in church or coffeehouse or bar bands or campfire singalong or whatever suits your style. Good licks will grow out of a strong foundation.

    Thus concludes today's rant. We now return to regularly scheduled programming.

    j
     
  2. tomee2

    tomee2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Location:
    Ontario
    Hey, nice rant! I'm not sure I'll ever play in a band but if I can't play at least a dozen campfire songs that people can sing along to yet I can do the opening to Sweet Home Chicago I think there is a problem.
    I'm reassessing all this. I've got 3 more lessons then a break as the teacher goes on a tour. I think he's a great player and teacher but he's focused only on one way of teaching one style. I think I need to learn the basics better, for sure. Em rhythm I can do all day, well maybe 5 minutes!
    I'll check out those videos for sure, and thanks for confirming what I always thought, that the Edge is a gifted artist-musician more than a guitar virtuoso. I mean that in a good way.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  3. oldjoat

    oldjoat

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Location:
    lost in time and lost in space RHPS
    I liked to dive in head first ... but I never was too bright.
     
  4. Cardamonfrost

    Cardamonfrost Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2018
    Location:
    Barrie, ON
    Perhaps a different instructor is in order. Or, a convo with the instructor to let them know you need a more 'formal' education.

    The reality of the situation, and every instructor has gone through this, is that if you start teaching the tools for self development (theory), you will lose the student immediately. The new student (first or second instructor) will not want to write out scales or even hear triad lectures, even if they are only 5 mins... What keeps a student around for 4 weeks at 1 lesson a week is a couple pop radio tunes and a bunch of riffs so they can feel like a star. New stuff every week, because they really don't understand how much work it takes to learn something, they think they are 'learning' when you put their fingers on the right frets for them. Ugly reality of 'instruction' right there. Even beginning adult students fall for this.

    More importantly, when they go home, mommy and daddy can hear them butchering Ironman or Crazy train - it may suck, but they know where their money is going. It has the appearance of progress, even though, there is no foundation that will advance them in the future. However, they will be back next week.

    The only way to get real value from an instructor, unfortunately, is to have a pretty good idea what you want from instruction (so, not a beginning guitarist anymore). Know who your idol is, what your favorite songs are, and where you want to be in 5 years. You may not be there yet, but consider interviewing a couple instructors. See if they already know pertinent things like, i.e. if you are into the Grateful Dead, can they tell you who the band members are? Can they play a couple tunes from them? etc. May seem like overkill, but its really not. For them to teach you what you need, they need to know it already.

    For someone who is really interested in music, the ideal lesson is (at least) 50% what you need to know and the balance what you want to know.

    1) Its impossible to get the right instructor the first time. 2) A good instructor can only give you the right tools. 3) Only you can make you the guitarist you want to be.

    C
     
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  5. oldjoat

    oldjoat

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Location:
    lost in time and lost in space RHPS
    2 and 3 ring true.
     
  6. Sketchy Jeff

    Sketchy Jeff

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2019
    Location:
    Manitoba
    A player that can really play can take a simple idea and make you shout, cry, and break out in the sweats.

    It's got a couple of passing chords in it that you don't know yet but take a listen to Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, and Wynton Marsalis do the jazz / country standard "Cryin' Time" The guitar tone is awful, the guitar playing isn't great, the musical structure is simple, but the whole bunch of them are pro players known for their musicality.

    I'd be wary of a teacher telling a beginner student not to work in foundation skills because their boring.

    Edited for tact

    J
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  7. tomee2

    tomee2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Location:
    Ontario
    Had another lesson on Friday. I hadn't practiced enough to really move on so we went I over these riffs again.
    Its 2 12 bar blues bits in E being melded together. A bit of one, then the other. Its challenging, in terms of moving my hand around and picking different patterns. But, it doesn't seem musical. Maybe if I was 20 and had 30 years ahead of me I'd stick with this.
    I'll do 2 more lessons then have to say I'm done.

    My first teacher was more about fundamentals, with a bit more theory, and learning the standard chords. He was teaching a system that would let me play along to most songs, which was why the barre chords were important. So he was probably on the right track for me but I didn't know it.

    I think I'm most interested in classic rock so I'll have a look around. I'd also love to play jazz but I think that might be out of my potential...

    Thanks to all for all the well thought advice.
     
  8. oldjoat

    oldjoat

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Location:
    lost in time and lost in space RHPS
    there's your answer

    10,000 hrs to get proficient ... that means a few blisters and time
    you may have to hang it up right now and wait till you have more motivation
     
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  9. Dorian2

    Dorian2

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Not quite sure how hanging it up right now will inspire any type of motivation. Maybe take a breather and reassess your commitment and time schedule. It's worth it to work something out with your schedule and stick to it.
     
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  10. oldjoat

    oldjoat

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Location:
    lost in time and lost in space RHPS
    guess we're saying the same thing , just different words .

    if he isn't motivated to practice now , he may in the future.
    one only has so many hours in the day .
    might be more fun to hang out / party / lay in the sun right now.

    5 years from now ( and older) he may knuckle down and get to it.
    heck , might be after retirement or never .... his choice.;)
     
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  11. Budda

    Budda Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I don't follow. Are you done lessons with this teacher, or are you done lessons?

    You can probably throw a stone in Ottawa and find someone who can teach you how to play classic rock style guitar (given it's mostly a few chords and knowing how to switch up pentatonic major/minor). That being said, it takes time and practice to become proficient in playing it *well*. AC/DC sounds real easy right up until you want to play it perfectly.

    Every jazz musician started out without knowing how to play their instrument. No one in any capacity just knows how to do something. Jazz isn't outside your level, you just have to decide if you're going to dedicate the time required to play it.

    I wish you the best of luck.
     
  12. tomee2

    tomee2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Location:
    Ontario
    It was a tough few weeks with work and some travel time in there. 3 kids in sports etc. Drove to NJ for a soccer tournament one weekend then TO to help my daughter the next. I'm not sitting on my ass here looking at my guitar, I practice 1 hour or more every day that I can which is about 5 times a week.

    I'm questioning this because my wife and son, both who play piano very well, ask why I'm not playing songs, or in my wife's words "at least something that sounds musical"
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  13. tomee2

    tomee2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Location:
    Ontario
    I haven't partied or just sat in the sun in years.
    50 hour work week, and 40000km each year driving kids to practices and games and tournaments. I don't watch TV, or even Netflix.
    I'm motivated, just worried I'm learning the wrong stuff.
     
  14. tomee2

    tomee2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Location:
    Ontario
    This teacher.
    The reason I quit my first teacher was the time slot conflicted with my kids sports. Its frustrating but up here hockey practices are scheduled with 2 weeks notice so keeping to a fixed schedule of anything else is just a nightmare. He was good and I might look him up again.
    This new teacher is close to work and is flexible with times.
    Yes, plenty of teachers up here, and then there are all the online choices, YouTube lessons, books etc. I'm trying to stick with a real person because they correct me right away when I start doing something wrong.
     
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  15. oldjoat

    oldjoat

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Location:
    lost in time and lost in space RHPS
    you never stated your age , so those "party" things were thrown in.;)

    welcome to middle age ( and mileage) MJF$#MJF$#MJF$#

    it usually gets easier the closer you get to retirement, and after.
    Until the wife gets the travel and see the world, bug.
     
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