Pretty much given up playing

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Pretty much given up playing

Postby (lyric_girl) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:22 pm

Ok folks, it has been a LONG time since I have been around here. Unlike the acoustic guitar forum that I used to frequent, this forum is still the friendly place it used to be. Thank goodness!

So heres the deal. I have had 4 teachers. Sometimes they dropped me and sometimes I dropped them. I tend to be a little bit perfectionistic and I can't get this out of my practice/playing.

Long story short, finally bought a git after 20 years of wanting one in February 2008 (I believe). Quickly learned that a Taylor 110 was too big for me (small stature with short arms and little hands). Sold that and bought expensive Larrivee parlor which is the perfect size for me. Ended up with a second Larrivee acoustic (long story). In September 2008, ordered Rick 360 JG, which arrived 1 1/2 years later. Love Ricks, but really wanted one due to my admiration of Peter Buck of REM (no, don't want to talk about the break up).

So, basically the Rick is the easiest thing that I can play due to my hands etc. However, I am totally fed up with attempting to learn. I have yet to learn a whole song. I kind of feel that reading music is important as I started out there. Confidence is really my problem.

Have thought very seriously about selling my gear and putting this off as something that I just can't do. Have a lot of $ in guitars that are collecting dust.

Help.

Am afraid to try another teacher, as my confidence blows. That being said, I don't tend to do all that well with online lessons.
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (jps) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:12 pm

Have you tried just learning to play in your own way, to get yourself more comfortable with playing, in general? I am not a good reader but I am pretty good for being self taught. :wink:
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (teb) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:51 pm

While there are certainly folks out there that have no musical ear or talent at all, anybody with a reasonable sense of pitch and timing should be able to learn to play, at least for their own enjoyment, if not for the stage or studio. As you're learning, there also seem to be "break-through" days, when suddenly something clicks into place and after that, it works for you. I still remember the day very early and long ago when suddenly, I didn't have to use my right hand to position the fingers on my left hand when changing chords. You can imagine how much better and less boring my "playing" got when I could actually change chords.

As for reading music, I agree with Jeff. It may not be all that important, especially at this stage. I can't read a note of music and know absolutely nothing about music theory or structure. A fifth is a container of whiskey and a third must be a slightly larger container. We used to do a lot of studio work, sometimes as a back-up band for solo artists. Many of these were low budget, self-produced singles and albums (usually country or gospel and often just horrible). Frequently, it was one run-through from sheet music or a tab of some kind and then roll the tape. Our lead guitar player was a music major and could read that stuff. I'd just tell him to stay where I could see his hands. There is certainly nothing wrong with being able to read and play, and I wish I could, but it may not be something critical to concentrate on at this point.

Only you can decide if it's something you want to continue, but give it your best shot and try to be patient. As for the money involved, especially if it's tied up in Rickenbackers, they're probably one of the best investments you can make if you take care of them. I never lose money buying and selling Rickenbackers.
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (cjj) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:53 pm

jps wrote:Have you tried just learning to play in your own way, to get yourself more comfortable with playing, in general? I am not a good reader but I am pretty good for being self taught. :wink:

That's kind of what I was going to say. Get yourself a chord book, learn some chords and then try to play along with music you like - learning to play chords/rhythm by the sound instead of trying to read the music. Basically just dink around until you get more comfortable with making sounds and how they relate to the music you like.

Formal training/lessons are definitely a good thing, but sometimes it seems to work better (or be easier to accept) once you have some kind of feel for the instrument/music you're trying to learn to play...
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (johnallg) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:07 pm

cjj wrote:
jps wrote:Have you tried just learning to play in your own way, to get yourself more comfortable with playing, in general? I am not a good reader but I am pretty good for being self taught. :wink:

That's kind of what I was going to say. Get yourself a chord book, learn some chords and then try to play along with music you like - learning to play chords/rhythm by the sound instead of trying to read the music. Basically just dink around until you get more comfortable with making sounds and how they relate to the music you like.

Formal training/lessons are definitely a good thing, but sometimes it seems to work better (or be easier to accept) once you have some kind of feel for the instrument/music you're trying to learn to play...

What I would have said, and I will add to at least learn where the notes are on the first 7 fret positions. It helps when learning chord variations beyond the first 3 frets.
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:15 pm

I taught for three years and I like to think that I was a damn good teacher.

The most important question(s) I must ask first are: what is your goal? I seem to remember you liked REM - do you wanna play some REM songs? Do you want to play with other people?
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Pretty much given up playing

Postby (8mileshigher) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:40 pm

In terms of learning to play a whole song --- there are lots of good three or four chord songs out there, that one should be able to master. And from those little steps, one can then reach into bigger steps... and practice songs that have an Intro, a chorus, a bridge, an outro, etc. etc.

And playing with other people (guitars, bass, drums, keys) is an excellant way to learn songs and build your own confidence as you go along. For popular music you can download chord charts and lyric sheets and you would not have to learn to read music. Good luck and keep strumming. :)
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (BuddyDog) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:27 pm

You can also check out the Learn & Master Guitar series from Legacy Learning Systems. It has a set of 20 lessons on DVD and some play along CD's, plus workbook and additional bonus workbook you can download. Oh, also an on-line forum that has words of encouragement.

It starts easy with notes on the B & e, then adds the G, D, A and E. It is self paced and lessons can take a week to months to master. Don't worry too much about perfection, but it has a lot of good drills to gain proficiency. It also teaches how to read music and chords.
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (beatbyrd) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:44 pm

Hi, These are all great suggestions, so far. What I haven't heard said is this: I believe that almost anyone can learn almost anything if they break things down to their smallest understandable level. Most people do not have the patience required to do this. But,.... if you are the perfectionist type, you can use this to your advantage. Perfection does not come easily. It requires a lot of effort. Putting in a lot of effort requires patience. Hopefully, being a perfectionist has taught you this already. Set very small goals and get them accomplished.

If you concentrate on attaining a decent mastery of all of the various 'pieces' of guitar playing, in time you'll be able to put each of those pieces together. Bada Boom Bada Bing..... you'll be an accomplished player. I would concentrate on the actual mechanics of playing first and leave reading for later (if you end up needing it). Learn some basic scales, develop some picking skills, get a dozen basic chords mastered. My list of essential chords would be these: E, F, G, A, Bb, C, and D. That's 7 chords that you can play dozens of songs with. Get used to moving from one to another until you don't have to stop or look at your hands. If you eventually add the minor, the 7, and the minor7 of each of these chords, there are many hundreds of songs you can play.

If you are right-handed, that left hand of yours has had a free ride for a long while. It's time to put it to work. I hope that you hang in there and start seeing tangible results. Best of luck (and patience). Tom
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (cjj) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:13 pm

And another thing, it's supposed to be FUN. If you aren't having fun, try doing something different, what you're playing, what you're trying to learn, etc.

And, if after all of that, trying to learn to play guitar STILL isn't fun, hey, maybe it's just not the right instrument for you. There's no problem with that, try something else. Bass. Keyboards. Violin, trumpet, whatever. How do you really know what you'll enjoy unless you try it?
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (paologregorio) » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:56 am

AND, You Tube is your friend. :)
There is no reason to ever be bored.

...why yes, I suppose I do have a double bound guitar fetish...

"Uh, I like the double bounds. . . ."
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (kiramdear) » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:05 am

Just pick out some simple songs that you love and work 'em up. Any of the Beatles Complete books will do it for me when I lack inspiration. And if it ain't fun, you're not doing it right. Have a drink, forget the rules, and just have fun!
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (Grey) » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:22 am

I started guitar at a young age (8) and took lessons. I quit them after 7 or 8 months, and didn't pick up guitar again untill several years later. The tedium, the routine, the "correct way" this and that should be played, correct posture.. it all wore me down. All I wanted to do was play guitar, and the lessons were taking this magical thing and turning it rigid textbook material. The lessons really made me disillusioned about the whole thing. When I did pick it up again, the motivation came from the bands I was fond of at the time. I would listen to my dad's music collection or see them on MTV (when MTV actaully played music) and I would think "I want to be that guy". So I sat down and taught myself with guidance from my father who had played guitar for many years, and I would practice for hours every day. It was a long time before I actually learned a complete song, I learned the bits I liked to whatever song had my fancy at the time and that enjoyment of being able to make the same sound come out of my guitar was enough to keep practicing. I had a chord chart that I learned from, and by the time I had gotten through the barre chords I found that getting into lead work came so much easier, because of the dexterity I had built up from practicing difficult chords. The moral of the story is, lessons are not the end-all be-all to learning guitar, if you arn't committed to it you won't be able to learn and that means practicing and learning in a way that you feel comfortable with, rather than following what someone else says is "correct". All you have to do is find a reason to play every day.
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (lyric_girl) » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:47 pm

Thank you everyone for your wonderful ideas/comments.
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Re: Pretty much given up playing

Postby (johnallg) » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:01 pm

Lynda, don't be a stranger, we have almost unlimited enthusiasm here. Come back often and when you need a fix. :D
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