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Author Topic: Getting serious about playing  (Read 1615 times)
WorksInTheory
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« on: April 28, 2006, 08:10:06 PM »

Hi everyone, I just joined this forum but I have been reading the very helpful information for a long time. I am one of those guitar players that had played since he was 14 but self-taught. So my foundation wasn't good and my progress was slow. Every few years I'd pick up the guitar again and break through another plateau and just get a little bit better. This is no way to go. On top of that I was travelling alot for my job and so never got to play. Well I quit that lifestyle, settled down and now getting back into guitar playing. I got myself a couple books and am forcing myself to go back and learn the foundations and practice practice practice.

But in your opinion and advice what is the best way to move forward? I want to get more sophisticated and into more complex techniques such as fingerstyle and flatpicking. More notes and melodies and sounds than just chords.

1) Do you think lessons are the way to go or do you think continue with books or video?
2) How do you know a good teacher when you see one or is your money going down the drain?
3) Tell me the path you took to becoming the player you are today.

I know this topic has probably been mentioned many times (and I did search and read through alot of it) but I thought this would be a good reason to post my first discussion. I know one thing someone said was get a good guitar and I am committed if not obsessed with guitars - but isn't that why everyone belongs to this forum? I just think they are works of art even if I am not that great of a player and I love going to guitar stores to look at all of them and listen to the great players that come in and jam. To make sure I was committed to being a better player I also invested in a guitar... and then another one... and I can't seem to stop! I think I used my bonus and my tax refund already!

I have a Seagull MJM6 with Quantum II Cedar top and Mahogany BS, Martin DC1-16RGTE on the way, and a American-made Guild JF-30 Sunburst. I know they are not as nice or pricey as the ones everyone has around here but maybe if I get my playing up I can justify upgrading! What is it you guys call it here?... GAS!!! (by the way one day someone has to explain the whole "Bump" thing to me).

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99 Guild F47CE (Westerly) | 02 Martin SPJC-16R | 03 Martin DC-16RGTE | 03 Martin MC-16GTE | 05 Seagull MJM6 w/ QII | 01 Washburn EA20SDL | 02 Guild JF-30 Sunburst | 00 Taylor LOTF 410MACE | 02 Tacoma JF21 | 08 CA 7M-CE (GX)
Tycho
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2006, 08:25:20 PM »

I was in pretty much the same boat as you.  I took my first lesson after I had already been playing for 32 years and it definitely pushed me to the next level.
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DaveyO
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 02:45:04 AM »

Hey me too.I have been playing around with the guitar for over 10 yrs and not much to show for it.
I have "feel" for music but very little knowledge.
I just started to practice a little more and bought some dvds to learn from.
I can recomend a dvd called "fretboard roadmaps"by Fred Sokolow.
I just started to view it and have learned some stuff already.
Basid stuff for some i'm sure , but its right up my alley.
The funny thing is , my brother is a very accomplished player and i'm a little embarrassed to ask for help.
He tells me "take some lessons"Thanks a lot bro
any ways , if you can afford it ,take some lessons,i feel i can learn from dvds and the ocasional jam with friends.
goodl luck, Dave
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Daysailer
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2006, 01:04:02 AM »

Welcome.       ^_^ ^_^

Bump  = moving a thread back to the top  of the list.   Each reply, (like this one) 'bumps' the post up the  list.

I like this post subject.  I am still resisting the paid for lesson choice.  But am using an online fingerstyle lesson system that is helping me alot.

phill       :mellow:
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GeetarMonkey
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2006, 01:30:17 AM »

Welcome.       ^_^ ^_^

Bump  = moving a thread back to the top  of the list.   Each reply, (like this one) 'bumps' the post up the  list.

I like this post subject.  I am still resisting the paid for lesson choice.  But am using an online fingerstyle lesson system that is helping me alot.

phill       :mellow:

I resisted the lesson route for a long time, but I took a great series of lessons from my local Community College and that did it!  I realized it was all about finding the right teacher for me!  I do the DVDs and teaching books in addition to the lessons I take from a teacher. I had a few so-so experiences from teachers, but it's all changed now... I'm loving it! Spend some time and interview 4 - 5 teachers. Ask them what kind of music they enjoy, what qualifications they have, what book they teach out of... etc etc. Definitely find someone that is organized and has their own place for teaching. These type of teachers are more likely to act and teach like professionals. Also, make sure the teacher you pick likes the same type of music you do! Why learn classical style when what you really want to learn is Fingerstyle or Rockabilly. I have also gotten involved in our local Music School... they teach adult classes at night, so I'm taking some Fingerstyle & Bluegrass classes from them.  Jump in with both feet and go for it!!!! 
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WorksInTheory
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2006, 03:44:30 PM »

Thanks for all the replies to date! For some reason I am not getting notified that I got replies and yes I did check that it's set to on.

Anyways - I guess I do need visual so maybe a DVD will help since it will let me go at my pace whether it's faster or slower. As far as paid lessons - yes that's what I fear is the teacher is just doing his thing and not catering to me and then by the end of it I am paying lots of money and time for him telling me to learn scales and typical 12 bar blues. I actually will check into community college and local adult classes - that might be a cheaper route...

actually I have no benchmark - what do you think is a good rate to pay and what do you typically do - 1hr/wk?
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04 Larrivee DV-03E | 00 Tacoma JK50CE | 08 CA GXi | 08 CA Cargo XS-CE
used to own:
99 Guild F47CE (Westerly) | 02 Martin SPJC-16R | 03 Martin DC-16RGTE | 03 Martin MC-16GTE | 05 Seagull MJM6 w/ QII | 01 Washburn EA20SDL | 02 Guild JF-30 Sunburst | 00 Taylor LOTF 410MACE | 02 Tacoma JF21 | 08 CA 7M-CE (GX)
WorksInTheory
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2006, 06:05:46 PM »

DaySailer - what online learning are you using?
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used to own:
99 Guild F47CE (Westerly) | 02 Martin SPJC-16R | 03 Martin DC-16RGTE | 03 Martin MC-16GTE | 05 Seagull MJM6 w/ QII | 01 Washburn EA20SDL | 02 Guild JF-30 Sunburst | 00 Taylor LOTF 410MACE | 02 Tacoma JF21 | 08 CA 7M-CE (GX)
Ratishna
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2006, 07:01:35 PM »

I have found that anything I can do to break myself out of whatever box I happen to be in is a great help.  Even if its just jamming with other people.  Heck, ask the guy wanking on a guitar at the guitar store what he's playing and it can open up some new doors.

E. Shoaf
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poorbs
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2006, 09:45:17 PM »

...make sure the teacher you pick likes the same type of music you do! Why learn classical style when what you really want to learn is Fingerstyle or Rockabilly. 

This is the best advice on this thread.  If you can't find one that can teach what you want to play, then get some basics from a few lessons, then get a Book/DVD or Book/CD combo that's down your alley.

Check these sites:

http://www.melbay.com/
http://www.homespuntapes.com/
http://www.guitarvideos.com/

Good Luck
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stubby
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2006, 09:42:37 PM »

WorksInTheory, I can definitely relate. Your guitar playing history sounds a lot like mine. The one thing I can say is, the most substantial gain I've ever made was when I briefly took guitar lessons in my early 20's. My teacher was quite demanding, and I practiced like heck so that I'd get it right for next lesson. Nothing like a bit of external pressure to bring out one's potential. I'd love to find another teacher at this point, but I live in a small town and there is nobody here teaching what I'm into.

To answer one of your questions, I think a good teacher is one who will challenge you to play beyond what you think you are able, and patiently guide you there.
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Moonray13s
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2006, 09:59:58 PM »

For me, lessons are more about accountability than anything else. The drudgery of practice is less painful when you know you have to account for yourself come Thursday night at 7:30. Now, I don't mean to say that all practice is drudgery, but when your instructor insists you learn four barre chord shapes and memorize all the root notes on the 5th and 6th strings by the next lesson, you better get your butt in gear and be able to play those barres (with an acceptable level of buzzing, after all, we are just beginning). In terms of real progress, I get much more out of those 60-minute practice sessions than I do with hours of strumming a song I got off a tab site.

Granted, you must have a teacher you connect with and that challenges you, but for me, it's the accountability that spurs me to real progress, whether it's guitar playing or anything else you want to learn.
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