Teach Me A Lesson

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Golfxzq
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Teach Me A Lesson

Post by Golfxzq »

This is something which has been peeking it's head around the corner of my mind from time to time. It may not generate much real discussion, but I would really like to know your opinion. About 10 months ago I began my journey down the Guitar path... following my 13 year old grandson, who started a couple of months earlier. It didn't take long for me to take a left down the Blues path, my grandson took a right down the Rock path but he sometimes likes to come over and travel along with me from time to time (I never go over to his path... just not to my liking). He started right off with lessons from a local instructor. Being much older, smarter, wiser, and more mature I was sure that I could do it all myself by taking advantage of all the free information available on the web. I soon discovered that many of my web-instructors would offer some very tantalizing helpful information, but to REALLY improve I should order their 12 CD set with 150 page instruction book. Eventually, I succumbed to the pressure and ordered a few books with included CD's. I now have a nice selection of seven instruction books and enough CD's to bog down an industrial-multiple-disk changer. My grandson has a couple of books recommended by his instructor and a couple of my CD's. He is a couple of months ahead of me but he also has school, baseball, basketball, a full electronic drum set, base guitar, and two electrics. He also has played on stage twice (with his fellow students) and seems to be moving right along with his skills. I, on the other hand, can play the Pentatonic Blues scales in the five basic patterns in the proper key (if I really think about it). Now, I am beginning to believe that, although, I am still much older, he may be smarter, wiser, and more mature than I am. I am now considering humbling myself and taking private lessons. I don't think I could sit with a bunch of super-talented teens and make a fool of myself (it's an ego thing). What do you think... lessons from a pro or knuckle down and become more disciplined about teaching myself. I just don't feel like I am getting to where I want to go... the path is beginning to thicken and grow over with ugly weeds and dark overgrowth. I fear that I am loosing my way.
"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
- Henry Ford

bluesinbflat
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by bluesinbflat »

Golfxzq wrote: I just don't feel like I am getting to where I want to go...
And where do you want to go?

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Golfxzq
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by Golfxzq »

bluesinbflat wrote:And where do you want to go?
Good question bluesinbflat... I should have clarified that a little. My ultimate goal is not to be a professional player, up on stage and all that. I just want to be able to play really well... enough to enjoy the act of playing, not so much the grind of learning although I know it is a life long journey with no end. What I would like to do is be able to pick up my guitar, play along with a few friends, improvise a little and have fun. I hear many of the more experienced players on this forum posting great sounding songs in the Blues Room and participating in the colabs. That is where I would like to be someday and I know it is going to take a long time to get there. I am just not sure if I am going about it in the best possible manner. I practice every night for about an hour or more (tonight was three) and rarely miss a night of practice. I try one lesson book, then read something on this forum, or somewhere else, think hay.. that's the way to go and then start off in a different direction. What I have done lately is go back to my "Blues You Can Use" book,which I have already gone through completely, and started all over from the beginning. Sometimes I find references to "Pattern 3" and realize that it is what I learned as "Pattern 1". I'm getting a little frustrated... I was wondering if this is going to work or should I just break down and go for the lessons.

Thanks.
Last edited by Golfxzq on Sun May 16, 2010 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
- Henry Ford

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MojoJim
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by MojoJim »

Hi Golfxzq,
I'm (maybe) a few months ahead of you in learning - not much really. I've debated the same question the whole time I've been studying. My best answer (to myself) is that I would almost certainly be farther along - at least with the basics - if I had a teacher pushing me. The other part of the answer is that I'm too old and too onery to buckle down to the discpline of a teacher. I don't want to be on the hook for memorizing the G major pentatonic scale by next Tuesday at 4:00. But I do think that if I could find the right teacher who could work with me on what I want to learn - but at the same time guide me on what I need to learn - it would definitely be worth the time and money. So far I haven't been up for the trial and error effort of the search for the perfect teacher.

I do the same thing you do. I've bought a lot of instructional materials. I work on something for a while and then switch to something else when I get frustrated - or bored. Some days I want the gritty blues sound of BlindBoy so I work on that. The next day I want the slow emotional sound of HBL or VB so I work on that. Then I want the finger-picking Piedmont sound of Stefan Grossman so I work on that. Then I go back to basics for awhile. I kind of figure that as long as I'm learning something I'm making some kind of progress. But I can see that it really lacks direction.

The best thing that has worked as motivation for me has been to set a specific goal and work to achieve it. My big goal was to post something around the one year mark. A number of people had posted around one year and it was something I could measure myself against. Man, I can't tell you how many hours that took. Many nights I finally went off to bed at 4:00 AM. But I was so pleased and satisfied when I finally made that posting. It wasn't great music or great playing - but it wasn't embarrassing either. It was OK for a guy playing for a year. And it felt really, really good.

My current goal is to learn to keep up rhythm playing while doing intros, turnarounds, chord transitions and some lead licks. I'm using the Malted MIlk material on this site as well as YouTube videos from deltabluestips and tab found on the web. If I can learn that it will actually sound like I'm playing a real song.

So I decided that ratcheting along was the best strategy. After all, that's what a teacher does for you. Makes you learn a lesson so thoroughly that you have it in your pocket forever. So I hope to move forward in some discrete step and put a stake in the ground. Then move forward again - put always have some specific and concrete measure of my progress. That's my current substitute for a teacher.

I'll be interested in seeing what you finally conclude - it's a really good question.
Last edited by MojoJim on Sun May 16, 2010 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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VikingBlues
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by VikingBlues »

I had wondered about lessons but the journey time, the fitting everything around the weekly schedule, and the meories of how much of a bind it was sometimes several years ago when I took classical guitar lessons was stopping me taking the plunge. :think:

I too surrounded myself with books and CDs and, yes at least one dowload a zillion lessons for a specially reduced price. :wall:

I did find a sort of halfway house that has worked very well for me. There's an instructional site - Jamplay.com that I joined - they have several blues guitar teachers and for $20 a month you can look at as many of the video lessons as you want, which is pretty good value compared to the cost of weekly local lessons. Each instructor has a forum where you can post queries and get replies. There are live instruction lessons where you can ask questions as the lesson is in progress.

There are Phase I beginner lessons, Phase 2 Genre lessons, Phase 3 Learning Songs. On the blues front there are currently 14 Electric Blues lessons with Kenny "Blue" Ray, 4 Fingerstyle Blues lessons with Orville Johnson, 20 Fingerstyle Blues lessons with Mary Flower, 47 Electric Blues lessons with Eric Madis (he has a nice Gibson semi), 45 blues lessons with D J Phillips, and a lesson set from Michael "Hawkeye" Herman now nearly 100 lessons and although acoustic guitar is his thing I have found it of huge value to my progress. His enthusiasm has kept making me come back for more. :banana:

I'm pretty sure from what you've said Golfxzq that you'd be able to dive into Hawkeye's lessons straight away without needing the beginners section. He doesn't swamp you in theory - he learnt the blues from meeting and playing with some of the old time "real" blues players and he teaches in the same way. Then if you want theory other teachers like Eric Madis do lessons on modes etc. Hawkeye is particularly good at answering questions from his pupils - very detailed and comprehensive answers which he fits in somehow with a tour schedule, making CDs and teaching in U S schools.

Then there's Jazz, Classical, Country, Rock, Bluegrass, Metal, Fingerstyle if you want distractions, plus backing tracks with suggestions for scales to play. Etc.

I don't want this to sound like an advert but I thought I should give a bit of detail to give a proper flavour of the site. Might be worth a look. :icon_whoknows: :D
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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weelie
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by weelie »

I've had a few teachers (none in the very first years of my playing). Learned something from everybody. One was a jazz cat, he taught me jazz chords, one was very educated, all classes where in standard notation, one just had me play the blues with him, one I just wanted to talk to cause I love his playing (live and on records I have). Anyway, since then I've been on a band course. I think that has thought me the most. Even though I've played bass a lot, not always guitar, and the music is not my kinda stuff, just basic rock. So I think playing together with somebody is one of the two most important things, the other being able to play what you hear (in your head). Anyway, my point being that the private teacher is good, if the teacher is good fit for you (you need to tell them what you want, though), but still the learning you do elsewhere, as you need to practice the lessons...

Anyway, I am lazy. I have a pile of books, WAY too many. Learned something from every one of them, but none have I really gone through 100%. My time / meter was always a mess, and I could not play together with other, nor did I really practice to records or a metronome beat, to fix it. Now I have the loop pedal, so I basically only play to drum beat, to fix this. Also immediately hear how I sound like. The loop pedal is the best thing going for me currently.

I think it's vital to know what your goals are. I never was any good at that. Last year I did a blog for a while (see below), haven't felt like writing to it now. Anyway, just picked a fave artist and tried to learn to play his stuff by ear (I did like 40-50 songs like this, each one in one or two sittings, but with help of Transcribe! software. No I didn't learn to perform the songs, really, as I haven't really played them since, but, I just learned the chords and some part of intros or solos). The blog was a good learning tool for me, getting me focus on something of limited scope. And dropping all tab and books was a great way to get closer to what I want to sound like.

One thing I also enjoyed was playing solos on some other guy's original singer-songwriter songs. I have to try to find the feel of the song, evoke some of the melody of the song in the solo etc. Here's one where I played the solo to my friend's demo (he lives thousands of miles away): http://www.box.net/shared/pmiyk18o9n
(This solo is FAR from perfect, but I am learning... :D )

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Strummer07
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by Strummer07 »

Golfxzq wrote:I just don't feel like I am getting to where I want to go... the path is beginning to thicken and grow over with ugly weeds and dark overgrowth. I fear that I am loosing my way.
Hi Golfxzq ....Firstly I would have to say for someone who has only been playing 10 months you seem to be doing really well
2nd ... You mention your 13 yr old granson a fair bit, .......I would just point out that whilst that is lovely to have the pair of you learning and growing in a common hobby ....you aint in a competition !! 13 year olds learn amazingly fast and have youth and dexterous fingers on their side. Speaking purely for myself , I have to coax these 60 yr old digits to do anything new........and it takes time.....and being a Granfather to a 13 year old..........you have to be a 'senior'

Your 2nd note shows clearly that you know what you are in this for and have a clear goal.
Your first post indicates you are feeling a bit 'lost'

For me that is where lessons come in real handy. A good teacher............, (( and I would suggest 1;1 not group classes ( I've tried both ) is a real godsend.))

...........can offer encouragment, motivation, feedback, correct your errors .dead easy playing on your own to pick up all sorts of fundemental errors ,fingering wise rhythm/ timing wise/ posture wise and so much more ......you won't get any of that from a book or a dvd.
They should and I'm sure , will challenge and stretch you and give you a sense of discipline. Help you learn the right piece , play rhythm while you play lead and vice versa. bring boring old scales and repetitive routines alive a bit.

I have tons of books/ cd's / dvd's ( all bought looking for the easy way, the holy guitar grail or the quick fix.or all of 'em !! .and it doesn't happen like that...........sorry) I've also tried the on line route and it does not work for me .............However, If you live in the woods or the outback it might be the only option mind.

I wouldn't want to drive much more than 30 minutes to get to a decent teacher

Everyone learns slightly differently , so what will work for you may not work for others , so to an extent you gotta find what works best for you ....But a decent teacher should be able to help you no end . Way better IMO than dvd's .easy to get it wrong and no feeedback

Choose you teacher carefully, interview them , take a trial lesson ................ You want Blues and I sense Electric guitar , so find someone who knows about that stuff, not an Acoustic Classical teacher .. sounds obvious, but I have got it wrong in the past .teachers will claim to be able to do all styles.............at 13-17 year old level , maybe they can .....not for a more discerning older learner.
Be clear with him or her what it is you want from lessons .again clear goals help.
Choose the pieces of music you want to work on together , A teacher I was going to a while back stated me off on Gary Moores "Parisienne Walkways".... .good piece of music ...but I had no busting desire to play it !! ( still don't !!) ...........so I lost motivation pretty quick .. also it way way too challenging for me at that time.

I gave up lessons about 12 mnths back .but oddly have a lesson booked for this Friday as I felt I was getting 'lost' again ..and not making the progress that I feel I ought.

I've got a couple of pieces of music I want to work on
I have a goal
and I am also clear that I am quite happy to have a lesson every other week. Almost all the teachers I have seen - seem to want a weekly thing going on ( fine for them , secured weekly income) I am quite happy with the bi weekly thing .it gives me time to practise properly .......( I am pretty hopless at disciplined practise)

I am also clear that it will be for 3-6 months and then I'll take a review of where I am ...maybe I'll go it alone a bit after that.

So, as a remedy for feeling a bit lost , ..................I can recommend a good teacher!!

I also believe that music is something to make with others, being constantly on your own , locked away up there in your study (nice though it is) and playing to possums ( or whatever wee creature frequents you back garden) ...................won't bring out the best in you.

Good luck in your tutor quest. :thumbsup:
"Death is just a heartbeat away"
lyric from "Out in The Fields"
Gary Moore 1952-2011

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Blindboy
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by Blindboy »

Strummer07 wrote: I also believe that music is something to make with others, being constantly on your own , locked away up there in your study (nice though it is) and playing to possums ( or whatever wee creature frequents you back garden) ...................won't bring out the best in you.

Good luck in your tutor quest. :thumbsup:
Strummer makes some good points, and this is one of them. A decent teacher could help you over your current "hump" (sounds like you are experiencing the dreaded "hump"). This is a common phenomena that all players go through. :wall:
Another option is to find another guitar player who is at about your level or slightly better to jam/practice with. Trading rythm and lead, sharing licks and ideas, and mutual encouragement can move you along as well as a formal teacher (sometimes), without the pressure of deadlines and expectations.
Most critical, remember that music is supposed to be fun.
Good luck!
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

bluesinbflat
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by bluesinbflat »

Golfxzq wrote: What I would like to do is be able to pick up my guitar, play along with a few friends, improvise a little and have fun.
So the question is: Then what's holding you back? I read your reply and I believe you already know how to get to where you want but in your own words don't want to do the work.

Golfxzq wrote:I hear many of the more experienced players on this forum posting great sounding songs in the Blues Room and participating in the colabs. That is where I would like to be someday and I know it is going to take a long time to get there.
Don't worry so much about how long it takes and just participate in a collab or you could start one if you don't see one and that's how you'll get better - More playing, not just practicing.

Btw, listen to blues more often, and not just to blues guitarists....The more exposure you have to the music the more sound you stuff into your head.

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Golfxzq
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by Golfxzq »

:yikes: Oh My Gosh !!! I expected a few replies like... "I think lessons help", or "here is what I did", or "buy this book"... but I had NO IDEA that I would get such super advise. I just don't know where to begin to thank each of you... if I quoted each and replied to each I believe I would run out of broadband width.

Let me address a few without "quotes" and please excuse me if I miss someone or something... believe me, I have absorbed each and every bit of information.

MoJo Jim.. once you said that you were "following" another poster on this forum. I feel that I am (trying) to follow in your foot steps. Thanks for the great advise. I have noticed before that you are very goal oriented. You probably noticed from my first post (12:45 a.m. my time) that I was getting very frustrated. I have set certain goals and did not seem to be reaching them. I like your goal of posting to the Blues Room at the one year mark. I have tried several times to record my playing along with a BT. It sounded OK to me in the headphones as I played but when I played back the recording it just sounded very "amateurish". Hmmmm... maybe because I am? I just could not bring myself to put that out for everyone to hear. Thanks for the advice, I will try to set more specific goals and strive for them.

VB... I have checked out JamPlay. Looks like a really great resource. I can't say that I do not have time for lessons or for practice... I retired in April of 2009. But then again, retirement is a pretty busy time of your life... doing things you like instead of things you have to do. Still... I like the thought of having professional instructors at hand whenever I want it and in the convenience of my own home.

Weelie... I once had a professor (back in the old, old, days of analog) who said "Engineers are basically lazy because they are always looking for an easier way to do things". Maybe part of my problem, too lazy to grind it out. I started learning to play golf at the age of 40 and I am now 62 and still am no "expert" although I am to the point where I can play well with others and really enjoy the game. Guitar is the same... no short cuts. You mentioned the "Goal" word again, must be a real key.

Strummer07... Thank you for all the information. You are correct, sometimes I feel beyond the senior level. You may have noticed that my grandson and I are very close, but no competition... no way I could keep up with him. When my grandson started and a couple of months later I started I read that if you are over 30 it will take about three or four times longer to "get it" than the youngsters. So I guess with me being 62 it will take me six or eight times longer??? Could be. I am very fortunate that I live close to Nashville, TN, so there is no shortage of music instructors around here (and they are not all country). I have found an instructor with a studio not more than 10 minutes from my home, so the commute will not be a problem. I spoke to him, casually, when I was signing my grandson up for a summer music camp. He said that he had a few "mature" students and when I told him I was interested in Blues he said that was his specialty. Could be a possibility. Thanks for the advise on timing also... this instructor said that he could do a one hour lesson twice each month if I wanted. He usually does the kids each week for 30 min. I really like your idea of a trial lesson and with the understanding that I may only take for six months. That way I won't be locked in for the long term.

Blindboy... You are right... just on the cusp of the hump, it seems insurmountable. Sounds like an instructor may be able to help me up the hill.

Bluesinbflat... Though Love??? Thanks for the push, I really needed it. Also, thanks for the reminder to listen to more blues. I have heard this before but have not really gotten into it in a big way. I have been recently researching the roots of my home town. I grew up in a very small town in Mississippi; Belzoni. I have recently learned that it is the home of a couple of successful old-time blues singers... Pinetop Perkins, Denise LaSalle, and Sonny Boy Williamson. An the famous BB King grew up just down the road in a nearby town.
Check them out...
http://www.msbluestrail.org/_webapp_218 ... op_Perkins
http://www.msbluestrail.org/_webapp_272 ... se_LaSalle
http://blues.goodbarry.com/_webapp_2188 ... Williamson

[youtube]_CFWDyF0t3I[/youtube]

I am trying to listen to more of their music.

All in all, it seems that maybe I should seek some sort of professional help (my wife has said I needed it for years). Either live and in person or using JamPlay, I may do both. A couple of key points that I have gotten out of this discussion... 1) set a goal and 2) get together with other players. Since my grandson is the only other guitar player that I know right now, and he is also a beginner, I think an instructor would give me that same sort of interaction and sharing of ideas.

Anyway... I can't thank you all enough for the help. Maybe this will get me up that "hump".
Last edited by Golfxzq on Sun May 16, 2010 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
- Henry Ford

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VikingBlues
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by VikingBlues »

Golfxzq wrote:VB... I have checked out JamPlay. Looks like a really great resource. I can't say that I do not have time for lessons or for practice... I retired in April of 2009. But then again, retirement is a pretty busy time of your life... doing things you like instead of things you have to do. Still... I like the thought of having professional instructors at hand whenever I want it and in the convenience of my own home.
This was ideal for me because I would have at least 45 minutes each way of travel for lessons and couldn't stetch the budget to a lessons every week. BUT...
Golfxzq wrote:I have found an instructor with a studio not more than 10 minutes from my home, so the commute will not be a problem. I spoke to him, casually, when I was signing my grandson up for a summer music camp. He said that he had a few "mature" students and when I told him I was interested in Blues he said that was his specialty. Could be a possibility. Thanks for the advise on timing also... this instructor said that he could do a one hour lesson twice each month if I wanted.
That sounds a great possibilty. i think if I'd had this as an option when I was deciding what to do on lessons I would probably have tried it first, but if I had the knowledge back then of JamPlay that I have now I'm not sure which option I would have gone for.
Golfxzq wrote:All in all, it seems that maybe I should seek some sort of professional help (my wife has said I needed it for years). Either live and in person or using JamPlay, I may do both.
Then of course that's a good option too!

Good luck with whatever you decide. I'm sure it will help. :thumbsup:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

bluesinbflat
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by bluesinbflat »

Golfxzq wrote: Bluesinbflat... Though Love??? Thanks for the push, I really needed it. Also, thanks for the reminder to listen to more blues. I have heard this before but have not really gotten into it in a big way. I have been recently researching the roots of my home town. I grew up in a very small town in Mississippi; Belzoni. I have recently learned that it is the home of a couple of successful old-time blues singers... Pinetop Perkins, Denise LaSalle, and Sonny Boy Williamson. An the famous BB King grew up just down the road in a nearby town.
Check them out...
http://www.msbluestrail.org/_webapp_218 ... op_Perkins
http://www.msbluestrail.org/_webapp_272 ... se_LaSalle
http://blues.goodbarry.com/_webapp_2188 ... Williamson

[youtube]_CFWDyF0t3I[/youtube]

I am trying to listen to more of their music.
That's it, just immerse yourself in the music.

Pinetop, that guy is in his 90's....Probably 100 by now as we speak, and still jamming and playing top notch blues piano....Denise LaSalle, she has performed in various venues in the SF Bay Area, where I'm from, and maybe at one time lived here, but a helluva blues vocalist.....And Sonny Boy Williamson, what can I say, a great blues performer whose music have been widely covered to this day - They don't put out blues folks like him anymore. Thanks for those links Golfxzq.

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MojoJim
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by MojoJim »

I've read all the arguments and they have caused me to change my mind. I believe I should add some sort of social element to learning blues. Maybe a teacher, maybe blues jams, maybe a buddy....I'm not sure. But I'm going to start looking around. I'm now convinced that something as social as music needs to be pursued (at least partially) in a social environment. That feels right.

Plus, it's a lazy thing to just sit in my den and play only what is easy and when it's totally convenient. Also, the possums never gave me proper attention or appreciation.

BTW, Pinetop Perkins now lives in Austin - just down the road from my little town of Round Rock. I think Jimmy Vaughn, Marcia Ball and some of the other Austin blues musicians invited him down here when he got older and needed some care. He still plays around town fairly often. He's a treasure.

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MojoJim
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by MojoJim »

Well, once I decide something I'm all action.

I decided to get out of the house and find a new audience. To heck with the possums! :haha:

Here's a picture of me playing to my new audience........


Playing blues.jpg
Playing blues.jpg (38.52 KiB) Viewed 16142 times
Actually, I'm serious about finding new ways to learn. I just happen to find that picture after I made the last post - and I thought it fit. :whistle: :wink:

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weelie
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by weelie »

Thanks for that Pinetop vid. :) I do love blues played on multitude of instruments, the guitar isn't the be and end of it all. I sometimes try to cop something off my fave clarinet or sax players (like George Lewis, Prez etc). Haven't actually ever tried to learn from piano playing, though, even though I did some ragtime fingerstyle a few years ago, etc, I just never related to piano.

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12bar
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by 12bar »

[from exile]
Lessons are a very personal thing IMHO. Some people can learn a lot from a GOOD teacher, while others will loose their interest when learning all fretboard notes until tomorrow 7 pm.

If you choose to stay self taught, you need a lot of discipline if you want to step forward. You know what chords you have to learn (and there are many), but nobody controls it so there's always the danger of getting lazy. Working through a book (or website :big_smile: ) with at least a minimal schedule (1 page per day or something) is one way to overcome this. The other way is the social thing - getting a band or another player so you have to learn a song until the next gig. I'm self taught and I know a lot of things I should practice - so I'm a bit too lazy (and too busy) to get really better. Currently there's no progress, but this will change, hopefully. The collabs here are a good way to get some "pressure" :whistle: .

Bluesidae
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by Bluesidae »

I have been playing for about 6 years. Similar to others, I picked up the guitar when my son started to learn to play. Over this period of time, I think that I have made some pretty good progress. A couple of things that have worked:
1. Lessons - I had a couple of excellent instructors. They allowed me to work at my own pace and taught me scales, chords, riffs, songs. I must admit that I often thought that the elements that I was being taught were of little interest/use to me. I just stored them in my musical toolbox. Now I find myself using some of the elements that I was taught 6 years ago. Overall I recommend lessons.
2. Books/internet - these are awesome resources.
3. Playing along with CD's - I have spent hours playing along with CD's and it has helped my development (particularly my timing and following chord changes).
4. Loopers - I have a Jamman, but any looper will help you, particularly with playing leads. I lay down a 12 bar groove and then play leads over this.
5. Immerse yourself in blues! Since starting to play guitar my Blues CD collection has grown. I also subscribe to Sirius Radio. I have spent time learning about various blues artists/styles and Blues history.

hope this helps.

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Golfxzq
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Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by Golfxzq »

Bluesidae wrote:hope this helps.
That helps TREMENDOUSLY... thank you for the great summary. I think your post pretty much maps out what I need to do and also agrees with all the other great suggestions. By doing these things along with setting specific goals should help lead me out of the wilderness.

Thanks again...
"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
- Henry Ford

davidvg
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 8:58 am

Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by davidvg »

I'm at the same situation as you are. I've been playing guitar for almost 2 years (I mean studying guitar and music, not just picking notes) and sometimes I feel I'm stuck and I get no improvement. Really stuck, you know; the kind of days you would throw your guitar through a fifteenth story window.
I have knowledge, skills, and my teacher always tells me I play better than other guys he has been teaching for 5 or more years. But I find it hard to get that feeling. Music sounds in my head. The melody is there, but I can't make it sound with the guitar. I'm still too busy trying to hit the right fret, to remember the scale pattern, so all that "noise" keeps me from hearing that music.
Nevertheless, I know it's a step in the path. And when I feel stuck I get my iPod and browse through my faves, looking for a small riff, a minimal piece of song that makes me feel good. Sometimes it's just 15 or 20 notes. It's not about the lenght, but the emotion; it's about "exorcizing" that bad mood and replacing it with a very little success that makes me feel better. And then I grab my Ibanez and try to talk to it playing that small melody, that soon leads to a small improvisation and maybe to a small good idea for a melody.
It works for me. Hope it works for anyone feeling that way.

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BadBluesPlayer
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Teach Me A Lesson

Post by BadBluesPlayer »

I never had a teacher. But I'll bet that the right teacher can really help a player make progress quickly.

My experience with self teaching was like this - it was when I was in college - like thirty five years ago:

I learned to play by listening to my favorite albums and playing along. It's the most fun way to practice. I still play along with albums at least a quarter of the time I'm practicing. I learned the chords by trial and error and then started scratching out some twangy lead notes and just learning what notes to play by experimenting. It was a slow way to learn, obviously, but there were some advantages to doing it that way. One good thing is that it's a very enjoyable way to learn. It's like playing with a band. When you mess up, the rest of the band still carries the tune and it still sounds good. It teaches you that you don't have to be playing every second of every song to sound good. in fact, you quickly realize that it sounds best when you just play along with a few riffs here and there, instead of trying to play a whole song by playing one continuous three minute lead part.

These days, you can find videos showing what scales to play, instead of finding the notes by trial and error, so if I was learning the scales now, I'd do it by looking at online videos.

I also learned to play alot with my cousin, who was learning to play piano by ear at the time. We had a fun time playing together and learning together. Like somebody said before here, if you learn with somebody else, it's alot of fun. You can swap off the rhythm and lead parts and it sounds like real music.

I think playing along with your favorite tunes has to be part of every student's learning experience. It gets those endorphins going. I'll play along with the entire Allman Bros. Fillmore album and before you know it, I've played for like an hour without even realizing it.

:bb:

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