growth/evolution as a guitarist

Discussion in 'Lessons & Techniques' started by AngusMadeMeDoIt, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. AngusMadeMeDoIt

    AngusMadeMeDoIt Well-Known Member

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    As we gain experience or growth as a guitarist, our style may change or even our way of thinking. What is the biggest difference between your playing ten years ago and now? If you werent playing ten years ago....what is the difference between a while back and now?
     
  2. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I honestly wish I could answer that question better. I've heard recordings of me from over 30 years ago and I play very similarly in many ways, although now I do perhaps feel more comfortable with playing stuff deliberately simply.

    Maybe that's it, as I age I get more able to say more with fewer well chosen notes. (and not always, I still go off at times!).

    Also, I think my continuity in solos is better, more unified thematically and less just stringing licks together.
     
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  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Because I came from a family of professional and liturgical musicians, I never really had to "learn" to play guitar. I was started on clarinet, but never had a feel for it. Because of genetics and my good mimicry skills, I just picked up my brother's guitar and started playing, when he went in the service.:dunno: I didn't worry about technique or method until I was about 21 and had been playing professionally for almost seven years. I went back to college and picked up several method books, Mickey Baker's being the most influential. For a remarkably long time after that, I obsessed over all the technical and stylist flaws in my playing, all the while working with and getting praise from some pretty high falutin' pros. At around age 50, I found myself losing the folks that I had been playing with and learning from at an alarming rate.In one year, I lost my agent, a life-long collaborator and friend, the drummer and rhythm guitarist I had worked with for ages and was forced after 15 years to leave the head gardener's job I loved, with the city parks and relocate in hazardous waste containment.(Thank's Mr. Sando, for the chemistry class.)
    I had a friend named Joan, who had a Julie London thing going on and wanted me and a bass player to back her up. She did not read music or have any charts. She did, however have nearly perfect pitch and memory, so what ever key the song in the juke box was in, that's the one in which she would sing it. :hmm:In the classical tradition, I followed her and found a bass player who could follow me. After a couple of sessions with her, I realised that I hadn't looked at my guitar at all, but was simply putting my fingers where the notes were. That epiphany, that my fingers and brain knew where all the notes were, made paying as easy as speaking, which I do very well. Since then, I pretty much play what I hear in my head or pick a piece of pop I like and play it how I feel it. Sometimes it comes out pretty good.:laugh2: So my advice is play about 4-6 hours a day for forty years and you'll be good!
    ;>)/
    Jeez, have I caught somethin' from Col. Mustard?:laugh2:
     
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  4. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    You were lucky - I came from the only Italian-German family in New Orleans that were not musical!

    I had to learn from outside sources, so I was very happy to have school band, private lessons, and such.
     
  5. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    I started playing in 1957 and am self taught. Got in my first band in about 1964- 65. If I go back 10 years from now, I don't see much change in how I play... nor do I see much difference in that of 20 years. Even 30 years I don't see much change. But there are two major differences in how I play now VS anytime before. First is the confidence in my playing ability. It took a while for me but I still cherish the best compliment I ever received years ago: "You know, you don't sound like anyone..." I had high respect for this individual and knew his meaning that I had my own style and sound.

    The second is finding easier ways to play the things I do along with the short cuts without sacrificing the sound. Knowing my limitations as a musician pushes me to find alternative ways to accomplish the same sound I want to achieve.

    I am not as fast as I used to be, I don't use a ton of chords I used to, and Lord knows I don't like lugging the heavy equipment around......... but I have been successful in playing in many successful bands over the years and am thankful I am still playing in 2 local groups, both of which have been around awhile. In addition, I am looking at doing solo shows which I haven't done in a number of years........ I have been blessed. :)
     
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  6. Metal89

    Metal89 Well-Known Member

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    I'm self taught as well. Nobody really taught me jack its just stuff i picked up mimicking my favorite guitarists such as Zakk Wylde For speed, Tony Iommi for riffs and some slow solo licks, and so on. I have a varied style of play but it usually revolves around metal. I think my playing didn't really evolve until I realized one day... I'm an oddball player for a metal guitarist. I don't have the speed that a lot of other people do, I just end up doing my own thing. Yes I do have some speed but I realized that playing isn't about the speed, its about the emotion. Could I cut it as a lead player? Sure but I'd be more of the Tony Iommi type with a bit of Zakk Wylde thrown in the mix here and there as stated previously. However, its worked out for me. I've had several people ask me to play lead for their rock and metal bands but, time just never permitted it. I just spend my guitar time playing to backing tracks really.

    When I came upon that realization my playing improved, sure I'll try to play some impressive fast stuff when im dorking around with a **** ton of pinched harmonics, but when it really comes down to it, I like to play emotionally with little bursts of speed here and there to flavor it up a tad. I'm perfectly content with that :)
     
  7. Vinlander

    Vinlander Member

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    My style is quite eclectic and I play by ear mostly.
    Started as a thrash metal rhythm guitarist in the mid/late 80s then got into 70s progressive rock and took some jazz lesson when my playing improved a lot.
    I still play a lot of metal mostly folk and prog metal and of course some jazz.
     
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  8. AngusMadeMeDoIt

    AngusMadeMeDoIt Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good stuff. I was having some beers with a buddy saturday and we brought up another cool question (although hardly new)

    Heart/soul vs technique?
    Obviously having both is best but what if you could only pick one or the other?

    Sometimes even though something is technically "off" like a sour bend, horrible vibrato, or a flurry of botched notes....it has conviction that makes you stop and think hey that was cool.
     
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  9. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    If it is strictly one or the other, it has to be technique. You can have all the heart and soul in the world, but if you can't play, you have nothing.

    On the other hand if you have plenty of technique, but no heart and soul, just join James Last's orchestra. You will fit in perfectly.
     
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  10. Metal89

    Metal89 Well-Known Member

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    I say heart and soul. I know nothing of music theory, only know a couple of pentatonic scales, I just play what I feel. Technique is good and all but it starts sounding the same as everyone else if all you where playing with was technique. Just my 2 cents is all :)
     
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  11. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    But the reverse is that with limited technique you also have a limited range of expression. A couple of pentatonics will sound pretty much the same after a short time too.

    Yes you need "soul" and to have something musical to say, but technique is what allows one to actually make that something a reality.

    Having technique doesn't automatically make you soulless. Just because some guys have hidden behind sheer chops and have nothing to say does not make it true for all players.

    The more you know the better off you are musically.
     
  12. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Well-Known Member

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    Here's proof of that.

    High Strung: The 25 All-Time Weirdest Guitarists | Guitar World

    In particular listen to the Hasil Adkins clip. The dissonance is intriguing.
     
  13. AngusMadeMeDoIt

    AngusMadeMeDoIt Well-Known Member

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    Sweet home alabama is in D but the solo is in G.....and hey, it worked out pretty well lol!
     
  14. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    The transcriber made a mistake! He wrote it in D, 2 #'s, but cancels all the C# to C naturals.

    Thus it is in G.

    D C G is just V IV I.

    This guy wrote it correctly in G

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. LeadFinger

    LeadFinger Well-Known Member

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    I am more picky about being in tune than I was years ago. So, like a moron I play Gibsons lol.
     
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  16. AngusMadeMeDoIt

    AngusMadeMeDoIt Well-Known Member

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    Well played dbb....well played dude.
     
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  17. AngusMadeMeDoIt

    AngusMadeMeDoIt Well-Known Member

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    I'm convinced my les paul is a teenage girl. In tune one minute outta tune the next. It has good days and bad days lmao.
     
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  18. LeadFinger

    LeadFinger Well-Known Member

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    That's a good analogy. Although mine are very heavy teenage girls. They're definitely not staying away from the Tasty Freeze, the gummi bears or the happy meals, that's for sure.
     
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  19. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok.......... You can have all the Heart and soul with limited technique and put out crap. Likewise, you can have all the technique and limited heart and soul and put out crap. So maybe there's a 3rd factor involved. We can all think of examples on both sides. Guitar Gods with tons of technique (musical knowledge) and some heart N soul (Vai?) OR Mega heart N soul with limited technique. (BB King comes to mind)

    I don't know what it's called but there is that something that is there. I hear a lot of players that can play the technical side of music and it comes across boring. The other side of the coin... I see people that try and use all their heart N soul but don't have the technique to get it across.

    I have to go with the Heart N Soul because I don't have the musical education to put some of the technique in it... but my H N S has gone a long way for me........ :)
     
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  20. AngusMadeMeDoIt

    AngusMadeMeDoIt Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree. It's tough to answer because in a perfect world both is needed.
     

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