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Learning & Becoming Better as Guitarist

 
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leicaboss
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Joined: 25 Apr 2014
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Learning & Becoming Better as Guitarist Reply with quote

Hey all,

I was hoping you could all help me decide on a method of getting better at guitar. If I'll be totally honest, I've been playing on and off for many, many years now. Over the course of many years, I've moved, studied, and worked all around the states (and even internationally!). That being said, I couldn't always find time or connect with people who enjoyed playing - wasn't very motivated at all.

I'm finally starting to "settle down" in San Francisco and just bought one of my all-time favorite guitars, a '62 Fender Jaguar 1999 AVRI. After buying the guitar, I felt I didn't even deserve one!

Long story short, I feel that things I can do pretty well include:
    The dynamics
    The overall feel of a song
    Not too bad with fingerpicking and overall dexterity


Things I would love to learn, or get better at:
    Being able to play things that I can "imagine" or "hum" to
    Understanding theory from the ground-up (I learned piano and some other instruments ages ago, but have since forgotten all the basics)
    Sheet music as opposed to tabs (tabs I had been relying on too much)
    Ability to branch off into various genres, particularly jazz (I like genres like post-punk, post-rock, etc)

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded post. I could really use some help and inspiration... I really just want to be proficient as far as theory goes and navigating the fretboard with ease. I really appreciate any comments or leads people have as far as resources or even teachers go. Practice techniques, all that is welcome Rolling Eyes
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mixtape
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Joined: 04 Feb 2012
Posts: 678
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, welcome to the forum. I'm a longtime off-and-on player trying to get more disciplined too, so I hear you. Everyone else will likely tell you "practice," and I will too. But another thing that's helped me a lot since I started hanging around shortscale is recording songs for the compilations, especially covers. Having to sit down and learn, then record, every part of somebody else's song from top to bottom is an excellent exercise: aside from just improving my chops, it's taught me a ton about songwriting and arranging, and it's a great way to start working yourself out of a stylistic rut. Right now we've got a Beatles comp in progress over in the Pub; submission deadline is May 5. Pick a song (or part of a song--there are a lot of very versatile musicians here who'd be glad to jump in and play whatever instruments you don't), and join the fun.

To brush up on your theory, you might try these.
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leicaboss
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Joined: 25 Apr 2014
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mixtape wrote:
First, welcome to the forum. I'm a longtime off-and-on player trying to get more disciplined too, so I hear you. Everyone else will likely tell you "practice," and I will too. But another thing that's helped me a lot since I started hanging around shortscale is recording songs for the compilations, especially covers. Having to sit down and learn, then record, every part of somebody else's song from top to bottom is an excellent exercise: aside from just improving my chops, it's taught me a ton about songwriting and arranging, and it's a great way to start working yourself out of a stylistic rut. Right now we've got a Beatles comp in progress over in the Pub; submission deadline is May 5. Pick a song (or part of a song--there are a lot of very versatile musicians here who'd be glad to jump in and play whatever instruments you don't), and join the fun.

To brush up on your theory, you might try these.


Hey! Thanks for the reply and welcome Smile I'm happy to be here with fellow short scale owners (there seems to be far more JM love over at OSG forum).

Yeah, I mean "practice makes perfect" is always a good "strategy" but in my case, I don't even know where to start and what to practice. I think it's a good point you bring about covering. I guess I was too prideful as far as avoiding covering too many people - but that's not very smart, definitely a lot to be learned out there.

Any other suggestions as far as brushing up on techniques/theory? The site you linked is awesome! Laughing
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gusman2x
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Joined: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 3317
Location: Manchester U.K.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Play with others, it genuinely is the best experience you can give yourself. Playing 4 chords on an electric guitar in your bedroom sucks, and sounds bad. But those 4 chords with a bassist, drummer, and a singer? We'll you've just become a rock star!

It helps your ears so much too, and the constant playing (and improving) doesn't feel like practice.

Welcome too Smile
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Beau
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Joined: 31 Dec 2013
Posts: 1920
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along with the other advice given, this book series has helped me tremendously.

http://www.skepticalguitarist.com/skeptbooks/volume1.htm
http://www.skepticalguitarist.com/jazz/jazz.htm
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