I must confess, as a musician I'm a failure.

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Matthews Guitars, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ----------------------------- Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Ha!, you're damned straight on that bro! I Try, I really really try. It's hard to keep up hourly let alone daily, the sh!t storm that's coming upon us right now. :yesway:
     
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  2. Sustainium

    Sustainium Well-Known Member

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    Just remember to keep yer head down and yer powder dry. :p
     
  3. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ----------------------------- Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Frickin' A. It just might be coming to that, and sooner than I think.
     
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  4. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    That's totally off topic. Let's dispose with that sort of stuff, please. I do have an opinion on that but NOT HERE I don't!
     
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  5. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    I do that with cover songs...ive learned so many through the years but once a band splits I forget them....to me covers are the " work" part of music. I really only learn songs to play to make a buck seldomly will I learn a song for me.....ill mostly grab a few techniques or licks from a favorite player throw um in the bag of tricks and move on.
    Constructing songs and practicing leads is my fun.....
    Now as far as drawing blank when you go to sit down to play...sometimes ya gotta force yourself to play...then the blood works it's way up there and ya start jamming.....i try to get at least some practice every day...sonetimes I play for hours sometimes I don't feel it and I'm distracted in the head....but if I keep at it it starts to flow.
     
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  6. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Matthews, what is it that you ultimately want to be able to do? Retain other people's songs? Chord progressions and lines? Or something else? Improvising on the spot?

    I'm something of a hack myself, but I create on the fly often on a daily basis, within my limitations and trying to stretch them little by little. The burning interest for me in playing is playing, in the same sense of a kid on a playground using his imagination, NOT stepping through a sequence of mechanical motions. The creative endeavor of messing around with this and that, having fun with it, aiming to play things that make me feel something (like improvising a role in a theater play), pushing things a little here and there, not getting too caught up in formal theory and what some people call practice. Practice what? Practice practicing? When solid things come out of playing, that is just a bonus. But all things start out simple, and playing with them over repeated visits yields more complex and interesting things. And some days I couldn't play my way out of a wet paper bag. I'm not feeling it. I get bored. But some days magic happens. And my main fuel for playing is listening to music that inspires me. Half just listening and getting inspired to grab my guitar and play. The rest playing. When I'm not inspired, I don't play well. It's like when you were a kid playing with other kids. Playing with some kids was more fun and inspiring and creative. Listening to music is like joining in with the other inspiring kids. But I often have to find the music that is inspiring, today.

    So then, what would be your overarching success as a musician? Mine is happening almost every day, just enjoying the act of listening AND playing. And maybe today I'll find a new chord change, line, or a couple of notes for adding to the daily endeavor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
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  7. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Matthews, what music have you listened to today that inspired you to pick up your guitar? I listened to this early morning.

     
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  8. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    By the way, I wish I had your sort of chops with electronics and guitars. Cool stuff to know for sure.
     
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  9. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    If this doesn't get you moving and chewing on lyrics, nothing will.



    "Blue as a robbin egg, brown as a hog". Ba bum ba bum ba bum...

    Hella playful. He keeps many filing cabinets of words, phrases, articles as they come up and resonate. Not a bad way to gather material for building.

     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
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  10. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

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    As a musician, any kind of musician, as soon as you stop thinking you suck, and you don't ever need to work, improve or grow, you've become Yngwie.
     
  11. ido1957

    ido1957 Active Member

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    If you practice religiously, you will improve. It has to be a driving passion, not a passing interest.
     
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  12. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    That last comment is absolutely true. Improvement takes dedication. Just visiting the gym once a month won't make you stronger, but a few hard workouts a week will work wonders.

    What I want to be able to do is have a strong enough grasp on music that if someone says "A minor blues, take a solo" then I should know the A minor blues scale and be able to solo on it. I want to also know without having to think much about it, that the diatonic chords of A minor are Amin, Bdim, Cmaj, Dmin, Emin, Fmaj, Gmaj, and the I, IV, V are Amin, Dmin, Emin, which I had to just look up. And if we do a I-VI-IV-V, know that the VI is Fmaj.

    I want to get the theory and practice down to the point that I know what chords to play in a given progression and key and solo on it.

    And I'm working on it. I'm developing my own diatonic chord lessons for each key and starting to connect them up with chord voicings in multiple locations on the neck.
    I'm also working on note identification (play any fretted note and figure it out by hearing the pitch, and I'm doing better on that than I might have expected) and also
    teaching myself to see where the notes are on the fretboard. "Where are all the C#s in the fifth position up to the 10th fret?"
     
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  13. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    Never pinpoint one thing and call yourself a failure.

    Most have talents at least at one thing or more.

    I can play if I attempt to play. The problem is I never spend enough time with that specific task because I have always had other things to do and give concentration.
    I have not seriously tried to play in like 15 years or so. Shit I have not really played in a half dozen years or more. If I devoted all my time to it though I expect I could recover.
     
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  14. JParry335

    JParry335 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Vin! I think this is the most profound statement you have ever uttered! You have made my day. Dig this.
     
  15. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you might have a good idea about how to get where you want to be. But going at it from a pure theory approach gets dull, you have to make yourself do it, and it becomes a drudge. The hardest and most important aspect is learning to let your ears lead you around. Then theory can become really helpful, connecting your ears to your head and hands. You can learn all your scales, chord scales, chord functions, in all keys, etc. forward and backward with your head and hands, but it's not making music until your ears are doing the leading and you are feeling what you're playing, just like the music that you listen to. That is a matter of being inspired by lots of listening, playing often, and developing over time your taste of what you want to hear. I look at like this: It's an awful lot like learning how to speak. You were immersed in an environment where everyone is speaking, and you begin picking up on it all and doing it too. But you had to be immersed in it to learn. At first you just made expressive noises. Then you mimicked words and developed something of an understanding of the meanings of words. Then longer phrases, and so forth. By the time you were beginning to study language, learning the alphabet, isolating phonics, connecting those to written words, and reading sentences, you were already expressively communicating to a relatively high degree. Playing music is alot like that. Theory is good stuff, but don't let it get in the way and eat up your time for playing music. Learning to speak expressively and getting your ears leading you around should be the first priority.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  16. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Part of my issue is one of musical isolation, so to speak. I don't have any friends who are also musicians of any level. They're just not into that. So I don't have friends to jam and practice with. That's an issue, for sure. And it's not like I can afford to just buy out my guitar teacher's lesson schedule and jam with HIM all day!
     
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  17. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    Wait, you have a guitar teacher and everything?

    I never needed anyone to learn anything. I may share with them but never actually needed them.
     
  18. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    You should ask your teacher about other students. A young guy here that I talked to recently is taking lessons, and he said that his teacher hooks his students up with each other for jamming and practicing and regularly hosts get togethers for playing. He seemed to really enjoy that aspect of taking lessons.

    When I was kid just picking up the guitar, I met other kids at school who were learning to play too. And my older brother met some guys at work who had a band and needed another guitar player. That was all good stuff for learning. I see people post ads on craigslist and facebook sometimes looking for people to play with. When I trade gear locally, I always talk to the people involved to find out what they are doing musically, just to help in knowing who is who and what is going on locally. If I were looking for people to play with right now, that could be a good way to find people, just going and checking out other people's gear, talking to people coming to check out my gear, letting them know that I'm looking for other people to play with. Everyone knows someone else, and most people I have met are up for chatting about local music stuff. Once you meet a person or two into music locally, they know other people, who know other people, and it's not hard to find people to play with. When I was younger, I used to have people I never met stop by and talk and play, just by word of mouth because I liked to play with different people. Talk to people and pass on your number wherever the opportunity arises.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  19. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    And singing can be uber helpful for developing a general sense of musicality. Even if it's just in the car during a daily commute (where no one can hear you start off from really bad toward decently competent). If you don't commute, take a drive. Find stuff that is in your current pitch range and moves you. After you get a little confidence in your pitch (over time), turn the stereo down low so you can hear yourself well over the music and get expressive. Think of what you are singing as if you are an actor. You'll get better at expressing it that way. And as you find songs that you can work with, add them to a playlist and revisit them regularly. Then turn off the stereo once in a while and go at it solo and play with it. Explore your voice. Sing loud, soft, big bass, thin, nasally, from the throat, clean as you can, with some dirt in your voice. Try and copy other people's timbre, and try and come up with your own. Change the words, improvise some, change the key. Be playful. Gaining some minimal competence at singing can be a big help in developing some musicality, and you can do it in spare time that would have been wasted otherwise. That's how I did it (and still do), driving to work and back home every day, just 15-20 minutes each way. And it has helped my ears alot in finding things on the fretboard. Just have to get over that little nagging naysayer. But after a while he leaves for good. Am I great singer? Nope. But what I can hear in my head and sing, I can work out on the guitar in little time. And I can often vocalize much more interesting and musical stuff than I can on the guitar alone, humming or singing while I'm moving around with some chords. And that stuff I find with my voice can be used as embellishments to the chords or lines inbetween. Musical stuff from listening to music and getting involved with it. Not scale sequences. These days, I'll belt stuff out to the beat of the blinker. Sometimes a bassline, or some dunt dunt dunt chords, or a melody, or whatever. Or improvise lyrics according to what I'm seeing along the road. Playfulness. That's where creativity comes from, I think.

    Like my old uncle used to say to people: You scared, you worried, you nervous? You want to get in my pocket?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  20. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    And VH and Vai and Satch and...........................
     
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