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Old 04-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
Monkeyleg
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One step forward, one step back. What's wrong?

I've been playing guitar for a bit over a year, and I know I've improved. I'm frustrated with some things, though.

Last year I started learning to play SRV's "Pride and Joy". It was probably not a good choice for a beginner, but I figured it wouldn't hurt anything to keep having at it.

I play it anywhere from once to several times a day, every day, and have been since last year.

The problem is that, when I finally get one part of the song down pretty well, another part that I'd had down is screwed up. For example, I had the riff at the very end of the intro down pat. I could play through that at full speed without making any mistakes. As I worked on other parts of the song, and got them down, I found myself fumbling through that riff and making mistakes.

It's the same with other parts. Get one down, learn more, and the one I got down I'm now screwing up again.

Any ideas as to what it is I"m doing wrong, and why I don't seem to be moving ahead?

Thanks for any replies.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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Its just too hard for you right now. Practice your blues scales and 12 bar paterns and come back to it every now and then.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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Ever heard 'One Note Song' by Tenacious D? Work on that for awhile and come back to SRV in like 50 years.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:51 PM   #4
vayne92
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SRV is some hard stuff. I wouldn't be tackling it after a year. I agree that it's just too hard for you right now.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #5
Monkeyleg
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Is trying to play a song that's difficult harmful to progress in any way? If I understand that it's above my level, and don't allow it to demoralize me, is trying it bad?

While it's too difficult, I've learned a lot of things from trying to play it.

What I don't understand is how I can "unlearn" something that I was doing well. If I just play that one riff I mentioned, for example, I'll screw it up. That's now. Months back I played it really well.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:59 PM   #6
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^This^ SRV is hard. Especially Pride and Joy. I've been been playing for a couple years and won't try that for a while yet.

It's not that you're unlearning things, it's that your brain isn't quite ready to process all that yet.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyleg
Is trying to play a song that's difficult harmful to progress in any way? If I understand that it's above my level, and don't allow it to demoralize me, is trying it bad?

While it's too difficult, I've learned a lot of things from trying to play it.

What I don't understand is how I can "unlearn" something that I was doing well. If I just play that one riff I mentioned, for example, I'll screw it up. That's now. Months back I played it really well.


Quite the opposite, in fact, it's the most fun way to improve your ability, however, so many new players just cheat and take shortcuts when faced with a difficult song, so they play sloppily, and that does hinder your playing. If you make sure you're tackling the song with the right technique and you're getting everything clean, you can't go wrong. Now, as for unlearning, are you practicing the parts you got perfectly while practicing the new parts? If you play the riff perfectly once a day, you shouldn't unlearn it, but what I'd recommend is looking at it critically, what technique does that riff need? Maybe the technique it relies on is getting weaker.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. At one point I could pretty much play the song through, but sloppily. I then decided to go back and concentrate on technique, so that it was done right.

It may be that I'm concentrating on one riff or a couple of bars and the other ones I'm neglecting. Don't know. I'll have to watch that.

As long as it doesn't hurt my progress, I'll keep trying. Every time I finish with only a handful mistakes, I feel better. Doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Once I get to being able to consistently play with few mistakes, I'll try to go faster.

Some of all this could be age, too. (62). My fingers just don't move like they used to.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Monkeyleg
Some of all this could be age, too. (62). My fingers just don't move like they used to.


You try telling that to John McLaughlin and Allan Holdsworth!
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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You try telling that to John McLaughlin and Allan Holdsworth!


Oh, I know. But they didn't start playing when they were 61. They've been working and training those muscles all their lives.

Take my advice. Don't get old.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:14 PM   #11
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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Originally Posted by Monkeyleg
Take my advice. Don't get old.


Oh I'm working on that... it's not going very well.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:06 AM   #12
N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
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I saw a video of Les Paul playing at around 90 years of age. What a guy.
Just keep at it buddy, guitar is very technical and requires a lot if practice, especially to play at the level of SRV.
I agree that setting your sights high like this is a great way to improve
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