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Old 09-03-2012, 01:20 AM   #1
dannydawiz
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Is it Bad...

That I can't play any songs all the way through?

I was just barely thinking about how many songs I can play and even though I've been playing for exactly 3 years I cannot play one song all the way through from beginning to end.

If you told me to play a scale, chord, arpeggio, or a chord progression in the key of X I can play it but It's been awhile since I've played a full song that I've really enjoyed. I get friends and family that laugh at me because whenever they tell me to play a song I freeze up. I can sound out most things that I hear at a reasonable pace but even so I forget the songs that I learn fairly quickly because the only songs that I can learn are ones that are boring to me.

The thing is that the majority of the songs that I wish to play are way to technically demanding for me to play them from beginning to end. I know a lot of bits of pieces from songs that I wish to play but I usually get stuck at a part that is far out of my reach.

With that being said is this something that is uncommon among guitar players? Im really starting to question whether this is something that is completely out of the ordinary.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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Yes and no. It is perfectly common for players to only know parts of a song without playing the whole thing, but the fact that you say you have been playing for 3 years is what throws me off a bit. Do you play everyday, a small bit each day, or just on and off for 3 years? This matters a lot. If it were the last one, I could definitely understand that.

Quote:
If you told me to play a scale, chord, arpeggio, or a chord progression in the key of X I can play it but It's been awhile since I've played a full song that I've really enjoyed.


I personally don't know not a single chord, scale or anything, but I can play just about everything I put my mind to, no matter how hard. Its good to know, but what you really need is two things. 1.) A drive to finish learning the whole song (which could also depend on the song. If you stop playing because it sounds too hard, you have to find an easy starting point somewhere in the rest of the music left unfinished) and 2.) The patience to practice learning music by ear. It can be hard for some, but practicing it helps build confidence.

Quote:
I can sound out most things that I hear at a reasonable pace but even so I forget the songs that I learn fairly quickly because the only songs that I can learn are ones that are boring to me.


This is where I insert the "practice makes perfect" quote. The fact that you're forgetting the songs is also a problem. It may be a bit boring, but once you learn that song, you HAVE to keep playing it more each day (and of course, you have to start easy with something that IS within your reach and fun). Over time, your accuracy for that song will increase, and you remember it better. Only then, can you stop playing it and move on. The accuracy gained gives you some more room to try to learn another song, and another, and etc.

If you continue this pattern, you will definitely play better and develop more of an interest in learning the challenging stuff.
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Last edited by Joshua Garcia : 09-03-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:05 AM   #3
dannydawiz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Garcia
Yes and no. It is perfectly common for players to only know parts of a song without playing the whole thing, but the fact that you say you have been playing for 3 years is what throws me off a bit. Do you play everyday, a small bit each day, or just on and off for 3 years? This matters a lot. If it were the last one, I could definitely understand that.



I personally don't know not a single chord, scale or anything, but I can play just about everything I put my mind to, no matter how hard. Its good to know, but what you really need is two things. 1.) A drive to finish learning the whole song (which could also depend on the song. If you stop playing because it sounds too hard, you have to find an easy starting point somewhere in the rest of the music left unfinished) and 2.) The patience to practice learning music by ear. It can be hard for some, but practicing it helps build confidence.



This is where I insert the "practice makes perfect" quote. The fact that you're forgetting the songs is also a problem. It may be a bit boring, but once you learn that song, you HAVE to keep playing it more each day (and of course, you have to start easy with something that IS within your reach and fun). Over time, your accuracy for that song will increase, and you remember it better. Only then, can you stop playing it and move on. The accuracy gained gives you some more room to try to learn another song, and another, and etc.

If you continue this pattern, you will definitely play better and develop more of an interest in learning the challenging stuff.


Thanks for really going in depth on my situation and giving me some good advice. I'm not gonna say that I haven't had my moments where I've lost inspiration and stopped playing but the longest that ever happened was for a week and it's only happened twice.

I practice regularly unless for whatever reason something prevents me from reaching my guitar. The thing is, I really don't feel like there are many songs that I find inspiring to play besides the ones that are way beyond my reach. Most of the guitar songs I wanna learn are played by either virtuoso or guitar players that are just really good.

I guess i just need to accept that its going to take a more years of practicing technique before I'm capable of learning the songs that I find satisfying. D:
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:17 AM   #4
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Its common that players only know bits and pieces of songs. I wouldnt worry about freezing up... it usually just means you arent as familiar with the material as you need to be to play it live

Learning a song from start to finish can take a long time.... I'd suggest dropping every other bit of practice for a while...and learn that song and that song only... that way you will have it learned quicker... its too easy to get ditracted/unmotivated otherwise... for me, anyways...

That is, of course, if you want to learn a song all the way through... theres no rule that says you have to...

... but in the long run if you want to join a band, or play stuff solo to people... its gotta be full songs....
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannydawiz
I guess i just need to accept that its going to take a more years of practicing technique before I'm capable of learning the songs that I find satisfying. D:

Believe me, it can be a long road, but it's fun, satisfying, and has a good payoff.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:59 PM   #6
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If you are not in a band, it's really not necessary to learn whole songs if you find them boring. But hey, you can always challenge yourself and start learning a difficult song. You might not learn it in a day or a week. It may take a year or more. But at least you see improvement in your playing. And really, there are good songs that you can play from start to end. And if you can't find a song that is not too technical that you like, then start liking it. It's not that hard to start listening to new genres. It also improves your technique if you are able to play different styles.

And really, if somebody told me to play something on guitar, I would freeze too. I wouldn't know what to play.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
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It is necessary if you have any ideas of becoming a musician, rather than bedroom guitarist.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra150
It is necessary if you have any ideas of becoming a musician, rather than bedroom guitarist.

If he's going to be a good musician, joining a band would be a good idea.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:07 AM   #9
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It's all about determination. I used to have the same problem. Either the song was too easy, so I could pick it up really quickly, then throw it away and forget it, or I would get frustrated because it actually took time to work out, and put it away. You have to set a goal for yourself and be really set on learning that hard piece of music, put the time in, and get over that urge to quit when it gets tough. Tho old saying no pain, no gain, as cliche as it is, really holds true with music. Just because something's really challenging the first couple of times you look at it, doesn't mean it's impossible. If you have the musical knowledge and ability that you say you do, you can do it, you just have to put in the grunt work.

I used to have (and to a degree sometimes still do) that problem, but you'll do yourself wonders by just sticking with it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:47 PM   #10
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Yeah it is. Learn some songs all the way through. At least a few.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannydawiz
Is it bad .... That I can't play any songs all the way through?


Yes. Without knowing any songs, nor having the patience to learn any song for any reason (including "don't find it satisfying" or "it's boring") makes you pretty useless as a guitar player.

If you've been playing this length of time, it should be relatively easy to learn a couple of songs in a short period of time, if you can put your own preferences to the side for the task.
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