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Old 10-27-2012, 03:51 AM   #1
Celestus
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Overly motivated...

Hai guys. I'll keep this short. I WANT to learn the guitar like a GOD. No, I'm not one of those "HOLY S**T I'LL BE A ROCKSTAR!!! Wait wtf is this barre thingy? OMG it's so hard, f**k this I quit." Nothing frustrates me, I can do whatever the hell you throw at me if it suits my level and I wont quit until it's done. Granted, I'm a beginner still, only started faster songs like Master of Puppets a few weeks ago, but the motivation's there and it never fades.

Now on to the problem I am facing... The amount of stuff I can do in one session on a guitar doesn't match up with my motivation. I can play all the songs and riffs I learned two times, do some practice riffs, screw around on the fretboard trying to find notes that go together, wreck my hand trying to play some crazy-ass song I am clearly not good enough for and STILL after I plonk the guitar back onto it's stand I feel like "I want more. MORE!"

I'm guessing the obvious would be "learn more stuff and stop making dumb threads" but is there any way to get more out of every day? And will increasing my playing time give noticeably better results? Right now I probably do 5 or so 10-30 minute sessions on a good day.

P.S. Excuse the swearing please, if it will make you hate me less, I'll say that I'm drunk.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:56 AM   #2
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Well instead of 5 small sessions most people do one longer practice session, although I'm not sure whether that matters. But other than that, all I can say is that it's good that you're motivated, be patient, your skill will rise if you're playing correctly and in time. Give it time, it's not going to happen overnight.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:58 AM   #3
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Things take time to learn properly, you can't change that fact - regardless of how often you play you're still looking at a timeframe of years to get to the level you aspire to. This isn't a race, you don't get a prize for "finishing first" and there's a world of difference between playing something and playing it right. If you can play Master f Puppets perfectly then all well and good, but if you're just half-assing it so you can tick it off of your list then move on the the next "level" then you're not doing yourself any favours. What separates those great guitarists from the rest of the pack isnt' "the fastest thing they can play", it's attention to detail, the fact that they put as much thought and work into playing a single, simple note as they do into playing a fast passage.

There's also the danger of burnout, whilst it's perfectly feasible to practise for 8 hours a day and people have done it, it is extremely difficult to maintain focus and concentration over that length of time. And if you're not concentrating then your practice won't have an awful lot of value - 3 hours of focussed practice is of far more value than 6 hours where you lost concentration and were starting to get bored.

Motivation is no bad thing, impatience is.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:16 AM   #4
Celestus
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I do agree I am a bit impatient, I have this fire inside of me that wants me to play. But it's not about being better than others, it's about being GOOD. And I want to improve the amount of experience I can squeeze out from a single day. I am well aware that learning stuff takes time and this doesn't bother me too much, but when it comes to me, I love doing things efficiently. So should I just do what I am doing?
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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Well I would say two things:

1 - If you're keeping the rest of your life on track why would you limit the amount of time you're playing?

2 - Focus your time more, actively work on technique, learn theory, make sure that when you're playing the songs you know you're playing them as well as you possibly can. The only real way to get better is to make sure that's what you're working towards, and you will have to really work for it!
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
Celestus
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Well, I'll see what I can do, thanks for the help. This community, man... Hard to believe the internet can actually have a nice corner.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
dannydawiz
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Take this advice from someone who used to be in your shoes 3 years ago.

I find your motivation inspiring and honestly being a beginner is one of the most satisfying parts of the journey to mastering the guitar.

The best thing that you can do while you're starting off is to either get yourself a teacher, or at least look up some lessons on proper technique & posture.

The biggest thing that is going to set you back in your playing is learning bad habits and then having to rearrange your whole technique 1 year later.

Common Bad Habits
- Picking from the elbow (picking should come from the wrist.)
- Playing with bad posture
- Holding the pick wrong
- Making big movements
- Playing with excessive tension

I suggest you look into these things and keep in mind that fast playing comes from practicing slow and making small but quick economical movements. If you need some examples of this watch the picking hand of players like Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai etc.

If you want to get more out of everyday then you need to keep on practicing but variate the material you're learning during your sessions and do it on a CONSISTENT basis. (At least 21 days to build a habit.) Your approach to practicing in five sessions is called a distributive practice schedule and it often leads to better results.

One common misconception made by people is that longer practice sessions will lead to better results. Practicing a piece of music for 6 hours straight may increase your performance but the next day you'll pick up the guitar and find that you can't play it at all. This is due to poor retention. Longer practice sessions ultimately leads to worse retention compared to practice sessions that are distributed in many different timeframes. Ultimately if you are going to practice for 6 hours straight then you should switch up the material you are learning by the hour.

Dedicate 30 minutes to learning songs. Another 30 minutes to practicing your technique to a metronome. Then you can spend another 30 minutes learning & practicing chords. The next 30 minutes to learning scales (The minor pentatonic & natural minor scale are very common in metal.)

Learning music theory & reading music isn't necessary but I am going to tell you that it does help you out a lot as far as communicating with other musicians & understanding what you're hearing.

If you need some guitar pdfs to help you get started then just send me a message and I'd be happy to help you out
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:50 AM   #8
Celestus
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Wow, thanks man, I got some really GOOD advice from you, I'll probably build a schedule for myself right now, thanks alot!
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:39 AM   #9
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what i can outline for you is that, all other things equal, knowing theory, having a knowledge of all musical genres, being able to read music, and having a trained ear are what separate amateurs from professionals, no matter which way you slice it. there are other factors, but in my experience, those are the top four. they kind of fit in to the attention to detail idea seagull set forth.

if you're serious, getting a teacher is absolutely the best option. make sure the teacher is GOOD - there are a lot of teachers out there who have poor theory knowledge, are poor readers, are lacking in technique, or are otherwise insufficient somehow. if you're paying for someone to instruct you, and you're serious about it, the money and the time you're putting in give you the right to be certain that your instructor is indeed someone you should be learning from. if you ask your teacher for a demonstration of his skills, he has no right to bitch - basically he's being interviewed for a job, no?

it's very true that motivation is a great tool, but impatience can blow the entire thing up. if you're concerned with efficiency, then don't waste any time. learn songs from all genres. start learning theory now. start learning to read now. start training your ear now. start being strict with your technique now. don't waste any time. focus on the right things, and you'll get results. musical skill is not developed linearly -- it is developed as a whole, piece by piece. start with the basics in all areas and advance as you progress. skip nothing. do not assume you know everything there is to know about something.

if you want to get more out of every day, stop "screwing around on the fretboard trying to find notes that go together." learn the theory and train your ear first, and you'll eliminate the guesswork. if you have to guess at it, you're trying to reinvent the wheel -- i don't think i need to tell you that reinventing the wheel is the complete opposite of efficiency.

be objective about your analysis of yourself. understand your strengths and develop them, and be aware of your weaknesses and eradicate them.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:28 AM   #10
Celestus
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That's the kind of mentality I'm trying to adapt, spot on, man, thanks!
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:23 PM   #11
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Right now, I think you are seeing the guitar kind of like a 5 year old sees a new toy: You want to play it until you master it. With many things (i.e. video games, chess, puzzles, etc.), there's nothing wrong with that mentality. With guitar however, there are so many things you have to be aware of if you want to become a 'rockstar' as you put it.

First thing I think you should do is get a teacher. A good teacher can make a world of difference. If a teacher is not a viable option for whatever reason, use www.justinguitar.com, www.musictheory.net (if you want to learn theory, which I highly recommend), as well as the lessons and columns sections here on UG. The main things I think you should be concerned with right now are playing slowly enough to not make mistakes, and also be very conscious of your technique. Making bad habits is a lot easier than breaking them.

Second, learn the notes of the fretboard. This will be beneficial. It makes many things easier.

Third, get a metronome. A huge problem with a lot of amateur musicians is they think that they're in time, but really they are pretty far off. Metronomes can really help with that and also with speed training.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:22 PM   #12
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get a teacher
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