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Old 05-24-2014, 08:14 PM   #1
Unreal T
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Do you think that you could have been a better guitarist in shorter time?

You always hear people saying " it takes years to be a great guitarist". Well, do you think that is because a lot of people do not know the correct approach to take to achieve musical goals? Everyone is just different and not everyone can benefit from the same methods of teaching as others for many reasons.

So do you think that when it takes years it is actually due to a lack of proper knowledge and other things when trying to achieve musical goals?

I bet if I knew what I knew now years ago I would have been so much better than I am now. Now I know why those handful of people seem to be better than the rest is simply because they just KNEW WHAT TO DO for their own personal musical goals. Too bad we can't rewind the clock.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:08 AM   #2
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god yes. If I knew what I know now 10 years ago, I'd be leaps and bounds in front. Of where I am now. That goes for playing guitR as well as song writing (broadly speaking). Obviously things are how they are meant to be.

We might as well get behind novice players and school them to avoid our mistakes !
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:05 AM   #3
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I know I could have. I never had lessons & I've never practiced regularly, I just occasionally taught myself a new song, which for a long time was my only goal. I never studied theory, I just gradually picked up from experience what works & what doesn't. Even though I started playing in the late 80s, it was probably only the past 3 or 4 years that I forced myself beyond sticking to rhythm (which I was always very good at so never felt the need to progress beyond it) and actually teaching myself how to play any lead.

If I'd dedicated time to practice & actually learning why things work, I'd be 100 times better than I am today.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:50 AM   #4
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Of course. I could have played a lot more. I don't really practice that much (and never have). I just noodle around, play some songs and that's it. And how much I play depends on the day. I could play a lot more regularly and have a practicing schedule (and I once had one but I noticed that it bored me - it was too non-musical. I like playing stuff in context). I could have joined a band as a guitarist (I play the bass in a band).

I still think I'm OK at guitar or at least not that bad. I'm good enough to play the stuff I want to play. I could be a bit faster and my overall technique could be better. I could be better at improvising.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:52 PM   #5
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:55 PM   #6
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Sure but life is too grand to sit in a closet and practice all the time. I have a need to sample all the flowers.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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Yes. If I didn't study or get a job, then used all of my free time to practice, and never had breaks from the guitar, I would be a better player.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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there aren't any shortcuts to life and creativity

i mean i guess it's easy to be "classically" good at guitar, just like it's easy to be "classically" good looking or "classically" successful at school if you devote all your attention to trying to achieve a very specific series of criteria in a way that other people have approved for you to do

why do that when you can take your time, internalize and understand people and work on just enjoying the process of learning while you figure out who you are as a musician and/or person

most guitar players worried about reaching "perfection" are the same ones who are stuck in that high school mentality where they don't understand that quality isn't directly conducive to doing what other people do or want you to do
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:56 PM   #9
Sean0913
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unreal T
You always hear people saying " it takes years to be a great guitarist". Well, do you think that is because a lot of people do not know the correct approach to take to achieve musical goals? Everyone is just different and not everyone can benefit from the same methods of teaching as others for many reasons.

So do you think that when it takes years it is actually due to a lack of proper knowledge and other things when trying to achieve musical goals?

I bet if I knew what I knew now years ago I would have been so much better than I am now. Now I know why those handful of people seem to be better than the rest is simply because they just KNEW WHAT TO DO for their own personal musical goals. Too bad we can't rewind the clock.



That's a very thought provoking question.

I know beyond all shadow of a doubt that it doesn't TAKE years. It absolutely does not take years.

I put the reason that it TAKES years solely in the laps of what you guys have... the elephant in the room: The Traditional Method. It is terrible. The worst ever. Ever. It's the bane of My existence, and I hope I live to see the day it ultimately crumbles to dust like the impotent cow it is.

So, for you guys as of right now, it doesn't matter what your musical goals are, or the path you ultimately find and decide to take, because all that the world knows for the most part, is the same Traditional approach that's been handed down for generations.

It doesn't matter if you had the perfect learning order down correctly on Day 1. The Kool Aid that everyone drinks, is, that it is naturally supposed to take a lot of time. Time to learn your scales, time to understand triads, time to know the notes on the neck. Time to know your intervals, time to practice this scale and that.

Everything in the traditional method, sucks, and is worthless.

But a few of the more tenacious and perseverant, or fortunate enough to attend music school where you will be forced to swallow that approach or else drop out, and hence fail...will get through it, by necessity, and go on to carry the Kool Aid to others.

And the world will continue to turn, and it won't matter if you do it right on day one; most will give homage to the Traditional Method, ultimately, and the sacrifice and acsetical demands it makes of them.

Best,

Sean
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:31 PM   #10
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Yes, I started before internet so nothing was easy. Also I never had any time to devote to it before, now I have time and lots of info. This site helped me a lot actually, I started getting serious around my join date and got better in these last 6 years than the 20+ before
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:03 PM   #11
Unreal T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
That's a very thought provoking question.

I know beyond all shadow of a doubt that it doesn't TAKE years. It absolutely does not take years.



Everything in the traditional method, sucks, and is worthless.



Sean


I agree 100%
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
That's a very thought provoking question.

Everything in the traditional method, sucks, and is worthless.



I would paint some gray areas in this statement.

The traditional methods work extremely well as long as you actually follow them. That means starting at a young age with a competent instructor, practicing routinely, attacking technical and aural skills early, developing repertoire progressively, and performing regularly. It's a curricular approach that yields tremendous benefits for a lot of people. A huge proportion of full-time musicians came up traditionally, regardless of the style they play in.

But for all its merits, that method only works if you stick with it very consistently, which very few guitarists do. There are still a lot of things you can learn from it, though, such as the importance of being thorough, having a mind to accuracy, and maintaining a "big picture" view of your musical development.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:06 AM   #13
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It takes the time that it takes. I don't think I could have become the player I am today in a shorter period of time unless I would have been able to put in more hours per day. I certainly don't feel like any of the things I played or practiced were a waste of time. I always find those internet ads about these secret "tricks" to being great a guitar player in little time very amusing - the only trick is to play - a lot! Any great player today has put in some serious hours.

I would say without a doubt that it takes many years to be a great player.

That being said, you should be able to be a fairly good/impressive player after a couple of years of intensive practice.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:10 AM   #14
Sean0913
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgraves
I would paint some gray areas in this statement.

The traditional methods work extremely well as long as you actually follow them. That means starting at a young age with a competent instructor, practicing routinely, attacking technical and aural skills early, developing repertoire progressively, and performing regularly. It's a curricular approach that yields tremendous benefits for a lot of people. A huge proportion of full-time musicians came up traditionally, regardless of the style they play in.

But for all its merits, that method only works if you stick with it very consistently, which very few guitarists do. There are still a lot of things you can learn from it, though, such as the importance of being thorough, having a mind to accuracy, and maintaining a "big picture" view of your musical development.


The traditional methods DO work, but, from my perspective, they are completely worthless.

When I see what you guys call "effective", to me it's like saying, "I can chop down a tree... using a spoon". Sure you can. As long as your'e willing to spend the time, you'll eventually get there. That doesn't mean its a good method. It just means that's all you have in your point of reference.

In the meantime, I have a chainsaw.

It's like saying, "Hey this here antique horse driven wagon can get me from New York, The California in a little over 10 months, and I only had to eat half my family to survive the D0nners Pass winters.

In the meantime a 757 Jet passes overhead.

So, it depends upon your point of reference, as to what effective looks like. That's how I see the Traditional Method, all of it.

This is a very interesting discussion with lots of great points!

Best,

Sean
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Last edited by Sean0913 : 05-26-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
The traditional methods DO work, but, from my perspective, they are completely worthless.
Best,

Sean


Define "traditional methods" and I could be inclined to agree with you. Also, define the goals of the hypothetical student we are teaching. Otherwise it seems like your just bashing something that may or may not exist

Also being a musician is not like being a passenger, it's like being a mechanic. Sure, most mechanics are going to be focused on jet engines, but if someone brings in a prop plane, the "traditional knowledge" is instantly useful again

To take your analogy unreasonably far, 747s also need long runways, control towers, and terminals to land. A Cessna just needs a flat strip of ground

To answer OP

You are talking about a chicken and an egg scenario. Sure, I could be a world class computer hacker by now if I started learning when I was 5. If you gave me 15 years of intense study, I could probably make a great hacker before I died. It doesn't mean I can't use the internet and play video games perfectly fine

Last edited by bassalloverthe : 05-26-2014 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:58 AM   #16
Sean0913
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Your agreeing isn't of concern to me, but to define elements of the Traditional Method, since you asked:

1. How Players are taught to memorize the notes on the neck.
2. Everything found at musictheory.net, and how its taught
3. Pentatonic 5 box scales
4. CAGED
5. Method of learning Intervals
6. Method of learning scales, (that WWH junk)
7. Method of naming all the notes in any chord
8. Circle of 5ths
9. Key signatures
10. Basic beginning chords and how they are taught
11. Sight reading
12. Diatonic Harmony
13. Modes (don't get me started there)

That's a short list, but that covers a lot.

Best,

Sean
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Last edited by Sean0913 : 05-26-2014 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
Your agreeing isn't of concern to me, but to define elements of the Traditional Method, since you asked:

1. How Players are taught to memorize the notes on the neck.
2. Everything found at musictheory.net, and how its taught
3. Pentatonic 5 box scales
4. CAGED
5. Method of learning Intervals
6. Method of learning scales, (that WWH junk)
7. Method of naming all the notes in any chord
8. Circle of 5ths
9. Key signatures
10. Basic beginning chords and how they are taught
11. Sight reading
12. Diatonic Harmony
13. Modes (don't get me started there)

That's a short list, but that covers a lot.

Best,

Sean


Out of curiosity - what's the actual alternative to that?
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:13 PM   #18
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that's not the traditional method

the traditional method involves learning styles and music with rudiments comprised of some of those things. most classically trained musicians didn't even encounter music theory until 5+ years into their education because it's a lot easier to understand it when your muscles have been conditioned to perform perfectly and without question

gotta be a soldier before you're a general

not that that's an improper way of doing things, but it's silly to say that it's the "right" way when that method of teaching is only decades old, much like electric guitar

every other instrument goes through a different process in my experience, but if you want to compare the (electric) guitar to instruments around for hundreds of years (piano/harpsicord, voice, then the orchestral instruments) it's night and day in terms of studious rigor because the greats on those instruments were not self-taught, they weren't trained online, they weren't given hints and tips and put out to show the world

they sat in their room and learned pieces note by painful note and had to develop proper habits under the scrutiny of someone whose purpose was to perfect their performance, not their understanding, and over time they internalized that knowledge and were given the subconscious capabilities whenever they reached a point in time where they were given the skills to teach or compose for themselves

not really a disagreement, just semantics like the normal UG bs
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #19
bassalloverthe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
Your agreeing isn't of concern to me


EL-OH-EL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
1. How Players are taught to memorize the notes on the neck.
2. Everything found at musictheory.net, and how its taught
3. Pentatonic 5 box scales
4. CAGED
5. Method of learning Intervals
6. Method of learning scales, (that WWH junk)
7. Method of naming all the notes in any chord
8. Circle of 5ths
9. Key signatures
10. Basic beginning chords and how they are taught
11. Sight reading
12. Diatonic Harmony
13. Modes (don't get me started there)

That's a short list, but that covers a lot.

Best,

Sean


Are you saying that these are things people dont need to or shouldnt learn, or that there is a method of teaching them that you disagree with. Just confused since all you posted were topics, not teaching methods

1. How are guitarists usually taught note names on the neck? I was taught the open strings, and that every fret added a half step. From there, my teacher left it to me to put the rest together

2. MT.net is all standard common practice teaching. Im sure you know and use all the things taught on MT.net. How is it useless? What specific problems do you have with the way its taught? MT.net is a bit more of an encyclopedia than a teaching tool, sure, but do you have specific issues with it?

3. "Box scales" are something only guitarists learn, and I doubt if they are in the "traditional" method

4. See 3.

5. What is the "traditional way" of learning intervals?

6. The WWH "junk" is usually only taught to you after know a few scales. It allows you to build any scale from any pitch with no reference. Personally, I think knowing how to build a scale is just as important as memorizing note names and fretboard patterns (something usually frowned upon here)

7. What is the "traditional method" of building chords? Are you just annoyed at enharmonic conventions? I agree, personally I wish that western music used a 7 note staff so that every PC got its own line or space and we never would use any accidentals

8. The circle of fifths is hella useful. How can you define a pythagorean comma with no circle of fifths?

9. What is the "traditional method" of teaching key signature? For that matter, whats the modern method?

10. Once again, what is the modern vs the traditional way of doing this? If you are referring to the fact that most students are taught common practice voice leading, when popular music has heavily deviated from common practice, then yea, I guess I would agree.

11. How is sight reading "taught" at all? My teachers always just told me, "Obverse the time signature, key signature, and clef. Observe anything else you can with your remaining time. Now begin to play, and dont stop for any reason." I dont necessarily consider this to be a pedagogy though

12. Same thing as before. What is the "traditional method?"

13. Well, yea, its really shitty to tell someone that Dorian is when you play a C major scale starting on D. Its also really shitty to tell people that modes are rare, or that you need extremely simple harmony for something to be modal.



I dont really care if I agree with you or not either, but it seems like you are creating a false dichotomy between something called traditional and something else which we havent defined yet, and thats dangerous for OP and other readers who might believe it.

What I really am interested in though, is how you would teach your students these things, and how that contrasts to the "traditional method."

You could be referring to the fact that many musicians used to leave home as early as age 6 or 7 to study at conservatory (Shostakovich), but that doesnt happen anymore, and still wouldnt have an impact on the methods used to teach said student.

Last edited by bassalloverthe : 05-26-2014 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:38 PM   #20
Sean0913
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Originally Posted by reverb66
Out of curiosity - what's the actual alternative to that?


It's really about time, in my opinion, so anything that gets you these skills quickly and can be used in real time, would be a valid alternative.

For example, what if in two days, you could know #1, (assuming that you don't know it)?

And add to that, you could do #1 in 2 seconds or less. That means looking at or touching any note, and instantly being able to name it.

It also means that you can call out any note on any string and find it in 2 seconds or less also.

-----------------------------------------------

Under the traditional ways that there are to learn that skill right now, anyone want to float an opinion or come up with a guess as to how much time would be required to accomplish the same outcome, (in number of days)?

If that seems esoteric, and your answer would be something like, "well it depends upon the person".

OK, let's do a 2 question survey for all who like to jump in:

2 Questions:

1. Do you know the notes on the neck to the 2 seconds or less proficiency stated in the above conditions?

2. If "No", you're done. If yes, how long would you estimate it took you from the day you started trying to learn it, to the moment you had that level of proficiency?

Best,

Sean
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