#1
Well, my friends are practicing in a different way than I do.
They practice by learning songs, so each and everyone of them knows the same songs.
Although I practice by studying theory, composing, and trying to perfect my guitar techniques to a metronome (bends, slides, hammer ons, pull offs, harmonics, etc.)

So which is a better way?
I mean, I learn songs once in a while but that's because I want to.
And I don't necessarily see their 'practice' as efficient practice.
The only reasons I'm asking this is because

1) They play at school and seem to show off (I really hate this)
2) I'm considered as a 'poser' just because I rarely bring my guitar and I don't know that much of songs
3) I always disagree with them when they tell me to practice songs and not technical stuff.

So is their way better? I'm a serious musician even though I'm just 15 so I would really like to know if there are more efficient was of practicing to maximize the results.
I also keep a notebook full of my notes on theory and my compositions, but when they look at it they say I'm just doing nonsense.

Help me UG
#2
Learning other peoples songs makes not a good musician. So they can learn other people songs? I'd prefer to be able to play what I want to play given the choice. You will be able to write and understand what your playing, your also more likely to have correct technique.

There's no correct way to learn, but I learnt the way you did. I don't know many songs, but I can learn them much faster than the people I play with because I can grasp the patterns and intervals better.
#3
incorporate both into ur practice schedule...
both are important...
and i dun understand why the hell ur friends think u r a poser when u don't even bring out ur guitar? lol.. weird.
#4
Quote by suppashredda

and i dun understand why the hell ur friends think u r a poser when u don't even bring out ur guitar? lol.. weird.


lol i dun undserstand why u dun speak inglish lol.

No but seriously, learn whatever songs you like, or that you think "man, I wish I could play that" or "that sounds cool". incorporate that into your style, and make your own songs based off that.

While playing someone else's song perfectly is sure to spark interest, playing an original piece that you like is even more audience-capturing.

Just remember, Metallica and Megadeth didn't get to where they are by playing only cover songs. Sure they played the ones they liked, but it was their original work that made them famous. (pretty bad example, cuz Mustaine wrote some of the best 'tallica songs :P)

But you get the point, i hope.

P.S. PLAY WITH FEELING! Don't put half-assed effort into playing. I know guitarists who don't know a damn sh*t about technicality (i mean don't even know scales) and make up for it by playing from the soul. You'll get the picture eventually.
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#6
Few things here..

First thing you have to do is stop giving a damn about other people. You mentioned other people/"friends" in your post several times as if it's your driving influence.

To be a good musician, you need to study theory, it's important to know what you're doing, in a musical sense. I'm not saying it's the only way, because plenty of people get by without it, but to be truly great, you're going to want to put in the time there. So make it a habit to every day, sit down and work on some theory.

As well as this, make sure you spend time doing some technical work on your guitar. Do the stuff you DON'T know how to do very well. Practicing lame songs you already know over and over will get you absolutely nowhere.

Learning other peoples songs is actually important. But it's useless without the other things, theory, your own material, technique, etc. Learning other peoples material gives you insight into other styles, and it's also a fun way to learn technique. The more songs you learn, the bigger your music vocabulary will get -- as long as you are choosing the right songs. Playing green day, for example will get you nowhere. But carfully chosen songs is the way to go. Sometimes you have to play stuff you don't like, but you know it'll be good for you.


Of course - make sure you are playing and writing your own material as well. All the time. Depending on your goals, this might be top of your list.

From a songwriting point of view, remember, the beatles didn't wake up one day and write some of the best songs ever - they listened and played a lot of other peoples music as they were growing up. And then they had enough inspiration and material to write their own.

As long as you don't get stuck into the cover-band trap (Unless you want to be) then you're fine.

Bottom line is you need it all.

Forget what they think, know what you want, and do it.

As for carrying theory notes around with you...that's kind of odd, unless you have some sort of study routine where you need to look at the notes every 10 minutes. But hey, up to you!

You can be another guitarist or you can be a musician. That's up to you to decide.

Good luck!
Last edited by ChrisBG at Dec 9, 2008,
#8
Well said guys. I never knew that my friends influenced me so much.
You guys are a great help. Especially you ChrisBG

But how is carrying theory notes weird?
Well, I don't like, ever five minutes I hum out a scale or something.
Their just those things that I have to remember, plus its handy because
I write my compositions during class at school. More inspiration.

And true, who cares what my friends think?
They can do it their way I'll do it mine.

I don't want to be just another guitarist, I want to be a musician.

p.s. I might find sometime to actually learn songs I want to learn, since it helps with learning techniques as you said.

Oh and how do you 'rake' on a guitar? Sorry for off-topicness.
#9
stay on target

I went through periods where I would study the entire axis: bold as love album, then periods of scales and techniques etc from the horrible 90's american guitar mags then more songs etc

whatever feels right to you is going to be the most efficient, equally whatever feels right for them is right for them.

Take the moral high-ground and don't get into a debate about it - both are important
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#10
Quote by Rain83
Oh and how do you 'rake' on a guitar? Sorry for off-topicness.


Mute the strings with your fretting hand by hanging your hand or fingers over the strings you want to rake then in one fluid motion sweep the pick over the strings. It's in essence a dead note strum finishing with the ringing of your choice note.
#11
I prefer your way. I started off the learning in the same style as your friends and saw I wasn't really going anywhere and didn't couldn't even grasp the basics so I started from scratch. It also helps to learn work other than your own as it will give you a wider range of styles that you can work with and incorporate into your own compositions.

The most important thing is to do something that works for you, ignore what other people think and, of course, have fun doing it.
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#12
But how is carrying theory notes weird?
Well, I don't like, ever five minutes I hum out a scale or something.
Their just those things that I have to remember, plus its handy because
I write my compositions during class at school. More inspiration.


There's nothing really wrong with it, I'm just wondering if you need to carry it round. If you find it helpful, then definitely keep doing what you're doing.

Theory is one of those things, like guitar playing really, which develops over time. A lot of things help develop it - ear training, listening to a lot of music, not just rock, etc. But the study side is important too. I used to sit theory tests with my piano lessons which really made me get my **** together!

For me personally, I spent most of my early childhood right through high school playing piano and writing songs. Thats still my biggest priority. When it comes to bands I only do original material. But for practicing the guitar, I sit down and try and learn a new riff, song, whatever every day. As well as technique. I really like the doors so every day I'll chuck on a long doors backing track and solo over it for practice. Things like this. Maybe I'll try some Zeppelin one day, or something modern, whatever I feel like doing as long as it's going to challenge me and be good practice.

When it comes to my band stuff though, or writing a new song, all this stuff helps me because I've been listening to a lot of new stuff, learning new stuff, next time you go to take a solo you remember a lick one of your heroes played, or whatever, and then it gives you a new source of inspiration. So it all ties together.

I was trained classically on piano for about 10 years right through school. But do I play classical piano now? No. All I wanted to do was write songs. But the theory and knowledge I learned from playing all that Beethoven gave me something that no course or any kind of practice routine would have given me.
#13
dude choose both.
When we play in music, i have the best technique and i know almost asmuch as the teacher in terms of theory. But i also know a fair few songs, so if someone is trying to play something I know, i can play much more easily, as i have practiced technique and the song
#14
Its all well and good to practice your technique to make you a better player, but what made you want to play guitar in the first place? Keep practicing your way of course, but it's good to 'play' sometimes too. I for one would be far more impressed with someone playing their own compositions rather than covers.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#15
It's a combination of the two. Learn songs that are just a bit harder than what you can actually play and you will be improving your technique while learning songs. See?
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#16
I tend to learn portions of songs. If I find I can't sweep pick properly I'll go look at some songs with sweeping and learn those parts. If I feel my chords need working on I'll go looking for intersting chord progressions in songs and learn those parts.
#17
trust me, you're alot better than them.
If all else fails, you better contact your mother! COME ON!

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#18
let them "show off" but i believe your on the right track, because lets face it, no1 wants to be a jukebox, but thats what your friends are becoming... its better to have good technique and such. and the way your going youll get to greatness, however, your friends will only lead to a dead end once they learn all the songs they like and they will realize that they just wasted tons of time only learning songs. a few is okay but if thats all you do then when your improvising and stuff its all guess work, which sadly usually doesnt sound to terribly good. so i'd say you should tell your friends whats what and if they dont believe you, challenge them to a guitar battle and i know ud walk all over them. then they would hopefully hop on the right track. good luck
#19
You should take as many different approaches and angles to learning music as you can. There is no "one way". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out... Practice your theory or whatever all you want but if you play music with a group of guys, then you need to know the songs or you'll just look like a jack ass.