#1
I have this problem of not being able to play through pieces without making a dozen mistakes. I find it hard sometimes because I think of not making mistakes while Im playing and that just causing me to make mistakes hah. Is there anything, besides practicing more, I can do to help me?
#2
Quote by profmcnasty
I have this problem of not being able to play through pieces without making a dozen mistakes. I find it hard sometimes because I think of not making mistakes while Im playing and that just causing me to make mistakes hah. Is there anything, besides practicing more, I can do to help me?


Try playing each part at a slower tempo than it actually is. Play it as slowly as you need to so you can pull it off without mistakes. Then, gradually speed up.

That, and practice more.

Good luck!
#3
Have a go at recording! Seriously, it will get your head around a song better than 100 hours of solo practice and it makes you concentrate on every detail of just one song until you feel you can play it in your sleep.
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#4
I tend to aim to learn each measure a day perfectly. I mean PERFECTLY. I probably play that one measure around 40~50 times a day until its embedded into my brain, then the next day i go on to the next measure,so on.
#5
Quote by Lurcher
Have a go at recording! Seriously, it will get your head around a song better than 100 hours of solo practice and it makes you concentrate on every detail of just one song until you feel you can play it in your sleep.


+1

I've recently found out the total truth of this. It made it much more aware of my playing and how to improve it.
#6
Slow it way down, and watch your fingers. Check and see where they are and where they are going, practice the transition slowly and consistently. I dont know which style of guitar you play, but I know classical guitarists work on pieces for months or years before performing them. Manuel Barrueco works on pieces for an entire year before performing them in front of an audience.

+1 to the recording idea. It really does help, but it is also extremely frustrating (in my experience).
#7
one of the fastest guitarists in the world, michaelangelo, says you've got to play slow in order to learn how to play fast. i've always found that to be true. it also helps to concentrate on the playing rather than on whether you will make mistakes - after all, 12 mistakes in a 3 minute song isn't really that many, and it's not like you're on stage where people can hear you while you practice.
#8
yea i play classical, im preparing some Villa lobos, Bach and Carcassi for the fall semester. Of course playing slow helps but i found that getting into and enjoying the music actually minimizes mistakes its just that its hard to enjoy em when you practice the same thing everyday hah
#9
Quote by patticake
after all, 12 mistakes in a 3 minute song isn't really that many, and it's not like you're on stage where people can hear you while you practice.


Well, that really depends on the difficulty of the song, and the player itself. I say 12 mistakes in a 3 minute song is far too many. Just like the title of this thread suggests, some people look for perfection in their playing, while others are content to play sloppy and just say "I could have done better, I just didn't want to."......just like most of the videos of cover songs I see on youtube.
#10
When I learn a piece, I break it up into short loops and practice each loop until I have it perfect. Perfect as in I understand the technique and also the musical expression needed. I find that if I try to learn a piece by playing it through from beginning to end over and over again, I play much sloppier and without as much control
#11
All the advice so far is great. I start off slowly and try to speed it up later. Right now I'm learning Ebon Coast by Andy Mckee. I spent some time just fingering the chords right and going back and forth with them until I can play the actual chord SHAPES. THEN I started the actual melody. Does that sound right? Sing while playing a song if it has words, or hum if they don't; it will give your brains sign-posts to remember the song note for note. Muscle memory is the key to perfection! Also, difficult passages I will use as warm-up excersices or noodling just to get the muscle memory.
#12
Quote by obeythepenguin
Oh, come on. Anyone with a good ear and a bit of talent can play a song correctly, but it takes real genius to screw up in such creative new ways!

This is my philosophy as well: Stevie Ray didn't play Little Wing note for note the way Jimi Played. Also, Jimi didn't play a song note for note the way he played even a day before! Also, I've watched a youtube video of John Mayer playing Neon on MTV and screwed up his own song! The real trick is to keep going! This can not be overstated. If you mess up I feel it is better to just play through it, like Dave Matthews has said in interviews. Make it look like you meant to do it to. It is the offspring of creativity at times! I've been to countless shows, and I've seen great guitarists screw up their own songs. So, don't be afraid to play through mistakes. Remember, it is mostly about soul, not copy-cat style!
#13
Quote by Wolf Dog Moon
This is my philosophy as well: Stevie Ray didn't play Little Wing note for note the way Jimi Played. Also, Jimi didn't play a song note for note the way he played even a day before! Also, I've watched a youtube video of John Mayer playing Neon on MTV and screwed up his own song! The real trick is to keep going! This can not be overstated. If you mess up I feel it is better to just play through it, like Dave Matthews has said in interviews. Make it look like you meant to do it to. It is the offspring of creativity at times! I've been to countless shows, and I've seen great guitarists screw up their own songs. So, don't be afraid to play through mistakes. Remember, it is mostly about soul, not copy-cat style!


There is a BIG difference between an amateur player who doesn't know how to play the song properly in the first place and a professional who is able to ad lib and come up with different variations every time he plays a song. I think it's the people who say "I'm not playing it wrong, I'm just putting more soul into it" are copouts. If you do it right, of course it sounds good and fresh, if you don't, I think there is nothing worse.
#14
This reply may be somewhat off here but if playing from a score, whether TAB or sheet music, it works well for me. I am learning to play classical and do not know the pieces I am playing very well so I need to follow the steps listed below to get the gist of the composer's ideas and how the piece is structured and put together.

"To play a piece with complete accuracy and confidence, it is almost essential to commit it to memory" : FREDRICK M. NOAD


This is the opinion of the writer of the book "SOLO GUITAR PLAYING 1", FREDRICK M. NOAD

I'll paraphrase here:

He says many people fall into the trap of trying to memorize too soon. This is by approaching a piece and working out the time and notes for 1 or 2 measures and repeating them until a left hand pattern is established. Then continuing to do the same thing for the rest of the piece, 1 or 2 measures at a time. Mr. Noad states that there are two problems with this procedure:

1. No overall idea of the piece is acquired to give continuity from one section to another.

and

2. The music is abandoned so quickly that there is no visual memory of the score. The notes then become meaningless and a person cannot go back to the music when he or she has a memory lapse because it looks like new material.

So, his advice is: "Learn to play a piece from beginning to end with absolutely correct fingering and with complete continuity (however slow) before commiting it to memory."

HOW TO MEMORIZE

"The most secure memorization is achieved not only by remembering what the fingers do and the shapes and patterns formed on the fingerboard, but also by retaining a visual memory of the score."

Now to memorize he gives the following suggested procedure:

"1. Assuming you have played the piece all the way through several times with the music, start at the beginning and see how far you can go without the score.

2. When you have to stop, find the place on the music where you finished, and WITHOUT PLAYING see if you can recognize a few more measures.

3. Put the music away. Now start again, and see how much further you can go. When you stop, repeat the procedure in step 2. Remember that just playing on from the music is not helping you to memorize."

That's it. Of course. if you are learning a piece without the music, a different approach will need to be used. But if learning from written music, it works well.