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#1
When i started playing i was hungry to learn, so i took my guitar with me to any kind of social gatherings i could find, finally i found a park where many acoustic guitarist jammed out on weekends so i started hanging there.

My first month two really nice guys, Dave been playing for 30yrs and Jim 15yrs, Dave showed me basic stuff like G chords Barre Chords etc, while Jim a little arrogant and condescending.

So we became friends and we would hang out at times, i struggled my first year with basic chords and barre chords, lead guitar was nothing more than a figment of my imagination.

Whenever we hanged out we all had our guitars with us, No matter where we were, i thought i was weird to carry my guitar around until i met these 2 guys, Nevertheless i made an observation about Jim, He never played, He carried around a Fender Strat but NEVER EVER PLAYED.

I would whip out my cheap yamaha acoustic and strum on my few basic chords and enjoy the moment, at times Dave would do his amazingly great covers, originals or leads. JIM NEVER PLAYED.

Jim was very very cocky, i assumed this guy was such an amazing guitarist that we're not good enough to see him play, he wore a cowboy hat, a hendrix scarf, bell buttom jeans, a real badass musician..

After 1 1/2 i began to realize there seemed to be this hidden jealously amongst guitarist, because Dave & Jim would always bash other guitarist, from who's, good, to, suck, to etc. They would often make reference to me being a beginner and i cannot have a real opinion because i know little about music or the instrument.

It bothered me to the point where i decided to really work hard on this. I Began to stay up an nights and practice, EVERY NIGHT, ALL NIGHT. I began to study Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Tommy, Emmanuel and many many more, I played until my fingers hurt, to the point where i developed a really good fingerstyle.

I stopped playing around them completely, i felt like i had to improve before i played around them again.

I studied music theory, i practiced scales, modes, progressions, fingerstyle technique to the point where i begin to spiral up a musical ladder, I started writing songs and composing instrumental pieces.

Whenever we hanged out I'd strum on mine or Daves guitar like all i knew was 4 chords, He even mentioned to me one time "You don't practice anymore do you" My Response "I don't have the time".......


One night Dave Came to hang out on my job and a bunch of girls were there, they saw his guitar and asked " HOW LONG YOU'VE BEEN PLAY "Dave replied "33yrs" And they asked him to play, and he did.....then i said "I PLAY GUITAR TO" LOL

They asked me "HOW LONG YOU'VE BEEN PLAYING" My response "3yrs" Dave jumped in an said "HE'S A BEGINNER"

Then dave handed me his guitar to play, I guess to look "Good" around a beginner..lol AND BOY I TELL YOU.......

I ripped that guitar to pieces, i mean i played that guitar like i never did before, from a few chet atkins covers to mississippi john hurt to tommy emmanuel to some blues riff and leads...

"NOT ONLY WAS I BETTER THAN HIM, BUT THE GIRLS ALL WANTED TO HEAR ME ONLY"

I was a little embarrassed but i couldn't care less....

Dave started smoking cigarettes consecutively, He was i a serious state of shock, He didn't talk to me that night.....

Couple weeks later we were hanging out an we both got drunk and he came out of the woodwork and said

DAVE WORDS.
"QUOTE" You're really an amazing guitarist for only 3yrs" It took me at least 10 yrs to get good, I am amazed at how fast you're improved, some of those things you're playing takes a genius to play in such a short time, I can't play what you're playing. I saw Jim play and i have to teach him, he's really not that good" "QUOTE"

It was flattering but i guess it was the alcohol talking, but he said what was on his mind.

A Couple months later Dave Went Nuts, He ended up in a few mental institutes, Last time i saw Dave was Homeless on the streets eating out of garbage bins and as for Jim he Varnished, not sure what happened to him.

Today it's been 4 yrs i'm playing and wherever tell these guys who've been playing for 20, 30 to 40 yrs i've been playing for 4 yrs they freeze.

Today i'm learning to transpose and arrange popular songs by ear and experimenting with polyrhytm etc.

Dave and Jim only appeared good because i didn't know how to play, as soon as i learned they seemed just average, Well Jim never played so i don't know about him...

My story is not to showoff but to share my beginners experience, I have a very very long way to go, and i'm far from great, but i think my achievements came from blood sweat and toil, not 20yrs to boast about or talent, but 4 yrs of countless hours of hard work and hunger for the instrument....


I WANT TO READ YOUR BEGINNERS STORY. WHATS YOUR STORY?
Last edited by chearsy at Sep 4, 2009,
#2
So wait... Your buddy Dave went nuts because you played Chet Atkins on his guitar? What's wrong with people in your town?

That said, it's both natural talent and hard work, and can be either or. Some people are just gifted, but that doesn't mean they can't be surpassed quite completely by someone who works five times as hard. The same is true for anything, really.

I know it's a let down, but I don't have a story. I just started playing because I loved to play, and focused on writing the best songs I could. I still love to play, and that's all. Boring reply, eh?
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#3
Quote by strat0blaster
So wait... Your buddy Dave went nuts because you played Chet Atkins on his guitar? What's wrong with people in your town?

That said, it's both natural talent and hard work, and can be either or. Some people are just gifted, but that doesn't mean they can't be surpassed quite completely by someone who works five times as hard. The same is true for anything, really.

I know it's a let down, but I don't have a story. I just started playing because I loved to play, and focused on writing the best songs I could. I still love to play, and that's all. Boring reply, eh?


Oh not at all, thanks for the response, lol
#4
When I beggining I started up extremely slow, I could barely play anything after my first year of playing. Then, about a year ago I joined a few friends who had been playing together for a couple of years and at first I was stuck struggling with rhythm sections of the songs they played, whenever we played a cover I would be assigned whichever guitar was easier to cover.
After a while I started to get tired of this so I just practiced, I started practicing daily for as much time as I could spend on the instrument, and after only a couple of months I caught up to my band's lead guitarist and ended up being better than him.
In my opinion it takes hard work to get better, to improve your chops and technique, although I guess it does come easier to some than others (talent) but even with that, hard work is a must to make good improvements.
#5
Quote by chearsy
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I WANT TO READ YOUR BEGINNERS STORY. WHATS YOUR STORY?
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#6
I didnt have any natural talent when i started playing bass.

I just practiced and practiced and then got pretty good...
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#8
Talent can help, but talent alone will never make you a great guitarist. That said, the alternative doesn't have to be hard work. I think practicing guitar is fun.
#9
it was a mix of both for me i worked hard and i read alot about music theory when i first started. i've been playing a little less than a year and i can play the first, and part of the second solo in master of puppets.
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#10
i sort of went through phases since i was about 14 where i decided i wanted to learn guitar and tried to learn a few melodies and chords then id get bored and three months later id have to learn again and in no uncertain terms i was sh*t id also had lessons when i was very young like 6/7 and didnt get anywhere then up until i was 16 and had started sixthform i had these two mates mike and tom who both played in a doom metal band which kind of motivated me to learn again ever since then i can honestly say ive practiced at least an hour a day for the last 2 years and im better than i thought id ever be im not good but i can play

i also have "dyspraxia" a severe co ordination problem which really didnt help when first trying to fret notes and chords so i can tell you now it all depends on how much you want it,lessons also help ive had a few in my time but its kinda expensive given my current situation
99-------------55--------6666-------44-----444
99-------------55-----66-----66-----44-44--44
99-------------55-----66--66666---44--44--44
99-------------55-----66-------66---44--------44
99999999---55------66--------66--44--------44
#12
i started and cuz my arm is a little ****ed i worked my ass off just to be able to do alternate picking and palm mutes i practiced for at least for hours a day and that got me where i am today
Last edited by LEFTYMETAL at Sep 4, 2009,
#13
I think it's not hard work that makes you better, but intelligent progression and continual exploration of music. It's more about how you practice than how much.
#15
Hey guys. I started playing about 1 & 1/2 years ago. I started by myself, just playing really rubbish things I made up. Then i found a guitar teacher in my school who is apparently the best guitar teacher in my area. Anyway, after a few weeks he taught me how to use my fingers properly like in chords and stuff. Once he taught me that I started to get quite good. I started playing bits of Metallica songs. Then he started to teach me how to move my fingers in scales and stuff like that. After that, I started to get better. I learnt how to play a few Metallica songs in whole. That was about 1/2 a year ago and now, I can play about 25 songs by Metallica and a few other songs from different bands. I learnt Metalica alot because personally I think they are the greatest band. I am annoyed because I can't find any band to join and only 1 of my friends can play an instrument.

Anyway I think it's mostly about talent but part is about learning because if my guitar teacher didn't teach me how to do that stuff I would never have really started playing
#16
I used to write all the time.

A year and a half ago I was given an electric guitar. The idea seemed amusing, so I bought "Guitar for Dummies." I usually teach myself everything. From there, I surpassed every friend I knew who had been playing for years. This was mostly due to the fact that I wasn't in college at the time and just played guitar in place of anything else. Constantly. The book didn't teach anything technical, I learned everything by ear. I've always listened to music, so I figure that's the reason I have a good ear.

My first song I learned was "Don't think Twice, It's All right" by Ramblin' Jack Elliot (a Bob Dylan cover).

Now I study folk and jazz. I'm a long ways to go.

Also, I might go nuts if I hear a Chet Atkins cover.
#17
No-one's fingers have talent. Talent for playing is an excuse for people who don't practice enough.
#18
I believe it's about 90% hard work, 10% talent. Yes, different people have aptitudes for different things. Like some people always grasp math concepts easily, others learn woodwork more quickly than most other people around them. But this only accounts for a small piece of the puzzle. Everything else is hard work, dedication, passion, patience, you name it. I think the only people that have a sizable advantage in learning a musical instrument are those who's parent(s) play when they are at a very young age (<4 yrs). People learn extremely quickly and naturally at that age, so I think that does amount to an advantage.

My story's pretty unremarkable. I started playing late, when I was 21. That was going on 18 years ago. I learned very quickly the first few months, and then learned pretty slowly for long periods from there on out. It took me a long time to learn about focused patient practice. There were long periods where most of what I would do would be noodling. If I could change anything, I'd have stuck with having a teacher (I only had one the first 6 months or so). Still, everything worked out - I still love the instrument, and I can play ok.
#19
I don't really believe in talent. I've never met anybody who was really good at anything meaningful who hadn't put in a lot of work to get there.

I think you're either born with the "music in you" (bleh) or not; but either way you've got to put the effort in to become "talented" at your instruments.
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#20
Maybe half half..?

Definetly hard work is required, and talent.

My story is..

I began with an acoustic guitar.
But I got bored after a week..

And about a year later, I got bored and just started practicing again.
I got interested, and bought an electric.
That's about it.
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#21
I think it's all hard work because my one friend is obviously more musically intelligent than me and knows every scale and can play a million arpeggios, but lacks the fluency that I do because he never really worked at accuracy. He went for quantity, not quality.
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#23
I dont plan to read anymore then 1st post except ones after mines but alot of people told me i play great for a 6-7months guitarust but it might be because i practice daily fir hrs & not even to get better......well ok to get somewhat better but Its just so fun and i have a passion for it and i outplay many ppl who played 1-4+yrs.
#24
I think this is kind of like the nature/nurture debate.

Your physical ability sets an ultimate bar at which point you would be the absolute best you could ever be. The work you put in determines how quickly and how close to that bar you'll ever get.

Overall though, I don't think talent has that much to do with guitar. In my opinion, for things like physical activities(Soccer, football, baseball, etc), talent (your genetics) plays a much larger role.
#25
Quote by big_aug
I think this is kind of like the nature/nurture debate.

Your physical ability sets an ultimate bar at which point you would be the absolute best you could ever be. The work you put in determines how quickly and how close to that bar you'll ever get.

Overall though, I don't think talent has that much to do with guitar. In my opinion, for things like physical activities(Soccer, football, baseball, etc), talent (your genetics) plays a much larger role.


You can always get better at your instrument.

Jim and Dave do not sound like "really nice guys" as TS said. Why'd Dave even go insane? You phrased your story like a fairy tale too, not a bad thing, but it sounded funny.
#26
I'm of the opinion that people are born with unique sets of tools or capacities that affect how well they can learn.

I was fortunate enough to be born with a pretty good ear and a capacity to learn fairly quickly - two things which have helped me greatly in learning to play the guitar. That's not to say that I haven't worked my ass off at it though, because I have, and I'm still working.

It seems silly to say that everyone starts off at the same level and that the best or the worst ear in the world does not affect your ability to learn an instrument. People are born able to learn faster than others. Some people are born...stupid. Some people are born geniuses (or with the capacity to become a genius). A lot of other people and I are somewhere in the middle.

I still believe hard work can get you 99% of the way, and that no matter what you're born with, a degree of work is still required in order to be successful. But I think the truly great artists are truly great because of a combination of what they were born with and how hard they worked. I don't think any manner of work will turn you into a Beethoven or a Charlie Parker...those guys had something special.
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Last edited by ramm_ty at Sep 11, 2009,
#27
i think everyone does have a physical limit and ability, but of course you need to practice hard to reach it. Some people have the right physical traits to become a great guitar player, just like someone who is an great football player. I think everyone has a predetermined max potential that they are born with, but you obviously need to train and work hard to get there. Of course some people will be lucky enough to have all the physical characteristics need to excell at something. Like for example, at 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds, i would NEVER make it into the NFL, even if i trained 10 hours a day for years on end. Now playing guitar is obviously less physically demanding that playing football, but it is a physical ability nonetheless, and the same concepts apply, only to a slightly lesser extent.
#28
"NOT ONLY WAS I BETTER THAN HIM, BUT THE GIRLS ALL WANTED TO HEAR ME ONLY"

Try to sound a little less pathetic.
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#29
is this a real story?? cos it seems so fake?? nvm... great guitarist are made of pure talent and lots of hardwork... everyone can play guitar... but not everyone can be a genius at it...

My story is different... I played since I was 13(2003) back then I own a cheap acoustic guitar and the only thing I played is chords... major and minor.. and this continue for about 5 years...

Im 18(2008) and I got into college and make new friends.. and they are way better than me..(well I can only play basic chords)... so starting from that point.. I challenged myself to become better than what I was... I say to myself... In 2 years I will be better than the old me...

Im 19(2009) now.. and its only been about a year and I already can play better than I was... is it talent or hardwork.. Id say its both of them... I can only Imagine myself in 5 years time... how will I be playing...
#30
Wow I have been playing for 6 months and other guitarists tell me its like I been playing for a year or more. I practice at LEAST an hour a day or more. I try to mix up my practice sessions covering open chords, bar chords, arpeggios, scales and of course my favorite songs in addition to taking one half hour lesson a week. I have been working out of the 2 Ernie Ball beginner books as well as the Troy Stetina Rhythm Book 1 and Troy Stetina Solo Primer Book One. I really really love playing guitar and nothing gets me going like when I nail a riff for the first time. Lately I have been trying to focus my alternate picking, the gallop and muting techniques and hammer ons and pull offs. I used to practice with the clean channel on my amp but lately I been playing with the Rec setting on my Vypyr 30. I wanted to build a solid foundation playing guitar so there aren't any holes in my playing. Practice practice practice....
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#31
Cool Story Bro.
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#32
Very good question actually!

I was/am part of an autism unit joined onto a school and it was the first few weeks of being in high school, I was still pretty nervous and stuff but i was asked once by the head of the unit "anything you would like to acheive in school?" I said, "i mabye want to become a scientist! i may also wanna play guitar" Of course, my head wasn't screwed on about the guitar part, i never even played guitar before and i only really liked nirvana and The Doors. I got picked for guitar lessons, i was the first first year to actually get lessons because most people pick it for third year, i felt pretty lucky. I was in my first lesson and learned A and Em, i was slow like any other beginner and struggled. After two weeks struggling at the chords, Its one of those things "Daniel, your really coming on with the guitar! lets start a guitar club" I thought i'd pwn the others and these were first years... i was wrong. I played with two kids, Zack and Micheal. They were both jamming to purple haze and back in black, Two songs i thought were impossible. I was motivated to start playing guitar, i put alot of my time into it, i forgot about homework, classes, etc and this is 2 years later (i'm in third year now) And i joined a jazz band for the school which consists of bassist, trumpets, drums and two guitarists. I was picked, my guitar teacher (who never teaches me now) picked me at an instant when he was picking from the classes, Micheal was picked as well, i began to feel unsafe. When it was the song to jam with, we were all to do a solo in a blues scale or basic minor pentatonic. It was my turn first while playing, i was nervous, I soloed around the scales, hitting back to the root notes and bending some of the strings really trying to sound bluesy, Eventually the trumpets were doing a "call/responce" in G and C, i could tell straight away and i done a lick in C and G and C and etc eventually leading up to a last run around the scale with nice melody finishes to the root note. It was micheals turn, and boy did he fail; He started on the root note and kept going up and down the scale with an occasional hammer on and pull off. I felt so happy yet so guilty. I asked the dude 2 years ago how long he had played. "2 years" So now he has played for 4 and me for 2, I was astonished with the amount of progress i made.

Zack is now lost, he left the school due to being bullied.
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#33
There's no such thing as talent. Beethoven was virtuoso at 3 years, but just because his parents were musicians and he used to practice every day, all the day. Kids learn faster too.

Anyway I have started playing around Christmas 2006, self-taught, and it took me some months to learn even simple stuffs like bar chords. My playing has been full of huge mistakes for at least a year:

- I used to move a lot my hand when playing instead of moving just the wrist.
- I used ONLY downpicking.
- I didn't learn bending, instead I used to just play the higher notes that I should have reached with bending.
- I didn't mute any string.
- I didn't learn power chords, instead I used full bar chords every time.

Well, in a few words... worst guitarist ever! Of course now I have improved my technique and, while I am definitely not virtuoso, I have corrected these errors and I'm way better than before. I'm starting to practice sweep picking and arpeggios right now.
#34
Especially guitar, it's more about hard work than natural talent. It's not like in sports where the biggest or strongest have a clear advantage.

My story:

I picked up guitar on September 7th, 2007 (I know the exact day because of the tab, Blink 182's Adam's Song, was printed on that day). While I never had the patience to learn songs, I would often learn some riffs from songs I liked. That's how I got better at playing in the short run but as soon as I put in serious practice time (there was even a 2 week period where I would only sleep every other day, so I could practice all night) I got a lot better. I've never been content with learning other people's songs, even from the start I wanted to write my own.

As soon as I learned about music theory, I threw myself into that, and I now know all 12 notes, the intervals (unison to an octave), how to build scales, the concept behind modes (I don't really use them however), how to build chords, and how they relate to scales. As much as theory helped with writing, I always felt limited by it, and needed to learn how to play what I was hearing in my head.

A few months ago I downloaded a trial for Ear Master Pro, and that's when everything came full circle. When I first started playing guitar, I could hardly tell whether an interval was going up or down, no joke (unless it was well over an octave, then it was just obvious). But over the past few months I started slow, struggled at the start, but now I can name every interval from unison to an octave played ascending, and I'm on my way to being able to do the same with descending intervals.

On top of that I'm starting to teach myself to sing, because trying to find a good singer at all, nevermind finding one without a huge ego, is a pain in the butt. I figure If I can come this far in only 2 years, it shouldn't be too hard to learn to sing.

During this period there were plenty of times where I was completely frustrated, but I soldiered on because I knew the climb would be worth the view. And while I'm still not quite where I want to be I have clear idea of what it'll take to get there.

EDIT: My blog chronicles my journey through music, starting from a couple of months ago when I was in a band. That's around the time that I realized that I needed to do a lot of improving, and those 2 weeks of hardcore practice happened after that.
Last edited by Kenny77 at Sep 11, 2009,
#35
I really don't see the point of such a long story. I could shorten it to about 2 sentences.

But anyways........


For me, I'm not really sure whether I should call it talent or hard work. I played piano for over 12 years before I started guitar. But I started with piano at such a young age, it basically became second nature to me. I was playing Beethoven by the time I was 5 years old (I started when I was 3). Once I picked up the guitar, I already knew a lot of theory so I just had to work on accuracy and techniques.
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#36
Quote by DragTheWaters11
I think it's all hard work because my one friend is obviously more musically intelligent than me and knows every scale and can play a million arpeggios, but lacks the fluency that I do because he never really worked at accuracy. He went for quantity, not quality.

And so being musically intelligent takes no hard work? And because you can play random notes fluently that makes you a higher quality player?

I bet it's a lot easier for him to play the music he hears in his head.

Talent is in everyone, and it comes to the surface with practice. For some people it takes more or less hard work.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#37
Guitar is not really a talent. Singing is, drawing is, things that you can't do well no matter how much you practice unless you have talent.
#39
Quote by Tempoe
Guitar is not really a talent. Singing is, drawing is, things that you can't do well no matter how much you practice unless you have talent.


ur comment is not really 100% correct.. yes guitar can be learn but to be the greatest you need some talent.. not everyone can be great... if everyone can.. than the world will be a boring place..

drawing u can practice and if u got talent u will have an advantage... same goes for the singing.. everyone can practice to sing but in the end... the talented person will come on top...
#40
"We're all equally gifted and we'll all get there in time if we just try" is a myth bounded around by educationalists. After all, it's a much better means of motivating kids than "All of you who got less than 50% in this extremely easy maths test which, if we're honest, was little more than an exercise in common sense, totally suck at maths and so may as well give up now"...

(Sadly, that's the truth when it comes almost all of human endevour.)
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.
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