#1
A little back story on myself, I have around six years of guitar playing under my belt, and I consider myself to be an intermediate level player. Now, onto the actual story.

I've been playing for a couple of years in my church's youth group and during a practice last Sunday, and we get another guitarist who introduces himself to us and I'm teaching him the songs we were gonna do Wednesday night, practice goes great. Then we were jamming for a while and he is ripping it up. I mean, he was REALLY good. I knew immediately that he is a better player than me (not to be self righteous or anything.) I then found out that he had been playing for a little over five years. Five?! And he's that good?!

TLR Homeboy is seemingly light years ahead of me with less time. Is there something I've been doing wrong?
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#5
Quote by BrandonBeaux

...Or maybe they have no life...



or guitar IS their life.


if you practice more(and more efficiently) you get better faster.


i recommend that you start taking practice more seriously and that you stop comparing yourself to other guitarists.
#6
Yeah, the amount of time you've been playing is a really inaccurate measure of talent.

I've been playing for at least 8-9 years, but I'm not especially good because I don't have anything resembling a practice regimen.

Not saying you don't, I just mean that what you do in those years is more important than the year themselves.
#7
Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. Try to make an agenda for your practicing, and thoroughly look up specific skills you want to get better at before putting together your agendas.


#8
Quote by Guitarman015
A little back story on myself, I have around six years of guitar playing under my belt, and I consider myself to be an intermediate level player. Now, onto the actual story.

I've been playing for a couple of years in my church's youth group and during a practice last Sunday, and we get another guitarist who introduces himself to us and I'm teaching him the songs we were gonna do Wednesday night, practice goes great. Then we were jamming for a while and he is ripping it up. I mean, he was REALLY good. I knew immediately that he is a better player than me (not to be self righteous or anything.) I then found out that he had been playing for a little over five years. Five?! And he's that good?!

TLR Homeboy is seemingly light years ahead of me with less time. Is there something I've been doing wrong?


I think we've all come across situations like that, and reacted similarly. I wouldn't worry too much. Be happy for the guy. Try to learn from him. Beyond that, don't be overly concerned with your "level". I think sometimes people can get so hung up on that aspect of things that it gets in the way of their enjoyment, which IME is detrimental.

If you truly enjoy playing the instrument then it doesn't really matter how good anyone else is. Their level of success doesn't take anything away from you.

My guess is that this other guitarist is really into it, and as a result plays alot!
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Apr 6, 2011,
#9
i usually get people thinking i've been drumming and playing guitar since i was a toddler and thinking i've only been playing bass and piano for an hour. truth is, i've played guitar, bass, and piano since december 2009, and drums since early 2008. i'm just better at some things and worse at others, i'm sure the same goes for u and almost everybody. don't worry about it, itll just take u longer to reach his ability, and i believe in punctuated equilibrium rather than gradualism (actually a term applied to biological evolution, but i find it appropriate here too), meaning u have big breakthroughs in which u improve rather than slowly improving over a long period of time. i'm sure he's just hit some of those points a bit faster, and u might hit a few more before he does, everybody learns at different and sometimes uneven paces.
#10
I know a lot of people like this. It comes down to how they practiced. On one hand be envious I suppose, on the other hand realize that it always comes down to the way you practice, the frequency in which you practice and what you practice, and determine if that life is for you. Inventory your progess over the last 5 years, what have you put your time into...

Me, Ive poured my life into helping others and there's no regrets. Many of my students can run laps around my speed and technique. I'm okay with that, they've put in the time.

It's not like I couldn't get there but there are only so many hours in a day that you can allocate what you do with your time.

Best,

Sean
#11
Not arse licking or anything like that , but I've always thought one of the things that defines a "good" teacher is one that can teach people to be better than they themselves are.

5 years v 6 years amounts to nothing - once you've got past the first year or so then it really does all boil down to the differences in what people have practiced and how well they've practiced it. If the other guy has followed a well-structured practice regime and you didn't then it's inevitable that he'll have progressed faster. On the other hand though he may simply know a lot of stuff that you don't, but equally you may now a lot of stuff he doesn't. It's just human nature thast you'll pick up on the things he's doing, rather than the things he's not doing.
Actually called Mark!

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#12
Quote by steven seagull
Not arse liking or anything like that, but I've always thought one of the things that defines a "good" teacher is one that can teach people to be better than they themselves are.

5 years v 6 years amounts to nothing - once you've got past the first year or so then it really does all boil down to the differences in what people have practiced and how well they've practiced it. If the other guy has followed a well-structured practice regime and you didn't then it's inevitable that he'll have progressed faster. On the other hand though he may simply know a lot of stuff that you don't, but equally you may now a lot of stuff he doesn't. It's just human nature thast you'll pick up on the things he's doing, rather than the things he's not doing.


this

there reaches a time when its how much effort you put in + natural talent

also dont forget that certain people are specialised
eg.im an overall better play than my friend, i can improvise and play a bit faster.
but when it comes to metal rhythm i cant touch him because he practises that a lot. then, when it comes to funk and blues he cant touch me cos i practise those styles more
#14
It's all about time put into it.

Like, from hinsight, the guy I'm teaching, after playing for a year an a half (roughly) is much better than I was at that point. (like seriously much better) Though I can take this as a compliment as it's me who taught him!

Years mean nothing.
You can say "I've been playing 20 years at one hour a week, therefore I'm better than someone who plays for 5 years at 8 hours a day", but it won't be true.

While I hate to see people who should technically be inferior to me (this is going to sound real bad, but I am very very insecure) because it makes me feel useless, but it always makes me try that much harder. I stay on my own for ages, I up my game and I practice like mad and stuff.

So take it as a chance to realise you aren't the best you can be and don't get too down-trodden, cos there are loads of guitarists out there, some who have been playing next to no time who are practically virtuosos!
#15
Either he has been practicing better, he's had lessons, or he's some kind of music God.
And time doesn't really equal talent, Lionel Messi is the best footballer in the world and he's 23.

It is annoying though. I had a flat mate that had been playing a couple years less than me and was a few years younger, he was much faster and played a lot cleaner than me, he could down pick just as fast as I could alt pick It pissed me off a bit, but it made me realise that in all my years of playing guitar I had NEVER practiced down strokes, I alt picked everything since it was how I always played. I've improved a lot since I started practicing them, I wish that I had started doing them 5 or 6 years ago
but that's just how it is, no use complaining.

But look on the bright side, you're in close company with someone better than you, that will only make you a better player!
Last edited by Calibos at Apr 6, 2011,
#16
knowing someone better then you is great. This will motivate you to practice more stuff. And get better quicker. competitive guitar practice. Maybe thats what he had so he felt like he really had to get good. This is the same as it is in everything you do. You suck at something someones better then you. You use that to get better. It will give you new ideas as well. who knows you may not be far behind him. your fingering and picking style may be different. He may lack in curtain things that you have practiced and vise versa.

Thinking he has more natural talent then you only opens doors to disappointment. i wouldnt look at it that way.
#18
guitarman,
just be yourself.
too much emphasis is placed on who the "best " guitarist is.
tell your story through the guitar.
if you have had a bad day , tell it.
if you want to rejoice, then do it.
guitar is not an Olympic sport.
so just tell your story through your guitar.
#19
Knife him and drink his blood. You will inherit his abilities.
You will probably get jailed, but then you will have years to practice.
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#20
i would just like to point out that the correct word is "envious", not "jealous".


anyways, its possible that he just spends more time playing than you. plus, everyone is different. people's personalities differ and certain traits can help one learn something. the way the think can help them improve more than others.
#21
Quote by Freepower
If he's that much better than you, ask him how he got so good so fast - although I'd bet he -

Practised more.
Practised better.


this

the hardest part is knowing how to practice properly.
#22
How much they spend playing really determines it. If they've played, say, 4 hours a day for 5 years, they'll be a hell of a lot better than someone that plays 30 minutes a day for 6 years.
#23
Quote by zach in black
basically what the guy above me said. Maybe he just has more natural music talent, and maybe he just practices more than you, or practices better.


Natural talent is a false belief. Anyone can learn to play fast and become a very self-expressive musician. Some people have higher IQs than others, and a small part of IQ is dexterity, but in this day and age it mostly comes down to determination. Have you ever seen John Petrucci's Rock Discipline DVD? Ask this other player if he has. That might be part of your answer. serious guitar players go out of their way to practice a lot and are constantly developing their skills.

No one was born with a natural talent to play guitar. They had to work their butts off to get to that level, and thinking it is all natural talent and not an insane amount of hard work sort of discredits them as musicians doesn't it? Think about it.. John Petrucci would not hang out with his friends in high school unless he practiced at least 6 hours EVERY day, that's why he's like practically the best guitarist ever lol. If you sacrificed that much to get amazing at guitar, you would rip, and almost anyone could get there with enough determination.
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#24
Quote by Marcus_Wiesner
Natural talent is a false belief. Anyone can learn to play fast and become a very self-expressive musician. Some people have higher IQs than others, and a small part of IQ is dexterity, but in this day and age it mostly comes down to determination. Have you ever seen John Petrucci's Rock Discipline DVD? Ask this other player if he has. That might be part of your answer. serious guitar players go out of their way to practice a lot and are constantly developing their skills.

No one was born with a natural talent to play guitar. They had to work their butts off to get to that level, and thinking it is all natural talent and not an insane amount of hard work sort of discredits them as musicians doesn't it? Think about it.. John Petrucci would not hang out with his friends in high school unless he practiced at least 6 hours EVERY day, that's why he's like practically the best guitarist ever lol. If you sacrificed that much to get amazing at guitar, you would rip, and almost anyone could get there with enough determination.

And that's bullshit.

There's been more than enough examples throughout history in a multitude of fields to prove that natural talent does exist. Sure, it's practically impossible to quantify or measure it by any metric other than the results it provides but it does exist.
Actually called Mark!

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#25
Yeah, I agree with Mark.
I'm not sure how anyone could say natural talent doesn't exist.
#26
I don't believe in phenom's . . . it's either in the genes or a direct result of effort. Mozart was who he was because his father was a piano teacher, and he got started very early.

You don't just come from a family with no music history, then pick up a guitar and take to it like a duck to water. 'Talent' always springs from somewhere.