#1
Hello guys, This is more aimed at the guitarists who have been playing a lot of years (10+)
How many years did it take to become very good at playing? At the level where you can confidently play on stage and have a fairly strong grip on a large chunk of playing techniques. I know this will be different for many people but ive been playing around a year and a half now and I start collage next year and I don't know if im going to struggle with stage performances etc. So i would like to have some kind of idea of how long it has taken others to get at a decent level of playing, and any tips of practicing guitar technique would be greatly appreciated. Cheers guys
#2
Yay, I hit 10 years this month!

Anyway, becoming 'very good' is a very subjective term. I was able to enjoy my own playing in as little as a year, and I was really getting into and becoming comfortable with my own solo style after just 2 or 3.

Just stick with it and practice a lot. Remember, it's not about how many years you play, it's about how often you practice. Plenty of college kids have played for 5 or 6 years and can't do a damned thing on guitar.
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#3
I got to a stage where I could play anything I wanted to at around the 4 year mark. Though that doesn't necessarily mean anything because what I want to play might be different to what you want to do. What was important in my development though was getting into a band I loved. Until that point I had no reason to practice certain things, so the band made me a more holistic player. If it wasn't for the band then I honestly don't think I ever would have got to the stage I am at now.

Also, in a new band I tried out for there is a bassist who's been playing 7 years. She get's put off by drums, she can't keep time and she can't remember to count the amount of bars she's playind so she can't get through even our simplest song without messing up. Her part in that song consists of 3 notes, and all that changes is the rhythm at which she plays them.

Years don't equal anything.
#4
If you practice a lot, not even one year. If you hardly ever practice, never.

Practice is always the answer.
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#5
Your starting a collage soon? What kind? I like this one:


Lol, not majoring in english I hope.

I've played six years, I would be comfortable playing most any classic rock/ hard rock, punk, some thrash metal and country on stage. I most certainly would fall to peices playing any shred live though. Just dont try and play stuff beyond your capabilities live.
#6
Is it classical guitar? Because classical guitar has many techniques that may help you out. I've only been playing for six years, but I too am in college for guitar, working on Grade 9 and 10 pieces (Royal Conservatory Grades).

My biggest tip is reminding you that just because you are playing, does not mean you are practicing. Noodling is not practicing! Making a practice log actually builds a list of how much you've been playing and what techniques are building significant quality.

Sometimes you may find useful articles on warmups and stuff in magazines like Guitar World, so that too may be worth checking out.

Honestly, just make yourself practice, avoid distractions and procrastination, and you should be good.

Best of luck in your endeavors!
Merry Christmas too!
#7
"Getting good" depends on a lot of factors. All of them have to do with YOU.

Every person is different. It depends on how fast you learn and how much practice time you commit to every day. There is no standard rule that says you will become "good" in 3 years.
#8
i've been playing more than 20 years.

i'll let you know when i get "good".

the bottom line is you are always learning. it's not a win or lose type of thing, there is always someone better, often times that person has been playing for fewer years than you but thinks you blow them away.

it's like that. and that's one of the things that make is so cool.

always learn, always teach, spread the love of the sport wherever you can.

Quote by GaryBillington
If you practice a lot, not even one year. If you hardly ever practice, never.

Practice is always the answer.

this is true.


build your confidence by playing a bit of easier stuff live and have fun. having fun comes through in your playing as much as anything. if you are having a good time, your listeners will as well.

i hope that helped.
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#9
+1 on what greg's saying (except I've only been playing about 10 or 12 years)

thinking you suck to a certain extent (not so much that you just quit) is what gives you the motivation to get better
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#10
I've been playing more than 20 years as well, but I've never really dedicated myself to spending enough time practicing to get as good as I'd like to be.

I'd consider myself intermediate at best, but that hasn't stopped me playing in a load of bands over the years. Most of the time I was the rhythm guitarist (although also occasionally bassist & sometimes singer), but I always made sure I got to play the occasional bit of lead as well so I had to stretch myself a bit.

Even so, it's probably only in the past 6 months I've really started bothering to learn how to play lead guitar properly, in the past I just knew a few licks here & there and mixed them in between the rhythm I was playing.

Started rambling a bit there, I only really meant to reiterate the point that it purely depends how dedicated you are. Practice more & you'll get better quicker, but there is always more to learn.
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#13
i picked up really fast, having been a musician since age four. piano from 4-10 years old, Trumpet for 10-14 (first chair for each level in the school's band. i picked up guitar at 12. i played guitar with a band at a talent show and won about a year after i started, easier stuff, i think we did one nirvana song and i don't remember the other. i think i was good enough to gig at 14, i was really playing well. sophomore year of high school i had to take a month and a half off due to being bipolar and schizophrenic, and continual hospitalizations. i honestly literally was in my room playing guitar 6 hours a day. i had nothing to do at home, nobody was around, so what better to do. a good part of that playing was developing skills and not just noodeling. around that time i started using drugs, started off with Xanax and Adderal, went to coke, went to Oxycontin and heroine, used heavily for then until 20. which at that point i was long term hospitalized after a series of overdoses and suicide attempts and getting my stomach pumped and charcoal, during all of this i graduated 8th in a class of 400 or so and at that same time (within a week) graduated with an Associates degree, went on to autotech school got ASE certified, got a bachelors in econ, completed my masters the end of the past summer (business administration). when i got involved with NA. i know my playing suffered for senior year and probably the year or so after. got back into playing once i was sober and my head was cleared, and hit it really hard, within a month i was playing better than i ever have, and progressed from there. i will never stop learning, and play as much as i can, play out every opportunity.

as far as playing i thing its around 9 or 10 years i wouldn't call myself good, but certainly don't have a problem holding my own.


note, some of my statement contained drug use, the only reason why i put it there is so that somebody could maybe see a tiny little glimpse of what i went through. it all is fun for a while but it can take you quickly. and once it takes you, sometimes it takes you to the grave. i am lucky to be alive and only have some minor liver and kidney damage, i knew two people who weren't. two good friends, died due to drug use, my first friend drowned in his own vomit, the other used a 12ga. shotgun. the shit is real, don't be dumb.
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#14
I've never played on stage because I don't want to and I've never had the chance to... but I've been playing just a bit over seven years. I'm at the stage where I can play almost anything given to me. It took me about six-seven years to admit I am quite technically proficient, but of course, there is much I can improve upon.

I was self-taught, though. Everything I figured out by playing, listening, and reading, and I have had to readjust my technique so much over the years... I never really put in proper 'practice'. I did a few exercises now and again, but mostly it was just playing what I wanted to. What helped is I always pushed myself and learned the harder things.

So about seven years for me, and much the wiser for it. So much I know, which has given me the knowledge of how much I don't know.
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#15
The point where I felt confident on-stage had nothing to do with my ability. Some of the best gigs I played were when I was, in comparison to now, utter shite. I'll never be as good as I'd like but it's all about making the most out of what I've got at any point.
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#16
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i picked up really fast, having been a musician since age four. piano from 4-10 years old, Trumpet for 10-14 (first chair for each level in the school's band. i picked up guitar at 12. i played guitar with a band at a talent show and won about a year after i started, easier stuff, i think we did one nirvana song and i don't remember the other. i think i was good enough to gig at 14, i was really playing well. sophomore year of high school i had to take a month and a half off due to being bipolar and schizophrenic, and continual hospitalizations. i honestly literally was in my room playing guitar 6 hours a day. i had nothing to do at home, nobody was around, so what better to do. a good part of that playing was developing skills and not just noodeling. around that time i started using drugs, started off with Xanax and Adderal, went to coke, went to Oxycontin and heroine, used heavily for then until 20. which at that point i was long term hospitalized after a series of overdoses and suicide attempts and getting my stomach pumped and charcoal, during all of this i graduated 8th in a class of 400 or so and at that same time (within a week) graduated with an Associates degree, went on to autotech school got ASE certified, got a bachelors in econ, completed my masters the end of the past summer (business administration). when i got involved with NA. i know my playing suffered for senior year and probably the year or so after. got back into playing once i was sober and my head was cleared, and hit it really hard, within a month i was playing better than i ever have, and progressed from there. i will never stop learning, and play as much as i can, play out every opportunity.

as far as playing i thing its around 9 or 10 years i wouldn't call myself good, but certainly don't have a problem holding my own.


note, some of my statement contained drug use, the only reason why i put it there is so that somebody could maybe see a tiny little glimpse of what i went through. it all is fun for a while but it can take you quickly. and once it takes you, sometimes it takes you to the grave. i am lucky to be alive and only have some minor liver and kidney damage, i knew two people who weren't. two good friends, died due to drug use, my first friend drowned in his own vomit, the other used a 12ga. shotgun. the shit is real, don't be dumb.


... Shit, man.
#17
I've played for 18 yrs now. the first few yrs were spent screwing around trying to learn guitar. I have never used a guitar book, private lessons or anything. I am 100% self taught, execpt for E,A,D,G,F,C chords which my brother showed me when I was 15. I do not know the actual names of 99.9% of notes/chords I play, it is completely by ear.

The first time I felt comfortable on-stage with people watching was when I was 21 in my first band. I am by no means a lead guitarist, but I am the primary song writer in every band I have played in. Not all were great bands, but none were ever bad either.

I look at music as an emotional experience, no matter what your skill level. If you can deliver that to people, that is what counts.
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#18
Thanks guys, The thing that is messing with me at the moment is that i have all the motivation in the world to play, I really want to sit down and learn new things to play and better my technique. But every time i sit down and try play i get myself wound up because of mistakes i keep making when i know in my head i can do better. And that will make me then go and put the guitar down for about 10- 20 minuites and then go try it again. But its like when I spend alot of time working on technique i seem to go backwards. In the sense that i get worse and less co-ordinated the more time i spend playing. I would take a few days off but with it being Christmas tomorrow im getting a Randall Kh120 amp and if my butterfingers start again i wont be able to play with it properlly. Does anyone else seem to get that if they play lots over a short space of time they get worse?
#19
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rhvxy0r2Do

I think this video will show you where you are at, and when your aware of that, you can go 'ok i'll push on'. I've been playing for about 4 years but i did a HUGE amount of playing, at least 7 hours a day on all these crappy guitars through a line 6 spider, recording what i'm playing and analysing what i'm doing wrong. I learned all the shred stuff after about a year of two of playing (people wanted me to play lead as no one else was). This wasn't impressive, it was bad, but i grinded on and got better at it. My alternate picking, my coordination, my legato, my finger strength, and i still work on it now and then. I went from playing metal through an aria and a spider to deathcore through a randall and a dean 7 string to a laney lionheart and a prs ce 24. Its totally changed, my sound has, and i develop feel now a lot more than i do technique. I feel music more, i get into it, i make sure every note has some sort of energy inside it and develop from there now on. I leapfrogged steps and i shouldn't have, but now i'm a radically better player from when i was playing non stop to now where i play now and then (even though i have an incredible rig imo ) and just work on things. You can impress people as a songwriter and a musician. People used to yawn when i talked about guitar, but now people sit down and listen to what i'm saying and people like it when i analyse their playing, and it makes me feel happy cause it feels like i'm inspiring others. Try and do the same when you go to play. If you can turn heads when you play your on the right track imho, even if your just strumming chords.
#20
My problem is I can't stop noodling. I was supposed to work on sweep picking all this week. I put maybe half an hour into it.

I just can't bring myself to learn something I don't like. I don't play much metal so I don't particularly care for sweeping but it's a skill I want to master (well......get half-decent at). How do you guys concentrate on something you really don't want to do but at the same time...want to do it?
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#21
Quote by JKHC
My problem is I can't stop noodling. I was supposed to work on sweep picking all this week. I put maybe half an hour into it.

I just can't bring myself to learn something I don't like. I don't play much metal so I don't particularly care for sweeping but it's a skill I want to master (well......get half-decent at). How do you guys concentrate on something you really don't want to do but at the same time...want to do it?


I have to play genres of music i DESPISE at college, and that sorta made me think 'oh i can see the positives of this'

If you just look look at the positives of learning to sweep pick sweep picking won't feel like a chore anymore and you'll do it
#22
Quote by JKHC
My problem is I can't stop noodling. I was supposed to work on sweep picking all this week. I put maybe half an hour into it.

I just can't bring myself to learn something I don't like. I don't play much metal so I don't particularly care for sweeping but it's a skill I want to master (well......get half-decent at). How do you guys concentrate on something you really don't want to do but at the same time...want to do it?



Find some other people who want to play it, too. That's how I learned country guitar. Never listened to country before starting to pick it up, but lots of dudes around here wanted to hear it and play it, so I learned a lot of the style so I'd people to jam with.
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#23
Quote by gregs1020
i've been playing more than 20 years.

i'll let you know when i get "good".

the bottom line is you are always learning. it's not a win or lose type of thing, there is always someone better, often times that person has been playing for fewer years than you but thinks you blow them away.

it's like that. and that's one of the things that make is so cool.

always learn, always teach, spread the love of the sport wherever you can.


this is true.


build your confidence by playing a bit of easier stuff live and have fun. having fun comes through in your playing as much as anything. if you are having a good time, your listeners will as well.

i hope that helped.


I totally agree with everything he said ^

I've been playing for 13 years and I didn't get serious about it until three years ago. The more time you devote to practice, and the more method-driven your practice sessions are, the better you will become from a technique standpoint.

In terms of musical ability- you find your own. Seriously. No two guitarists sound alike unless it's on purpose. Everyone has their own style and sound. You'll find yours too.