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#1
Hey Everyone,

I know this changes from person to person and everyone will have a different answer, but i'm just curious how long it took you guys to get "good" while taking guitar seriously. I understand being good is subjective to what the individual player believes is good. I know this will also depend on what style of music you mainly play (jazz, metal, classical, etc.) so maybe include your main style too? I'm just curious how long it took most people on average.

Also please excuse if this is in the wrong thread.
#4
I kind of felt like I was pretty good after like 3 or 4 years, but just recently (after like 8 almost 9 years playing) it's gotten to a point where I'll do something and impress myself with it, and that's pretty exciting when it happens.
#5
Even though I perform in front of people, like most, I feel like there's always room to improve. So, would I consider myself good? I'm good enough to play for an audience, but always working at my craft to improve it.
#6
8 yrs, the last 5 practicing at least 2-3 hrs a day, starting to get pretty good I guess.
#7
I've been playing for 4 years now, I know I cam a long way but i was expecting to be a guitar god in 4 years, now I see myslefas an average player, but I'm happy and I will keep practicing, hopefully reaching the desired goal as soon as possible, which at this point feels like another 4 years.
#8
Sometimes I feel like a way-above-average golden god, sometimes I feel like throwing all of my gear through the window.
Inconsistency rules.
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#9
I feel good each time I reach a new goal and you should too. The first time I could play a few open chords on a beat I felt like god. You just have to set yourself some goals to work on.
#11
I've been playing for nearly 20 years. my head is not big enough to tell anyone I am good. That's not for me to say.
#12
When I started, I would have probably considered where I am to be "good". Now, however, there are so many ways I know I want to improve. I kinda think if you think yourself to be finished and nothing more to learn, you're doing something wrong.
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#13
Quote by lfcagger
When I started, I would have probably considered where I am to be "good". Now, however, there are so many ways I know I want to improve. I kinda think if you think yourself to be finished and nothing more to learn, you're doing something wrong.


Exactly the same, if you showed me playing now to me when I started I'd probably have thought I was some kind of golden god but now... nah. I'm alright, good enough to play live in a band I would want to listen to but nowhere near as good as I want to be
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#14
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Exactly the same, if you showed me playing now to me when I started I'd probably have thought I was some kind of golden god but now... nah. I'm alright, good enough to play live in a band I would want to listen to but nowhere near as good as I want to be


Exactly. As you get better your standards for "good" go way up.
#15
I've been playing for 5 years now and am disappointed in myself for not really progressing much in the last 1-2 years. I feel I could confidently play a Green Day style gig and some Black Keys songs as most of the chord and note changes from the earlier stuff pretty much match the structure of the lyrics but I really want to be at a Keith Urban/Matt Bellamy standard and right I feel I never will be.
#18
Quote by gijsheijnen84
@NickVarney90: Why not? Focus yourself on Muse for a while and you'll become a lot better playing in the style of Matt Bellamy. The key word here is 'focus'. Without focus there's no hocus pocus


I can play a few Muse songs (Hysteria, Panic Station, Time Is Running Out) but I suppose what I meant was more his accuracy and precision rather than just his style. I'm currently practicing songs where I need to go from a chord at the low end and going into a solo and landing on the right fret.
#19
My definition of "good" changes as I get older. Being a "good" guitar player is something that has ever been just out of my reach. I've been playing for about 17 years without missing more than a handful of days.

The guitar has such limitless possibilities that I doubt I'll ever reach the point where I say "Alright, I've now mastered the instrument. All I have to do now is just enjoy my phenomenal skillz."

However, if you're going to define being a "good" guitarist by non-guitarist/non-musician's standards, I think I became quite "good" after about 3 years. Meaning, I could play stuff people heard on the radio.
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#20
Quote by NickVarney90
I really want to be at a Keith Urban/Matt Bellamy standard and right I feel I never will be.

I think if you feel like you never will be, then you never will be. So much about playing guitar is mental, and it's easy to hit mental blocks where you screw up purely because you don't think you can do something.

The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to aim higher than where you want to be. I wouldn't look to Matt Bellamy as a model for "accuracy and precision" (not that he's a bad guitarist, but his style is a lot... looser than players that I would call accurate and precise). I used to find a lot of Metallica stuff quite hard until I stopped thinking "I can't play Metallica stuff" and decided to learn some Dream Theater

I'm not saying you should go for the hardest thing ever straight away, but if you look to players that you would consider to be godlike rather than simply really good, you'll find that you pick up stuff that ultimately makes easier stuff really really easy. Of course, the new problem is that then your definition of "good" suddenly shifts.

In answer to the initial question, some days I think I'm really good, others I think I'm terrible, like what "My Last Words" said though slightly less extreme on both sides As everyone has said, your definition of good is constantly shifting to just above where you're currently at.

A good way to always feel satisfied with your progress is to work on stuff that you're not very good at. I've found that for some reason I always try to work on stuff that I'm always pretty good at and that just leaves you feeling pretty defeated as it's hard to make progress, and you still suck at the things you suck at. Work on the things you're no good at and not only will your skills in those areas improve, you'll also be a more rounded player and feel much more comfortable with the instrument. Once you've improved your lesser skills to the level (or almost the level of) your best ones, you'll find the ones you'd previously plateau'd at are easier to work on.
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#21
Well I guess that depends on what you mean by "good" but I think I improved a lot when I joined a band. This actually forced me to practice and increase skills. Before that I was just doodling around in my bedroom. I joined the band after playing about 6-7 years.
#22
My concept of good has expanded a lot since I started playing. I can pull off some pretty crazy stuff, but the more I play, the more I realize how much more there is to learn.
#23
What a great question to ask in the first place. I really enjoyed reading all of the various responses. I am only a few months in... damn, I have a long way to go!!! But I do realize it's all very subjective. I have to realize that I will reach different goals and be glad about it... enough to be motivated enough to move on!! Thanks for a great discussion!!!
#24
Quote by J_W
I've been playing for nearly 20 years. my head is not big enough to tell anyone I am good. That's not for me to say.



a common thought held by people who are good at something. people whove probably accomplished a lot in various aspects of their craft, and recognize the endless depth left to learn.

for balls sakes, just take some pride in the skill youve developed. probably more than most people have on guitar or anything else. saying things like, "theres so much more to learn, or im no mozart, or joe satriani", when you are in fact pretty good kind of puts everybody down. to think you have to live up to some high standard is in fact big headed.


that being said, my response is the same basic answer that J_W and Geldin gave.
I once hit a man in Dearborn. Michigan. A hit and run. I hit him and just kept on goin. I don't know if he's alive or dead. But I'm sorry. Not a day goes by i don't see his face.
#25
I've been playing for only about a year and a half, but I feel extremely good about the 'level' I'm at.

That being said, I play blues, punk and garage rock and while I'm comfortable with all three, it's now become more about perfecting my art sensibly rather than just keep one or two guitarists in mind and achieving their level of mastery. Cut my own track, if you will.
#26
After about 2 years of very hard and determined practice I was able to play pretty much anything thrown at me to some degree, though I was a bit single minded and most of that revolved around simple metal riffs and virtusio stuff like Malmsteen, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai and fairly sloppy by my own standards today.

After 4-5 years I was very capable but not as good as I thought I was, you didn't have the youtube internet age of monster players then, I was told by many I was the best in my area, people came to shows to watch my band and complimented my playing and our band had a strong following.

The reality is though that by top level player standards I was actually still pretty much a sloppy mess and not well rounded enough, I could play almost anything but lacked the finer details in tightness and clarity in my rhythm because all my focus was on lead guitar, I had great vibrato by any standards (and still do) but when I listen back to old recordings of my playing there are many instances where I would tell myself "that is unnacceptable, do it again".


After about 6-7 years I peaked, mostly because I'd lost interest in just endlessly practicing, I'd been touring with the band a lot so didn't really have time for it anyway and I bought a World of Warcrat account (doh), I'm probably at 90% of what I was at my best in terms of raw speed/ability but in other areas I've improved greatly, I still see myself as having a long way to go.

Been playing for around 12 years now.
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Last edited by Bigbazz at Apr 10, 2013,
#27
I will consider myself good when I master the infamous picking technique for the song in my sig, play the riff and sing at the same time.
#28
Quote by rabbittroopsux
a common thought held by people who are good at something. people whove probably accomplished a lot in various aspects of their craft, and recognize the endless depth left to learn.

for balls sakes, just take some pride in the skill youve developed. probably more than most people have on guitar or anything else. saying things like, "theres so much more to learn, or im no mozart, or joe satriani", when you are in fact pretty good kind of puts everybody down. to think you have to live up to some high standard is in fact big headed.


that being said, my response is the same basic answer that J_W and Geldin gave.


I definitely didn't mean it that way, it's just that I have zero ego when it comes to guitar and I tend to let others decide how good I am rather than telling people how good I am. If that makes sense. I would definitely say as far as my own goals in music I am happy with where I am, although I do realize there is always room to improve.

A guy actually asked me the other day how good I am at the guitar, I seriously had no idea how to answer it.
#29
Quote by mdc
I will consider myself good when I master the infamous picking technique for the song in my sig, play the riff and sing at the same time.

For some reason the bit that always stumps me on the main riff in Neon is the bit where he does the rake (he doesn't actually do it on this live acoustic recording but it's on the Continuum one). I don't know why that always gets me, I think it's just because it's in the middle of a fingerpicking style I'm not completely comfortable with. I find that there's some stuff that's not too hard to do isolated but is really quite difficult when surrounded by other stuff.
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#31
Quote by rabbittroopsux
or balls sakes, just take some pride in the skill youve developed. probably more than most people have on guitar or anything else. saying things like, "theres so much more to learn, or im no mozart, or joe satriani", when you are in fact pretty good kind of puts everybody down. to think you have to live up to some high standard is in fact big headed.


Balls to that, I will always hold myself to a high standard and screw what other people think. If they can't keep a view of themselves that's independent of the way I look at myself that's their problem!

Seriously; I know I can play, you don't quad-track some of the guitar parts I have without a good amount of skill. That does not, however, change the fact that calling myself good when people ask me is almost certain to be disingenuous - as much as anything else when ever anyone asks me about my playing they already have an idea of what "good" is, and that's probably different from mine. Usually if anyone utters the fateful phrase "So how good are you?" I spend the next 5-10 minutes trying to avoid answering. I much prefer to let my playing do the talking.

It may be a somewhat over-intellectualized view of the issue but at least it's honest, right?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#32
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Usually if anyone utters the fateful phrase "So how good are you?" I spend the next 5-10 minutes trying to avoid answering. I much prefer to let my playing do the talking.


It's always awkward for me when someone asks that. I should just say "Who cares, let's jam"
#33
Quote by J_W
It's always awkward for me when someone asks that. I should just say "Who cares, let's jam"


People only ever seem to ask me either in pubs or at parties with no guitars to hand jamming never seems to be an option
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#35
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
People only ever seem to ask me either in pubs or at parties with no guitars to hand jamming never seems to be an option



If that's the case just say "I'm friggin awesome" and never see them again.
#36
I never became good, and i never will. Cause my view of "good" will always higher then the skill i currently have at that time.

In terms of my goals when i didn't know anything about guitar, i am a guitar god. But when you start learning, "the better you get" turns into "the more you realize you don't know".

I can play pretty much anything thrown at me if i work at it properly, but i will always looks back at old recordings and be like "Oh my picking technique was so bad back then" or "Man i was terrible at bending back then", even now. I will probably look back at some of my recent gigs and be like "Man i was awful".

Short answer, i suck. And i always will, by my own standards.
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#37
I've been playing for 8 years now, going on 9. If you would have asked me 5 years ago I would have said I was pretty good, but now I dunno. It seems like every time I pick up my guitar I find something wrong with my technique, or something I need to learn. Yeah, that's how you improve I guess but it feels like a mountain piling up.
#38
It took me three years of playing and one year in a serious band to be confident in my skills. Honestly, I progressed 5 times as fast when I was in a band. Nothing will make you better faster than being in a band.

Of course I stopped for a year when my band broke up and just started playing again today. I lost my chops.
#39
Quote by llBlackenedll
For some reason the bit that always stumps me on the main riff in Neon is the bit where he does the rake (he doesn't actually do it on this live acoustic recording but it's on the Continuum one). I don't know why that always gets me, I think it's just because it's in the middle of a fingerpicking style I'm not completely comfortable with. I find that there's some stuff that's not too hard to do isolated but is really quite difficult when surrounded by other stuff.

Yeah man. The version you're describing reminds me of the first time I heard it on Room For Squares.

From what I remember, the sweep is an awkward one, cuz it's not like your typical C shape. It requires good rolling motion, as it's all same fret nonsense.

But yeah, like you were saying, it appears from nowhere while you're doing all the fingerpicking.
Last edited by mdc at Apr 10, 2013,
#40
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Balls to that, I will always hold myself to a high standard and screw what other people think. If they can't keep a view of themselves that's independent of the way I look at myself that's their problem!

Seriously; I know I can play, you don't quad-track some of the guitar parts I have without a good amount of skill. That does not, however, change the fact that calling myself good when people ask me is almost certain to be disingenuous - as much as anything else when ever anyone asks me about my playing they already have an idea of what "good" is, and that's probably different from mine. Usually if anyone utters the fateful phrase "So how good are you?" I spend the next 5-10 minutes trying to avoid answering. I much prefer to let my playing do the talking.

It may be a somewhat over-intellectualized view of the issue but at least it's honest, right?



shoooooooot; you better be good, because any time i read a technique thread, ive pretty much skipped through to see what you said, or freepower, or a couple other names. but ive generally considered a question answered when i see a post by you or freepower
I once hit a man in Dearborn. Michigan. A hit and run. I hit him and just kept on goin. I don't know if he's alive or dead. But I'm sorry. Not a day goes by i don't see his face.
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