#1
I've been playing for 3 years, and I can't think of anything to learn anymore.

All I've tried to do either seems impossible or so basic that it won't help me get any better at guitar.

Like I know all the modes and main scales and can play any weird or simple lick I hear in my head without reference to the scales, but I can't improvise over jazz for my life and can barely improvise over simple chords. Or that I know The Animal and Manhattan by ear, but I can't even ear-learn Govan or most music that I like at 50% speed. I can read music like the Caprices or River Flows in You (nothing special I know), but I take forever to sight read. Like I can make up all of these cool licks and good lyrics, but I can't even write a complete song!!!

EDIT
_____________________________________________________
and the weirdest part is that it is extremely difficult to keep consistent tone (or is it pitch?). For example: I listen to a lick, and then I have to listen to it 4 more times because I'm not sure which note on the guitar it started on

You could play be a lick starting on the note G, and I could be perfectly content replicating it starting on the note C#, because I wouldn't know the difference between the tone. Anyone else have this issue?
Last edited by ch1ng_chung at May 13, 2013,
#2
Humility

EVERYTHING new you learn teaches you something you didn't know before, which makes you better. To believe that there are things that are "too easy" for you is arrogance of the highest order, the kind of arrogance that guys like Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert would neither display or advocate.

You think you're amazing, truth is you're not. You're a well trained parrot, so you can mimic certain things very well indeed, but you have little or no understanding of what you're doing. So whilst you have the technical ability to follow some fairly complex tabs, if someone simply asked you to pick up a guitar and "play something", you wouldn't be able to do anything other than rattle off one of your well practiced pieces.

Not being able to recognise the notes you should be playing is of particular concern to you - that's a fundamental, basic skill when it comes to playing music. If you can't do that then you're wasting your time trying to learn stuff that's in reality too hard for you. Your hands are only part of the puzzle when it comes to playing the guitar, your ears and brain are equally, if not more, important. Pitch recognition is a skill, same as picking or tapping, but it's a skill you've neglected to learn. That being the case, like any other skill, you need to start at the botttom.

If your ears are untrained and you've focussed on being a tab copycat, learning complicated stuff so you can impress people, then you're never going to improve your ear working onm those virtuoso pieces. They're too fast for you to follow and to complex for an untrained ear to make sense of. So you need to be humble, acknowledge the fact that you're not a "superior" guitarist at all and in fact, when you consider the big picture, not a particularly good one. Go back to basics somewhat, learn some easier pieces and use them to work on your ear. At the same time you need to understand that fast doesn't automatically mean better when it comes you playing the guitar.

It's not just pitches that are an issue, you really need to work on your note articulation and listen to the sounds you're making. At the moment you kinda play like a robot, and that's completely down to the way you've learned and your attitude towards the guitar. If you really, truly want to get better then you need to do a hell of a lot of work on the basics. Your ability isn't defined by the hardest thing you can play, and simply learning harder and harder things won't make you any better. Your guitar idols have been playing for years, you mistakenly think you can shortcut that by going straight to their virtuoso pieces. It doesn't work that way though, and in doing so you've negelcted to put in the hard work on the things that really matter, the things they themselves worked on to get as good as they did.

Guthrie Govan wasn't born playing Wonderful Slippery Thing, over the years he put thousands of hours into honing his basic chops, picking, bending, muting, legato techniques etc. He's also clocked hours upon hours of studio time as a session guitarist, working with artists of all genres and styles. Wonderful Slippery Thing is the culimiation off all those hours of practice, recording and performing. Without them he wouldn't have written it, and trying to learn the song yourself without a decent amount of your own experience and practice isn't worthwhile, because you won't really get anything out of it. It's like sitting an exam for a 3 year course with an answer sheet. Yes you'll pass it, but that wasn't the point - the point of an exam is to demonstrate what you've learned over those three years. Without the knowledge you're supposed to have learned the exam is meaningless, because the moment anyone in the real world wants you to back it up you're screwed, because you don't actually know any of it, you just mindlessly copied whatever answers you had on your cheat sheet.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#3
Quote by ch1ng_chung
I've been playing for 3 years, and I can't think of anything to learn anymore.


Then you're not thinking hard enough.

Really, I think what you need, more than anything else, is to learn to learn. For you personally that means a hell of a lot more ear training and also everything else Steven Seagull said.

I will also say this:

Everything you learn makes you a better player. As long as you learn it properly.


Edit: Your cover of the Hotel California solo is bad. Just bad. Your timing and intonation is terrible.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at May 14, 2013,
#4
How do you practice intonation and tone?

Also, I haven't used tabs to learn songs for a year now, everything's by ear to train my ear, but somehow this hasn't worked

How did you get my Hotel California video? I thought it was blocked beceause of copyright issues
#5
Intonation refers to tuning...I haven't watched your video but a guitar with poor intonation starts to go out of tune higher up on the fret board, which is common in cheaper guitars.
Tone is the sound of your guitar, once again I haven't watched your video, but if you're reluctant to spend money on your instrument and decent equipment, you're neglecting your instrument
#6
Quote by EsotericSurgery
Intonation refers to tuning...I haven't watched your video but a guitar with poor intonation starts to go out of tune higher up on the fret board, which is common in cheaper guitars.
Tone is the sound of your guitar, once again I haven't watched your video, but if you're reluctant to spend money on your instrument and decent equipment, you're neglecting your instrument


Intonation can also be regarding bends and vibrato. I haven't seen the video either but i think what Zaphod ment was that his bends and/or vibrato is too flat or too sharp, meaning he might be bending up to just below the note or just above the note and not exactly on it.

Tone is can also refer to the way you play. How hard you pick, which pickup you use, how much pressure you press down with on the strings and angle of the pick etc affects the tone of your playing. Not sure if that was what was aimed at, but i assumed so.

Other than that, Steven pretty much nail'd it, good input from zaphod aswell.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#7
Quote by Sickz
Intonation can also be regarding bends and vibrato. I haven't seen the video either but i think what Zaphod meant was that his bends and/or vibrato is too flat or too sharp, meaning he might be bending up to just below the note or just above the note and not exactly on it.


Yep, that's exactly what I meant. That said, I think his guitar is also out in a couple of his videos. Another symptom of the issue I point out below.

Quote by ch1ng_chung
How did you get my Hotel California video? I thought it was blocked because of copyright issues


Not where I am, obviously.

Quote by ch1ng_chung
How do you practice intonation and tone?

Also, I haven't used tabs to learn songs for a year now, everything's by ear to train my ear, but somehow this hasn't worked


You're not listening to what you are doing enough. You've picked out what you should be playing pretty well but it's not enough to know where the notes are on your guitar. You need to listen to what you're doing and make sure everything is in tune and sounds good.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at May 14, 2013,
#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

You're not listening to what you are doing enough. You've picked out what you should be playing pretty well but it's not enough to know where the notes are on your guitar. You need to listen to what you're doing and make sure everything is in tune and sounds good.


Wait, I'm a bit confused here. I know my bends are a bit out of shape (need to use them more often), but are you also referring to my notes in general (unbended too)? Cause then, it's strange, because I tune my guitar with a Snark every day before I practice and I intonate it when I change strings

Also, when you bend and vibrato, how much pressure do you feel in your hands? Cause for my guitar, up to 2 keys up it feels fine, but then it suddenly feels very tight and like the string's going to snap the moment I bend any further.
#9
Quote by steven seagull

Not being able to recognise the notes you should be playing is of particular concern to you - that's a fundamental, basic skill when it comes to playing music. If you can't do that then you're wasting your time trying to learn stuff that's in reality too hard for you. Your hands are only part of the puzzle when it comes to playing the guitar, your ears and brain are equally, if not more, important. Pitch recognition is a skill, same as picking or tapping, but it's a skill you've neglected to learn. That being the case, like any other skill, you need to start at the botttom.

If your ears are untrained and you've focussed on being a tab copycat, learning complicated stuff so you can impress people, then you're never going to improve your ear working onm those virtuoso pieces.


I meant that I can figure out licks pretty quickly, relative to the note they start on, but I have lots of trouble figuring out what notes they are on.

For example, I might play a lick in C that goes C-G-Gb-A in the key of E but using the same 1-5-4#-6 degrees of the E scale. The problem is that I take multiple tries, listening to the music, to figure out that the first note is C and not any of the other 12 tones on the fretboard.

I am practicing doing this, though, but to no avail.

Oh, and I haven't used tab since last year
#10
3 years and can't think of anything to learn? Stupidest thing I've ever heard. My guess is you just lack a lot of motivation and inspiration for playing guitar. You probably just play it now more so as a chore opposed to the pure enjoyment that you and everyone else should have when they play. It's common for everyone to lose that drive they once had. I suggest you just stop playing guitar every day. My guess is you play every day (even if sometimes you really can't be bothered). Stop playing guitar because you feel you have to.. take a break for a couple days.. wait for that desire to just play and have fun to come back. It will most likely come sooner than later. It's not uncommon for me to take a few days off guitar then I'll suddenly just have a huge desire to play and I'll have so much fun and likely play hours on end.

You say you know all the modes and scales and that.. Well big deal, you can memorize a bunch of numbers on a fretboard and I'm positive you don't recognize them for their sound but instead for their number on the fretboard. Why did you learn a bunch of modes and scales to begin with? It's going to get you nowhere learning all that unless you know how to apply it and more importantly that you want to apply it. I only know 2 scales off the top of my head.. The minor pentatonic (everyone remembers that one) and the Phrygian dominant / harmonic minor scale (because i ****ing love that scale). I'm fine to admit that i don't know all the theory behind scales / modes (honestly i don't fully know what a mode even is) but i don't recognize the scales for the numbers but for instead the sounds. I know when to apply it and i know the sound of those scales. I can immediately tell if a note is out of the scale with my ear, and not just by looking at a fretboard. And i only know those 2 scales because right now they're the only 2 scales i enjoy playing.
I could learn some random scale like the Lydian Diminished scale (i have no idea what that even means) and great i know that scale, but I'm never going to incorporate it in my playing, let alone know what to play the scale over, or have any idea why i learnt it in the first place. It's just pointless for me to learn scales i wont use or know how to use.
Forgive me if I'm bashing into you and just assuming things but most the time when people say things like you're saying then generally I'm right in my assumptions.

Also learning all that virtuoso stuff, sure it's great and you may enjoy it but like.. It just doesn't seem all that productive nor does it seem to have any merit to it.

I'm going with assumptions again, but the way you've talked about knowing all these scales and modes (that you probably don't understand) and how you practice all this virtuoso music, it just seems like you're trying to hard to be something you're not.. A virtuoso guitar player.
You're not a virtuoso. Stop trying to be one. Virtuoso's don't just write their compositions for the sake of being incredibly technical (well that's not entirely true haha). They also don't know all their scales and modes for the sake of it.. They completely understand all their scales and modes and they know how and why to apply it to their music.
Learning every scale and mode will get you nowhere. You wont be able to write the next 'Wonderful Slippery Thing' knowing every scale and mode. And Guthrie didn't write it by knowing them either.

I'm going to just keep rambling on to be honest because I'm a cynical bastard but I'm doing it out of love.. Why wont you just love me.,

Take into consideration what myself and others are saying.

You've been playing 3 years.. You're still just a child learning to walk.
Last edited by vayne92 at May 14, 2013,