eric_wearing
KillerOfIdiocracy
Join date: Oct 2011
1,542 IQ
#1
So I was over at WhyISuckAtGuitar.com (free advertising, cool site so far) and saw this quick piece of advice. When he began, he's played for 4 hours a day as a magic number for his success. He said after a while, he got bored to the point where he was unmotivated. 10 years later, he says he plays every day and says he can't put it down. In the end his advice was this (copy/paste)

"This is going to go against everything your parents ever told you, but don’t pick up the guitar unless you want to. When you want to play you’ll be clear headed, engaged and ready to improve. When you force yourself to play you’ll usually end up frustrated. If it takes two weeks for you to get to the point where you really want to pick up the guitar, so be it."

What do you guys think of this? I sorta thought I was just being lazy. I do my ear training daily but my baby Ebony hasn't been practiced on much in the past few weeks, yet every time I pick her up, I'm better. Maybe this works for some people and not for others (I can hear some 'wtf's" already heh)

(full article here for anyone wanting to grasp what he meant, it's short haha)
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

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20Tigers
1
Join date: Jun 2008
640 IQ
#2
Well I can understand the idea that if you want to play the guitar then you will.

However, I think that often people want to play the guitar and don't want to put in the hard work. Or sometimes they feel unmotivated and so don't pick it up.

Much of the time if you set aside a certain amount of practice time (say an hour) and you make yourself pick it up and play for 20 minutes you won't want to put it down an hour later. It's just the picking it up that's sometimes hard. Once you do you are on your way. It's just a matter of having a set practice schedule and some self discipline. Get started and it's easy.
Si
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
#3
Sometimes I have to get some momentum going to pick up the guitar in a given day. When you work full time it can be hard to come home and spend 2-4 more hours doing anything with focus. I also always start with an hour of warmups/technique stuff to get loose, which can get a little onerous.

But as soon as I get to something that really needs work, I find I can't stop until I've gotten past whatever obstacle I'm experiencing. I'll spend the better part of an hour working on something I intended only to get started with.

To avoid getting hung up or frustrated (and to make sure I practice everything I need to), I usually use a timer with practice, set to 10-15 minutes. Breaking each practice session into chunks makes it more manageable.
Last edited by cdgraves at Aug 10, 2013,
RCA1186
GO PACK GO!
Join date: Feb 2006
1,555 IQ
#4
Nope I feel the same way, I won't play unless I get the urge to. If I feel like playing I'll get up and play. Sometimes I have to force myself to play though because its hard to make time to do it and I know I need to practice.
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National_Anthem
Quite the toff
Join date: Jun 2007
554 IQ
#5
I do this and I'm more or less working as a professional musician whilst studying. Although sometimes "feeling like picking up" the instrument is more like "knowing that you have to do some practise if you don't want to sound like total shit and embarrass yourself publicly".
curlyhead_P
?
Join date: Aug 2006
343 IQ
#6
I think the point is not practice to the point where you dislike the instrument. Think about how many little asian boys and girls are forced to play the piano or violin all the way until the end of high school (for those of you not living in the city, this isn't racism, it's actually true). How many of those kids still sit down everyday and play just for fun? Not many.

The thing with guitarists is that they often put themselves in that position, forcing themselves to be a slave to the instrument so that they can one day become virtuoso players. The problem is that if you keep treating it like a job then it will become a job. If you're not having fun, just put the guitar down and come back when you're ready. Otherwise you'll miserable (but very skilled).
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vIsIbleNoIsE
The Asian-Viking Paradox
Join date: Feb 2006
1,540 IQ
#8
it depends on what you're playing guitar for. if you're playing mainly for yourself, or to jam with friends, i think it's a good way to go.
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cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
#9
Quote by curlyhead_P
The problem is that if you keep treating it like a job then it will become a job.


I wouldn't consider that a problem for someone who actually wants to get a job playing guitar.

I had a startling realization one day: I am better at Retail than guitar. Despite all the emotion and lifestyle built around being a musician, I just don't have 8 hours a day to play music as long as I'm also working a normal day job. If I ever want to be as good at guitar as my extremely boring day job, I have to put in the same level of dedication and have the same positive attitude.

I have to work on some really boring, repetitive shit sometimes. And sometimes practices are just a bummer. But being able to get up and play Van Halen's guitar solo from "Beat It" whenever I want is kinda worth the effort. Getting paid to hang out at a bar with my friends is definitely worth it.

Treating guitar as a job doesn't mean I stop enjoying it, but I do accept that it's not going to be a non-stop rollercoaster of awesomeness. It means I do what I have to get to results in the occupation of my choice.
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#10
I agree with him- as long as you're genuinely not using it as an excuse just to never play- and 20Tigers makes a good point that sometimes just picking it up is hard. Maybe a better rule would be, "Pick up the guitar and play for a few second and if you're still not feeling it, then put it down again."

As usual it depends on what type of person you are, too.
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will42
UG's bassoon-master
Join date: Aug 2010
1,093 IQ
#11
When I'm at home, I practice a lot less then when I'm at school. I have too many distractions when I'm at home. I could be playing organ, eating food, dicking around on the computer, or playing smash bros.

When I'm at school, I practice every day for a few hours. Not only is it my obligation to practice that often, but I have literally nothing else to do. I go to school in the middle of nowhere, and I couldn't distract myself from practicing if I tried. I'm not bored when I practice, its just the thing I have the most fun doing when I'm up at school.

(I have fun practicing everything except etudes. **** Milde.)
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MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,409 IQ
#12
I have always done this with guitar. I have never played it when I haven't felt it. Maybe that's because I'm pretty much self taught (I took lessons last year though) and I decided to start playing the guitar - my parents didn't tell me to start playing it. They don't tell me to practice like they told me when I played the trumpet (I still play it and have started appreciating it more - but there was a time when I didn't really feel like playing it that much and was considering quitting). Actually I think they don't even want to hear me play the guitar because I play "too loud" for them (though they don't bitch about it any more). And I guess I play wrong genres.

I don't actually even practice guitar that much. I play songs and learn stuff that way. And if I can't play a part of the song, I slow it down and start practicing it.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 11, 2013,
Tazz3
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2013
735 IQ
#13
I try to practice at least an hour a day
sweetdude3000
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2012
1,172 IQ
#14
If you want to get to a higher level in guitar, that sometimes means practicing the things that give you trouble, which isn't always 'fun'. You can fall into the trap of playing the same easy stuff over and over and be content, or push yourself to work on the things that give you trouble and get better at them. In the long run, if you really want it, you will be happy you put in the effort. Patience and positive attitude will get you there.
koslack
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2008
624 IQ
#15
When I was younger, I had no problem playing guitar for four hours a day. I did that for years - not because I wanted to get awesome but because I loved playing. Improving was a bit of a bonus. That said, I never really did structured practicing - my goal was never to become a shredder, it was to learn songs I loved, and later, to write my own.
Now, I barely pick up a guitar at home. I play with my band, and I'll play if I'm writing. But again, my goal is not to become very technically proficient.
If that is your goal, then yeah, you gotta do a lot of gruntwork that isn't always a ton of fun (maybe it is for some people. Different strokes and all that). But I never wanted to resent playing guitar, and I learned very quickly that if I sat down and said "Now I'm going to write a song," I usually wrote crap. Whereas if I felt inspired and couldn't wait to play, I usually wrote something cool.
20Tigers
1
Join date: Jun 2008
640 IQ
#16
Quote by koslack
Improving was a bit of a bonus.

Nice. First time I've seen someone on this site use the word improving correctly. So often I see it misused in place of improvising
Si
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,409 IQ
#17
Quote by koslack
When I was younger, I had no problem playing guitar for four hours a day. I did that for years - not because I wanted to get awesome but because I loved playing. Improving was a bit of a bonus. That said, I never really did structured practicing - my goal was never to become a shredder, it was to learn songs I loved, and later, to write my own.
Now, I barely pick up a guitar at home. I play with my band, and I'll play if I'm writing. But again, my goal is not to become very technically proficient.
If that is your goal, then yeah, you gotta do a lot of gruntwork that isn't always a ton of fun (maybe it is for some people. Different strokes and all that). But I never wanted to resent playing guitar, and I learned very quickly that if I sat down and said "Now I'm going to write a song," I usually wrote crap. Whereas if I felt inspired and couldn't wait to play, I usually wrote something cool.



I'm just like you.

Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Yamaha FG720S-12
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Laney VC30
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piratelooksat30
Young with an old soul
Join date: Aug 2013
10 IQ
#18
I don't think this is good advice. There is an old quote regarding motivation. The exact quote escapes me, but it is along the lines of waiting for motivation. If you wait for motivation, it'll never get done and I agree. My first round with the guitar I ended up quitting and not picking it up for 10 years. Mainly because I did not schedule practice time. I relied on motiviation. Motiviation never came. I don't believe you should force yourself every day, nothing wrong with taking a break or a few days off. Or on those days, just throw theory aside and maybe try working on a new song or something. Tell yourself, i'll just play for fun for 15-20 minutes. I have found that on some days when I don't feel like playing, if I make myself pick it up and play something just for fun, just for 15 minutes, I end up getting into it and playing well beyond 15 minutes. It's too easy to be lazy when you work 8-10 hrs a day and with all the distractions we have. Yea, you can't wait around for motivation.
eric_wearing
KillerOfIdiocracy
Join date: Oct 2011
1,542 IQ
#19
I caught this article at the right time. I set my baby Ebony down for a while and started focusing on theory for about 2 months. I picked her up whenever I found something new about theory and put it to practice for maybe 5 minutes if it was a really difficult concept (counting my way to building 7th chords for example) but mostly about 2 minutes was all I needed. Anyways, I picked Ebony up again about 2 weeks ago and I found that writing songs and playing what's in my head to be easier...but I only hold her for a short amount of time.

Basically I play a scale or two, improvise over a backing track (cheating btw, I know what scale is being played and I have the scale chart in front of me but I subtract from it day to day), try to learn a new chord or something of the sort. Other than improvising though, which easilly eats up 10 minutes alone, I don't spend much time on anything. Even if I accidently make a progression, I just type it into my guitar and bass trainer's jam band and send it to my lady friends who are better at writing than I am. I just get so bored heh...guess Ebony could use to take a vacation with me :P get her some new strings, polish her...*goes to plan a date*
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
#21
Quote by eric_wearing
I caught this article at the right time. I set my baby Ebony down for a while and started focusing on theory for about 2 months.



No such thing as theory without the music. Gotta work all that stuff out on the fretboard before it can be of any benefit.
Hardlycore
Now it's a party
Join date: Apr 2012
799 IQ
#22
I think it all depends on your goals. If you're trying to go pro, or just be a great player, you can't just "play when you want," because you'll never get where you're trying to end up. Even naturally talented players have to practice.

With that being said, if you just play for a hobby, or a small band, then you should absolutely play when you genuinely want to.