#1
Good day to you all.

I just have this weird question/problem that hopefully can be answered here.
Been playing guitar for 5 years now. 3 classic and 2 electric.
I go to music academy for adults to study jazz.

Lately, well i think nearly 6 months now, i feel completely lost and demotivated with all i have to process. Arpeggios, chords, modes, improvisation, .....

Our teacher is very chaotic and we have to study by ourselves, he does not teach really complete songs or set targets. Finding my way or preferences to study is just impossible.
I want to play the guitar so badly but i feel after 2 years i am nowhere.

I know alot but i cant apply it perse.

Now i have summer holydays from music academy and i could play whatever i want for 2 months. Problem is i don't know what to play or where to start.

I checked youtube for 6 hours straight to find anything that would trigger me, songs, licks, rhytms.....
Every time i play my guitar i end up playing a few riffs and practicing my bluesscale or maybe a bluesshuffle. Then i realise i can't play more so i stop.

Some songs that might interest me seem to hard, because i am not completely motivated i just give up.

I feel i need something that i get rewarded from with less effort to get back in to "hungry mode". When you reach small goals it gets fun and you want more.

Currently i do not find an intermediate song to play that could reward me, so not to easy or too hard.

Would it be possible to give me some kind of advice?
Where should i start, or how should i proceed?.

I want to be better at phrasing in blues instead of just fidling with the bluesscale all over the neck.

Also i am interested in some melodic rock, but where does that start?

Everithing became so overwhelming to me, and now i want to play guitar but don't like it because this issue.

I hope this all makes sense somehow to someone.
#2
Screw the practicing for awhile. Just take a break from playing guitar for a few days. When you come back just play for the FUN of it. Try to enjoy yourself. Maybe from that you'll get some intuition on where you should proceed with your playing.
#3
welcome to college. that's how it is. get used to getting flattened and overwhelmed and learn to work through it

right now there are no stakes, but when you're an actual musician and you have to learn the music for 5 different gigs over the space of a few days, make rehearsals, and probably handle a full-time teaching gig, you're gonna find out very quickly that not being able to force yourself to practice is what stands between having food to eat every night and getting an eviction notice. you can't "take a few days off" if you plan on making music for a living.

it's a nonstop trip until you find a niche you can fill and make the most of it, but most performing musicians don't get that kind of luxury for a very, very long time

if you can't make the cut, find another major and a job that fits you better. it's probably the smarter route if stress, unpredictable income, high workloads, and ridiculous deadlines don't sound like fun to you.

at the end of the day, you can make music for art all you want and no one can tell you the right or wrong way, but if you're investing into your future to be able to rely upon your skills, nobody gives a shit what kind of professor you had, where you came from, whatever - if you can't show off your chops in the audition, you're not getting the job.

it's harsh, and yeah, you can take some time off, but keep in the back of your mind that unless you can outperform everybody in your school, you're not going to have a chance when you enter the real world which is infinitely larger and has infinitely more talent, especially considering cats your age who spent the time you were in school actually playing gigs, making contacts, and filling up their resumes. in a sense, you're already behind just by taking the approach you are unless you've got a full ride and are impressing the right people.
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#4
Quote by Hail
welcome to college. that's how it is. get used to getting flattened and overwhelmed and learn to work through it

right now there are no stakes, but when you're an actual musician and you have to learn the music for 5 different gigs over the space of a few days, make rehearsals, and probably handle a full-time teaching gig, you're gonna find out very quickly that not being able to force yourself to practice is what stands between having food to eat every night and getting an eviction notice. you can't "take a few days off" if you plan on making music for a living.

it's a nonstop trip until you find a niche you can fill and make the most of it, but most performing musicians don't get that kind of luxury for a very, very long time

if you can't make the cut, find another major and a job that fits you better. it's probably the smarter route if stress, unpredictable income, high workloads, and ridiculous deadlines don't sound like fun to you.

at the end of the day, you can make music for art all you want and no one can tell you the right or wrong way, but if you're investing into your future to be able to rely upon your skills, nobody gives a shit what kind of professor you had, where you came from, whatever - if you can't show off your chops in the audition, you're not getting the job.

it's harsh, and yeah, you can take some time off, but keep in the back of your mind that unless you can outperform everybody in your school, you're not going to have a chance when you enter the real world which is infinitely larger and has infinitely more talent, especially considering cats your age who spent the time you were in school actually playing gigs, making contacts, and filling up their resumes. in a sense, you're already behind just by taking the approach you are unless you've got a full ride and are impressing the right people.


I know what you are meaning here, but my ambitions are a little less at the moment. I would like to play in a band and do some gig's, and we'l see from there. I have 2 kids and a normal dayjob.
I would love to get out there and play, maybe write a song, do some session work.
Making money with music i probably way out of my league, unless teaching maybe.
If i get past this crisis first offc :-).

I don't have the no food on the table problem now, happy for that.
My dayjob is ok and i think i can keep it untill i retire if i want .

I just want to get better and see some progress AND have fun playing.
At this point not a lot of fun is involved.
#5
My apologies Tom. I didn't realize you were trying to make a living through playing.
#6
Quote by Tom1984
Good day to you all.

I just have this weird question/problem that hopefully can be answered here.
Been playing guitar for 5 years now. 3 classic and 2 electric.
I go to music academy for adults to study jazz.

Lately, well i think nearly 6 months now, i feel completely lost and demotivated with all i have to process. Arpeggios, chords, modes, improvisation, .....

Our teacher is very chaotic and we have to study by ourselves, he does not teach really complete songs or set targets.
How do the other students feel about that? Is it worth complaining?
Quote by Tom1984
Now i have summer holydays from music academy and i could play whatever i want for 2 months. Problem is i don't know what to play or where to start.
What kind of music do you like? What made you want to learn guitar in the first place? Get back to that.
Quote by Tom1984

I checked youtube for 6 hours straight to find anything that would trigger me, songs, licks, rhytms.....
There's too much on youtube. You need a focus.
Quote by Tom1984

Some songs that might interest me seem to hard, because i am not completely motivated i just give up.
I feel i need something that i get rewarded from with less effort to get back in to "hungry mode". When you reach small goals it gets fun and you want more.
Exactly! Hold that thought.
Quote by Tom1984

Currently i do not find an intermediate song to play that could reward me, so not to easy or too hard.
You need to be able to find enjoyment in simpler songs. No need to challenge yourself all the time.
Don't think about goals at all - even the simple 5-minute ones. Think about the present moment, each single note you play.
There's no such thing as music that is "too easy". You can always add expression (without changing anything), or embellish, improvise on it, develop it.

The point - as I think you'd agree - is finding ways of enjoying playing, so you can do it for longer, and so progress quicker. But enjoying it fully means forgetting about progress and goals, because music only exists while you're playing it (or hearing it). It's "now".
Don't think of what you're doing as "practice". Think of it as "playing" (in all senses of that word).
Quote by Tom1984

I want to be better at phrasing in blues instead of just fidling with the bluesscale all over the neck.
So learn some blues phrases. Listen to some blues and steal some licks.
Quote by Tom1984

Also i am interested in some melodic rock, but where does that start?
Er, with melody? Again, listen to some good examples, and try learning it by ear - don't look up tabs, just play along. If that's too hard, use a slowdowner.
Learning melody and phrasing is about building a vocabulary. It doesn't come from the air by magic, or from within your head. It comes from listening and copying.
#7
Quote by Tom1984
I know what you are meaning here, but my ambitions are a little less at the moment. I would like to play in a band and do some gig's, and we'l see from there. I have 2 kids and a normal dayjob.
I would love to get out there and play, maybe write a song, do some session work.
Making money with music i probably way out of my league, unless teaching maybe.
If i get past this crisis first offc :-).

I don't have the no food on the table problem now, happy for that.
My dayjob is ok and i think i can keep it untill i retire if i want .

I just want to get better and see some progress AND have fun playing.
At this point not a lot of fun is involved.


okok, i read "i'm in an academy for guitar" and assumed you were a 20 year old with no responsibilities making a huge mistake in career choice

for that yeah, your goals are your goals.
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#8
Hi Tom,

I'm unclear whether you're making sense of the theory you've learned or not?

Either way, I'd suggest you get yourself a copy of "Transribe" software, and chose one of your favourite blues solos (you say you like blues), and just loop sections, and work it out by ear.

Use your theory to find where the soloist is sticking to the blues scale, or where he's doing other stuff.

But especially, observe where he starts, stops ... how he appllies vibrato and bends. Any notes in particular get used for starting and stopping? (the root, the b7 ...???)

If you know you're way around the fretboard, then try the above in different areas. Remember the guitar can be navigated horizontally (along strings) as well as vertically.

Chord-wise, check out what voicings are being used. How would you adapt that?

Play along at different speeds ... steal bits you like ... take his phrasing ideas and use you note choice, and vice versa.

This can be real fun, and great for progressing.

Good luck. Jerry

(dump the teacher ... he should be guiding you, not overwhelming you. Sadly some just want show how much they know, rather than simplify it and make it accessible. Ooops ... nearly got my sandbox out to start ranting :-) )
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jul 25, 2015,
#9
^Soapbox?

I feel like a sandbox doesn't to much to make people take you more seriously.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#10
If you want to become a regular working session musician then you can't fully rely on "motivation". In addition If you really want to be well respected you have to be very reliable.. There's a whole bunch of different gigs out there for a session musician which includes reading sheets or just coming into a session to improvise. You always have to be consistent, and reliable if you want to make a living doing it. Yeah sometimes I don't feel like practicing, but it does kind of motivate you when, you know there's people out, there relying on you.. You have to be at the point in your guitar playing where only you know that you're having a bad day, and no one else. So consistency is something you definitely have to aim for on a daily basis.


If you actually want to make a living doing this.. Oh, and for improving your phrasing in the "Blues" just study, and practice triplet rhythms. For example quarter note triplets, 8th note triplets, 16th note triplets, AKA know as sextuplets, and just your regular triplets 3 notes per beat. Phrasing has a lot to do with how rhythmically articulate you are. For example where you're accenting on the beat or off the beat, and what not. The subtleties in your guitar playing, and honestly I see it as no difference in being a really dynamic rhythmic guitarist.


How hard you strum, and where you're leaving space to how gently you are strumming too which also makes up the dynamics. Those skills from your rhythm guitar playing literally transfer over to your lead playing. So if you want better phrasing within the "blues" I'd highly suggest you get into practicing a lot of triplets in order to get that more bluesy feel.


Here's a good example of SRV playing "rude mood" on a 12 string acoustic guitar. Notice how what he's playing has a very swing feeling; it's a really basic shuffle rhythm sped up pretty much, but also notice how consistent his rhythm skills are. He has no drummer to back him up, and there's no metronome clicking in the back ground. He has a very innate sense of rhythm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYSoJmSMctU

He's locked deeply into the groove, but also notice how when he plays those open string licks how rhythmic they are. A lot of people praise him for being a really good lead guitarist, but what a lot of people tend to forget is that why he's such a good lead guitarist is because he's a MONSTER of a rhythm guitarist. That's why his phrasing is so damn good.
Last edited by Black_devils at Jul 25, 2015,
#11
Quote by Black_devils
If you want to become a regular working session musician then you can't fully rely on "motivation".
Sure, "If".... (see post #4)
Quote by Black_devils

If you actually want to make a living doing this.
Again, "if..."
#12
Quote by Tom1984
I want to be better at phrasing in blues instead of just fidling with the bluesscale all over the neck.



Immerse yourself into the blues. Practice using different modes in blues. Listen to guys playing blues and ear out some specific things you like. Practice different ways to play the blues scale, and practice it faster and faster. Practice chord voicings suitable for blues, and watch Joe Pass videos on YouTube, there are 3 but 2 I find are the better ones, one is a blues one. He has a less sort BB king or hendrix-ish blues style. Less of whiny bendy blues, and more srt of emphasis on harmony and bassline sort of thing. There is a lot to do in the blues.

But you can't do it all at once. Like you said, you need small goals. Sso pick something you need to improve on, work on that every day until you rock, and learn one thing at a time from other artists.

A lot of good phrasing in blues is that blues scale though. It is what gives blues that unmistakeably blues feel I find.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jul 25, 2015,
#13
Thanks for all the tips, they are most welcome.

I would love to play little wing by SRV.
This weekend i tried to find some parts of it but it seems too complex to find out by ear.

What kind of software do you guys use to slow down music?

Beginning with guitar is easy, but you get to a point where you need a direction.
There is so much to do/learn you easily get completely lost/overwelmed.

Another question, how do you guys remember licks?
I have a course with SRV licks. I studied 5 licks and the day after i completely forgot 4 of them. How would that be solved if you know 100 licks?
#14
transcribe! for slowing down music

as far as learning licks...put them into context. learn full songs. play them with the music. play them without the music. play them with a metronome. sing them in the shower. you get your memory game up by practicing just like any other skill.
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#15
Quote by Tom1984


Beginning with guitar is easy, but you get to a point where you need a direction.
There is so much to do/learn you easily get completely lost/overwelmed.


Exactly. It's a lot of small steps you have to take. If you look at the big picture the workload is insane, especially if you want to become world class. It's years and years of work. So, you need to make smaller goals and do it all in a sensible order.

Quote by Tom1984
Another question, how do you guys remember licks?
I have a course with SRV licks. I studied 5 licks and the day after i completely forgot 4 of them. How would that be solved if you know 100 licks?


I actually don't remember licks that much really. I usually always come up with new ones when I solo. But I have to remember some stuff, and to do that, I just do repetition until it feels real stuck, and then if I lose it, I do that again, and then it sticks. But I'll eventually forget it again. Even songs I write, I play them, remember them, can play it all no problem, but give it some time and I will have forgotten the chords and the lyrics, and if I didn't record it, there is a good chance I could forget that it ever existed at all.

There are sort of two halves of remembering guitar. One is the fingering, and the other is the sound. They can sometimes work together to jolt each other. For licks, if I forget the sound part, it will be gone if I solo. Idk how that works, and that's part of why I don't like using licks. If I use licks, then I'm taking a musical idea from elsewhere that isn't mine or what I'm feeling exactly, most of the time. I don't know how to get my musical personality to want a given lick really. It will either come or it won't. So, I might learn a lick that I'll never feel like playing, even if I like the lick, it might not feel right, or come to mind when I'm playing. So, I do it sometimes for some things, but not too often.

I prefer to try and get away from any licks, or muscle memory and imagine, and steal my own licks I am imagining, that I can't play right away. Those ones do come naturally.

I don't have to remember any speeches or dialog that way. I just speak freely what's on my mind, and that's my music. To me, that is the beauty of the art form.

Transcribe! is good software for earing stuff out though for sure. I would also recommend it for that. It is easy to loop, easy to slow, easy to pitch shift. Definitely what you'd want for that.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jul 27, 2015,
#16
"How do you remember licks?"

Well, you just have to use them regularly. Use them in different contexts. Also, remembering the sound is important. If you remember the sound and forget the fingerings, you can always find the right fingerings again.

Some licks are just so commonly used that you remember them.

But yeah, I wouldn't try to memorize hundreds of licks. Solos aren't just licks played one after another, just like songs are not just riffs played one after another. If you want to learn to play solos, learn other people's solos.


But yeah, is it just licks that you have a hard time memorizing, or do you also find it hard to memorize full songs/melodies/riffs? For example if I told you to play the riff of a song that you learned to play a month ago, could you play it?

I don't think memorizing licks differs from memorizing riffs or chord progressions or melodies in any way. I mean, licks are short melodic lines.
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#17
All the replies in this thread are spot on! I honestly didn't see one ounce of bad advice lol.

#18
So you want to get a band together and play some gigs. Considering you're serious enough to go to Music Academy, I'm surprised you aren't already doing this.

Get a band together, or join a band, and do some gigs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#19
Get a band or join a band is easier to say then to do.
When am i good enough? Try to find a band that plays your kind of music.
I am registered to a local site for musicians.
I get emails all the time "looking for guitarplayer in our deathmetal band"
" join our panthera cover group", all i want is a blues/ rock minded group.

Sure some metallica does not hurt, but no shredding for me 😀.
It seems like all musicians in my town live in another world i cannot get to haha!
#20
You're good enough when you can play 3 chords. I think you're there.

Otherwise you also go to a Music Academy. Are there other musicians there?

Hopefully I'm not coming off as too blunt, but I have little sympathy for those who don't take steps to achieve their own goals, then whinge when they don't achieve them.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#21
once you've played a couple gigs you'll wonder to yourself "why isn't everyone doing this?"

all it takes is a little personal motivation and the ability to go talk to people. go to local rock shows and mingle. find some open mics. network. look at the wanted boards at coffee shops and guitar centers.
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#22
I played 17 gigs last year with the academy combo, i know what it is.
We also do jam nights.
That does not mean people want to start a band, or most of them are in one.

We played scofield, stones, zappa, peppers, cream, grant green, Hendrix, ....
We play with 2 guitarists and i feel for example my solo's SUCK.

Probably i am too much of a perfectionist, however not playing at the moment because i don't know what to play or what to do to get better.

I'm just letting it be for the moment. I am checking out Robben Ford's rhythm playing and mixing minor and major pentatonic + mixolydian. This weekend i will try to use these over a backing track. I will post the result here but you will agree that it will sound boring and "scaly".
#23
^None of those things are barriers to playing with others, which is the best thing you can do for your playing .
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#24
Quote by Tom1984
I played 17 gigs last year with the academy combo, i know what it is.
We also do jam nights.
That does not mean people want to start a band, or most of them are in one.

We played scofield, stones, zappa, peppers, cream, grant green, Hendrix, ....
We play with 2 guitarists and i feel for example my solo's SUCK.

Probably i am too much of a perfectionist, however not playing at the moment because i don't know what to play or what to do to get better.

I'm just letting it be for the moment. I am checking out Robben Ford's rhythm playing and mixing minor and major pentatonic + mixolydian. This weekend i will try to use these over a backing track. I will post the result here but you will agree that it will sound boring and "scaly".


I would suggest getting some practice backing tracks and practice your soloing, but start with really basic and really easy ones, like simple diatonic progressions, and then move onto the more complicated stuff once you feel you have a good handle on that.

You can play with people right away, despite your difficulties, but if I play with someone that messes up a lot it will bother me, and I won't want to play with them, so I won't. Others are that way also, so you end up playing with people that also mess up a lot, which is all fine and great, and everybody starts somewhere, but it is good to practice with something dependable that won't messup on you. Then, you will have no problem playing with people that are of a higher caliber.

I've always liked playing with actual songs as well, not just backing tracks, and I'll solo through the whole thing. You can do that as well, and even make playlists of songs in the same keys, or ones that have key changes and others that don't or what have you.

If the music is too technically difficult for you, and you're trying all these scales, you might have to work so hard on what you're doing, and kind of a theory approach on accomplishing the task of making "music that works" that you won't have any brain power left to be creative.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jul 30, 2015,