#1
Hey guys! I just saw an interview with Slash were he said that in his early days he mostly jammed along to bands like Aerosmith.

So i thought that if you did this to golden songs like War pigs, Dream on, Stairway to heaven etc wouldn't that make you faster, more creative, better ear and generally better fingering and all kinds of improvment?

What i mean is, do you think this could replace all the other way to learn guitar if you simply did this for hours a day?
#2
It is a great exercise and helps in a lot of ways - it improves the way you feel rhythm and it develops your ear. It does teach you technique, but it doesn't really replace actually learning a song slowly and thoroughly, or focusing on certain techniques like making sure your bends are in tune or making sure that you're actually picking accurate 16th notes etc.

Jamming along to songs is fun and I recommend it a lot. But sometimes, sitting down with a metronome and practicing that tricky lick slowly is what you really need. I wouldn't say that it replaces all of the other ways of practice.
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#4
Maxfalk

Learning some songs and solos by ear and jamming them with the recordings is how all the greats became great. It makes you a musician rather than a technician. That being said, exercises have their place, especially for trouble spots, just don't spend all of your time on them. You are what you play, so if all you're doing is running up and down scales to a metronome, than don't expect to be coming up with great solos or creative parts
#5
at the end of the day it'd teach you how to play along to bands. unfortunately, gigs where all you have to do is shred over everything are few and far between. maybe if you got into a time machine and wrote one relatively good album 29 years ago you could get away with that

that being said, playing along to (and specifically actually learning) other peoples' music by ear is absolutely the best way to learn more about music, especially the kind you enjoy. it exercises pretty much every musical skill outside of raw creativity, but even then it helps you break down and digest other peoples' creativity, which is at least as important. what you're talking about is a great way to flirt with that, though, so don't be discouraged and never jam out - remember that you can always do whatever you want as long as that doesn't completely replace your practice unless your goal is simply jam to records forever
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#6
No. Jamming is jamming. It's really important to do, but it's not a replacement for other forms of practice. Back when all I did was jam with my favorite songs, I had some good ideas and good flow, but my rhythm was sloppy, my ears were slow, and my technique was unevenly developed. Worse, it also boxed in my playing because it was always easier to jam with something I knew than take the time to learn new and challenging songs.

Basically, I wasn't taking the time to fine tune the music I was playing. Even if 90% of what I played was decent, the other 10% was ruinous. To develop you have spend time slowing things down and working out details.

The surest way to develop yourself is to cover all the bases. Do exercises, learn new songs all the time, keep playing the old songs, spend time jamming and improvising.
#7
Quote by cdgraves
Worse, it also boxed in my playing because it was always easier to jam with something I knew than take the time to learn new and challenging songs.


i think this is the biggest problem new guitarists have. they learn a few scale shapes and think, "oh, this is all i need? i can do whatever i want now and let my imagination run free! i don't want to be held down by rules and other peoples' styles" but they ultimately cage themselves up long-term. i think most, if not all of us here have been guilty of that at some point
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#9
If you only jam along with songs, you will not focus on playing accurately, and you will most likely just keep repeating your mistakes and manners, and most likely after some time you will post a thread asking for new scales to use over the songs. There is a difference between playing through songs and practicing songs. Yes, you don't necessarily need to play technical exercises (I mean, run scales up and down and stuff like that) - you can use actual music as a "technical exercise". But this doesn't mean you should just play through the songs. This means you should focus on the parts that are difficult to play and practice those until you can play them accurately. If you just play stuff that you are comfortable with, you will not improve much.

When it comes to improving your ears, yes, learning other people's music by ear is a great way of doing that. But that doesn't mean you should just play random licks over songs that you use as your "backing track". Learn to play the actual songs too. Learn to play the riffs. Learn to play the original solos. Learn whole songs. You don't want to become a guitarist that just shreds over all songs.


I'm not saying you shouldn't jam along with your favorite songs. I mean, that's fun and of course playing the guitar should be fun. But it shouldn't replace all practice (if you want to improve as a guitarist).
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 18, 2016,
#10
Hail 100% agree (you and cdgraves).

And even worse if those boxes are the minor pentatonic / blues ... as then they are royaly screwed for dealing musicallly with songs based on major ... as I indeed learned to my embarassment a long time ago ... and rapidly went to work to fix that!
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#11
Quote by Maxfalk
Hey guys! I just saw an interview with Slash were he said that in his early days he mostly jammed along to bands like Aerosmith.

So i thought that if you did this to golden songs like War pigs, Dream on, Stairway to heaven etc wouldn't that make you faster, more creative, better ear and generally better fingering and all kinds of improvment?

What i mean is, do you think this could replace all the other way to learn guitar if you simply did this for hours a day?
Yes - absolutely. Learning songs trains your ear as well as your technique. The more songs you learn (and the more variety of styles) the more extensive and well-rounded your musicianship. (I.e. don't just learn songs by one band. Unless you want to form a tribute act...)
Obviously you pick songs you like, while trying to keep an open ear for other stuff.

The only danger is as Kevatuhri says - you may not get as good at time-keeping as you need to, because it's too easy to stay in time with a recording, even with a backing track. Our natural sense of time is flexible, organic, not clockwork. We often can't tell - playing on our own - if our sense of time is any good. A metronome will expose any weakness in that area. (Don't trust that by the time you join a band, you can just follow the drummer.) Good time will make you sound way more professional than someone who can play scales or licks faster but has sloppy time.
#12
Yeah, upvote the metronome. There's a big difference between tempo and rhythm. Musicians must be able to produce rhythm on their own, and that's what the metronome helps with. You gotta be able to feel that groove even without the original track.

Quote by jerrykramskoy
Hail 100% agree (you and cdgraves).

And even worse if those boxes are the minor pentatonic / blues ... as then they are royaly screwed for dealing musicallly with songs based on major ... as I indeed learned to my embarassment a long time ago ... and rapidly went to work to fix that!


This is among the most common and unfortunate guitarist maladies. Literally every time I go to an open stage, I brace myself for inappropriate use of the minor pentatonic. And the worst thing is, if they played the exact same line a m3 up, it would be totally fine. So close.
Last edited by cdgraves at Nov 18, 2016,
#13
all you need to do is jam and record yourself playing the songs you learn along the way, you don't really need to practice ever in my opinion
recording yourself and being critical will ensure you are playing correctly.
#14
Quote by João1993
all you need to do is jam and record yourself playing the songs you learn along the way, you don't really need to practice ever in my opinion
recording yourself and being critical will ensure you are playing correctly.
Right. You don't really hear all your mistakes until you hear a recording played back. It lets you identify the points that need most work.