#1
I have always loved being able to play almost any thing. However, playing very fast passages usually involves a TON of technical finger training. I didn't mind it at first, but I am noticing that the most frustrating thing is the UPKEEP OF SPEED AND TECHNIQUE!. Here is an example: I'll spend about 2 weeks for 1 hour a day working tirelessly and repetitively on legato and alternate picking, and get it down very well. I'll put my guitar down to work on something else for a week, then when I come back to it, I feel like I have to start alll over again! I try coming back to the technical playing for a little bit everyday, but it seems as if I don't dedicate an hour a day to it, Im just going to go backwards in progress. I only have this problem with guitar; I grew up playing classical piano for 14 years and can sit down and play a highly technical piece (liszt, chopin) with very little loss in technique after taking a break from playing for months and months. Does anyone else here have this problem and how did you overcome it without dedicating too much time to building chops (which in my opinion is what I would like to spend the least amount of time on, since it has nothing to do with developing musicality)
#2
if play piano then you have a good use of both hands. this means you may be better as left handed guitarist (if your right handed or vica versa)
#3
I've been playing over 20 years and although I find it a little difficult to warm up, after a while it's actually easier. I also find that my technique is better after breaks. I've taken months/ year breaks and I might have to work a bit to get my chops up, a week or two. More often than not, I'm more accurate and precise after the break than before.

I think that you'll find with time you're going to develop a certain amount of muscle memory with the guitar and that it just takes time for it to get ingrained in there.

One thought though. Piano requires different finger strength. Maybe that's messing with your guitar ability? IDK about that though.
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#4
its like developing muscles...it takes a shitload of time. most of the technical aspect of guitar is conditioning. You just have to keep plugging away at it.

And you should develop your chops. The reason why you should develop them is because you should never be LIMITED by your technical ability. If you want to play blues really badly but don't have the skill for it, become a much better PLAYER and you'll be able to play the style you love flawlessly.
Above all, just don't give up.
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#5
Well, TS, I hate to say it, but sometimes you jus have to keep practicing, man. That's why I find it helps to write stuff down a lot. I transcribe a lot of my licks to help remember how they went. Unfortunately, I usually have to practice them repetatively, jus like you, or I forget.
#6
I've been playing over 20 years and although I find it a little difficult to warm up, after a while it's actually easier. I also find that my technique is better after breaks. I've taken months/ year breaks and I might have to work a bit to get my chops up, a week or two. More often than not, I'm more accurate and precise after the break than before.


I've never had the TS' problem either. I took a four month break from the instrument earlier this year, and it only took me a few days to get my technique back in order. Come to think of it, I've been so focused on the piano that I haven't touched my guitar in months. It may be time to drag it out again...
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#7
How old are you if your over 20 it might take your brain a bit longer to keep the techniques as a long term thing and not a short term thing. This includes muscle memory or nerve transmission speed.
#8
Quote by GoldenGuitar
How old are you if your over 20 it might take your brain a bit longer to keep the techniques as a long term thing and not a short term thing. This includes muscle memory or nerve transmission speed.


I would like to see some research confirming this. The motor system is incredibly efficient at retaining knowledge of learned movement. I'm not even aware of a mechanism by which nerve transmission speed would slow significantly after age twenty.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#10
When you're correctly practicing your technique on guitar, everything you practice
tends to be self-reinforcing -- practcing one thing practicing everything in a sense.
I've found it takes less time picking up new things or going back to other things.
So, I'd say something is wrong with your practicing. Guitar is not piano (which
I also played with lessons for a long time).
#11
I'm will be turning 23 in December and have been playing guitar for about 6 years. I am not playing just for the sake of being able to melt people's head off with ultra fast shredding. Its more so that my limiting factor in playing the songs I write is NOT the fact that I cannot physically play them. I tend almost agree that muscle memory and skill learning tends to slow down with age, as I remember it didn't take me long at alll to get my piano technique very good (at about age 8-9). I expected the same thing when I picked up the guitar, since I thought it would be alot easier to control than playing piano runs (I remember playing some runs on piano that involve both hands moving in opposite directions at a very fast speed to a broken scale in the music of liszt (transcendetal etudes, concertos), this to me seems a million times harder than moving a pick back and forth with your right hand while moving your left hand around between positions placed pretty close to each other). God if I could shred on guitar as fast as I play piano I'd be as fast as roosty cooley.
#12
I'm 52 and I make progress now at many times the rate of when I was 18 (although
if I knew then what I know now, I'm sure it would be even faster). The most
significant aspect to progress is HOW you practice -- knowing exactly how your
brain and body acquire "intelligence" and applying that to practicing.

If you had reached the point where you really understood guitar technique, you
wouldn't "lose" it. Like riding a bike,
#13
Quote by edg

If you had reached the point where you really understood guitar technique, you
wouldn't "lose" it. Like riding a bike,


i'm with the_rylan and archeo on this. i've only been playing 13 years or so now but i actually find it a little easier to take a day or 2 off and come back and play than to play non stop for days on end. i think it might be how you are practicing and what you are practicing. i remember the 6 year mark for me (most of my older songs on my profile are from around that time period) and even then it wasn't too hard to pick up after a week of not playing and get back on it like i hadn't taken any time off. i wonder a couple things, one of which being

1) are you really learning what you're practicing or are you acquiring it by "just getting by" remember speed alone is a byproduct of accuracy, are you trying to play faster than what you really can? also muscle memory is a product of accurate repetition, i've heard it said that if you play something wrong once, you have to play it correctly 10 times to correct it in your brain.

2) your string gauge and setup, this can drastically affect how quickly you learn, muscle memory, tension and a whole host of other things.

3) when and how you practice, subsequently do you know what is the most effective practicing method for you as an individual? how many practice methods have you tried?

4) have you noticed commonalities when it appears practicing was most efficient? maybe its in the middle of the night (it is for me) or right after a light snack? is it something that can be physically or mentally done to prepare your mind and body for practicing to its fullest degree and getting the most out of either 5 minutes or 6 hours of practice?

these are all good questions that if you don't immediately have the answer to them you should find out right away. i could answer all of these right off the top of my head (even at 6 years i could tell you all of this without a second thought, probably even in my sleep or dead drunk) and all of these can play an important part in your learning speed.
Last edited by z4twenny at Oct 27, 2008,
#14
Quote by manmanster
its like developing muscles...it takes a shitload of time. most of the technical aspect of guitar is conditioning. You just have to keep plugging away at it.

And you should develop your chops. The reason why you should develop them is because you should never be LIMITED by your technical ability. If you want to play blues really badly but don't have the skill for it, become a much better PLAYER and you'll be able to play the style you love flawlessly.
Above all, just don't give up.

You know, that in theory is great advice, but it didn't really work for me. Wanting to understand why different things worked in the blues, and wanting to be able to play anything in my head at will, I kind of outgrew the blues. You've gotta be REALLY into the blues to continue playing it, imo.
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