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What's your 10 year vision for improving?


SlackStack

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For the last few days, I've been wondering if I'm being efficient in my guitar practice. The answer is "probably not." While I probably have the guitar in my hands about 10 hours as week, just varying my practice from topics to topic. Sometimes I work with tab to learn a classic solo, sometimes I practice ear training, sometimes I work with metronome to get the scales down, sometimes I work with some truefire video lessons.

 

I think that should have more of a "plan." However, if you don't know where your going, any road will take you there; as the old saying goes.

 

So...my question to forum members is "where do you want to be - guitar wise - in the future? Maybe some of your wisdom will click with me. (I'm not afraid to latch onto someone else's insight.) I know therea are lot of questions that could be asked, and I think that I've already asked them of myself.

 

I haven't studied with a teacher for a long time. But it seems to me that I won't gain much help from them until I can articulate my goals. And I know that generating a goal, is fundamentally my choice and responsibility.

 

Just for context, I'm 53 and will never be considered a professional. Ten years ago I hardly ever touched my guitars. Ten years from now, I'm sure I'll have more time for my passion.

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Something I keep meaning to do...

 

I've bought it, I just need to start doing it.

 

Buy a notebook and write down long term goals and short term goals. Pre-plan a week of things you want to accomplish and stick with it. No excuses.

 

It's like going to the gym to lose weight.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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Are you in a band or do you play with other folks? I recently hooked up with a couple guys and we get together (try to) once a week to play and it has opened my mind up as to playing and practice. Never really think long term, I'm on the short side of 52 so in ten years I hope to still be above ground! I just keep playing and improvement comes naturally.
I was born at night but I wasn't born last night...
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What's your 10 year vision for improving?

 

Hmmm....I really oughta get me one of those.

 

I'm with Bejeeber! :thu::D

 

Seriously, the thing is- theree's a big difference between thinking about practicing, lessons, organizing and improving- and actually doing it.

 

The former- thinking about it and liking the idea- is daydreaming, which we ALL do, and isn't a bad thing at all in and of itself, in fact it's a good thing, so long as it leads to the latter- organized, focused work and applied study- which is a plan.

 

I need to get to more of the latter myself! :blush::crazy::thu:

 

Which would include one-on-one lessons- general/intermediary/advanced at first, ultimately leading to lessons from bona fide jazz and classical instructors- and along the way learning to read music-notation mo' betterer, and especially to be able to WRITE it. I've lost so much of my own music by simply forgetting it, and I often wake up with wild music in my head from my dreams, which can be very hard to hold on to!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Here's what I do on a regular basis.

Daily, there's not really enough time for me to do everything I'd like, so I divide my time per week.

Some days it's voice (which can--& should-- be practiced with other instruments but also deserves it's own focus [*]), somedays keyboards, somedays guitar, somedays other things. Those rotate.

Each day's divided into an early morning & late afternoon/early evening period.

You don't really want to get into marathons; they have limited effect over just 1/2 hour or hour sessions.

I start the mornings with free-form improv to take advantage of "freshness" & to loosen up.

That's followed by fingering but on the guitar I try some exercises learned from a Matt Blackett article, which have to do with both gently warming up & forcing new uses of fretting fingers.

[see this thread]

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1973981/Interesting_guitarist_exercise#Post1973981

 

 

After that I play a song I'm familiar with but do so with as much expression as I can muster...but I do it as a performance, i.e., I don't start over if I feel something could be better.

Sometimes learning can be helped by focusing on fragments but sometimes that can be a distraction from continuity.

I never play anything more than twice per session; if it needs more improvement, too much repetition means I'm likely to "learn my mistakes".

 

In evenings I work on learning new things; new music or techniques & reading.

Brain studies suggest that most of us learn better when new things are closely followed by sleep, which gives the brain oportunity to review the new knowledge.

So each day's a mix of pure play, refinement & working on something new.

 

Of course everyone has their own preferences & even if there might be an advantage to doing things one way or another, whether as suggested here or by a player in GP, etc., things only work for us if we're comfortable leaning in that manner.

 

I would suggest, though, that while long term goals are good b/c learning's a lifelong activity, that one make sure that they don't let things be put off.

Every day should take you a little way into something new.

 

[*]BTW, nothing will better ingrain your relative pitch sense than singing along with what you play...& I'm beginning to think that it's the trick in developing one's neglected absolute pitch sense, as well.

 

d=halfnote
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[*]BTW, nothing will better ingrain your relative pitch sense than singing along with what you play...& I'm beginning to think that it's the trick in developing one's neglected absolute pitch sense, as well.

 

Yes! Being able to accurately sing, whistle, or hum a phrase with correct pitch AND rhythm and timing- whether as you play it on the instrument, or strictly vocally without the instrument- is key to actually knowing and OWNING it!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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That's a good one, Caevan.

 

I just play... I do a lot of gigs, a lot of them fill-in things where I get emailed a songlist or mp3s and just have to show up and pull it off - been doing that forever - so that keeps me sharp, especially as I don't have the time to sit and play along with most of it so I just have to listen to it and get it down by ear and then apply that to whatever key it's being done in.

 

Playing keys always adds a dimension of harmony (I had to cover some Prince keyboard parts on guitar recently, so that was some cool stuff to transcribe and soak up), playing bass and drums along with stuff adds some rhythmic things subconsciously.

 

The day job means sitting in an office for 8 hours, and that 8 hours has music streaming over the 'net for most of it... so I listen to anything I come across. I remember some TV commercial for something with Clapton a few years ago saying something like "You need to listen to as much stuff as possible. When I was younger I had just listened to everything there was to hear, and that was what I had on everybody else."

 

Another thing I considered was that stage actors and opera singers think you have to "live with a role," that you master a character over a period of time, always thinking about how to improve it every time you do it. So there's certain things I do play all the time, just getting the muscle memory and things as good as possible, and of course bits of those things are useful when you're winging it.

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...oh, and keep buying as much new equipment as possible. We all know that when we need a boost, nothing works like a new gadget. Old gadgets are boring. Well, if they're yours, they're boring. If they belong to someone else, they're vintage...

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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My 10 year plan?

 

Keep playing, one day at a time.

 

And petting that super cute kitty cat you got...

 

 

My plan is no plan. I am always improving. Sometimes, like this winter, I practice TONS. Like ALOT. Then I may stop for a bit. You know not play much for a month. But I believe that the gestalt of it ebbs and flows. I know what I want, and I know I am always improving. Everything effects everything when you are talking about music.

 

I worship many players. Usually the guys who can do something I can't do. SO I hope to at least to be closer to those guys in terms of my skills abilities, and composition aspects of my playing.

 

Though my Mom was a prodigy pianist, I am not on that level. I think I am talented but I have had to work hard to get to where I am.

 

Everything is relative, including guitar. Some players are just beyond my scope of ability like Holdsworth, or Dykes. But maybe through time I will surprise myself. Dunno. You know, because what you were impressed by 20 yrs ago, maybe you aren't so impressed with today. So your tastes and aspirations as a player are constantly growing.

 

 

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I agree with gifthorse. I also notice that I go though platues. or flat spots. where it doesn't matter how much i practise. I don't get better. then all of a sudden something clicks and I improve very fast. improve stay flat improve stay flat. that is my cycle of life. with the guitar anyway.
Why do you lay down? I say that it beats standing up! whats got you feeling so down? I hold up my empty cup!
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Just for context, I'm 53 and will never be considered a professional. Ten years ago I hardly ever touched my guitars. Ten years from now, I'm sure I'll have more time for my passion.
While I realize that time goes by more quickly as we get older, I still think 10 years is too long to look ahead for something like guitar. 1-, 2- and 5-year plans seem to be better suited, IMO.

 

As far as being labeled "professional", that depends on your definition of the word. One definition is simply "to get paid to play". I don't think that's too far outside the realm of possibilities, since in this day and age it has more to do with marketing and business skills, perhaps, than musical talent.

 

I think that I should have more of a "plan." However, if you don't know where [you're] going, any road will take you there; as the old saying goes.
I agree; we all need a plan.

 

My plans consist more of goals. It's easier to keep track of things that way for me.

 

I prefer concrete goals that are easier to define. "Learn every guitar chord ever invented" is probably going to be a tough goal to know when it's been completed. OTOH, "learn how to play 'Layla' by Eric Clapton" is probably more concrete.

 

I haven't studied with a teacher for a long time. But it seems to me that I won't gain much help from them until I can articulate my goals. And I know that generating a goal, is fundamentally my choice and responsibility.
Yes, one of the first questions an instructor should ask is, "What do you want to learn?" But an instructor can also evaluate your skills and suggest areas for improvement.

 

For the last few days, I've been wondering if I'm being efficient in my guitar practice. The answer is "probably not." While I probably have the guitar in my hands about 10 hours as week, just varying my practice from topics to topic. Sometimes I work with tab to learn a classic solo, sometimes I practice ear training, sometimes I work with metronome to get the scales down, sometimes I work with some truefire video lessons.

 

[...]

 

So...my question to forum members is "where do you want to be - guitar wise - in the future? Maybe some of your wisdom will click with me. (I'm not afraid to latch onto someone else's insight.) I know therea are lot of questions that could be asked, and I think that I've already asked them of myself.

The question I'd ask is, "Why are you learning solos, practicing ear training, working with a metronome and learning from videos?"

 

Why?

 

I don't mean to be offensive; there's certainly nothing wrong with studying anything just for the sake of learning.

 

But if I'm going to bust my butt to learn some classic solos it's going to be because I'm going to perform them at a show that's coming up. Or because I know that having that solo under my belt puts me one step closer to booking a show. Or because I just want some new material to play at the open mic/jam.

 

Or maybe I just like the darn song and I've always wanted to learn the solo for my own personal gratification.

 

But music is a performing art, right? If a bear plays guitar in the woods ... ;)

 

I'm not saying everyone should strive to play the bar circuit. There are plenty of other places to perform music. Your local bookstore. Neighbor's BBQ. Community college jazz band. Community orchestra. Coffeeshop open mic. A gathering you plan at your house. Busking (if allowed in your community). Retirement homes. Places of worship.

 

And don't forget about recording, which often goes hand-in-hand with songwriting. You could go as "simple" as collaborating with an original band just to write and record guitar parts. Or do online collaborations, generally if you have the capability of recording yourself at home. Or record your own CDs; decide whether you have the time to learn to DIY or if you'd rather concentrate on the music and let a studio handle the recording. (It will cost you plenty either way.)

 

So a specific goal may be to play at a specific venue as an acoustic duo. It shouldn't take 10 years to put that together, right? Depending on your (and your partner's) repertoire, it could be done in less than a year.

 

Bands and relying on others can sometimes be dicey. So another goal is to self-release your own solo CD. If you've already got a stack of originals just waiting to be recorded, then it's just a matter of scheduling studio time (and possibly session musicians). Again, this can be done in about a year. (Let's say 2 if it's your first time around. ;) )

 

Another way around finding "dedicated" musicians is to sign up for an ensemble class at your local community college. They should at least offer a jazz band. Everyone shows up (perhaps more than "volunteer" bands) because they've paid to be there. And the director takes care of a lot of details, not the least of which is scheduling the shows.

 

Perhaps an even shorter-term goal would be to complete an online collaboration. This could be as "simple" as uploading a guitar part to someone else's project to spearheading your own online collaboration.

 

Don't get too hung up on the pro/am thing. Even amateurs can (and do) perform music in public.

 

And if you feel CD #1 is not ready for public consumption, well, make a new one every year anyway. Either you'll eventually get there or you'll at least have a record of all of your attempts. Compare that to 10 years of not recording CDs.

 

Along the lines of "any road will take you there", just getting out and meeting/networking with your local musicians may expose you to opportunities you've never considered.

 

There's a whole world of music just outside your bedroom door ...

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I'd love to be a masterful guitar player in 10 years, but actually doing the work, not so much! LOL

 

As most have hinted on, I day dream a lot. I wish I could sit down like I used to when I was 15 and play/practice for 5 hours a day. But I'm working on developing some exercises to improve my playing, even bought a new metronome once I actually start, but my picking needs to be cleaned up and improved. I'd also like to work on sweep picking. One of those things I never attempted as it was too hard for me to grasp in the early days, I figure it's about time to learn how to sweep. Whether I learn correctly that's another story :)

 

But cleaning up my picking technique is my current goal; no set time frame. Just whenever it gets there. :)

 

Also, I'd like to find a band that actually does something other than 1 gig every 3 years.

 

 

[Carvin] XB76WF - All Walnut 6-string fretless

[schecter] Stiletto Studio 5 Fretless | Stiletto Elite 5

[Ampeg] SVT3-Pro | SVT-410HLF

 

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And petting that super cute kitty cat you got...

 

He is a pretty boy, alright, and thank you. I'll have to get a picture of his brother up. He looks more like a silver point siamese.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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My perspective is a bit different, but maybe relevant. My technical training has been on keys and sax. I started playing guitar out (Rhythm) by necessity and learned by ear (no lessons).

 

I play every weekend, and I think every weekend I play, I get more comfortable, and get better. But at some point without technical training specifically on guitar, I'll probably hit a plateau. So I think formal guitar lessons would be necessary for me to hit the level of most of you. But then again, I'm not the lead guitar player, and our lead guitar player is awesome. I don't know how much more I need to learn to play what I play. I'm kind of Utilitarian in that regard. The keyboard player before me did the Rhythm parts on the keyboard. I think that's cheeseball. If I can do it on the guitar, even if it's so-so, it's 10x better than hammering out some substitution on the keys.

 

But I would LIKE to be able to play better.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been making a list of things that I think I've improved upon over the last year: cleaner picking, ability to play at faster tempos, command of the major/minor pentatonic, developing an ear for what the rhythm section is doing. I'd hesitate to say I'm good at any of them, but I'm satisfied with being on the path to betterment.

 

Thanks - everyone - for the advice. Lot's of food for though; and that's just what I was looking for.

 

A little self assessment and reflection is always good. I can see that I'm not the only one who is muddling through. But, that's OK as music is fun and feel.

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right now, my goal is to play "afraid to dance" by don ross, i find it a real challenge and if that happens in a year or 10, id be more than happy!

 

id also like to learn Pachelbells Cannon (Classical)which sounds sort of easy but im afraid to actually tackle it!

I Am But A Solution In Search Of A Problem.
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Regarding the idea that 10 years is a long time into the future for trying to set goals; some goals are best set at long term but there is a danger of such time lags allowing for postponement.

If one sets a plan of development & sticks to it generally, regardless of specifics, gradual progress will outweigh irregular practice.

 

 

d=halfnote
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My 10 year goal is: stay alive, find inspiration, keep writing and keep it fun... I work hard enough at the day job and have worked hard on technique for 25 years. Now, it's about phrasing and changes and the finer details of getting new things in my head and getting them directly onto the fret board at whim.

 

I require inspiration, and am constantly seeking that.

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