Need help with carving my own path

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by JustinRhoads1980, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    Hi guys, I am really wanting to improve significantly on guitar. I realized that this is one of the few things that really matter to me. Sure I have other things I like to do, but the guitar is just something that is on my mind day in day out, and I would like to advance myself.

    I have compiled a list of stuff I want to improve on. I would start with these, but I do not know exactly where to start. I want to have somewhat of a foundation and make it organized. Reason being I prefer it this way is because in the past when I wasn't organized in doing something guitar related, well it wouldn't get done or my plan would collapse.

    So here are 4 or so things that I would like to improve on and I would really appreciate your guys' input on this as I am really trying to improve myself. I know there isn't one solution and that you guys will recommend me many different things. I am open to learning many different ways of achieving my goals.


    - General Knowledge and Understanding of Music Theory

    I would like to understand musical concepts and understand them very well to use them towards my benefit. I would like to cover a wide scale of different concepts, I am willing to go more in-depth into more difficult concepts instead of just the basics as well.

    Also, another thing that is kind of Misc. is learning how to read music. I don't think I will really generally be using it much, if not all, but I would like to be able to learn the skill. Who knows I might up finding it really handy in the future

    - Songwriting

    I would like to be able to write my own songs.

    Something I would like to add to that is that I also want to delve into different styles of music. I mainly play metal and I am sure a good portion of my songwriting will be of metal, but I definitely wouldn't mind going into Jazz and Blues, in fact, I firmly believe that expanding my horizons will definitely, if not further improve my songwriting of metal and vice versa for other genres.


    I would like to write solos for songs that I make. This is something that I really struggle with, and here is why.

    - I do not know how to use a song that I have and construct a solo from it. I feel that a good foundation would be to find the key it is in and use scales and then make them into music to form a solo. I hear things in my head for solo ideas, but I have no idea as to transcribe them onto guitar. I just need something to get me going on these things.

    - Improv/Jamming: I would like to be able to get a backing track and just be able to jam along with it or jam along with a guitarist in real life.

    - How to write in the style of certain guitarists.

    I would like to be able to do this if this is somewhat possible. Don't really know where to start on that, especially with more complicated guitarists.

    and last, but certainly not least:

    - Ear Development:

    I would love to develop an ear that can pick up on things in music, be able to transcribe music once I hear it and learn it by ear, and to also transcribe ideas I hear in my head.

    I know that this will take YEARS to do, but I am willing to consistently practice at it to become proficient at this.

    So if you have read through this whole thing, I just wanted to say thank you for looking through it, as it really means a lot to me. All advice is really appreciated and I hope to start on my way to achieving my goals.

    I also hope that this may be of any help to other guitarists who might share my same aspirations.
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Find a teacher you gel with, and go forth. It may take a while to find the right one. All your goals are achievable though :yesway:
     
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  3. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    I will see about that. Parents took away my guitar lessons and my teacher and I got along really well. They think that guitar lessons are all about just learning songs. They told me that I don't need to go to guitar lessons to learn music theory.

    Legit, I tried to explain it to them and they don't listen. If I get my lessons back then I will just say that I am learning songs and such
     
  4. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Pay for the lessons yourself then?
     
  5. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    I have no way of doing that whatsoever. Would cost me well over $2500 a year to do that. I am only 16 and I need to spend my other things and save aswell.
     
  6. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    You say you're serious about getting better at guitar and then in the same breath say that you can't set money aside for lessons because you need to buy other stuff?

    You can save and pay for lessons at the same time.
     
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  7. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    I will see man. I don't even make that much in a year so like it is pretty terrible for me atm. I am trying to get a better job and such.
     
  8. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    If you're serious about wanting to improve, you'll make it happen.

    Winter is almost here, buy a shovel and get out there.
     
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  9. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I will say that you sound way more mature than the average 16 year old. Setting goals, going on a forum to ask for advice in achieving those goals. I'm pretty sure your drive alone is going to get you to where you want to be. :yesway:
     
  10. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    Given your list: diving into music theory will make the rest of your goals easily attainable. Do a search for theory books and you can probably buy a couple used on Amazon to save money. If you’re dedicated and really want to learn, then you can absolutely teach yourself.
     
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  11. IGC

    IGC Guitar farter arounder

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    Lots of good Youtube vids out these days.

    Practise makes perfect, I don't think John Petrucci woke up one day at 16 and was all great. Defo takes some dedication, etc...

    You may find that you are more of an instinctive vs methodical player.

    You should get into some music classes at school, take advantage of that free resource while you still have it. Might be a good way to meet other like minded kids and work / develope ideas together and learn from eachother.
     
  12. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Super Duper Moduraturr

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    YouTube alone is so far beyond the scope of conceivable resources I or 99.999% of all guitarists who’ve ever lived had at our disposal while getting our theory and chops together, that setting those goalposts beyond the paywall of one-on-one lessons seems absurd. Maybe by time Justin’s 17, he’ll notice this site isn’t for learning anything other than what you need to buy next in order to get “likes.”

    I understand that Google can’t replace the guidance or impact of a teenager’s mentor, but the university is wherever the desire to learn is. There are zero obstacles between those who wish to learn and the world-wide internet’s knowledge, and Justin’s parents know this.

    At worst, this thread is a teenager blaming his parents for why he’s not better at guitar. At best, it’s a reminder that sitting down and working out one concept at a time is infinitely more productive and rewarding than what gets written or read on sevenstring.org - and it’s available to all of us.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  13. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    I wouldn't drop that money into getting teaching at guitar in a year or so time. I assume they are charging 50 dollars per hour or something like that. Get few lessons from a teacher you really like, teacher who can lead you to the right track. Then work from there by yourself. Learn parts of music theory you need, not everything is demanded to be a great musician or write good songs. Songwriting is like any other skill, so you have to practice it.
     
  14. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    Already tried that man. Landscaping companies have beat me to it and are more efficient than I could ever work.

    I have the drive man it is just I am worried because I do not have an organized way of approaching it. If I can't get anything out of this thread I am just gonna raw dog it and attempt my knowledge through browsing YT videos and forum and buying books and such.

    Also you should see some of the other kids in my school who claim to be 16. They act like complete idiots and think that you are old for looking up stocks. LOL

    That is why I have concluded that really investing my time into music theory would be a huge benefit to me. A year or so ago I just wanted to learn music theory just because. Now I have my exact reasons why I want to learn it as it will definitely benefit me in my goals as a musician. I will try to pull together every resource I can.

    I would love to do lessons since my guitar teacher is actually really informed on all of this stuff and is a very interesting guy who I get along with pretty well. As much as I would love to pay for it myself, I don't even make enough money to pay for 3/4 of the year for it. Who knows I will see what I can do. Right now I am trying to learn on my own to get a foundation so that when I do start lessons up again (either with my own funds or my parents) I will be able to go their and talk about a lot of these things already knowing them.
     
  15. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    Could you clarify on the Instinctive vs methodical player?

    Also I agree with the JP thing. I also hear he practiced 8 hours a day. Like holy shit, if it takes that to become him then I guess I am gonna start now.

    I am taking basic music theory right now in my school. I actually really enjoy it since my teacher is a funny dude. The only real time in school where I actually enjoy the subject I am in.

    Hm interesting. I understand the importance of lessons full well and trust me I already know that one on one cannot be the same through a computer screen. Also $2700+ a year for 45 minute lessons is a lot of dough for me to drop on that stuff.....

    I know that the internet has an abundant amount of resources, but I just want to make sure that I am picking from the right ones. On the internet not everything is true so I really have to find YT channels and websites that are rock solid.

    Also I am not really blaming my parents, If that were the case I would be saying "my parents suck/are assholes" and shit. No that is not it man. I am only trying to gauge a foundation of where to start on my own so I am not so dependent on lessons.

    I have done the same thing with learning songs on my own for the most part. If I could do it for music theory then I really think nothing can get in the way of my learning besides myself.



    I think what i will do is save up for a certain amount of months of lessons with my teacher and then go on my own. Either that I ask my parents to just give me a few months more with him and I should be done or try to at least.

    I really want to be not so dependent on lessons so I thought that askng the question on here of where to get started would help me in terms of guiding me in that direction.
     
  16. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I do wish you the best of luck :yesway:
     
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  17. Siggevaio

    Siggevaio SS.org Regular

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    You can learn EVERYTHING for free nowadays online. The only thing you really need a teacher for is to see that you're doing things the right way and for organization. A guitar teacher isn't a magical person that will teach you a secret, I bet that everything a teacher will say to you can be found online for free.



    When I was learning guitar in my teens, Justinguitar was a huge resource of knowledge (pretty much the only structured guitar teacher on YouTube back then). I haven't been following him since almost ten years back but I saw him do a guitar lesson thingy with Lee Anderton. Even though I knew most of that stuff I watched it all and thought that it was a GREAT little course to take to get started on making your own music and finding your own voice on guitar (or at least getting some tools to be able to do that). It's like being a fly on the wall during a real guitar lesson and they cover a lot of ground in only ten lessons. Half of the lessons are on Anderton's YouTube page and half of them are on JustinGuitar.

    I can't read music but if you want to learn to do that I would check out more piano based theory lessons. Writing songs? I don't know how much you know about chords and scales but start simple and keep working on it. You won't go from being a shitty songwriter to a great one without writing a lot of bad songs inbetween, the same goes with solos.

    And ear training is the same thing, You can't start with a big orchestral piece and expect to be able to transcribe every little nuance. Start with a simple melody that you hum or an easy guitar solo that you know of (but haven't learned yet). I know I don't provide you with a lot of stuff to work on here, because there's so much stuff out there, but don't go into the complex side of music theory directly. Start with the Anderton's video (if you want to) and when you feel like you know all that stuff I'm sure you have an idea of which direction you want to go.
     
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  18. IGC

    IGC Guitar farter arounder

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    Instinctive to me is someone who is less inclined to do things based off of theory/ sight reading / by the book. Probably uses some theory and more going by what sounds good to them by ear. They probably don't know how to name everything they are playing but it works for them none the less. Alex Lifeson from Rush has been described by Geddy Lee as being more instinctive than methodical.

    And a methodical player probably the opposite of what I just described above.

    Practise does make perfect, I'm sure John Petrucci and all those guys have practised up to 8 a day, I'v heard of more! But don't forget to make time for social life friends and family.

    If I were you I would start thinking about music college.
     
  19. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    Ah I see, I would have to agree with you on that. I think learning music theory will definitely help to what I hear in my head sounds good and such.

    Also I have friends, but we usually play video games online and parents I spend time with them somtimes. I wouldn't mind cracking 4-6 hours a day.

    What would I need to go to college for it for? I heard that you really have to decide why you would do something like that.

    Not opposed to it though
     
  20. IGC

    IGC Guitar farter arounder

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    Defo keep learning things like theory, it is an advantage. I guess you kind of have to figure out, your equilibrium - what works for you, between studying and practising up to the level of playing that you want to acheive and what you want to be playing at that level.


    Your talking 4 -6 hours of guitar practise a day?


    It sounds like your considering some serious stuff with guitar theory and all that jazz, and I was saying maybe you could cinsider that for college. At your age...
     
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