progress

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by SloeGin, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. SloeGin

    SloeGin SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys,

    I have a question about progress or lack of it :)

    I've been playing for months certain (basic) solo's, licks like: Nothing Else Matters, Hey Joe, Paranoid, You shook Me All Night Long but somehow it seems i 'm stuck at the same level.
    I practice everyday. Sometimes 3 hours and more a day but i have the feeling i'm just stuck no matter how much practice i put in.
    Am i practicing wrong?
    Would i benefit taking lessons from someone to help me push through the next level or do i just need to be patient?
    Is it possible i'm already at the highest level i can reach and soloing is just not for me?


    Anyone else have experienced this? How did you solve it?

    Thanks for your time and help!
     
  2. mguilherme87

    mguilherme87 SouthShoreSeven

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    Dont worry about how long its taking you to progress. Don't think that soloing isn't for you. If you love playing guitar, just keep playing and with time, it will come! Some people pick up on certain aspects of things easily, for others, technical proficiency takes time. But with anything, the more you do it, the better you will get. Its arguable that those who are quick to pick up on something are also quick to put it down because they never developed a good work ethic and practice routine. They quickly get to a certain point but never work towards getting to the next level, often times those that take longer to learn and develop good work and practice routines end up surpassing those who had a nack for playing. Steve Vai says that while he always had a great ear for composing, the physical aspect of playing guitar was extremely difficult for him! He practiced 9 hours a day! Just be mindful of how you are practicing, use a metronome to develop time and slow things down to make sure you get them right as opposed to trying to rush through a song messily. Getting a guitar instructor can be good because they can pick out certain habits that might be hurting your progress, but it isnt necessarily necessary at first. Some people dont like the strict atmosphere of lessons and prefer to learn what they want at their own pace. If you decide at any point that youd like further knowledge, then get a teacher! Good luck friend, dont get discouraged, dont compare yourself to others, just keep trying to be better than you were the day before! Keep playing and keep loving it! Rock on.
     
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  3. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

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    Yeah, there's no great secret; it just takes a lot of time and repetition. Probably more than you may have anticipated.

    At my relative peak ability (already just over 20 years ago.. fffuuuu....) I was practicing for 6-8 hours a day.

    Some individuals take more or less time than others - that's where 'talent' kicks in - but it does take time, for all of us, with or without the talent.

    I'd be willing to wager that you have made progress; just maybe not as much as you wanted to, or maybe not in ways you readily recognize.

    What's important is not how good you are or what you can play, but that you have fun doing it.

    And, if I may... YMMV, but, with a couple decades of hindsight to fuel my perspective, I really wish I'd spent my early years learning classical and jazz techniques, even though those haven't ever really been my listening preference. The thing is, those skill-sets translate to rock, but not really the other way around. Just FWIW. :)
     
  4. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    I have been playing pretty steady for around 12 years. If you look at all the time I have invested into practice it would blow your mind. I plateaued around 6 years ago and have been at the same skill level since then. When I see youtubers shred and they have only been playing for like 3 years, it pisses me off. But at the same time all those people are playing covers...so are they really that 'good'? Half of what makes a guitar player is composition IMO. What's the point of having all the chops in the world if you can't actually write something people want to listen to?

    Lessons may help you, they may not. I have one of the best guitar players in the country living in my town (Chris Arp) and I have never taken lessons from him (all my friends have though), as I do not think they would actually help ME progress.


    Also, I think you have to have a goal in mind. Is there a certain player you want to be like or certain styles you just have to learn?

    For example, Aaron Tuner is my main guitar influence...so I'll never need to learn to sweep pick if I want to play like him :lol:
     
  5. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    Just keep practicing!

    I have made myself really focus on learning songs this year and trying to improve other areas on guitar and it isn't an easy process, and I think next year for me I will have more things figured out when making and assessing my goals.

    A few months ago I didn't think I could play the Holy Diver solo, did it.

    A month ago I felt that The Trooper solo would be something difficult for me in some areas, I love playing it now.

    Sure I didn't finish the songs within 2-3 weeks, but I have learned them to where they are accurate and I am glad that it took longer for me to really just engrave the movements into my muscle memory.

    Also do not rush through stuff either just to finish a song! You will end up having to go back and correct things which adds more time and might distract you/discourage you from learning correctly.

    It is about time, patience, discipline, and determination.

    If you can master those things you have no problem.

    We all have stuff to work on and I am still trying to improve myself in patience, discipline, and determination, but it has gotten better over the year
     
  6. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    How do you practise when you practise?

    If you're doing something three hours a day and not getting better at it, there's a fair chance you're not practising in a productive way.

    Of course, maybe you are getting better and you don't realise it. Sometimes you'll feel stuck for a long time and then like you've made a big jump. Sometimes you'll feel like you've gone backwards because you're forcing yourself to work on stuff you can't quite do yet.

    Would you mind chucking up a video of you playing something you're fairly happy with, and something you're not so happy with? There might be something really obvious we could spot.
     
  7. congalocke

    congalocke SS.org Regular

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    Are there any songs you really enjoy that you have yet to learn?
    That might be a good place to start...
    Two that really challenged me are "Music For A Found Harmonium" and "Bring On The Night". Took time to learn the first and time to get both up to speed with a metronome. BON was way harder than I originally imagined.
    Now I'm working on learning the fretboard cold so that I know what note is where with the help of phone apps.
    Pretty fun!
     
  8. Stilicho

    Stilicho SS.org Regular

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    In my experience the single best thing to increase your proficiency is practicing with a metronome. I was a decent enough guitarist before I started using the metronome, but really getting locked in with a tempo and spending an hour or two trying to raise the tempo when I felt comfortable noticeably tightened up my playing within a week.

    Another problem I had was some riffs that just wouldn't work for me; I could try use the metronome but there was clearly a bottleneck with my technique. This was a mystery for about two years of playing until I found Troy Grady and his analysis of picking mechanics on YT. Now whenever I learn something that "isn't working" I just have to take a look at my picking hand and change some details and it's easy (well kind of easy lol).

    So that's my advice for getting the ball rolling again: use a metronome (ideally record yourself) and check out Troy Grady's videos on picking mechanics. (Here's his "Cracking the Code" series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQXEjMNYjt2xBu99q1O9SVN4Eq0mDv50C)
     
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  9. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    I posted this in the down picking thread but it's still relevant here:

    As an example, I'm currently learning the following and this is where I'm at:

    Kufra at Dusk - Conquering Dystopia: I've been stuck on the two bar lead-in to the verse riff for weeks, only recently cracked half tempo.
    Involuntary Dopolganger - Archspire: Same deal, half-tempo. I can play most of the main riff close to full speed but as I never learnt tapping I'm stuck at half speed learning tapping. Don't even talk to me about the solos....
    Blackstar - The Faceless: Learnt the intro, JUST. Now stuck on the main riff, have been for months now.
    Secret of the Sweep - Jason Richardson: I've been working on the first form (which is only the first 6 bars) for about 2 months now and I've gotten it to 180bpm. There's still pages of material to got hrough.

    Usually what I find is that I'll have a breakthrough with one or more if I'm struggling with the others. Taking breaks is important - getting mentally fatigued will fuck you just as much as RSI. I'll do a half hour intensive session on each, but with a good 15min-60min break (depending on how I feel) between each. 30min doesn't sound like much but when you turn off your phone, turn off your computer and just focus on a couple of bars with a metronome, 30min will be better than 2 hours of half-arsed practice.
     
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  10. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... the difference between a master and an apprentice, is that the master has failed way more times than the apprentice has even tried...

    Ok, this doesn't add anything to the thread, but is a good reminder of how things work...
     
  11. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    Lessons with a truly good teacher are a great investment. Someone who is both significantly more advanced as a musician than you and able to communicate concepts well can save you tremendous amounts of time in the form of "trial and error" repetitions and will also help you make your practice routines more productive and efficient.

    I was entirely self taught for years but once I started taking lessons in college I regretted not doing it sooner. The speed at which I could learn new pieces at least doubled during the first year because I was given tools to practice more effectively. I've also had a few "a-ha" moments when one of my teachers pointed out something I'd been approaching the wrong way technically for months or years and was able to quickly give me a solution. Those things have added up to a lot of additional progress and saved time and have been well worth the money IMHO.

    Keep in mind that not all "teachers" are truly good at what they do. Just because a guy can play doesn't mean he can analyze your playing, address issues and plan good next steps.
     
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  12. SloeGin

    SloeGin SS.org Regular

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    Thank for all the suggestions. I started practicing with a metronome now which is already very helpfull. I also practice and record with a looper now to better evaluate my playing. I ll try to record a video of my playing to show some of my technique problems.
    Thanks!
     
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  13. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Loopers and Delays are awesome for home practice...
     

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