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Danster
08-30-2003, 11:18 AM
So I've been playing two years now. Thanks to Jamey Andreas (damn him! :mad: ), I've been getting more anal about whether I'm actually playing well or not. In the beginning, I didn't care too much about that. But lately, I've taken on learning major scales ('bout time, eh?:)). And I've been realizing how much time and effort it takes to really get it right. Here's a laundry list of things to worry about (could be applied to more than just scales):

hit the right notes (obviously)
use light touch with fretting hand (so notes don't get sharped, and so that eventually I will be able to play at lightning speed:D)
mute adjacent strings (especially important when moving vertically toward top strings so that accidental pulloffs don't occur)
play fluidly
play all notes at same volume
play in time

If I was a good boy, I should add to that list thinking of or identifying the notes as you play them also, but I typically don't worry about that.

I reckon working on all that will pay off, but dang, it takes discipline!:eek: :D

Koala
08-30-2003, 04:43 PM
you just dont get it Danster......youve gotta WANT TO BECOME THE MUSIC! lolol jkjk

Actually some of the things you got on your list are some that just seem to slip my mind when i practice, and you made all of it sound so simple.... :)

Bongo Boy
08-31-2003, 03:06 AM
This is what I meant in a recent post when I said that, during practice. I try to pick only one, two or maybe three of these things to think about at a time. I'm giving myself a lot of credit--it's most often just ONE thing. The One Thing changes as I get bored, even during a single practice session but certainly between sessions.

I also related this to the technique of my golf mentor, when I was starting with that game. He only highlighted one or two things during an entire 9 holes to concentrate on, even though I know I was doing everything 'wrong'. Otherwise it would have been overload.

Koala
08-31-2003, 04:13 AM
From now on ill try to focus on breathing, donīt wanna leave that one out. :)

Bongo Boy
08-31-2003, 05:02 AM
Originally posted by Koala
From now on ill try to focus on breathing, donīt wanna leave that one out. :) You may have been joking, but I actually DO have to concentrate on that, believe it or not. I find when I'm having a particularly tough time with something new, I tend to hold my breath as the stress builds. Not good.

potshot
08-31-2003, 11:47 AM
Absolutely, Bongo... when I'm really concentrating on something hard, like trying to play a scale run a bit quicker than normal, I find I hold my breath until it's over. I only notice once I finish, and I realise I am massively short of breath. Maybe I need to be wearing headphones with repeating "breathe in, breathe out" coming over them :p

I also notice that when I play something for my teacher, I play it about half as well as I do on my own :p

Koala
08-31-2003, 02:28 PM
Is is just me, or sometimes when you try to play something very very very very very fast, thats pretty much out of your reach you squint? I seem to be scared by the fact of watchin my fingers wiggle out of my control...., but squinting is bad ive noticed if i keep my eyes open and actually look at what im doing i might nail it. FUnny enough, if i close my eyes i might nail it as well....

so my piece of advice, dont squint when you play

Koala
08-31-2003, 02:31 PM
About forgetin to breath, yes, i was kidding ut youre right i do find myslef holding my breath sometimes, but what i do most of the time, is just kinda whisper what im playin, especially when playin long runs, it sorta helps me keep track, and tempo, and keep inhalin and exhalin.

Bongo Boy
08-31-2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by potshot
I also notice that when I play something for my teacher, I play it about half as well as I do on my own :p Yup. I practice somethng until I think I'm ready to record it, then when the recorder is on...mystery of mysteries...there are more mistakes than I had 'noticed' before.

I think it's all about how carefully we're actually listening under the two circumstances. Recording is amazing...it makes me just as nervous as an audience would, I'm convinced. Both good and bad, I think.

Bizarro
08-31-2003, 06:24 PM
Yeah, but recordings don't lie either, unlike my ears sometimes ;) It's good to practice with the recorder running in the background. It helps me when it comes around to actually recording something.

Breathing is very important for a musician.:D (duh!) If your breathing is erratic, your perception of time can be skewed, usually for the worse!

Dr. J
09-02-2003, 07:31 AM
This may be out of left field but I was taught to sing to myself as I play which, by default , takes care of your breathing and helps a little with timing.
The fact that I can't sing to save myself may be a slight handicap but I don't sing outloud so listners are only offended by my playing. :)

Bongo Boy
09-03-2003, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by Koala
Is is just me, or sometimes when you try to play something very very very very very fast, thats pretty much out of your reach you squint Well, of course, silly! This is The Mark of an accomplished stage rocker, after all. When sizzlin' thru those solos, it's important to appear as though you're in total agony. Facial contortions are just a natural part of this, and I think if you aspire to making a good living at guitar, then practicing these gestures is as important a part of delivery as the music itself.

It gotta look like someone is extracting a hairbrush from yer ***, or you got no credibility. :D

Bongo Boy
09-04-2003, 05:23 AM
Oh...and usually when I start this "it's so hard playing the guitar" routine with my spouse, she generally says something like, "Quit your %^$*(&%$# whining and go downstairs and practice!"

Gotta love her. She has no clue about how hard it is to be cursed with the love of this god-awful instrument.