Its all in the fingers, or is it?

Moderators: Slowy, Capt. Black

#804006
Lawrence wrote:I struggle with this.
between the ages of 16 and 23 or so people thought I was a pretty shit hot guitarist. So did I. Then my musical horizons expanded to lesser known artists and I realised i wasn't a pimple on their bum. Ever since its made me a bit shy to expose myself.....Not to say i don't try to put on a great show when I do... but I angst before and after about how much better it could have been. The older I get and the more I understand music - and just how great some artists are - the worse these feelings get. Its hard just to be the mediocre me.

Wish I was half as mediocre as you bro. I've recently started playing again after an extended hiatus and look forward to regaining my confidence and being mediocre again. It was all so much easier when I didn't care for competency.
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BY jeremyb
#804053
I figure that even if something like playing in front of people goes shit you get a really good learning experience from it and that's worth so much!!
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BY Vince
#804059
Michael wrote:i love celebrating how shit i am at everything


I read about this club once, The Not Terribly Good Club Of Great Britain. They’d hold events such as slide nights where the projector was broken and everybody would pass each other the slides to hold up to the light, and... guitar concerts where people would invariably drop the pick into the sound hole.
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BY Slowy
#804062
Vince wrote:
Michael wrote:i love celebrating how shit i am at everything


I read about this club once, The Not Terribly Good Club Of Great Britain. They’d hold events such as slide nights where the projector was broken and everybody would pass each other the slides to hold up to the light, and... guitar concerts where people would invariably drop the pick into the sound hole.


Founded by Stephen Pile who authored 'The Book of Heroic Failures' which included an application form for club membership inside.

Unfortunately, Heroic Failures became a best seller and Pile was dismissed for bringing the club into disrepute.
Shortly after, the Club disbanded after receiving thousands of membership applications. "Even as failures, we failed," they announced.

I love the English; they do mad mixed with genius so well. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I have The Book of Heroic Failures; it's a brilliantly funny read.
BY Delayman
#804063
Lawrence wrote:I struggle with this.
between the ages of 16 and 23 or so people thought I was a pretty shit hot guitarist. So did I. Then my musical horizons expanded to lesser known artists and I realised i wasn't a pimple on their bum. Ever since its made me a bit shy to expose myself.....Not to say i don't try to put on a great show when I do... but I angst before and after about how much better it could have been. The older I get and the more I understand music - and just how great some artists are - the worse these feelings get. Its hard just to be the mediocre me.


I relate to this story a lot! Mine’s a slightly different version, where I was/am a pretty talented worship leader and player, but not a churchgoer anymore. So I have a huge repertoire of songs and skills I never want to use again, and know very little stuff that other people do.

These days I play occasionally, have ok gear but no illusions that I’m anything other than a hobbyist.
BY kwhelan
#804067
its definitely a frustration but I ease it with the thought that I didn't apply myself back in teenage years when I had the time and only really started really developing once youtube arrived , Then it was hampered by four kids and 2 jobs. I had no real friends who played or spent time with anyone who was really a good player so it was all self taught. I had mags as a teen but the tabs seemed wrong or just didn't really give the feeling intended, and it always troubled me that there was always many tabs that disagreed with each other or simplified songs. Nowdays I can see straight away whether a tab is right or compare and choose them quickly and can pickup youtube clips without freezing and minutely dissecting so thats an improvement I'm happy with.

realistically if you can't spend x amount of hours a day playing your never going to be at one of those youtube clip levels and that usually means your employed in the guitar world , teenage or just some kind of hermit with limited social skills I reckon. Even if you were at that level it has to be constantly maintained with hours of playing a day so be happy your multi skilled who can fix plumbing, build guitars, ride mountain bike play touch, etc. I bet most of those guitarist can't do anything except play guitar.
#804078
My first guitar teacher was a fine shredder, the local hotshot guitarist.

He would practice for 4 hours a day, had a regime of exercises and scales he would always run through first and generally work his day around his practicing.

His ability certainly didn't come easily to him, there was a metric crap tonne of work behind it. Not the kind of effort I could ever put in.
BY Molly
#804097
Danger Mouse wrote:My first guitar teacher was a fine shredder, the local hotshot guitarist.

He would practice for 4 hours a day, had a regime of exercises and scales he would always run through first and generally work his day around his practicing.

His ability certainly didn't come easily to him, there was a metric crap tonne of work behind it. Not the kind of effort I could ever put in.


I remember Eric Johnson saying that sometimes in the midst of all the exercises and discipline, and contemplating this cable's tone over that cable's tone etc. etc. etc. you have to remind yourself that there are parks out there. Dedication is admirable but even the most focused of us need to find a healthy balance.

My routine around the time I was leaving school and getting my first job involved getting up early for formal practice and cramming in a bit more as soon as I got home. Then I'd just jam with the nightly rock radio show on Liverpool's Radio City until I had to crash. My bedroom was a revolving door of mates with their guitars. Endless cups of tea and mum's biscuits so it wasn't like I had no social life. I just had no social life outside of guitar-related stuff. Roy Castle reminding me that "... dedication's what you need..." LOL
BY kwhelan
#804133
I remember reading about Vai's daily routine and it was nuts, basically autistic levels of dedication a lot like bodybuilding weights bunnies. Bet he never had to strip wallpaper and paint his spare bedroom in his entire life like my weekend. he tells some story about recording "for the love of god" for record and playing it over and over for 2-3 days I think without sleep and just wasn't happy. Something about getting in the zone mentally so he fasted and stayed awake. Finally in frustration he turned the lights off played it once more then just left it and went to bed. That was supposedly the version that made the record.
Theres truth in that old adage it takes 9000 hours to be good at something
mediocrity is much more achievable
BY Molly
#804134
kwhelan wrote:I remember reading about Vai's daily routine and it was nuts, basically autistic levels of dedication a lot like bodybuilding weights bunnies. Bet he never had to strip wallpaper and paint his spare bedroom in his entire life like my weekend. he tells some story about recording "for the love of god" for record and playing it over and over for 2-3 days I think without sleep and just wasn't happy. Something about getting in the zone mentally so he fasted and stayed awake. Finally in frustration he turned the lights off played it once more then just left it and went to bed. That was supposedly the version that made the record.
Theres truth in that old adage it takes 9000 hours to be good at something
mediocrity is much more achievable


Could be BS but I recall hearing that the turned his attention to Harley motors in order to force himself to think about something else. Might be some truth to it. One of his guitars has Evo written on it (short name for one of Harley's old engines.
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BY Vince
#804147
kwhelan wrote:he tells some story about recording "for the love of god" for record and playing it over and over for 2-3 days I think without sleep and just wasn't happy. Something about getting in the zone mentally so he fasted and stayed awake. Finally in frustration he turned the lights off played it once more then just left it and went to bed. That was supposedly the version that made the record.


So the takeaway is... a) sometimes great things are happy accidents and b) you can be Vai and spend your entire day practicing guitar over and over and... there'll still be people who say "Oh, that widdly widdly stuff... I don't like it!"

Which brings up another question... is it still genius if nobody likes it? Is genius in the eye or ear of the beholder?

Somewhere I've read Capote's comment on reading Kerouac's On The Road. He said "That's not writing, that's typing!"

To a lot of people. "widdly widdly music" is just scales played fast. Is it any better than a three-legged race? Very impressive but ultimately pointless? Or is there a benchmark for "yes, this is genius, not just hard work at something useless"?