My playing is actually getting worse.

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Jelly Roll Horton, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I’ve noticed that in spite of a pretty regular daily practice regimen during the Covid crisis, my playing has actually gotten sloppier. This is pretty discouraging. :( The only thing I can figure is the lack of playing with my band (or anyone else) for the last 14 months has disrupted my sense of rhythm (and I’ve never been able to adapt to a metronome). Anyone else experiencing something like this?o_O
     
  2. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    646
    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    Perhaps it's just that your hearing is getting better? Personally I've never been a great player but I still seem to be inching along the path, slowly but surely.
     
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  3. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Gretschie

    338
    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    Playing with other people always tightens up my playing.
     
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  4. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    646
    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    Well yeah, unless your drummer is just really bad!
     
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  5. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Maybe you are getting a bit complacent? have you thought of changing up what your doing or something like that, I do agree that playing with others makes you think about aspects you wouldn't normally when playing by yourself so that may be the case of what's happening.
    In saying all that though like a lot of other things, no matter how good I've been doing something in the past somedays 'it' is just not there.
     
  6. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    161
    Dec 18, 2020
    UK
    I know just what you meant.
    My playing's definitely declined during lockdown, despise keeping on picking up as there's nothing else to do!
    Maybe loosing enthusiasm too.
     
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  7. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    I noticed how sloppy I was getting 7 or 8 months ago. My solution was to go back over everything I play and concentrate on playing completely clean. I slowed way down, got much cleaner and have speeded back up.

    To be truthful, playing faster than I should and being somewhat sloppy has been an issue for me for about... forever. Sheltering in place gave me the opportunity to clean things up.
     
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  8. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    To be honest, the clue is that you have problems with a metronome.
    It's tough learning to play with the click but it's also essential to develop the discipline you need to prevent you devolving into a black hole of sloppiness.
    Start with like a 60bpm click and keep at it until you can play a section flawlessly with it.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    My metronome is a trio pedal or Cubase drum loops .... way nicer “clicks”. :D:D:D
     
  10. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    My big issue is arthritis. Some days I can't even play guitar.
    Thankfully, banging away at the piano uses different muscles and hand positions.
    I always play along with CDs, (used to be LPs or radio) so, timing is OK for me.
    Still, playing with other folks is always better.
     
  11. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I think you may have something there. You must be a music teacher. I’ve always been told to practice with a metronome. I think I relied on my band mates to cover up my sloppy playing, and now I don’t have that. :confused:
     
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  12. Landshark2020

    Landshark2020 Electromatic

    71
    Sep 4, 2020
    95051
    I noticed how crappy I really am once I stopped drinking daily! :p
     
  13. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    For timing, particularly with my Bluegrass stuff I use Strum Machine. There are a 1,000 songs preloaded and they can be completely modified in every way or just create your own.
    You can also set the tempo to increase slightly each repeat to help build speed.

    9D32059F-A825-49EC-8007-272C7A6A6A82.png
     
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  14. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Far from it. I just have been learning the hard way over the last couple of years playing bass with real pros. 50 years of bad habits had to be erased in a hurry, after a while, the click is your friend and hopefully the drummer can follow it.
     
  15. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Gretschie

    265
    Jan 11, 2019
    Wokingham
    Similar for me. I found that swapping between different guitars helps me; thin necks, fat necks, long scale, short scale, etc. I don't play keyboards very well, but drumming is different muscles and hand positions though.

    I've been practising our set list over winter and I play along with the originals. Helps my timing and more fun than a click track. If I work on my own stuff I use a drum machine to give me a 'guide rhythm' track, then eventually add some drumming later.

    I do prefer playing with others, but it's just not been possible since last October for me. I can't wait to get out and start rehearsing with the band again; I just hope they are as tight as the were last time we all played (I'm a new member, so I've only played a few times with them so far...they've been together for years).

    I don't know that I'm getting worse, but I also don't think I'm getting much better despite all the solo practising...playing with others will surely help (I hope!!!)
     
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  16. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Just reading on the metronome, I was told at a young age that if you want to go fast first go slow, it is easier to make//hear mistakes when you play something slow then when you play fast as it hides a lot.
    There was quote I heard recently from Andy Woods that has stuck with me, he said 'speed is a by product of precision and control' not sure if that's relevant to what you are doing but I think is a good point.
     
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  17. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    When you first start playing scales, it's a slow, painful process. Then, as your skills improve, you start getting faster and faster. After awhile, you start using those scales in your improvisation. You build up muscle memory, and familiarity with the fingerboard. Works the same for piano and other instruments as well.

    As the guy replied when asked how to get to Carnegie Hall (or the Sydney Opera House for those of you in Oz)---"Practice, man! Practice!"
     
  18. Chet Harrison

    Chet Harrison Electromatic

    47
    Apr 27, 2020
    USA
    There have been times when I’ve hit a slump and definitely felt like I was getting worse.

    Try to stay positive and don’t try to bulldoze your way through a practice session. If it’s not happening, just put it down and come back the next day.
     
  19. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    73
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    My arthritis is gradually getting worse, some days I can hardly move my fingers. I should probably learn to play slide guitar! :(
     
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  20. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Actually, I'm playing better than I ever have.

    Between retirement and then this virus stuff, I've changed my style of playing, quit using picks, and just play more than ever.

    I'm having more fun and just enjoying the results.

    That said, I'm old, and still a hack.
     
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