My playing is actually getting worse.

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

  1. matmosphere

    matmosphere Electromatic

    Jun 2, 2020
    The more I learn, the less I know.

    whenever I start playing more I find something that I need to work on that I never noticed before. Don’t get discouraged, it’s not like “best guitarist ever” is something that can be achieved or even defined. If you find something you need to work on then just work on it.

    a good analogy is, hey I know you’ve mastered arithmetic, but here is something you didn’t know existed it’s called algebra. Learning anything well goes like that.

    And yeah, like so many others have said, learn to play to a metronome. I got way better when I stopped playing by myself and started with a drummer. Got even better when I started using a metronome on my own... and for all that work I still suck ;p
  2. Blue Eyed Floozy

    Blue Eyed Floozy Electromatic

    Maybe being good on a guitar isn't as important as being happy with a guitar. This isn't your job. It's supposed to be fun.
  3. Tech21

    Tech21 Electromatic

    Feb 23, 2018
    New Zealand
    Try downloading some backing tracks with the guitar removed from the recording and use those.
    See if they'll keep your wayward timing in check.
    Or if you have any recorded tracks of your band on studio tape or digital, use them minus your part of the track.

    Runamok and Gregor like this.
  4. dspellman

    dspellman Electromatic

    Jul 4, 2020
    Los Angeles
  5. L Robbins

    L Robbins Gretschie

    May 3, 2017
    I feel your playing is so bad, the only comfort it gives me is knowing that it can't get any worse!! :(
  6. There is a country song in there, if ever I heard one!
    L Robbins likes this.
  7. lathoto

    lathoto Synchromatic

    Apr 23, 2020
    When I detect this I put the down guitar for a few days. When I pick it back up I discipline myself to tap my right foot to control the tempo. Slow songs end up being more difficult. It's also how I have achieved many breakthroughs with my right hand. Don't try to control the tempo with your right hand, just let it happen. A metronome, used sparingly is at a whole different level.
  8. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    There was a time around 2000 when I was quite fine with my playing skills.

    I thought that I was able to manage every solo, chord and rhythm that I could possibly think of.
    Until that time I was playing more or less with the same band-members and I was moving generally in one musical genre. Playing original music only, I was never forced to expand my vocabulary but it evovled very naturally because of curiosity and fun.

    After that time I worked on different projects with different people (mainly reproduced music) and became more and more uncertain about my playing-skills.
    I had to deliver things that did not feel natural to me and I had to do it quick. It was like doing a crash course in a foreign language.
    That felt like an interesting learning experience but somehow very uncomfortable and I lost my way a bit.

    After re-uniting with my old bandmates I started some kind of recovery but I am still not there where I came from.
    I think it has to do with self-confidence and finding your comfort-zone.
    Knowing what you are really good at and knowing your boundaries (and working on them without external pressure).
    ZackyDog, new6659 and englishman like this.
  9. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Imo that's exactly the issue with having good rhythm. Metronome training means that the beat is inside you, and you can always feel it, rather than depending on an external source.
    Shock and MotorCentaur like this.
  10. LongJohn

    LongJohn Synchromatic

    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    I recently started using a free metronome app on my phone. Phone in shirt pocket, headphones (one ear exposed) and guitar plugged into looper, the duets are tighter now.
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  11. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Yes, but no one (or virtually no one) is so perfect that they can eschew the almighty click track being imposed by the recording label.
    Henry likes this.
  12. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    This is a great video about rhyth, accountability, and soul(lessness). One trick is to practice with a metronome on every beat (eighth notes). Then drop half the beats (metronome hits on every 4th note), and keep doing that until the metronome only hits every one or two measures. It's a great way to practice rhythm.

    See around 9:30.

    When I wished to be a jazz guitarist and saw a lot of jazz shows (high school), one of the things I tried to do was keep track of the rhythm during drum solos when they would intentionally (or so it seemed to me) try to throw off the listener.

    I have a lot of respect for disciplined musicians.
    new6659 likes this.
  13. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    How about playing along to your favorite music? It's fun and good practice.
    Gregor likes this.
  14. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    I hate that when that happens - but I've found if I start out slow and concentrate on tone and dynamics for 15 or 20 minutes when I've started out choppy, then my fingers will move freely and respond to my commands. Maybe it's gradually getting the circulation in the hands flowing or the all-important neurons firing?
  15. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    That's the deal. The click and my playing have to line up in Studio One (in my case anyway). Sounds easy but it's not. You pretty much have to master this before you can inject artistic license with 'style' deliberately pushing the click on some pieces.
    I have to say that after nearly 50 years of playing, I've learned WAY more in the last two years. All the stuff you can get away with live doesn't fly in recorded music.
    Henry and stevo like this.
  16. I mic my heartbeat.
    It always goes awry when a pretty woman walks by.
    stevo likes this.
  17. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Nice rhyme.
  18. Sounds like there is a long story in there. I would ask how you mean that, but will leave that up to you to share as you see fit.

    What about Polynome, etc? Do you use those? By Wishbone Ash scientist/drummer.

    There is feed for every member of the band to keep them on the same time. Requires you know more abt percussion than the average guitar player, if applying it to guitar is your goal, but its impressive.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  19. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Well, we formed a band that includes members that play professionally and have been in 'name' bands, we are releasing singles and so have to take recording seriously. Sloppy play doesn't cut it.
    As far as injecting style versus staying right on the click, some passages sound cool when you play just in front of, or just behind the click. To do this you have to have a drummer that won't be 'pushed' by you and speed up and the ability to lock back into the click for the majority of the piece.
    Hoping it'll all pay off this year :D

    THE BALD REVEREND Electromatic

    Jul 14, 2020
    Hogrider , these are holy words !
    I'm part of the numerous ( and a bit lazy ) people who confuses playing and practicing , but
    you're totally right : good playing needs discipline .
    BTW , any of us has to deal with a lot of things and try to find an acceptable balance between useful but boring and funny but pointless !
    Maybe we'd need two lifes !!
    hogrider16 likes this.
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