The Good News Is Not That Good.

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,761
South Dakota
No, breakthroughs here. I'm as clueless as I have always been on music. I just don't let that stop me!

Every step forward is a good step so keep those feet moving.
 

Runamok

Country Gent
I go back to go forward. The ever fragrant Mrs D who plays the pianoforte, including the black notes, says that "amateurs play something till they get it right, and professionals practice playing till they can't get it wrong".

For me this involves slowing things right down. Play something perfectly every time, then begin to speed it up. If you build it in wrongly from the beginning and keep practising your mistakes, it's really hard to undo them.

That and knowing where the money notes are, the ones that signal the listener where the chord changes occur. A lil bit of theory goes a long way.

If that doesn't work, I listen to Jimmie V on the first 2 T-Birds albums, and have a beer.
Well Marcel,
Tell her that’s a useful & profound one.

…I meant the T-birds & beer. 😉
 

Butch Ammon

Synchromatic
Jan 3, 2016
531
Richmond, VA
I try to play along to backing tracks or make my own with my Tascam digital multitrack recorder. I'm one of those common blues rockers, hard rockers, by nature. Gretsch, Strat, Keyboards, Drums, etc... whatever, I will rock the <expletive> out....

*BUT*

When it comes to lyrics, I am absolutely horrible! I always end up writing some totally bizarre, wimpy, lame, slow 4/4 ballad, sappy type of love song, that is the polar opposite of the actual music! I mean, can you imagine trying to "headbang" to Jim Croce's song "Operator" from the early 70's? LOL... 😂
 

Runamok

Country Gent
It might not be about your thumb.

Feets don't fail me now!
Flagellating Thumb Syndrome.
Its embarrassing to walk down busy streets. Passing truck drivers keep stopping & ask if I am hitch hiking.

Synchro should try :
1) painting eyes & a smile on his thumb.
2) Perhaps walk around holding a canopy switch, so that it appears the thumb is at work; counting attendance or sending Morse code.

3) learn to play the Kalimba.
 
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Runamok

Country Gent
I can no longer go out in public, because of it. Adults stare at it and point, while children flee, with tears in their eyes. :)

I will never have Wes’ thumb. His thumb was unusually shaped, and double jointed, to boot. I have just begun starting to play upstrokes with my thumb, and it is somewhat promising, but does not sound quite the same. For octaves, it works fine, and I’ve done octaves that way for decades, but the single note, alternate-picked stuff is trickier.
I shouldn’t reveal this, but I have Wes’ thumb.
I keep it in a small silk satchel I wear around my neck.

Been meaning to put it on Ebay
.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,379
Tucson
It might not be about your thumb.
Are you implying something? If you are, you'll have to face my entire family.
1660186092984.png
Flagellating Thumb Syndrome.
Its embarrassing to walk down busy streets. Passing truck drivers keep stopping & ask if I am hitch hiking.

Synchro should try :
1) painting eyes & a smile on his thumb.
2) Perhaps walk around holding a canopy switch, so that it appears the thumb is at work; counting attendance or sending Morse code.

3) learn to play the Kalimba.
The whole Wes thing is interesting. His thumb was not shaped at all like my thumb. Wes laid his fingers across the pickguard and basically wiggled his thumb. I actually tend to go freehand, with my fingers curled and my thumb straight out, just like a hitchhiker. The weak link is the upstroke, and according to George Benson, Wes had a big “Corn” on his thumb, which essentially served as a pick. I would submit that the better choice of words would be “Callus”, but I may be picking nits.

I don’t feel any particular callus on the side of my thumb, but then again, there on no visible calluses on the fingertips of my left hand. When I first started playing, there were obvious calluses, but there is a difference In the skin on my fingertips, which I can’t really describe. It’s not hard, or insensitive, but there is a difference.

Who knows where this Wes thing will go. I’ve been on this kick for about a week and suddenly I’m obsessed with moving to Indianapolis and buying an L-5. :)
 

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,786
Savannah, GA
I’ve got a callus there though I rarely play Wes style. Please don’t call it a 🌽

I did go on a Wes jag for two days about 3 months ago until my thumb was blistered😁

The best Wes sound I get on a when I use a very slight upward slant trajectory to barely brush the higher octave.

Not been able to get the upstroke at all…

It surprises me that callus is still there? Maybe it is a corn🥹
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,235
lafayette in
Are you implying something? If you are, you'll have to face my entire family.
View attachment 187019

The whole Wes thing is interesting. His thumb was not shaped at all like my thumb. Wes laid his fingers across the pickguard and basically wiggled his thumb. I actually tend to go freehand, with my fingers curled and my thumb straight out, just like a hitchhiker. The weak link is the upstroke, and according to George Benson, Wes had a big “Corn” on his thumb, which essentially served as a pick. I would submit that the better choice of words would be “Callus”, but I may be picking nits.

I don’t feel any particular callus on the side of my thumb, but then again, there on no visible calluses on the fingertips of my left hand. When I first started playing, there were obvious calluses, but there is a difference In the skin on my fingertips, which I can’t really describe. It’s not hard, or insensitive, but there is a difference.

Who knows where this Wes thing will go. I’ve been on this kick for about a week and suddenly I’m obsessed with moving to Indianapolis and buying an L-5. :)
Sadly, Indianapolis Ave. isn't what it once was back in Wes' day. It's not the musical wonderland it once was. On the plus side, it's not as hot as Tucson.
 

Runamok

Country Gent
The whole Wes thing is interesting. His thumb was not shaped at all like my thumb. Wes laid his fingers across the pickguard and basically wiggled his thumb. I actually tend to go freehand,

Who knows where this Wes thing will go. I’ve been on this kick for about a week and suddenly I’m obsessed with moving to Indianapolis and buying an L-5 :)
I dint even know they HAD subway trains in Indianapolis & you’re going to but an entire line?
 

Maguchi

Electromatic
Aug 11, 2022
67
Lalaland
But…

Better than I was😊


Made several leaps in this past year. Spent some time alone this morning and recorded a little blues improv with a backing track. It sucks pretty bad but not as bad as last year. Quite a few moments where it sounded like I knew what I was doing.

Best part is I’m starting to understand exactly what I need to do to get that last 20%. For awhile I thought I just didn’t have it me.

Anybody else on the verge of a breakthrough?

I am ready to quit almost everyday. Then ill pick up an instrument, nit think about what im doing, and im good for a while. It can frustrate you to no end, but please remember, its not a race, or competition. I would also bet you could find someone that wished they could play like you do. Keep going further.
I read the whole thread up to this point and can relate to all the posts. I've probly done or felt like most of the comments here. Seems like every week I'll have a disappointing rehearsal where I'm questioning if my playing is good enough for the song and the band. And then a day or two later, I'll get motivated again after playing something well and surprise myself and get good comments from bandmates. I guess the best thing I can say is that there will be peaks and valleys, so just keep plugging along.
 

Craig Encinitas

Gretschie
May 3, 2021
344
Encinitas, Ca
Breakthroughs:
-555 consecutive days of playing since buying my first guitar
-Your “thumb over low E” technique has really helped out my blues noodling
-I’ve learned to do all my own (basic) setups
-Spent (but saved) thousands on used gear
-Next major accomplishment will be selling two Strats I don’t play (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). 😬


A friend came up with this shirt idea, and I think we need a bunch made.
 

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blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,786
Savannah, GA
Breakthroughs:
-555 consecutive days of playing since buying my first guitar
-Your “thumb over low E” technique has really helped out my blues noodling
-I’ve learned to do all my own (basic) setups
-Spent (but saved) thousands on used gear
-Next major accomplishment will be selling two Strats I don’t play (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). 😬


A friend came up with this shirt idea, and I think we need a bunch made.
I like it! For a sec I was like…wait!…Craig’s a chick?!?!
 


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