Worst Musical Advice Ever Received

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
17,741
lafayette in
Focus on the Cello, the guitar is a dying phase....from a Band Director when I was 15.
Band and orchestra conductors always hated rock and roll. If it wasn't Sousa for bands, or classical for orchestra, it didn't count. When orchestras and marching bands try to play rock, it never works. Even independent guitar and piano teachers tried to steer students away from R&R.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,931
Tucson
Sadly, as much as a love and miss him, my father gave me some poor advice about learning guitar, or perhaps I simply mishandled the advice he gave.

My father highly supported my learning the guitar, but he was adamant that I should read music, and that he wanted me not to be confined to playing rhythm guitar, only.

I took this advice a bit too literally, and avoided learning anything by ear. The problem was, not everything I needed to learn was available in notation, especially at the time. As time passed, and I became an adult, I put a concerted effort into learning to play by ear. It didn’t take long, and it rewarded my effort, generously. .

Likewise, avoiding being limited to rhythm playing, made me somewhat less attentive to that skill. Over the years, I have come to appreciate that rhythm guitar can be a fine art. I must, however, include that my father’s advice was well intended. He didn’t want me to settle for playing simple rhythm chords in the simple Rock of the time. He was a Chet fan, and wanted me to be able to play solo guitar.

Once again, it may have been my application of his advice that was at fault. He never told me not to play rhythm guitar, but he wanted me to be more rounded, as a player. As was my way at the time, I may have taken him too literally, and overdid my application of his advice.

In any event, it all worked out to the good. I still read music and I am very comfortable reading, but I have learned to play by ear, and am very comfortable with that, as well. My learning started with single line playing, added chords, and eventually gravitated towards chord melody playing. Over the years, I was able to granulate more into what I played, learning more genres, and more techniques. All in all, I can’t complain.
Focus on the Cello, the guitar is a dying phase....from a Band Director when I was 15.
He was right. Mark my words. :)
Surprised to say I can't think of any.

And yes, you do need lessons. :rolleyes:
+1 on the lessons. A knowledgeable guide makes the task of learning much easier. I had four different instructors, plus what I learned at various artist clinics. I’d recommend that anyone starting out, find a good, solid person to teach them at least a bit of reading notation, and some technique. Once a player reaches an intermediate stage, it doesn’t hurt to study with a series of instructors, because more advanced instructors tend to each have their own unique offerings.
 

dlew919

Country Gent
Jul 18, 2016
1,187
Sydney, Australia
Worst advice

‘Don’t get a telecaster’
‘Don’t get a gretsch’
‘You don’t need music theory’
‘Why don’t you concentrate on bass?’ (Not because bass is bad, or even that I’m not a competent bassist. But jealous guitarists can say things that aren’t always true.’
‘Don’t touch the truss rod’
That one about starting too late is pervasive and I still get people saying that too me. I say it’s too late if you want to be a child prodigy.
 

Marv666

Synchromatic
Jul 26, 2020
692
Germany
To Think about the theory in everything .....

There are plenty of people that always Think in a very scientific way about what they're playing and want to understand everything.

I Think this takes away Feeling, i'm very opposite to that.
I can tell you what key it is what i'm playing but not much more than that and it works perfectly fine for me
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,619
Where the action is!
My guitar teacher, Weird Harold Carlson, circa 1990, told me, "Never let 'em see your socks." No idea what that meant. Then he looked at my friend Tom and said, "But you should wear two pairs of socks." Years later it dawned on my that he probably said that because Tom is short. But why our guitar teacher was giving us sock-related advice in the first place remains a complete mystery.
 

DougWheeler74

Synchromatic
Jul 10, 2019
680
NE Wisconsin, US
My guitar teacher, Weird Harold Carlson, circa 1990, told me, "Never let 'em see your socks." No idea what that meant. Then he looked at my friend Tom and said, "But you should wear two pairs of socks." Years later it dawned on my that he probably said that because Tom is short. But why our guitar teacher was giving us sock-related advice in the first place remains a complete mystery.
And where would have this happed? I knew a Weird Harold that told me to always order strawberry ice cream so I would stand out.
 

Falconetti

Gretschie
Sep 18, 2012
393
Bagsville, Oxford UK
My Dad wanted me to play accordion in a polka band.

A buddy's polka band always had gigs at Polish weddings. Free food, free drinks, and cute Polish girls everywhere, and got paid for it. Not as bad as I thought.
‘You play the accordion..you go to jail. It’s just the law.’ Saw that on a bumper sticker in Florida once. Made me laugh so much I almost bought a mandolin.
 

DougWheeler74

Synchromatic
Jul 10, 2019
680
NE Wisconsin, US
Gilmour Bros. Music, of course. That certainly sounds like the kind of wisdom nugget Weird Harold Carlson would dole out.

And that would be the one and same Weird Harold Carlson! I have had fun conversation with him over the years, although its been a while. As for the strawberry ice cream, it did take me a while to figure out what he was telling me. 😁
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,619
Where the action is!
And that would be the one and same Weird Harold Carlson!
Also less frequently known as Purple Harold. He was like the most bizarre and esoteric Zen Master to walk the planet. An inscrutable character cryptically talking about things like ice cream and hosiery, yet I somehow believe that there was a wisdom to his words that maybe someday I will have the mental acuity to fully appreciate.
 

drmilktruck

I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
19,349
Plymouth, MN
Also less frequently known as Purple Harold. He was like the most bizarre and esoteric Zen Master to walk the planet. An inscrutable character cryptically talking about things like ice cream and hosiery, yet I somehow believe that there was a wisdom to his words that maybe someday I will have the mental acuity to fully appreciate.

Probably not.
 

DoctorBB

Electromatic
Apr 4, 2022
56
Beaumont TX
I started at 10 years old with a chord chart thumb tacked to my bedroom door. That was 1969. Not much I can’t play now after 50+ years. I can read but the best skill I developed is ear and interval training. Hear it, know what your hearing and where it’s at on the fretboard.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,715
Petaluma
My guitar teacher, Weird Harold Carlson, circa 1990, told me, "Never let 'em see your socks." No idea what that meant. Then he looked at my friend Tom and said, "But you should wear two pairs of socks." Years later it dawned on my that he probably said that because Tom is short. But why our guitar teacher was giving us sock-related advice in the first place remains a complete mystery.
Lol reminds me of one of my favorite Phish lines, "Whatever you do; take care of your shoes." We all agreed this was very wise.

Re socks though. Reminds me of the fashion accessory test of turning to look at yourself in the mirror quickly and taking odd the accessory that you see first.

For men, generally someone noticing your socks means a faux pas. Think white socks with a dark suit, or wearing black socks with white sneakers. aside from colors, someone seeing your socks may mean your pants are too short and, for a young man, may imply you are too poor to buy new pants.

Unless of course you are Michael Jackson, wearing socks you really want people to see, or making a fashion statement (e.g. ankle length pants were in for a while).

But this Harold guy sounds hilarious.
 


Top