So many technique issues.. what's the answer?

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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 82
    I'm guessing, for most people, just reading basic rhythms is fine (and an incredibly useful skill). 

    While we are talking about skills, I wonder if anyone has good tips for musical memory? Because I'm an OK reader, I tend to be totally rubbish at genuinely memorising anything longer than about 16 bars.
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 368
    I always thought it was different, same with chord charts. Not really "reading music" just a bunch of letters!

    As far as memory goes, playing in a band is good, where you have to perform songs without charts. Easy for me to say as I've been playing in rock bands for 13 years now and not once have I used a chart. Breaking up the bars into phrases helps, usually a 16 bar pop chorus is in 2 halves of 8, e.g the lyrics sung twice, or something.
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2937
    Clarky said:
    Its really strange as I see they can play something quite complicated by ear, but when it comes to simpler stuff, e.g 4 strums to the bar or 1 upstrum on one of the beats they can't do it. They don't know how long a chord is meant to last, 1 bar, 1/2 a bar, 2 bars, etc etc.
    I've seen this quite a lot too..
    players focusing only on the hand fretting the notes, and not enough on the other....
    90-95% of guitar playing will be rhythm guitar, yet many choose to skip the basics of rhythm playing and go to the more "cooler" stuff of soloing and stuff. Even the most famous riffs are all rhythmical. How many times have you seen "Smells Like Teen Spirit" not played correctly or even the "Sex on Fire" riff not starting on the + of 4?

    Usually in trial lessons with people who can already play a bit I give them a chord chart taken from the RGT grades and get them to try and play through it without stopping. 8/10 they will stop in the first 4 bars cos they haven't taken into account a split bar, or it 1 chord per bar and also the wrong 7th chord type. There's also several timing issues as they struggle to keep to a 4/4 beat, in the end they can't do it. Baffling, yet they can somehow fumble their way around a minor pentatonic to a backing track (albeit out of tune bends and wrong notes).
    timing and phrasing are things I pay a great deal of attention to..
    when my students start nailing all that, they may not be blisteringly quick, but they certainly notice how much more polished they sound..
    and of course, as you say... rhythm playing is a guitarist's main job.. so it's the thing they need to be most solid at..
    I worked out once that out within the 90 minute set I play, I spend less than 10 minutes soloing
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 368
    Clarky said:
    Clarky said:
    Its really strange as I see they can play something quite complicated by ear, but when it comes to simpler stuff, e.g 4 strums to the bar or 1 upstrum on one of the beats they can't do it. They don't know how long a chord is meant to last, 1 bar, 1/2 a bar, 2 bars, etc etc.
    I've seen this quite a lot too..
    players focusing only on the hand fretting the notes, and not enough on the other....
    90-95% of guitar playing will be rhythm guitar, yet many choose to skip the basics of rhythm playing and go to the more "cooler" stuff of soloing and stuff. Even the most famous riffs are all rhythmical. How many times have you seen "Smells Like Teen Spirit" not played correctly or even the "Sex on Fire" riff not starting on the + of 4?

    Usually in trial lessons with people who can already play a bit I give them a chord chart taken from the RGT grades and get them to try and play through it without stopping. 8/10 they will stop in the first 4 bars cos they haven't taken into account a split bar, or it 1 chord per bar and also the wrong 7th chord type. There's also several timing issues as they struggle to keep to a 4/4 beat, in the end they can't do it. Baffling, yet they can somehow fumble their way around a minor pentatonic to a backing track (albeit out of tune bends and wrong notes).
    timing and phrasing are things I pay a great deal of attention to..
    when my students start nailing all that, they may not be blisteringly quick, but they certainly notice how much more polished they sound..
    and of course, as you say... rhythm playing is a guitarist's main job.. so it's the thing they need to be most solid at..
    I worked out once that out within the 90 minute set I play, I spend less than 10 minutes soloing
    I always work on timing from the off. Doesn’t matter how fast you can play or what blues licks you have if it ain’t in time or have any good groove forget it.

    I’ve helped a lot of so so players improve their timing and they do notice it, when the phrase or riff is in time and locks in with the metronome or backing track they kinda nod their head in time and get that musical groove/inner metronome.

    And yes it’s true about a set being mostly chords and strumming!
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2937
    Clarky said:
    Clarky said:
    Its really strange as I see they can play something quite complicated by ear, but when it comes to simpler stuff, e.g 4 strums to the bar or 1 upstrum on one of the beats they can't do it. They don't know how long a chord is meant to last, 1 bar, 1/2 a bar, 2 bars, etc etc.
    I've seen this quite a lot too..
    players focusing only on the hand fretting the notes, and not enough on the other....
    90-95% of guitar playing will be rhythm guitar, yet many choose to skip the basics of rhythm playing and go to the more "cooler" stuff of soloing and stuff. Even the most famous riffs are all rhythmical. How many times have you seen "Smells Like Teen Spirit" not played correctly or even the "Sex on Fire" riff not starting on the + of 4?

    Usually in trial lessons with people who can already play a bit I give them a chord chart taken from the RGT grades and get them to try and play through it without stopping. 8/10 they will stop in the first 4 bars cos they haven't taken into account a split bar, or it 1 chord per bar and also the wrong 7th chord type. There's also several timing issues as they struggle to keep to a 4/4 beat, in the end they can't do it. Baffling, yet they can somehow fumble their way around a minor pentatonic to a backing track (albeit out of tune bends and wrong notes).
    timing and phrasing are things I pay a great deal of attention to..
    when my students start nailing all that, they may not be blisteringly quick, but they certainly notice how much more polished they sound..
    and of course, as you say... rhythm playing is a guitarist's main job.. so it's the thing they need to be most solid at..
    I worked out once that out within the 90 minute set I play, I spend less than 10 minutes soloing
    I always work on timing from the off. Doesn’t matter how fast you can play or what blues licks you have if it ain’t in time or have any good groove forget it.

    I’ve helped a lot of so so players improve their timing and they do notice it, when the phrase or riff is in time and locks in with the metronome or backing track they kinda nod their head in time and get that musical groove/inner metronome.

    And yes it’s true about a set being mostly chords and strumming!
    IMHO, I've always considered that there are two principle areas to nail to get that polished sound
    1 - timing / phrasing [which are of course deeply related]
    2 - bending / vibrato [considering that they are variations of the same fundamental technique]

    these two little gems always seem to me to be the most overlooked when people learn to play
    yet these two areas are the ones that really seem expose a new player the most
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 368
    Clarky said:
    Clarky said:
    Clarky said:
    Its really strange as I see they can play something quite complicated by ear, but when it comes to simpler stuff, e.g 4 strums to the bar or 1 upstrum on one of the beats they can't do it. They don't know how long a chord is meant to last, 1 bar, 1/2 a bar, 2 bars, etc etc.
    I've seen this quite a lot too..
    players focusing only on the hand fretting the notes, and not enough on the other....
    90-95% of guitar playing will be rhythm guitar, yet many choose to skip the basics of rhythm playing and go to the more "cooler" stuff of soloing and stuff. Even the most famous riffs are all rhythmical. How many times have you seen "Smells Like Teen Spirit" not played correctly or even the "Sex on Fire" riff not starting on the + of 4?

    Usually in trial lessons with people who can already play a bit I give them a chord chart taken from the RGT grades and get them to try and play through it without stopping. 8/10 they will stop in the first 4 bars cos they haven't taken into account a split bar, or it 1 chord per bar and also the wrong 7th chord type. There's also several timing issues as they struggle to keep to a 4/4 beat, in the end they can't do it. Baffling, yet they can somehow fumble their way around a minor pentatonic to a backing track (albeit out of tune bends and wrong notes).
    timing and phrasing are things I pay a great deal of attention to..
    when my students start nailing all that, they may not be blisteringly quick, but they certainly notice how much more polished they sound..
    and of course, as you say... rhythm playing is a guitarist's main job.. so it's the thing they need to be most solid at..
    I worked out once that out within the 90 minute set I play, I spend less than 10 minutes soloing
    I always work on timing from the off. Doesn’t matter how fast you can play or what blues licks you have if it ain’t in time or have any good groove forget it.

    I’ve helped a lot of so so players improve their timing and they do notice it, when the phrase or riff is in time and locks in with the metronome or backing track they kinda nod their head in time and get that musical groove/inner metronome.

    And yes it’s true about a set being mostly chords and strumming!
    IMHO, I've always considered that there are two principle areas to nail to get that polished sound
    1 - timing / phrasing [which are of course deeply related]
    2 - bending / vibrato [considering that they are variations of the same fundamental technique]

    these two little gems always seem to me to be the most overlooked when people learn to play
    yet these two areas are the ones that really seem expose a new player the most
    I can relate to you there, these are things I've cleaned up on myself when playing to a high level, its the difference between "performance standard" and the average Joe who plays in their bedroom.
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2937
    Clarky said:
    Clarky said:
    Clarky said:
    Its really strange as I see they can play something quite complicated by ear, but when it comes to simpler stuff, e.g 4 strums to the bar or 1 upstrum on one of the beats they can't do it. They don't know how long a chord is meant to last, 1 bar, 1/2 a bar, 2 bars, etc etc.
    I've seen this quite a lot too..
    players focusing only on the hand fretting the notes, and not enough on the other....
    90-95% of guitar playing will be rhythm guitar, yet many choose to skip the basics of rhythm playing and go to the more "cooler" stuff of soloing and stuff. Even the most famous riffs are all rhythmical. How many times have you seen "Smells Like Teen Spirit" not played correctly or even the "Sex on Fire" riff not starting on the + of 4?

    Usually in trial lessons with people who can already play a bit I give them a chord chart taken from the RGT grades and get them to try and play through it without stopping. 8/10 they will stop in the first 4 bars cos they haven't taken into account a split bar, or it 1 chord per bar and also the wrong 7th chord type. There's also several timing issues as they struggle to keep to a 4/4 beat, in the end they can't do it. Baffling, yet they can somehow fumble their way around a minor pentatonic to a backing track (albeit out of tune bends and wrong notes).
    timing and phrasing are things I pay a great deal of attention to..
    when my students start nailing all that, they may not be blisteringly quick, but they certainly notice how much more polished they sound..
    and of course, as you say... rhythm playing is a guitarist's main job.. so it's the thing they need to be most solid at..
    I worked out once that out within the 90 minute set I play, I spend less than 10 minutes soloing
    I always work on timing from the off. Doesn’t matter how fast you can play or what blues licks you have if it ain’t in time or have any good groove forget it.

    I’ve helped a lot of so so players improve their timing and they do notice it, when the phrase or riff is in time and locks in with the metronome or backing track they kinda nod their head in time and get that musical groove/inner metronome.

    And yes it’s true about a set being mostly chords and strumming!
    IMHO, I've always considered that there are two principle areas to nail to get that polished sound
    1 - timing / phrasing [which are of course deeply related]
    2 - bending / vibrato [considering that they are variations of the same fundamental technique]

    these two little gems always seem to me to be the most overlooked when people learn to play
    yet these two areas are the ones that really seem expose a new player the most
    I can relate to you there, these are things I've cleaned up on myself when playing to a high level, its the difference between "performance standard" and the average Joe who plays in their bedroom.
    and the fellas that neglect this and head straight for the flash stuff never see to realise that they are building castles on sand..
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • Im over 20 years into picking up a guitar and I'm still very very average. I can read music although only on piano. It would take me too long on guitar to work out where the notes were on the fretboard. My pitch is pretty good and I my theory is grade 5 level yet my playing is shite .I think it comes down to a lack of structure in my practice and a lack of discipline. Im going over Justin's intermediate course at present to find out where my problems lie. I'm keen to improve now though and recognise what I need to do. I've put off buying any new gear until I feel I can reward myself with it. 
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18268
    Clarky said:

    IMHO, I've always considered that there are two principle areas to nail to get that polished sound
    1 - timing / phrasing [which are of course deeply related]
    2 - bending / vibrato [considering that they are variations of the same fundamental technique]

    these two little gems always seem to me to be the most overlooked when people learn to play
    yet these two areas are the ones that really seem expose a new player the most
    Yup, this.
    Also playing in situations other than at home alone.
    I see a lot of players who can play well by themselves, or in front of one or two people.

    Put them on a stage with an audience and it all goes to shit.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • I've had a few learners who claim to play it perfectly when they're at home but in front of me they freeze.
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  • JJWJJW Frets: 2
    Best advice I can give is slow down when you practice solos etc because when you do this you will have to use more control with your playing ! Keep doing this and this will give you control when you play at normal speed. We can allover play and drop a note here and ther but that's playing live ! Just try and control what you do.No one should it's funnt because someone struggle with some playing style we all have limitations ! Lesson should not be expensive and really you need to find a tutor who will help you play what you want to play and not what he can play they also should help you with control over your playing.
    I do teach but I don't use TAB because I feel you should be able to play what you want to hear more importantly what you feel
    sight reading would be better but I can'tdo that.
    Just in case I'm not worried about mistakes here is my Bandmix link .. https://www.bandmix.co.uk/john-watkins/ ; you can hear the mistakes !  Good Luck.

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