I'm listening to all your music and I am so depressed.

  • I am practicing my ass off everyday non-stop, and I am still way behind you guys. ;( I wrote this last year a couple of months before I got a Kemper. I play it much better now and with more emotion.


    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

    Edited once, last by BayouTexan ().

  • If it helps ive been playing guitar for 35 years and I really should be better.

    I can't speak for everyone but what I will say is you'll never get to where you want to be.

    'You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead' - Stan Laurel

  • Get a good teacher that can help you grow faster. Remember practicing can do as much harm as good if not done in a constructive way. I myself had to unlearn quite a few things. Try to avoid that.


    Apart from that you do the right thing. Create the music only you can create. Nothing compares to that.

    Kemper PowerRack | Rivera 4x12 V30 cab | Yamaha DXR10 pair | UA Apollo Twin Duo | Adam A7X | Cubase DAW
    Fender Telecaster 62 re-issue chambered mahogany | Kramer! (1988 or so...) | Gibson Les Paul R7 | Fender Stratocaster HBS-1 Classic Relic Custom Shop | LTD EC-1000 Evertune

  • It's about pleasure and fun, right? Okay to push yourself to get to the next level but comparing to others and looking at the time feels a little useless. Everybody has an own pace in that. Have fun, that's way more important.


    And by the way: It doesn't sound bad what you have there :thumbup:8)

  • Get a good teacher that can help you grow faster. Remember practicing can do as much harm as good if not done in a constructive way. I myself had to unlearn quite a few things. Try to avoid that.


    Apart from that you do the right thing. Create the music only you can create. Nothing compares to that.

    This is very good advice. I have been playing for many years. In my younger years I could play but everything came very hard to me and I had to work out solos ahead of time and had no ability to improvise. I quit playing after my Daughter was born. I gave it up for about 10 years. When I went back to it I ended up right back where I was before in no time at all. I made the decision to go get some theory lessons and learn how to use all of the bits and pieces of knowledge that I had learned along the way. That was the day my playing went in a whole new direction. I have been on stages at jams and played songs that I have never played before and improvised solos to them. I would never have been able to do this in my 20's. The reason I can do that now is that I know the theory. If someone can tell me the key the song is in and some rough Nashville numbering for the verses and choruses, I can follow along and figure it out.


    When my instructor told me that there was nothing more he could teach me, I started teaching people who were stuck like I was. I found that a lot of guitar teachers can teach you theory but they can't teach you how to make that last jump into making music with it. Since I had to work though that myself with the teacher I had, it took a lot of effort on my part, I decided to start helping others do it. The teacher I had was great but he also was not able to get me over that last part and into making music. I had to figure it out for myself. I took a few people through that transition. That is when things get fun. It is great watching someone finally be able to connect the dots.


    Definitely find a good instructor and invest in yourself. It was the best thing I ever did for my playing. It also allowed me to take it to the point of making money with it through gigging and teaching. It was a nice side hustle.

  • I have a very good online instructor who is a Nashville session guitarist. I started with him on day one but I have surpassed his courses which are mainly geared for beginners and intermediates. Time to time I will go back over some courses to refresh which is mainly for theory. I have a great personal relationship with him and we do a lot of one-on-one interactions. I have written over 60 songs, all of which he has heard, and is pretty blown away by them for someone who is still new to guitar (I had no prior musical experience other than listening to songs on the radio). I have written some songs that are too complex for me to play right now. He keeps pushing me to maintain my heavy practice schedule, which I do, and study solo techniques, which I am. He says that I will "get there". I just want to be "there" now!


    I have been studying piano and drums but only a fraction of my guitar practice.


    I am also following the 10,000 hour rule. But it only works as long as I don't practice wrong techniques. I have done about 1,500 hrs each year so far.


    Still, when I watch some of these videos, I get overwhelmed.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • If I'm allowed to help, I'd give you the following advice (had to learn some of it too after playing for more than 30 years):


    1. Create a simple drum rhythm (foor to the floor is sufficient) to which you can relate your playing.

    2. Move your body or a part of your body to the beat. I think it was Al di Meola who said "If you can't tap it, you can't play it". Forget about making mistakes, it's often more important to develop a body feeling. Work on the mistakes isolated after playing the whole song.

    3. Develop some finger vibrato, it will sound 100% more musical. If you like to go the hard way (which I recommend), learn it in a rhythmical context right from the start (e.g. 1/8 or triplet vibrato).

    4. Turn your fretting so that the fingers are parallel to the frets. It will help you in the future when thing are getting more complex.

    5. Use every little opportunity to relax fretting and/or picking hand. A second or even a fraction is often enough.


    Your picking hand looks good in my opinion. And you seem to play relaxed which is a good thing as well. Good luck!

    I could have farted and it would have sounded good! (Brian Johnson)

  • Great article. I completely agree with it. The only person you can compare your playing to is yourself. We all learn in different ways at different paces. If you are seeing improvement when compared to months ago, you are heading in the right direction. When I was teaching I couldn't use the same approach for every person. I had to find out what the roadblock was for each person then help them remove it.

  • You obviously have the basics down. You have good control with your pick. You are coordinating well with cleanly played notes. Very good advice above in the other replies. I think it's a matter of finding the right practice method for you. And honestly that may be as simple as finding tabs and playing along with your favorite songs vs a more rigid schedule of scales and such. I love the tone you have there. Very Hagar era Van Halen!

  • Your picking hand looks good in my opinion. And you seem to play relaxed which is a good thing as well. Good luck!

    Lets' just say, I am more relaxed than I used to be. I used to "grunt" pretty loud in the beginning when I tried to play songs. I was not aware of it until my wife complained. I denied it and she snuck a video of me for proof. I've learned to be more relaxed... and chew gum while practicing.


    The most relaxed player I have ever seen is EVH. He looks like he could be doing an Algebra Exam while playing on stage without batting an eye. If I can't play like him then I would at least like to play as relaxed as he does.


    I welcome all feedback and critiques.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • The most relaxed player I have ever seen is EVH. He looks like he could be doing an Algebra Exam while playing on stage without batting an eye. If I can't play like him then I would at least like to play as relaxed as he does.

    What struck me about Eddie wasn't that he was relaxed but what a joyous creature he was. No matter how or where I've seen him (concerts, music videos, YouTube etc., he always looked like he was just having the time of his life. What deadman42 said is spot on. If you want to be like Eddie, then just be happy that you can play guitar (most people can't), and have fun!


    When you play like a two year old, be a joyous two year old. Don't tell yourself, "Well, I'll only enjoy this when I can play like [insert guitar hero here]," or "I'll only enjoy this when I've been playing for X years or have a certain level of technical abilities." Why should you wait for some arbitrary goal before you give yourself permission to be okay with what you do? This isn't a corporate job. It's recreation. Don't turn it into work.


    I don't know if Sands of Time is your song or a cover, but I also highly encourage songwriting. I've been a cover band guy all my life, and that's a brutal world because the expectation is that you're supposed to sound "just like the record." Not only am I a guitarist, I'm also a vocalist, so double the opportunities to feel embarrassed since I don't play like Eddie or sing like Robert Plant.


    However, I've always been a songwriter as well. When I' m doing covers, I'm judged (and instinctively judge myself) based on how close I can come to how the record sounds. It can be a constant source of dissatisfaction - because duh, I'm not them! Not so when I'm playing my own music. I don't have any great songwriting gift to share with the world. I write because it's cheaper than therapy. Since my songs are typically about personal experiences and they're an expression of how I felt at the moment, then they always sound exactly the way they're supposed to sound. And even if no one else likes them, that's fine because I wrote them for myself.


    So, write songs. Write a lot. When you're a two year old, write two year old songs. When you're a 35 year old like some of the guys here, write 35 year old songs. But the trick to this is to enjoy what you're doing at the given moment. If you compare your two year old songs with your future 35 year old songs, you'll lose. How does that make your life any better?


    Also, one of the best things I ever did for my songwriting was to give myself permission to write bad songs. I used to have tons of song snippets scattered all over the place, but no finished songs. That's because I'd have a good hook, but nothing else I could come up with was "good enough" for that song. Finally I just said screw it and started finishing songs. And sure enough, I wrote a lot of bad songs. But I also wrote some of the best stuff I've ever done. The thing is, I don't have to show anyone the bad songs. I just push them off to the side and only share the good songs that came as a result of the bad ones.


    All the advice the others have given about teachers, technique, etc. is very valuable. But none of it will matter if you don't let yourself enjoy this stuff. Instead of "I'm still not good enough," I suggest rewiring your brain so what comes out is, "Hey, cool! I couldn't do this last year!" And of course, playing a song, finishing it, and thinking, "Damn, that was fun!" That's the really important one.


    Two year old you is much, much better than two year old me was. But I had way more fun. :)

  • Chris Duncan Best advice ever. I agree 100% and I am in the exact situation as you. Cover band playing guitar and doing vocals as well as writing and recording my own music. It's all about having fun. Even in my younger days I never ever sat and "practiced" for hours on end. I sat for hours and noodled or tried to play along with my favorite bands. Zero regimented practice. Because to me, that was not fun, that was work! I know my limitations, and they are many, but you learn to play what you works for you.

  • ...

    I don't know if Sands of Time is your song or a cover, but I also highly encourage songwriting.

    ...

    Thank you very much for that reply. Yes, Sands of Time is my own. I have written over 80 songs so far, and some I can't even play properly yet, but I continue to practice to master them. I also write my own lyrics but don't care to sing at this time since my sole focus is guitar. I do not find covering songs much of a challenge compared to writing your own music. It's easy to copy but takes imagination to create. I practice cover songs mainly to learn technique not to perform for anyone other than myself. I feel as you do about covers -- I want to hear it exactly like the record. So, even if a guitarist is absolutely amazing, I still feel a bit of disappointment if he is a tad off the original. Not his fault. Just the way I like to hear specific songs.


    I am much more improved than that recording. I continue to improve pretty substantially each month, and keep challenging myself to do harder techniques. No doubt I am having the time of my life and even more so to perform live, but there are stumbling blocks that get frustrating.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.