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Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?

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Mark Clark 14 Jul 04 - 07:40 PM
Sorcha 14 Jul 04 - 07:41 PM
Don Firth 14 Jul 04 - 08:05 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Jul 04 - 08:18 PM
wysiwyg 14 Jul 04 - 08:21 PM
Jeri 14 Jul 04 - 08:29 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 14 Jul 04 - 08:38 PM
GUEST 14 Jul 04 - 09:43 PM
Bill D 14 Jul 04 - 09:54 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Jul 04 - 11:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Jul 04 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Seaking 15 Jul 04 - 12:01 AM
MAG 15 Jul 04 - 12:53 AM
M.Ted 15 Jul 04 - 01:05 AM
Terry K 15 Jul 04 - 02:11 AM
C-flat 15 Jul 04 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 15 Jul 04 - 04:24 AM
fat B****rd 15 Jul 04 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,weerover 15 Jul 04 - 05:52 AM
Leadfingers 15 Jul 04 - 06:01 AM
kendall 15 Jul 04 - 07:00 AM
LilyFestre 15 Jul 04 - 07:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jul 04 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Jeri 15 Jul 04 - 10:21 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Jul 04 - 10:37 AM
Bert 15 Jul 04 - 10:44 AM
Once Famous 15 Jul 04 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,SueB 15 Jul 04 - 11:19 AM
Seamus Kennedy 16 Jul 04 - 01:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Jul 04 - 03:53 AM
kendall 16 Jul 04 - 06:51 AM
kendall 16 Jul 04 - 06:52 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 16 Jul 04 - 07:56 AM
Ernest 16 Jul 04 - 02:28 PM
Mark Clark 16 Jul 04 - 03:24 PM
harvey andrews 16 Jul 04 - 06:49 PM
Gorgeous Gary 16 Jul 04 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Russ 16 Jul 04 - 07:59 PM
chris nightbird childs 01 Nov 04 - 12:57 PM
Cluin 01 Nov 04 - 02:23 PM
mack/misophist 01 Nov 04 - 04:13 PM
DADGBE 01 Nov 04 - 11:49 PM
chris nightbird childs 01 Nov 04 - 11:51 PM
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Subject: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 07:40 PM

The twenty concepts you need......and the five things to forget!

I just thought this WholeNote article by Tom Hess was so full of truth and good advice I just had to share it here. The article is too long to post here but folks may want to share comments.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 07:41 PM

Because I don't speak guitar at all.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 08:05 PM

Thanks, Mark. Lots of good stuff in that article. I've been playing the guitar for over fifty years now, and I'm still trying to learn how to play the damned thing well.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 08:18 PM

I'm as good as I need to be, I guess. I use guitar for accompaniment, and whatever I am playing is meant to complement the song, not draw attention to itself. Folks what is instrumentalists have different needs.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 08:21 PM

Because I play autoharp? Different calluses.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 08:29 PM

Thanks Mark. I've only read part of it, but it looks like a good article. (On my way to finish it now.)


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 08:38 PM

...Because I am always trying new arangements.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 09:43 PM

...just one person's opinion, designed to encourage other people to follow this particular author's strategy. Follow your own path, not the one destined to keep you tethered to the whims of a music teacher, which this strategy seems bent on having young players do. It's hard to imagine truly original and influential guitarists following much of the advice given here except: practice, practice, practice.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 09:54 PM

as I have explained before...barred F


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 11:15 PM

Because you don't practice enough?


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 11:26 PM

It's not called the F chord for nothing, Bill..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: GUEST,Seaking
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 12:01 AM

I plateaued early.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: MAG
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 12:53 AM

It's a good article with sound advice. I tend not to be well-organized, so the points about practicing with a strategy to reach specific goals rang a bell.

I find if I get a book and try to learn some thing, like that 5 thing, it comes very slowly (it IS coming very slowly). Whereas, if a friend helps me figure out how to play something I want to play, AND I do scales and think about the notes I'm playing, AND pay attention to the pointers about music theory, litle bits of it hook up in the brain of this random abstract thinker.

Thanks for the heads up on this.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: M.Ted
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 01:05 AM

Great article! As a teacher, I found myself saying many of those things--particularly the "Things that are not true" Such as "Teaching yourself is the best way to be original" and "You should be a well rounded player and learn lots of different styles of music to become a good guitarist."


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Terry K
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 02:11 AM

I blame my equipment - how am I expected to play well with this damned Collings OM2H thing.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: C-flat
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 04:18 AM

"Don't compare yourself to others. There is no need to do this anyway. Music should not be a competitive sport among people"

I've seen a lot of very talented players who don't seem to understand that making good music isn't neccessarily about getting as many tricks/licks into as short a space as possible. Leaving room for the melody to breathe is so important and knowing when not to play is the mark of a really good player.
I visit the Wholenote site fairly often and there are some very informed contributors.

C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 04:24 AM

You are a better guitarist - it's just that you're surrounded by people WHO ALL LEARNED FROM THE SAME BLOODY VIDEO...

Keep the faith , Brethren.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 05:40 AM

'cos I'm so f***ing lazy.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 05:52 AM

Lack of natural ability combined with inbuilt lethargy.

wr.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 06:01 AM

I am not a better guitarist for the same reason I am not a better banjo player or a better mandolin player or a better clarinettist or a better whistle player or a better ukulele player or a better bass player - I am just spreading myself too thin !!!


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 07:00 AM

Because I'm not willing to work at it.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 07:07 AM

Because my fiddle fingers don't want to cooperate completely just YET..it will come.....yep...it will come!

And Jerry, about that *F* chord...LMAO!   :)

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 07:50 AM

What Jerry said.

There's a lot of good stuff in that article, particularly about not letting an obsession with technique and showing off get in the way of making good music of some particular type.

Good music is perhaps determined even more on what you leave out than by what you include. Like good writing, good painting, good acting...


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: GUEST,Jeri
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 10:21 AM

#18. "Do not pander to your strengths while ignoring your weaknesses."

HOO-BOY! That's a big one for me - getting out of my comfort zone. Hand-in-hand with pushing past the frustration and having a purpose so I WANT to keep trying. The thing is, once you do it and see that it can work, you try it more often. There's no one around anymore who will keep reminding me, "If you do the chord change between the D and the Bmin, THAT'S what you have to keep friggin' practicing!" I have to kick my own butt.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 10:37 AM

If music was technique, then the best muscians would be technicians. I've heard too many musician get every note, but miss the song completely. I've heard technically marvelous guitarists painstakingly transcribe piano rags onto guitar and play them without a mistake. It just didn't sound like ragtime.

The best guitarist are equal parts technique and expressiveness. Unfortunately, there aren't any books or videos that teach you how to put feeling into music.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Bert
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 10:44 AM

1. Serious lack of musical ability.
2. Very poor timimg.
3. Terminally Lazy.
4. Started very late in life.

Well they are my excuses. So I have concentrated on singing and being able to put a song across and to hold an audience.

I think that the important thing when singing and playing is to have people listen. There's lots of folks out there who are pretty handy with the guitar but seem to lose their audience halfway through the song.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 10:54 AM

A good article with some true points. I can't agree more about playing with with other people, especially good or better musicians to help pull you up to the next level.

Also, finer guitars do make finer guitarists.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for the link. It seems that everything he's saying applies to just about everything in life. Having a plan, working through frustration, believing in yourself, etc. When I was young, everything seemed to come naturally - poems were apparently divinely inspired and dropped whole into my mind, often when I was doing other things, for instance. There was something about the whole idea of making short-, medium- and long-term goals, and charting your progress, and spending extra time on the things that didn't come as easily that seemed, to my young undisciplined mind, antithetical to the creative process. Now, of course, I'm older, and I am raising young people, and I spend all my time tellng them things like, Have A Plan, and Those Things That Don't Come Easily Are Exactly The Things It Will Pay You The Most To Give Extra Attention To, and you can guess how receptive they are to these wise words....


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 01:15 AM

Pure, unadulterated laziness.
Actually, I am a better guitarist.
Than I was when I first started 40 years ago....

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 03:53 AM

Very weird.

I suppose guitar playing and guitars represent a vast industry, and so its okay to encourage young people to obsess in this manner. And there are are lots of ways of earning a living with guitar skills nowadays. At least its better than doing something anti social.

Speaking as someone who has played the guitar most of my life and earned some sort of a living as a musician most of that time, I find that now I'm in my fifties , I do not consider my time well spent.

I have health problems with sitting so long practising. the only people I am really comfortable with are other musicians. Other people sense the degree of your obsession and to tell the truth they're rather bored. what I'm saying is that being surrounded by admirers at the end of a gig costs, and it doesn't really make for a well rounded personality.

Anyway gotta get off and do some practising........hell you've got to do something with your life. i suppose you pay your money and takes your choice.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 06:51 AM

Get a Taylor, then you can make that "F" by wrapping your thumb around the neck. No need to bar it


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 06:52 AM

For once I agree with Martin Gibson. Until I got the Taylor, I played a Gibson J-45 and it was such a "club" I had no desire to pick it. The Taylor made me want to play better, and it helped.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 07:56 AM

Cause I spend all the time I should be practising on reading this website is why! ;)


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Ernest
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 02:28 PM

Give up. It does not make sense to improve your guitar skills.
`
The banjos and accordions are louder, haha !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:OP

Ernest


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 03:24 PM

Kendall, Thanks, I'll need to test drive a Taylor. I saw quite a few of the players at the Merle Travis Memorial Thumbpicking Contest in Mountain View, AR, were playing Taylors. This must be the reason. The Martins are wonderful bluegrass guitars but can be challenging for thumbpicking. Maybe that's why Merle had Paul Bigsby make that replacement neck for his 1938 D-28.

Incidently, that famous guitar of Merle's has been quite resonably duplicated by Harvey Leach.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: harvey andrews
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 06:49 PM

Because whenever I picked it up to practice I started writing.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 07:43 PM

Because I've been working 14 hours a day for the past month while also trying to put the finishing touches on my wedding. Which means my priorities in the last few hours left to me are sleeping and eating, not music...

OTOH, if I can pull myself away from the 'puter, I actually **can** find practice time tonight! 8-)

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 07:59 PM

Sounds too much like work.

Did a search of the treatise. The word "fun" appears only once. It is mentioned as an aside. He must've mentioned it by mistake.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 12:57 PM

About the "F" Cats... fuck it. Use a capo.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 02:23 PM

Because all my fingers are attached to only 2 hands.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 04:13 PM

My excuse is both perfect and elegant, I can't play guitar. So there.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: DADGBE
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:49 PM

Jerry, your really hit on something important there. It's the expressiveness that counts, not the technique. Ever hear some of those old Mississippi delta players on their $6.98 Stellas? Damn, I wish I could play the blues that well!

Fokls forget that technique isn't an end in itself. It's a tool for helping to make music. If you don't move somebody's emotions, it ain't music.


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Subject: RE: Why Aren't You a Better Guitarist?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:51 PM

It all comes down to whether or not you move someone. Everything else is irrelevant...


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