What's the point? 🤔

Wow, interesting topic indeed… and I would not have expected that my quick comment in that other thread could have spawned such replies - or be interpreted in the ways it appears to have been!

I’m the kind of person who is looking to improve in most things that I do - in my family life, at my work, and at playing the guitar. I guess it’s simply hard for me to understand that not everyone else feels the same way :slight_smile: But now that you mentioned it, I suddenly recall a conversation I had at a party a couple of years back. Someone (a non player) was asking about me playing music, and I explained that, yes, I play in a band and record myself to improve etc etc… And she went on to say something like “wow, that’s awesome that you’re still looking to improve! Most adults are fine with a status quo, due to busy lives etc…”. Something like that. I never thought about it like that before, but this will teach me not to assume too much about how other people operate! :slight_smile:

(and btw - someone mentioned the words being used - to that I’ll just say; please keep in mind that I’m danish… I might not understand all the subtleties of some English terms/phrases. You can pretty much assume that I never mean to offend though :slight_smile: )

BUT - I also want to add just a few additional words to what I mean by “always strive to improve”. Because it does not mean that I’m always being hard on myself, not enjoying “the journey”, or “just playing” or “only interested in learning very hard stuff”. In fact - I never had a practice schedule that I followed! I only play whenever I feel like it, and practice whatever I feel I need to play the next song I need/want to learn.

By “strive to improve” I simply mean; If someone records themselves… asks for feedback, and is then told (for example) that it sounds good, but rhythm is a bit off. Or some string noise occurs when he/she plays XXX… Just examples… But then it literally boggles my mind, if that someone is not interested in focusing on getting those things better - even if it’s just a little better - for the next song they want to learn (recorded or not).

That is what I mean by “strive to become better”. When someone becomes aware of something that this person could do better, with just a little practice, then I admit to not understanding if that person is not interested in doing so…

It is very possible to enjoy playing and the journey of learning - and not being interested in becoming a shredder or superstar player - and yet still be improving…

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Hi Clint,

Not sure if this comment was aimed at me or not, but I just wanted to add a quick comment;

I agree with you, finding your own voice is important. Me, personally, I’m using these note-by-note studies to improve my overall technique and control of the instrument. When I play with my band I can use this to play the songs much more freely live, with my own voice and take/variations on the solos etc. I know that if I have enough control to play something exactly like I hear it on a record, then I have the control to express what I hear in my head exact as well… That might not be a good approach for everyone, but I enjoy it and it works for me :wink:

Take care,
Kasper

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Everybody should strive to be a better person tomorrow than they are today :smiley:

This is a very thought provoking topic with lots of great comments and some Brian-Rogier banter thrown into the mix.

I particularly liked this point:

I think this point actually aligns with context of Kasper’s remark that one should take time to learn a song to best of your ability before posting for feedback rather than posting a rushed recording with an opening statement along the lines here’s one I learned this afternoon, there’s issues with timing, chord fingerings etc.

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You hit the nail on the head James. How do you give honest feed back to someone who admits it’s not there best work. Or when someone says my strumming is off. They already know what’s wrong so why bother posting.

To me they are just looking for attention or a pat on the back not real feed back.

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I’m happy playing music.

My ego tells me I’m approaching greatness, but my ears tell me I’m a campfire hack and I’m really ok with that.

Fascinating thread. Great reading. I think where the obsession with getting better becomes problematic is if you mentally beat yourself up with how slow you might think you are at getting better. If your goal setting is making you feel worse, that sort of thing.

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I dunno, it could be that they know what’s going on but not how to fix it. That’s often the case for me at least. I can always tell what’s going on but maybe not how to fix it or even I may know that something is going on but I’m not quite sure what it is. I’m sure it’s the same for others as well.

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Brian,… we are now repeating the other topic with more of the same, and each other here… will there be any intervention,… :roll_eyes:

By the way, you made me laugh out loud again with those ants,… and was this one word necessary to begin your opening epic to teach and expand upon the meaning of being the best human?..

Greetings and be sweet all,…

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There’s nothing wrong with being a campfire hack as long as your the best campfire hack you can be. I remember your posts about the kid dancing and having fun when you played. That’s all that matters. Kids have very natural rhythm and will tell you out right if you suck or just walk away.

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Some days, probably more often than not, I’m not the best I can be. My goal is to still be happy with those days as well. I certainly relish the days when I’m at my peak.

I think you are talking big picture. I’m talking detail.

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Hehe, too many points of view to go into them all, but a couple of thoughts:

Sorry @Kasper, I probably should have given you a heads-up, but reckoned you’re an excellent player, with a lot of common sense and most Danes I’ve met are ok with straightforward discussion. (I agree, if people ask for advice it’s really odd to ignore it.)

@Jozsef is quite correct. I was asking this much more from a philosophical point of view rather than practical (although not quite the meaning of life. You can message me if you want the answer to that :laughing:)
Most folk are understandably focusing on the ‘getting better’ side of the equation (in all the different ways), rather than the stagnation/deterioration that I was trying to add into the equation. Doing the best you can in the moment is what you should focus on. It’s ok if your fingers/brain are slowing up and you are no longer improving. It’s ok not to have goals to ‘become better’ (in life as well as guitar :wink:)

I started sharing songs 6 weeks after picking up the guitar. I was neither looking for advice nor pats on the back (although I do enjoy both!). I was just enthused about what I had learned to do and wanted to share it with anyone who might be interested. I still feel much the same way :smiley:

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I’ll give you a pat on the back for that my friend :wink:

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Great thread. Everyone is different. Different circumstances, different aspirations. I think anyone who plays will always be trying to improve, whether by learning new techniques or just improving what they already play.
Nothing much more to say……I’ll leave it to Dire Straits.

Check out guitar George, he knows all the chords
Mind, it’s strictly rhythm he don’t want to make it cry or sing
They said an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
He’s got a daytime job, he’s doing alright
He can play the Honky Tonk like anything
Savin it up for Friday night

As for slowing down and getting worse as we get older……Not a lot we can do about it!

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After several start stop replies and half typed personal anecdotes, just be yourself and enjoy your playing. Just have realistic expectations, so you don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong or you’re stretching too far. Progress can be measured on many levels and many degrees.

Today I approached an exercise Kasper shared recently and had to drop to a sedentary 60 bpm 1/8 notes, the video suggests 100 bpm 1/16ths :rofl: By the end of the session I was comfortable playing 1/8s at 110 bpm. Progress and satisfaction borne of the effort I put in and a desire to take it to the next level in realistic increments. A solo Stitch suggested has now been learnt but still below tempo but can be played from memory. The former exercise may help the latter solo but it will all be baby steps. But each step forward brings the satisfaction I am making progress. Some fingerstyle solo Blues exercises memorised but again needing the tempo to be built up bit by bit. But all of these bring some pleasure and joy from that fact I have learnt something new and can actually play these pieces. Something I would not have thought possible even a few years back and I ain’t getting younger ! But that inspires me to learn more and improve technique, no matter how long it takes and as long as I’m still breathing. That’s how it works for me these days. Never too old to rock n roll.

But if you are happy with where you are at, that’s totally fine with me. As long as you are having fun and enjoying your music, all is well with the world.

:sunglasses:

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I agree, but being wrong in someone else’s eyes is not something that I fear. I also don’t fear being mediocre, it’s something that I aspire toward.

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Not at all. That said I don’t hear “find your own voice on the instrument” being mentioned or applauded very often by others. So I can see where someone might think that I’m talking about them directly (which I am not). Justin teaches early on that a fair amount of guitar practice should be improvisation (which I would call finding your own voice).

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You sir have found your voice and have been well represented on my big screen feed. :+1:

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Its not “happy being average”…it is picking and choosing what you are going to excel at . Most of us simply do not have time or resources to excel at everything. I own my own biz and strive to be above-average in that. Remember, also, some people are born with a talent that is simply amazing.

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Plenty awesome replies and I agree that as with anything there is lots of different approaches and no right or wrong answer.

I am with Kasper on this one in general, I love to improve and I wouldn’t be happy with myself if I didn’t give it a go with learning more advanced stuff.

I think in some cases these days people tend to not be patient enough to learn more complicated things - we see a 9 mins long video how someone learnt something or even shorter one if someone just posted a cover of a song and we never think how much time this person has spent to learn that or how much processing was applied to get there. This I believe where people get discouraged at and give up.

I guess establishing at the early days of your journey where you want to get is a good thing to do as then after few years you can see if you managed or not to reach your goals. If you did that’s great perhaps you were never into more complex stuff, if you didn’t well I guess I would not be happy about it with myself and I would try to improve still, rather than settle on is what it is. That’s why I gave up my guitar adventure in the first place years ago :wink:

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I’m 73. I’m in the age range where really good guitarists are declining in skill. Since I started at 67, I try to remain realistic in who I can be as a player. In Freemasonry, we like to say that in striving to be a better man, we don’t mean better than anyone else, just better than we are.

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Haha, I must admit you are one of the consistent voices that have influenced my attitude towards guitar playing. Not always easy listening, but consistent and worthwhile :wink:

I don’t really buy into 'trying to be a better man’. I’m happy enough with the person I am (flaws and all). I wonder does anyone actually know someone who is a better person than they used to be? :thinking:

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