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Old 01-20-2021, 04:21 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Default What you didn't know that held you back

Who was that poltician ridiculed for banginging on about known unknowns and unknown unknowns?
Seems to me now that the unknown unknowns are very relevant to how fast a learner can progress with their instrument, more so after reading The Art of Brainjo.
So to speed up learning I invite players to share those insights into any aspect of music/guitar playing that they wish had come to them years earlier.
To start the ball rolling one from me that I wished I had realised much sooner is the value of using intervals of a 10th ( for fingerstyle) as a proxy for chords when harmonising a melody, especially in those situations when holding a chord on the melody note is just too difficult.
What were your unknown unknowns that you now know?

Last edited by Andyrondack; 01-20-2021 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 01-20-2021, 05:12 AM
NormanKliman NormanKliman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyrondack View Post
Who was that poltician ridiculed for banginging on about known unknowns and unknown unknowns?
Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in response to a question about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.

Okay, Iíll play. It is better to discover things for yourself. Ha, just kidding.

When playing arpeggios, donít fan your striking-hand fingers. Keep them so close together that they brush against each other.

Keep fretting-hand fingernails trimmed, too.

When you do something well, donít expect anyone to praise it, no matter how much you think you deserve it.

Be suspicious of those who seem too eager to criticize. (Note: make sure ego is disengaged before applying this one.)
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:04 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Timing. Rhythm and timing are the most important elements of music. More important than the notes. A wrong note at the right time is better than a right note at the wrong time. (Of course, a right note at the right time is best of all... )

It took me many years to realise that timing was my weak area. Not only imprecise placement of notes relative to a beat, but a tendency to speed up when improvising, especially when playing live. That is, I kind of knew I had a problem there, but was lazy about addressing it. I thought I could control it, didn't realise how embedded it was.

With everything else, even though I was self-taught, I was pretty much lucky.. Just accidentally, I happened to give the right things more importance, and never really got bogged down in the wrong things.
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Old 01-20-2021, 09:01 AM
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hubcapsc hubcapsc is offline
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Timing.

I'm practiciing the bluegrass songs I've learned with a metronome now.
I've got it set way slow, slow enough that I can actually do all the rolls
and hit all the notes. And it is helping with timing. I only downloaded
the metronome into my phone a week or so ago, and already I can
play the songs noticeably (by me anyhow) better and faster when not
using the metronome.

-Mike
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Old 01-20-2021, 09:43 AM
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I hope this fits, the lack of a teacher. For a long time I was teaching myself and it was going okay, but painfully slow. I would spend an inordinate amount of time wading through the internet trying to figure out how to do something and a month later when I finally figured it out I would be mentally exhausted. I started one on one lessons in September and it is so much easier to just ask him and he shows me. I spend a lot more time practicing and playing and a lot less time stumbling around in the dark. What used to take me months to learn takes a week now. I think the absence of guidance and having that resource held me back. I wish I had gotten a teacher a long time ago.
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Old 01-20-2021, 02:47 PM
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What I didn't know about playing guitar I didn't want to do anyway.

Allot of jazz and fiddle tunes are somebodies noodling put into song form and called a standard.

Things just ain't the same without the mystery.
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Old 01-20-2021, 02:57 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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This is the same question I ask every pro at every workshop I attend - "what is the biggest thing you wish you would have known when you first started out?"

I've never received an "aha!" type of answer. Of course the answer is different for everyone, depending on their musical goals and experience.

For me it's how important it is to spend time playing music with other people. No amount of woodshedding, self-study, books/DVD's, etc. can replace the live musical interaction with other players.
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Old 01-20-2021, 04:18 PM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
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As above: timing, timing, timing. I work long and hard on this with all my students and have for 40 years. It is the single most important element, the foundation upon which everything else is built. And in conjunction with that - match the lyrics to the guitar part, not the other way around. Single biggest issue I see with self-taught guitarists.
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Old 01-20-2021, 04:29 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyrondack View Post
Who was that poltician ridiculed for banginging on about known unknowns and unknown unknowns?
Seems to me now that the unknown unknowns are very relevant to how fast a learner can progress with their instrument, more so after reading The Art of Brainjo.
So to speed up learning I invite players to share those insights into any aspect of music/guitar playing that they wish had come to them years earlier.
To start the ball rolling one from me that I wished I had realised much sooner is the value of using intervals of a 10th ( for fingerstyle) as a proxy for chords when harmonising a melody, especially in those situations when holding a chord on the melody note is just too difficult.
What were your unknown unknowns that you now know?
From the late '60s intil the mid '90s I didn't know that I needed wider fretboards.
I just kinda assumed that all guitar neck profiles and widths were all much the same.

I played a '73 Martin d35 from '75 to '95 and thought it was a great guitar (still is actually , one of the best), then I sold it to a friend to buy a Martin j40. which whilst seemingly the same width but with a low profile and virtually unplayable for me.

Then, somebody lent me hid D35-S. ... changed my life! 12 fret 1 & 13/16" nut widths optimum.
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Old 01-20-2021, 05:18 PM
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Daily productive practice is key.
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Old 01-20-2021, 07:13 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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I think most people learning to play guitar have trouble with timing, how to stay on a consistent beat and how to properly phrase things to make music interesting and appealing.

I learned to play by playing with records so I could figure out how they were getting their sounds. I found that interesting players use all kinds of chord variations. By playing with records from my early days on the guitar, I learned to keep a beat when playing by myself because I was already playing with professional level players on these records.

The thing that I learned later in life that can make guitar playing even more interesting is that you don't have to play all the strings. You can play triads, you can play pieces of chords all over the fretboard and these approaches can really set a person free to do fascinating things on the guitar. A person does not have to be a prisoner of first-position chords, nor does a person have to play all barre chords when you are playing chords up the fretboard.

- Glenn
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:01 PM
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When I first started learning finger style I just dived in and tried to blast my way through tunes. Whatever mistakes I made I assumed would get better over time, that it was more important to get to performance speed.

And that's wrong.

I've found that I have to go super slow, learn the finger placements while being mindful of how the transitions will flow at a faster speed later (learned through experience - you just can't do anything, it has to make sense positionally). Then once some familiarity is learned with a few measures, work on the timing, the musicality of the measures to see how it all fits.

Keyword = Patience.
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:45 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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The major scale. I wish I started there instead of just jumping into minor scale and modes. Being a metal head gave me a mental block into thinking that music in major is pop crap. Boy was I wrong, I later realized that most of my favorite songs are in major. And itís just fundamental to know the major scale. So yeah, start there, start with the major scale.
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:50 PM
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Nothing I can think of. However since getting into recording the guitar a number of years ago I am more attuned to controlling
note durations (i.e. various ways of damping) for a cleaner sound in a recording.
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:55 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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I was fortunate to have some early experiences playing in bands starting in 7th grade AND playing with good drummers who drilled TIME into me, so playing with others and timing weren't big Achilles heels.

My big issues I had to work to overcome:

-Education. My first lessons at 9 were terrible. I then opted out of lessons of any kind for over ten years.
I had a common (but inaccurate) belief that the best players figured EVERYTHING out for themselves.

Turns out that certain things are just orders of magnitude easier to grasp when taught by someone else.

-Slow practice. When I was first learning a lick or a piece I would play it slow (I had no other choice). But right away I would crank up the tempo, regardless of how sloppy it was.
It took too long for me to realize that muscle memory could be your enemy. Practice something too fast, and the sloppiness/mistakes will get quickly embedded into memory.

These days, if I hear a mistake once, it's just a mistake. If I hear it twice, it is a red flag that I am about to commit it to muscle memory. Time to slow down right NOW.

-Proper setup. I started playing in the last half of the Sixties, and no one I knew ever talked about getting their guitar setup. I don't remember hearing about compensated saddles until late Seventies.

Because of this, I didn't experience a good setup on my guitars until 20 years in. I regret the years of expending much more effort than I needed just to get a decent sound.
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