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  #16  
Old 01-13-2022, 09:37 AM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Originally Posted by JackDaniel View Post
Hey all.
I'm looking for ideas for how to improve my playing. I've been playing for about ten or 15 years. Started in a church with a little group and since then basically play some cowboy chords to accompany singing since church worship songs. I'm quite adept at the stuff I know and can and quite well, but I'm sort of stuck getting any better than that. I've considered lessons but with 3 little kiddos I find it hard to find time.

So, I bring it before yall. Any ideas how to get better or even what to work on to improve? I know that's a broad and vague question...
Like Robin and others have said I'm not sure what "get better" would be for you. You could try learning something different; get a book on barre chords to expand there. You could try Truefire courses or Homespun. You could try learning flat picking or try fingerstyle, its up to you. Getting "better" at what you already do is probably just a matter of just finding your weak spots and working on those.
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  #17  
Old 01-13-2022, 07:07 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by phydaux View Post
For the last several months I've been going to a monthly acoustic barn jam.

About 10-15 of us show up each session. We sit in a circle and take turns calling songs. The person who called the song either shares the chord progressions.

For the last several sessions the gang has been encouraging me to prepare something. It's pushed me to work on flat picking arpeggios and bass walkdowns. For the next jam I hope to lead the group by playing Cocaine Blues, Johnny Cash-style. This has really pushed me to focus my practice sessions and work with a metronome.

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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi JD
Two things helped me grow.

We have a local guitar society which is a group of players who meet once a month and play/perform/sing for one another for a couple hours. Having to have a couple songs ready once a month has helped over the years I've been involved.

Also, having a regular playing 'partner' who is slightly better at some musical things and still learning others I'm better at has also helped.
It's good to see I'm not the only one offering this advice, though it's the only "how to play better" advice I ever offer....

I've been playing multiple genres on multiple instruments in multiple settings for over 48 years.

The SINGLE BEST WAY I've ever found to improve as a musician is to REGULARLY PRACTICE AND PLAY WITH OTHER MUSICIANS. Books and DVD's are helpful. Great resources are available online. In-person lessons with a good teacher are better. Solitary practice/woodsheding is VITAL. But playing music with other people is the number one thing.

Harder to do these days, but still true.
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  #18  
Old 01-13-2022, 08:43 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post

The SINGLE BEST WAY I've ever found to improve as a musician is to REGULARLY PRACTICE AND PLAY WITH OTHER MUSICIANS. Books and DVD's are helpful. Great resources are available online. In-person lessons with a good teacher are better. Solitary practice/woodsheding is VITAL. But playing music with other people is the number one thing.
Perhaps if you play a fair amount with other people. If you are mainly a soloist not so much.
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  #19  
Old 01-13-2022, 09:20 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Perhaps if you play a fair amount with other people. If you are mainly a soloist not so much.
I disagree. Most of my playing over my lifetime has been in an ensemble setting, but for the past 5 years most of my gigs have been as a soloist. But that weekly jam/song circle with my friends has made me a better player. Better player in a group or as a soloist. Better means better, regardless of the setting. The skill transfers.

Most people don't perform scales, arpeggios, picking exercises, etc. at a public performance either, but they still practice them.
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  #20  
Old 01-13-2022, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I disagree. Most of my playing over my lifetime has been in an ensemble setting, but for the past 5 years most of my gigs have been as a soloist. But that weekly jam/song circle with my friends has made me a better player. Better player in a group or as a soloist. Better means better, regardless of the setting. The skill transfers.

Most people don't perform scales, arpeggios, picking exercises, etc. at a public performance either, but they still practice them.
Hey, glad it works for you. For what I am into time better spent elsewhere.
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2022, 08:19 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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To those who discount the recommendations of various learning materials and stress that the only way to improve is to play with others...

Not everybody is in a position to get together with other musicians. There may not be those opportunities for at least some people using this forum. I have noticed that as people get older and other things tend to crowd their lives, that getting together with other people seems to require planning and even then, it still may not happen.

I have often said in these forums hat I feel that try before you buy is the best way to purchase a guitar, especially where a lot of money is involved. I am constantly reminded that many people here are not in a position to do that, and buying remotely is their only option.

In other words, rather than demanding absolutes of people here, it is probably a good thing to keep in mind that your situation may not be true for everybody in the forum.

There is nothing wrong or lacking among those who recommend books, DVDs, or other procedures to improve. There is no reason for any poster in a thread to discount other people's posted advice in favor of one's own.

Why not simply respect that we all have different situations and will therefore give advice based on these individual situations, and each can add his or her voice to these without judgement of other people's advice.

I agree with rick-slo, and if you listen to any of his recordings, I think his advice is certainly valid.

Tony
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  #22  
Old 01-15-2022, 10:12 AM
Riverwolf Riverwolf is offline
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I have bad arthritis in both hands and have to stay with simple chords.
I added a knowledge of walk ups/downs and bass runs.
I also completed several Carter style courses.
Both will really spice up cowboy chord playing.
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  #23  
Old 01-16-2022, 09:16 PM
hatamoto hatamoto is offline
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What helped me grow the most is to make my own compositions. Every musical and and guitar-centric things (CAGED, shapes, etc) seems to consolidate twofold when I go through this process.
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  #24  
Old 01-19-2022, 08:40 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Originally Posted by hatamoto View Post
What helped me grow the most is to make my own compositions. Every musical and and guitar-centric things (CAGED, shapes, etc) seems to consolidate twofold when I go through this process.
I have just had to look up what CAGED was! Luckily, it is not something that I need to know. I gave my old and broken hands a capo as a birthday present a few years back, and that pretty much does the same job.
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  #25  
Old 01-19-2022, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDaniel View Post
Hey all.
I'm looking for ideas for how to improve my playing. I've been playing for about ten or 15 years. Started in a church with a little group and since then basically play some cowboy chords to accompany singing since church worship songs. I'm quite adept at the stuff I know and can and quite well, but I'm sort of stuck getting any better than that. I've considered lessons but with 3 little kiddos I find it hard to find time.

So, I bring it before yall. Any ideas how to get better or even what to work on to improve? I know that's a broad and vague question...
"ten or 15 years" I find that curious (not that it matters but usually people pretty much know what year or age they started ?)
So that said :: And (besides the previous suggestions) The biggest single jump in my getting better involve two things.

First and regardless of the other demands on your time, the reality is you have to find a way to make and take the time to practice regularly ...

#1 Practice every day (or at least 5-6 days a week ) for at least an hour preferably 2 hours
# 2 take every song you "think" you know well and play in a dark room
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  #26  
Old 01-21-2022, 10:19 PM
rko rko is offline
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Play with other musicians as much as possible.
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