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Maybe it's just old age

Discussion in 'Bands on the Run' started by ido1957, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 13, 2014
    Canada
    Pub Jam session woes with regards to soloing. (Full band with PA).

    Fingers feel stiff, speed is meh, accuracy is lacking occasionally, need to wear specs to see.

    I am woodshedding a bunch on blues and major scale licks (YT and Guitar Lab as well as the actual scales), but when my turn comes my brain forgets to use them and I revert to the "old familiar stuff". I do insert a few snippets of the new stuff but not as much as I intend to. I get performance anxiety as a result, making it even harder to get a grip on what I want to do.

    Now if I play a song with a solo I memorized (say Statesboro Blues) it's pretty much spot on. I am a good singer IMHO so that gives me some confidence.

    Just ranting, in reality I am "somewhat better" than when I started jamming 5 months ago. Anyone with any advice?

    PS - I do not drink or do drugs so that is not an option.
     
  2. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    53
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    @ido1957
    Getting to the point of using newly learned techniques or licks without having to think about it can be a very long process.
    It can be especially tough if for years you've been using the “old familiar stuff.”

    To quote the movie Avatar, “It is hard to fill a cup that is already full.”

    You say you can pull off solos you know well, so Id say you are overthinking, and in a minor way, “freezing up”.
    Which can mean you arent truly comfortable enough with the new stuff to just let it rip without thinking about it.

    My advice (for whats its worth) is to relax, enjoy the moment, and let it happen when its ready to happen.
     
  3. rich815

    rich815 Strat-O-Master

    Just how old is old?
     
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  4. AncientAx

    AncientAx Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Nov 24, 2010
    Maryland
    Never really had a filter , always been a if you don’t want the truth don’t ask me kind of guy .i have been called very blunt over the years .....
     
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  5. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    i dont know how long youve been playing, but one thing i can think of that could cause the problems you are having is caring too much about what others think.
    let go, forget anyone is watching, and let it rip.
    if you make a mistake, so what. dont dwell on it....move on.
     
  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of DILLIGAF Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Apr 21, 2011
    Right behind you...
    Then what you're wooshedding is not ingrained yet...it isn't in you muscle memory. The "old stuff" is. We all revert to the familiar.


    Lighten up on yourself. Allow yourself the luxury of making mistakes. It's how we learn not to make them again....or how to make them work. ;)

    Familiarize yourself with chord progressions. If you know the progressions, and the scales that they're derived from then you'll know the songs. If not all of them....then at least most of them you'll hear at a jam night.

    I/IV/V.
    i/iv/v.
    I/vi/IV/V.

    These will get you far.

    Also the major and minor chord progressions. Then the circle progressions for major and minor.

    These will get you the rest of the way. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  7. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    here is a prime example of making mistakes and not giving a damn. people pick up on your vibe man.
     
  8. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    plus, if you aint makin mistakes, you aint learnin nothin new.
     
  9. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 22, 2010
    Germany
    Just turn the amp louder and you are fine.

    Life is good,
    Robin
     
  10. stratobiker

    stratobiker Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 16, 2011
    France
    Just keep doing it! Just keep going and keep on keeping on. If you are getting a few snippets of new stuff in that’s great! Keep at it....the new stuff will gain momentum...it will start to play itself. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel and the better you will play.
    Just empty your mind and allow the Gods of music to express themselves through you! Keep it up! :cool:
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  11. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 13, 2014
    Canada
    Overthinking, freezing up = correct. Not familiar with the new stuff = as much as I practice in the basement I see now that live playing is a different animal and needs its own practice. It's 100 times louder with the full band which is very new to me also (and distracting).

    I am 60 years old.

    That's ok - I am trying to do my best and I do practice a lot now that I am retired.

    Playing = since I was 18 but never played unrehearsed jam tunes. Everything was "scripted". So now I need to fly by the seat of my pants and that's my weak spot.
    Now that you mention it everybody on stage last night - even the pros - made boo boos.

    Not ingrained = correct. I can play familiar memorized solos perfect 99% of the time. It's been only a few months so I'm impatient I guess. I am determined though, and do not require instant gratification. I will persevere if it kills me hahaha. It just seems so slow considering how much I practice everyday (and I am not a novice well only in regards to jam tunes).

    Correct - I have a normal ego (friendly in person, a bit introverted on stage). I am my worst critic and am quietly hard on myself. Mistakes or bad jams early on would crush me. Now I can sluff them a bit better off as I'm getting modestly better.
     
  12. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 13, 2014
    Canada
    Good advice (seems the message is consistent :) )
     
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  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of DILLIGAF Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Apr 21, 2011
    Right behind you...
    Its time to familiarize yourself with the chords and scales those songs are made up of. This will enable you to play along with anything you hear.

    You've learned songs...you've had a good experience doing so. That's the "what". If you're into it...now it's time for the "why". It'll lead you to the "how"...playing and understanding the music....the structure...and making it come out of your instrument.

    Are you a new player?
     
  14. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    it is good advise. everyone, and i mean everyone, makes mistakes.
    a child riding a bike for the first time will run into the curb if he/she focuses on the curb and worries about it.
    dont focus on the curb. let the music flow through you.
     
  15. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of DILLIGAF Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Apr 21, 2011
    Right behind you...
    Some of my favorite things I've played came from a f-up. w-t-f....W-T-F? OH YEAH! LOL
     
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  16. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    i read a thing one time where hendrix said, "people are copying my mistakes".
     
  17. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 3, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Improvising solos is something that definitely requires practice. Memorizing solos is one thing, and creating them “on the fly” is a completely different skill.

    As far as incorporating new licks into solos, as has been mentioned by @fezz parka they need to be internalized before they will come out fluidly in your playing.

    Understanding chord progressions intimately also helps greatly. I sometimes practice playing along with the TV to help me find keys quickly and take me out of my comfort zone, playing styles I don’t normally play.

    Relax and have fun and it will come.
     
  18. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    a lot of people say practicing scales and sequences and things like that is bad, but i disagree with those people. for me, practicing those things helps alot when it comes to improvising. im no great improviser, but i can almost play over just about anything. not quite.....almost, lol.
     
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  19. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 3, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Same here. I know scales have helped me a lot. When I claim to be able to improvise, it’s still only within my currently meager skill set. Right now it’s mostly just major and minor pentatonics. I still haven’t learned to effectively incorporate the major scale or modes into my playing, but it’s coming along.

    Obviously I haven’t internalized them nearly as well as the pentatonics I have worked on from day one. I am able to occasionally add notes from them to color my pentatonics. So, depending on the song, I can play something nice, or hopefully at least decent, over basic major or minor progressions.

    I can’t play jazz for example, but I can play “ok” over a “jazzy” blues progression.
     
  20. montemerrick

    montemerrick spiritual birthday, April 1 Strat-Talk Supporter

    new things emerge as they do... like baby raccoons from their den, or recently recovered wild animals at their release site... i can get impatient (i was born that way) but i also really dig when some little idea i've been toying with pokes its nose and whiskers out of the burrow. i don't make eye contact and breathe as quietly as i can and give it the room to come out more, or retreat, however it likes... but once you've seen it, you know its there...