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Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by robistro, Apr 14, 2019.
Yep. That way you have a conversation instead of a soliloquy.
Pub jams - no commitment and forces you to play well enough to not embarrass yourself.
It encourages me to keep improving my singing/playing and learning new tunes so I don't become known as the guy who plays those same 4 songs.
Another thing that I sometimes do that I still consider noodling, but not the same old noodling. Try playing along with the TV.
It is a challenge to quicky find the key, time signature, goove and something appropriate to play. It will expose you to playing in styles well outside of your comfort zone too.
I think it has helped me with a lot with being able to improvise lead lines.
Putting yourself out there is the fast track. My pride (and a traumatic 1st open mic) made me a little shy about “growing up on stage” though I have done some since. I also sit in with my cousin’s acoustic duo occasionally as well.
Unfortunately, there aren’t as many good jams and open mics around here as there used to be.
All good advice above.
I recently joined a band and I bought a Digitech Trio+ to practice with at home. So far it has helped me a lot and it's great fun to use. I use it almost every day now, it could be for practicing songs, for practicing time keeping, for helping me to learn to navigate chord progressions or for practicing soloing.
Thanks for starting this thread. Being newish to electric after a lifetime of acoustic, I bought a looper to work on my ear for improvisation (nonexistent when I started). I did research enough to lead me to getting a JamMan looper which can save and bank loops and allows you to layer on top of them too. I've saved some but haven't ventured into layering yet, maybe it's time to stretch a little.
Over on our tele sister site TDPRI, there are guys who put out weekly backing tracks. Then other players download them and record their own leads and resubmit them to the thread. I'm not set up to do that kind of recording, but it's interesting to listen to what other players come up with. Super supportive bunch over there too.
If it were me, I would work on a particular piece that inspires you.
When I was younger, i learned a few solo guitar pieces that kept me challenged, and taught me some new skills.
There was no you tube back then, so everything was learned by ear (or someone showed you).
I learned a chord melody version of "all the things you are".
That took me a bit of time.
I learned a chord melody version of ode to joy, silent night, anything that interested me.
I learned some lindsay Buckingham tunes also. Never going back again, bleed to love her, landslide.
I didn't need a band for any of that.
It was a challenge, and it kept me focused.
And as a bonus, when I had learned a song like that, I would perform it for anyone who would listen.
Family, friends, etc.
I played in bands for years, that's what used to motivate me. Now that I'm old and the belly carve on my guitar makes it stick out at a 225 degree angle when it rests on my gut, I prefer to sit lol.
I still write and record music for my own personal enjoyment. To stay motivated I try to learn new techniques as best I can by watching instructional vids from YouTubers like David Walliman and Ben Eller and applying my own take on them in my music.
We do that here too. We have weekly jams and challenges. Jams are easier and loser, challenges are a bit harder and more structured.
Backing tracks are good, but they're like the side dish of a meal.
You need some meat as well.
If you spend too much time on backing tracks, that'll be all you have in your arsenal.
For better results, write your own progressions. Write them in different styles. And work on how to play chords. All kinds of chords. And then learn their inversions.
I play in pub jams, open mic’s, etc. I follow a couple of local musician Facebook groups where other players sometimes host private jams. I can usually find one or two a week. Once you’ve done a few jams and met some other players you’ll probably find a compatible bunch to jam with privately if that’s what you’re looking for. Personally I love the challenge of playing a song I don’t know with strangers on a live stage. It is amazing how quickly your playing improves.
Theres a LOT of good advice here.
I can definitely see the benefit of playing with other people. But just showing up at a mic night is a little too intimidating for me at this point in the game. I've been away from the guitar for a while and I am taking lessons which are helping but I dont feel confident/comfortable enough just yet to jump in and start playing along with a group, but I think I'm getting there.
I'll definitely use some of the suggestions posted
I jam with a few guys once or twice a week. We will play out maybe two to three times a year, but that's not a priority. It's great to musically see where others go, can I follow, can I talk back, can I add something, how does my gear sound with another couple guitars bass and drums. like Fezz said, have a conversation. That's me.
And OMG how some of the things we learned were wrong, or how we learned them the hard way.
I learned Rain Song on my Goya 12 string in standard tuning. I had no concept of DADGAD or open G. Talk about finger gymnastics!
It looks like the number one suggestion is find others to play with ASAP unless you plan on always being a solo act.
Even if you do plan on being a solo act, you will get better faster by playing with others and it will improve your solo act, so the same advice applies.
Loopers are great for refining details and just jamming for fun, but they remove the human element from the rest of the band.
Loopers don't randomly come in on the wrong beat, or drop a measure, so they don't force you to adjust and compensate on the fly.
We do that here too.
Check out the digitech trio or Band in a Box software. They both allow you to easily create you own backing sounds. Playing with a real or computerized band will help you develop your timing and soloing. Both of these tools basically give you a band that's ready to practice with you whenever you want...without all the hassles that can come with a real band.
The use of backing tracks.
It's how I'd keep my skills functional. Sometimes I'd make my own, sometimes something provided by producers, sometimes something commercially available...
In that regard...my skills...it didn't matter that bass and drums weren't actually breathing.
I started building backing tracks on my Yamaha keyboard (it has a memory card you can write to, a one finger "accompaniment" mode lol and drum machine.
What a big help for solo practice. It's mainly I IV V (pub jams) but you can set any key and tempo, then change either as needed for learning or similar songs.
Blues has a variety of drum beats so it's nice.
Now I can take those riffs I learned and build full on solos in the basement and then bring them out at a jam, instead of fumbling around.