The Old Days - Jemsite
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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The Old Days

During a discussion over the weekend with guy in his 20s at a guitar shop over the weekend I realised how many things have changed for guitar players. For me getting back into playing at this particular time for me has been great and I couldn't have been this motivated in my 20s because the resources were much harder to come by. It started with effects, then went to lessons. Here is what I observed, but some of you have 10, 20 or 30 years on me, so I'd love to hear your stories.

Back in the day, crafting your tone meant buying the right amp, 5 or 6 different pedals and running them on an endless string of 9v links.

Now, if you wish you can just buy a profiler or a software amp modeller and have 100s of tones for the price of 1.

80s - Lessons - You had to find a teacher which was often a long and hard road, often you had to settle for someone with slightly more experience than you. If you wanted to learn a new song you had to work it out for yourself or hope your favourite guitar mag tabbed it

Now, fire up Youtube and you have access to 1000s of teachers. Find a good one anywhere in the world, go on skype and you've access to some of the best teachers on the planet

80s - Guitar Heroes - You had to rely on your peers to point you in the direction of the next up and coming virtuoso.

Now - Just surf the web and there are 1000s of players who can immasculate you in the comfort of your own home.

80s - Buying an instrument - you were kind of stuck playing what your friends recommended - particularly when you were saving pocket/chore money for your dream axe

Now - Researching before parting with your hard earned cash is so much easier
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 04:44 PM
 
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Re: The Old Days

I agree that modelers are total game changers, but there are a few other things that work along with them that REALLY change the game.

Cheap, powerful computers. Make the production of music by amateurs a reality.

Cheap, high quality DAW's. For very little money an amateur can produce music of the quality that used to require a professional studio. Particularly powerful when you combine direct USB recording from a modeler.

EZ Drummer and other virtual instruments. Don't even need to be able to play drums or keyboards, you can just easily sequence it all from withing your DAW.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 02:40 PM
 
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Re: The Old Days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
During a discussion over the weekend with guy in his 20s at a guitar shop over the weekend I realised how many things have changed for guitar players. For me getting back into playing at this particular time for me has been great and I couldn't have been this motivated in my 20s because the resources were much harder to come by. It started with effects, then went to lessons. Here is what I observed, but some of you have 10, 20 or 30 years on me, so I'd love to hear your stories.

80s - Lessons - You had to find a teacher which was often a long and hard road, often you had to settle for someone with slightly more experience than you. If you wanted to learn a new song you had to work it out for yourself or hope your favourite guitar mag tabbed it

Now, fire up Youtube and you have access to 1000s of teachers. Find a good one anywhere in the world, go on skype and you've access to some of the best teachers on the planet
I totally agree... it's a different world now and access to information is just insane. I remember anxiously waiting for new monthly guitar magazines to come out... for lessons and tab. Hoping for some good songs... and if you were lucky there would be at least one song you actually wanted to learn to play.

I tried to take lessons a couple times, but as an impatient teenager that wanted to rock I wasn't about to pay some old bald dude in polyester pants $25 an hour for lessons!! I finally did pay some long haired younger shredder guy for a couple of lessons... but I was pretty much dirt poor and decided to just struggle on my own and have some beer/pot money left over.

Fast forward 25 years -

Now that I got back into playing about a year and a half ago I'm having a ball. Youtube lessons, backing tracks to jam with, access to tablature on the net, a rinky-dink recording setup, etc...

All that said... there is still learning curve for a dinosaur like me. I'm ready to buy something for better recording and more versatility, but I'm hesitant to make the purchase. As soon as I do spend my money, I'm sure I'll discover what I REALLY needed... lol.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Old Days

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Originally Posted by FireEagle View Post
I tried to take lessons a couple times, but as an impatient teenager that wanted to rock I wasn't about to pay some old bald dude in polyester pants $25 an hour for lessons!! I finally did pay some long haired younger shredder guy for a couple of lessons... but I was pretty much dirt poor and decided to just struggle on my own and have some beer/pot money left over.

Fast forward 25 years -

Now that I got back into playing about a year and a half ago I'm having a ball. Youtube lessons, backing tracks to jam with, access to tablature on the net, a rinky-dink recording setup, etc...

All that said... there is still learning curve for a dinosaur like me. I'm ready to buy something for better recording and more versatility, but I'm hesitant to make the purchase. As soon as I do spend my money, I'm sure I'll discover what I REALLY needed... lol.
Every town on the planet where there were guitars there was always that bald guy in polyester who taught classical, charged way beyond what anyone wanted to pay, lived alone and even to my fairly undeveloped mid teen senses had an air about him of being slightly rapey, if you had to go to the bathroom you were always slightly afraid you'd open the wrong door and find his past pupils. Yes, I went to one once, he told me where each note was on the sheet FACE in the gaps etc., handed me a sheet and said learn that for next time. Didn't even play it for me, I worked out the notes, but had no idea of the tempo, so not wanting to end up in that room that I suspected existed I didn't go back. I then found a late teen blues rock guy who we used to pay in cigarettes and beer, he was slightly better than us, but taught what we wanted to learn.

Being a dinosaur too I'm feeling that curve, but I'm sure you're finding that you can now see the path up the mountain to excellence whereas 20 years ago it was a sheer cliff. I hear it in your playing you're now doing things with ease that a year and a half ago were just otherworldly. What keeps me going is not being satisfied with anything I do for longer than 10 seconds, it's probably obsessive actually. But what the hell, it's a harmless obsession and isn't going to get me killed, divorced maybe, but killed no.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 07:34 PM
 
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Re: The Old Days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
Every town on the planet where there were guitars there was always that bald guy in polyester who taught classical, charged way beyond what anyone wanted to pay, lived alone and even to my fairly undeveloped mid teen senses had an air about him of being slightly rapey, if you had to go to the bathroom you were always slightly afraid you'd open the wrong door and find his past pupils. Yes, I went to one once, he told me where each note was on the sheet FACE in the gaps etc., handed me a sheet and said learn that for next time. Didn't even play it for me, I worked out the notes, but had no idea of the tempo, so not wanting to end up in that room that I suspected existed I didn't go back. I then found a late teen blues rock guy who we used to pay in cigarettes and beer, he was slightly better than us, but taught what we wanted to learn.

Being a dinosaur too I'm feeling that curve, but I'm sure you're finding that you can now see the path up the mountain to excellence whereas 20 years ago it was a sheer cliff. I hear it in your playing you're now doing things with ease that a year and a half ago were just otherworldly. What keeps me going is not being satisfied with anything I do for longer than 10 seconds, it's probably obsessive actually. But what the hell, it's a harmless obsession and isn't going to get me killed, divorced maybe, but killed no.
Exactly! I feel like I have made it past some obstacles in the last year. When I picked up my guitar again initially, it felt so awkward and my fingers so old and clumsy... but fighting through it with some sense of determination is slowly paying off. It's hard to see improvement until you look back over several months or a year, which is inspiring when you notice it. That being said, it's like hunting in mountains that I don't know... every ridge or saddle I cross over is an accomplishment, but only then can I see that ahead lies endless unknown territory and more mountains. Thanks for the encouragement though... maybe someday I can rip through some extended ascending and descending runs like you do!

I also see playing guitar as a harmless hobby. My original midlife crisis fix was racing motorcycles and I'm happy to have made it through seven years of that with only minor injuries that healed pretty well... with the exception of an ankle twist that still bugs me. Must be why the wife doesn't seem to mind me buying a guitar or gear every now and then... Never really thought about it until now, but that was a brilliant move.

BTW - You should seriously consider writing, if you don't already. You have a way of putting thoughts down that is a real gift.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 10:11 AM
 
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Re: The Old Days

80's - time but no patience
Now - patience but no time

At least now my inner twelve year old is living the dream of owning all the guitars I couldn't have possibly conceived of owning when I was actually twelve! Turns out - if you were a Vai, Satch or Gilbert fan back in the day, and you were only knee high to a grasshopper, you're mid-life crisis is gonna ROCK!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 10:44 AM
 
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Re: The Old Days

Here's a different take on the old days versus today:

20 years ago - half the people who shared your rock and roll studio died of drugs, got put in jail, or are homeless directly because of drugs/alcohol, and of course there was constant bickering

now- the pain of such a legacy makes certain people deny that any of that happened

I actually had an argument with band member who now has a cushy life over if there were some hard times and unfortunate deaths. The best way for him to remember his good, deceased friends (people we worked and bonded with) was to maintain they never existed or he never knew them! It's one thing when you are famous, under enormous stress and band members die (Zep, Stones, Temptations, etc) but really pathetic when you are unsigned, unknown townies but with same body count. This kind of reminds me of talking to old WWII veterans who forgot the awful stuff they went through but remember Glenn Miller and the great AAF band and how those years were the "best" years of their lives. My dad chalks it up to say there's no point in remembering the miserable times but remember the music and other things. Only years later did I actually hear some of what really happened but it just wasn't a soldier's place to ever talk about it. I guess we all have scars.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 02-07-2015 at 11:05 AM.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 02:40 PM
 
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Re: The Old Days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
During a discussion over the weekend with guy in his 20s at a guitar shop over the weekend I realised how many things have changed for guitar players. For me getting back into playing at this particular time for me has been great and I couldn't have been this motivated in my 20s because the resources were much harder to come by. It started with effects, then went to lessons. Here is what I observed, but some of you have 10, 20 or 30 years on me, so I'd love to hear your stories.

Back in the day, crafting your tone meant buying the right amp, 5 or 6 different pedals and running them on an endless string of 9v links.

Now, if you wish you can just buy a profiler or a software amp modeller and have 100s of tones for the price of 1.

80s - Lessons - You had to find a teacher which was often a long and hard road, often you had to settle for someone with slightly more experience than you. If you wanted to learn a new song you had to work it out for yourself or hope your favourite guitar mag tabbed it

Now, fire up Youtube and you have access to 1000s of teachers. Find a good one anywhere in the world, go on skype and you've access to some of the best teachers on the planet

80s - Guitar Heroes - You had to rely on your peers to point you in the direction of the next up and coming virtuoso.

Now - Just surf the web and there are 1000s of players who can immasculate you in the comfort of your own home.

80s - Buying an instrument - you were kind of stuck playing what your friends recommended - particularly when you were saving pocket/chore money for your dream axe

Now - Researching before parting with your hard earned cash is so much easier
So much of this resonates with me!


Re: tone
I'd go further to say that crafting your tone back in the 80's was 100% trial and error. Unless you some how, as a child, had access/ability to spend many thousands of dollars purchasing the exact rack you saw in a magazine with one of your favourite guitarists standing in front of it.

There was no "real" information available anywhere to say how one's tone was created, or how to get that metal tone and why you couldn't get it at home with a Crate solid state combo.

If you didn't know someone locally that already had that tone you wanted, you were **** out of luck.


Re: lessons
I can't help but think I would be so much further ahead than I am now if youtube had existed when I was a kid. There's quite a lot of misinformation printed in the various "heavy metal guitar", and "speed licks" books.

There are some new people out there sharing video's that show the "real way" to achieve the ability to play fast or sound a certain way. Troy Grady, especially, being one of them.

Growing up I could never find a guitar teacher that actually played the music I liked, or even knew of the guitarists that I liked. So I had to learn from books.


Re: Instruments and finding new music
As a child I use to catch a bus and a train to get to my local music store just to grab the latest Ibanez catalog. Whenever a new one came in, I'd get a phone call. The owner use to spend time talking to me and made sure I got a new catalog.

When I grew up and started earning money, I ended up spending thousands of dollars at that store. That store owner was a smart man.

I first found out about Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, and JP (Dream Theater) from an Ibanez catalog.

Around the same time that I started getting the catalogs, I also started buying Guitar For The Practicing Musician and Guitar World magazines.

With no ability to hear any of the music these guitar guys were creating, I had to go to a local CD shop and order in their music. I then had to wait 2-4months for the CD's to arrive.

When I got the music I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was mind blowing. Especially because my idea of "great" before hearing them was C.C. Deville and Kirk Hammett!! (I tell a lie, I was also into Jimmy Page...but he wasn't flashy in the same way, and my young ears wanted shreddy metal tones)

Basically, because of the players Ibanez had on their roster, and the above experience with getting music based solely off what their guitars looked like, I ended up only wanting Ibanez guitars. During my formative years no other brand was even considered.

I associated that style of playing and note choice directly with the brand and pointy guitars.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 04:23 PM
 
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Re: The Old Days

Great thread idea!

The internet and inexpensive home recording certainly are game changers. It's actually very liberating! I made an album in a somewhat pro studio in the 90's with my band and spent about $3k. Now I've made six or seven for probably $300 in total for all. Yeah, the quality isn't as good but it isn't bad either. I had actually quit playing guitar from about 2000 to 2005 because it was frustrating prior to that, like a job, with very little spiritual reward. Now, thanks to home recording, I can make the records I've dreamed of making in high school practically for free now - and have people all over the world hear my work! No label, no nothing! Words can't describe how incredibly grateful I am to simply have access to such things.
The internet is awesome for learning stuff too. An amazing resource!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 07:45 AM
 
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Re: The Old Days

I would say I'm fortunate that my whole life of playing guitar has been within the last 7 years, with the Internet being prominent in this generation, I can look up anything at all, and when I have a problem with say, picking, I just type in "Guthrie govan alternate picking lesson" and work it out.

It's also much easier to figure out music I would assume, I try most of the time to not use tab unless it's something o have to learn but have no desire for, and I have an app called "anytune" that can slow down music without changing the pitch. It's got tons of features I don't even know how to work, but my favorite is setting loops, so if I'm trying to figure out just the notes to a particular passage I can just loop it and not have to stop every 5 seconds and manually rewind it like you all probably had to do with records or CDs.

^unfortunately though, the Internet cannot help my run on sentence tendencies.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Old Days

@ Fire - I had most of what other people do as mid life crises in my late 20s and 30s, so guitar is probably my real mid life crisis. About the writing, thank you very much, I wish I could put my thoughts into notes though. The only writing I ever took part in was a sideline I had once translating documents, they say everyone has a book in them, but I don't think I could even write a paragraph without landing in hot water.

@Goodvaibes - So true, money and advice were the factors in the 80s, now it's time. The great thing now is that without spending a lot you can still pick up your dream guitars.

@63 - It's a strange one. When I was growing up Dublin was awash with heroin, so the warnings that it would basically turn you into a walking zombie who could only think and speak at the speed of a passing snail were there. Because of its availability and price heroin was the "scumbag drug of choice" many addicts had come from families who were involved in petty crime and sometimes OC. As a result, most people with a modicum of sense avoided. However, I knew some people I was with in bands who ended up hopeless junkies. These were mainly smart guys (one guy was effortlessly top of my class all the way through school and aced his first 2 years of uni), I noticed it was usually the guy who suffered from a terrible sense of self consciousness and stage fright who would usually get absolutely rat arsed in order to perform. They seemed to be more susceptible to try chasing the dragon and that was usually the gateway. I wasn't immune to getting wasted, but as I couldn't play ripped to the tits I saved my drinking for post gig. The thing I remember most was these guys had a habit of taking someone else along on their journey and despite at first trying to talk sense to them, at some point you had to completely abandon them to their fate. It was a cold thing to do, but the thing they usually became bore no resemblance to the friend you once liked and they couldn't be trusted not to steal everything that wasn't glued to the floor. You're right, from my memory music did seem to create a few more of them than you otherwise found.

@ Will - I agree, total trial and error. You had to know a friend who was good at that sort of thing. I was very lucky to have a friend who as a teen had stalked Def Leppard when they were recording an album here (he was in his mid teens, about 2 years older than me and a huge fan). Steve Clark was really cool to him, let him hang in the studio, taught him how to eq amps, guitar tricks, setups and effects. I would go to this guy every time I got a new amp, pedal, guitar and watch him create some magic with it, then tape all the knobs to the exact position he had placed them before taking them home. He was the only guy I knew who could do this properly and you were in luck if you wanted the standard range of rock sounds, anything else you were on your own.

I went through much the same with reference to instruments. When it comes to instruments, Dublin was a total backwater then (it still is to a great extent, population of about 1.5million means low economies of scale and reduced choice). When I was a kid it was all Fender, Gibson and their clones. For a little while Washburn and Aria were hot, but then something happened about 15 years ago the 60/70 somethings became the market with the most disposable income (combine this with rural areas which are dominated by country music) and as a result the place is Fender/Gibson heaven again. There is one chain who handle Ibanez, so your only choice is the SH market or internet.

@ Mike - It is totally liberating. I remember us having to pay just for a decently recorded demo tape. You can now buy all the software for the same price as a sound engineer for a day. I too think it is the best time so far for someone who wants to learn music and improve their skills. The only downside is that anytime I meet a recording DJ or working sound engineer I tend to ask them how they do X or Y, write it down when they're out of sight and try it at home.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Old Days

You are so lucky, Kyle. Figuring out stuff is so much easier also though I try to keep my ears in practice for that and only use programs if there's something subtle that I can't quite hear in there.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 10:41 AM
 
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Re: The Old Days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
You are so lucky, Kyle. Figuring out stuff is so much easier also though I try to keep my ears in practice for that and only use programs if there's something subtle that I can't quite hear in there.
I almost always use it because there's always a few notes in fast passages that end up being wrong if I learn it without slowing it down

Plus for things where dynamics and vibrato and such make the song, it's easier to hear which the mojo is being added.

Also I'd say most tab is unreliable, especially when attempting to wield it in a band setting with unison parts.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 08:06 PM
 
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Re: The Old Days

To me the internet is one of the amazing things in modern history. Name whatever interest or topic you want and the internet allows you to learn so much more in such a condensed timeframe it's amazing.

On top of that, the internet has allowed me to meet a ton of people who share my interests who I would have otherwise never known.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 07:25 AM
 
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Re: The Old Days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
To me the internet is one of the amazing things in modern history. Name whatever interest or topic you want and the internet allows you to learn so much more in such a condensed timeframe it's amazing.

On top of that, the internet has allowed me to meet a ton of people who share my interests who I would have otherwise never known.
I've met some of my greatest friends through the Internet and I've never even met them in person.

It must seem awfully strange for people who grew up the last 20-30 years before the Internet, where you actualy had to meet someone and if they lived 1000 miles away it was a "pen pal". Now one message and you're connected.
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