Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 20 of 123 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You know I have had a love affair with this instrument for 22 years. You would think in that time I would be semi decent, but really I struggle with this instrument every single time I pick it up.

Some would think you would give in, but I dont haha I practice and practice yet it seems my skill never really goes anywhere its always a struggle.

With that being said I dont think I will ever quit playing it, as frustrating as it makes me, I just enjoy it. But I can not say I am no jealous of others etc.

Had to get that off my chest.

Tonight I decided I was going to learn the intro solo to Fade To Black, I have always loved that solo, and I really sat down and chunked it out, piece by piece. For once I accomplished what I wanted to do, albeit a little slow on that little fast run, I got it under my fingers.

Maybe someday something will magically click, but until then I will just be the consistent average player who loves this dang wood and strings.

At least I can paint them good hahaha always a silver lining.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
Start with basic things like learning to follow the progression.

Then you could learn to program the drums, play the base so that you have a good view of the whole song.

It helps a lot trust me.

Most of following the progression helped me the most. At first I had to count times of the measure and so on but later everything was piece of cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Tonight I decided I was going to learn the intro solo to Fade To Black, I have always loved that solo, and I really sat down and chunked it out, piece by piece. For once I accomplished what I wanted to do, albeit a little slow on that little fast run, I got it under my fingers.
Try One and Sanitarium. Those are full of melodies. When you're done, Dyers Eve and Damage Inc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,561 Posts
You know I have had a love affair with this instrument for 22 years. You would think in that time I would be semi decent, but really I struggle with this instrument every single time I pick it up.

Some would think you would give in, but I dont haha I practice and practice yet it seems my skill never really goes anywhere its always a struggle.

With that being said I dont think I will ever quit playing it, as frustrating as it makes me, I just enjoy it. But I can not say I am no jealous of others etc.

Had to get that off my chest.

Tonight I decided I was going to learn the intro solo to Fade To Black, I have always loved that solo, and I really sat down and chunked it out, piece by piece. For once I accomplished what I wanted to do, albeit a little slow on that little fast run, I got it under my fingers.

Maybe someday something will magically click, but until then I will just be the consistent average player who loves this dang wood and strings.

At least I can paint them good hahaha always a silver lining.
I'm the same. I've been playing guitar for 20 years as my main instrument and I feel that I haven't achieved anything. I suspect that you are actually being harder on yourself than necessary though. We do tend to hear our own mistakes, and when we spend time talking to and listening to our peers players we don't hear their mistakes as much or perhaps don't appreciate that they aren't so critical of ours. Here's why I think that:

I had a similar experience to you and Fade to Black with learning the solo from Crazy Train. I got it passable after a couple of days but there were a few things that still niggle now. I reluctantly recorded that solo for a pickup review and it happened to get copied onto my iPhone. Without meaning to it got played to some one of my friends and his wife and family over dinner one night (the curse of the shuffle button!). I was quite embarrassed but they were literally staggered that I could play anything this well. People were actually impressed when I really wasn't.

Again, I played bass during the reception at a family wedding and I had to learn 10 songs in a short space of time (I managed 7). It was the first time I had played live for 18 years, and I have never played bass live, or any of the songs. Add into this that the rest of the band were pros, who have had recording careers in bands that I had actually heard of (they were lovely guys who were understanding, patient and supportive BTW). I was nervous, I played, I made tons of mistakes, I thought I played badly but I enjoyed myself anyway. Two things were said to me to make me realise that I need to lighten up on myself. Everyone said we sounded awesome. One of the other musicians said that he thought I had a good feel for the instrument. I am not trying to big myself up here, I thought I played badly and was a little embarrassed.

The bottom line is this: Anyone who can't play a musical instrument is probably impressed with your playing and they are the majority of your audience. You aren't happy, but that is good because it is what drives you to play.

Have confidence in yourself, you are a lot better than you give yourself credit for.

The only advice I can give you is to put regular time aside to practice. Set yourself goals and use a metronome. Don't move on until you have it down and you have recorded it and listened to it back. Get out and play live and enjoy it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,658 Posts
THE MAIN THING I LERANED IS IM NOT STEVE VAI, JOE SATRIANI,KIRK HAMMET ETC.
you need to focus on your own music and not others, there arent any bands or artists famous for playing some one elses songs perfectly. jusy play what you write perfectly and thats all that matters as a musician. ( no rules in art bro).use other artists for inspiration not to trace what they do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
The bottom line is this: Anyone who can't play a musical instrument is probably impressed with your playing and they are the majority of your audience.
THIS. The audience doesn't care nearly as much as you do. This is one of the things I have to remind myself of when playing out, and it drives me to put on a better SHOW, rather than standing in one place and worrying about hitting the notes 100%. The audience cares about how much fun you're having.

You aren't happy, but that is good because it is what drives you to play.

Have confidence in yourself, you are a lot better than you give yourself credit for.

The only advice I can give you is to put regular time aside to practice. Set yourself goals and use a metronome.
This too. Practice time is when you work on improving your skills, and the only way to do that is to continue to challenge yourself. Set the metronome a little faster, try learning a Petrucci lick note-for-note, etc.

The bottom line is, you're probably a better guitarist than you think you are. The fact that you'll never give up is telling enough that you *do* "have it".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
I've been playing about that long too. I think it holds true for everyone that you will never get "there." Just when I think I'm really blazing, all it takes is a quick listen to someone like Paul Gilbert, EVH, Yngwie, or George Lynch to bring me back to earth and put me in my place. However, that's the best thing about this instrument, you never get to a place where you are good enough, and so you never stop progressing. Just don't quit and keep enjoying every moment with your guitar,,,,you are much better than you ever think you are. Nothing is worse than these "local" players who walk around with rock star attitudes because they play in a little bar band. Be humble, no matter how proficient you get,,,,,,,there is ALWAYS someone out there way better. Always. But use these players as inspiration, not frustration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,246 Posts
I remember seeing Vai in '86 on the first Roth tour, and as I'm watching him play, I thought "Wow, I'll never get there". I wondered if I should just quit. I didn't, because I love to play and it's the challenge that adds to the fun for me. Turns out I got alot closer than I thought would, and while I'll never reach the level of the players admire, the guitar has provided hours and hours of entertainment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I think I have convinced myself my average playing at best is about as far I can go. Been playing for 20 odd years and the last 5+ of those has been very limited. Have bought a bunch of new gear including a jem just waiting for it to arrive. If this doesn't spark my interest/passion so I can at least get back what little talent I had then I'll have to fall back on my other hobbies. I really hope it doesn't come to that.

But I sure feel your pain ibanezcollector
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
I was messaging with another member about a month ago on a similar matter, here is what I told him.

I teach what I call, "The Mechanics of Guitar" from day one. This has to do with the physical approach to the guitar. A long time ago I realized no one ever taught how to actually do things with the fingers, wrist and elbow. Students are left to suffer through learning to hold the pick and finger on the fretboard. Everyone just keeps saying, "Just keep doing it over and over until you get it". After many long hours a student may stumble on to something that works for them, or they give up and say it's too hard or I just don't have any musical talent. All those things are not true.
I've also found 80% to 90% of all guitar players can't hear a thing! Isn't music about listening? I also teach students to hear the music, chords, intervals, scales and more. Many guys I've played with, even really good players, can't tune their guitar by ear, it blows me away. I only use a tuner for tech work on guitars during intonation. I can play anything I can hear inside my mind, that is musical freedom.
I make lessons fun, I base them on songs people want to learn. Exercises bore people and they lose interest. I work theory in as I go and show practical applications for it. Teaching theory dry is like teaching math without any idea of what you are really doing with it, that is why most people hate math class. Keeping it relevant and interesting is what keep students motivated. Music is fun, I keep it that way.

I'd be glad to help anuone that wants to learn more about guitar and music.
Sebastian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'm pretty noob at guitar as well, played about 6 years now, and quit a lot in between.
But there was a time where i cant play a complete song becuz of the solos are too fast. so I sat there for 2 hours a day everyday for 6 month, and all of a sudden it came to me, I could play Master of puppets end solo with the song, Orion, and a few others about the same diffculty. It just happens i think, but then after that I get stuck for a long time aagain. so I start to learn different bands music, and then I will hit the right kinda song that I just get the feeling that this is the type of playing style that will make me better. Currently trying to play some Between the Buried And Me stuff, hard as hell, but I will keep practice 2 hours a day, and still working on Eugene's trickbag solo, its so hard for me too, but i dont think i will ever quit again. sorry for the bad english.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Sometimes you just can't play the song exactly like the original... but you know what? That's okay.

Listen to any live Led Zeppelin and you'll see that those guys NEVER played any of their songs the same way twice. (I love the irony of The Song Remains the Same... it never did)

I've always said, "If I want to hear the record, I'll go home a play the record."

I'm not saying that you shouldn't strive to learn stuff that you find hard to play, I'm just saying; don't fret (pun intended) about it if you can't get it right, or at all.

Can't play the Iron Man solo exactly like the record? SO WHAT? Play YOUR OWN solo... many people will find that more interesting... most musicians will for sure, and most audiences will simply listen and think, "Wow, that's pretty cool."

I've been playing for 26 years now and there's a LOT of stuff that I can't play... and sometimes yeah, I wish I could play For The Love Of God front to back... I can barely get through the first minute, but it's OKAY. I'm NOT Steve Vai, I have no intention of ever playing that song on stage and I have more fun coming up with my own stuff than taking hours and hours to learn someone else's song note for note.

Learn your scales, some licks you think are cool... study at the very least basic theory and use all that for a framework to play your own music. That's what it should be about.

You're not Carlos Santana, let HIM be Carlos Santana and you be YOU. You'll have more fun, worry less about what you can't do and, if you have a good imagination; make some really cool music.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
What I have learned from playing the guitar on and off through the years is USING the ability you do have to get across what you want to say musically. Ultimately its about music and emotion not technique.
Well said, sadly; a lot of people (especially fans of guys like Vai or Malmsteen) worry so much if they can't play that stuff just like the record.

That stuff is HARD, and if you can play it, that's great, but use that technique to do something different, not regurgitate what someone else has already played.

While great technique is good to have, it's not essential. Ask B.B. King to play an E diminished chord or ask him the steps of a dorian mode and he'll look at you like you have 6 heads, yet; he's made some really good music.

I know Rolling Stone Magazine thinks he was one of the top 100 guitarists... but Kurt Cobain, in my opinion, didn't have the skill to TUNE the guitars of a lot of the players on just this forum... but people liked his music (blah, I didn't, but to each his own)

I tend to be long winded, I know... but I really wish I could get this idea through to people that just don't seem to get that music isn't a contest, it's not about how well you play Eugene's Trick Bag, it's about playing something that makes yourself, and MAYBE someone else feel something, something good, or sad, or crazy, or just relaxed and fun.

I wrote an instrumental guitar piece right after my father died. Is it good? To others; I have no idea, I only play it for myself and it makes me feel like my Dad is still with me. He was a musician his whole life and I like to think he helped me write it. It's soft, and sad, and it invokes happy (and sad) emotions when I play it... that's what music is about.

Think about what songs you find yourself humming for no reason... it's because they invoke emotion, not that the player was able to pull off some insane acrobatics on his/her instrument.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,646 Posts
THE MAIN THING I LERANED IS IM NOT STEVE VAI, JOE SATRIANI,KIRK HAMMET ETC.
you need to focus on your own music and not others, there arent any bands or artists famous for playing some one elses songs perfectly. jusy play what you write perfectly and thats all that matters as a musician. ( no rules in art bro).use other artists for inspiration not to trace what they do.
+1 I've been playing for 25 years and I struggle alot so I think, then when I listen to some of the solos I recored with my band, I think - That was amazing!. Its hard to stop comparing yourself in the youtube age, but I can hold my own and to me, its fun to progress in speed and such, but feel trumps all. When people ask how good I am, I just say "Good enuogh to be in a band!" I think thats all that matters.:wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
What makes you think you aren't as good as you 'should' be?
You're either being too hard on yourself and you are actually a lot better than you would admit, or you are not practising the sorts of things that are going to make you a better player.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,666 Posts
The greatest part about something just finally clicking is the excitement and desire that it brings back in your playing. "Heck, if I can play that, I can play that" and then all of a sudden your whole world opens up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts

The whole video is full of words of wisdom, but check out 1:14:

..me? I've got strengths and I've got weaknesses. I don't work on my weaknesses. I ignore them. And I cultivate my strengths.

-Steve Vai
Ponder that one for a while. ;) "What!? Ignore my weaknesses!?

THE MAIN THING I LERANED IS IM NOT STEVE VAI, JOE SATRIANI,KIRK HAMMET ETC.
you need to focus on your own music and not others, there arent any bands or artists famous for playing some one elses songs perfectly. jusy play what you write perfectly and thats all that matters as a musician. ( no rules in art bro).use other artists for inspiration not to trace what they do.
:idea:

***

I couldn't play you a solo to any well known song if you put a gun to my head. No, I don't just mean I don't know any. I can't. I've tried. They always feel "wrong". Then it's "Hmm...shouldn't it be done like...this? Maybe played a little more like...this?". Before I know it, I'm not even playing the same thing anymore! Apparently Eddie Van Halen had that same problem. He and Alex would try do covers, but Ed's unorthodox sense of timing would get in his way. I think he did pretty well for himself. ;)

Beyond the first few years of playing, I never learned anyone's songs. I became much more interested in doing my own thing. I'm still interested in doing NOTHING but my own thing.

I'm well aware of my limitations. I don't waste time screwing with crap that won't bear fruit. I'm not going to sit down with a metronome and practice some technique for hours because somebody says I should. What I will do is sit down for hours and hours and hours and do what comes naturally and what sounds good to me.

One more thing. Another EVH anecdote. Eddie learned to play by sitting down in his room for hours at a time and learning everything Eric Clapton ever played, note for note, by ear. Does he sound anything like Clapton?

Take what inspires you, play to your strengths, work around your weaknesses, and throw in whatever quirks you have. What will you end up with?

YOU. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
RedTiger is spot on in my book.

There's another thing. I remember when I first looked into some Malmsteen licks. I grew up with classical music and all that so lots of his stuff makes "sense" to me. And yea I like the occasional light speed shredding. But after a few Yngwie tabs, I realized my fingers are not wired like his. He often uses particular fingering sequences which I can't reproduce at my usual speed. My muscles are not "wired", through habit or training or simple genetics, as his. And how my hands are wired strongly dictates what I can play well and what not.

Over time I recognized that some players seem wired like my habits and training have wired me, while others do stuff my hands and internal view of scales and patterns cant even fathom. Till I practice. And immediately absorb new stuff into my wiring.

Getting rid of hard wiring really takes hard work and is frustrating as hell. I encountered that already when picking up sweeping and couldnt do it. At all. Till ai basically re-wired my picking hand position by trying, trying, trying.

So I guess at one point you come to a stage when your hands are wired to do any fingering combo imaginable. I guess thats the end game ;). I dont practice that stuff to learn other people's songs. Its to broaden my repertoire to have a bigger tool box for my own music.
 
1 - 20 of 123 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top