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Post subject: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:48 am
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Hey y'all, new-ish to the forums. I was on here years ago pretty actively but have since forgotten my account info so I'm starting fresh. Much like my passion for guitar.

Basically, I've been playing for almost 10 years now but since the end of high school and college started for me , I've really stopped playing frequently. I used to be pretty decent, but then my time got drawn elsewhere and I lost the habit of playing for hours a day. Now, I can only really play from muscle memory and just very basic pentatonic soloing type stuff.

I love my guitars and playing them, but am not really sure where to turn to get back into it and really improve my playing (especially in terms of blues). Most books and tutorials seem like they're for beginners, but I'm still past that. Kind of just plateaued after years of hardly playing. Any suggestions? Thanks!


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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:10 pm
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I'd resist the temptation to jump right back into where you left off. Personally, I'm a creature of habit and I know that has held back my growth as a player. My suggestion is to experiment with different musicians, songs and styles as you get back into it. Take a run at something you're not confident in. You may rocket past a few old plateaus with hardly any effort.

Good luck and have fun.

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:35 pm
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Congratulations on getting back into playing! I think the very best thing you could do is seek out some other musicians and work on a few songs. I truly believe that an hour worth of playing with others can be worth a week of practicing on your own. You become much more aware of tone, timing and how your playing can fit into a larger band context. I would imaging that at a college, you could find a few like-minded musicians who would like to get together and jam. Aside from that, I'd try working on some brand new material. Pick out some solos from blues artists whom you like and try to figure them out note for note (or at least close to it!). Work on on learning some songs from beginning to end. The key is to keep working on things that are new, and not neccessarily easy. It keeps you from getting bored and falling into a rut!


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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:31 pm
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Welcome to the Forum 79stratocaster97 and Hsnyder!

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:39 pm
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schnepf13 wrote:
Congratulations on getting back into playing! I think the very best thing you could do is seek out some other musicians and work on a few songs. I truly believe that an hour worth of playing with others can be worth a week of practicing on your own. You become much more aware of tone, timing and how your playing can fit into a larger band context. I would imaging that at a college, you could find a few like-minded musicians who would like to get together and jam. Aside from that, I'd try working on some brand new material. Pick out some solos from blues artists whom you like and try to figure them out note for note (or at least close to it!). Work on on learning some songs from beginning to end. The key is to keep working on things that are new, and not neccessarily easy. It keeps you from getting bored and falling into a rut!

+1

Hooking up with other musicians is a great way to get reacquainted with your existing skills and develop new ones.

When I was first starting out around 1967 I dissected and taught myself every lick that Clapton used on Cream's "Disraeli Gears" LP (wore out two copies of the album in the process). That gave me a pretty solid foundation that allowed me to build upon. As independent study, you might give that a try using material from one of your favorite guitarists.

Best of luck and welcome home.

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:50 pm
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Welcome back 79stratocaster97, and nice you could join us Hsnyder with your helpful post.

The previous suggestions are often mentioned and popular. I believe in new material, or maybe a new personal take on an old composition, making it your own to get the juices flowing.

Schnepf13 mentioned teaming up and that is definitely a good way to challenge yourself. Not everyone is up to a personal teacher, but there are some good ones who will take you at your skill level and customize the lessons to suit your preference. This sometimes can be very beneficial with instructors who are in the loop to current trends and techniques. This can accelerate your progress, and you are more likely to get honest and better critique as it applies. Friends and associates are definitely helpful; but depending on several factors, you may or may not excel the way you desire. Routine certainly helps.

I read you had turned your attention elsewhere for a period. I plead guilty of the same; but, I certainly know a lot of ways how not to get there from here. :P
Just like Rush, Stan Lee, and other creative geniuses I have surrounded my family room play area with knick knacks, photos (myself in a large
military band, and later performing in the 60s with longer hair in a 3 piece band on TV), a wall poster with the band Chicago, music books and magazine and record and CD covers (a British Swingin’ England mag with an artist rendition of Jimi, a 3D Rolling Stone periodical, 50s and 60s groups reference, early 60s Hot Rod and Classic Car mags), and other paraphernalia amongst my guitars, keyboard, drums, mics, mixer, recorders, and a/v equipment. All this collectable junk reminds me that I should be motivated and, hopefully, the light bulb goes on. Sometimes, I’ll fade the lights to get moody on my Fender stool under an overhead spot light. That way I can’t see the huge audience coming to hear me practice. Maybe, I’ll stretch out on the family room couch with my Strat and simply relax with some serious practice (or noodling).

Whatever your method, add the fun factor, and take a break once in awhile. Work is fine, but make it a job you enjoy, and one you’ll want to return to soon. :wink:
FSB

You could try this:
Lou Reed had his strings tuned alike to one key allowing harmonics to shine.

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:00 am
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Retroverbial wrote:
schnepf13 wrote:
Congratulations on getting back into playing! I think the very best thing you could do is seek out some other musicians and work on a few songs. I truly believe that an hour worth of playing with others can be worth a week of practicing on your own. You become much more aware of tone, timing and how your playing can fit into a larger band context. I would imaging that at a college, you could find a few like-minded musicians who would like to get together and jam. Aside from that, I'd try working on some brand new material. Pick out some solos from blues artists whom you like and try to figure them out note for note (or at least close to it!). Work on on learning some songs from beginning to end. The key is to keep working on things that are new, and not neccessarily easy. It keeps you from getting bored and falling into a rut!

+1

Hooking up with other musicians is a great way to get reacquainted with your existing skills and develop new ones.

When I was first starting out around 1967 I dissected and taught myself every lick that Clapton used on Cream's "Disraeli Gears" LP (wore out two copies of the album in the process). That gave me a pretty solid foundation that allowed me to build upon. As independent study, you might give that a try using material from one of your favorite guitarists.

Best of luck and welcome home.

Arjay


Good advice, Arjay.

I wore out many Sandy Nelson, Buddy Rich, Krupa, Morello and a few Mongo Santamaria records when I wasn’t trying to play Wipeout. Phht! I tried Keith Moon, but found Ringo was easier as I got the head nod down pat. :lol:
FSB

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:43 am
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Welcome to the forum. 8) You know, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just play what you feel like playing, and whatever happens, happens. It all comes to you sooner or later.

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:55 am
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I played in bands from 66 to 78. got tired, got married, had kids, and hardly played until 2001! over 20 years of playing once a month or so. sold most of my stuff due injuries from an accident-just couldn't play and got frustrated.
in '01 my wife bought me a squire strat for my birthday. I started taking baby steps to get my chops back. surf instrumentals and other songs from early in my career were the first things I did. then pulled out some music, and played along. I now practice at least an hour everyday, and gig every so often. I also watch youtube videos for new ways to get inspired. keep playing, and you'll be back up to speed soon.


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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:18 pm
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Atta boy, Fred.

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:08 pm
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Good to hear you still got it, phreddy. It’s in your DNA. Nice that your wife recognizes that. I too got blessed for a comeback with my wife giving me a Strat. My problem is recalling all the songs I knew In the 60s and early 70s. When I look them up the arrangements are often different, and the lyrics don’t come as easy; but, we old guys still rock, just differently. :lol: These youngsters have it together, and boy is there some talent amongst them. We would be wrong to think they can’t teach old dogs some new tricks. I remember the days when it was the old cats teaching the young ‘uns. Fortunately, we still have a few Aces to play. :lol: The instructional and educational media available today might have been helpful back then though. It sure is beneficial to have resources such as YouTube as you mentioned, and the Forums here are also a great motivator. :wink: I also have a few older instructional DVDs kicking around, but the computer does just fine.

Keep rawkin’ old guy.
- Another old guy. :wink:

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Post subject: Re: Getting back into it...where to start?
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:37 am
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Solid Body Love Songs wrote:
Welcome to the Forum 79stratocaster97 and Hsnyder!


Thanks! :D

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