Overcoming frustration

Discussion in 'General Music & Guitar Learning' started by DavidLylis, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. DavidLylis

    DavidLylis Aspiring Bluesman

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    Although I am generally satisfied with my progress, I think we all fall into that pit of frustration. Even Jimmy Page wanted to throw his guitar out the window. For inspiration, I watched BB King videos and was moved that he can't play and sing at the same time and does vibrato with only his index finger. There is hope))
     
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  2. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor The Central Scrutinizer
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    If you're breathing, there's always hope! [​IMG]
     
  3. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    You know, I find the frustration is usually doing the same thing over and over...............I believe, dont know, thats why so many of us have multiple courses.

    I use the penatonic mastery 5 days a week, and do one exercise through each section, then I move on to something else.

    An example, Monday, I learn new licks, and practice them tuesday and wednesday, Sundays, I work on riffs to learn songs

    @Griff has said multiple times, and I may not say it the same, dont wait for perfection, get it down good enough and move on and learn. You will continue improving on the other stuff
     
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  4. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

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    Sometimes the best way to overcome frustration is to simply walk away and do something else for a while.

    I can't tell you how many times I have " hit a wall" with something and the more I try, the higher and thicker the wall gets.
    But if I walk away -- for a day or two or even a week or more -- I come back and can suddenly play better than ever.

    Sometimes you just need to reboot.
     
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  5. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

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    I can't agree enough with this. Learning something new is usually nonlinear and much more of a complex process than we realize. I don't know how many times I have worked on something and felt as though I was spinning my wheels and making no progress. And then, after putting it down for a while and working on something else, it suddenly clicks when I come back to it. The combination of objective stress-free reflection combined with having picked up some improvements in speed and accuracy from another exercise create the pathway needed to get there. It is important to maintain consistent focus on clear objectives, but it is also important to have some variety in how you get there.

    I think that much of the time, there are just mental blocks that we create and fall into. Earlier in the year, I decided to do Griff's "The Foreman" course, which is a cool Freddie King type instrumental. At the slower speed I consistently tripped up on a lick that is really not particularly difficult. For some reason I could slow it way down and walk it through perfectly, but every time I got to it at a faster speed with the backing track I would very consistently mangle it. I got some feedback from Griff and then put it down and sort of forgot about it. Now, about 6 months later I've decided to try to get it all the way up to full speed to submit as an AAP Fixit. This week I tried it at very close to full speed and sailed through that lick perfectly without thinking about it. In fact, I honestly can't even remember what about it was such a problem in the first place. The combination of everything I've worked on since then, along with not having the anxiety about goofing it up made it a slam dunk.
     
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  6. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

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    Variety.
    That's the key!

    I love Blues but I enjoy a variety of genres: Fusion Jazz because of its complexity and musicianship, Progressive Rock for its dynamics, and even "Hair Band" stuff for its sonic extravagance and I enjoy playing to all of that.
    For me it's all about expanding horizons and trying different things and when I come back to Blues, I find that many of the things I've discovered in other genres can be applied to Blues in varying ways which makes for more interesting phrasing.

    Take Griff, for example.
    He's a shredder from back-in-the-day when he played a lot of Metal and it shows in his Blues playing. He combines a variety of chordal and single-note phrasings that are very "Metal-ish" while working his way towards a classic Blues resolve. In fact he and Albert Cummings have similar styles in that regard.
    Or take the guy from the "All-Stars" (the only one with hair). I watched him comping to a B.B. tune they played and it was almost entirely 9ths and 7ths with some augmentations scattered throughout. Now tell me that man is not a Jazz player, yet here he was playing in a Blues band.

    All of that Variety makes things interesting.

    I'm certainly no shredder and what I know about guitar could fit in a thimble, but for me, and to this day, one of the best solos I ever came up with in the VJR (if I may take a moment to pat myself on the back), wasn't for a Blues tune at all but rather for something called "Funky Rock in Em". Yet it was all of the things I learned about Blues combined with all of the exploration of other genres that allowed me to come up with the phrasings and dynamics for that tune and I know for a fact that I could never have done that if all I ever played was I - IV - V all the time.

    If you really listen to some of the best Blues players out there, you'll hear a lot more than just "Blues phrasings" but rather a wide palette of styles, parts of which have been adapted to create the sound they have.
     
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  7. Elwood

    Elwood pickin time

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    I agree that we need variety, for a variety of reasons. I listen to and love stuff from Smetna to Scruggs, I like to play at blues, country, jazz, funk, and some rock (actually lots). I never developed and ear for metal, or whatever is the source of those annoying thumps emitting from some cars. And learning is a mystery, for me at least. Otherwise why wouldn't it work the same all the time?

    Consistency keeps the wheels on things for me. Every possible day I sit and run the same routine, with a metronome, for around 20 minutes. (These are my bad habits folks) I run the 5 boxes, in G, up and down at least a few times, at 4 speed settings from 50 to 80. Then I step through the little chord shapes for the 7ths. this is all Griff stuff, not the way he means it to be used for sure. I don't do this to get better, I do it so I have a chance to play. This time assures that my fingers will move when and where they are needed, helps maintain my fingertips, helps with ear training, and just kinda "keeps me in the saddle" so to speak.
    This is like a "no goal" time. No pressure. I put in the time. On a good day I can daydream, or problem solve if you wish, and hear the patterns run in the background. (loose the concentration-connection and crash hard - start over :) ) Anyway, this is how I stay in the game with my instruments, and my peace of mind. Since my goal is totally achievable, just sit and do it, I don' have to decide. How I feel, what's going on, none of that matters. I will eek out a few minutes to spend with one of my friends. If that helps me get better, fine. Sorta Zen time.

    I also just sit and play, if I can...time and all getting in the way. And now with an amazing amount of coaching I try to record and play vjr, wow.

    Now, if I just worked on learning I'd be crazy as hell in no time. I put too much pressure on myself.
    If the solution was as easy as buying a guitar, or tossing one out the window, that wouldn't be any fun!
     
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  8. Crossroads

    Crossroads Thump the Bottom

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    I take a much simpler approach. I refuse to allow myself to get frustrated. If I fall short I use it as learning experience and analyze what is it that I'm not doing, that I should be doing or vice versa.
    I developed a a plan to achieve my goals. They are definitive and measurable.
    Execute the plan.
    Analyze the results.
    Adjust the plan as necessary to achieve stated goals.
    Emotion is saved for rehearsal and performance. For me anyway, negative emotions have no place in practice or analyzing my current skill set. I find it just gets in the way. YMMV
     
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  9. DavidLylis

    DavidLylis Aspiring Bluesman

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    I have reached a level of frustration that I cannot seem to get over. Bends. I have learned the BB KIng Lessons from the Masters riff. When I bend a whole step my fingers either drag the B and G string back and they ring out OR when I am pushing into the bend one or both do the same thing. I can do the bend but cannot figure out how to either avoid that happening in the first place or mute the strings so they don't. I have tried muting with my hand but they are in such close proximity to the E string I mute that as well. My technique in playing this is pretty good but I can't seem to get how to stop those adjacent strings from ringing out. Any tips?
     
  10. Danno

    Danno Blues Newbie

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    Bending well takes a lot of practice, a lot. Unless you intend to hear the release of the bend you should be muting it at the top with your picking hand. That should also mute the other strings above it. But generally speaking you probably don't want to catch the strings above your bend under your finger. You want to push the strings above without them catching under the bending finger. That mostly comes down to the angle of your bending finger relative to the fretboard and again, it takes a lot of practice to get it right and have it feel comfortable. The rest of it is all right hand muting. Basically your picking hand has to touch all the strings above the one you're bending. Do your bend and if the lower strings are sounding, move your picking hand down a little and do it again. Repeat that until only the bent string sounds. It took me a long time to be able to position my right hand so only the bent note sounds and to actually keep contact with other strings.
     
  11. Danno

    Danno Blues Newbie

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    Also, if you're an AAP member you might want to record yourself to demonstrate the problem(s) and submit it as a Fix-It.
     
  12. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    we have all been through the bend and catch other noises issue...............it seems to be one of those things, you practice until you make it, and dont stress over it.

    Much of this guitar stuff is like driving a stick shift car
    When you first try, you bounce all over the place
    After a while, you may start smooth, but shifts are jerky

    Then one day, you get in it, and you are halfway to work
    and realize, everything went smooth and you are doing it
     
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  13. DavidLylis

    DavidLylis Aspiring Bluesman

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    Thank you. Bad analogy)) I was born driving a stick shift)) . I just have to practice until I get the right formula, I guess.
    One thing that I worked on last night is not bending the string with the end of my finger but rather with the fleshy part not quite opposite my nail. I was kind of observing what was happening and when I bend with the end of my finger the B and G string sort of fold over each other and when they release that is when the ringing is caused. If I bend with the fleshy part then part of my finger is over the top of the B and G string and controls them better. It requires more strength and control and it ain't perfect but I may be on to something. Thanks so much for responding, I am new to this and am amazed at the complexity of playing the electric guitar. I haven't yet begun to deal with the amplifier and that is a whole other instrument to learn))
     
  14. cowboy

    cowboy Blues, Booze & BBQ

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    David...one of the tricks of bending is having the guitar setup for you...I set my guitars so that when I bend a string it slightly pushes the string above it...that being said, it is also set up so I can also roll over the next string and actually sound both strings when I want to...

    this requires a subtle adjustment of string height...after getting the "correct" string height, I then reset the intonation...I've got all of my guitar so the overall action is about the same...later.

    cowboy
     
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  15. DavidLylis

    DavidLylis Aspiring Bluesman

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    I am working on a technique that seems to hold promise. I bend with the fleshy part of my finger, as I said above, and down pick for the bend and at the top of the bend and just before release, I up pick and stop the string and then up pick when it gets to its natural position (if it calls for that string to be picked.) I have worked this up to a reasonable speed and it seems to help after an hour of practicing.
    The neighbors view it differently than I, however.
     
  16. cowboy

    cowboy Blues, Booze & BBQ

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    the up pick technique will work to mute the string...you could also try using fleshy part of your picking hand to mute against the bridge...later.

    cowboy
     
  17. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    well, they asked Eric Clapton in an interview, what does an Eric Clapton level guitar player work on

    He said "Bends", he has never quite got them perfect
     
  18. JohnHurley

    JohnHurley Blues Junior

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    Bends never get perfect or for me even very good they just slowly improve over time ... a lot of time.

    Keep practicing them but also keep practicing everything else ha ha ...

    The 2 note solo practices help some ( although I do most of my bends on the G ) and then you listen to how ( well at least close to ) perfect and easily Griff seems to be hitting them each and every time. Then you try to make it sound "close to" how he is doing it.

    Dang that griff guy ha ha he knows what he is doing!
     
  19. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

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    When it comes to guitar, I have problems with many things -- but bends has never been one of them.

    I guess I'm just lucky that way. :)
     
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  20. dwparker

    dwparker Funky Blues Muther Funker

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    How do fretboard radius and width at the nut play in here?