'Aha moment'

Discussion in 'Deep Sea Blues - Little Mary's Lamb' started by bplavoie, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. bplavoie

    bplavoie Guest

    So this goes under 'aha moments': I'm playing Hideaway Blues over and over and over trying to get to that elusive 3 times through perfectly. I'm frustrated with myself but absolutely committed to figuring out why I keep stumbling over sections I know perfectly; I'm trudging through and entertaining the occasional doubt that I'll ever be able to play like some of the people I see on YouTube. And then it happens: I'm playing a little absently, listening to an NPR story online about learning to play 'later in life', and I get to the last B7 in the piece. Without thinking, instead of playing it as written, I very smoothly play another B7 turnaround out of nowhere and only realize I've done it after I've started the first measure again. :eek:

    I could have wept: If my brain is already starting to figure out - subconsciously - what I can play where, then maybe I really will be able to play improvisationaly someday! Very encouraging, and very unexpected. Anyone else had this kind of experience? (Or another instance where you thought you sucked and realized there was hope?)
     
  2. IrishRover

    IrishRover Guest

    No, my friend, I envy you - I still think I suck. :-[
     
  3. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    Hi Brian, I think I had the same moment! I found that I played a turn around that lead me nicely back into the beginning of the piece. I mean... mine was no great magic and I'm pretty sure I learned that turnaround at the beginning of BGU, but that's how it's supposed to work! The old language analogy. I learned the word (that older turnaround) and when I need to to put together a sentence, it was just there on my fingers. Congratulations, these moments are things to savor.
     
  4. bplavoie

    bplavoie Guest

    C'mon, Matt - that can't be true!

    Mike - I don't want to imply that any magic took place - I learned the turnaround in an earlier lesson, I was just surprised that I played it in an appropriate place without intending to. I like the analogy to language - I think you're spot on.
     
  5. 560sdl

    560sdl Blues Newbie

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    Last week at our little band practice we ended a song and I just kind of found the right note at the end and did a little scale with a bend and thought nothing of it until my teacher went "wow, that was perfect, you just improvise that?".  Me: "er, a, yea".  Problem is I had not idea what I really did and could certainly not do it again, but that is the point, isn't it?
     
  6. bplavoie

    bplavoie Guest

    560 - exactly! It makes me wonder about experienced players: How much of what they do is premeditated, and how much is 'instinct' (for lack of a better term)?
     
  7. jhagan421

    jhagan421 Guest

    Congrats to all of the AHA's above.  I think we all have AHA's  (EVEN YOU MATT  :cool: )  It's ones that you can keep track of  that stand out!  I find sometimes that I'll get a note off or a string off in a riff and then if I don't stop right away, I can get back on, and it doesn't sound liek a mistake (necessarily), because I've stayed within the scale of the riff.  Maybe not quite the same - I look forward to what BP describes -

    It is so great to hear about everyones progress - and I think we can all learn from eachothers experiences, Good and Bad and Ugly
     
  8. Tim

    Tim Blues Newbie

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    Brian! That is very cool!! My instructor has explained to me that improv is the re-arranging of something you already know (intuitively).  [smiley=cool.gif] I have had it happen to me as follows; I try to learn a rhythm from a book or a lead sheet and I really can not figure it out. Then I hear it and I can copy it pretty close. Days later I am working on a chord progression (ie. Bm7, Em7, G7, F#m7) which is very BB King sounding. I just started messing with different strum patterns and low and behold a 12 bar blues which sounds like the Thrill is Gone by BB King.

    Just for fun mess around with that chord progression and see what you can do with it.

    Tim  
     
  9. Emilio

    Emilio Guest

    Hi BP and all.

    I really don’t want to over step the mark here because I realise that there are many guys in the forum that are much more advanced

    My 2 cents worth:

    I think the language analogy is just about perfect

    I have several blues pieces in my repertoire now, which I practice at least twice a week. The pieces all have different turn abounds and endings, but are mostly in the same key.

    What I find if I am not concentrating is that they all kind of blend into each other, sometimes with good results ;)  So I guess the more you learn the “Language”, the more words you will have to play with, and eventually you will be able to form sentences on the fly, which I guess would be classed as improvisation. I think I may be quoting Griff in there somewhere (rather badly), so Sorry Griff ::)

    I personally love the blues form of music, because in a lot of ways it is quite loose, and to me personaly it lends itself very well to improvisation

    I hope this made some sense.
     
  10. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    Yep, Tough I take no credit for the "Language" analogy. I think I heard it first from Griff.
     
  11. bplavoie

    bplavoie Guest

    Y'know, the more I think of the language analogy...

    Just like learning a language, we're making sounds by learning a series of small muscle movements, and putting those sounds in a particular order according to a pattern. Maybe learning guitar really is exactly like learning a new language, and so playing eventually becomes like talking - you don't have to think so much about how to say something as what you want to say.
     
  12. gpower

    gpower Blues Junior

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  13. ihorowitz

    ihorowitz Blues Newbie

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    In buddhism & martial arts there is a concept called mushin (no mind) or mizu ni kokoro (mind like water).  Basically it means there is a point in our training where our brain gets in the way of making music, essentailly we have to turn it off.  Not to get all philosophical, but...  Playing is very much a zen activity.  There is a physical aspect to our training- creating muscle memory through practice and an intellectual aspect as well - thinking it through to figure out what's working & not working so we can imporve.  But at some point we just have to play and let the mind & the body (or fingers & hands) work together.

    we tend to separate the hands (what we're playing) from the mind (what we're thinking & feeling) when we play (at least i do).  When they come together - through hard work, practice, & experience- it's a great feeling.

    Don't lose that aha feeling/ moment... it's what it's all about.

    Oh yeah here's a vid that says this more poetically.  Don't laugh because it's bruce lee.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO3sBulXpVw
     
  14. IrishRover

    IrishRover Guest

    Very well put Ira - I've seen that clip somewhere before as a part of a much longer interview, he was a very interesting man.
     
  15. Roland_H

    Roland_H Guest

    I think learning to play guitar is probably similar to when we first learn to drive a car. In the UK most cars have gears so when learning as well as having to steer accelerate signal etc we also have to depress the clutch to shift up or down gear, listen to the pitch of the engine and consciously, decide where we move the gear lever etc.

    To start with this is really difficult, there are too many things going on. However the more we do it (practice) the easier it becomes until we reach a point where we don't think about the process anymore we just do it on a subconcious level. I struggled to learn to drive and I struggled to learn guitar, but if you do it long enough I believe you get there eventually.

    Good luck keep at it!
     
  16. Tim

    Tim Blues Newbie

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    There are a few songs that I play fingerstyle that fit into the Zen thing. I can play with my eyes closed (only a few). This is pretty crazy stuff because I do remember the first time I put my left hand on the guitar and tried to hold my first chord. It was brutal....

    Also when I drive home from work, I think who the heck drove home?? Yes I'm sober
     
  17. aquarias2

    aquarias2 Blues Newbie

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    oh man, do i know how you feel...been tryin' to master the opening riff to chuck berry's great "johnny be goode" for months...get it right about half the time without choking, but i can do this only at only about 50% to 75% chuck berry speed...he plays that opening 12 bars in 19 seconds flat..that's how obsessed i am..i timed the SOB...love chuck berry...from the first time i heard that opening riff back in the late fiftes when i was aobut 8 or 9 i knew right then i wanted to learn how to play guitar...got into some little garage bands playin' rhythm guitar in the 60's, had a ball..played simple stuff...like louie, louie, some beach bouys and beatles like twist and shout...it was so much fun...nothin' like it...only played aobut 3 years though...then put down the guitar for around 40 years...now back and lovin' it..old geezer now at 61, but just can't shake that damn chuck berry obsession..ain't gonna give up..have had a few aha moments...and then they leave, come back again...so i know how you feel...but don't give up...it's too much fun...so stick with it...it'll pay off..at least that's what i keep tellin' myself...my wife says i'm gettin' better..but she's not too objective..chuck berry's killin' me man...AHA!!!

    don't practice until you get it right...practice until you can't get it wrong...
     
  18. stratogeezer

    stratogeezer Blues Newbie

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    I can relate..keep at it and it will happen.
     
  19. johnc

    johnc systematic

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    Hello aquarias2,
    Welcome to the forum. Have you introduced yourself at the Introduction section?

    Johnny B Good is one of my goals to achieve this year, particularly the original recorded intro.  It must be hard to play because I have heard maybe dozens of people play it and it has never been as per the original. Not even Chuck B plays it that way and I have often wondered if he played it on the original track???  Hope he did.
    I am nearly there now and can almost get it at full speed and yeah it's fast alright, for my ol' hands at least.
    I got some good pointers from:  www.justinguitar.com  when I was learning the basics of it a few months back..

    http://www.justinguitar.com/en/ST-318-JohnnyBGoode.php
     
  20. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    John, Let us hear it!!!