How did you learn to play?

Decadent Dan

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Inspired by Glen Campbell.
Lessons from Mel Bay.
CC93CB98-E61A-40AA-BCED-E141C104B89E.jpeg
 
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Central Scrutinizer

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Mel Bay at first also.

Then listening to records, over and over.

Still can’t play well, but enjoy myself.
 

chilipeppermaniac

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HEY HEY Scrute,,,,,,,,,,,, Great to see you.

Pretty sure I found a nice SG on Reverb, just sayin.
 

NMA

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Watching other performers was a real eye-opener for me. I'd see things and then try them. Some things I saw made no sense, for instance:

I'll always remember when the Aussie band The Church was on MTV Unplugged. Marty Wilson-Piper and Jules Shear did a short version of The Beatles "Rain." I was dumbfounded because one of the two guys was playing chords with just one finger! I could hear he was playing the correct chords for "Rain," but how the heck was he doing it with just one finger. It was from that performance that I learned about tuning one's guitar to a full chord - open E or open G. Never knew that stuff existed.


 

Go Nigel Go

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I learned with a combination of being self taught, plus two semesters of formal instruction at my university music department. The formal instruction was a bit of a slog since since as my piano teacher, band teachers, and other music teachers will attest, I can pick up music much faster by ear to the detriment of my more formal instruction. That said, I did benefit from that formal instruction, especially when it comes to the mechanics of playing an instrument.

The first rock band I was in however played a huge role in making me the guitar player I am today. We had two other guitarists who showed me a lot of "cheater" techniques not covered by my college instruction and dramatically expanded my palette of sounds and techniques. Another thing that experience taught me was how to think on my feet. The frontman was famous (infamous) in the local musical community for springing things on the band at will. I don't know how many times we would be playing a live show and he would utter the words "Let's see if you remember this one boys..." and start to play something we had never rehearsed and we didn't know what he was doing. The rest of us had one or two measures at most to identify the key and time signature, jump on and play the song we thought he was playing. Often we were 15 to 20 seconds in before we knew for sure what he was trying to play and adjust accordingly. Unprofessional? yeah. Pain in the @$$? yeah. did we complain? yeah. After 5 years though we got quite good at it, and while we were often hanging on by our teeth the audience usually responded enthusiastically and often commented that they "liked our version a lot". I would never do that to a group of musicians myself in front of an audience, but it really did make me a better player all things considered.
 
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Decadent Dan

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I learned with a combination of being self taught, plus two semesters of formal instruction at my university music department. The formal instruction was a bit of a slog since since as my piano teacher, band teachers, and other music teachers will attest, I can pick up music much faster by ear to the detriment of my more formal instruction. That said, I did benefit from that formal instruction, especially when it comes to the mechanics of playing an instrument.

The fist rock band I was in however played a huge role in making me the guitar player I am today. We had two other guitarists who showed me a lot of "cheater" techniques not covered by my college instruction and dramatically expanded my palette of sounds and techniques. Another thing that experience taught me was how to think on my feet. The frontman was famous (infamous) in the local musical community for springing things on the band at will. I don't know how many times we would be playing a live show and he would utter the words "Let's see if you remember this one boys..." and start to play something we had never rehearsed and we didn't know what he was doing. The rest of us had one or two measures at most to identify the key and time signature, jump on and play the song we thought he was playing. Often we were 15 to 20 seconds in before we knew for sure what he was trying to play and adjust accordingly. Unprofessional? yeah. Pain in the @$$? yeah. did we complain? yeah. After 5 years though we got quite good at it, and while we were often hanging on by our teeth the audience usually responded enthusiastically and often commented that they "liked our version a lot". I would never do that to a group of musicians myself in front of an audience, but it really did make me a better player all things considered.
That reminds me, I also played percussion in a high school (marching, concert, symphonic and jazz) bands.
Learning how to count was a pretty big deal to me.
Knowing exactly when to play or not can be as important as what to play or not.
Also…
I actually failed a guitar class in high school because I didn’t want to learn the basics.
I wanted to run before I could walk.
That’s another mistake.
 


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