Sunday, May 24, 2015

Learning Guitar: The Grind

So I've gotten to a point where I'm just grinding guitar, but I feel like I learn more just a bit at a time, but I think the long haul is here.
I feel like I notice more about the guitar, and more about music, the more I play. I've noticed the fret board more, and what the wood and finish feel like as I play. I also have a more fluid feeling with the frets and the strings. These experiences are minor and come slowly. I'm also starting to play things without concentrating on it.

I'm not really focusing on what I'm playing some of the time. It just starts to make sense. My ear hears the sounds and my hands follow the notes. I'm not good by any means, but I am starting to enjoy my time with the instrument more.

I've started to wear headphones with Rocksmith, so I hear my guitar much better. It's both a blessing and a curse. When I play well, I'm super proud of myself. When I play like garbage, I feel like garbage. Hearing my guitar through the game also shows how bad my amp is. I have a Line 6 Spider VI. It's not terrible, but the low end pumps through the speaker like it's silly. There is no clarity in the notes, and things don't seem to ring through easily. The game sounds much better than my amp.

I sort of had backlash on the guitar. I have an Ibanez GRG. I don't hate the RG shape, but I sort of hate the color. It's metal sunburst. My other option when I bought the guitar was a cheap Epiphone SG. I sort of wish I had bought that because I like how it looks, and how a guitar looks affects how often you'll want to play it. But the GRG is growing on me. I really love how it feels and I like the neck a lot. I still don't have a lot of experience, comparatively, but there isn't anything I don't like about the guitar, only the color. If anything, this gives me space to buy another, nicer SG later on in life. Maybe a year or two from now.

I think a year from now, I'll be really great at guitar. I'll be better no matter what. I won't be Herman Li or Steve Vai, but I'll certainly be much better. I've more or less given up on running through's beginners course. It's not that I don't like it. It's just that practice that way is very boring and annoying. Rocksmith is sort of a new way to learn guitar that I don't think can be really beat by traditional methods. Rocksmith stops short of teaching any theory, so that's where traditional learning comes into play but knowing how to play whole songs will aid that much better than not knowing any songs.

I'll learn theory some day soon, but not today.

I also want to get a bass. I've been looking at a few nice, cheap basses from Yamaha. In a year, when I'm really great at guitar, I'll buy my next instrument which will probably be a bass. I don't think bass will be much different from guitar, but it looks like a very fun instrument to learn. After that, I think I might go to accordion, because accordion is sick.

I'm enjoying my time, but I need to be more selective when I play. I tried to practice when I was tired and I only got frustrated. I need to carve out appropriate, quality time with the instrument. I like it when I learn something new and make it sound good, but I hate when I run into something I don't know how to play. The ratio between those is starting to switch, but only ever so slightly.

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