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New Goals ...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by keithconn, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. I have been thinking lately, and would like some other's ideas:

    Lately I feel more compelled to become a student of the instrument rather than a student of playing songs. Yes, I take lessons, and I also play with a group that is looking to play out soon. By 'becoming a student of the instrument' I mean I much rather enjoy learning my own tunes(on my own), becoming REALLY familar with the instrument and music as a whole, and drilling through hard tunes that others are not very interested in. I am getting really sick of my 'bands' obsession with learning tunes that will get gigs and allow us to play bars. I've only been doing 'this band' for a month or two and am bored stiff!! My old goals of just being in a giging band are not my goals anymore.

    Anyone else go through this kind of phase? I guess it could be considered a 'woodshed' phase. Or the old story of the blues guitarist disappearing, selling his soul to the devil, and returning with more skills than people can imagine. I just feel like locking myself up and drilling on the instrument until I emerge with a 7string strapped to myself, playing in some progressive jazz trio. I guess it would have to be since I saw Anthony Jackson playing, and was like 'now thats what I want to do.'

    Anyone else have these kinds of aspirations, and how did you go about setting and meeting your goals?

    Later -
    Thanks ... K.
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I haven't had the same situation exactly, but perhaps something similar. I started out from the beginning wanting to be a student of the instrument, with the idea that gigs and learning tunes would come later. I came to find out that this path was a very strong fit for me. I evolved at a decent pace. As I met more and more musicians I became more and more in demand, until recently I found myself in 4 cover bands. I found that all I was doing anymore was learning covers. At one point two or three months ago, I sat down to learn about 80 songs in two weeks. It worked, I did it, and it developed my ear, but boy was I burnt out. I quickly abandoned several of the projects, and decided to re-orient myself back to my original plan of study.

    As for how to go along that path? I personally look at it from several aspects. 1) Acknowledgment of strengths and weaknesses. Looking at what you excel at and looking at what you struggle with. 2) Absorption of everything. Non-descrimination toward your practice routine. Working to build a comprehensive, detailed, yet concise practice routine is difficult. This is something I struggle with daily. Variety is the spice of life, yet repetition is the mother of all skill. 3) Guidance. The path may be more treacherous on your own. A good, solid teacher is instrumental to helping you find your voice. 4) Openness. Ears as wide and open as a thousand oceans.
  3. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Dedication and patience. The dedication part I find comes pretty easily because I love playing this instrument.

    As far as setting/meeting my goals, I try not to over-extend myself while practicing. For example, say you want to learn all the major scales. Don't try and learn them all in one night. You will become discouraged. Try learning say two a night, even one if you want. Learn the nuances of each scale before you move on. It may take a while, but when you do reach your goal, the satisfaction cannot be beat.


    EDIT: typo

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