Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #138063  by TheCZAR
 Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:01 pm
Guys im 24 been playing off and on for 10 years recently picked it back up very heavily back in january, im getting really discouraged, that I'm not making any progress, i dont know which direction to go towards, my goals are to be fluent in jamming improv and all around decent at dead tunes i know quite a few scales, different techniques, but really i can only read tabs, im tired of coming in every night and noodling because i dont know what to practice or learn i was wondering if any of you kind heads could help a fellow head out, and give him some advice on what to do where to turn and maybe even a lil inspiration shed some light on me dudes please
 #138073  by TI4-1009
 Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:50 am
Did you poke around The Think Tank and The Think Tank II?
 #138079  by tpourciau
 Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:41 am
Best advice is to find someone to play with. Maybe learn more tunes. learn a bunch of chord inversions.
 #138083  by waldo041
 Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:27 am
tpourciau wrote:Best advice is to find someone to play with. Maybe learn more tunes. learn a bunch of chord inversions.
add/or grab a loop pedal and make some loops to jam and noodle over.

 #138085  by TI4-1009
 Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:41 am
You mean- "play with yourself?" :shock: :oops:
 #138095  by ccw3432
 Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:46 pm
Just keep playing. Progress may seem minimal at times but then a breakthrough sneaks up on you.
 #138112  by elroy2288
 Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:38 pm
I am learning as well and have found Nate LaPointe's Grateful Dead licks DVDs (available on Amazon) to be helpful. Nate is a great guy and is open to teaching and custom lessons. His email can be found via his band site or FB. I also use Seth Fleishman's downloadable tutorials (google grateful guitar lessons). His video lessons come with long backing tracks that can be jammed over and now I see he offers Skype lessons. I am finding that starting with some tried and true licks and then improvising is the most fun! :smile:
 #146411  by wolftigerrosebud
 Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:49 am
If you want to get good at the guitar and you're having trouble doing it on your own, what worked for me was going to a local commuter school. It's in person, which works better for my learning style. And the level of instruction was better than most of what I'd found was available to me online. I think getting into a serious music scene where you play with other people daily or close to it, whether that's through school or something else, is a great way to go.

If you're practicing the same things and you've plateaued, it may mean it's time to figure out different stuff to practice. What are you bad at? What's your worst skill? You haven't learned how to read (the Berklee Vol. 1 book is a good resource for learning to read with no experience), so there's that. How's your comping? Can you play chords by ear to accompany people while they play? Maybe you can learn how to play chord melodies and self-accompanied solo guitar stuff. Or you can work on your fingerpicking in the classical tradition. Or your acoustic flatpicking.

It's like a game of whack-a-mole. Whatever you're shitty at, you start paying attention to more for awhile. Then once you're better at that you find something else where you're lacking.

Ted Greene's books and Mick Goodrick's books on guitar playing offer the best technique training you can find short of a teacher who has learned from the masters.

But more than anything, find people to play music with. Any setting is good.
 #151764  by bucketorain
 Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:17 pm
sometimes picking up some advanced lessons from a seasons jazz guitarist can open up some new doors for you. in my case I went to some classes about 6 months and it transformed my playing. I was simply blocked, and I gained an new profound way of looking at the fret board. good luck in your journey.
 #151780  by gr8fullfred
 Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:19 am
I have been playing along time with various levels of seriousness.
Here are a couple of hints, you mileage will vary.

1)Unless you are a musical prodigy, its takes time and work. There is no way around that.

2)As far as I can tell playing guitar is about learning scales, chords and arpeggios. Don't forget the ARPEGGIOS.

3)Practice every day. (ever hear that one before?). I say this because Jerry apparently practiced every day. Jerry practiced at least 2 to four hours a day, and even practiced a couple of hours before a concert, so on a concert day he played for like 4 to 6 hours. Jerry said he felt like he lost something if he missed one day of practice, and felt like a cripple if he missed two days in a row.

4)If you are disappointed in your progress, find a really good teacher and take lessons. Again if you are a musical prodigy than you do not need to take lessons, but if you were, this forum thread would be non existent. Not any ole teacher either, a really good teacher.

5) If you want to be able to jam and improvise, than you must play with people. As Jerry said there are lots of good musicians who really can't play with others,they work in music stores. I have met many players who simply can't listen to the others playing with them and do their own noodling irregardless of what is happening with the rest of the musicians. Playing with others is a skill in and of itself, and some people don't get it.

Repeat steps 1 thru 5 until desired results are achieved.
 #151784  by ebick
 Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:57 pm
I hope you guys realize that the OP is 2 years old.....:)
 #151807  by Tennessee Jedi
 Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:06 am
ebick wrote:I hope you guys realize that the OP is 2 years old.....:)
If he took all this sage advice he could be a player by now !