Make it look so easy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jjpish68, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. jjpish68

    jjpish68 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    122
    I watch all these videos of guys playing on YouTube or the PRS owners FB page and everyone makes it look so easy. These days it seems like it's a lot of work to learn new things and to remember is even harder. When I was younger I could learn songs from guitar world magazine pretty quickly and funny thing is I remember songs I learned when I was in college better than songs I learned last week..... I'd like to say it's because I have so much going on in life that I can't concentrate but on the flip side I'm going to be 50 in a couple months. I also feel like these days I have a death grip on the neck and I just never remember feeling like that . I tried to take some lessons last year to get over some road blocks and was having a great time and felt like I was moving past the road blocks but my work schedule is not set so I had to cancel more than I was able to make. Is it just me or does it just get harder as you get older?
     
    ScottR and Dusty Chalk like this.
  2. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    2,359
    Likes Received:
    2,244
    Life throws you curveballs no matter what age.
    I find it helps to get as familiar as possible with the material.
    To that end I listen to a song over and over again ad nauseam on my way to practice, or to and from work until part of it or enough of it sinks in.
    At that point I can feel more comfortable, and it seems to help me.
     
    ScottR and jjpish68 like this.
  3. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    555
    I hear you! College-learned songs are permanently ingrained; new songs are a monumental task to learn. :mad:

    I came back from my guitar lesson so frustrated tonight - things just don't "click" or sink in as quickly as they did even 10 years ago (I'm now in my late 40's). So I decided to do something fun tonight when I got home and learn the proper way to play a song I've jammed on forever - ZZ Top's "Just Got Paid." How hard could that be, right? I fired up YouTube, found a nice clear lesson, and proceeded to get so frustrated with myself. I mean, how hard is it to play an open E every other note? Apparently, very hard!

    So frustrating, and wish I could find the magic formula to get my brain to "learn quickly" again. I'm not a gigging musician. I'm an engineer running a software company - so it's not like I'm not using my brain on a daily basis.

    Thanks for starting this thread - I'd love to hear how others deal with this.
     
    #3 Dirty_Boogie, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    ScottR, CVS and jjpish68 like this.
  4. Kred

    Kred Thankful today

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    29
    If you believe "it takes 10,000 hours to master anything" then I guess it's a marathon not a sprint. I play in a worship band and think I'm the only one who has to practice to show up for practice! And when they change the key or arrangement, I start over learning the song. Having the Sunday deadline to play in front of people is nerve-wracking at times, but hearing "you nailed it" after the service is a great feeling! I know I'm better than a year ago, so I keep pushing myself.
     
    ScottR, bodia, Jmartin and 2 others like this.
  5. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    2,037
    It's not just you. I haven't been to my tutor since December some time.

    And I've been listening to Mike Oldfield and his crazy vibrato -- how the hell does he do that so fast? The faster I try to ...wiggle? vibrate? ... my fretting hand, the lower the amplitude of the virbrrato (the closer the pitch extremes are). How the el...?

    On the bright side, at work, I've been picking up things left and right. I picked up PL/SQL a couple years ago (it's pretty easy -- just a fourth generration language around SQL, which I already knew), and recently I've learned tablespace and partitioning and whatnot.

    And I'm over 50. So hope is not lost. It's just...I may have scared it off when I told it to get off of my lawn.
     
  6. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,086
    Likes Received:
    2,802
    If it's any consolation, the Reverend plays it in open E, which makes it quite a bit easier.

    But of course these guys make it look easy. They're pros. Doesn't mean it actually is easy, though. Unfortunately, for those of us who aren't pros, playing has to take the back seat
     
    Dirty_Boogie likes this.
  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    19,836
    Likes Received:
    8,777
    There’ve been studies showing that neural pathways to learning musical instruments slow down, not when you’re older, but beginning in adolescence. These studies seem to establish, for example, that young people who haven’t practiced hard on an instrument by the age of 12 will never achieve true mastery of it.

    So yes, in college you were more able to learn new material than you are now. And in high school and middle school you might have been even more capable.

    Speaking only for myself, I learned piano starting at age 4. Keyboards feel like home. I started guitar at 17. Despite many, many years of playing guitar - including professionally - I’ve never felt at home on the instrument, and I practice it far more than I practice piano. Out of necessity. But I’ll never be as facile on guitar.

    I’m not sure there’s a silver lining in this cloud; it just takes more time to learn material than it did many years ago. On the other hand, I still enjoy learning and writing new material, and playing is a joy. Not much you can do about the vicissitudes of aging, except get on with the heavy lifting! :)
     
  8. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    555
    Good words of wisdom, as always, Mr. Schefman. Thank you.
     
    ScottR likes this.
  9. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    2,464
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    I'm in my 50's. Yeah its harder to play, harder to learn, and harder to keep what you learned yesterday. It's still better than giving up. I still love to play. The enjoyment is there if you don't feel like you have to be as good as you were when you were 25. Pick any pro ball player, they have to come to terms with their aging body at 35. We don't have to till 55. And then we still get to do what we love. They have to stop altogether.
     
    ScottR and jjpish68 like this.
  10. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    636
    So after the Mickey Mouse Club things started going downhill.

    Same vein but another note:
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/m...e-weiksner-hes-11-2018-02-13?siteid=rss&rss=1
     
    ScottR likes this.
  11. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,507
    Likes Received:
    11,140
    I'm firmly in this camp with you guys. My fingers hurt more. I remember the Rush tune from 25 years ago, but that line from last week....nope. I keep buying more stuff thinking it will guilt me into playing more....sh!t...even that isn't working! Well, not as much as I hoped! I, too, went the lessons route about a year ago. That lasted 3 weeks. Good teacher, but I think he was used to 10 year old kids. Or, maybe that's the point...I need to look at improvement as a 10 year old instead of a 50 year old!

    I'm not giving up though!
     
  12. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    555
    I just came back from my hand surgeon - got two cortisone shots in my left hand - index finger and pinky.

    Getting older sucks! :eek:
     
    #12 Dirty_Boogie, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    ScottR and jjpish68 like this.
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    19,836
    Likes Received:
    8,777
    Think of it this way...

    You’re not 50, you’re five 10 year olds. :)
     
  14. TwelfthTangent

    TwelfthTangent Drop D Sonic Assault

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    323
    I find that playing louder or adding more gain works pretty well. :D
     
  15. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    555
    WHAT!? I can't hear you! Can you speak up? :cool:
     
    ScottR, jjpish68 and TwelfthTangent like this.
  16. walrus

    walrus New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    234
    I agree with what's been said. The stuff I learned years ago is always there, newer songs need to be repeated more , etc. I simply have to play the new songs more and more so they can "catch up" with the old songs!
     
    ScottR and jjpish68 like this.
  17. Steve's addiction

    Steve's addiction New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    272
    Could my lack of concentration be due to getting older? I sometimes during practice I kinda just drift off.
     
    ScottR and LSchefman like this.
  18. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    421
    Maybe we took the same lesson (in standard tuning) :). Long story short, after about a year, I am just about ready to "go public" with that great lick.
     
    Dirty_Boogie and ScottR like this.
  19. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    421
    Ok ,I have read all the posts in this thread and I can certify that I am over 6x and still learning new licks and chords and songs*, so I am confident that one can still learn at my age. On the other hand, I feel that it takes a lot more time to learn new songs, licks etc.,than when I was in my late teens. I try to document as much as I can (in case I forget). I can forget new songs and licks etc as fast as I learn them if I do not play them consistently. I have to play new song "scripted " melodies and licks over and over to make sure that I remember them when I play them in public. I am much more comfortable playing solos that just "come from the heart" (they are probably mediocre but..........)

    All told, I am very satisfied that I am still growing as a musician and that I am physically capable of playing without much pain. AMEN. I can put up with the rest of the old age issues.

    * Plenty of room for improvement ;)
     
    Dirty_Boogie, bodia and ScottR like this.
  20. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    3,430
    Likes Received:
    4,119
    EDIT: If this post looks too long, here's the short version. I'm getting old!

    I believe (that doesn’t make it correct) that my issues are more “injury related” than “age related.” Or at least, the injuries are the bigger part of the problem and the age only adds on top.

    About 15 years ago I got hit broadside by another driver going 55 MPH when he ran a stop sign and came straight into crossing traffic on a highway. I didn’t see him because he narrowly missed a car coming towards me and by the time I did it was too late. I took a very quick evasive move right which probably saved my life. He hit me 6” behind my drivers door. Spun two 1/2 times and ended up in the other side of the road ditch. My only injuries were permanent nerve dame in my left side of my neck, My head got jolted around seriously and I couldn’t even move my neck or turn my head at all for over a week. The nerve damage goes from under my ear, all the way down through my middle two fingers on my left hand. And my wrist was sprained from the death grip on the steering wheel.

    Long before that though, I had at one time or another, 3 of my 4 fingers on my left hand dislocated at least once, all while playing basketball. My ring finger was dislocated 3 times. I haven’t been able to wear my wedding ring for years and arthritis has set in badly on the ring finger. I can’t close it all the way (making a fist) and sometimes it won’t even come close. And it basically hurts all the time. I can take the pain part of it, but hit really hurts when I lift weights or carry heavy things, or anything that requires a strong grip.

    Anyway, between the nerve damage which immediately created a loss of coordination between my middle and ring fingers, and the swelling,stiffness and arthritis in my ring finger, I’ve lost a lot of mobility in that hand. Not exactly what you want when you like to play fast and difficult riffs. I’ve said more than once, that I wish all that happened to my right hand, as it wouldn’t have affected my playing. But this is what I got so it is what it is.

    Sorry for the long post. If you want the short version, skip to this:
    I guess I’m getting old. :D
     
    #20 DreamTheaterRules, Feb 15, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
    Dirty_Boogie likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice