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#452921 - 01/22/18 01:01 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Playing Limitations
Bernier Offline

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 456
Loc: Wisconsin
I'd like get peoples opinions on a concept I am contemplating.
I have been playing guitar for over 50 years. I've left it for long periods of time and then come back. The biggest thing I've noticed is that is have never seemed to have gotten any better.
It took me 10 years to realize this with golf. No matter how much time i put in, how much I played/practiced, I got to a certain level and could NOT progress any further. Has anyone found this to true with guitar?
Thanks for your input!

#452932 - 01/22/18 01:34 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Playing Limitations [Re: Bernier]
babarton Offline

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 332
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
40+ years here, with long periods off... What's the concept you're contemplating? I'm a firm believer that you CAN always improve, but there is a catch: the better you become at a skill, the harder it becomes to improve that skill. So it is much easier for a beginner to improve at guitar than it is for you or I to improve. If a beginner practices 15 minutes three times a week, they will get better. If I practice 15 minutes three times a week, I'll probably lose ground... BUT that DOES NOT mean that you or I can't improve - just that we have to work harder at it! grin

Edited by babarton (01/22/18 01:34 PM)
Edit Reason: typo

#452934 - 01/22/18 01:39 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Playing Limitations [Re: Bernier]
jford Offline

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10159
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
Reminds me of Pavarotti quoting the once a famous tenor, Aureliano Petile, who said, “If I go one day without singing, I realize it; if I go two days, my friends realize it; if I go three days, the audience realizes it.”

Substitute singing with practicing.

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#454443 - 01/29/18 12:23 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Playing Limitations [Re: Bernier]
Mikke - PG Music Offline

Registered: 01/25/18
Posts: 18
Loc: British Columbia
Hey Bernie,

Thanks for posting. Questions like these are very important for beginners and veterans alike. I think anyone who has played any instrument can get into these funks. Although I have not played nearly as long as you, here are a couple things I have found to keep me inspired and playing.

A lot of this info boils down to one simple concept, break out of your box.

Try a completely new style. For years I restricted myself to styles I loved. As rewarding as this was, playing my favorite tunes, it became restrictive as the years went by. I started messing around with some blues and folk, I was surprised how it gave me new ideas for completely different genres.

Try a new instrument. The amazing thing about playing strings is it's super easy to branch into a new instrument. As a guitar player for years, I switched to ukulele for fun. The different strings and chord shapes kicked my brain into learning mode again. You could take this to the extreme and pick up something completely different. I found out I have a deep love for synth that I never knew I had.

Finally, have fun. Learning can be tideous, even if it's for something you love. Take a step back, enjoy the ride. Sometimes our practice regiments feel bossy, and take the joy out of it. Sometimes cruising YouTube you can find a new scale, or a new style. Make it a journey rather then a destination.

I'm sure you know most, if not all, of this already. There is power in taking things 'Back to Basics'. Alternatively, use Band-in-a-Box's huge array of styles to doodle to something new. Anything that gets those creative juices flowing.

Keep on the path, I'm sure a breakthrough is just around the corner.

Keep us updated!
C-sharp when you cross the street… or you’re going to B-flat.

Mikke - PG Music

#454549 - 01/29/18 07:26 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Playing Limitations [Re: Bernier]
rockstar_not Offline

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7255
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
I never learn more until I'm pushed. Sometimes that's self-imposed.

Current person pushing me is our worship pastor. I can play pedestrian electric guitar and electric bass parts, but he is always pushing my abilities farther with harder parts.

Latest was Cissy Strut by the Meters. We always have some kind of snappy tune prior to the service. This is the song that made me realize an old injury on my pinky on my fretting hand needed looking into. The stretch I needed to perform to hit one of the notes in the riff was not possible with my "swans neck injury".

Do you have a way for someone better than you to push you further? Doesn't have to be a teacher, could be a band mate.

10 years ago I was in a band with a person who had a master's degree in guitar instruction from Indiana University.

I had 3 chords and the truth. Well, a million chords if you include barre chords.

Sig (the masters guy) eventually got frustrated with me and showed me the way of simpler chords and inversions and now I rarely barre at all.

I even wrote a blog article about that experience:

So, who is pushing you?

#454742 - 01/30/18 02:23 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Playing Limitations [Re: Bernier]
Matt Finley Online   content

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16815
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
I was pretty good as a child, playing professionally at age 12. I reached the point where I could play anything I needed to, technically, at 14. Since I could play what I think, the challenge became to think more interesting things.

After a long career mostly outside of music, I retired and decided at age 50 to learn a new instrument each year. The purpose was to be able to write for any instrument and understand its nuances better. I draw on over a dozen years of that experience (stopped about five years ago) as I write a great deal today. I learn something new each time I use BIAB, or read these forums, or pick up a horn. The possibilities are NOT limited, though the challenges are endless.
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

#455185 - 02/01/18 04:08 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Playing Limitations [Re: Bernier]
Belladonna Online   content

Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 199
Loc: Virginia
I started out playing the piano with church music when I was a teenager. My parent's were poor and couldn't afford quality piano lessons for me, so my cousin who played in her church taught me to read piano music and play hymns. She was not good with timing, so even though I could read music my rhythm has always sucked and has haunted me to this day. But on the positive side, I decided to learn guitar at the young age of 59 to accompany me at open mic nights. Six years in I'm not a great guitar player or maybe even a good one. But, I know a lot of chords and can play many cover songs. I learned theory recently also and for the last six years I have been able to write and accompany my melodies using different key signatures and chord progressions. I have recently found my favorite "new genre" country blues and am now learning more about playing this from online lessons. It is harder to learn new things when you are older, my memory doesn't retain material as well. Also, I don't have as much time to practice every day and also am learning a lot of different things. Guitar technique, voice technique, lyric writing, composition and recording technology. So, I would say in my case, I am not a master of any of these subjects but I have learned a "hell of a lot" in my most recent years. I try to spend about an hour each day learning more about all of these and improving my writing skills. I don't care that I'll never be a virtuoso.

Edited by Belladonna (02/01/18 04:12 PM)

#455237 - 02/02/18 04:17 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Playing Limitations [Re: Bernier]
BlueAttitude Offline

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 1087
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bernier
I'd like get peoples opinions on a concept I am contemplating.
I have been playing guitar for over 50 years. I've left it for long periods of time and then come back. The biggest thing I've noticed is that is have never seemed to have gotten any better.
It took me 10 years to realize this with golf. No matter how much time i put in, how much I played/practiced, I got to a certain level and could NOT progress any further. Has anyone found this to true with guitar?
Thanks for your input!

I've been playing for 40+ years. I would think that if you are spending a lot of time playing and practicing and you are not seeing any improvement, it would suggest that maybe you are not practicing the right thing? What aspect of your playing needs work?

In my case I don't practice very often anymore, and by "practice" I mean going over scales etc., however I do play a lot. I have a folder full of BIAB files that I use for this, different grooves, chord progressions, tempos, and keys. I'll bring up a track, highlight a section, then loop it and play over it. Doing this allows me to maintain my chops and sometimes come up with new licks. I do that almost every day, probably for an hour or so.

If I come up with a new lick that I can't play very well, I then go into practice mode. I use a metronome and set it to a slow tempo, a tempo where I can play the lick cleanly, and play it over and over again. Then, gradually over the course of maybe days, slowly increase the tempo on the metronome.

But, as babarton said: "the better you become at a skill, the harder it becomes to improve that skill", and this is very true.

For me I'm happy with the way I play, I'm not interested in being the best guitarist out there. Playing wise I just want maintain what I have and to keep it fresh so I'm not playing the same licks all the time.

Blue Attitude: Homepage, Soundcloud page, Youtube page


PG Music News
RealBand 2018 Build 5 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 customers can download the latest free patch update here:

Summary of Changes for Build 5
Added: When generating the input file for saving as an MGU/SGU SongMode128= is saved to the input file.
Added: Localization support for 2018.
Added: flyby hints to new dialogs.
Fixed: Save As with a filename greater than 128 chars could cause an error 123 plus access violation.
Fixed: Rebooting RealBand after a filename with 128 chars was saved could cause an access violation.
Fixed: Pressing the Change button in the Event List Window could result in an access violation if an event was not a Note event.
Fixed: When running in Win 10, and using BBW or PT to generate audio harmonies, an error would occur saying that you need BB 2011 or PT 12 to generate audio harmonies.
Fixed: Midi Thru Method was not being saved to the .INI file. It always reverting to Track-Specific when booting up RealBand, even if the user manually changed the setting to Global in the Midi Thru Settings dialog.
Fixed: Delete All Notes on This Peg menu item in notation window right-click menu was missing.
Fixed: Potential crash on exit (having to do with the DLL attempting to free up a dynamic array that was passed to it).

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 512 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows customers can download the latest free patch update here:

Summary of changes for Build 512 since 510 (Feb 15 2018):
Fixed: "Load SoundTrack Song" and "Load song with RealDrums Audio" buttons in the Sound Track dialog were not working.
Fixed: After returning Band-in-a-Box to factory settings the File Open dialog would default to the bb\Data\Lib directory.
Fixed: Choosing a custom chord sheet font would ignore any color choice made in the font selection dialog.
Fixed: Drum names were sometimes truncated in the RealDrums MultiDrums and Quicklist dialogs.
Fixed: Exporting a MIDI file might cause the error, "MIDIConv.exe no found".
Fixed: Mixer changes were not undoable, and would not cause user to be prompted to save their song when exiting.
Fixed: Static in RT2438 and other various RealTracks fixes.
Fixed: StylePicker database various updates. Some styles were displaying the wrong feel (swing/even) in notation. A few styles incorrectly showed missing Drums.
Fixed: The audio latency setting would increase every time leaving the Windows Audio Devices dialog.
Fixed: The Download Manager folder name defaulted to 2016 instead of 2018.
Updated: Help file.

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is Here!

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is here! PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 includes many new features and enhancements:

Windows Audio (WASAPI) driver support. This allows for low latency audio recording/playback without requiring ASIO. Note that this supports 1 stereo input plus 1 stereo output at a time. For multiple inputs/outputs, you should continue to use either MME or ASIO.

ABC Notation format support. You can save a track of notation in a popular ASCII text format to import into other programs, or you can paste this format into a user forum as a way of sending the track (usually the melody and chord symbols) to other users without having to attach a file.

The built-in Audio Chord Wizard detection in the Chords window automatically detects the chords of the song, based on the audio data from all non-muted audio tracks. This works similar to the standalone Audio Chord Wizard, except that it uses the current bar lines of the existing song.

Notation Enhancements:
-X/8 time signature support. This is a special method of displaying 6/8, 9/8, or 12/8 time signatures in the Notation window.
-The Duplicate previous chord in notation right-click menu lets you quickly duplicate the previous chord (group of notes on same peg) without having to reenter it.
-Delete highlighted notes in notation right-click menu lets you delete all highlighted notes.
-Delete all notes on this peg in notation right-click menu lets you delete all notes on the nearest peg that was clicked on.
-You can now enter Section Numbers. Previously, you could enter letters (A-Z) only, but now you can also enter numbers (1-9).

...a full list of the new features in PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is available at

#TBT - The Beginning of Xtra Styles PAKs for Band-in-a-Box®

We released the much-loved Xtra Styles PAKs in August 2016! This release included 164 RealStyles for Jazz, Country, Rock-Pop, and Singer/Songwriter and worked with any Band-in-a-Box® 2016 or higher UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK, or Audiophile Edition!

Xtra Styles PAKs were such a hit... we couldn't stop making them! Since their introduction, we've released 3 more PAKs with a total of over 600 Xtra Styles in all!

Want to hear what other program users are doing with their Xtra Styles? Visit our Xtra STyles Contests forum to hear all the songs submitted during previous song contest we've had:

Learn more about Xtra Styles PAKs and listen to their demos at

Band-in-a-Box® Customer Feedback - Feel The Love!

Check out some great feedback we've received on our Facebook account from program users:

"I have been using Band-in-a-Box for years. It is the anchor of my music gigs as well as my fun in my studio. I have used other software but Band-in-a-Box is my main go to."
-Jack T.

"Love Band-in-a-Box. As someone who played professionally for 20 years and retired from live performing years ago, I still love music. Band-in-a-Box allows me to create fun arrangements which I can sing over or play over. There are THOUSANDS of different variations plus you can enter any chords you like and create any chart. It's also great for creating background tracks for videos and audio content for websites, training etc. And like everything else in the world . . . it may not be right for everyone. For those who love music and don't have the time to shed five or six instruments it's way cool."
-Vinnie R.

"This program has completely changed my playing for the good. I can experiment with playing chords and leads over various scenarios that I can quickly create and change. Love this program. I use it nearly every day."
-Dave R.

"I bought my first version in 1994 and have progressed to 2018 version. I use it to create backing tracks for live music performance. I currently have over 2,000 songs performance ready. If you can and type, and use mouse it will work for you."
-Roger M.

"The premiere reason for me for buying this program; it has given me the freedom to fully complete the foundation for my songs without the confinement of limited minded musicians. After the song concept is complete, it can then be presented those musicians to play as a cover song. Also writing a song with a band gives them partial ownership of your idea... not cool... especially since they may have fought your idea every step of the way.. Every member of an organized band should own a copy of this program to compose or to even give legitimate composition alternatives to the original songwriter."
-Paul V.

Thanks everyone!

Support for ABC Notation Format in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

ABC notation is the simple text-based notation system used by musicians worldwide to store chords, melody, and lyrics of songs. Now with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows you can open and save songs in ABC notation format!

To save the song in ABC notation format, press the [Save As] toolbar button and choose Save as ABC notation file from the menu. Once opened, select a track that you want to save and choose your other criteria - The [Copy to clipboard] button will copy the file to the clipboard (that you can then paste it into other programs). The [Save as File] button will let you type a name and select the destination in your hard drive.

Band-in-a-Box® Song Title Browser Requests Forum

Have you stumped the Song Title Browser feature in the Band-in-a-Box® StylePicker?

If you tried to search for a popular song and this feature didn't offer you any listings, we'd love it if you'd let us know in our Wishlist forum here.

Posting your requests to this forum really does work - we used it to increase the database with the Band-in-a-Box® 2018 release!

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