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#590309 - 04/07/20 04:38 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Such a slow learner
Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
goofeyfoot Offline
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Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
I don’t know why I’m such a slow learner. I know plenty about reading music, harmony, theory etc. But when I go to learn a song on the piano or guitar which I’ve been doing for years it takes me forever to learn the piece. Something about not being able to stay on beat or the click. Over and over and over again I do the song until I’ve memorized the damn thing. And by that point, I hate the song having played it so much.

There’s got to be a way to be a better student without spending tons of money on teachers. I’d love to know what it is.

Thanks.

Michael
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#590347 - 04/07/20 08:19 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 13711
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Online   content
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 13711
Loc: Hamlin NY
Here is my 2 cent input:

Go to Note's music site http://nortonmusic.com/

Pick out one of his fake discs; these are BiaB backing tracks that perfectly match the fake book with the same name. Then purchase the fake book. Pick a song and load it into BiaB, turn to that page in the fake book, and practice site reading.

At his site be sure to scroll down and click on table of contents. Then scroll to the bottom of that page to see all 42 fake discs that he has for sale. I'm sure you will find something there.

Note that I do not work for Notes. I just like his discs, specially his fake disc as they save me a ton of time.
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#590355 - 04/07/20 09:17 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 645
Loc: Virginia
Belladonna Offline
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Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 645
Loc: Virginia
Hey Goofyfoot, I'm in the same tub with you. I learned piano as a young teenager, but my teacher really didn't teach me timing. I've played piano all my life and recently learned theory, voice lessons and guitar, and BIAB have written over 380 songs in eight years. I can count a song spot on, but when I go to play or sing I get off and the worst I don't know it. When I write songs I go from 3/4 or 6/8 to 4/4 timing. Many really good musicians always point it out. Sometimes I try to use a metronome but even that doesn't help much as I tune it out, since I'm focusing on my playing or singing.

But I decided to accept my challenge, what the heck!. I write some pretty damn good lyrics (my specialty) and can do melody decent. So what, we can't all be good at everything. If I have a really good song I want to pitch to someone, I hire a sound engineer and musician to get the timing perfect.

When I was taking voice lessons at a very good music university, one of my professors said that scientifically it's been proven that some people's brain's do not have this rhythmically function, kind of like some people are tone deaf or are dyslectic. I can be improved upon with practice and I've found this to be true, singing with backing tracks I think has helped me the most. So, appreciate your other gifts, don't beat yourself up, acknowledge your challenges and keep practicing. Eventually you'll find something that helps and you will get better.

Someone suggested that playing with a band would help, which I think possibly would, however I'm 66, too old and don't want to do all that travel or getting together.

Anyway, I'm happy with what I do. Love BIAB.

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#590366 - 04/07/20 10:27 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
goofeyfoot Offline
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Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
Well man, I’m 68 years old so I feel your pain and a little more actually.

I think it’s interesting what you said about the brain. I can blame a lot of things on that, bad golf, bad manners. It’s the ultimate dog ate my homework excuse!

I noticed it when I do play with a backing track, even if it’s on a digital workstation, I do a little bit better because there’s a cue in the background music to tell you where you are in the song. Like you, the metronome gets lost on me trying to fumble through the notes.

These sports watches have an app that lets the metronome tick on your wrist. You feel it only. I’m going to give that a try.

Thanks!
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#590380 - 04/07/20 11:52 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 645
Loc: Virginia
Belladonna Offline
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Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 645
Loc: Virginia
An online guitar instructor JustinsGuitar (from the UK), whom my brother is learning guitar said to always get in the habit of tapping your left foot (if you are right handed) whenever you hear any music as it starts developing feeling the timing connection in your body and brain.

I dance so I did learn to hear and feel the downbeat of the 1, so at least I'm usually able to to that.

We are all different, so keep practicing and appreciate your strenghs.

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#590632 - 04/08/20 10:42 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5967
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5967
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Make a playlist of songs you like to listen to. Go to Pandora, Spotify, Itunes, XM radio or one of the other music sources you might have access to, find a channel that plays music you like. Play along with the songs. It's really that simple. Get back into your music groove.

You don't have to beat a song to death. At this stage the point is not to learn the song. The point is to get back to listening to music and playing along. Get use to reacting to the unexpected.

Think about how you use to listen to music. On the radio, riding in a car with a friend playing drums on the dashboard! Or stereo wailing and playing air keyboard or guitar while jamming with the band!

Get excited about music again. You gotta' FEEL it.
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#590633 - 04/08/20 10:43 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 40
Loc: uk
duncanwhyte Offline
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Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 40
Loc: uk
You know what, dont worry.

In the last year or so I have taken up classical piano. Im teaching myself. Im 64.
I believe the finished compositions are simply there as a reference.
The notes on the page, a guide to more or less where you should be at that moment in time. That moment is YOURs.

I just dont experience the same thing when I hear even the most renowned and accomplished players do their version.
I think for many of them its the end of a long run of practising, and they are pretty much on autopilot. Its a clinical technical exercise.

As I creep and struggle through some Bach or Handel, its an absolute joy. The moment is mine for all its faults, and I will not have it again to experience in that way.

The next stage is accomplishment and with that its quite a different undertaking. You begin to seek or get critical notice. Which is required to become skilled at being a performer.
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#590659 - 04/08/20 12:44 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 645
Loc: Virginia
Belladonna Offline
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Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 645
Loc: Virginia
Good points Jim. It does really help to learn covers of songs you like and to get them down very well. The less you have to focus on learning the lyrics or changing the chords, then the better you are with the timing.

I tend to get bored quickly with what I know and always my creativity is pushing me to the next exciting thing. I might do better to get the covers down perfectly (at least that's what my son tells me). But it's just not really in my nature.

I tend to see musicians generally in two big groups, although there are certainly variations. There are those with analytical, engineering types who are so into structure and perfection that it keeps them tightly bound into form.

Then there are those sort of like me who are more loose and hate limitations and are more abstract and innovative. They improvise on the fly and are not afraid of being offbeat or marching to a different drum.

The best place is somewhere in the middle, which I'm always try to get to.

But I tend to think I am still getting better overall, just staying with music in some way.


Edited by Belladonna (04/08/20 12:50 PM)

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#591240 - 04/11/20 04:16 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2608
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2608
Loc: South Africa
Try my play-along videos. Just pick a song you like and strum along.

www.youtube.com/JoanneCooperSA

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#594587 - 04/27/20 09:06 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Online   content
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Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
More information, more detail might be helpful. At the minimum, a response
or two to the suggestions here, all good.
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#594643 - 04/28/20 06:17 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
goofeyfoot Offline
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Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
All the suggestions are good ones. I’m just continuing to plow through the material. Slow it down, count it, then feel it. That’s about all I can do.
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#594774 - 04/28/20 10:26 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Online   content
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Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
I was taught, study the score.
1) what is the range, highest and lowest notes?
2) analyze the melody. look for repetition.
3) find leading notes and landing notes.
4) how does the melody interact with the chord.
5) make lead sheets
6) write progressions such as I-I-IV-I (repeat)on a card
7) play melody in different octaves
8) don't become so dependent on the backing tracks
or metronome that you never practice without one.
9) break the song down into small chunks


Edited by edshaw (04/28/20 10:27 PM)
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#594811 - 04/29/20 06:22 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
goofeyfoot Offline
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Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
I’m just plain stupid when it comes to rhythm. Once things get divided up into eighth notes and 16th notes, such as in a bossa nova tune I’m done. I almost have to play it by feel rather than count because the count is so granular.I think that’s why it takes me so long to learn. I literally have to memorize the feel of the song rather than just have the count ticking in my head like a machine.
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#594840 - 04/29/20 08:31 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 10/03/17
Posts: 275
Loc: Ohio
DSM Offline
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Registered: 10/03/17
Posts: 275
Loc: Ohio
Try joining a church bell choir. I learned to count there. (And the music is pretty.)

...Deb

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#595092 - 04/30/20 07:54 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Online   content
Expert

Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
The information is coming out, now. Is staying faithful to the note duration causing a loss of the count? In the PD hymns I play, this isn't a problem because the melodies are so closely associated with the enunciation of the words. There's that term again, enunciation. The melodies would never be recognized as the song if the player stuck strictly to the formula of duration, eight to the bar.
Maybe playing traditional 12 bar blues, turned up, could help nail it.


Edited by edshaw (04/30/20 07:55 PM)
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#595135 - 05/01/20 05:13 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
goofeyfoot Offline
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Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
Well yes I suppose it could be the notes duration. The ensembleo is playing a regular thing. Meanwhile the Melody is all over the landscape. That’s probably a good part of the problem.

Interesting you mention 12 bar blues. Unfortunately, it’s the only thing I actually can play and do understand. I guess it’s because I’m the Melody and everybody else does all the hard work. Frankly I’m sick of playing at 12 bar blues I want to play wihat everyone else foes.

Bottom line, the only way I learn is by memorizing. By then I hate the song and I have a repertoire of about two songs at any given time..
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#595201 - 05/01/20 04:47 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 4676
Loc: Victoria, BC
Andrew - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 4676
Loc: Victoria, BC
When you're practicing, are you just playing the piano (or guitar) by itself, or are you playing along with a metronome / BIAB?

Are you trying to sing and play at the same time?

Are you learning your part from a written score, or by listening to a recording, or are you improvising your own part?


Just curious. What you're saying sounds pretty normal to me - playing songs over and over and over to learn them...
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#595447 - 05/03/20 07:37 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: Andrew - PG Music]
Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
goofeyfoot Offline
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Registered: 04/04/18
Posts: 84
I kind of do it in two stages. In the first stage I just play off the score so I know the song somewhat. I find that if I start off with an accompaniment recording, I wait until a note is played and then I play mine a second later. That’s more like imitation it doesn’t really work for me.

Stage two is when I go to the recording.

One thing I’ve learned is in stage one you got to be relentless about tapping your left foot. You can’t slow that foot down just because you don’t know part of the song. If you’re relentless it does a couple of things. One it slows you down because you can’t keep up with the foot tap. Two it keeps the song even tempo all the way through instead of hotspots and cold spots.
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#596209 - 05/07/20 02:57 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Such a slow learner [Re: goofeyfoot]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Online   content
Expert

Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 946
Loc: Central Ohio
That's one thing that rarely troubles me. Once I find a song, I hardly ever get sick of it. The classic instruction to "what now?" is "play it again, Sam."
Playing "karaoke version" backing tracks is tricky, but good practice, since they never seem to be in time, unlike BiaB.


Edited by edshaw (05/07/20 03:39 PM)
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