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Author Topic: Guitar Zero  (Read 7121 times)

Offline Bill

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Guitar Zero
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 07:10:11 AM »
Yes its amazing to see prodigies in music or anything else and they certainly do exist. Photographic memories can apply to music (audiographic ?). Certainly we all have different varying degrees of inborn abilities.

And there is no question we have a childhood window of plastic learning that lends itself to leaps of musical ability if started young and no doubt that accelerator door closes as our brains fully myalinize sometime in our twenties.

But this book isnt really about all that. He touches on some of it briefly as he describes his journey. The whole 10,000 hours thing is not presented as science but just as a commonly heard generalization which has been generally assigned to our learning any skill. He is just saying nothing more than that generalized saying is out there.

So far, there is not much science presented here. He briefly touches on well accepted brain physiology , a few PET scan studies in kids, a few linguistic studies in infants and such but these are almost in passing.

Mostly, so far, its just an account of an insightful man trying to explain what he goes through on his journey into trying to become an accomplished guitarist starting from scratch at age 40. Its not that deep. Its not as dry as that last book on music I posted about. Its suppose to be entertaining. So far I'd say thats a little bit of a stretch. I do find it interesting. The author, who definitely does not come off like a pompass knowitall that I seem to while describing him,  gave a good interview on NPR that you could dig up if you're interested. Thats what hooked me into the book.

When I finish the book, I'll repost. It reads pretty fast but I'm not sure when I'll have time to get back into it. But so far I've got to admit that I must be doing a pretty crappy job of describing the book. [:I]

A few Flys in my soup
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 07:14:35 AM by Bill »
A few Flys in my soup

Guitar Zero

Offline Paul Marossy

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Guitar Zero
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2012, 08:59:57 AM »
In the past, out of frustration I've called myself Guitar Zero. I even made a logo for myself a few years ago.



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Guitar Zero

Offline prjacobs

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Guitar Zero
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2012, 11:02:13 AM »
Bill, I just ordered the kindle version :). There are certain non musical skills that can help even musicians with poor ears gain what would be considered great mastery. Vocalists, for example, can gain such a mechanical mastery of how to correctly produce pitch that they sing perfectly in tune and can handle any intervalic variation even though they don't have the ears to hear it. I can tell you that at Juilliard when I was 8, four people in a class of twenty couldn't hear the difference between a major and minor chord when played on the piano. To me, that was beyond mind blowing! If you can't hear happy and sad, why are you playing music. (The answer, often times - a pushy parent :) ....
Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading this.
 

Guitar Zero

Offline prjacobs

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Guitar Zero
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2012, 03:20:20 PM »
 

Guitar Zero

Offline prjacobs

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Guitar Zero
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2012, 11:50:06 AM »
Not sure if I'm going to make it through this :). I'll keep slogging on for the moment...
 

Guitar Zero

Offline Paul Marossy

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« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2012, 01:30:01 PM »
I listened to the audio clip at the NPR website. That was interesting.

I started playing guitar kind of late, when I was 20. Like Allan Holdsworth, I developed my own learning system to teach myself guitar because I was too poor to even think about guitar lessons. It was several years before I understood the concept of "a key". I just started learning chords from a chord chart and then figured out which ones sound better together than others. As time went on I got some books which helped me understand what the heck was going on as far as music theory goes. But when I play, I'm still doing it intuitively by ear mostly (I never learned to read music) although I do know what scale I am playing in and in what key (usually). I hardly ever think in terms of "oh now I'm playing a G note and this is an Ab", etc., at least not on a real conscious level. When I learned to play bass, I had to learn what notes were what, so that helped with knowing the guitar fretboard better than I did before. So I can agree with the professor that in some things, being older can be an advantage. But if I would have started sooner, then maybe I would have better pitch. I'm still terrible at hearing chords and discerning what they are, or even what a single note is although I can usually find it pretty fast on my guitar. And when I have to follow piano, I'm one of those people that sometimes can't hear if it's a minor or major chord if it's anything more than a triad - apparently my simple mind gets confused by all the information in my ears. So where do I end up playing my guitar? In a church where I have to play in front of 1,500 to 2,000 people and have to wing it when the band leader starts singing a song that I don't have a chord chart for, and I may not know what key it's even in! Sometimes I figure out the chords, sometimes not. If I don't then I go into some kind of lead thing, or double the melody with my guitar so that my guitar "sings" along. They haven't "fired" me yet (I'm a volunteer [;)]), so I guess what I am doing has been working for the last three years. [:D]

Anyway, so as a result of all this I know that I am limited in my abilities to an extent, but it's also what makes me unique as a musician. I hear things in a different way.

As far as the mechanics of playing an instrument goes, I believe that almost anyone can learn to play an instrument if they want to do it bad enough. I've known people personally who had people telling them to hang up the guitar, but they were determined and would play 6 hours a day until they got to be pretty proficient at it. Were they a virtuoso? No. But they made pretty decent guitarists. I've been goofing around for the last few weeks on an old Korg Polysix synth and I sometimes feel like maybe I should have taken up keys instead of the guitar! In some ways it just comes so much easier than playing the guitar does for me.

And then there's motivation, why you are learning the guitar. I was never one to learn some SRV song, play it perfectly and then put it on YouTube. I sometimes admire people who do that, but my motivation from day one was to not be a copycat of someone else. I rarely have a desire to play someone else's music other than maybe figuring out a cool sounding line or something. So I've really been nothing more than an improviser from the very beginning.

And then you have blind autistic people like Derek Paravicini who can hardly talk or function in normal everyday life, but can hear something once and play it back on the piano 99% correct! Or people who got struck by lightning and afterwards were in a short time playing piano quite well having never played one previously (Tony Cicoria). How do you explain those ones?!?! [:0]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
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« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 02:08:31 PM by Paul Marossy »

Guitar Zero

Offline danjazzny

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« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2012, 02:51:01 PM »
Wish I started playing at 20. Didn't pick up a guitar until I was 56! [B)]

'97 Alex Artist 4lbs12oz; '99 Simonized Artist 4lbs13oz; '97  TransRed Artist 4lbs9oz; '98 3-Tone Sunburst Artist (Hardtail)5lbs2oz; '99 Tobacco Sunburst Supreme 5lbs13oz; '09 Custom DragonFly 814 (Hardtail) 4lbs10oz; Line6 Flextone 3 Amp; Line 6 Vetta II Amp

'99 Simonized Artist 4lbs13oz; '97 TransRed Artist 4lbs9oz; '00 TransCherry Classic w/SD's 5lbs3oz; Line 6 Vetta II

Guitar Zero

Offline Paul Marossy

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Guitar Zero
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2012, 04:00:33 PM »
Wow! Really?! You started at 56 huh? That's cool, I guess it's never to late is it? [;)]

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Guitar Zero

Offline danjazzny

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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2012, 04:07:55 PM »
FLYing makes it a lot easier! [:)]

'97 Alex Artist 4lbs12oz; '99 Simonized Artist 4lbs13oz; '97  TransRed Artist 4lbs9oz; '98 3-Tone Sunburst Artist (Hardtail)5lbs2oz; '99 Tobacco Sunburst Supreme 5lbs13oz; '09 Custom DragonFly 814 (Hardtail) 4lbs10oz; Line6 Flextone 3 Amp; Line 6 Vetta II Amp

'99 Simonized Artist 4lbs13oz; '97 TransRed Artist 4lbs9oz; '00 TransCherry Classic w/SD's 5lbs3oz; Line 6 Vetta II

Guitar Zero

Offline billy

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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2012, 05:28:07 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by prjacobs

Not sure if I'm going to make it through this :). I'll keep slogging on for the moment...



How so?  Pretty dry, or psycho babble, etc?

Would love to know more before I plunk down $12 or so into the ether.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Guitar Zero

Offline Bill

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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2012, 09:14:20 PM »
I would say its fairly dry, but light, with a steady hand on the psycho-babble.

Be forewarned that I guess my tastes in reading tend to run a bit eclectic.

My last book was The History Of The Atlantic Ocean. At times it was weirdly structured and hard to follow. But I liked it a lot.

Anyway, this one is nowhere close to the best thing you'll read this year.

Not really entertaining, but I am finding it interesting enough to be worthwhile.

A few Flys in my soup
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 09:23:57 PM by Bill »
A few Flys in my soup

Guitar Zero

Offline prjacobs

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« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2012, 11:21:27 PM »
Bill, I still haven't gotten back to the book. However, The History Of The Atlantic Ocean sounds great. Along those lines, I'd recommend The Island At The Center Of The World. Our true American ancestors, in terms of freedom of ideas, tolerance, and upward mobility were the Dutch, who lived in a federation of nine United States when the rest of Europe was repressive. People like Copernicus, Galileo and Descartes were published there when all other countries didn't allow such ideas to be expressed. The book is partially the result of many new records discovered in a back room in Albany, NY.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/04/books/they-took-manhattan.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
 

Guitar Zero

Offline Bill

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« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2012, 06:29:56 AM »
Very cool, thanks, Sounds right up my alley.

[:)]

A few Flys in my soup
A few Flys in my soup

Guitar Zero

Offline Bill

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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2012, 09:22:55 AM »
I just finished the book.

I enjoyed reading it. A very balanced review of many dimensions related to the essence of music and musicianship.

Not too technical, not dogmatic or preachy, doesn't espouse any particular pop science viewpoint but touches on the arguments some of them give and the limitations of those arguments.

Overall an insightful and balanced perspective. I learned a few things and uncovered a small mini revelation or two. But mostly it was interesting enough that I am glad I read it and enjoyed the act of reading it, even if just shy of being able to call it entertaining.

A few Flys in my soup
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 09:24:00 AM by Bill »
A few Flys in my soup

Guitar Zero

Offline prjacobs

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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2012, 07:39:34 PM »
Bill, I'm not going to make it through this :). I'm only about 7% through the book according to my kindle and I'm glazing over. He's just been talking about inborn musical talent and concluding that it's really practice that develops musical aptitude and I just don't think anything he says is conclusive. Nor does he. I guess I don't really care what part of the brain develops differently or is wired uniquely when musical talent is present. I think that there are many things the brain can do that will make our wiring more complex and that complexity will leach into other tasks, both intellectual and physical. I feel like I don't want to live in that future where we can say, okay - lets wire in perfect pitch and an attraction for harmonic sophistication, but lets throw in a little lunacy, play lots of blues in utero and see what happens :).
The one factor I just can't ignore is that this guy s*cks as a musician. He's not just bad, he stinks. And for someone with absolutely no musicality to tackle something that totally eludes him is hard to take. It feels like I'm listening to Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles talk about tennis....
Anyway, I'm moving on. I've been into lots of Scandinavian suspense these days, specifically the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo, who happens to be a songwriter...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 07:40:56 PM by prjacobs »