After 50 Years, Still Learning

Discussion in 'Music, Theory, Tab and Such' started by DoctorBB, Feb 11, 2019 at 10:00 PM.

  1. DoctorBB

    DoctorBB Squier-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Beaumont, TX
    This is gonna be a long one, so you might want to grab a drink or snack. As the title suggests, been at it since I was 10 and am now 60, so...yeah 50 years. I didn’t really get past cowboy chords in the church acoustic group till I was around 13 or 14. So, that would’ve been the early to mid 70’s and the start of my affinity for classic rock. My gear was a Silvertone and a Twin Reverb (that I wish I still had). By the late 70’s I had graduated to a Gibson ES335 and a Peavey Mace but still rocked the Twin too. I didn’t know guitar pedals from flower pedals and still don’t really. So to get that nice distortion that was so popular then I just cranked the pre-gain(gain) and controlled the volume with the post-gain(volume). So this long winded intro has been to discuss the problem I had/have with playing technique. To produce muddy free distortion and fuzz I had to play strictly barre chords. Any open string sounded like crap. Needless to say, open/first position chords were out of the question. So now 50 years later, I’m about 10 years into a totally different style. More clean tones, a little crunch, more overdrive than distortion and yes, open position chords. The icing on the cake is finally being able to accurately recreate AC/DC songs. When I was young I thought their tone was a lot more distorted than it really is, and all those open G and D chords I tried then were a reverberation mess. The other technique that I’m still trying to master is muting of unplucked strings, be it palm or fretting hand muting. Never had to worry much about that with barre chords, just grab ‘um all and bang ‘um all. So yeah, still learning, guess you’re always still learning if you’re still playing. But don’t get me wrong, I still fire up the distortion once in a while and crank out some Bad Company, some ZZ Top or Thin Lizzy type stuff.
    wonkenstein and CajunJam like this.
  2. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
    I hear ya on the still learning thing..I find something new nearly every time I play..Then I wonder how in hell did I not see that earlier..
    wonkenstein likes this.
  3. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Learning. Being open to new sounds. New techniques. That's for many a big part of the joy of playing.

    When I got back into electric playing in the late `80s those were by far the things that mattered to me most. Between my first learning and my band years (early to late `60s) and my return to rock 'tabs' had come about, and entire books, not just of songs, but of how the musicians that recorded them actually played the pieces. (Or someone's interpretation of that).

    As my Dear One and I have been going through and reorganizing our music room many of those old books have been found and come to see the light of day for the first time in well over 20 years. SRV, Hendrix, Clapton. But in truth I doubt if they'll get used much. For these day my voyages of guitar discovery tend to be in my own waters. Sort'a sitting back and listening as motor memory plays a song (most often, apart from my beloved old surf material, one of my own). And not rarely, to my amazement, my fingers, or 'second self', or whatever one wishes to call it, finds a new road or a twist in an old one.

    "Hey, what'd you just do? Can you do it again so I can crib it?"

    Is that learning?

    Not in th classic, western, sense. But I bet a zen master would say yes.

    Hmm... Anyone know the chords to "Ommmmm"?


    wonkenstein and DoctorBB like this.
  4. Tconroy

    Tconroy Squier-Nut

    Sep 11, 2015
    kansas city mo
    I am finding out that I have trouble with diminished chords like G. My index finger does not want to play well when trying to bar. Major and minor are fine though. I really dont like the CAGE system but know I need it to play things. I play mostly lead anymore though. when we get older we just have to do what we can and work around the things we cant.
  5. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    Yup. Still learning to play here, too!