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  1. #1

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    Maybe this is on the wrong forum, but it does relate to equipment.

    Anywho, last week I found myself at a prominent northern NJ guitar shop to pick up a guitar that was being setup. Upon walking in, a gentleman who really knew what he was doing was playing a newer Gibson semi-hollow body. For me, as a beginner, it's always so great to hear someone play well. I milled about a bit, as usual, looking at all of the wonderful guitars....L-5s, Super 400, Johnny Smith, Campellone, etc....you get the picture. After a few minutes, the gentleman grabs a Ibanez semi-hollow that was under 500 bucks, plugs it in, plays a beautiful, creamy run of single-note Jazz along with some quick chords. It was, to my ears and eyes, wonderful. He unplug after less then a minute and says aloud "i'll take it"! He was astounded about how good the guitar felt, sounded, played, etc and then was told that it had been sitting there for months and nobody ever picked it up. So many lessons to be learned or confirmed by this little moment of which most of you know already.

    After this, we chat a bit and he purchases the guitar then walks away a happy guy. With store almost empty, I grab a 70s L-5 off the wall and start fumbling thru some chords, solo bits and half learned songs. I try a few more "guitars of a lifetime" and then go up to pay my bill. Without thinking about it or even realizing it, I say to the owner "I can't wait 'till I don't suck". He laughed, we chatted a little and then I left.

    Walking to the car I started thinking about the whole experience I just had and how it related to my previous life as a golf pro and the relationship players have with equipment. There are differences, but many similarities. Being on both sides, the beginner in Jazz/guitar and the professional side in golf, I'm trying to avoid many of the pitfalls I saw amateur golfers when it came to their relationship with equipment. I was never an equipment chaser when it came to golf because i was good and i could play. I knew inherently that i needed good quality, properly fitted equipment and after that it was up to me. It's not meant to fix, it's meant not to hurt or fight your ability to play and execute. Again, nothing groundbreaking to any of you better players, etc., but it's never hurtful to be reminded of this. I get that equipment in both endeavors can be fun and possibly even more so with guitar just because of the "beauty" factor, etc., but also a distraction if your goal is to get "better".

    I imagine about 2% of the folks on this forum play golf at all and even less play what I consider "semi-regulalry", so I don't think anyone hear has been in the website "GolfWrx", the golf equivalent of "JGO". The size/scope of the website and the shear number of "contributors" makes this place look like a backyard pool party. The minutiae that is discussed in regards to equipment by players who can't "break 90" is amazing. It is a rabbit hole unlike any other. I don't go on it. I'm "enlightened", lol. I swore when I got back to playing guitar I would avoid the pitfalls I saw so many golfers made when it came in their quest to play the game. In short, I've failed terribly. Spent to much time on the "Equipment" page and zero time on theory, begginer, ear training, etc pages. This is all leading up to my version of "The Long Goodbye". I'm sure I will sneak a peek now and then and if i have a legitimate question that concerns something concerning my equipment I will ask/post. It is fun, tempting a great distraction for someone like me, but not very productive. Seeing that guy play the Shit out of a $400 guitar and me fumbling on a beautiful 70s L-5 was great revealing moment for me.

    Looking forward to one day posting a video of me "not sucking" on my more than adequate X-700 or ES-125 through my Gibson amp and actually "contributing".

    Cheers and thank you to all of you for all the help and fun!

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    I imagine about 2% of the folks on this forum play golf at all and even less play what I consider "semi-regulalry", so I don't think anyone hear has been in the website "GolfWrx", the golf equivalent of "JGO".
    Great post. I'm in the 2% so I can appreciate this.

    I've always done my own guitar work, and have repaired/restored guitars, and re-grip my own clubs. I restored a set of 1999 Hogan Apex clubs.

    And I utterly suck at golf, with a 21 handicap.

  4. #3

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    Howard Roberts felt that overarching, long-term goals can be something of a distraction (I'm paraphrasing, probably poorly) from true progress; as it sentences one to permanent intermediate status. Incremental improvements should be considered victories, however small, IMHO. God and the Devil are in the details. It is up to the player to steadfastly strive for the good, the true, and the beautiful; and to face up to the inevitable fact of falling short and be grateful for the opportunity for closing the distance.

    That said, I have enjoyed your posts. Don't be a stranger!
    Best regards, k

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    Maybe this is on the wrong forum, but it does relate to equipment.

    Anywho, last week I found myself at a prominent northern NJ guitar shop to pick up a guitar that was being setup. Upon walking in, a gentleman who really knew what he was doing was playing a newer Gibson semi-hollow body. For me, as a beginner, it's always so great to hear someone play well. I milled about a bit, as usual, looking at all of the wonderful guitars....L-5s, Super 400, Johnny Smith, Campellone, etc....you get the picture. After a few minutes, the gentleman grabs a Ibanez semi-hollow that was under 500 bucks, plugs it in, plays a beautiful, creamy run of single-note Jazz along with some quick chords. It was, to my ears and eyes, wonderful. He unplug after less then a minute and says aloud "i'll take it"! He was astounded about how good the guitar felt, sounded, played, etc and then was told that it had been sitting there for months and nobody ever picked it up. So many lessons to be learned or confirmed by this little moment of which most of you know already.

    After this, we chat a bit and he purchases the guitar then walks away a happy guy. With store almost empty, I grab a 70s L-5 off the wall and start fumbling thru some chords, solo bits and half learned songs. I try a few more "guitars of a lifetime" and then go up to pay my bill. Without thinking about it or even realizing it, I say to the owner "I can't wait 'till I don't suck". He laughed, we chatted a little and then I left.

    Walking to the car I started thinking about the whole experience I just had and how it related to my previous life as a golf pro and the relationship players have with equipment. There are differences, but many similarities. Being on both sides, the beginner in Jazz/guitar and the professional side in golf, I'm trying to avoid many of the pitfalls I saw amateur golfers when it came to their relationship with equipment. I was never an equipment chaser when it came to golf because i was good and i could play. I knew inherently that i needed good quality, properly fitted equipment and after that it was up to me. It's not meant to fix, it's meant not to hurt or fight your ability to play and execute. Again, nothing groundbreaking to any of you better players, etc., but it's never hurtful to be reminded of this. I get that equipment in both endeavors can be fun and possibly even more so with guitar just because of the "beauty" factor, etc., but also a distraction if your goal is to get "better".

    I imagine about 2% of the folks on this forum play golf at all and even less play what I consider "semi-regulalry", so I don't think anyone hear has been in the website "GolfWrx", the golf equivalent of "JGO". The size/scope of the website and the shear number of "contributors" makes this place look like a backyard pool party. The minutiae that is discussed in regards to equipment by players who can't "break 90" is amazing. It is a rabbit hole unlike any other. I don't go on it. I'm "enlightened", lol. I swore when I got back to playing guitar I would avoid the pitfalls I saw so many golfers made when it came in their quest to play the game. In short, I've failed terribly. Spent to much time on the "Equipment" page and zero time on theory, begginer, ear training, etc pages. This is all leading up to my version of "The Long Goodbye". I'm sure I will sneak a peek now and then and if i have a legitimate question that concerns something concerning my equipment I will ask/post. It is fun, tempting a great distraction for someone like me, but not very productive. Seeing that guy play the Shit out of a $400 guitar and me fumbling on a beautiful 70s L-5 was great revealing moment for me.

    Looking forward to one day posting a video of me "not sucking" on my more than adequate X-700 or ES-125 through my Gibson amp and actually "contributing".

    Cheers and thank you to all of you for all the help and fun!

    This is a fantastic post and it shows that you really have already a great start on the guitar at whatever level you happen to be at. One point you made that is telling is that you find golf probably easy for you and you have a natural skill. It speaks of what is called a Strength Finder in education. It basically says that each person has a set of inborn strengths of all types. These are physical, mental and even runs into the psychology of the person in total. In effect what we do good, does just come natural and we can perform or do these without as much effort. That of course does not mean practice and all the other stuff is important but that for some in areas they are gifted they will progress fast. I am sure since Wes Montgomery died at 44 his time on the guitar spent playing is less than many, yet he is a master. I also think he did not start playing as a young child seemed he was at least in his late Teens.

    I actually find playing the guitar from a physical prospective much like an athletic standpoint. We can work and perfect our technique but not everyone will be a chop monster no matter how much they practice like say, Joe Pass or John McGlothlin, or Pasquale Grasso. Much the same with running or hitting a baseball. My son runs a 1:59 800 meter dash and in my best day at his age could not touch that and never no matter what training. I am guessing you golf skill is much the same an yet you realize it is not the equipment at least within reason. With the proper set up and reasonable equipment anything will sound good in the hands of a truly fine player. I am readily reminded of this when I pick up a guitar. For me it does not come easy and I find I have to really spend much more time than most to get things down. At some point in my middle 20's I figured this out and just decided I would have to work with what God had given me.

    I notice this in my world as a cyclist and riding fast. It is not the bike it is the engine. I am a pretty quick rider for a guy 58 and it makes no difference too much what road bike I ride I can still move a decent pace. As long as the bike is set up for my frame I manage to ride similar paces on high end carbon fiber frames, cheap aluminum, steel even Titanium ( my choice 1st). I bought a old 1979 heavy Raleigh road bike to use on my indoor trainer. Well I went out to test it on the road and did my usual 40 mile route at 19 mph solo. So on a better bike that day I might have gone faster but in the end not really that much. This was a $175 bike with friction shifting real old fashion compared to my $3k Titanium. The bike really did not hold me back until maybe in a race.

    I will make one suggestion just because guitars are special. Do find a good guitar maybe get a Campy or an L5 I see some Campy's available that would make great guitars. Then if you do this and get it all set up correct you can move on from all these gear threads and know the rest is all in the hands. Just practice playing good tunes over and over and use a metronome it pays dividends. I believe you have great potential just based on our thread and I also believe in my limited experience golf does have a rhythm when things are going well...……….

    Trade some golf lessons for guitar too and keep at it. I want to see you have the L5 like a custom set of clubs, even though you could smoke the Forum in a game with Walmart Specials.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  6. #5

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    I definitely appreciate the post! I can relate to the gear quibbles, I not only play jazz guitar but play rock stuff as well and it's in this area that the gear hole is a real problem. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I stopped running through multiple guitars when I finally was able to get the guitar I was wanted which was a Gibson 335. It felt like things fell into place and I no longer need the perfect amp or pedal. That was about three years ago and I haven't heard any equipment changes, I just concentrate on playing and I have progressed so far. I just play the party on Saturday it was my first legit jazz gig that was not a jam session. I felt so comfortable and I finally felt like I don't suck anymore. So I guess your day will come to so long as you don't fall down the gear hole. And sort of a curveball to the story, I bought a Peerless monarch back in June and played that instead of the 335, but it didn't matter because it was studying the material and not the guitar that got me into a good place.

  7. #6

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    To my way of thinking... A golf club is a tool, a guitar is a relationship.

    (and btw, I play golf about twice a week now that I'm retired)
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    To my way of thinking... A golf club is a tool, a guitar is a relationship.

    (and btw, I play golf about twice a week now that I'm retired)
    A guitar is just as much a tool as a golf club or a monkey wrench or a good hammer. A tool that fits you, enables you to do your chosen profession with ease. I can't see having a relationship with an inanimate object......just not 'touch-feely', I guess.

  9. #8

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    You really speak for a lot of us with the subject line! I think many of us would love to be at the "sucking substantially less" stage!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  10. #9

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    Jim Hall deliberately avoided to bond too much with his guitars. As he said, a guitar is a piece of wood, not ones dog or wife.

    Wes Montgomery insisted on only playing standard non customized instruments because then he could just borrow someones elses guitar if something happened to his.

    Freddy Green used the blond Gretch which was a part of his endorsement deal for about 30 years despite some collegues found it sounded awful in the beginning. Eventually he managed to bend it to his will. When touring with the Basie band, he left his favorite Strombergs at home - wouldn't subject them to the tear and wear of life on the road after Elmer Stromberg died and the prices of his instruments shot up.
    "But if they all play like me, then who am I?" (Lester Young)

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis View Post
    A guitar is just as much a tool as a golf club or a monkey wrench or a good hammer. A tool that fits you, enables you to do your chosen profession with ease. I can't see having a relationship with an inanimate object......just not 'touch-feely', I guess.
    Perhaps, but I can't get the same sort of feeling of value towards a set of golf clubs as a guitar. I also can't feel the same kind of excitement towards the purchase of golf clubs as compared to a guitar. A guitar is just different to me.

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  12. #11

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    As long as your instrument plays in tune, is comfortable to play, and doesn't sound flat out bad, it really doesn't matter how much it cost or what name is on the peghead. You've already discovered what the wankers in Guitar Center on Saturday morning may never.

    I just bought a digital recorder for practice & band sessions, etc. and the first thing I did was play the same song, the same way, on 3 different acoustic guitars, starting with a hundred-dollar Yamaha up to a D-35. They all sounded different, but just fine. What I really learned was I needed to work on my time and the bridge on that tune!

  13. #12

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    A few years back, a bandmate and I sat down with a dozen of our guitars and recorded a bunch of tunes as duets. We did not keep track of which guitars we used on which track and by the time we did the playback, we had forgotten the order of guitars used. We both were playing at a pretty high level (I doubt anyone in the world could objectively say we "suck"). We seriously could not tell the guitars apart from track to track. Included in the guitars used were a telecaster, an L-5 and a 175 among others. That exercise proved to me that tone really is in the fingers.

    Some time after that, I was at the home of my friend Bruce Forman (another guy who objectively does not "suck") playing some duets with Bruce. I had just purchased a handmade guitar by a Canadian maker named Michael Dunn (I have long since sold that instrument as I hated the neck profile). I let Brice play it and asked what he thought. He told me that it was a cool guitar but not something that he would be interested in himself. I asked what would interest him. Bruce smiled and said "If I can ever find a guitar that does not sound like me, I am going to buy it".

    All of that said, a guitar must inspire your playing. On the gigs that I did with Bruce, he was either playing his handmade Sontag guitar or his vintage L-5CES. While I am sure that he would have sounded better than me on a Squier Strat, I doubt that instrument would inspire his playing.

    Choose the right tool for the job.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  14. #13

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    We are hard wired to bond with things that give us joy, save us from danger or meet our vital needs etc. It doesn't matter if that thing is a house or a person or a guitar or a cat, our wiring doesn't seem to care.
    Bonding with guitars or really enjoying exploring different ones does not contradict with having drive to practice and get better as a musician. They can both be true. Nobody practices for 16 hours a day. There is room for other things. Just watch less Netflix.

    PS. I'm not directly responding to the OP but to the overall discussion in this thread.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 09-03-2019 at 01:08 PM.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    I say to the owner "I can't wait 'till I don't suck". He laughed, we chatted a little and then I left.
    DM, the moment will come before long when you will not suck . . . in that moment. And then you'll suck again. Me too -- I'm not picking on you.

    For me, moving toward competence as an improviser has been more about raising my overall level than it has been about raising my cap. The cap fluctuates naturally for reasons which are not all within my control. But raising my floor level of suckitude is work which can bear fruit for me, my colleagues and my audience.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    I started thinking about the whole experience I just had and how it related to my previous life as a golf pro and the relationship players have with equipment. There are differences, but many similarities.
    Gear aside, I think that golf is an activity in which everything you do counts against you, and jazz is an activity in which a mistake is an opportunity to visit a cool, unexpected place . . . if you let it be.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    In short, I've failed terribly. Spent to much time on the "Equipment" page and zero time on theory, begginer, ear training, etc pages. This is all leading up to my version of "The Long Goodbye."
    Maestro, there is no website which is a decent substitute for a weekly live session. Theory is an often-helpful representation of an actual musical occurrence. Go for the latter, as often as you can!

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    Howard Roberts felt that overarching, long-term goals can be something of a distraction (I'm paraphrasing, probably poorly) from true progress; as it sentences one to permanent intermediate status. Incremental improvements should be considered victories, however small, IMHO. God and the Devil are in the details. It is up to the player to steadfastly strive for the good, the true, and the beautiful; and to face up to the inevitable fact of falling short and be grateful for the opportunity for closing the distance.
    Nicely said as always.

    Even so, I feel that there's a long way to go before I reach intermediate status. The bar is within sight but forever out of reach. Fortunately, it is a joy to try!
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  16. #15

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    Folks,

    I appreciate all of the wonderful comments and thoughts. I see where I maybe failed at conveying clearly some of my thoughts and look forward to responding to all of these interesting thoughts and insights and maybe expounding a little on my initial post. This will all take place after what i suspect is going to be an "average" lunch break, haha!

  17. #16

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    There are many fields of professional/recreational activity where crazy obsessions exist about needing the best gear. Another one that comes to mind is photography. And crazy high-end stereo equip: Not to DO better, but to get the "best" sound. I always thought it funny to have super-fast cars to drive on US streets. I'll take the comfort of my wife's Fusion Hybrid, and the utility of my Subaru. And change left over for more music gear.

  18. #17

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    I don't get excited about my washer and dryer. My car and fishing gear.. some. My non-instrument music gear.. quite a bit. My guitars and saxophones.. quite a lot.

    It's OK to enjoy gear. Relish the minutiae. Let your ears delve deep into the nuances. It's wonderful how good inexpensive guitars have gotten. I've certainly benefited from that more than most. But when someone enjoys, even goes a bit crazy for, the art and craft of a Collings, or Campellone, or a Gibson that doesn't suck (poke.. smile) I think that reflects some good human traits. We love our engineering and science but we also love craft and art. And for most of us, that actually makes us enjoy music more which makes us practice more which makes us better sooner.

    Of course the real answer of getting better sooner is playing with others near your skill level and improving together. Along with a good teacher. But the gear can bring some extra joy into music for those of us so inclined. And joy is what it's all about.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    ...
    I imagine about 2% of the folks on this forum play golf at all and even less play what I consider "semi-regulalry", so I don't think anyone hear has been in the website "GolfWrx", the golf equivalent of "JGO". The size/scope of the website and the shear number of "contributors" makes this place look like a backyard pool party. The minutiae that is discussed in regards to equipment by players who can't "break 90" is amazing. It is a rabbit hole unlike any other. I don't go on it. I'm "enlightened", lol. I swore when I got back to playing guitar I would avoid the pitfalls I saw so many golfers made when it came in their quest to play the game. In short, I've failed terribly. Spent to much time on the "Equipment" page and zero time on theory, begginer, ear training, etc pages. This is all leading up to my version of "The Long Goodbye". I'm sure I will sneak a peek now and then and if i have a legitimate question that concerns something concerning my equipment I will ask/post. It is fun, tempting a great distraction for someone like me, but not very productive. Seeing that guy play the Shit out of a $400 guitar and me fumbling on a beautiful 70s L-5 was great revealing moment for me.

    Looking forward to one day posting a video of me "not sucking" on my more than adequate X-700 or ES-125 through my Gibson amp and actually "contributing".

    Cheers and thank you to all of you for all the help and fun!
    I really hope by "long good-bye" you aren't talking about leaving the forum. For me, jazz guitar is not just about playing music. It's about sharing the passion, the frustration, the pleasure, and the experience of growing in the music with others. I post a lot of clips not because I'm really good but because I like playing for my friends, hearing how they might play the same thing, and talking about the process of learning not to suck so much.

    I am an amateur. that means I do this not as a job, but out of love. Guitars for me are emphatically NOT "tools." There is no job I do with a guitar. The guitar for me is a vehicle of pleasure, a rewarding quest, a challenging journey, and a source of joy. Some people love pieces of art, others might love their flower gardens. I love my guitars and the music I make on them.

    I also deeply appreciate the associations I have gained on this forum, people I can talk to when I'm frustrated or struggling with the music, or people who understand that moment of triumph when you break past some goal, or finally acquire that instrument you always wanted but might actually sell after six months... people who get that.

    To me, the guitar creates a whole universe of things that bring me great pleasure, and this forum is a a very big enabler of those very pleasurable elements of the guitar experience.

    Golf, btw, is the only sport at which I was a credible threat at not sucking! I love the game despite the homicidal tendencies it stirs in me. I still have my set of Arnold Palmer pro-shop clubs, bought by my dad for me the first year they came out in the 70's. I also have his Titlest clubs, again, bought the first year they started selling golf clubs through pro-shops, in the 70's. I've played just a few times in the last several decades, but I hope as some point in the future to haul my (then) 70-something body out to the links with my (then) 50-something set of clubs and see if I can still see the ball well enough to hit it.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  20. #19

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    I grew up in a family of golfers. Both my maternal grandparents played, and my uncle on my mom’s side, and they got my dad into it. They all owned their own clubs. I played by default (until I became disabled), but I only played the game occasionally and only moderately enjoyed the game and was always fine with rental clubs. But I remember my grandpa practicing chips and pitches in the years all the time. To him successful golf was always more about the short and medium game than the long drives. If I had a good swing, I could outdrive him by 20 yards or so, but I was so inconsistent that I rarely beat him two holes in a row and I didn’t beat him after a full round until he was in his late 80s.

    But there’s a lot of correlation here to music. Getting used to a few guitars makes playing more natural because the thinking and overthinking is reduced a lot. The pros all have custom clubs, with the minutest details considered in the fit, because they make a living by their tools. And even casual players get more consistent when they have their own clubs because they aren’t having to readjust every time the play. So get a guitar that fits you. And if find one that inspires you in your price range and you’re not on the road all the time, don’t be afraid to get attached to it. Out of all the guitars I have owned in my life, none have felt as mush as an extension of me as the three I have now.and while they may be production guitars in the $350-$600 range, I have learned how to set them up to fit me a little better. And as a result, I’ve played guitars that cost 2-3 times as much that didn’t fit me as well as mine, and as a result I didn’t feel like I connected with them, and I didn’t play as well as I do on my own. I am a beginner at jazz, but play other styles as well. But I hang out here because the people are mush more polite than on a lot of other forums, and always very helpful.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t get discouraged or give up, or you won’t get better. And don’t leave the forum, because you can learn a lot here. But spending less time online here is ok if you’re our practicing, playing, or doing something important in life. Hope to see you around here some more.

    Zac
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  21. #20

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    To the OP: The secret to keeping the gear forum here from distracting you from your growth as a musician is to have it be a distraction from your day job. When you get home you can then focus on playing. Not that I'd know anything about that ...

    John

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonh View Post

    I've always done my own guitar work, and have repaired/restored guitars, and re-grip my own clubs. I restored a set of 1999 Hogan Apex clubs.

    And I utterly suck at golf, with a 21 handicap.
    Hogan Apex.....classic set of sticks right there. Love 'em!

    A 21 Handicap does NOT suck. Its actually about average. Means that you occasionally "break 90", which aint bad. Everyone who plays the game is some varying degree of "suck", haha. Even with all the improvements in technology, the national average score has changed little. Just affords people to be sloppier and shoot the same score.

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    Howard Roberts felt that overarching, long-term goals can be something of a distraction (I'm paraphrasing, probably poorly) from true progress; as it sentences one to permanent intermediate status. Incremental improvements should be considered victories, however small, IMHO. God and the Devil are in the details. It is up to the player to steadfastly strive for the good, the true, and the beautiful; and to face up to the inevitable fact of falling short and be grateful for the opportunity for closing the distance.

    That said, I have enjoyed your posts. Don't be a stranger!
    Thank you!

    Your response alone was worth me writing what I did. I'm not sure I had ever totally looked at it this way. I did initially start with a more "spiritual" attitude towards starting to play guitar again and the challenge of actually trying to learn to play Jazz in any form, but along the line I got a bit distracted and some of my competitive nature led to some frustration. Hence, a bit too much "horse before the cart".......diddling with equipment before learning to play on a reasonable level.

    Thank you again for the words!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    This is a fantastic post and it shows that you really have already a great start on the guitar at whatever level you happen to be at. One point you made that is telling is that you find golf probably easy for you and you have a natural skill. It speaks of what is called a Strength Finder in education. It basically says that each person has a set of inborn strengths of all types. These are physical, mental and even runs into the psychology of the person in total. In effect what we do good, does just come natural and we can perform or do these without as much effort. That of course does not mean practice and all the other stuff is important but that for some in areas they are gifted they will progress fast. I am sure since Wes Montgomery died at 44 his time on the guitar spent playing is less than many, yet he is a master. I also think he did not start playing as a young child seemed he was at least in his late Teens.

    I actually find playing the guitar from a physical prospective much like an athletic standpoint. We can work and perfect our technique but not everyone will be a chop monster no matter how much they practice like say, Joe Pass or John McGlothlin, or Pasquale Grasso. Much the same with running or hitting a baseball. My son runs a 1:59 800 meter dash and in my best day at his age could not touch that and never no matter what training. I am guessing you golf skill is much the same an yet you realize it is not the equipment at least within reason. With the proper set up and reasonable equipment anything will sound good in the hands of a truly fine player. I am readily reminded of this when I pick up a guitar. For me it does not come easy and I find I have to really spend much more time than most to get things down. At some point in my middle 20's I figured this out and just decided I would have to work with what God had given me.


    I will make one suggestion just because guitars are special. Do find a good guitar maybe get a Campy or an L5 I see some Campy's available that would make great guitars. Then if you do this and get it all set up correct you can move on from all these gear threads and know the rest is all in the hands. Just practice playing good tunes over and over and use a metronome it pays dividends. I believe you have great potential just based on our thread and I also believe in my limited experience golf does have a rhythm when things are going well...……….

    Trade some golf lessons for guitar too and keep at it. I want to see you have the L5 like a custom set of clubs, even though you could smoke the Forum in a game with Walmart Specials.
    Also, very insightful and full of good things to ponder. Thank you.

    Briefly, yes I did show some aptitude for golf at a early (not by today's standards) age, but I worked at it too as you mentioned. Golf is a game where only very,very rarely does it ever feel anywhere close to easy, I get your point though. I was always a good athlete with good eye hand coordination and while I had "some" artistic/creative ability, I was well aware that it was far behind any athletic ability i had. All of which made the endeavor of trying to really learn how to play guitar an interesting juxtaposition for me. I was now in the "student's chair" trying to learn something which I knew I had no more real ability than the average person. Although I felt one of my biggest strengths as a teacher in golf was to put myself in the students position and NEVER assume that since I thought something was easy to do that they would also find it easy, I now get to live the fun and frustration of what my students went through first hand. Its still hard at times to make my peace with knowing I will never have that gift of music flowing through me and that at best I can only get to some reasonable level of "imitation and replication" of tunes, solos, etc. As you mentioned, I will "work with what God gave me" and enjoy it.

    You mentioned applying some of the athletic qualities, attitude, practicing,etc to guitar and I have done that. I'm lucky in that I've somehow befriended a legendary Jazz guitarist in NYC who loves golf about 2 years ago. We talk a lot about the similarities and differences between the two. I think we've both learned a lot from each other. He says "you've really got great hands, you just have no idea what to do with them", haha!

    I like what you said about cycling and the bike itself. Comes down to confidence, too. If you know you are on the best bike for you, it gives you confidence and one less thing to worry about even if the differences in performance are small. Under the gun, you want NO doubt. I don't want to look down at a club that I'm even the slightest bit uncomfortable with.

    Great advice about getting a guitar, working on tunes,etc. I do have some very good equipment and have no excuses at this point. A guild X-700, Baja Tele and ES-125 and my Gibson GA-18 amp is all anyone would would ever need to play Jazz I imagine.

    Thank you again for the encouragement and great words!

    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    To my way of thinking... A golf club is a tool, a guitar is a relationship.

    (and btw, I play golf about twice a week now that I'm retired)
    The whole "tool vs. art work,etc" seems to be a hot topic and depends on the individual, but I will say that a golfer's putter is, or can be, as close to a guitar as anything in a golfer's bag. Up until this year, I've used the same putter since I was in college competing. That was over 28 years ago. I've won tournaments and tried to make a living using that club. THAT was a relationship!

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    You really speak for a lot of us with the subject line! I think many of us would love to be at the "sucking substantially less" stage!
    Haha, I guess thats the nature of the struggle, right? I love your videos and playing, its inspiring. I've always tuned into them on YouTube ever since I joined the group. Love, dedication, perseverance and passion all come out. I dig it all, Lawson.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    To the OP: The secret to keeping the gear forum here from distracting you from your growth as a musician is to have it be a distraction from your day job. When you get home you can then focus on playing. Not that I'd know anything about that ...

    John
    Haha, what do you think I'm doing right now!

  24. #23

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    I wish you could get as much out of watching 5 minutes of golf as you get from watching someone play guitar for 5 minutes....

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I wish you could get as much out of watching 5 minutes of golf as you get from watching someone play guitar for 5 minutes....
    Depending on who is watching, i dont disagree, but please elaborate or explain a little.

    One is art and one is sport. I will say that the sport can have elements of art when done at a high level, while Art should never have elements of sport imho.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    One is art and one is sport. I will say that the sport can have elements of art when done at a high level, while Art should never have elements of sport imho.
    Like piano, or violin, or guitar competitions. Yuck.

    Parkening International Guitar Competition Announces 2019 Winners | Pepperdine University

  27. #26

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    I have been playing golf for 20 years, took it up late in life. I have played guitar off and on, mostly off, for much longer. It's clear that I don't have a natural talent for either one. So there were no shortcuts. It's also clear that I am not sufficiently compulsive to spend the large amounts of time required to "succeed" at either pursuit. Family and work were always more important.

    That said, there is at least one clear difference between guitar and golf, in my view. With guitar, advancement is linear: If you put in more time (assuming a good plan), you will get better. Golf is different. Practice does not equal progress.Too many variables. And it's a head game. Unless you can tune out the bs and overanalysis. Tough to do.

    Of course, one could say something similar about guitar. Too much focus on theory, scales and various exercises is not good. Learn the tunes and improvise! If I had done that back in the day, guitar would have been more enjoyable and maybe I would have stuck with it instead of quitting-starting again-quitting-starting again. C'est la vie!

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    Maybe this is on the wrong forum, but it does relate to equipment.

    Anywho, last week I found myself at a prominent northern NJ guitar shop to pick up a guitar that was being setup. Upon walking in, a gentleman who really knew what he was doing was playing a newer Gibson semi-hollow body. For me, as a beginner, it's always so great to hear someone play well. I milled about a bit, as usual, looking at all of the wonderful guitars....L-5s, Super 400, Johnny Smith, Campellone, etc....you get the picture. After a few minutes, the gentleman grabs a Ibanez semi-hollow that was under 500 bucks, plugs it in, plays a beautiful, creamy run of single-note Jazz along with some quick chords. It was, to my ears and eyes, wonderful. He unplug after less then a minute and says aloud "i'll take it"! He was astounded about how good the guitar felt, sounded, played, etc and then was told that it had been sitting there for months and nobody ever picked it up. So many lessons to be learned or confirmed by this little moment of which most of you know already.

    After this, we chat a bit and he purchases the guitar then walks away a happy guy. With store almost empty, I grab a 70s L-5 off the wall and start fumbling thru some chords, solo bits and half learned songs. I try a few more "guitars of a lifetime" and then go up to pay my bill. Without thinking about it or even realizing it, I say to the owner "I can't wait 'till I don't suck". He laughed, we chatted a little and then I left.



    Walking to the car I started thinking about the whole experience I just had and how it related to my previous life as a golf pro and the relationship players have with equipment. There are differences, but many similarities. Being on both sides, the beginner in Jazz/guitar and the professional side in golf, I'm trying to avoid many of the pitfalls I saw amateur golfers when it came to their relationship with equipment. I was never an equipment chaser when it came to golf because i was good and i could play. I knew inherently that i needed good quality, properly fitted equipment and after that it was up to me. It's not meant to fix, it's meant not to hurt or fight your ability to play and execute. Again, nothing groundbreaking to any of you better players, etc., but it's never hurtful to be reminded of this. I get that equipment in both endeavors can be fun and possibly even more so with guitar just because of the "beauty" factor, etc., but also a distraction if your goal is to get "better".

    I imagine about 2% of the folks on this forum play golf at all and even less play what I consider "semi-regulalry", so I don't think anyone hear has been in the website "GolfWrx", the golf equivalent of "JGO". The size/scope of the website and the shear number of "contributors" makes this place look like a backyard pool party. The minutiae that is discussed in regards to equipment by players who can't "break 90" is amazing. It is a rabbit hole unlike any other. I don't go on it. I'm "enlightened", lol. I swore when I got back to playing guitar I would avoid the pitfalls I saw so many golfers made when it came in their quest to play the game. In short, I've failed terribly. Spent to much time on the "Equipment" page and zero time on theory, begginer, ear training, etc pages. This is all leading up to my version of "The Long Goodbye". I'm sure I will sneak a peek now and then and if i have a legitimate question that concerns something concerning my equipment I will ask/post. It is fun, tempting a great distraction for someone like me, but not very productive. Seeing that guy play the Shit out of a $400 guitar and me fumbling on a beautiful 70s L-5 was great revealing moment for me.

    Looking forward to one day posting a video of me "not sucking" on my more than adequate X-700 or ES-125 through my Gibson amp and actually "contributing".

    Cheers and thank you to all of you for all the help and fun!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Don't wait to post, post now, The forum is awesome you will receive some good comments and everyone loves to hear and look at some cool equipment. The process itself of posting something is worth weeks of objective less practice. You will be so critical of watch you hear, the deep listening of self and finally getting something you are happy to post. Please do do it!
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis

  29. #28

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    My experience is that there is a MUCH steeper learning curve in golf, to get to the point you don’t annoy your friends and embarrass yourself. And even then you can go backwards!

    Maybe I just stuck with guitar longer, but to be honest there’s no equivalent to the phrase “wicked slice” in guitar.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    My experience is that there is a MUCH steeper learning curve in golf, to get to the point you don’t annoy your friends and embarrass yourself. And even then you can go backwards!

    Maybe I just stuck with guitar longer, but to be honest there’s no equivalent to the phrase “wicked slice” in guitar.
    For me being able to play jazz guitar is perhaps harder. To get to even where you can hang with jazz players is a pretty high bar.

    I think I'm about at the same level for guitar and golf, I'll call it intermediate. My handicap per the latest revision, Sept 1st, is 10.8. I'm generally hovering within a couple strokes of that. Not sure I could ever get below an 8 as I probably just don't hit it far enough with drives of about 230 yards. I was a few times a year player for decades struggling to break 100 until about 5 years ago. In the last 5 years, now retired, I practice almost daily and average 2-3 actual rounds a week. (Almost all of my rounds are with my wife which makes this much easier to put in that much time.).

    But, I've put in much more time than that on guitar and still couldn't sit in with a jazz combo calling bebop tunes. For that matter would struggle with most tunes called that I don't already know. So at that level it's kind of hard to call myself a jazz player. I can play in a jazz style, but not necessarily at a jazz level.

    Here's me a "10 handicap" on guitar, at least that's my own judgement. This is something I wrote that Robert Conti put on his web site:

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    I went to the Parkening Competition in 2012 and it was great. Malibu campus high on the hill, over the sea. Got to see three finalists play three pieces each, the last of which was The Concierto De Aranjuez. The same concerto three times in one night, and it was glorious throughout. One of the three finalists had already won the GFA competition but didn't have his best night. The guy playing at the link below won. He wasn't my fave but he had an effortless way of playing that really impressed. He was dirt poor and played a not so great sounding guitar but his winnings probably took care of that. David Russell was one of the judges and he is always friendly and upbeat and gave a big smile as he walked by our seats. I've seen him play many times. Doesn't get any better than that.

    I'd encourage everybody to go, happens every three years, next in 2021? The GFA is annual, bigger, and takes its show on the road to a different state and campus every summer. I'd encourage people to go to that as well, but its hard to beat Malibu.




    Guitar Foundation of America

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    I went to the Parkening Competition in 2012 and it was great. Malibu campus high on the hill, over the sea. Got to see three finalists play three pieces each, the last of which was The Concierto De Aranjuez. The same concerto three times in one night, and it was glorious throughout. One of the three finalists had already won the GFA competition but didn't have his best night. The guy playing at the link below won. He wasn't my fave but he had an effortless way of playing that really impressed. He was dirt poor and played a not so great sounding guitar but his winnings probably took care of that. David Russell was one of the judges and he is always friendly and upbeat and gave a big smile as he walked by our seats. I've seen him play many times. Doesn't get any better than that.

    I'd encourage everybody to go, happens every three years, next in 2021? The GFA is annual, bigger, and takes its show on the road to a different state and campus every summer. I'd encourage people to go to that as well, but its hard to beat Malibu.




    Guitar Foundation of America
    I'm surprised, I thought in order to win these competitions you had to be able to play 16th notes at 320bpm with your pinky alone. I'm glad to see that they seem to be judging based on musical expressiveness and fitting in with other musicians than acrobatics.

  33. #32

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    As I post today I am a 16.7. We'll see what the next round brings

    There is one huge difference between golf and guitar playing. Even a very high handicapper can hit a shot that is a good as a pro once in a while. An amateur golfer can hit a 75 yard wedge that holes out..or a sink a twelve foot putt. Those would be "perfect" shots as they achieved their ultimate goal. In fact that is why us high handicappers keep coming back right? This also makes golf unique among sports....most folks can't hit a 90 mph fastball or line-up in the NFL but a golfer can acheive a high level of play if only for a moment. But a guitar player who has not put in the time will not be able to execute a nice chord melody by happenstance on the guitar.

    I love guitars and gear. A nice playing guitar is mandatory if you want to play better. But as someone said it's a great time for fantastic inexpensive guitars right now.

    Golf gear on the other hand evolves all the time and it is expensive. If your golf gear is older then 5 or so years it is worth upgrading..it does help.

    Ben Hogan would be able to shoot lights out even today with his old set of blades but imagine if he had an M6 or Epic

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post

    Some time after that, I was at the home of my friend Bruce Forman (another guy who objectively does not "suck") playing some duets with Bruce. I had just purchased a handmade guitar by a Canadian maker named Michael Dunn (I have long since sold that instrument as I hated the neck profile). I let Brice play it and asked what he thought. He told me that it was a cool guitar but not something that he would be interested in himself. I asked what would interest him. Bruce smiled and said "If I can ever find a guitar that does not sound like me, I am going to buy it".

    All of that said, a guitar must inspire your playing. On the gigs that I did with Bruce, he was either playing his handmade Sontag guitar or his vintage L-5CES. While I am sure that he would have sounded better than me on a Squier Strat, I doubt that instrument would inspire his playing.

    Choose the right tool for the job.
    I love that quote from Bruce! Very witty and true. I agree, equipment in almost any endeavor, be it sport or art or trade, must instill some leel of confidence and comfort when using them.

    QUOTE=Tal_175;975897]We are hard wired to bond with things that give us joy, save us from danger or meet our vital needs etc. It doesn't matter if that thing is a house or a person or a guitar or a cat, our wiring doesn't seem to care.
    Bonding with guitars or really enjoying exploring different ones does not contradict with having drive to practice and get better as a musician. They can both be true. Nobody practices for 16 hours a day. There is room for other things. Just watch less Netflix.

    PS. I'm not directly responding to the OP but to the overall discussion in this thread.[/QUOTE]

    Haha, true. Its easy to layoff the Netflix, but YouTube on the other hand.......

    Yes, they don't need to be mutually exclusive, as long as it doesn't become a distraction from what you are ultimately trying to accomplish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410 View Post
    I don't get excited about my washer and dryer. My car and fishing gear.. some. My non-instrument music gear.. quite a bit. My guitars and saxophones.. quite a lot.

    It's OK to enjoy gear. Relish the minutiae. Let your ears delve deep into the nuances. It's wonderful how good inexpensive guitars have gotten. I've certainly benefited from that more than most. But when someone enjoys, even goes a bit crazy for, the art and craft of a Collings, or Campellone, or a Gibson that doesn't suck (poke.. smile) I think that reflects some good human traits. We love our engineering and science but we also love craft and art. And for most of us, that actually makes us enjoy music more which makes us practice more which makes us better sooner.

    Of course the real answer of getting better sooner is playing with others near your skill level and improving together. Along with a good teacher. But the gear can bring some extra joy into music for those of us so inclined. And joy is what it's all about.
    I agree a 100% and hope I didn't ever imply that I didn't love the art and craft of the instruments/equipment that we use. As I mentioned, I think (I actually know) that my balance was becoming VERY lopsided. I think I also mentioned it was the "cart before the horse". I would never want a "beginner" student of mine to become overly concerned about equipment after initially getting fitted for proper equipment. This applies to most anything. Learn your game, craft, art, etc to a level where you understand what you may need, want or require in order to enhance your chosen activity. My time was being very disproportionately spent.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Some time after that, I was at the home of my friend Bruce Forman (another guy who objectively does not "suck") playing some duets with Bruce. I had just purchased a handmade guitar by a Canadian maker named Michael Dunn (I have long since sold that instrument as I hated the neck profile). I let Brice play it and asked what he thought. He told me that it was a cool guitar but not something that he would be interested in himself. I asked what would interest him. Bruce smiled and said "If I can ever find a guitar that does not sound like me, I am going to buy it".
    I'll say, Bruce definitely does NOT suck! Funny about what he said, because no matter what he plays, he always sounds like he!

    One of his LPs I used to have was the "The Bash." Wish it would be released on DVD.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by zcostilla View Post
    I grew up in a family of golfers. Both my maternal grandparents played, and my uncle on my mom’s side, and they got my dad into it. They all owned their own clubs. I played by default (until I became disabled), but I only played the game occasionally and only moderately enjoyed the game and was always fine with rental clubs. But I remember my grandpa practicing chips and pitches in the years all the time. To him successful golf was always more about the short and medium game than the long drives. If I had a good swing, I could outdrive him by 20 yards or so, but I was so inconsistent that I rarely beat him two holes in a row and I didn’t beat him after a full round until he was in his late 80s.

    But there’s a lot of correlation here to music. Getting used to a few guitars makes playing more natural because the thinking and overthinking is reduced a lot. The pros all have custom clubs, with the minutest details considered in the fit, because they make a living by their tools. And even casual players get more consistent when they have their own clubs because they aren’t having to readjust every time the play. So get a guitar that fits you. And if find one that inspires you in your price range and you’re not on the road all the time, don’t be afraid to get attached to it. Out of all the guitars I have owned in my life, none have felt as mush as an extension of me as the three I have now.and while they may be production guitars in the $350-$600 range, I have learned how to set them up to fit me a little better. And as a result, I’ve played guitars that cost 2-3 times as much that didn’t fit me as well as mine, and as a result I didn’t feel like I connected with them, and I didn’t play as well as I do on my own. I am a beginner at jazz, but play other styles as well. But I hang out here because the people are mush more polite than on a lot of other forums, and always very helpful.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t get discouraged or give up, or you won’t get better. And don’t leave the forum, because you can learn a lot here. But spending less time online here is ok if you’re our practicing, playing, or doing something important in life. Hope to see you around here some more.

    Zac
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59 View Post
    I have been playing golf for 20 years, took it up late in life. I have played guitar off and on, mostly off, for much longer. It's clear that I don't have a natural talent for either one. So there were no shortcuts. It's also clear that I am not sufficiently compulsive to spend the large amounts of time required to "succeed" at either pursuit. Family and work were always more important.

    That said, there is at least one clear difference between guitar and golf, in my view. With guitar, advancement is linear: If you put in more time (assuming a good plan), you will get better. Golf is different. Practice does not equal progress.Too many variables. And it's a head game. Unless you can tune out the bs and overanalysis. Tough to do.

    Of course, one could say something similar about guitar. Too much focus on theory, scales and various exercises is not good. Learn the tunes and improvise! If I had done that back in the day, guitar would have been more enjoyable and maybe I would have stuck with it instead of quitting-starting again-quitting-starting again. C'est la vie!

    * You both seem to have a very, very good understanding of both endeavors. Very well said.
    * The comparison of learning scales and theory is like becoming a "Ranger Rick" in golf. Spending too much time on the driving range and not enough time on the course actually "PLAYING" the game. Enormous difference.
    * I will not be leaving the forum, just be spending my time on here on some of the other discussion pages and will be more conscious of how much time i actually spend.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    For me being able to play jazz guitar is perhaps harder. To get to even where you can hang with jazz players is a pretty high bar.

    I think I'm about at the same level for guitar and golf, I'll call it intermediate. My handicap per the latest revision, Sept 1st, is 10.8. I'm generally hovering within a couple strokes of that. Not sure I could ever get below an 8 as I probably just don't hit it far enough with drives of about 230 yards. I was a few times a year player for decades struggling to break 100 until about 5 years ago. In the last 5 years, now retired, I practice almost daily and average 2-3 actual rounds a week. (Almost all of my rounds are with my wife which makes this much easier to put in that much time.).

    But, I've put in much more time than that on guitar and still couldn't sit in with a jazz combo calling bebop tunes. For that matter would struggle with most tunes called that I don't already know. So at that level it's kind of hard to call myself a jazz player. I can play in a jazz style, but not necessarily at a jazz level.

    Here's me a "10 handicap" on guitar, at least that's my own judgement. This is something I wrote that Robert Conti put on his web site:

    I think you both make fair and solid points. I'll add a few of my own:
    * What percentage of people who play the guitar can sit in with a Jazz combo calling Bebop tunes? Probably the same percentage of golfers that are a "scratch" or Zero hdcp. Consistently shooting in the low-70s and competing in tournaments even.
    * Improving after reaching a sort of "plateau" in anything is where the pain, effort, dedication and work come in.
    * Generally speaking, Father time will have a greater effect on your golf game and show up sooner than with the guitar.

  38. #37

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    where to start. How about the Gent in the music store, be he real or just a metafore, If you are good enought to not suck on a high quality (Tool) you can also make a (Tool) of lower quality sound good so you dont suck. But you have to spend time with operating the (Tool) to become as not to suck. This not to say that some (Tools) are not of a quality enough that it will never Preform its function Good. Now about going off topic. I play good enough and a well set up (Tool) no matter which brand or style I will still sound Good enough with times of greatness.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxJaxon View Post
    where to start. How about the Gent in the music store, be he real or just a metafore, If you are good enought to not suck on a high quality (Tool) you can also make a (Tool) of lower quality sound good so you dont suck. But you have to spend time with operating the (Tool) to become as not to suck. This not to say that some (Tools) are not of a quality enough that it will never Preform its function Good. Now about going off topic. I play good enough and a well set up (Tool) no matter which brand or style I will still sound Good enough with times of greatness.
    He sounded better on the lower quality (TOOL).

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    He sounded better on the lower quality (TOOL).
    LOL. The high prized guitars can become a kind of fetish ...
    I wrote some articles for german magazine "Akustik Gitarre" as well as archtop-germany.de as a side job like 10 years ago. Once I did an interview with Joachim Schönecker, a guitar player who used to sub in WDR big band – he had a Benedetto that was given to him by a foundation. He mostly used an Ibanez GB he bought used later – he told me that it just works better, sounds good with every amp, in all sub-genres etc. If you are interested: the interview (german) is still available on archtop-germany.de – you can alway use deepl.com to translate, Archtop Germany: Schonecker, Joachim
    A couple of months later I did an interview with Paul Shigihara, the regular guitarist of the big band, and when I told him about Joachim's choice he laughed and said that it's not uncommon. The expensive guitar is the fetish, but the cheaper one is used. It may be a better tool and even sound better.
    I experienced the same on a lower financial and musical level. I used to use an Ibanez artcore and lusted after an eastman carved archtop which I eventually bought. I used it for a year or so and always struggled with feedback – than I got a telecaster. On the other hand I did some of my best sounding recordings with the cheap Ibanez. I started to use it again lately btw. LOL.
    "Lower quality"? Not really – maybe better utility?

    A carved archtop is wonderful to look at and sounds fabulous if you play it on a level on which the acoustic tone can mix with the amplified tone. Anything louder – a (cheaper) laminated guitar just works better.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly View Post
    LOL. The high prized guitars can become a kind of fetish ...
    I wrote some articles for german magazine "Akustik Gitarre" as well as archtop-germany.de as a side job like 10 years ago. Once I did an interview with Joachim Schönecker, a guitar player who used to sub in WDR big band – he had a Benedetto that was given to him by a foundation. He mostly used an Ibanez GB he bought used later – he told me that it just works better, sounds good with every amp, in all sub-genres etc. If you are interested: the interview (german) is still available on archtop-germany.de – you can alway use deepl.com to translate, Archtop Germany: Schonecker, Joachim
    A couple of months later I did an interview with Paul Shigihara, the regular guitarist of the big band, and when I told him about Joachim's choice he laughed and said that it's not uncommon. The expensive guitar is the fetish, but the cheaper one is used. It may be a better tool and even sound better.
    I experienced the same on a lower financial and musical level. I used to use an Ibanez artcore and lusted after an eastman carved archtop which I eventually bought. I used it for a year or so and always struggled with feedback – than I got a telecaster. On the other hand I did some of my best sounding recordings with the cheap Ibanez. I started to use it again lately btw. LOL.
    "Lower quality"? Not really – maybe better utility?

    A carved archtop is wonderful to look at and sounds fabulous if you play it on a level on which the acoustic tone can mix with the amplified tone. Anything louder – a (cheaper) laminated guitar just works better.
    Recently my most played guitar is a Squire Telecaster , it is the guitar I played the solo bit in that video I posted above.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  42. #41

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    I think it's important to recognize that electric guitars are unusual in that there's no definite standard for what constitutes the sound of a serious pro-grade instrument, and pro-grade playability is available at a very low price point (especially nowadays). It's not like piano or a saxophone where a very few quite expensive models are almost universally seen as the standard, and where it's actually more difficult to play technically demanding music on instruments below a pretty high price point. So, yes, a serious guitarist can be happy with a $500 guitar, and an audience is simply not going to hear the instrument's price. OTOH, it's not so easy for a serious pianist to be happy on low-end upright piano, and an audience will definitely hear the difference between that and a Steinway D. So it really should not be surprising that a pro is happy with a $500 Ibanez vs a $3000 Gibson. Yes, the two instruments are different, but one is not objectively better than the other the way a Steinway D is objectively better than a Samick upright. All that said, I think a certain amount of obsessing over guitar gear is pretty much, uh, par for the course.

    John

  43. #42

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    I'm no where near being able to sit in with a jazz combo calling out tunes and I doubt I ever get that skill set.
    And I don't think the Joe Pass chord melody style is going to happen for me either, even though I think it sounds lovely.
    But inspite of my mediocrity, I do perform with a jazz quartet and a duo as well.
    We have a set list of tunes we occasionally rehearse, and in the duo we play a mix of easy standards and some originals.
    Autumn Leaves and the blues and such. If we don't play a tune for a while, we have to relearn it !!!!
    None of us are pro's, but we have some passion for music and we sound pretty good sometimes.
    Most importantly, we have a good time playing music together. People seem to enjoy our shows too.
    That's good enough for me.

    I also go to a weekly acoustic jam where we play rock, blues and country. The other players refer to me as "the jazzer", as many of them don't play up the fretboard at all, most doing simple chord accompaniment for their singing. So I get to play lots of solos and that is a ton of fun even though it's not jazz -- it really helps me grow my improv skills. BTW, playing over random 3 chord rock tunes is a breeze compared to jazz standards !!! It's not quite jazz, but it is decent music and it sure is fun !!!

    There's a guy who attends the acoustic jam every week just to listen -- he doesn't play any instruments. He recently commented to me "It's not about being perfect, it's about getting together, making music and having a good time!"
    I appreciate that perspective, especially from a listener, as I am prone to obsess over every wrong note I play.

    About 8 months ago I started learning to play the flute. It has been a humbling and life enriching experience. It has chewed up my guitar practice, but also enriched my musical understanding and really sharpened my ear! At 55 I know I'll never be a great flute player, but I love the learning and the newness of it all. I think of it as "the beginner mind" -- which is such a great place to be.
    I've already been brave enough to take the flute to the acoustic jam a few times and the guys all think it sound great even though I know I basically stink !!! But that's OK. It's learning, it's growing, and it's fun !!!

    Regarding golf, I never did learn to play -- I always sucked at sports. In high school I was more of a band geek.
    But I do think minature golf is fun, and golf carts look like a blast to drive around !!!

  44. #43

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    A guitar isn't a piano or violin. It's a peasant instrument. A great playing and sounding guitar, acoustic, nylon or electric can be built without a need for tedious, long, hard labour and expensive materials. Of course there are those who build guitars that way. Those guitars can be nice but by no means any more rewarding to play than many of the more reasonably built ones.
    By affordable I mean 500 - 3000 dollars.

  45. #44

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    I tried golfing once. Annoyed the heck out of my ex-wife, but she was away for awhile visiting family, and I decided to work on my game. Got some decent Wilson clubs and took lessons. I started out OK but over time developed a wicked slice, that I was working to correct about the time I broke my wrist doing a home improvement project. End of my golf game.

    As far as gear, I have friends who obsess over golf gear. Ever heard of We Buy Golf? That's my old classmate from high school. You should see his Facebook posts. He actually is a good golfer too, so I've heard.

    I had a nurse who worked in our office whose husband was buying multiple sets of clubs and having them shipped to his mother's house. When she found out about it, she went ballistic. You would never have believed the words coming out of that nice lady's mouth.

    I never had guitars shipped to anyone's place--started acquiring guitar stuff AFTER the divorce. However I did have some power tools shipped to my work, and would sneak them in late at night. Once they have sawdust on them, they're not "new tool", right? ;-)

    My current lady will tolerate any and all of my quirks and obsessions, though I've pretty much toned it down, except for cars and fly fishing gear and duck decoys, my current collecting hobby. I only have about 10 so far.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  46. #45

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    Boy or man? I can‘t understand grown up men sneaking in things they want to have. You either can afford them without risking the family’s budget or you don’t buy them ...

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly View Post
    Boy or man? I can‘t understand grown up men sneaking in things they want to have. You either can afford them without risking the family’s budget or you don’t buy them ...
    Admittedly my first thought was "Budget? What's a budget?"

    You've either never been married or married the perfect woman. More power to you.

    I didn't make up the sawdust story. That's well-known among woodworking circles, and I'm sure there are people on this forum who have snuck in musical equipment, tools, fishing gear, golf clubs, ski equipment, etc. Just like spouses sneak in shoes, makeup, handbags, etc.

    Anyway, there's a reason she's my ex-wife...
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly View Post
    Boy or man? I can‘t understand grown up men sneaking in things they want to have. You either can afford them without risking the family’s budget or you don’t buy them ...
    Huh? This usually has absolutely nothing to do with being able to afford stuff. Men will understand this....

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Huh? This usually has absolutely nothing to do with being able to afford stuff. Men will understand this....
    In my experience it is more often to do with space to store the stuff, not whether we can afford it.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    * You both seem to have a very, very good understanding of both endeavors. Very well said.
    * The comparison of learning scales and theory is like becoming a "Ranger Rick" in golf. Spending too much time on the driving range and not enough time on the course actually "PLAYING" the game. Enormous difference.
    * I will not be leaving the forum, just be spending my time on here on some of the other discussion pages and will be more conscious of how much time i actually spend.
    You're a golf pro, correct? Golf is very technical. I never played, but was into tennis at one time. I was obsessed with it. During my four years in the US, in NYC, I met a tennis teacher who helped me completely transform my game, and improve to a very respectable level. I went from being an ordinary player even among my weekend warrior peers, to a player others called "gifted", a kind of emperor of the weekend warriors, and being able to hold my own against guys who had played some fairly serious competitive tennis. I was in my early thirties. A few months earlier, I had listened to an impromptu talk at the US Open by then-famous coach Nick Bolletieri, who was promoting a book. A guy in his thirties asked him about how to change his backhand and learn a one-handed backhand. When he said his age, Bolletieri said you could learn those new motions if you were twelve, but it isn't possible because you're too old. Bolletieri was merely repeating conventional wisdom, but he was wrong, months later I re-learned a complex backhand with many variations almost from the ground up. And by the way I also spent a week at his academy, later one, and wasn't overly impressed by the instruction.

    I wasn't supposed to havent any "talent" for tennis. How did that happen? Tireless analysis, and dedicated correct practice. The teacher I mentioned helped me understand that and I became very systematic about it, writing down detailed lists of "tips" (and applying them) until one day it all came together. I can't say I've had the same success with guitar learning, but I'm hopeful. Not having a lot of time to play would used to feel like a curse, but even 20 minutes become valuable once you have eliminated all noodling, mindless, uninspired repetition, and improper technique. You can practice the wrong things all day, all night every day, and never improve, "gifted" or not. One of the best investigations of this topic is Daniel Coyle's book The Talent Code, subtitled "Greatness isn't born. It's grown". In it he visits "talent farms" all over the world. How could so many world-class players emerge from an unknown baseball academy in the Carribean, or a small, dilapidated tennis academy in remote Russia? Coyle explains how.

    On picking technique, I know realize being clueless about picking technique was the major barrier to my progress. I know Troy Grady's stuff has been dismissed here and there as being for "shredders", but it is simply not true, and I personally consider his work to be historical, material for future reference books on guitar technique. Troy's approach is very much the same as that of that genius tennis teacher. It resonates with me. I'm nowhere near able to match the insane speeds Troy is capable of, but now I sometimes don't even have to look at my right hand. He now has a product called the "pickslanting primer" which is really, really good and almost fool-proof. That just didn't exist previously in guitar teaching. His interviews with several elite players are very instructive. Often, nobody ever taught them the technique they have. Sometimes Troy reveals to them things about their technique that they weren't aware of. But they explain how they built it, and it is always by being extremely analytical and deliberate about it. Beyond the mechanical aspects, they talk about the importance of the technique feeling right. If it is done right and feels relaxed it will hold up under stress e.g. at higher speeds. Most of us simply don't have that self-confidence, in the absence of proper instruction, like in classical music. Hence many modern guitar stars seem like aliens or demi-gods to the average player.

    For theory, and music to listen to, I now simply discard things that I don't like, and simply reject the consensus as to what or who one "should" study or listen to, and jazz education is full of that attitude. Life simply is too short. I like Bert Ligon's books for instance, and work with those. Another theory book by a pianist whose name I can't remember, who goes into the Barry Harris stuff in one chapter. I also like the "Jazz for Everyone" material.A few videos from TrueFire, one by Jon Herrington for instance. And that's about it.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_d View Post
    On picking technique, I know realize being clueless about picking technique was the major barrier to my progress. I know Troy Grady's stuff has been dismissed here and there as being for "shredders", but it is simply not true, and I personally consider his work to be historical, material for future reference books on guitar technique.
    Other than the oldest thread I could find, the comments regarding Troy Grady have been very positive (i.e. not dismissed) on this forum. https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/sear...archid=1303718

    I think his work is a big step forward in understanding picking techniques.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)