Hi to ALL members,
My name is Paul, I’ve been on and around this site for several years. I come to you with realization that I am pretty sure that I can’t figure this out on my own anymore. I am 52 so time is valuable as I am not a youngster. In recent months, I’ve been making better progress but my standards are pretty high. I am here to spend time learning about the thing that is most important in my life, aside from my family, guitar playing. I play/practice guitar every day in the morning for 1-3 hours. My mind is calm and it is my most productive time of the day. I have a ton of anxiety so I am sure it won’t be easy to share my intimate love of guitar but I will do my best (to quiet the negative voice) and to push myself to share and seek the guidance I think I could really benefit from.
Where are you in your guitar journey?
Depends how much technique I can develop as I retrain myself and break old habits. Hopefully more than half way?
How many years have you been playing?
86-96 and 2010-current (20 years)
What musical genres are you interested in?
Mainly Rock/Metal from a playing reference.
Particular things you’re excited to learn / talk about here?
I am curious about peoples struggles and breakthroughs as I find the instrument to be pretty difficult. I constantly analyze (with a mirror) my technique because I want to achieve more. I’ve been looking for years to find people who are talking about picking to this detail but never found anything like it unit CTC. I was shocked to find that I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed this material!
How have you gone about learning guitar so far?
Self-taught? Regular lessons with a teacher? Both?
ALL guitar mags from 80s-90s. A few private lessons, MI-GIT, YouTube.
Have you spent much time on technique before finding our stuff?
I’ve spent most of my practice (thousands of hours) dedicated to playing guitar so I could express what I was hearing and not be limited at faster BPMs. This has been a painful process and so I gave guitar up for over a decade out of frustration. I was really, really bad for all of the time I put in to it, I got very little back from my efforts. I was extremely depressed. In 2010, I basically decided to start over as a ‘beginner’ this time and this new mindset has been far more rewarding. As I finally begin to figure some things out, I’ve had to and continue to relax my mind and body to deal with tension and a ton of anxiety. This site has been one of several contributing factors in my recent ‘breakthroughs’, if you will.
What Cracking the Code material have you watched?
All the free content. I seem to really connect with the Teemu interview.
Can you comfortably play a scale? At roughly what speed?
Yes, of course. That depends on the note groupings and how many strings I need to cross. Not exactly sure as it varies on the complexity of the 16th note runs but with 2WPS I am maxing out at approximately, 144-152. (fast? eh, but not 6th gear, or ‘shred fast’. Not long ago, I couldn’t do much past 124-136. I can go a bit faster on a single string. I sense this is because my pick strokes shorten up on a single string. In my mind, switching strings seems like jumping a rushing river at times.
Any particular things you find yourself stuck on?
Oh, there seem to be plenty. It seems I am a DWPS player but play odd notes all the time so apparently I am a 2WPS which is the most challenging and explains why it is so difficult because I adopted a fair amount of Paul Gilbert’s teaching (Intense Rock) and his basic string crossing exercise is how I attempted to develop ‘outside’ picking. I am uncoordinated and can’t sync my hands up when I start a lick on an upstroke. This is a problem but I am working more on even note groupings which obviously compliments DWPS which has been a great awakening. There is still some annoying string noise when I cross back and forth between strings ala Paul Gilbert exercise, especially between the D and G string.
Sure I could mention more, but picking at faster speeds is still the most challenging to me.