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The Bitter Truth To Success

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JazzMaverick  
20 Oct 2008 05:42 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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This isn't going to be the happiest topic I've written, but I feel it's important that you all know, if you're truly serious about music.

Success should never be measured in terms of fame or stardom, for these are shallow and, in the end, meaningless pursuits. One must never be fooled by such things, or the people who are consumed with them, because it/they can only distract you from what is truly important... musical knowledge!

The pursuit of excellence is always just beyond one's grasp; and the truth is, you NEVER get there! There's always something left to do, to be explored. So, in a sense, there is little or no time for self-satisfaction. Sometimes a pat on the back is all you can do, and then you must be on your way again to your next goal, the next destination to understanding.

But I will tell you the most important thing to do while understanding everything there is to know about music; NEVER GIVE UP!! Don’t let go of your dreams! No matter how many times you’re told that you’re not good enough, or always put in the shadow of another, just keep believing in yourself and in your abilities to communicate and in the end some part of that, something positive will eventually come out of it. It’s easy to be beaten-down or beaten-up by the things people say, or the circumstances that life throws at us, but, never allow such things to push you “out of the game!”

"The toughest thing about success is, you've got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point in business. You've got to keep working that talent." - Irving Berlin
JoeDalton  
20 Oct 2008 06:25 | Quote
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Karma: 1
haha gloomy
I'd say it's as hard as you make it on yourself. We are human, we are flawed, if you can't accept that, music is a harsh mistress.

Any good musician will say the same, don't strive to be better than someone, just strive to make your own music. (I'll be putting up a topic related to this a little later since I was already planning on it)

It's true, the desire to improve is something I feel constantly too and every now and then I'll be frustrated. But thats just life, for everyone not just musicians. We have ego's. most musicians have big ones. But dont let that ego be something negative, let it encourage you, not weigh you down.

And most of all, to anyone who wishes any form of success in music, have fun doing it. It may be a pain sometimes, but never lose that sense of enjoyement in music.
Empirism  
20 Oct 2008 06:46 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Giving yourself a goals, give you a stress of success, because if you get there (and when you work hard, its high change that you are victorious) give you a satisfaction, but if you fail on it (anything can happen), it would be bad, because human nature hate losing.

Its important to enjoy every practise and after that enjoy playing. Musical knowledge depends on your role in the band, but if you are "lonesome artist" its more important, but when you are in part of band, there might be some others who write songs and give you your part to play. Ofcourse this is an example of some "professional bands" but anyway learning musical theories and knowledge give you advantage of getting to our high goals to be a "darn good guitar player"...

then it comes to most annoying thing. If you are good, darn good. Its not mean that you ever get "famous", why? because you need luck, charisma, ability to handle stress, family is slowing that progress. Mental strenght and so on, list is endless...its bit mystical thing what sells and whatnot, who get the good contracts and who not... but anyway enjoy what you do. Good luck to everyone.

6StringEvil  
20 Oct 2008 07:14 | Quote
Joined: 14 Oct 2008
India
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Success is always relative........ more the success, more the relatives....:D

Seriously, I agree with JazzM. Even if you acquire great mastery with your particular instrument, there are still more to explore.
JazzMaverick  
20 Oct 2008 07:34 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
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I personally find it exciting knowing that I can't stop learning. I always have something to do, always have something to show to people, and always have something to explore in. I truly love music.
bio  
20 Oct 2008 07:54 | Quote
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Portugal
Karma
i think music is about love.

love what you play, even if you don't play that much
create bonds with your guitar/bass/whatever, feel it like it has a soul on it, that is part of yours
listen to other ppl's music like you listen to their feelings and if you feel the same, learn that music and you'll notice you can only play it like the original if you have the same feeling the original creator had.

composition requires knowledge, a lot actually, but requires an high amount of feeling and inspiration too. you can play the most incredible composition ever (doesn't matter if it's yours or not) but if you don't feel it, it'll suck :p
JazzMaverick  
20 Oct 2008 08:03 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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That's not entirely true though; many people might not be "feeling it" when they're playing a song, but as long as they know what notes they're playing and the note values, they can fool anyone in making them believe they're losing themselves in it.
Empirism  
20 Oct 2008 08:11 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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Partly true yes bio, Stevie Ray Vaughan was prime example of this. He attacked every note and vibrato like his life depends on it. Others can play stevies song yes, but none have soul like he did on his playing.

I respect music theory a lot. Ive been making music a long, but earlier my stuff based on pure improvisation and "feeling" and I didnt knew much music theory. Nowadays, for me my new songs sound much more better, because ive started to understand scales, thriads and so on. I have much to do but still it sound better when I have even a little knowledge of theories.

Soul and feeling is good as well as improvisation, but that needs a solid ground called Music Theory.
6StringEvil  
20 Oct 2008 08:54 | Quote
Joined: 14 Oct 2008
India
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JazzMaverick says:
many people might not be "feeling it" when they're playing a song

True. There has to be this "FEEL" to whatever you do. By "FEEL" i mean one has to have a passion towards the music. I break into a sweat whenever I hear a good piece of music. My heart beats crank up and I get lost in the heavenly music.
JazzMaverick  
20 Oct 2008 09:16 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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Oh yeah, I definitely agree, but it also depends on what you're playing... If you're playing an assigned classical piece, it's already written infront of you how it should be played. It's so precise, there's no need for the musician's individual feel.

Though, when I play, I always lose myself within the music. I don't need to think about what I'm doing... it just comes. I love it.
JoeDalton  
20 Oct 2008 09:35 | Quote
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Karma: 1
Haha honestly I see that term so often. You have to feel the music or you have to put your feeling in the music. Most people say it but have no true understanding of what it means.
They just pick harder and shake around like idiots.
Anyone who has actually put their feeling into music isn't moving a lot when they play. If you have to tell or show people that you are playing with feeling, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
JazzMaverick  
20 Oct 2008 09:46 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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I definitely agree. Though at my college they always told me off for that, but they told me it was essential to look good on stage instead of just standing there... so it's only for the sake of entertainment.

I haven't any desire in moving around at all when I play. Call it boring if you wish. But I just like to forget I'm in my body and flow through the music. It's actually amazing.
6StringEvil  
20 Oct 2008 09:54 | Quote
Joined: 14 Oct 2008
India
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You should look at me when im playing. I almost close my eyes, lean back on my chair(be it on stage or otherwise) and let my guitar do the talking.

Im also told by so-called 'connosieurs' of music that i shud move on stage. Ha, if i move n play i wud more likely slip n fall down, nothing to mention about the crappy music i wud b playing.
Empirism  
20 Oct 2008 10:05 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
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Styles are styles, others get mood other way, others some other way... moving around or "shaking like idiots" :P, its not matter, you hear when its real and when not. Closing eyes is good, yeah did it myself too, but sadly my technique is not so good so I should keep eyes open a while xD

One of my friend have provably been in a following story.
My friend come off with one professional mixer from bar one winter evening where was little warmer that snow was digest a bit. They went past a cliff, where ice formed a little cup bottom of little pit and above that was a little icicle that drop a tip of water slowly.

That mixer went and puts his ear very close to that pit and say with tears in his eyes "Beautiful, thats how it should sound. Right that." and been on that position for 5 minutes while friend and couple other dudes smoked a cigarette without understanding. Acting is acting, but for some people sounds and music mean something :)
6StringEvil  
20 Oct 2008 11:28 | Quote
Joined: 14 Oct 2008
India
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I heard that musicians produce better compositions while they are undergoing an emotional turmoil. I wonder whether thats true.
JoeDalton  
20 Oct 2008 11:32 | Quote
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Karma: 1
For me, I'd say it's afterwards. After all is said and done that I make my best work... Then I go out for a heavy night of drinking and finnish it :P
macandkanga  
20 Oct 2008 12:29 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I don't find this to be a gloomy subject at all Jazz. The reallity of "the business" is a harsh one. The first band that I was in was all for fun until we got good enough to get some recognition. One that happened, personalities reared their ugly heads and the band broke up.

I think the whole point of playing music is to do it because you enjoy it. Period.
Crunch  
20 Oct 2008 16:25 | Quote
Joined: 31 Jul 2007
United States
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I don't know if knowledge of music or music theory is really my end goal. It is certainly something that is good to obtain, but for me anyway, the main idea is to express what I'm feeling or thinking. So I guess it's like learning to speak, you don't necessarily learn words for their own sake, but so you can communicate with other people.

About the feel thing: "Feel" doesn't really exist as some sort of separate entity not connected to what your fingers are doing. What most people would call feel is really just how you decide to voice a note, possibly going out (should I say off?) of your time signature. John Frusciante is a big fan of trying to slow and speed up "time," I think he means time in the relation of one event to another, not musical time signature.
JazzMaverick  
20 Oct 2008 18:54 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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Music is indeed like speaking. But one must know the language to speak it.
Empirism  
21 Oct 2008 11:04 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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Hmm... maybe, but lets get rocketed a hundreds years back...thousands years back... there was also music at start, without rules, without theories, but sounds. They knew the language without practising it. It forced out of them... how, maybe we never know :)
6StringEvil  
21 Oct 2008 11:27 | Quote
Joined: 14 Oct 2008
India
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^^^hmmm...that makes me wonder .... has anyone tried to trace the history of music?....OR can it even be traced?.....
'coz for to do that one would have to define whats music...and i think thats a pretty hard issue to tackle....
macandkanga  
21 Oct 2008 11:28 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
Great point Empirism. When my daughter was just a month or two old I tuned my guitar to play Kashmir and then put on the drum machine. She looked at me while I was playing and started moving her head to the sound of the beat. I was a proud daddy! She is two now and loves music. She has a natural rythm and can sing in tune. No one taught her how to do this.

My mom on the other hand swears up and down my first words were "dont sing". My mom cant sing in tune if her life depended on it but she loves music.

I guess my point is it doesnt matter where the music comes from or how it's produced or even why but that we just have music and we like it.
Empirism  
21 Oct 2008 11:39 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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Aye, childrens have interesting ability to feel music, maybe because they dont "understand it" I mean like we who listened much music and know "theories and stuff" and handle our heard music in should I say forced way, we dont always be open to it like childrens are.

Ive listened much music with my daughter, its our thing we do when others in family are somewhere else, she was about four when she said when we listened Kitaro that "That sound (flute) feels like I rising towards the roof"... Must to say that when knowing my daughter who is very very emotional, I was jealous and thought... If only I could too.. :)
CTown  
21 Oct 2008 13:23 | Quote
Joined: 14 Jul 2008
United States
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If you have some free time, check out the origins of the guitar. You'll begin to grasp the biproduct of ancient conquests and the melding of various cultures that may date back at least 5,000 years. Bear in mind, that this is after technology was available to make such instruments as the lute, oud etc. When you say history of music, you'll need to date back to the first time a person (or bird for that matter) ever carried a tune in there vocal chords.

But even if you just look at the past century or two of the evolution of music, it is still enthralling. From gospel hymns, to blues, to jazz, to R&B, to bluesgrass, to rock and roll, to metal, to grunge (I'm not necessarily going in order)...it's just crazy... and i know, i'm a dork
BodomBeachTerror  
21 Oct 2008 13:27 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
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lol i say music was passed down by angels
bio  
21 Oct 2008 13:36 | Quote
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Portugal
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i didn't say theory is not important

i may be saying something completely wrong because of my lack of knowledge in the matter, but i think that theory equals rules. and most of the time if you want to create something original, something that can be said "it is your guitar" and not "good job, it sounds like (famous guitar player name)'s guitar" -- you have to break the rules :\
TheAmericanBrit  
21 Oct 2008 14:12 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
United States
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...You were the sunny kid in class, weren't you.................
Empirism  
21 Oct 2008 14:37 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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Hmm, I think its good to depart theory and rules. I think theories are like "researched musical (hard to find right consept here) practises and rules are standards how to use theories in specific music genres.
JazzMaverick  
22 Oct 2008 13:43 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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Like what I've said to the others in a previous topic:

"Learn the rules, then break them"

But my point in this topic is to just warn you of the actual work you need to put into music if you want to truly succeed.

The greats practiced near 10-18 hours A DAY practicing. Charlie Parker wasn't even accepted when he started, they called him crap. So he spent countless hours working for it, and damn he deserved it.

Muhammad from Necrophagist had his guitar taken from him and smashed in front of him by his father, insisting it’s the “devil’s instrument” yet he always found a way past him and kept pursuing his dream. He made it.
bio  
22 Oct 2008 14:01 | Quote
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Portugal
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JazzMaverick says:
"Learn the rules, then break them"


agreed


how can someone have time to practice 18 hours a day?
(nowadays)
work, eat, sleep...
take a bath once in a while...

not easy :s :\
KicknGuitar  
22 Oct 2008 14:18 | Quote
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Lessons: 6
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bio says:
how can someone have time to practice 18 hours a day?

18 hrs is extreme, but it changes from person to person, remember we are individuals and not some carbon copy of the last. Just because Steve Vai did nothing but play guitar when he was young doesn't mean you will have to play five ten hours a day. It may be more it may be less. Talent is part of it but anyone can waste away talent by not exercising it, and not everyone has a talent for music or even a knack, maybe you need to play more to keep with everyone else, or if you played less you'd come back down to being the average. It's a learning experience about yourself as well as the art form.

A great example is the Beatles, when they first started they played every day, up into the wee hours of the morning doing gigs. It wasn't the same concept as most see as practicing, but if they weren't playing eight day a week they wouldn't have been "the Beatles" which we know of today.
EMB5490  
22 Oct 2008 15:40 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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from when i wake to when my bus comes thts like a half an hgour, then from when i come home at like 4 or so to like 9 or so when my mom goes to bed, on weekends, all day...unless im going somewhere.
JazzMaverick  
22 Oct 2008 16:06 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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KickinGuitar,

I agree. I feel it depends on the person, and in this generation, we're also given a lot more opportunities than they were back then. We're blessed with these sources, though we're cursed with the difficult times attempting to achieve this career due to such a large outburst in different styles. It's becoming difficult to get anywhere these days.

Though, I practice about 10 hours a day now. I'm given these chances wherever I go. Ear training for one is amazingly fun.

I've found I practice less once I joined this site, because I'm compelled to talk and give my opinion to you all. Though, every now and then my urges will take over and I might not be on here for a few days. That'll be why for future experiences.
bio  
22 Oct 2008 19:14 | Quote
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Portugal
Karma
lol, i practice about 7 hours a day and do some music research/study about 3 hours or so, but just because i am unemployed.. if i had a job i had a better guitar/amp/etc but less time to play it x( damn lack of money..

Jazz: btw can you (or someone else) give me some hints on how to do some ear training? i usually do some stuff with a friend of mine like.. playing a A and then an E and the other has to find if i played a 5th or ... playing a scale or a chord and trying to find if it's major, pentatonic, blah... i don't even know if i'm saying something completely stupid or not.. :S
JoeDalton  
23 Oct 2008 01:56 | Quote
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Karma: 1
Band in a box offers ear training. I used annother program which costs more but offers more in the department of ear training, or you can just do what you do, that works. Basically ear training is recognizing intervals, so like you say, hear if it's a fifth or an augmented fourth.
You can even just play a scale and match your voice to the pitch or just play a lot of different intervals and listen closely.

of course testing every now and then is still a good idea.
JazzMaverick  
23 Oct 2008 07:46 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
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Moderator
I'll list a few programs which helped me out recently in Ear Training:

Music Theory 3.0
100 Chords Method
Band In A Box

If you don't want to buy a program, I suggest you get your friend to play you a chord but in two places, he'll tell you the first one, then you have to guess the next one.

Things like that help out, because sometimes we can't always hear what chord it really is when we're trying to listen to the individual notes.

Also, it is important to hear each individual note. So I recommend buying a pitch pipe. Where ever you are, keep it with you. Test yourself on the notes, then play it and see if you're right. It really helps.


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