Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

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Jstanley01
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Jstanley01 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:56 am

One thing about classical guitar, because it's basically a solo instrument, outside of lesson time with a teacher, its pursuit is basically a solo effort. Something that can be difficult in the long run for social creatures such as the members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species. That's one reason why I also pursue playing -- I guess you'd call it "folk" or "pop," I dunno. I just call them "songs that I like," irrespective of genre. The only common thread being that the music is sung with chord-based accompaniment on guitar.

It's fun being able to "jam" with guitarists and other musicians. I just did so with my nephew a few days ago, who plays clawhammer-style banjo (EDIT: Like I told him, "It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it." :mrgreen:), and we had a gas. Not to mention there's a lot of songs out there that I like, and I've even "written" one or two ditties.

My practice probably involves, at most, 20 percent songs and 80 percent classical. And I have long stretches where I practice classical exclusively. After which, going back to the songs, I've always improved playing them anyway. I mean, what better practice for Travis picking than working on Guiliani's arpeggio studies?

As far as The Big Question goes, it's obvious that human beings were designed with built-in emotional responses to music. Which means to me that music needs no utilitarian justification beyond itself. It's not a means to an end, it's an end in itself.

And as far as the edification of the player goes, what more fun can there be in the world than playing Bach that doesn't require changing the sheets afterwards?... :mrgreen:
Last edited by Jstanley01 on Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. -W.C. Fields

Mick the Ramirez Man

Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Mick the Ramirez Man » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:41 pm

Jstanley01,

I have the songs in my repertoire too, "Dear Prudence" "Blackbird" and "Julia" by the Beatles, and "Scarborough Faire", "Anji", "Kathy's Song" and "April Come She Will" by Simon & Garfunkel. I've always thought that Paul Simon's guitar work with S&G would've sounded better on Classical Guitar.
:cafe:

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Jstanley01
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Jstanley01 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:25 pm

Nice ones, Mick. I've probably got twenty or thirty tunes on my song list (personally, I reserve the word "repertoire" for the classical pieces I know).

I'm currently working on alternating bass with John Denver's "Country Road" and Grateful Dead's "Ripple." The only fingerpicking pattern I've taken the time to learn is a simple inside-out, which works nicely on Dylan's "Don't Think Twice." And "Brown Eyed Girl" is an ever-popular song, for good reasons. And I've even got "a chick song" that I do, Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." Those last two are both strummers, but the rhythm play between the voice and the accompaniment are interesting to me.

I've also got an arrangement of Consuela Vasquez's timeless classic, "Besame Mucho" that I've cooked up, which I think works nicely in a mixed "Spanish" set with pieces including "Romance," "Siciliana" (Carulli, Op. 241), and a nice intermediate version of "Malaguena" that Trevor Maurice has arranged and published for free. I've even got an Elvis tune in the set, "Blue Spanish Eyes," which is a great song.

After all, who wrote the rule that we can never sing and play classical music during the same musical occasion? Bah. Of course, I realize that half the people in a classical guitar society meeting would fall off their chairs if someone started belting one out. But hey, pratfalls are nothing if not entertaining to watch... :lol:
Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. -W.C. Fields

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Non Tabius
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Non Tabius » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:45 pm

I am fortunate that I have a venue to play at once a month.I arrange the cg popular pieces for two guitars and bass guitar.We practice very Monday as well.That way I get to share what I have learned here as well as from tutorials.

May opinion on this matter is ,when you share what you have learned with other musicians and the audience like it ,then that is a goal within itself, no matter what pieces you play.Too much impression without expression leads to depression I find.

Offer your services for free to charities but get out there and operate those givern talents ,you only live once.
Last edited by Non Tabius on Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

ChristianSchwengeler
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by ChristianSchwengeler » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:39 pm

I used to play on the street in my youth and it was even like that a gratifying experience. Maybe in your place they would not tolerate this, but anyway. A friend of mine used to play close to national monuments on touristic places and had a huge success and sold so many of his Cd's of his own edition that he could not have done better even with any well-known editor. I find that there are always persons in our surroundings which are somehow sensible to our art and a few of them are perhaps just too busy to really listen - but they care even if they do not show it. I use to play at home and my wife gets aware immediately if I do not play for some time for any reason. So be sure our playing is important for others and even more important for our selves..

Kevin L Benbow
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Kevin L Benbow » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:15 pm

Remarc wrote:
We don't have to make any money with it, right?
I think this is a very important point, Remarc.

At this point I play in two small venues publicly every month and skype with my instructor once per week. I don't imagine that I will ever teach guitar simply because I am not interested in teaching. I would rather play.

Most of us will never make a significant living playing CG. I just enjoy playing. I have also learned over the past couple of years that I do not have to stress myself out over my ability as it seems to improve by itself as long as I implement what my instructor provides.

I guess I have realized that the destination is the journey. For example, I first learned some Villa Lobos' pieces in 2001. I am still "working" on them . . . .revisiting the score, playing with the dynamics, etc. This is what I do with all of my pieces.

As Glassy mentioned, a repertoire can become rather unwieldy. Keeping all of the pieces straight can be a challenge when we work at something other than music. I use the metaphor of a sculptor . . . .I see each piece as a statue or other work in my studio that is never quite finished, though some are very close. My time is rationed between each one depending upon how long and how well I have been playing it.
Note: This mind not for rent

Lawler
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Lawler » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:25 am

"Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?"

It's worth it.

Tomzooki wrote:Most people use their free time for watching football or soap-opera on TV, or play video games.... THAT is wasting time!
Well said!

Better to do real things, however well we may do them, than to be a watcher or virtualist. For many of us playing music is the best means of expression.

Langenb

Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Langenb » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:13 pm

I'm sure if you would hear the recordings of a piece labeled by year 1 to 50 you would hear the difference. It might very well be, that your musical ear has grown with the abilties of your fingers. Isn't it also so, that one day you are simply delighted by your own playing but the next it sounds all wrong? But this are short term differences. The long term differences are the ones that count. For me overdoing it doesn't work anymore because I run into painfull and lasting finger and hand join problems when I play for hours on consecutive days. This tells me, the human body is a natural wonder but you have to respect it's limits.

rcapones

Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by rcapones » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:10 pm

I think it's worth it. I'm not sure if you only play classical music exclusively. I've seen a few posts here that they play other genres of music such as folk or pop on the classical guitar, which I think may help you in taking break from complicated classical pieces you've been working on. Personally, I have been playing electric guitar and folk style acoustic, which are the instruments I have started with anyway. I am on a intermediate to advanced level for these instruments, but a beginner on the classical genre. I really find classical very challenging and will take a lot more of my practice time now, but as I see improvements in my technique, tone, and expression, I find it very worthwhile.

I have also seen a post here saying its fun to play with people or for other people. It's true, and the pressure of playing for people no matter how many makes you grow. Especially if you are playing for fellow musicians who are better than you.

Anyway, I think music in general is a never ending journey, no matter what level you are at. In the end, you just play because that is your passion and it makes your life complete.

Smith
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Smith » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:52 am

Some evenings when I'm really tired I start to wonder that, but I stop thinking like that when I realize it is because I am tired.
In the mornings, when I first get to play, occasionally I feel that my practicing is not going well but I play anyway. It always amazes me that almost without fail, the days when I doubt myself the most are uncannily the most rewarding ones. Some good advice I got was "Don't think too much".

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lagartija
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by lagartija » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:30 pm

soltirefa wrote:
A Master is content with the learning process; both success and failure. By recognizing the small successes and learning from the failures, the Master gauges success on the previous day’s achievements—asking the question, “Am I better today, than I was yesterday?”

I would not have considered myself a "master", especially as concerns music, but gee..... according to this definition, I am!! 8) :lol:
This is my approach to playing classical guitar. I am involved totally in the process and often surprised by the outcome. My daily triumphs may be small, but they are triumphs nonetheless. I do play for and with others every chance I get and this helps me to grow as a musician. It is not the only thing in life that I do and I do not earn my living by playing classical guitar, so there is no pressure to reach a certain level of playing. I am driven by trying to play pieces of music that speak to me and that I want to share with others. I build my technique to better serve the music and not as an end in itself. I always liked Owl's signoff: Joy in the music. To me, that is the point of it all and what makes it all worth the effort. :casque:
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

StringGirl

Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by StringGirl » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:57 pm

Most people use their free time for watching football or soap-opera on TV, or play video games.... THAT is wasting time! :wink:
Exactly what Toomzooki said. Just think if you'd spent all of that time watching TV instead of playing your guitar you would have nothing to show for it. Now you can play a beautiful instrument. And I'm sure that even if you aren't impressed with yourself you have friends and family who are -- even if they don't say so.

We all get burned out a bit with our endeavors, especially when we think we aren't getting anywhere or improving. I find that it's right at that point that I often make huge gains in skill, like I was just on the brink of a breakthrough and all that frustration was just a sign of impending improvement. :idea:

Maybe take your guitar outside and play, or play at a family gathering or with friends for a change of pace. A little rest is good too. (But not too much!)

It's definitely all worth it! And I'm trying to teach my kids how much fun making music is, and how in comparison what a waste of time playing video games are. I'm beginning to think that it's sinking in. :casque:

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Non Tabius
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Non Tabius » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:08 am

It's definitely all worth it! And I'm trying to teach my kids how much fun making music is, and how in comparison what a waste of time playing video games are. I'm beginning to think that it's sinking in. :casque:
Yes for sure, here is one of the purks that I have been able to enjoy.I gave my grandson Noad Book 1 . He plays piano so standard notation isnt the issue .He's 13 yrs old what convinced him from my end hopefully, is the fact that Cg Dudes generally get to enjoy the upper end of "Chicks Selection",if he plays his cards right.Rock naturally becomes a given.Granpa has reason to believe that he is buying into the concept.

Langenb

Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by Langenb » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:37 am

if it wasn't for playing CG, I would have never joined this forum and would have never found out that all corners of the world are populated with such great characters. I'm very glad I did.

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tuk
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Re: Do you wonder ever if it's all worth it?

Post by tuk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:00 am

One thing I'v noticed about you CG guys in threads like this and others talking about burn out etc

There is lot of focus on 'work', 'practice' & 'maintaining repertoire', maybe a little too much, there is a scots word: Scunnered, not very easy to translate, but generally means overdoing something until your sick of it, I have a friend who was served baked beans everyday as a kid & now he can't even look at a baked bean without turning away in disgust, thats because he has been 'scunnered'.

When you feel tired of CG, stop with the work and practice etc & just pick up the guitar when you feel like it and play anything, just improvise, until such times you feel like doing some 'work' again.

When it stops being fun and enjoyable it's because you're doing it wrong.
"To make the figure more understandable, IBM said Sequoia was capable of calculating in one hour what otherwise would have taken 6.7 billion people using hand calculators 320 years to complete if they had worked non-stop."

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