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Yes. Don't try to be great. Rather, practice an unreasonable amount, then increase that amount by a factor of ten.
Loving what you do goes a long way.
Why you shouldn't try to be great is the same reason Yoda told Luke that "For a Jedi Pilot, there is no try. There is only do.... or do NOT."
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Well, slow down may be one aspect of it... but it certainly isn't the "absolute fastest way to be great". It COULD be... and a lot of players would certainly benefit from this approach. But to me what is more important is being musical. Making phrases... being able to repeat your lines. Playing things intentionally, WITH INTENT - not because they are a comfortable finger pattern. LISTENING and judging every note based on musicality is critical.
Going slow is LIKELY part of this process ... but to me the speed is a small factor. Focus, listening, touch and playing music ALWAYS... these to me are the real game changers.
First step, forget *great*. Get competent. Good news is you can do that by the numbers. While you're busy learning you need to formulate concepts about yourself and music. These can and probably should be very broad and general and serve as context and reference to your quest. Keep going.
<img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>GW348</strong>
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<div class="message">I just let the pee flow. The places I play, no one notices or have peed themselves too.</div>
</div> <br />
RIP Wayne Murray<br />
**************** YOU CANCER!!</div>
The fastest way to be great is to eat lots of spicy foods and pass gas when you are on stage. Then all the band members will be making the "stink face" which causes every one the audience to think you are playing amazing stuff and freaking out your bandmates.
This is the quickest way to percieved greatness, cuz true greatness is merely an opinion.
I especially like the "15 minutes per day" comment. I feel everyone should pick up the guitar every day, even if they don't have two hours to spend practicing. That's why its a good idea to keep the guitar on the stand within reach. Good advice. Thanks.
Greatness is rare. For most of us, half-assed is plenty good enough.
Let's say you want to be able to do a half-assed solo on guitar.
Take a simple sequence and learn it. Move it around the fretboard. Play it ascending, descending, vertically, horizontally, hammer a note, pull a note, slide a note, vibrato a note, add a chromatic note or two. Vary your pace, bend one of the notes, accent on of the notes, etc.
Wring everything you can think of out of that puny sequence. And then, as Jon Finn said, do it ten times over again.
Expanding on Jasco's idea, don't learn 100 licks just a little bit, learn that puny sequence like crazy.
Here's one to get you started. A little pentatonic sequence. What can you do with that? You can do a lot with it but you have think outside the box. (Someone wrote a very famous jazz standard that starts with those notes. Can you name it?)
If it's chords, take a E chord and play the heck out of it. Hammer & pull off some notes, Vary your rhythm, mute strings, play inversions, etc.
(This forum is half-assed. You can't post .pdf files, attachments?. It sucks. Plus they put the Lesson Loft somewhere no one will find it.)