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Thread: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

  1. #1
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    I once subscribed to a guitar site but quit after it became obvious (to me) that it was too basic. Funny thing though, I still get emails from the site -- not trying to sell me anything or trying to get me to re-subscribe -- as if I were still a subscriber.

    This arrived in my inbox today. I've actually seen it before, but I looked it over again, and thought it actually had some good ideas. Truthfully, I think there are parts of this that I need to work on! The comments aren't mine, rather they are part of the "quiz." Here goes...

    Can you play five songs from start to finish?
    This is the first big goal I give to all students and it's very important.


    Can you play one exact fingerpicking pattern right now?
    If not, and you love fingerpicking, I recommend you learn one right now, and then aim to learn 2-3 so you have them rock solid and "in the bank" so to speak over the coming months.


    Can you play any 10-20 second piece of music (an intro, verse, riff or any other section) 5 times in a row perfectly?
    If not, you probably need to slow down and focus more. Too many guitarists make the same mistakes over and over. Go slow, and get in the habit of playing the things you practice 5 times in a row perfectly without any mistakes - I call this the "5 times rule".

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 2)

    Are you able to sing any note out loud and find it on the guitar?
    Try it, sing a note, just go "laaa" out loud, hold the pitch and try to find this note on the guitar. It`s hard but getting good at this will train your ear, brain and fingers to know where the notes you hear in your head are, but on the guitar. Useful? Indeedio.


    Do you have a list of 3-5 things that are holding back your playing right now? If not, why not?
    The things that hold back your playing, (and the ones that make the dog run away most) are what you need to zone in, focus on and FIX! Play what you enjoy but create a little list of what holds you back and spend 5 minutes a day at least on fixing these frustrating areas.



    Can you play 5 riffs back to back without any noticeable pause?
    If not, I highly recommend you learn how to. This is what I call a "riff medley" and they are lots of fun. Practising riffs like this gives you a fun party piece (always impressive at social events) and they help you practice lots of skills in a short space of time (as long as the riffs are remotely varied that is - which most are).


    Are you able to play one solo fingerstyle arrangement where no singing is required?
    This is one of the highlights of playing guitar, and is what I focus a fair bit of my teaching on these days - the resulting music and the skills and pleasure students get from these blows them away.

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 3)

    Can you take the chords of Am, F, C, and G and create any sort of jam from them right now?
    If not, you may need to get good at them, learn a fingerpicking or strumming pattern and you can even get good at embellishing these chords - it`s all good fun and healthy for you (being creative like this is proven to be good for brain health and your brain age too).

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    about the only one I feel confident in answering to the affirmative is the last one.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    I could answer yes to all but finger picking patterns while I sing; that's because I'm having to work on my fingerpicking skills. I'm still trying to get it into muscle memory.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    And the most important:

    DO YOU PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME OR OTHER TIMEKEEPING DEVICE?

    Most people don't and when they start playing with a band it shows.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    And the most important:

    DO YOU PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME OR OTHER TIMEKEEPING DEVICE?

    Most people don't and when they start playing with a band it shows.
    That's a great point! I have a metronome app on my AppleTV, and I just bought a pair of DeltaLab CT-30 clip-on tuners that have a metronome included!


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    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    I could answer yes to all but:

    fingerpicking: I don’t do it. My nails are too thin and flat, I don’t keep them long and fingerpicking with fingertips is just not good sounding (or comfortable) to me.

    singing a note and finding it on the fretboard: I can do it but will not always get it right.
    Last edited by Sérgio; 02-11-2020 at 12:00 AM.

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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    Yes to all but I wrote them. Is that a problem?

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    I don't use a metronome, but when I'm learning, I play along to recordings of all kinds to work on my rhythm. I don't approach timing theoretically; instead I get in there and play and learn and re-learn the rhythms. I don't get a lot out of playing alone with a metronome, especially when I get more out of playing with real songs. Sure, some songs needed a metronome themselves, but it's reality, and you have to deal with that situation to as a guitarist.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Forum Member CoyotesGator's Avatar
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    Re: A Two Minute Mini-Quiz (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesr1963 View Post
    Yes to all but I wrote them. Is that a problem?


    Excellent answer!



    I’m not much of a singer, voice is big and goofy and I could easily point to three things that limit my playing.

    I get extra credit for being a four string man, right?

    What happend?
    Who let the magic smoke out?

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