The big lesson in a years worth of lessons

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The big lesson in a years worth of lessons

Postby spud camp » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:58 pm

As I sat this morning pondering what I had and had not accomplished in the first year of learning slide, I came to a realization. The biggest lesson Ive learned in the last year is.... are you ready?... Be true to yourself. I discovered this after my fingerpick dilemma. I was spending so much time trying to be someone I'm not (Johnny Shines), that I lost touch with my own style which comes natural. After I decided to go back to playing the way I started (without finger picks) I discovered that I was much better than I was giving myself credit for. Style is something that is in you, whether a musician, artist, or an accountant for that matter. I discovered you need to embrace whats in you, and quit worrying about all the stupid little technicalities. My style is my style and that is what it will always be. Am I Johnny Shines? Hell no, not even close, but I am Spud Camp and that's just fine by me.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby savage » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:08 pm

here here! :)
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby bosco » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:23 pm

I am Spud Camp and that's just fine by me.

I think you'll find that's fine by most everyone here at the BigRoad too!

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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby mickeypainless » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:44 pm

Yep yep, here here and DITTO to all said! Cheers!
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby maxx england » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:18 pm

Yup!
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby blues power » Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:12 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Dec-16-05 AT 09:13 AM (EST)]all so true. i have the same prob. when i play i expect to hear otis rush, T Bone or srv's tone, chops and flavor but all i hear is myself and I want to cry. I usually tape my jam sessions and have a listen a few weeks,months or even a year later and im like hmmmmmm sometimes myself isnt all as bad as i think.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby jellyroll baker » Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:58 pm

It's a lesson that takes many people a lifetime to learn. Congratulations for figuring it out. Now you can quit working music and start playing music.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby 1four5 » Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:46 pm

Man...I started way too late to be sombody else...it's taking all I got to catch up with myself. This is one of the best topics I've read here.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby grady » Fri Dec 16, 2005 8:31 pm

Very true Spud,,,all a person can ever be is himself.

Just be the best YOU that you can.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby lorilu » Sat Dec 17, 2005 7:26 am

It's like you didn't know you'd been holding your breath all that time. But also things happen in life that make it hard to keep holding your own. We're bombarded the trick finding which way we might be getting in the way. Sometimes it's just technicalities like not really hearing what you're playing to. Or just better control. sometimes people other musicians can be rude and it can stick with you. People can have issues and take it on someone else and not even know why they're doing it. Maybe that's my lesson. Learning to believe keep on going and listening to myself and respecting the things I want to do even if it's difficult. It's fresh air when people say real things about their struggles successes and laughs about music. thanks.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby stumblin » Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:35 am

Yep, be yourself. It's the only way.
Thanks for a great post Spud.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby nizer » Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:52 pm

>Style is something that
>is in you, whether a musician, artist, or an accountant for
>that matter. I discovered you need to embrace whats in you,
>and quit worrying about all the stupid little
>technicalities. My style is my style and that is what it
>will always be.

Well yes Spudcamp, that's true, but there's nothing wrong with trying to sound like Johnnie Shines. We learn by copying, that's what inspires us in the first place. You can hear Blues players who have studied the greats and it just enhances what they do.

Matisse, who, besides being probably the greatest painter ever, wrote about art well and said don't be afraid to emulate the masters. If you have true talent it will come through in the end. The other extreme of slavish imitation is dismissing the achievements of earlier artists. I've heard wannabe Hendrixes thinking it was all about feedback and distortion. But Jimi put in years playing Blues and R&B. He only broke all the rules after he had them down cold.

I hear a lot on this forum how players first heard Blues-Rock bands and then traced their influences back to the Blues, where they tapped into the motherlode. So there seems to be some respect among Blues people - respect for the past.

Once I found a guitar magazine with a tabbed trascription of Eric Clapton/Bluesbreakers version of "Hideaway". It took me weeks but I learned the whole thing. It was like a university course in Blues guitar. Clapton had mixed Freddie King, Albert King, T-Bone riffs - a whole whack of giants into a virtuoso masterpiece that covered all the main pentatonic positions up to the 15th fret!

Now, I don't sound like Clapton OR Freddie King. But I sure learned a lot. And those licks come out all the time - in my style.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby jeffl » Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:00 pm

Well spoken,Nizer. Copying/emulating the masters,and spending hours jammin' with yourself with no outside influences,can blend together nicely to create a unique musician.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby spud camp » Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:12 pm

>Well yes Spudcamp, that's true, but there's nothing wrong
>with trying to sound like Johnnie Shines. We learn by
>copying, that's what inspires us in the first place. You can
>hear Blues players who have studied the greats and it just
>enhances what they do.


I agree 100%. All I am trying to say is that no matter how hard you study, learn, and try to play like your idol you are not them. I think there is most definitely advantages to trying, but take the lessons you've learned and apply them to your own style. The legends couldn't become legends, unless there was something to set them apart....like style. They all had their mentors, but eventually they came up with their own styles. Look at Robert Johnson for instance, was he influenced by Charlie Patton, and Son House. Most definitely, but does he sound anything like them, with the exception of some of the "tricks" he picked up. He developed his own thing by taking the lessons and making them fit to what he was doing.
Great post Nizer you really got my brain working (sometimes it needs a push start). Thanks, thats the greatest thing about this forum, the great blues minds at work, and all here for the tapping. Thanks again.
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RE: The big lesson in a years worth of lesson

Postby stratman_27 » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:06 pm

Took me along time and alot of money (pedals, amps, guitars)to realize that if I was ever going to be respected as a guitar player that I needed to find my own style and most of all my own tone. There are so many manufacturers out there trying to sell you this or that so you can sound like this guy or that guy but once your hooked on buying you get it home and still its you sounding somewhat like "that" guy. Don't get me wrong I sometimes get hung up dialing in that clean honk of SRV or that fuzzed out sound of Hendrix but at the end of the day its just me putting my own twist on it.

You have to find your own voice
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