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After 20 years of playing, I would have expected to be quite good (or at least ‘above average’), however I’m really decidedly average (if that), and I’m trying now to rectify that by expanding my base of techniques, learning some new scales and broadening my musical horizons in general.
One of the big problems I have – apart from my alternate picking speed/consistency, my little finger strength, not knowing enough scales, or notes, or chords, or any theory – is that I’m quite a sloppy player.
I mainly play covers in a band and so I know what I need to play and when to play it – however when I listen back to recordings, I hear accidental open strings, fluffed notes, missed notes, over-bends, phrasing that’s all over the place. I’ve no idea how to fix this as when I’m playing I’m just not aware that I’m about to accidentally hit 2 strings instead of one, or that my finger is about to half fret the note on the wire rather than on the wood.
I’m honestly at a loss where to begin. I’m entirely self taught, but even so, surely by now I should be better than just mediocre.
My home practice sessions are now just an old routine which I’m struggling to feign interest in these days – jamming along to the same backing tracks, or playing the same pentatonic shape over a blues rock backing track. Rehearsal with the band is as fun as it’s always been but that’s only once a month.
I’m primarily a singer, so I comfort myself by thinking I’m at least a far better singer than I am a guitarist, and that’s what counts - but even that justification is starting to wear a little thin.
The older I get the more down I begin feeling about it all. Throwing money at the problem in the form of new gear masks the feeling temporarily but it eventually comes back.
At 38 I'm thinking I'm probably too old to start lessons now, and I'm sure I'd probably be laughed at anyway!
Does anyone else ever feel like this? What's the answer (if any)?