Session Guitar: Technology Can't Help You Sound Better if Practice Is What You Really Need

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mwarren101

Just because I have hours of practice time before I improve (to where my family and friends don't cringe when I pull out a guitar...) doesn't mean I don't appreciate the difference between my Fender Squire Obey tele and my aluminum Normandy archtop! Just because I practice daily with my Line 6 Pocket Pod (there has to be a sexual innuendo there somewhere...) doesn't mean I am not desiring that 100 watt Blackstar Series One tube head.

I treat these as tools but as any decent mechanic will tell you "you get what you pay for". I just prefer the feel of some tools over others.

As I learn about guitars and the technology behind them I find that somewhere along the way people have figured out what sounds really good. I don't need to practice for hours to figure that out! But as I make those small little gains by practicing, I hold out the small hope that the reward of the better (read more $) equipment will somehow make me that much better.

At least I am trying, and enjoying the journey. Those first cell phone recordings are starting to sound juvenile but I still like to listen to them. Every effort is an experience, some aren't worth repeating (oh wait, we are talking about guitars and music here...).

Thanks for the reinforcement (practice, practice, practice). Even if my family just tolerates my noise at least I am enjoying the experience and my family knows I am home (and sometimes the neighbors too).

tarpit

" Buy yourself a laptop with an extra hard drive or two and get some software you can afford. THEY ALL DO THE SAME SHIT" :)

I just wanted to mention Audacity, which is a free (open-source) multitrack recording software for all operating systems. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

I have found that being able to record with my laptop and tweaking those tracking is great for really hearing how all the pieces of a composition fit while finishing a song. Sometimes what you think will work together really doesn't mesh.

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RonZabrocki

Well said! The ability to endlessly experiment is invaluable!

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hornstar

I really couldn't agree more with what you are saying. If you dedicate yourself to the task of becoming a better musician than you will. No new computer software or modeling amp/ guitar will make you sound better. What's the old saying- You can't polish a turd.

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RonZabrocki

Absolutely! The best gear in the world won't make your fingers move better or your mind create better!

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erndawggy (not verified)

So what you're saying is that if I'm an intermediate guitar player I will sound the same whether I play a PRS Custom 24 or a Fender Squire Start?

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stevealvarez

Beautifully written piece. Very inspiring! Thank you!

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RonZabrocki

Thankyou Steve! I do appreciate the kind words!

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lesmesa

Ron I am a golf pro and musician, I've found that Golf and guitar (music in general) are parallel, you get out what you put in period. No new $600 driver is going to make you a better player but every year we must invent the wheel and the golf peeps run over each other to buy the latest and greatest and they do not improve . My best students are the one's that have old clubs and practice.
you cannot cheat at learning there are no short cuts, find a teacher who inspires or learn every song in every genre and you will improve by leaps or bounds......
oh yeah enjoy your blog!!!!

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RonZabrocki

I'm a golfer and have used the same example!
Thanks for reading and sharing your wisdom!
Ron

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tcbischof

You sound like my old pastor, so set in your statement. I dig it, talent before masking your mistakes & non-musicianship through technology. Can't wait to hear what you think of my demos I sent you

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RonZabrocki

The deed is done! Check your email!

Finckus

There isn't any kind of real secret to it. Hard work and dedication mixed with a dash of talent pay off. The same things that made music magic 60 years ago apply today. People are getting lost in short cuts via technology and forgetting about the basic human element that makes it communicate and connect with people. Technology should aid the creative process, not become a crutch to mask the basic formula of hard work, dedication and talent.

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RonZabrocki

Finckus....you said it better than I! Thankyou for your insight!
Ron

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