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Thread: TEG or MMFG?

  1. #1

    Default TEG or MMFG?

    I'm really torn between completely committing to either The Efficient Guitarist or Modern Method For Guitar. I have to kind of start from the beginning and work my way up, trying to set aside the stuff I know or think I know, and using it only to supplement the new learning.

    Does anyone have experiences to share regarding one or both of these courses?

    I am looking for a course that will teach me the INSTRUMENT, and specifically, improvisation: every note on the fretboard; rhythm; solo; scales; arpeggios; chords, etc.

    Is anyone else at kind of a crossroads as I am? Anyone interested in kind of "joining together" and going through one of the courses together?

    I have decided to follow the learning path "consummate improviser", but really want to have a "method" course to really get to know the instrument.

    Thanks for reading and sorry so long.
    "Lisa...the blues ain't about makin' yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse!" Bleeding Gums Murphy

    Gear:
    Rice Custom Guitar #171
    PRS SE Custom 24
    Taylor 114CE
    Zinky Blue Velvet 50W head and Zinky 2x10 cab
    Reverend Hellhound 40/60

  2. #2

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    Hey Bluefugue!

    I'm about at the same place as you are. I need to grab some structure and take what little time I have and have some fun and make some progress. These two courses are different in a number of ways. The Efficient Guitarist started it's life as a book first and you can see that the structure is different from the way the Modern Method is put together - but both are from books or notes and well thought out from front to back. I'm looking at one of the PDF's from the Modern Method and it's 12 pages of Horizontal Scale exercises in many keys for the beginner, there's the next 24 page PDF of 110 Essential Fingerings for a C Scale - you know, a bit more structure than you'll get from the Efficient Guitarist. But then, while the step by step process is not as strong in the Efficient Guitarist if you are a bit lost on the background of movable chords, Major, minor and dominant chords, pentatonics, minor and major scales and you want to get a handle on those important concepts quickly then you should hit the Efficient Guitarist first. I think I'm going back through the Efficient Guitarist then crank on the Modern Method. And if you don't have a copy of the Neck Diagrams program you might consider picking that up too since if you're looking for more work on knowing every notes and chord and arpeggio and such you can't do any better than that program for creating visual aids and for review. http://www.neckdiagrams.com/

    There's a good start to the discussion.
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

    email: gadlaw@gmail.com - http://www.facebook.com/gadlaw

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply, Gadlaw! I'm so lost sometimes. I get a spark of insight and think, "FINALLY! I have a foothold". Then, that dissipates and I'm back to searching.

    One thing that bothers me about my playing is that I have to have "markers". Like, when I solo on "Smoke on the Water", I always start at the same place, G-minor pentatonic starting at 4th string, 5th fret. How do guitarists get to know the fretboard so well that, no matter where their fretting hand is when the solo comes up, they can just start playing? It's like the fretboard is one seamless "thing", and that's the level I desperately want to get to. I know the key the song is in, the chords and the progression, and when it comes time to solo, I can just start playing, no matter where my hands are, rather than thinking, "Oh, crap! Time to solo!! Got to get back to my starting point".
    "Lisa...the blues ain't about makin' yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse!" Bleeding Gums Murphy

    Gear:
    Rice Custom Guitar #171
    PRS SE Custom 24
    Taylor 114CE
    Zinky Blue Velvet 50W head and Zinky 2x10 cab
    Reverend Hellhound 40/60

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefugue View Post
    It's like the fretboard is one seamless "thing", and that's the level I desperately want to get to.
    That's the basis of Howard Morgen's Fingerboard Breakthrough. He laments that most students learn isolated chord "grips" without understanding how they all fit together.

    In addition to that course, learning the CAGED system will help immensely. "CAGED" is an acronym for how the movable chord shapes line up. But if you pay close attention, you will see that the pentatonic scale shapes overlay them. That's how you can always know where to start soloing -- just find your chord. (see CAGED Cracked)

    Finally, learning your inversions and how they relate to the CAGED system will go a very long way in helping to memorize the fretboard. (See Inversion Excursion, Modern Method, and 50 Blues Rock Rhythms -- I suggest starting with this one just to see the power of inversions in your rhythm playing)

  5. #5

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    TEG is a good start. You will learn the fretboard fundamentals and start improvising in no time.
    Modern Method is a lifetime companion, since it gives you in depth studies which will give a deep knowledge melodically and harmonically.(I'd use this one in bits seince it is really deep!).

  6. #6

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    You know another thing, remember when you were just learning the regular tuning notes and how that took a little bit of doing? You know, now you can go and without thinking say E A D G B E - as you pick each string. Without thinking. That took some time, same with your C Chord, your D Chord, G Chord....... - without thinking you know them. That didn't take a minute and the first time you recited those things back to yourself it wasn't deep in your memory either but as you keep studying it'll accumulate and you know, the pentatonic shapes start flowing one into another, you'll just 'know' that note over there is an A note or that if you barre across the six strings on the third fret and make an E major 'shape' you've got a G major, or if you take that same barre and make an E minor shape you've made a G minor. Then you're figuring out what the Caged System is taking about and look over there you can see where the A notes are further along the fretboard and you know that G note is just over there. Just accumulated knowledge which gets you to your 'aha' moment then your next one. And even if you're picking some of these things up in the 'wrong' order according to this method or that method - you're still getting it. And it's soo good when you get those aha moments.
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

    email: gadlaw@gmail.com - http://www.facebook.com/gadlaw

  7. #7

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    Gad shows two essential courses. TEG gives you the path (scales and arpeggios) for soloing. And Sweet Notes shows you the fundamentals of melodic sloing (hence 'sweet) which opens so many doors if you want to master improvisation.

  8. #8

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    Hmmm. TEG, Sweet Notes and Rhythm Craft, along with the 50 Blues Licks course. Sound productive? Both Sweet Notes and Rhythm Craft are in the "consummate improviser" learning path.

    Is it ill-advised to start with TEG, then move on to MMFG, as a more in-depth study?

    Perhaps I should stick with and finish CAGED cracked? I got some good "aha" moments in that course. Just couldn't jel with BC's teaching style. He's a genius player and teacher, but not my cup of tea instructor-wise.

    I feel so lost sometimes. Sorry to ramble, guys.
    "Lisa...the blues ain't about makin' yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse!" Bleeding Gums Murphy

    Gear:
    Rice Custom Guitar #171
    PRS SE Custom 24
    Taylor 114CE
    Zinky Blue Velvet 50W head and Zinky 2x10 cab
    Reverend Hellhound 40/60

  9. #9

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefugue View Post
    One thing that bothers me about my playing is that I have to have "markers". Like, when I solo on "Smoke on the Water", I always start at the same place, G-minor pentatonic starting at 4th string, 5th fret. How do guitarists get to know the fretboard so well that, no matter where their fretting hand is when the solo comes up, they can just start playing? It's like the fretboard is one seamless "thing", and that's the level I desperately want to get to. I know the key the song is in, the chords and the progression, and when it comes time to solo, I can just start playing, no matter where my hands are, rather than thinking, "Oh, crap! Time to solo!! Got to get back to my starting point".
    I think most of us probably face this and go through it and it just takes time and practice (are we tired of hearing THAT yet???). I know I am working to overcome this too.

    A few things I am doing to help ingrain the pentatonic scales: 1 - playing in all 5 positions in a key and play in both directions e.g. in the key of A minor moving down the neck to positions 5 and 4 too, not just positions 1-5 starting at the 5th fret. 2 - call out a position and key and try to quickly find it and play, e.g. position 3, G minor (this was a suggestion from my instructor but I haven't used it much). 3 - Similar to #1 but using just 2 or 3 positions and playing back and forth between them getting very familiar with them so I can "see" them as one larger form instead of 2-3 smaller connected ones. So I pick a key, say A minor, and start in the 1st position and just jam and noodle going between positions 1 and 2. To extend that I add position 5 down the neck so I'm then playing 5-1-2 connected.

    With the key of A minor now, I can jump to pretty much anywhere on the neck and pick up the scale (though what I need next is to learn the notes and intervals within the scale to hit the best notes). I was also pretty proficient at this in the key of G minor but the trouble for me is the knowledge fades pretty quickly if I don't do these exercises for awhile, which I have not in the past few weeks as I've worked on other things. That's one of the main reasons I created a practice log, so I can see things I was working on that I need to go back to and keep incorporating things into my practice an rotate them so nothing I learned gets lost.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefugue View Post
    Hmmm. TEG, Sweet Notes and Rhythm Craft, along with the 50 Blues Licks course. Sound productive? Both Sweet Notes and Rhythm Craft are in the "consummate improviser" learning path.

    Is it ill-advised to start with TEG, then move on to MMFG, as a more in-depth study?

    Perhaps I should stick with and finish CAGED cracked? I got some good "aha" moments in that course. Just couldn't jel with BC's teaching style. He's a genius player and teacher, but not my cup of tea instructor-wise.

    I feel so lost sometimes. Sorry to ramble, guys.
    We all feel lost at times. That's what the forums are for!

    To be clear, I was talking about Jeff Scheetz's 50 Blues Rock Rhythms. At the very least, give the free samples a look. I'm not sure which ones they posted for free. But Jeff is big on inversions, and they appear a lot in that course.

    As for ill-advised, I don't think that word can be associated with True Fire. If a course is beyond or beneath you, you'll find out pretty quickly, but none of them will steer you wrong, regardless of the order you take them in.

    And regarding BC, I am a fan of his, but I understand if you are not. And if the instructor doesn't connect with you, it may slow you down. The thing is, I'm not aware of any other course that really could work as an alternative. That's somewhat surprising, since CAGED is a key concept for popular guitar, but then, CAGED Cracked is the definitive course, so TF probably doesn't want to invest in repeating themselves.

  11. #11
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    When I went to college, I had no idea what I was going to do or be in my life and I took a lot of variety before I settled in on a career in the US Navy. Then all I cared about was getting the degree but all those courses are part of me. When I joined the Navy I studied so much stuff on everything from celestial navigation to corrosion prevention. I was in 2 years of training before I even found out what aircraft I would be on. Again, all that stuff just soaks in. Then I went to law school, in all of law school I think I had 3, just 3 classes that had anything to do with the first 15 years of my legal career.

    These three areas of training had one thing in common they gave me vast amounts of knowledge in order to make me think better. Eventually I got some specifics in each area but I had this great pool of experience and training to help me think through things in situations I could never foresee.

    To me personally that's the way Truefire has been. The more courses I work through the more I have to draw from. I might never play a certain blues lick again or use a particular mode or rhythm pattern. I try to remember some but remembering them all is impossible. Each lesson though, has stretched my fingers and my mind and become part of my playing in ways I don't understand but yet notice in my greater ease in playing and learning the next lesson. I could work through 3 or 4 courses in the next 6 months and while I might not remember a lot of the specifics (hey, I am over 50) I guarantee you my playing will be better and that's why I am here.

    So don't get to wrapped up in which course to take, none of them will make you Jimmy Page but they will each play a part in making you....well...you. Of the ones you are considering they are all wonderful. If you have already worked through some of CAGED Cracked try something else. I like Frank Vignola's stuff a lot but Howard Morgan's course is wonderful as well. I think I am going to do Joe Dalton's Epiphanies next I really like Joe, and also the Texas licks course. Just enjoy and don't sweat your choice.

    Several years ago when SWAT was just getting off the ground (I haven't even gotten my bear skin rug yet ) I think it was Gadlaw who said he liked buying the courses because it's like having your own little shelf of instructors. They sit upon your shelf waiting to give you a quality guitar lesson whenever you're ready, that's the way I think of them now myself.
    Last edited by Wolfboy1; 01-10-2012 at 09:23 PM.
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  12. #12

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    Thanks for the comments and encouragement, fellas. You're right. It really doesn't matter where I start as long as I don't stop. I think if I just keep sampling classes on TF, I'll find a foothold somewhere, something that resonates within me, and should just have fun along the way instead of getting so bloody stressed out. In fact, I think I'm my own worst enemy; I get so stressed about not wanting to invest time in the "wrong" course, I psych myself out and end up doing nothing at all. Just gotta breathe!
    "Lisa...the blues ain't about makin' yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse!" Bleeding Gums Murphy

    Gear:
    Rice Custom Guitar #171
    PRS SE Custom 24
    Taylor 114CE
    Zinky Blue Velvet 50W head and Zinky 2x10 cab
    Reverend Hellhound 40/60

  13. #13

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    I know the feeling.

    My thing is that I want to make a living as a musician, and despite the past 20 years of "rock" music, you generally have to be good to do so. But I keep reminding myself that it isn't a race. The good thing is that I'm getting to a point that I can see real progress and am starting to think that, hey, maybe I really can be a pretty decent guitarist! It took long enough, though!

  14. #14

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    While I agree with Wolfboy and it's interesting because my local instructor said a very similar thing to me a few weeks ago about my learning and the lessons, etc. I will still play devil's advocate here (a little anyway...).

    For me, one of the things I really feel has always been lacking in my practice and several failed failed attempts at guitar throughout the years has been discipline and structure. Now the first one I have to work through regardless but the second, that's something I am still trying to find in what I do myself on my own and what I get with/from an instructor because I feel it will help and I will benefit from it.

    While I agree that everything we learn and do is part of who we are and who we become, it doesn't always mean that it's the best way. All I have ever done or tried to do with a guitar and music theory is probably helpful in some way but putting more order to it, more structure in the approach and progression, I feel will make me a better player than not doing so will. I don't feel that any more lessons on my shelf is going to help me any more than the ones already sitting there (along side all the books and downloaded internet material...) if I don't work through the stuff and do so in some organized fashion - with hopefully no offense to anyone buying up courses.

    So I am trying to focus on only 2-3 courses here (and still previewing other material) so that I can take a more structured approach this year and not wander and jump around so much as I have always done. It's like Guitar ADD or something with me!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy1 View Post
    When I went to college, I had no idea what I was going to do or be in my life and I took a lot of variety before I settled in on a carreer in the US Navy. Then all I cared about was getting the degree but all those courses are part of me. When I joined the Navy I studied so much stuff on everything from celestial navigation to corrosion prevention. I was in 2 years of training before I even found out what aircraft I would be on. Again, all that stuff just soaks in. Then I went to law school, in all of law school I think I had 3, just 3 classes that had anything to do with the first 15 years of my legal career.

    These three areas of training had one thing in common they gave me vast amounts of knowledge in order to make me think better. Eventually I got some specifics in each area but I had this great pool of experience and training to help me think through things in situations I could never forsee.
    Very well said.

    This statement puts the whole learning experience into perspective.
    I feel the same.

  16. #16

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    I love when we have these discussions, it's like philosophy and discussions on the secret of happiness all in one. DjangoTango brings up a great and important point, namely what are you trying to do? DjangoTango has a very definite goal in mind. He wants to play professionally and make a living at it. With that as a goal you have a specific goal and need very specific and disciplined ways of getting yourself there depending on where you are now. JN999 believes that he needs to structure himself, use what he has and be more structured. But still - focus on two or three courses and preview new stuff as it comes out. I don't think anyone disagrees with any of those strategies. Get two or three courses, stick with them and go through them while using your other time to keep fresh by looking at the new things that come up. And for those of us who enjoy buying everything that comes out, it still applies. We just have the library on the shelf to go through when we feel like it. Do many of us have more than we can use? Well yah. Of course. I also have a book collection, a DVD collection, a Stamp Collection, a Guitar Collection. Can't watch them all, play them all, look at them all but they're there for me when I want them.
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

    email: gadlaw@gmail.com - http://www.facebook.com/gadlaw

  17. #17

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    in all of law school I think I had 3, just 3 classes that had anything to do with the first 15 years of my legal career.

    So that Property Law class in first year didn't help you when it came to reading your mortgage documents? Me neither. Fee simple, defeasors, future interests, indefeasibly vested remainder, vested remainder subject to open, contingent remainder. I never tried so hard for a B in my life.
    At least you haven't had to apply that third year Divorce and Property Law and Civil litigation stuff. (knock on wood)


    But the point is a great one - a lot of stuff you don't use but still use and it's still part of the background in Music - You don't always really know enough to know what you may not need to know which is why that whole idea of 'I don't need this stuff' doesn't really work in music. You will get there and say 'aha!' that other thing I sort of understood makes sense now.
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

    email: gadlaw@gmail.com - http://www.facebook.com/gadlaw

  18. #18

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    BlueF,

    I am going to wade in and with a fairly direct answer to your question. The Answer is TEG. And here's my rationale (BTW I agree with everyone's comments here and the issues resonate with me personally). I think Mark delivers what you are looking for. CAGED Cracked is also excellent and was a game changer for me. TEG however covers the same concepts with the same fundamental approach (ie. using the pentatonic scale in concert with arpeggios and chords to open up the fretboard) Teg however goes into many other important concepts as well. Based on the OP, TEG is presented in a manner that is very much a method and imparts the structure I think you are looking for. Mark also does a great job of explaining what players of different levels might look to take away from each section, this, I think is extremely helpful in setting context for you individually. I also like the way Mark develops his method, very approachable and most importantly one can begin to implement it immediately). I have only skim reviewed the Modern Method and would agree with RG, it is a life companion and you can always move onto it. Sweet Notes is also an awesome method taught by a great teacher, but in keeping with the Learning Path protocol, I think one would gain so much more from it with the fundamentals of TEG firmly under thumb ( Having said this I think the 2 could dovetail nicely).

    There are no wrong choices however, its all great stuff and with application and commitment you are going to get there.

    Good Luck!

    To repeat, you are not going to go wrong with any of

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadlaw View Post
    in all of law school I think I had 3, just 3 classes that had anything to do with the first 15 years of my legal career.

    So that Property Law class in first year didn't help you when it came to reading your mortgage documents? Me neither. Fee simple, defeasors, future interests, indefeasibly vested remainder, vested remainder subject to open, contingent remainder. I never tried so hard for a B in my life.
    At least you haven't had to apply that third year Divorce and Property Law and Civil litigation stuff. (knock on wood)


    But the point is a great one - a lot of stuff you don't use but still use and it's still part of the background in Music - You don't always really know enough to know what you may not need to know which is why that whole idea of 'I don't need this stuff' doesn't really work in music. You will get there and say 'aha!' that other thing I sort of understood makes sense now.
    You forgot to mention the lovely "Rule Against Perpetuities". LOL. During our Barbri course, the instructor said that when the RAP question comes up on the multistate, "5% will know the answer...the rest of you, just mark 'B' and move on," lol!!
    "Lisa...the blues ain't about makin' yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse!" Bleeding Gums Murphy

    Gear:
    Rice Custom Guitar #171
    PRS SE Custom 24
    Taylor 114CE
    Zinky Blue Velvet 50W head and Zinky 2x10 cab
    Reverend Hellhound 40/60

  20. #20

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    Wow - Wolfboy #11. Love your post. There's a book I was checking out recently, "Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain" that talks a lot about what you said. There's so much going on in our learning - much of which we aren't aware of.

    http://www.amazon.com/Incognito-Secr.../dp/0307377334

    Best,
    mcblues

  21. #21

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    Several years ago when SWAT was just getting off the ground (I haven't even gotten my bear skin rug yet ) I think it was Gadlaw who said he liked buying the courses because it's like having your own little shelf of instructors. They sit upon your shelf waiting to give you a quality guitar lesson whenever you're ready, that's the way I think of them now myself.
    I just went back and reread Wolf's post - great thoughts (BTW WB is 8,000+ posts in and I can't recall single post I didn't find useful and thought provoking). I am with Gadlaw, there is something about having the resources at hand. Once in a while I'll pull one out and just check out a random lesson. To Wolf's broader point, I love it when I come across a lesson that was beyond me or didn't grab my interest at the time or whatever and then months or years later, Ka-Ching!! it resonates with me or otherwise inspires me!

  22. #22

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefugue View Post
    How do guitarists get to know the fretboard so well that, no matter where their fretting hand is when the solo comes up, they can just start playing?
    I had this exact question which was answered after taking Marc's TEG. I had a background in classical guitar, bought an electric, brought it home and said, "uh how do I play this" I tried a lot of courses but Marc's really put it all together for me, connected the dots. It takes at least 2 months for the "forms" (the way he lays out 5 scales, pentatonics and arpeggios) to sink in and realistically a couple of years to play the scales fluidly, but I really urge you to try the course, and commit to practicing, and you will get it.

    SC

  23. #23

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by gadlaw View Post
    Fee simple, defeasors, future interests, indefeasibly vested remainder, vested remainder subject to open, contingent remainder.
    this is exactly why I dropped out of law school...really hated property...SC

  24. #24

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    I believe I am going to try to get through TEG, and as a companion, CAGED Cracked. I like Marc's style.

    I think the thing I worry about a lot is that once I've committed to some course or other, some other course actually contains the one "pearl of wisdom" that will, in a flash of brilliant light, set my mind an fingers free to play whatever my heart desires. It's a HORRIBLE case of "the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence".

    Another irrational worry I have is that I'm getting older and can't learn as quickly as I used to, or will develop arthritis and not be able to play; almost like I'm running out of time and have to hurry up and "find the answer" before it's too late.

    The real answer lies in some wisdom that one of my fellow Zen Buddhist Sangha members told me when I was debating between following the Soto or Rinzai Zen schools: "you find oil by picking a spot and drilling down deep; not by drilling a thousand shallow holes". She really got at the heart of my problem, I think. The trick is to forget about picking the "right" one and just pick one and stick with it and not give up when it gets difficult. They all lead to proficiency, as some of you have advised me, and I really need to listen to that.

    Thanks for all the great comments and wisdom!!
    "Lisa...the blues ain't about makin' yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse!" Bleeding Gums Murphy

    Gear:
    Rice Custom Guitar #171
    PRS SE Custom 24
    Taylor 114CE
    Zinky Blue Velvet 50W head and Zinky 2x10 cab
    Reverend Hellhound 40/60

  25. #25

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefugue View Post
    ...Another irrational worry I have is that I'm getting older and can't learn as quickly as I used to, or will develop arthritis and not be able to play; almost like I'm running out of time and have to hurry up and "find the answer" before it's too late.

    The real answer lies in some wisdom that one of my fellow Zen Buddhist Sangha members told me when I was debating between following the Soto or Rinzai Zen schools: "you find oil by picking a spot and drilling down deep; not by drilling a thousand shallow holes"....
    What a great quote!

    We ain't old and got time but best keep to it


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