HomeForumsMeet and GreetOld student finds his way home

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Master Killer 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #21300

    Master Killer
    Participant

    Hello, I’m an old alumni of Doug’s 80’s course. Recently my wife and I had an argument about my guitar playing. I quit playing long before we got married so she had never heard me before. So I got on ebay and ordered a cool guitar and an amp. When I got it all set up the only thing I remembered was the rhythm and lead to the Victims song off Doug’s Hawk album. Even though  I was rusty I busted out the song and it blew my wife away! I was pretty good back in the day (thank’s of course to Doug) even though it took me about 3 1/2 years to get from lessons 1-6. Actually it took me about 2 years on the licks and theory lessons. The licks required more hand conditioning than I had and I couldn’t play them as fast as Doug for a long while. I eventually formed a band with a bassist friend of mine and we played Queen, Whitesnake, and Scorpions covers. We never really went anywhere but there was a considerable disagreement among us on musical styles. Our drummer was total thrash, our bassist was a classic rock guy which back then meant Skynard and ELO. Our vocalist was awesome though he was a little too Green Dayish for me. After we broke up I tried to get into another group but my playing style often worked against me. This was in the 90’s and Metal as I knew it was hanging by the neck from a rope and the grunge thing was in full swing. After a while I got disillusioned and sold all my gear to a pawnshop and went cold tourkey for almost 20 years. Anyway I’m back and I plan to go  through the new course and bring myself up to speed. Lately I’ve been going through Brian May’s Starlicks video for a refresher which he was nice enough to throw up on youtube. Currently I’ve got a Dean Michael Schenker baby V that’s been hot rodded with new electronics and custom pickups as well as a Boss Katana 100 W head.

    Cheap Guitars (with some exceptions) play just about as good as expensive ones. It's your ability combined with an awesome amp that makes the difference.

  • #21310

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    welcome back.
    i just returned from about a 12 year hiatus myself.
    \m/

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #21354

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Cool to have ya, always good to meet another with a distaste for grunge haha.  😀

    Bring hair metal back!

    • #21358

      Master Killer
      Participant

      LOL! I remember auditioning for a band back around 1995. I went in a laid down some Crazy Train and Trilogy Suite. Afterward the lead singer came over and said “Dude you’re totally awesome but we think you’re a little more than what we need”. There was a guy warming up. Real tall, wearing a blue flannel long sleeve shirt (despite the fact that it was about 87 deg F) and smelling like he was allergic to deodorant. He kept playing the same 4 licks up and down ad nauseam.  I’m pretty sure they hired him.

      Cheap Guitars (with some exceptions) play just about as good as expensive ones. It's your ability combined with an awesome amp that makes the difference.

  • #21368

    Sonic
    Participant

    Welcome to the forum. And thank you for telling your story and for putting things into perspective. At my current progress rate 3 1/2 years might be realistic for me too. I do progress, but beyond week 12 or so of the course it is getting more and more difficult to play the exercises at the suggested speed, not to mention moving them into sub-consciousness and make them happen naturally (even though the current version is probably more balanced and less steep that the first version). But apparently you could play really well at that point?! Did you start your first band after you had finished Doug’s course? Was it rather easy or rather hard for you to apply things you had learned in “the real world” of a band? Any tips from you for the first steps into playing with a band?

    • #21372

      Master Killer
      Participant

      I ordered my Metal Method tapes (VHS) back in the summer of 1989. If memory serves there were 2 tapes which had three blocks of lessons on each. They ran $50.00 each I think. It took me 2 years to get through the basic and intermediate lessons. The first tape was just basics where Doug showed you lots of stuff like tuning at the bridge and guitar maintenance. The 2nd tape got more into basic playing. The 3rd tape there were rhythm tracks and basic leads and the 4th tape was “Metal Tricks”. The 5th tape was the 136 licks and the 6th and final was “Metal Theory”. The licks tape was the hardest for me because for the first 2 years my playing hand was so sore I could hardly move it. It didn’t help that he also utilized his pinky extended over sometimes 4-5 frets which was a beotch to try and copy. I learned most of the licks and then just shut off the tapes and didn’t review them for about 8 months. I worked and worked on playing them and hoping to get faster and faster. One day I finally popped the tape back in and discovered that I was playing many of them faster than Doug was. At that point I was playing pretty well but I was methodical and a little too attached to the lessons and not branching out on my own. Doug made those in the mid 80’s and back then lots of people were listening to particular guitarists and going “Man how is he doing that?” On those lessons he threw a lot of technique at you but it was pretty much up to you to decide where you wanted to go with it. It seems that in subsequent revisions he’s really pushing the live playing aspect and in my opinion that’s great. I started branching out and getting into Yngwie and others and that’s where I really started to make progress. I co-formed the band in July of 1992 and at that point other than just a meander through the theory lesson now and then I was pretty much finished with the lessons. About 6 months  later I don’t think I watched them again. Playing in a band wasn’t  all that difficult for me because I regularly jammed along with my stereo and whatever I had playing. The best advice I could offer as to playing with a band is be flexible. You’re entering into a “contract” with people of possibly very diverse musical styles. You are going to have disagreements and it’s always better to pick your battles wisely. Our drummer Bill always wanted to do double Bass on every song we played and when your playing Queen,  Whitesnake, and Scorpions that can be a problem. Also, make sure you have a very good amplifier and by that I mean know what it sounds like cranked to 3/4 power with your gear. That amp sounds a lot different when your jamming in your bedroom. Also take it to as many places as you can -school auditoriums, outdoors and see how it performs. Can it handle the load? What does it sound like with your effects in those places? Better to work that out in advance than to find out on the night. You’ll likely be playing in similar venues. The guitar gear isn’t as important as I have shredded the heck out of a plywood Hondo hooked up to a Boogie and gotten oohs and ahs.

      Also, don’t overdo the practice. I know lots of guys say they spend 12 hours a day practicing but myself I’ve found that to be counterproductive. I studied martial arts when I worked overseas and I was busting my butt all the time practicing and at a point I was going nowhere. My teacher told me to take a week off. I did and came back much better. He said it was better to practice 30 minutes a day for three months rather than 15 hours a day for two weeks. the body and mind get worn out and start rebelling and you end up working against yourself. I think if I had applied that idea to my guitar playing years earlier I might have progressed much faster.

      Cheap Guitars (with some exceptions) play just about as good as expensive ones. It's your ability combined with an awesome amp that makes the difference.

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