Playing vs Noodling

Craig Encinitas

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2021
412
Encinitas, Ca
I’m like a George Thorogood with guitar. No, not his playing ability… He may have drank alone, but I play alone. At my current ability, playing with others is more an exercise of frustration because we can’t seem to get on the same page.

The drummer doesn’t want to stop drumming and listen to what (we) have to play, and arrogantly and paradoxically, I would rather noodle alone at home. (Most rock) Songs are nothing but repetition and I get bored. But in order to get better… I need to play the same parts of the song hundreds, if not thousands of times.

I’m not up for perfection, just having a good time. Also when I can’t keep up on even simple songs… It takes the fun out of it. When I’m noodling, I do whatever I feel like doing.… Even if it sounds horrible.

That’s it, that’s all I got. It’s 4:33 AM and I had a couple minutes here in my work truck to put this message out into the ether. ✌🏻

(this is a pretty self centered post.) 🫣
 

gtttrrr

Country Gent
Silver Member
Dec 7, 2011
2,334
United States
I’m like a George Thorogood with guitar. No, not his playing ability… He may have drank alone, but I play alone. At my current ability, playing with others is more an exercise of frustration because we can’t seem to get on the same page.

The drummer doesn’t want to stop drumming and listen to what (we) have to play, and arrogantly and paradoxically, I would rather noodle alone at home. (Most rock) Songs are nothing but repetition and I get bored. But in order to get better… I need to play the same parts of the song hundreds, if not thousands of times.

I’m not up for perfection, just having a good time. Also when I can’t keep up on even simple songs… It takes the fun out of it. When I’m noodling, I do whatever I feel like doing.… Even if it sounds horrible.

That’s it, that’s all I got. It’s 4:33 AM and I had a couple minutes here in my work truck to put this message out into the ether. ✌🏻

(this is a pretty self centered post.) 🫣
+1 on this. I’m fortunate enough to have a couple buddies that play bass and drums, and we all refuse to actually learn other people’s music, past referencing a riff every now and again. We get together and someone starts something, and the others join in. We have gotten pretty good at this over the years and thoroughly enjoy getting together once every 6 weeks or so, throw back some brews and make glorious noise. Bulk of my time is spent playing alone, with a trio pedal, and I love it that way. Played in cover bands for a number of years, never enjoyed the learning songs part of it all, seems alot of work to mimic someone’s work. I should add that I have learned a ton over the years, from copying others, just don’t care to do it at this stage in my development, happy to play for my own amazement.
 
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stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,611
Firenze, Italy
I don't have a band anymore since I've switched from guitar to piano so for me it's only noodling.
Anyway I'm still on the learning process, so I don't mind if nobody listen to my poor blues playing.... ;)Sometimes I'd like to play with someone, as I think that noodling is ok but doesn't really help to properly learn as you don't have the urge to keep the tempo right, don't have the problem of stepping on someone else's toe or don't need to play the opening/closing section the right way... Btw, it's all good for now.
That probably would change in a couple of years when my piano phrasing would (hopefully) improve and there's not many blues open mic in town here...
 

swivel

Country Gent
Silver Member
May 13, 2018
2,302
PNW
I’m like a George Thorogood with guitar. No, not his playing ability… He may have drank alone, but I play alone. At my current ability, playing with others is more an exercise of frustration because we can’t seem to get on the same page.

The drummer doesn’t want to stop drumming and listen to what (we) have to play, and arrogantly and paradoxically, I would rather noodle alone at home. (Most rock) Songs are nothing but repetition and I get bored. But in order to get better… I need to play the same parts of the song hundreds, if not thousands of times.

I’m not up for perfection, just having a good time. Also when I can’t keep up on even simple songs… It takes the fun out of it. When I’m noodling, I do whatever I feel like doing.… Even if it sounds horrible.

That’s it, that’s all I got. It’s 4:33 AM and I had a couple minutes here in my work truck to put this message out into the ether. ✌🏻

(this is a pretty self centered post.) 🫣
Get a simple Ditto looper. Now you can play with someone and you have to stay on time etc. It's excellent to improve your skills. Lay down a rhythm track and then play over it. If I didn't gig and had to sit around and just play alone, it would drive me crazy. I did that for 20 years many years ago, and all I did was play the same 3 songs and put the guitar away.
 

Ktone

Gretschie
Oct 31, 2021
102
SE PA USA
View attachment 194780
I never have trouble with my bass player or drummer. ;)
Yep, for my at-home playing, my Trio+ is my most important pedal. Come up with a couple of chord changes and you can noodle for hours. The variety available with the Genre and Style controls makes it feel like you are really playing with a trio group. Adding the FS3X foot switch gives you some options to avoid stopping to push buttons with your hands. I also use the Sdrum pedal for a little personal variety on the drums but most of the time the Trio+ is enough.

34CAAC4F-706E-4DFF-9DBE-D44927988F02.jpeg
 

blueruins

Friend of Fred
May 28, 2013
5,062
Savannah, GA
I’m like a George Thorogood with guitar. No, not his playing ability… He may have drank alone, but I play alone. At my current ability, playing with others is more an exercise of frustration because we can’t seem to get on the same page.

The drummer doesn’t want to stop drumming and listen to what (we) have to play, and arrogantly and paradoxically, I would rather noodle alone at home. (Most rock) Songs are nothing but repetition and I get bored. But in order to get better… I need to play the same parts of the song hundreds, if not thousands of times.

I’m not up for perfection, just having a good time. Also when I can’t keep up on even simple songs… It takes the fun out of it. When I’m noodling, I do whatever I feel like doing.… Even if it sounds horrible.

That’s it, that’s all I got. It’s 4:33 AM and I had a couple minutes here in my work truck to put this message out into the ether. ✌🏻

(this is a pretty self centered post.) 🫣
I can relate to much of this. I’ve come to realize that much of it is psychological damage and/or genetics.

In my case it manifests a learning disability with some of the symptoms you describe. I can focus up to a certain point and after that the buffer is full and no more information can be forced in. Recall is almost impossible No matter how much repetition. Discipline is worthless.

The workaround I’ve developed over the years is to work cyclically. When I recognize that I’ve reached the brick wall I switch to another task that I want to accomplish.

I have about 6 pursuits that I cycle through annually. Guitar is by far the most consistent.

This is also why I drop off this board occasionally. It manifests in many ways I don’t understand.
 

Glaw

Synchromatic
Aug 30, 2017
507
ca.
Save you some $.
over $400 at guitar center
 

Glaw

Synchromatic
Aug 30, 2017
507
ca.
I'm there too. I play bits and pieces from different songs and try to learn them better. Never complete songs. Progress is slow but I'm ok with it. It's still fun.
Learn the lyrics and your voice might be the only other instrument you need.
 

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2015
12,713
Germany
During the desase I was very lazy guitar-wise.
There were no rehearsals or gigs and I rarely practised at home.
I worked on my tone for hours and hours, though.
But that alone did not help my playing-skills. And -as some of you might know- working on my tone is not something that I do enjoy. In fact it is a pain in the a**.

Now that we are back to rehearsals I feel that I have to work on my chops again. Sincerely.
So after work I have always a guitar at hand permanently noodling while watching tv or doing other things. Mainly working on my left-/right-hand coordination. That suffered the most during the last three years.

We are planning on a new/second project. This is a great motivation for me.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
714
New York
I have no desire to gig. I’m retired. I have little desire and no need to work at all. I have only myself to please and my wife to annoy. For some reason my dog seems to like my music.

To me noodling is a waste of time. I play songs through, work on the rough spots, play them through again, and move on. Sometimes I just play them and move on. I don’t even noodle when I’m working on a solo, intro, or outro. What I play may not sound like much at first, but playing is a step toward a goal. Do I make sense to anyone but me?
 

Bertotti

Gretschified
Jul 20, 2017
10,157
South Dakota
I have no desire to gig. I’m retired. I have little desire and no need to work at all. I have only myself to please and my wife to annoy. For some reason my dog seems to like my music.

To me noodling is a waste of time. I play songs through, work on the rough spots, play them through again, and move on. Sometimes I just play them and move on. I don’t even noodle when I’m working on a solo, intro, or outro. What I play may not sound like much at first, but playing is a step toward a goal. Do I make sense to anyone but me?
Just the one dog? I have 8 cats, six strays I rescued from various ailments and diseases who show up at my home when they get sick enough, but what’s funny is which cats will leave and which will show up depending on the instrument I am attempting to play. Each has its own preference right down to a particular guitar in some cases or mandolin or keyboard none really care for the drums but a couple show up but I think they are cat heckling me!
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
714
New York
Just the one dog? I have 8 cats, six strays I rescued from various ailments and diseases who show up at my home when they get sick enough, but what’s funny is which cats will leave and which will show up depending on the instrument I am attempting to play. Each has its own preference right down to a particular guitar in some cases or mandolin or keyboard none really care for the drums but a couple show up but I think they are cat heckling me!
One dog. Meet Tiberias. She was bred as a working dog. Weatens are used to manage free ranging Guinea hens where she came from. Tiberias was rescued from a life living in a barn being put out to work before breakfast. She’d rather sleep in with her doll.
CFEC8C78-8A26-4121-88BC-A9551CBAD0EE.jpeg
 
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