Noodling

 To my guitar playing and teaching friends: As a teacher I feel obliged to continually research and grab new information regarding the guitar. One trend I see in guitar instruction books that I find annoying is the dismissing of "noodling." Personally, I feel that MOST of your guitar playing time should be noodling. In a world where people are obsessed with achievements and goal setting, noodling is the closest an individual guitarist can get to the ideal of "play." Like kids playing, noodling is where you lose track of time and are unconcerned with "getting it right." Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't be learning more about your instrument. The more you know abut the guitar the more material you have to noodle with. Of course, noodling (and losing track of time) demands that you have a fair amount of time to lose. I understand that we are all pressed for time, but next time you pick up your guitar just try playing it with no lesson plan in mind and see what happens.
    I suspect that most of my guitar heros were/are obsessive noodlers.You here over and over agian that so and so has no idea what they are playing. Unstudied does not mean unpracticed. They played their instruments all the time. They were searching: intrepid explorers in a sonic land. When the ear hears soemthing it likes it wakes up the mind and heart. In a way, devoting yourself to a practice regimin is short-cutting the process to discovery. I have to admit, my favorite times playing the guitar were those moments when I "stumbled" upon something. Again, it takes quite a bit of time to get that special moment. It's horribly inefficeint. Its a waste of time...until it isn't.

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