3 Months Playing
Well I've been playing for 3 months. It's hard for me to think of what I've learned because rarely do I set out to learn a skill. Usually I dodge around it aphazardly and then somehow land on it by complete accident. But I'll try my best.
-Power chords. I can play most of them cleanly now.
-Hammer-ons and bends. (Still working on pull offs)
-How to play in time.
-Open chords C, G, Em, D and open chords C#, D#, F#, G# and G/D#
-How to read standard notation. I still can read it fast enough to play songs from it though.
-How to play by ear.
-How to sing and play at the same time.
That's all I can think of. As I said before, I don't set out to learn a skill. A lot of times, I figure it out by accident and don't even realize it.
I'm up to 4 songs:
Nirvana-Smells Like Teen Spirit
Kittie-What I Always Wanted
I'm working on two more songs but they are taking longer because they contain barre chords.
I'm not sure if I'm where I should be at this stage. Or even if there is a place I should be three months in. But it doesn't hurt to check up on your progress. Actually, until I wrote this post, I had never bothered to stop and think what I know. In my opinion, I don't have the same skill set as most people at my stage but I have learned a lot in the last three months. However, does anyone have any feedback or thoughts?
Learning to sing and play at the same times after 3 months is a pretty big accomplishment. Also I guess reading standard music notation is an accomplishment since most of the other guitarist I see don't have a clue how to read music. So I say fairing really good for only 3 months of playing.
Quite an amazing list of accomplishments there. Congratulations to you on your efforts. It sounds like you will continue to rocket on at that pace and begin your world domination soon thereafter.
Enjoy your karma, after all you earned it.
Thank you for the encouraging words. Singing while playing wasn't too hard for me. Most of the songs I play have simple strumming patterns though.
I still can't change between chords: C, A, G, E, D but can change between chords: C#, D#, F#, G# and G/D#. It's weird the order in which I learn things.
I've been playing for over a year and you have me beat by far! I'd say you are making very good progress.
Keep working on those chords though. Power chords will only take you so far.
"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"
Indeed, very impressive list for only 3 months.
You haven't mentioned whether you are taking lessons, but I'm going to assume you're not looking at the first paragraph of your post. I have been teaching myself for a while now too and while I have made some progress, I find I am very disorganized and I know a bit of a lot of things but not necessarily good at any of them. Also, the level of things I know are very varied too. For instance, I know a lot of barre chords already, but I have no idea if my technique or posture is right. Or I can play a basic finger picked song but have no idea how to do the "scratch".
I say this because you sound like you might be in a similar boat. You mentioned you can read standard notation, play by ear and sing while playing. Like others have said, these are more advanced for an average beginner. But you also mentioned not being able to change between some open chords (not to imply that I can :P).
I decided recently that this migth not be the best way to go about learning guitar and signed up for a class. It starts in two weeks. I figure I have enough confidence now to actually go get a class. Plus I know I am not going to be wasting money because I don't think I'll give up guitar anymore. As a side benefit, they're putting me in the 3rd phase of a 5 phase beginner class so I haven't wasted all my self-teaching time either.
Anyway. I guess what I'm trying to say is. Great job. Keep it up. Plus my two cents. :)
Onewingedangel - Your doing fine, as long as you can do something today that you couldn't do yesterday then you are progressing. It's human nature and especially when it comes to playing guitar, that you always feel that you aren't as far along as you should be, when in fact 99% of us that play an instrument feel the same way.
Mastering the guitar is NOT easy and is not something that's going to happen overnight or even in a few years, you need to understand that it will be a life long learning process and you will get out exactly what you put in, but don't be too hard on yourself trying to quantify your progress into neat little bundles, it will only frustrate you.
Practice the things that are important to you and have fun the rest will come with time.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!
I have said this before about you, You are doing just fine.
Yes, a little more structured learning will help you improve faster but from what I have seen you seem to have a natural ability.
Keep at it and don't ever forget to have fun :D
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement everyone!! A lot of times, I look at a skill or song and decide not to learn it because it's too hard. Though once I do it, I find it's a lot easier than I thought. It still takes practice but normally I learn it easier and faster than I expect. Like learning timing, I waiting so long to do it because I thought it would be too hard but when I finally did it, I found I was already playing in time, or at least darn close to it
I did read an article, that outline the pros and cons of teaching methods (self-taught, private teaching, music school) and they did point out that should you chose to teach yourself, you should still have structure, so I'll consider adding that in. I do learn from others too though. I saw one of my guitar heroes, Morgan Lander, do this finger picking technique where she used her thumb and index finger pinched together to strum so I tried that and liked it. Just last night, I saw the guitarist of Iron Maiden bend a string up and down to make this cool ripple effect, which I then had to try myself.
The next thing I plan to learn is......bass actually. My friend is going to lend me his bass guitar to try so I'm looking forward to that.
Thank you once again for your encouragement.
I'd say you've accomplished a lot more than I did in this time period.
And for the structure: You do have one! The songs! It's structure from another point of view.
Some might say that it's better to learn technique seperate from songs but then use it in them. I'd say it all depends.
Ok, there ARE things that might be difficult to pick out just by songs: those beasts called theory...
keep on rocking! 8)
NO MORE THEORY!!
KNOW MORE THEORY!!!!
Onewingangel. at three months you have accomplished an amazing amount of skill. wow.
keep up the energy.
remember, as time goes by you and your guitar will become one. the guitar will be an extension of who you are. how you see things, how you feel about things all come out in your playing. that's the emotional side of guitar.
the physical side is that your guitar will be an extension of your body. you fingers will know where to go,there will be less and less of a disconnect bewtween mind, wish, and result.
Whenever I read about your progress, I get all depressed because I'm not making the same progress. I've been playing for five months and you're ahead of me in most areas.
Of course, one of the great things about the guitar is you can go off in so many directions that's it's almost impossible to compare yourself with someone else. I sat down the other day with a guy who's been playing for a year, and I managed to teach him a few things. (He taught me more, of course.)
I really MUST find a way to motivate myself to practice regularly (and more than 45 minutes a day). Perhaps now that I've had my guitar properly set up, it'll be easier. Would you believe my action was almost half a centimetre?
I know what you're talking about. On my old guitar the action too is about half a centimeter or even more.
It's totally set up "wrong" (or bad) but I still keep it to torture myself once in awhile... :twisted:
NO MORE THEORY!!
KNOW MORE THEORY!!!!
thegrimm. I hear ya.
dont compare yourself tho. it isnt fair to you. Iv do it all the time and just get depressed.
when I look at my own abilities they shine. I can play things that others cant. the reason is my style; who I am . as I said to onewingangel, the guitar and you become one another. your personality extends to the guitar.
the uniquesness is the answer. and we all by nature are unique.
finding practice time and inspiration is a constant. I leave a guitar sitting around the house. I walk by it a million times a day with out thinking of playing. but the one time I do stop something always happens. I hear something... a note...and it triggers a song I heard. I end up finding where the chords are for that song and the next thing I am playing it. never had in my life.
so surprising things happen.
setting a goal is another good way to improve. I have been trying to learn two note slants on lap steel slide guitar. I almost have it. I almost can make them do something. I almost. and that is what keeps me at it. the almost.
I've been playing for 30 years on and off....what you've accomplished in 3 months i brilliant....not so sure about your taste in music, but hey, that's just a personal thing.....
Keep practising, keep playing the songs YOU want to play, maybe you could even start writing youself.....the Sunday Songwriter's Group and the GN songwriting club are open to all......
Keep it up, let's see where you are a year from now....you seem to have the will to succeed, and that's half the battle.....
:D :D :D
"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)