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Complete Newbie!

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New Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1
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Hey guys and girls!

I picked up an electric guitar at the end of last year for kicks, bought a plain package, as I didn't know if I would be able to last playing it as I have a fear of getting over something quite quickly.

I've decided recently to pick it back up as the first couple of times I was just stuffing around strumming randomly, but now I'm actually seriously looking at playing it to keep my mind busy and off a lot of things going on in my life.

I started learning the Intro to In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 by Coheed and Cambria, just the very intro as I love its simple sound.

A live version of the song:

A cleaner CD version:

Those aren't my videos by the way.

These are the Tabs I've been playing off:

I guess, I'm lost, I can play the first couple of notes easy I can do the pull off the hammer on's and what not, but I'm having some serious problems moving around the neck/fretboard speed and accuracy wise, but that should improve over time I guess, but my whole left shoulder starts to get sore after a while, and my fingers absolutely kill me when I'm trying some of the other parts of that song like the simple strumming parts, my fingers lock up, I get major pains all throughout my hand, and the part that is annoying me the most is as much as I arch my fingers up and over, a lot of the time I'm still hitting other strings with my edges of my fingers no matter what I do, Sometimes I can get away with it, but sadly I think I have short fat fingers :(.

After saying all that, I must admit I have a lot of fun, and when I started learning that song and I started picking up on it and just simple things I was extremely happy with myself, as music to me is my safe haven, I could be in a warzone, and if I had my music I could just shut my eyes and be anywhere I wanted. It's gotten me through a lot. And now I wouldn't mind being able to do some of this stuff myself!

So, can anyone help with my problems please please please pretty please?

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480

Hi Toki, welcome to GN.

The speed and accuracy will come with practice and more practice. Just keep plugging away.

As far as the pains in your shoulder and hand, it sounds like a combination of playing position and perhaps lack of a warm up with your fingers? I'll defer the playing position to others, as mine is horrible.

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4113

Welcome to GN!

sounds like growing pains to me. i agree with rparker.


Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4338

Welcome to Guitar Noise, Toki! We look forward to seeing you around the forums! :D

The trick to learning to play well are three little words...... Practice, Practice & Practice! :D It will all come together eventually! And, you've found the right place to learn!

"How to sit correctly:

Posture with the guitar is often simply a matter of preference. However, some classical guitar teachers often have a strict specific way to sit while holding the guitar. Although one should strive for comfort while playing the guitar there are a few things one should keep in mind while playing the guitar.

* Sit up straight: Often overlooked and nagged by your mom while also proving incredibly beneficial.
* Use an armless chair: Arms on a chair will hinder your ability to move
* Rest guitar on thigh: Often placed on the leg farthest from the guitars headstock
(ie. if your right handed, on your right thigh)
However, classical guitar theory prescribes the exact opposite.
* Footstools: You may not believe me now, but one day you might see the benefit of putting a foot stool underneath the leg which the guitar rests on. This elevates the guitars position and helps technique.
* Relax: Tension in your body translates to tension in your playing. You might even think about stretching before you play and stretching during a long playing session." G"> G">

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 189

:shock: Nothing like raising the bar! Sky's the limit!

... :? I'm listening to that song - it sounds very complicated! For a first song anyway. Amazing how people set themselves up for failure - an analogy is learning to ski by having your friends drag you to the top of the hill and leave you there (and a lot of people that learn that way! ... I mean, learn to hate skiing!)

8) Don't give up the dream, because you WILL learn to play that song. But consider starting with something really, really simple - like the GN favorite, Horse With No Name, or such - just to learn the basics of strumming rhythm. Then learn a couple more chords. There's literally hundreds of songs that just have 3 or 4 different chords.

As for posture, I hear you. Right now it is my RIGHT shoulder that kills me, just from hooking it over my acoustic all the time. So I'm doing exercises for the shoulders and making a point to stop BEFORE it really hurts. And mixing up my playing position too. And starting with something simple to warm up.

But I tell myself, 15 minutes a day for 365 days has STILL got to be better than 2 hours a day for 2 weeks :wink:

What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's really all about?

~ why yes, I am available on youtube ~

Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 726

The last point that Elecktrablue made; Relax! You situation sounds exactly like what I used to do, when I was first starting out. You are trying to play fast, & are forcing it to happen too fast. the result is that you are tensing up. After I was playing for awhile, my jaw would even hurt, because I was clenching my teeth unaware!

After I figured out that I was simply trying "too hard", I learned to back off & just let things flow naturally. Things went much, much smoother after that. If you concentrate on just having fun with it, & work on picking/playing cleanly, the speed will come automatically. Relaxing is the toughest part, because we all wanna become "real good, real fast!" :mrgreen:

In my case, it will never happen; I will never play like Eddie Van Halen, as I simply don't have the time to devote to getting that good. But, I am fairly proficient with tapping, sweep picking and some of the other cool things that the pros do. I became more proficient After I learned the aforementioned things; slow down, work on becoming accurate, not forcing it.

And most of all, have fun with it!
Cheers, kat :)

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 108

Are you the same Toki from the OG?

Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 169

practice, practice i'm afraid. :|

A knock back is the beginning of a comeback!!!