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(@jenny-b)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

Ah lads help me, I'm cracking up..

I've been playing (..playing? if you could even call it that) since early this year and I'm just stuck stuck stuck.. I still can't play anything remotely resembling a song, I get lost when trying to play along to my faves, you couldn't call my strumming a pattern, more like chaos theory in action and my metronome seems to accelerate to the speed of light when I try to play along with it.. My fingers feel fat and clumsy when I try to play a melody and I STILL can't change cleanly to a C chord, and as for F! EFF that F!

OK ok I know we all go thru this, and I really don't want to be another one of those people who try for a while and give up without getting anywhere, I want to keep at it, just remind me again how wonderful guitar is.. before I do a Jimi and set fire to it! :(


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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Hey Jenny :D

Good to see you.

Last time I talked to you, it was Spring!

How is the weather in Ireland now????

If the trees were bare, it'd be like October here in the Northwoods.

I see you're still with the guitar.
That's good.

All that time, and you've not got too many posts here.
I think you need to spend more time on GN. :P
We'll help you through this.

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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(@satch_da_man)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 40
 

I know how you feel. I've been working on guitar for just over 2 years, and been there. The only thing holding us up is time. I wish like crazy I'd started 10 years earlier. When I feel frustrated, I sit back and watch some live performances from Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie and I get inspired/focus all over again.

Keep your goals/dreams in focus, we'll both make it.

SDM


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(@jenny-b)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

Jesus, you won't believe whats just happened as I'm sitting here trying to get to grips with 'House of the Rising Sun'.. I hear a roar from my husband, the shed is aflame, the tumbledryer in it went on fire (with my brand new extra-soft sheets in, sigh), cue frantic running around with pots of water and a full-body wrestling match with a recalcitrant hose, got it out but with lots of damage to my bike bits.. goddamn! Only last winter, the whole house went up one night, (badly installed stove), we're still not finished the rebuild.. brought it all back. That'll teach me to make jokes about setting mu guitar on fire!
Instant Karma!


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

I was gonna give you a pep talk about sticking with the guitar, but after that ...... just hang in there. Things have to get better.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@jenny-b)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

Thanks guys, you're right TRG, the only way is up.. still could've been worse. Won't be learning 'Light my Fire' any time soon though.. serves me right for moaning on here eh!
Thanks Ken, yeah I've been keeping at it, I have been checking in to the site, just haven't much to contribute to the collective font of wisdom yet - unless anyone needs advice on how to put out fires.. (btw Summer? What summer?)
You're right SDM, I always do feel more inspired when I watch and listen to great music, it gets me wanting to learn again. I know what you mean about wishing I'd started sooner; but hey, I heard a great story once about a man of 81 who was just beginning to study for a medical degree. Someone asked him, 'But what age will you be when you eventually get the degree?' He replied, 'The same age as I'd be without it.'

Yes I'll keep at it!


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(@denny)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 452
 

Jenny, you seem to have a great attitude, taking everything in stride. Except for a few natural born guitar players, (one of which I am not), we all go through what you are experiencing now. The fingers seem clumsy and either too thin or too thick and they have a mind of their own. Keep track of what's troubling you most now and then refer to it in a few weeks. Sometimes it doesn't seem like we're making progress until we look back at what used to be difficult and is now easier. It will take time, but, in the long run it will be time well spent. Good luck.

Denny


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(@rigsy)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 24
 

Hi Jennie b

Keep the chin up. Im playing about a year, felt like I've been stuck in a rut the last while so took a break.
Haven't played the guitar in two weeks and feel the better for it. Was just getting frustrated and practising wasn't any fun.
Went to see a band earlier and spent half the time looking at the guitarist. He wasn't playing any mad solos or anything but it was great watching him belting out the tunes. The break has done me good and I'm raring to go again(see how long it lasts!)
I've also been planning on getting meself a new guitar the last while. The one I have is a electro-acoustic which I bought on ebay! It's alright but I want to get something decent as I plan to play for many years hopefully. Hope to get a new one before the weekend and get a good practice schedule.
I don't post much on the site but I read a lot of whats on it, especially this beginners one and I think if I hadn't found it in the first few months I might have got too frustrated and packed it in. It's vey encouraging to see everyone is in the same boat starting off and its all about putting the effort in.

It's a long road but hopefully we all get to where we want to be on it and as my mother would say, ' If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it!'

Rigsy


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Jenny

I like your attitude too. You said you started earlier this year, so you've been playing maybe 6 months?? That is nothing, it takes years to play well. You have to have the same attitude as that elderly gentleman. If you keep practicing everyday you will be good in a few years time.

Start with very easy songs with 2,3 or 4 chords tops. As for strumming, start out with downstrokes only. It will sound a little plain and simple, but you will develop timing and a smooth strum.

Don't give up, you'll get it. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1226
 

Great, creative writing in your posts, jenny b!
Look on the bright side, when you get those chord changes down (and you will), the lyric writing will come easy.
On a practical note, find songs or bits you like that have simple patterns: Visit the ESD. I guarantee most any artist worth their salt has composed a great 'simple' song.
Good Luck!

Don


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(@jenny-b)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

:D Thanks guys, I knew I could count on you'se for a bit of support!

good advice, and yes perhaps i should concentrate on keeping things simple instead of trying to play Santana's solos..

I also just wanted to say that all the advice you guys give is invaluable to many of us, I also read a lot of the posts on here and although I don't reply much I am learning a lot thru reading what you have to say, I'm sure there's hundreds more like me that are inspired to keep going thru your words. So a big THANK YOU to such a great community!


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

it is important to clean the lint build up from dryers regularly to prevent them from starting fires.

it is important to practice the guitar regularly to prevent atrophy of the music in your head.

one day all your guitar attempts will link up and you will shout from the hills, 'I can play!!'.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@dave-t)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 239
 

jenny b:

playing that short a time , cut yourself some slack, unless you have no obligations like home, job, etc etc you probably don't have endless time for the guitar.

I'm at 2 1/2 years into it, there have been a 100 moments of frustration, but I am getting to the point where I actually feel like a real guitar player. Mind you there are lots of moments like this morning where I seem to have lost the ability to switch from a G chord to a C chord!

Go back to the first song you tried and play it, see how far you have come. Make sure you are learning changes and fingerings cleanly at slower speeds before moving on.

DT


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(@causnorign)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 559
 

Jenny, keep your chin up. The nature of the beast is so that you seem to be getting nowhere for a while and then progress just jumps up at you, then the cycle keeps repeating itself.


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(@bigh29)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 17
 

I've been playing (..playing? if you could even call it that) since early this year and I'm just stuck stuck stuck.. I still can't play anything remotely resembling a song, I get lost when trying to play along to my faves, you couldn't call my strumming a pattern, more like chaos theory in action and my metronome seems to accelerate to the speed of light when I try to play along with it.. My fingers feel fat and clumsy when I try to play a melody and I STILL can't change cleanly to a C chord, and as for F! EFF that F!

Before you heed any advice that I offer, bear in mind that I consider myself the worst player in my city among all players who have owned a guitar for at least 5 years. Well, I was certain I owned that title a few months ago. Hopefully I have climbed out of that prestigious position, but I am still bottom 5% material.

Ok, that said, you can't quit. You simply ... cannot ... quit. Force yourself to pick the thing up everyday, at least once. I started learning in 2001 or so, played for a year, and then quit. Quit because life got busy and because I was sick of being horrible. There is no one day where I said to myself, "That's it, I quit!". I just didn't play one day, and then didn't play the next day either. Then the day after that, I had a hockey game. Kids had soccer game the next day. Had to work late the day after that... yada yada yada. Before I knew it, 2 or 3 years had flown by without playing.

Secondly, you may not be very good, but I would bet that you are not nearly as bad as you think. A few weeks ago, I was frustrated that I couldn't play any song up to speed. I found some finger exercises that Wes posted, and started playing them with a metronome. I have always considered my fingers to be total baffoons, but I was amazed that if I wanted to, I could set the metronome at 120 and perform the exercise with no mistakes. Now, that still isn't nearly fast enough, because there are not too many songs that consist of just quarter notes at 120 beats per minute or less. My point is that I was much faster than I thought I was, and I bet you are too.

As for the C chord, I can't offer any quick remedies. I struggle with it quite a bit too. I searched the forum archives once for advice, and found that even some of the experienced players struggle. Lately, I have been messing around with a lot of blues chords in the key of E and A. They sound cool, and I don't have to mess with the stinking C major chord.

One thing I have noticed is that the ease of placing a C chord, for me, depends heavily on the chord I am coming from. I thought I had mastered the C chord a month ago, but in reality, I had only figured out the E to C transition, because I was playing "Hey Joe", and it has an E to C change. But D to C and G to C are totally different (and probably a lot more common). So over the last two weeks, I have just been working on one simple transition, D to C and back again. You can strum just about any pattern, and that transition always sounds good. Another thing that might help is learning the alternate fingering for a G chord (fingers 2,3, and 4). Switching from that to C might seem easier than switching from G with a 1,2,3 fingering. Oh, and relax! A tense chord change is a botched chord change. At least that seems to be the case for me.

Lastly, remember that nothing worth doing ever comes easy. Think of the consequences if playing guitar was easy. First, you would get bored with it. But more importantly, if it was easy, everyone would be a rockstar, everyone would be rich and famous, and everyone would have a pack of groupies following them around. The universe simply cannot support that.
H


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