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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

I don't think I played a full song until I was 1 - 1 1/2 yrs into playing partly because I thought I should have the technique part down first. Probably not a good idea in retrospect but once I started getting one whole song down the rest came easier.

It's all about putting the time in both the good and bad, and eventually you to will be playing the songs you love.

Just keep at it and don't get too frustrated and you'll be fine.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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 dex
(@dex)
New Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1
 

What type of songs would you like to be playing? Like boxboy said, most artists have at least one simple song.

I've only been at it 6 months, and I kinda gave up on strumming for a while. I'm just plain bad at it. I can do a handful of chords at a decent speed, but strumming patterns seem to elude me. I like playing fingerpicking songs more anyway. Don't feel bad about not getting "House of the Rising Sun". I can't even get close to it yet. There are much easier finger picked songs out there.

I'm sure the great people here could point out some songs within reach if you let them know what you're looking for. And keep at it! :)


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Hang in there, Jenny! As previously noted, you've got the right attitude - the determination to stick with it, and the sense of humour to get you through those frustrating times when nothing seems to go quite right. Just promise us one thing - never, ever try a cover version of "Burnin' Down The House!"

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4113
 

You sound like "one hot mama" sorry couldn't resist. :oops:
sux about your shed.

stay at it and don't give up. keep practicing chord changing, and try to find a nice easy song in the easysong section, it'll help.

good luck!

#4491....


   
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(@steph)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 26
 

Since everyone here has encouraged me to play since I started 6 months ago, maybe my own encouragement can help others.

After these six months so far I have encountered exactly the same problems as you have, I can do chords, even do most chord changes (yet I cannot seem to go from open chords to barré chords with any ease and without the "kplunk" sounds), most songs I attempt sound nothing like the original, even though most people recognize the song anyway from the chord pattern.

The most amazing was House of the Rising Sun. Since I really like this song I've tried to play it quite soon after starting and failed more or less to have a flowing melody, no matter how much I practiced. Now I find that after learning some fingerpicking and a heroic attempt at learning to play Classical Gas, I suddenly am able to play it up to speed! Imagine my surprise. I now find that if I change what I practice from time to time, things I haven't practiced in a while are suddenly easier. There is probably a very fancy explanation for this that the brain needs time to "reroute" itself, no matter how much you practice, but it works for me.

And as for frustration... I think it is natural for one to focus on the things you are lacking, and get frustrated since they won't succeed. Even my roommate, who is quite a good classical guitarist, finds himself slightly frustrated when he attempts to play styles he isn't proficient at.
My advice, practice things are aren't proficient at, and don't get frustated if they won't succeed (that is why you are practicing right?), and mix this with playing chords, strum patterns or whatever you are able to do and enjoy playing. This way you keep the fun in playing guitar as well. (And make sure you know which one of the two you are doing when you pick up the guitar)

If the chords changes are really bothering you, might it not be a good idea to take a few private lessons with a teacher so he/she can correct your hand positioning (which REALLY makes a difference in how much you unintentionally mute the other strings) and help you started.

Hope this helped,

Step


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

Steph,

It is a very common situation that you've encountered and that is sometimes you can practice and practice and never seem to get better at a certain technique then all of a sudden one day viola! You can play it. It's something almost everyone here has experienced and it's quite enjoyable when those moments occur.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4113
 

What cnev describes is so true.
trying too hard with great expectations can be like watching water waiting for it to boil. we watch and wait thinking it will seemingly never happen, then just as we give up and relax, voilà it seems to happen easily.

#4491....


   
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(@kickinstonesblu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 52
 

First... Jenny, Bless you and yours. Have your Hubby shoot that blackbird of misfortune sitting on your weather vane.

Second... The spiritual man in me suggests that everyone reading about this family sends one north this Saturday night to whoever you pray to. Couldn't hurt.

Third...What are you playing? Your comment about the F makes me wonder about the difficulty of the neck your playing
I expect a roof over your head and laundry facilities take priority......

Fourth.... I don't write much as i've said i'm not much of a joiner...but this lady in ireland with the frank life story touched something in the Guitar Purist in me....nothing is more inspiring than new gear....a new guitar around and i can't stop myself from playing.

I'd donate five to a fund.

Earl

If I don't remember it....It didn't happen


   
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(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 351
 

I had the same problem when I start... So instead of learnig the chords, I learned how to play some simple melody and was happy with that at first, but know I would have to learn chords...

I had big difficulties to switch C to D or something like that, but I practice a lot, without playing any songs, cause I was too discourage to see that I couldn't get the same sounds... I just played C-D-C-D-C-D-C-D etc in front of the TV and it becomes more and more natural. I did this for all the chords, just to get my finger placed at the right place faster

Learning to switch to the F chord was pretty difficult for me, but I finally get it. And now, I noticed that when I'm sleeping, my finger on my left hand are placed as if I was playing the F chords :lol:

I'm not a professionnal, so don't know if it's a great idea, but it worked for me. :wink:

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
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(@jwing)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 8
 

One of the best things I did for my guitar-learning was give up on "House of the Rising Sun." Even though it seems to come up in many beginner song lists, I think it's really difficult for a novice to make it sound right.

Find easy songs that you like and DON'T try to play along with a recording of pros in a studio. Play songs stripped down and slow - use your innate creativity to make your own versions within your limitations.

Try transposing those simple songs into the key of G. The chords are pretty easy: G, C, D, and Em. Play the G-chord with middle, ring and pinkie fingers and the change to C will be very easy. Also, decorative fill notes are right there on the open strings and under your index finger on the second fret of the third and fourth strings and the first fret of the second string (the fretted notes of the A-minor chord!).

Practice the G-scale every day - slow enough that you make no mistakes. Practice chord changes every day slow enough that you make no mistakes. Take one change - say G to C and practice it 100 times per day until it becomes second nature. Practice slow enough that you can do it 100 times in a row with no mistakes. Then do it with a metronome. Once you can make that change at a steady tempo, 100 times in a row without mistakes, increase the tempo slightly and repeat. Do this with all the possible change combos with the 4 chords I listed. It will take you a few months to get through this, but in the end you will be a master of those chords and you will be able to play thousands of songs.

The key of G is often too low for female voices. Many women prefer to sing in C, but C requires the dreaded F-chord. If you want to play in C, place a capo at the 5th fret and play the shapes of the G-scale and key of G chords (G, C, D, and Em).

I wish somebody had given me this advise when I was starting - it would have saved me a few years of fairly fruitless all-over-the-place meandering.


   
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(@hyunjae)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
 

I have been playing since the beginning of this year too :P ... but I probbaly had a advantage :roll: (a 13 year old life and a guitar tutor)
but what Ive learned is that a lot of monotonous practice needed to play something half-decently :? It took me at least three days to get the first measure of Stairway to Heaven, but after I got that down, I realized it was just a bunch of simple chord progressions and was much easier :lol: (its so sad...)

But my point is, that lots of time, even one chord for like 20 minutes straight helped! An example is that I only practice one chord at a time, and once I can just grab that guitar and play that chord without thinking, the chord progressions came REALLY easily, and that was my ten cents :?


   
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(@jenny-b)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

D Whew what an overwhelming response, where do I start!?!

Forgive me for not replying straight away, I took off to watch a bike race (The Tour of Ireland)on wednesday and it was so great to see a pro race in ireland again that I followed it and only made it home tonight (Saturday) - it went all around the west coast and for 3 wonderful days it didn't rain..much! So I'd a break from the guitar, the house, the shed and the laundry for a few days, probably did no harm!

:shock: Well lots of wonderful advice from lots of wonderful people, all duly noted, there's so much info in there I guess I'll make a list of all the points made to make sure that I cover everything. In about a months time, there's a guitar class restarting in a local school which is how I started in the spring, unfortunately it doesn't run thru the summer (hence my lack of direction) but once that gets going again hopefully the feeling of non-progression will disappear. In the meantime you guys have given my more than enough to be getting on with: I'll be checking out Wes' finger exercises to pracise with, and promise to spend all my tv time fingering the fretboard with those chord changes - thanks for the tips on those, I will practice diligently and try different fingerings for different changes. Transposing - now that seems a bit advanced for me just yet but I have bought a capo so will try that instead for the moment.

As for new gear inspiring you.. well I'm almost embarrassed to admit that despite my absolute ignorance as to how to play a guitar, as well as what is a good guitar, I succumbed for the first time ever to the evil lure of ebay and bought myself a pink electric guitar.(ok I know thats the equivalent of saying I bought a car, and someone saying what sort, and saying, a red car..) I didn't mean it to be pink, it just turned out that way, but at least my hubby won't want to use it now.. I do love it! And when you've spent money on something, you feel obliged to use it so your other half doesn't give out, so thats the perfect excuse to go get new gear.. even if it is pink.

This is getting a bit long and I don't want to bore you to tears. So Thank You All for your contributions and helping one more hot mama (thanks twistedlefty) stick with her instrument. Kickinstonesblu, thanks for the sentiment, hey I hope I'm not a desperate enough case to need divine intervention (yet - give me a few days of chord changes, however..!), but maybe it did work on the weather -after the wettest summer in 170 years we had a few good days, keep sending those positive waves man!
:lol:


   
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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

Well what kind? Hello Kitty? Pink something else? Have to love it so you will play it right? Both of my daughters are fans of pink. If it's pink, they buy it. :lol:

"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)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  


There you go TRGuitar! Just.. Pink. :wink:


   
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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4113
 

looks lavender to me?

#4491....


   
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