Fretting hand okay(ish) what about the other hand?
When I bought my first guitar the guy in the store said "everyone (new players) thinks guitar is in the fretting hand, its not, its in the strumming/picking hand". Lately this has become frighteningly clear to me.
The number of songs I have looked at where I think I can pretty much do the chords but can't get anywere near the strumming/picking. Jack Johnsons Sitting, Wishing, Waiting is a good example.
Anyway, this short video* highlights what I mean:
Thats just G, C & D chords.
So much to learn, so little free time!
*I get these guitar minute things emailed to me, but here's the list if anyone is interested:
http://guitarminute.com/Vol001.htm - Sticky fingers
http://guitarminute.com/Vol002.htm - Warm up exercise
http://guitarminute.com/Vol003.htm - Buying the right guitar for you
http://guitarminute.com/Vol004.htm - Practise without your guitar
http://guitarminute.com/Vol005.htm - Simple lead guitar riffs
http://guitarminute.com/Vol006.htm - Picking exercise
http://guitarminute.com/Vol007.htm - Inspiration
http://guitarminute.com/Vol008.htm - Have an audience
http://guitarminute.com/Vol009.htm - Creating and using dynamics
http://guitarminute.com/Vol010.htm - Rhythm
http://guitarminute.com/Vol011.htm - Choosing a pick
http://guitarminute.com/Vol012.htm - Making G, C & D interesting
http://guitarminute.com/Vol013.htm - How to learn lots of songs
http://guitarminute.com/Vol014.htm - How to play a 4 chord beach groove
http://guitarminute.com/Vol015.htm - Two hand tapping
http://guitarminute.com/Vol016.htm - Counting triplets
http://guitarminute.com/Vol017.htm - Jamming with other guitarists
http://guitarminute.com/Vol018.htm - Basics
Yep, it's all about the rhythm Rich! :wink: I only watched the 1st vid so far, but looks like he's giving some good info there. Just keep practicing. Pick some easy songs that you know all the chords too, but that have different rhythm "feels" to them, and then practice playing along to them. You'll start getting the feel of the rhythm. Listen to what the bass & drums are doing too. Helps get in the groove. Good luck. 8)
"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge
Wow.. what a resource.
That's why those "exercises" are so important. One set is designed to get the Fret(left) hand in shape, the other the Picking (Right) hand in shape. Then both hands together.
No your not learning "Music" per-se when doing them and they do get boring really quick after a few weeks, but at the end of the day, they all help out. More than most beginners tend to think.
The guy in the store is right.. especially with Electric Guitar. Its about controlling the "Noise". I've learned most of that 'control' comes from the picking hand. (Picking hard/soft, Palm muting...etc).
Keep doing the drills... it'll come. :)
Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)
first of all don't be discouraged: we've all passed your same trouble at the beginning. I had needed almost a full year of directionless playing before I started to have a grasp on rhythms and this happened whne I finally decided to get an istructional book with cd. My advice is simple: since rhythm is everything, devote most of your guitar time to learn rhythms until you build a solid foundation on them. There are quite a tools you could use but my suggestion is to get a tutorial cd with some strummin patterns and learn them playing along the cd. After a while try to apply those patterns to some songs you know and, very important, when you listen to a song, even causally on radio, try to guess which pattern could be suitable to play it. For several months, I decided to play all the songs whose rhythm I had been able to recognize (well, not all of them :-) )! As you progress you can learn more complex rhythms and start use mteronomes to boost your rhythmic abilities.
I can tell you that after a year or so of doing those excercises, now I can play most of of the rhythms I listen to and if I still cannnot play them (i.e. metal galloping rhyhthms at 200 bpm), at least i can recognize them.