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Frustration!!!

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(@bluesmann1124)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

Playing guitar is both one of the most enjoyable and frustrating things I have ever undertaken. I feel like I'm a junkie...playing it whenever I get a free moment. I even bring it to work with me. Anyway, I have been at it for four months and I still can't seem to get the power chords down...my fingers don't stretch so well. I can do most of the open chords but I have occasionally problems going from D to C.

I am able to do most of the penatonic scale but for strumming. There's the rub. I can switch pretty easily between chords but I still get this grating, buzzing sound. I have tried to reposition my fingers closer to the fret, but it still sounds miserable.

Also, if anyone has a good practice routine I would love to hear it. My practice routine is haphazard at best.

Thanks


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Bluesmann 1124

First, I see you are pretty new here, Welcome to GuitarNoise! :D

Once you are here awhile you will see that posts like yours pop up almost every week. You are not alone, everybody has a lot of difficulty with guitar at first. You just gotta stay at it, that is the only secret there is. If you keep playing you will get good. I guarantee it as George Forman says. :D

That said, there are ways to improve faster. The very best thing you can do is take lessons. There are many advantages to this, you will learn to read which will allow you to play any song. Plus, a good teacher can spot poor technique and correct it before you develop bad habits.

But it is completely possible to learn without lessons, I have never had a lesson in my life. And actually, there are some advantages to this. You will develop a very good ear if you figure out songs that way. Sometimes readers do not have as good an ear, simply because they have not relied on it and developed it. And, while learning by oneself is slow and tedious, you will probably appreciate it more. Things that are easy are rarely appreciated.

There are lots of helps for the beginner today. You can go to YouTube and type guitar lessons. You will be amazed at all the lessons on there covering many subjects like strumming or your Pentatonic Scales. There are also tons of good books and videos you can pick up at your music store or order online.

Plus, you have GuitarNoise right here, an excellent source for the beginner. Go to the home page and look up all the Beginner Lessons. They are excellent and well written, easy to follow. You can learn how to play dozens of great songs. You will develop technique without even trying. There is also Theory here, go there often and participate. At first it will all seem like a foreign language to you, but soon you will catch on.

I have been playing about 35 years now, so I think I know a little about guitar. And one thing I can tell you is that guitar will always play with your mind. Always. One day you will feel like the worst player in the world and want to give up, the next day you will think you are the hottest player around. That is how guitar is, it will always be that way as long as you play. Do not go by feelings, they come and go. Just keep playing and you will get good.

Wes

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


   
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(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

One thing you can do to help yourself get used to the stretch involved in power chords is to start up high on the neck (closer to the body), say at the tenth and twelfth frets. Get your fingers comfortably and then start shifting your power chords towards the other end of the neck. If you do this even for ten or fifteen minutes a day, you'll find that after a week or so the stretches at the lower end of the neck won't seem so bad after a while.

Welcome to Guitar Noise and we look forward to seeing you around on the forums. And, as Wes says, check out all the lessons here. And don't be shy about asking questions.

Peace


   
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(@bluesmann1124)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

Thank you for the responses. I plan on implementing your advice. Time to get back to practicing.


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

There is some very good advice above, as usual I might add. I was simply going to say to you ... So? We all went through that. You have a lot of company. Hang in there, keep trying and keep coming to this site. It will come to you. It was a long time ago, but I remember struggling with the same stuff.

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


   
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(@jerboa)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 79
 

One thing you can do to help yourself get used to the stretch involved in power chords is to start up high on the neck (closer to the body), say at the tenth and twelfth frets. Get your fingers comfortably and then start shifting your power chords towards the other end of the neck. If you do this even for ten or fifteen minutes a day, you'll find that after a week or so the stretches at the lower end of the neck won't seem so bad after a while.

LOL, Dave! I started power chords trying around the 3rd fret, and the first bar I attempted was F.

But now, I have a problem trying to play too far up the guitar. The frets are too close together, so I am constantly over-stretching. :?

For the OP, I try to organize my practices almost like a workout. I start with warmups...scales and arpeggios. I pick one scale and run it to loosen my fingers, and also play the associated chords. Then I play through something I have been working on for a while, but isn't quite 'there' yet. Then on to the new stuff...something that makes me push my skills. After that, it's fun time...I just spend the rest fiddling around....old things I know well, whatever I feel like.

That's just me...it might not work for you. I learned that routine years ago with my first instrument...saxophone. My teacher drummed that routine into me, and it's kinda stuck.

There are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't


   
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(@yournightmare)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 108
 

Wes is right, there's posts like this all the time here. And we've all felt the same way as you. I haven't been playing that long, so very much remember what you're going through. For some reason or another the C major chord was giving me a fit. I was having so much trouble switching to it from other chords, particularly from G major. I just couldn't do it with any speed or accuracy and it was very frustrating. Once I got that down, barre chords became the thorn in my side. Then it was particular riffs in songs, etc. It's always something.

I have a tip for you, for this particular problem. What I ended up doing was just focusing on getting ONE finger to the right position for the C major chord. I started by focusing on my middle finger, which goes on the 4th string, 2nd fret for C major. I would play different chords, then switch to C, but I would only focus on that one finger. Once I got it down (and I mean REALLY down), I threw in my index finger, which goes on the 2nd string, 1st fret for C major. Now I had my index and middle fingers moving together, moving quickly, and moving accurately. Finally I focused on the ringer finger (5th string, 3rd fret). Within a few days I was able to switch to C major from A, D, E, and G major quickly and accurately.

Now whenever I have trouble learning a new chord, I use the same technique. After a while of playing, you find less and less new chords that give you problems, because the shapes are so similar to other chords you already know.


   
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(@ballybiker)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 493
 

as always...great and comforting advice from the other guys...all i can add is that the longer you play..the more you reallise that the journey into musicianship is full of that frustration...which in turn makes you concentrate more and more until the tension in your muscles make things impossible :(

loosen up on yourself when this happens and things WILL improve...all be it slowly sometimes!...learn to walk away and forget about the hard part...then when your ready to try again,approach it with a freshness and a sense of fun....yes we all forget to have fun sometimes...but playing and fun go together...ask any child :lol:

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
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