Skip to content
Clear all

newbie question

4 Posts
4 Users
New Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

I am 51 yrs old and trying to learn to play an electric guitar. I have been trying to play for about 6 weeks. I go tonight for my 3rd guitar lesson. When i try to play notes, switching between them takes me a long time. I have timed myself and I can only manage about 15 note changes in 1 minutes. No where near fast enough to even try to play a song or play along to anything.

When yall started first playing, how long did it take you to get to where you could change fast enough to try to play a song and sound decent?


Active Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 12

I want to point something out, i say that to all my students, playing something slow is NEVER wrong. What's wrong is playing half of something slow and half of the rest fast. So let's say you want to learn a song that's 180bpm, if you play the same exact song at 80bpm, it's going to sound lovely, but if you play half of each bar at 180 and the other half at 120, people are going to try take your guitar away from you.

Take for example happy birthday on the guitar, playing it really fast or really slow both sound nice, but you have to keep rhythm, look at these 2 pieces



i don't even know what i like better, they're both great.

Now as to how long it will take to play it faster than you'd like, it's different amongst everyone, you said you're taking lessons, your teacher should tailor what he's teaching you to your level and slowly increase, but i'd never worry about being faster, i'd be more impressed with someone that can keep rhythm, than someone who can shred like no tomorrow.

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 397

^^^ Agreed. Six weeks is relatively early into the learning process. It takes time, but it will come to you if you keep practicing.
Besides keeping steady rhythm, there's that thing about "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." In other words, don't sacrifice accuracy for speed.
Welcome to GN. Have fun playing.

Active Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 4

Hey - if you are looking for a little help with practicing, there's a relatively new site up that helps plan and track practice sessions. It is pretty good for goal setting and holding you accountable. Check it out if you are interested: