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Playing for a year....
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Playing for a year..

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Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

After playing for about a year how much did/do you actually know??

I've been playing for almost a year, I know a bunch of chords a few full songs and a dozen parts of songs that i'm still trying to work out. Um, I still don't know a thing about music theory and I am having trouble w/barred chords and palm muting still (though I'm getting alot better w/the palm mute!) I've never taken formal lessons, but hope to stat some this fall at my community college. Just wondering if I'm slow or on track, I guess. :)

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840

Everyone has their own goals and abilities. If you are reasonably happy with your progress, then you're on track. You need to still have appetite for more, hence the "reasonably".

Don't beat yourself up about whatever position you're in, though, it's not a race.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 270

After one year of playing (I started on electric) i knew power chords and octave chords, plam muting, pentatonic scales and some funk strumming. Really that was all i needed for that time because i was in a punk band that didn't have much talent. Me and one other memeber had only just started playing, the other guy had been playing a bit longer. But then after the band split i was driven to learn a lot more. I bought myself an acoustic guitar about a year and a half ago and taught myself real chords from a chord book (Still struggle with barre chords though). I've had help from the worship leader in my church to develop my strumming patterns, but the rhythm comes easy for me, so it wasn't to hard. Now in the last year, as well as all of that, i know the diatonic and pentatonic scales, all the stuff from the punk band, At least two voicings of any given chord and have gained the ability to transpose fairly quickly. My singing voice also improved greatly when i started to develop my abilities in guitar, and i am currently working on learning harmony.

Well that's my 3 and a half years on guitar, hope you enjoyed it. There is probably more i know, but nothing springs to mind as of yet. Too tired.

David Watts
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Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1281

about one year in to my playing, was just around the time i started to realise i needed to know scales and practice scales. until that point then i didnt realise their importance, so i never bothered with them, but that was an important time for me.

after 12 months i could read tab, and had learned some simple "non strumming riffs" for songs like " i feel fine" by the beetles etc, and i had a worked hard on barre chords so they werent a problem - but all i could really do was strum along.

I think the second 12 months was when i improved the quickest, because entering into the world of scales and using them to improvise really made huge leaps in my finger dexterity and strength, which allowed me to play songs which were a bit more taxing than what i was used to.

(im still rubbish though :lol: )

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348

after my first year I moved from two note guitar solos to five notes and a bend. :lol:
a year and two months later four of us newbies formed a band.
I could play open and barre chords. knew a bunch of songs. could sing and play at the same time.
and I couldn't get my tiny amp to feedback.

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3995

I played in my first gig. It was in the school. The teacher watched to my left (fretting) hand while we were playing and told me: Don't play those chords! I was trying to play a F chord with barre. The story is much longer...

But that frustrated to me so it also was my last gig. :mrgreen:

Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1089

After about a year I realized, or thought, I wasn't as far along as I should have been or wanted to be. I attributed that to not being happy with the lessons I had and wasting time on sweating the small stuff.

To the point, I was able to get through a couple of songs "with a heavy foreign accent" as I call it, meaning my playing was halting and rough. It still is on new songs I am learning and when not paying attention or when I'm tired and distracted. Even on those same songs, two years later.

If you are an adult with adult things like work, family, home, it's not easy to spend three to four hours every day playing and practicing like a teenager might be able to do when he finishes his homework and chores, and maybe a few hours of a part time job (my homework was usually finished in study hall).

Moreover, I've been told that everyone thinks they should be further along than they actually are.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.

Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 184

Ok, one year in, that's where I am now, I can play and sing several songs (strumming), some of them I have the words memorized some I need the lyrics in front of me to get through, barre chords are getting easier though switching between some of them need lots of work like C#m to G same shape, one string up one fret back but it's giving me fits! I really only want to play a decent rythm guitar but I'm discovering that if your playing alone you need a good alternating bass line and some nice little runs between chords to make it sound good and those are helped by knowing scales and hey what song could'nt use a little melodic instrumental intro. It just keeps going and going. I really never thought about writing songs either but more and more I find myself thinking about it. Sigh, not enough hours in the day! :D

Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 98

I am now finished year 2. I spent the last year essentially focusing on mostly lead electric guitar so I got down with pentatonic scales at various positions. I recently changed to a new teacher and I am focusing on more acoustic style and having fun with it. Barr chords were and still are a challange to some extent. I recently had my first public performance that went pretty well and my guitar life is good. I do not remember many songs I have a big fat book of songs I can play and another of songs I am in the process of learning or whant to learn etc. Do not fret not remembering the chords for every song you hope to be able to play.

I am told it takes time to feel the chords that are coming next. I am all about the destination in most things but when I feel frustrated with guitar I go to some of my favorite songs and sit down and play them or play along with the music and simply enjoy it (it being the journey).

For context I will tell you I am 40, Ihave an acoustic an electric a wife, a job, a wife with a job, a 7 year old, an 11 year old, a house that constantly needs work, and a tiny bit of a social life. I usually play an hour or more every evening. I find I need to now or I feel restless.

Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459

Like everyone has mentioned everyone progresses at their own pace for various reasons, the key is to just stick with it and not to give up.

You will never stop l;earning new things on the guitar no matter how long you play that's good and bad, good in that it keeps the motivation there but bad at times because ut seems the goal keeps moving.

Just have fun with it 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!

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264

After a year....well, it was a while back - got my first guitar for my 17th birthday, so by June '75 I reckon I'd have been able to play a fairly weak version of "Stand By Me" (Lennon's version) and I'd have been able to play a bit of slide - probably tried to play along with Nazareth's version of "Vigilante Man", and probably played along with their songs, "My White Bicycle," "This Flight Tonight," and "Child In The Sun." That and a whole bunch of Beatles songs I learned from a Beatles songbook I bought .....but only playing the top 3 strings!

Songs learned, about 10....(all of 'em G/Em/C/D....)
Chords learned, about 10....
Theory learned, about ZERO....
Guitar played, a cheap Nylon string acoustic....
Determination to learn, waning....
Guitarnoise, non-existent....
Lessons, non-affordable....
Prospects of bcoming the next big thing, zero.....

Then I bought my first electric - and that had some rock'n'roll in it! The acoustic never did - and all I ever wanted to play was loud rock music.

Then a couple of years later, I got married - kids appeared, guitars disappeared and never re-appeared for many years....but it was like ricing a bicycle, you never forget - took it up again late 90's, noodled away for a few years THEN.... I found GN. The main difference between learning guitar in the 70's and learning guitar now is the wealth of information available for FREE.....

Anyway, Takamineprincess, enjoy your second year - it'll get easier, and you WILL get better.
Just have fun with it and you'll be fine. Amen to THAT!!!!

:D :D :D


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