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Starting over .. again

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abeidson
(@abeidson)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 55
Topic starter  

Well it is that time of year again.. I have let life dictate my path and in the last 9 months have let my guitar collect dust with just the occasional use. Things have settled down and so I am going to start dedicating time each day to try and get back to learning my guitar. Unfortunately the teacher I had 2 years ago that seemed to understand the way I learned is gone and I am looking to try it alone since funds are tight. I still have all the material from before and with the Beginners section here will start from square 1 and re-learn/possibly learn something new again.

I was having issues before I stopped playing with changing chords still which I know is just practice but is there anything I should look to work on more than what I have before me by maybe picking up the Idiot's guide to see if that helps fill in some gaps for me or use the system that seems to have been working until I hit a fork in the road and move from there?

I wanna Rock N Roll all night... Ahh who am I kidding I'll be in bed at 9 pm....


   
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old lefty
(@old-lefty)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 43
 

I may not be the best person to answer this, as I've only been playing for a year or so. What I can tell you is that the internet, and this site specifically have been a huge help to me, along with my local library. I've found a lot of guitar instruction books with CD's included and I've checked out most of them.

The key for me has been finding music I like and learning to play it. At some point I found that with a variety of music to choose from most aspects of playing like lead, chords, vibratto, etc. all came into play. Add in some fundemental excercises found here at Guitar Noise, Justin Sandercoe's Youtube videos, and the music books from the library help fill in the gaps in my playing.

There are others on here who can give you better and more detailed advice than I, but using all the available resources has helped keep my interest in learning, kept my frustration to a minimum, and taught me the value of patience.

I might also add the sense of comraderie I get from having fellow guitarists to guide me is invaluable.

Hope this helps, and hope you find a way to stick with it. My only regret (and it's a small one) is that I did not start sooner but I'm playing now and that's all that matters.

Brian


   
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abeidson
(@abeidson)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 55
Topic starter  

Yeah I have done a lot online.. especially since my work requires me to be online for 8 hours a day. I will need to see about picking up a few books though as the material I thought I had is no where to be found.

I will have to look into my library and see what they have, thanks for the idea I always forget to go there.

I wanna Rock N Roll all night... Ahh who am I kidding I'll be in bed at 9 pm....


   
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Jack Sullivan
(@jack-sullivan)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4
 

There are really many things you can do. For openers don't even leave your guitar in the case. If there is a safe place in the house where you can leave it out, do just that. This way if you have only a minute or 2 you can still pick it up and at least run through some exercises or even chord changes you find challenging. They may seem separate but finger exercises can actually help your
chord changes. It's just one more step towards getting the left hand, right hand and the brain all on the same page. As far as the chord changes themselves: watch your left hand closely during the transition. It should be a one step process. Don't let some fingers lead the way, get set up and then have the others join in. Everybody should lift and land at the same time. Also make sure no finger travels farther than need be. The main culprit to keep an eye on is the third finger (left hand). Classic case would be the transition from and open C to a D chord. Be really sure that the third finger doesn't move past it's target (2nd string/3rd fret) and then come back into place. I see that a lot. You can do it. Just stay at it.


   
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old lefty
(@old-lefty)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 43
 

Thanks, Jack...I've been working all week on improving my chord changing after reading your comments and yes, there is some improvement! :)
Appreciate the help.

Brian


   
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s1120
(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 848
 

Sounds like we are in the same boat!!! Ive been playing about 4 years or so and have also had to take some time away. having two young kids, and full time job make it tough, and also a few bad times in the last few years..... Im still pretty solid in the "beginner" catagoy also... Im finly getting quicker at cord changes, and its startitng to click a little. best thing I did to ferther my playing was picking up a old acustic... Having two young kids around, I did not want to leave my good electric out on a stand... so I always had to set up time to go to the music room, and play... well now I have this cheap acustic that I leave hanging around the living room. Ya... it gets nocked over... no big deal... I can grab it whenever, and hammer some cord changes, or do some fingure exersizes, or just hammer out a few min on songs Im working on...

So hang in there, things DO move along.... some times it takes a lot of time though!!!

Paul B


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Don't let some fingers lead the way, get set up and then have the others join in. Everybody should lift and land at the same time.

There are times when this will be unavoidable. Don't beat yourself up over it though - if a finger turns up a bit late you get this hammer-on-from-nowhere effect in your chords and sometimes it sounds good (sometimes it sounds rubbish too - you'll find out which is which soon enough.)
Also make sure no finger travels farther than need be. The main culprit to keep an eye on is the third finger (left hand). Classic case would be the transition from and open C to a D chord. Be really sure that the third finger doesn't move past it's target (2nd string/3rd fret) and then come back into place. I see that a lot. You can do it. Just stay at it.

But do make sure that the chord shape you make is a comfortable shape for the hand. For chords like G and Em, it makes more sense for the middle finger (being the longest) to do the longest reach, to the 6th and 5th strings respectively. Playing C is different because the ring finger does the long reach, and D is really only comfortable if the middle finger does the shortest reach to allow the ring finger to have nowhere else to go but the right place.

Why not try some of the Songs For Beginners on this site? Horse With No Name is great practise for getting chord changes in on time and all my students start with that one when we start looking at chords.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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abeidson
(@abeidson)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 55
Topic starter  

I have been looking over the easy songs for beginners and my problem with horse with no name is more about the strumming than the chord changes. The only chord I have a hard time fretting is the F chord/barre chords in general. My chord changing is also slow but manageable for most songs I have been looking into with a basic down stroke strumming. I seem to have a hard time with keeping a plectrum in the proper position as it seems to slip. I am going to try taping/gluing some sandpaper to it for a little more grip. Still plugging away with at least 30 minutes of practice time a day and can see/feel progress happening a little faster than it did 2 years ago.

I wanna Rock N Roll all night... Ahh who am I kidding I'll be in bed at 9 pm....


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

If it's strumming, and getting beyond the basics of strumming, that you're working on, you might want to give the Guitar Noise Podcasts a try. A lot of people have found them to be helpful. Click on the "Podcast" link just under and to the right of the logo at the top of any page and that will take you to a list of all of them. Start with #1 just to see how it goes and that might give you an idea as to whether you want to stick with them in order or to move around a bit.

Hope this helps and a Happy New Year to you, too.

Peace


   
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abeidson
(@abeidson)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 55
Topic starter  

Thanks Dave.. I remember seeing the link but keep forgetting to listen to the podcasts. I will check them out and hopefully get through my strumming issues.

And Happy New Year to you as well.

I wanna Rock N Roll all night... Ahh who am I kidding I'll be in bed at 9 pm....


   
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