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Still hard to hit all the notes!

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old lefty
(@old-lefty)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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I've been playing for about 11 months now, self taught, and no one else to play with. I'm happy with my progress, and get in 1-2 hours of practice at least 5 days a week.
I use "Blues You Can Use" and a few other similar self help books to practice with. What frustrates me is that I still have a hard time getting through a little blues number without making a mistake or two, despite plenty of practice on the particular song I'm working on.
My question is this normal to still be making mistakes here and there at this stage? I mean, I have these songs memorized but I still either have a brief brain fart and forget what's next, or maybe it's a slip of the finger. It could be a slow tempo tune even, I'll still make a mistake every so often. Whattya think? Am I being too hard on myself, or do I need to take a close look at how I'm playing and try to find a solution?
Appreciate the help, as always.

Brian


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

I've been playing for about 11 months now...

What frustrates me is that I still have a hard time getting through a little blues number without making a mistake or two, despite plenty of practice on the particular song I'm working on.

My immediate reaction is that you don't have very much to worry about

My question is this normal to still be making mistakes here and there at this stage?

Oh yes. Everybody makes mistakes from time to time. It's normal.

I mean, I have these songs memorized but I still either have a brief brain fart ......

Excellently put. I couldn't have described it any better.

You're worrying too much, Brian. Everybody makes mistakes, even in live shows. I've been playing 36 years and I know I made at least one howler in my last solo show and a few small slips besides. Don't beat yourself up over it. There's a video on Youtube of John Williams (the world's leading classical guitarist) playing completely the wrong chord - it's not only audible, but painfully so.

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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old lefty
(@old-lefty)
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Topic starter  

Thanks, Alan. Perhaps I'm a little insecure about my playing since I have no one to play with, so no basis for comparison.

Last night after posting I decided to go back to using Justin's The Finger Gym, something I haven't done in a couple of months and it showed. I guess playing the same old songs doesn't give my fingers the experience on the fretboard they really need, so I'm going to make sure and do the Gym regularly.

And since I also miss a string with the pick now and again, I'm starting to learn fingerpicking on my acoustic....something I haven't tried until now since I pretty much play my electric exclusively. My acoustic is very old and very warped but that's no excuse not to use it once in a while. I'm hoping this will help build coordination and muscle memory in my picking hand and improve my string skipping.

Thanks again for the reassurance.

Brian


   
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geoo
 geoo
(@geoo)
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+1 what Alan said.

I've been playing over five years now and practice regularly and even on some of the songs that are well rehearsed, I find that at times I hit the wrong note or place my fingers weird on a chord. More often than not, if I just keep on going it sounds fine. Sometimes the guitar will even give me a neat little gem of a sound that I didnt expect.. and most of those times I cant really reproduce it..

I'm not a perfectionist though. I just want the song I am playing, and usually singing to be enjoyable. Thats all that matters to me.

Jim

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
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rr191
(@rr191)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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I've been at it 3 years and still make plenty of mistakes. I find I do my best when I just relax and play the song. Sometimes the more I try the worst I do.

-- Rob


   
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old lefty
(@old-lefty)
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Topic starter  

Feelin' much better about things now, thanks guys.

Brian


   
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jase36
(@jase36)
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Posts: 247
 

The funny thing is the more I worry about mistakes the more mistakes I make.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jase67electric


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

Try breaking the song up into small bite size pieces. Then practice the small pieces to the point of "auto-pilot". When you piece them all together to form the whole song I think you'll be pleased with the results. It may seem like a longer process but in reality
you'll get the song down quicker and wind up having way more fun with it sooner.


   
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