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What to do when you are feeling disheartened?

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Robbieboy
(@robbieboy)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

Thanks everyone. It really is one of the nicest things about this forum how everybody encourages those like myself who are in a bit of a 'trough' motivation-wise.

A number of kind folk have made suggestions I think will be useful:

One thing I will definitely do is ask my tutor if he is currently tutoring anyone who might like to be my practice buddy...I think it is very important (certainly for me) to play and practise with someone at the same level. My motivation has definitely tailed off since I lost my PB.

I think both my lessons and practice could use more structure, particularly the practice component. I noted that several respondents to my post talked about the structure of their practice e.g 10 mins on scales, 10 mins on chords, etc. (My tutor has not really been big on getting me to practise scales).

A bit stuck on how to make the lessons more focused. I feel like working on a song with my tutor till I can play it completely will result on my getting 'hung up' about learning it, to the exclusion of other learning. On the other hand, I only seem to know "bits and pieces" of songs after all this time :?

I definitely related to the person who said that they are bored with the songs they have been practising. I think I am even beginning to dislike some of the ones I practise!

Is it possible I need a change of tutor? How do I know if I do? (maybe it's not the tutor who's not up to scratch, but the student!) :oops:

Anyway, thanks again for all the encouragement. I can't say that I have a watertight plan to re-energise my learning and practice, but thanks to those who responded to my post I have some useful tips and food for thought.

P.s BmanCV-60, you mentioned something called "Fretboard Warrior". Could you please tell me a little about what this is?


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

rob,

I wouldn't stress to much about it your situation is not alot different that waht many of us have gone through. I pretty much have gone through the exact same thing.

personally I don't think you can practice efficiently with someone else unless they are you r instructor or something. I think that most of your practice time should be by yourself so you can concentrate on exactly what you are trying to learn.

Now with that said I've been playing about 5 years or so and it was probably almost 1 1/2 - 2 years before I could play any songs all the way through. I spent alot of my time working on so called technique and figured once I learned the technique I could apply it to any song and in theory that's true but as a beginner you never really can perfect those techniques quick enough. You'll either be bored doing it or it will fell like you aren't progressing so you get frustrated.

I think the best way is to learn songs and you will eventually learn the techniques that are required as you get better and start playing increasingly more difficult songs.

But there are a few things I thin are important that might help and that is if you try to play songs that are to far above your ability you could spend months on the song and never really perfect it. That will lead to frustration and doubt for sure so pick maybe slower songs to start and then work from there. If you do get stuck give a song maybe a couple weeks and if you are starting to get frustrated move on to something else. the change will help ease the frustration and give you some new incentive to learn something new.

Another thing I found was that some songs that I loved to listen to when I grew up I can't stnad to play because they are boring and songs that I never liked are fun to play, most AC/DC songs are like that for me.

You should find someone to play with though, that you can never have enough of so the more people you play with the more you will learn and alot of times it's things you pick up by watching and listening to what they are doing. But in a strict sense of the word I wouldn't call this practice I still think that should be done alone this would be playing or jamming or whatever you want to call.

I would suggest you ask your teacher to pick some songs or you pick songs and then work them out together until you can play them all the way through. The first time you do that will be a major rush and it will definitely get your motivation going.

But it still comes down to practice, practice, practice you can never do enough.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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matteo
(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 557
 

being dishearted or frustrated is part of the process of learning: also remember that we human beings are very impatient to say the least :-)!The only thing to do is to go ahead and keep praticing and try to learn something new. I've been playing for almost 4 year but did not reached anything for the first year and when i say anything i mean anything!It was only when i decided to buy an instructional book that at least i started to learn simplified version of pop/rock songs and beiung able to play them alongisde the cd!Then i learnt to occasionaly play those songs on classic guitar alongisde some other guy, then a year ago decided to start play with a band (really managed to start just last summer). Now after a few months of pratice I can decently play rhythm guitar with them hard rock and heavy metal songs (mainly Motorhead but also some Ted nugent, alice cooper, Judas priest, accept, Kiss etc.). If i get the right tab I can also learn some song in the same vein in half an hour or so so I should be quite satisfied (particullary if i remember from where i started): still i'm very frustrated because our bass player (who is also the singer) is a lot better than me and he is able to learn songs perfectly transcribing them directly from the cd! Also i can learn only Iron Maiden's easier songs but i'm quite far from playing hits like Number of the beast or Trooper (which would be a great goal of mine). So at the end of the day you'll never be utterly satisfied :-)!

go on playing mate and you'll get it

Cheers

Matteo


   
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RoundI
(@roundi)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 98
 

This is a topic I can relate to. I find guitar teachers need some guidelines from you. I once had a teacher who asked me "what do you want to do now" and I was very disappointed that she did not have a plan. I certainly didn't. I realize now that they want to focus on what you want to learn so now I make suggestions about songs or skills and things seem to progress well.

As for feeling disheartened I go through the songs & stuff I have learned since I started (approx. a year). Usually this involves playing a few songs along with the MP3 or CD etc. Just simple chords for the most part but after a while I realize I am having fun and the chords are not as hard as they were origionally.

I have also recently discovered "The Amazing Slow Downer" software to slow down music and not change the pitch which makes learning songs so much easier. It also allows me ot loop a short section of song and focus on one particular bit, I am sure there are other similar products out there too. I can now play along with the band even if I can't manage the origional speed. Much less frustration.

I can never play as well in front of my instructer as I can at home. Same goes for playing for friends and family, it is getting better though.


   
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JoeHempel
(@joehempel)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2415
 

I can play decently until I try to record myself. Then it all goes to heck.
+1 to that. Once you can play something perfectly put yourself in front of a camera, and then you amazingly can't play it anymore.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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Robbieboy
(@robbieboy)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

Again, thanks to all for the helpful comments and suggestions...

I think the problem for me right now is that not only am I bored with the songs I have learned (or tried to learn), I don't quite know where to resume. I seem to have several instructional books, each of which I have begun to work through enthusiastically only to get stuck at some point, causing me to lose 'momentum' and thus lose interest in the book.

Also I am wondering... is my choice of guitar holding me back, in terms of its 'playability'? (or lack thereof).
I won't say too much about where I got it, suffice to say that it is a steel- string I got from a retail outlet that most people visit to buy milk and bread. :)

Seriously though, is a better quality steel-string more 'playable' than a cheap one? Could my guitar be holding me back?


   
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Raistx
(@raistx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 78
 

Again, thanks to all for the helpful comments and suggestions...

I think the problem for me right now is that not only am I bored with the songs I have learned (or tried to learn), I don't quite know where to resume. I seem to have several instructional books, each of which I have begun to work through enthusiastically only to get stuck at some point, causing me to lose 'momentum' and thus lose interest in the book.

I used to have the same problem. You've got to slow down until you learn the fingerings. If you are already slowing down, slow down MORE. Once you get through that hurdle, the next few exercises will be managable and then the book will throw something else at you that feels "undoable". Again slow down to snails pace and you'll get there.
Also I am wondering... is my choice of guitar holding me back, in terms of its 'playability'? (or lack thereof).
I won't say too much about where I got it, suffice to say that it is a steel- string I got from a retail outlet that most people visit to buy milk and bread. :)

Aldi??
Seriously though, is a better quality steel-string more 'playable' than a cheap one? Could my guitar be holding me back?

Go to a store and pick up a couple of guitars to see if they feel different.


   
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Robbieboy
(@robbieboy)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

[
Aldi??

Right first time, Raistx! :lol:

Thanks for the tips.


   
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