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where were YOU after 6 months?

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furoner
(@furoner)
Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

I'm floundering. Been at it for 6 months, about 4 to 5 hrs/week - chords, chord changes, some tunes, some theory. But I feel that I haven't made any progress since end of the 4th month, altho' my patient wife does say I sound more confident. But what should I expect? Is it really so slow to start with? Will my fingers ever become more stretchy and bendy? Is there more to life than pentatonic scales and A then D then E then G then oops try an F, forget that, do a B7 instead.....dorh....where's that keyboard, it looks much easier! Anyone been here, anyone share my frustrations?


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

It seems you learnt a lot of things in 6 months and with the time you dedicate per week! The beginning is not easy but there is an instant in which you will start to improve your playing. At the beginning they are needed many new things but now you will get new chords, new strumming patterns, new songs everyday! You will be able to play many songs just in some time!

The keyboard seems easier because the notes are under every key, you only has to press the key, the C major scale is in the white keys, and so on, but it becomes harder when you start to play. You will 'see' the fretboard very soon and you also will 'see' the C major scale (really ALL the major scales) and many other things.

The most important, at least for me, is to enjoy while you are playing or practicing. You will increase the reward and you will want to play again!

And welcome to GN!


   
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Diceman
(@diceman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 407
 

I was where you are ... forty years ago . In fact I was probably behind you in my development because there was no such thing as Guitar Noise back then and I didn't know a pentatonic scale from a fish scale . That having been said , we all would like to start right at the guitar virtuoso stage and bypass the work necessary to get there . I think the problem some people have is that they forget to enjoy the learning process along the way . I would learn more songs and chord progressions and whenever possible , play with other people . Above all ...have some FUN !

Like Mac Davis said ...
"You got to Stop and Smell the roses
You've got to count your many blessings everyday
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't Stop and Smell the roses along the way . "

To which you reply " Who is Mac Davis ? ""

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .


   
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daven
(@daven)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 184
 

Well, I'm at about nine months now so just a bit ahead of you and practice just a bit more than you do so, no scales but some bass runs (partial scales), many songs, mostly old country and rock & roll some I play fairly well, some poorly, some finger picking for fun, open chords and chord switching have become easy to do, F I still use mostly xx3211. The barre F, I've discovered I need to get the neck of my guitar higher (about chest high) to get it right. I can usually get the E shape barres right from the 2nd through about the 7th fret and the A shape barres are pretty good from the 1st fret through the 7th fret though all of them need more practice to improve speed and accuracy. Just keep it up it sounds like you have a nicely varied routine so you should improve rapidly from here on. At least until you hit the next stumbling block. :D


   
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Ande
 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 652
 

It's slow at the beginning! Matter of fact, it's always slow imo. (Two years in.)

4-5 hours a week ain't a lot, but is probably about what I do. Slow and steady wins the race, and your fingers WILL get bendier. I just started a song with a chord that goes

--4--
--1--
--2--
--2--
--0--
--0--

Was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE three weeks ago.

Possible now, but sometimes a stumble.

In another 2-3 weeks, it's gonna be smooth and easy, every (well, almost every) time.

As you start new things, keep track of what's hard, and it'll help you see the progress.

Best,
Ande


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

Well, I'm at almost two years, come February. I had some lessons years ago, and I always dabbled in music (I had a Magnus Chord Organ that I was pretty proficient on). But I often feel I've made little to no progress, as some of these guys can attest to. Lately things are falling into place with things coming faster. For example, it took me a year and a half, I swear to get Proud Mary and a few other songs down. Some I can play fairly well, others not so good (yet).

But just the other night, in about three hours I banged out Runaway Train (Soul Asylum) and played with the recording. OK, it's still a little rough, but from a year to three hours to get a song. Last night I was getting annoyed with trying to do Magic Mirror (Leon Russell). It's a piano piece. Well, I think today I finally got it. When did I start working on it? Last night.

The point is that it will come in waves. You'll stall, plateau and get frustrated, then the floodgates will open.

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


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

It's slow at the beginning! Matter of fact, it's always slow imo. (Two years in.)

4-5 hours a week ain't a lot, but is probably about what I do.

Same here. Sometimes not even that much, other times I can do that in two days. The director of my last music school says to practice 20-30 mins. six days out of seven. Anything more is gravy. Do something with the guitar... anything. While sitting watching TV, pick it up and make some chords.

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


   
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Coolnama
(@coolnama)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 590
 

Well, I'm at almost two years, come February. I had some lessons years ago, and I always dabbled in music (I had a Magnus Chord Organ that I was pretty proficient on). But I often feel I've made little to no progress, as some of these guys can attest to. Lately things are falling into place with things coming faster. For example, it took me a year and a half, I swear to get Proud Mary and a few other songs down. Some I can play fairly well, others not so good (yet).

But just the other night, in about three hours I banged out Runaway Train (Soul Asylum) and played with the recording. OK, it's still a little rough, but from a year to three hours to get a song. Last night I was getting annoyed with trying to do Magic Mirror (Leon Russell). It's a piano piece. Well, I think today I finally got it. When did I start working on it? Last night.

The point is that it will come in waves. You'll stall, plateau and get frustrated, then the floodgates will open.

Wow how cool we started at basically the same time :D.

Well I'm a kid I'm supposed to have more time :P

Well last Wednesday night the classical guitar group had to do a song with two cuatros ( typical instrument ), and I learned it Wednesday, it took me an hour xD, it had a weird fingerpicking pattern but I did it. It was a weird song it changed from Cm to C major tonality right in the middle of the song, we played that night and it sounded great.

I can do pretty much anything :D, lol not really but alot of things, I like to jam in public, I love improvising, I'm progressing pretty well, I want to learn some harder rhythms with a pick though, at first I was worried about picking but I'm better at that now.

:P don't worry about it, the first 6 months are hard, you will get better soon :)

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

Wow how cool we started at basically the same time :D.

Well I'm a kid I'm supposed to have more time :P

From some of the things you've written, it seems like you are further along than me, for having started at the same time. I think you've also jammed and played with others. And yes, having the time as a "kid", gives you a big advantage. My teachers have said that.

I was once told on another forum (one that I rarely bother with anymore) that the person is a full time student, has a full time job, and manages to play 4-6 hours/day; I should be able to do the same. I just need to turn off the TV. Well, I think that was all pretty arrogant and presumptuous of him. :roll:

When it comes right down to it, it all depends on your own situation and time constraints. You get out as much as you (can) put in.

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


   
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uncle_ned
(@uncle_ned)
New Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1
 

I'm about five months. Adult, full-time job, etc. I take lessons once a week and try to practice an hour a day but I don't always get there. There are times where I feel super frustrated, and that I am making no progress at all. I feel I should be able to switch chords a lot smoother and quicker than I do; I have no rhythm (my playing on beat is terrible), an so on.

But on the other hand, I was playing around and my wife said play "Seven Nation Army". So, I remember seeing that as a lesson here, and was able to play all the parts just about right away (except the solo). I've been working at it most of the week and was able to sort-of keep up with a live White Stripes performance on youtube yesterday, so that's progress.

One thing my teacher suggested was to record myself playing something using a web cam and then filing that away and coming back to it a month later and seeing, that yes, very slowly, I am making progress. But I'm still two botched chords in a row away from frustration when I practice.


   
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tinsmith
(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 830
 

When I was 16, I was the greatest guitarist in the world.....now that I'm 55, I'm not so good.


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

Where was I after 6 monhs? Watching my gear collect quite the layer of dust and dog hair. I rode motorcycle, played baseball (real hardball) and golf on top of working too much and doing my one true stress relief every night - cooking. Yes, I was one of those types.Got back on it by late November. Would repeat same pattern twice more.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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Coolnama
(@coolnama)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 590
 

Wow how cool we started at basically the same time :D.

Well I'm a kid I'm supposed to have more time :P

From some of the things you've written, it seems like you are further along than me, for having started at the same time. I think you've also jammed and played with others. And yes, having the time as a "kid", gives you a big advantage. My teachers have said that.

I was once told on another forum (one that I rarely bother with anymore) that the person is a full time student, has a full time job, and manages to play 4-6 hours/day; I should be able to do the same. I just need to turn off the TV. Well, I think that was all pretty arrogant and presumptuous of him. :roll:

When it comes right down to it, it all depends on your own situation and time constraints. You get out as much as you (can) put in.

Yep jamming with others is a big help, well not jamming with my friends because they don't teach me anything but its really fun :D and it enables me to teach them and practice my teaching, but jamming with people who are more experienced is a big help.

I used to go to these jams at my uncle's place ( not his house its a place he's got ) with alot of experienced players, I never played with them I just watched and learned, and last time I went I could finally play with them :D, turns out most of the stuff they are doing is pretty straightforward and the only thing complicated is the solos, I held my own :D.

Haha forget about that guy, if he can do all that he has no life , its about having fun instead of looking at the guitar as more work its simply fun. Right now I can barely play 2 hours or 1 hour and a half, cause I missed 3 weeks of school in the hospital and now I'm far behind, and I missed yesterday and today because I have Gastritis now X_X, I can't even play guitar alot cause it hurts, but when I get to play I enjoy it and I know when I get back to it I'll do something different instead of doing the same old thing over and over.

I bet you know more songs than I do though, :P I don't like learning songs from bands because I don't have a band the most I can get out of my friends is a jam session because we are all so busy at school, what I do is compose some jams simple enough for them to play but with some cool harmony for me to try weird things over and just that takes some time I have to teach them a week before the jam so they can get it by the time we jam.

Its what you said, it all depends on the situation :D.

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


   
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Melody
(@melody)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 39
 

I was once told on another forum (one that I rarely bother with anymore) that the person is a full time student, has a full time job, and manages to play 4-6 hours/day; I should be able to do the same. I just need to turn off the TV. Well, I think that was all pretty arrogant and presumptuous of him.

Arrogant and presumptuous? (and full of it perhaps :lol: ) I think the person was severely sleep-deprived! Do the math.
f/t student 6 hours
f/t job 8 hours
play/practice 6 hours
__________________
that leaves 4 hours for sleep and homework so I'm not so sure how productive the 4-6 hours of practice would be anyway

It does depend on each individual situation, and it probably depends on how you practice and what you call 'practice'. Some people may progress faster with an hour of practice a day than the guy who puts in three.

Playing with others would be great fun and a good way to improve. So far, I haven't been able to do much of that but maybe someday...

Mel


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

I didn't bother engaging in further conversation. I knew it would come to no good. His boast was not unlike the 135 lb 17 year old who can bench press 265 lbs. :roll: So many loose nuts behind the keyboard on the interwebz. :lol:

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


   
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