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(@artvandalay3641)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I have been trying to play for the last year and a half and recently it seems that I have been regressing. So I decided to buy a microphone for my computer to help me improve. After listening to a few clips I have learned that I am terrible, my strumming is just awful. I knew I wasnt good but I didnt know that I was absolutely terrible.

My question is where do I go from here, I know lessons would be my best bet but at this point I dont have the time or money to invest in lessons. I am thinking about just taking some time off to kind of regroup and start over.

Any advice would be very helpful


   
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(@artlutherie)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1157
 

I'll bet if you've been playing as long as you have your not as bad as you think, we are after all our own worst critics if your brave enough post in the Hear Hear section and we'll critic you. Before you say no way, we're all really nice and we won't shred you we'll just point out what you need to work on as well as how to do it. If not then figure out what's wrong with your recordings and work to improve it.

Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear!
ChuckNorrisFactsdotCom


   
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(@fretfumbler)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 26
 

I suggest trying a DVD. I too felt like I was in a rut a little while ago. I tried lessons about two years ago with two different teachers, but didn't seem to get much out of the $35.00 lessons.

So, I got to thinking that I could buy a DVD for the same price as one lesson. I think it was a great move. Got 120 minutes of quality instruction and it will probably take me an entire year to progress through the whole thing. Couple that with the good advice you can get on this site, and you'll make some progress.

This is where I got mine, and I would recommend it (I have no affiliation with this web site):

http://www.homespuntapes.com/


   
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(@artvandalay3641)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

thanks, for the advice. It may take me a while to get the courge to post a clip on here though.
Also, do you know which DVD you got off the that site, (does it have strumming/timing exercises?) .

One more quick question, I've read that the proper way to hold the pick is w/ your thumb and index finger but everytime I try this I always end up using my thumb,index and middle finger. Is this something I really need to work on fixing?


   
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(@metallicaman)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 312
 

IMO, I believe a dvd isnt that great of an idea. Sure it probably has some stuff in it BUT, I believe practice is really all you need. I would Take everything I know on the guitar, Start where Im messing up most. Not fretting hard enough, incorrect strumming patterns, not alternate picking through solos, and incorrect placement of fingers of chords are ALL due to not enough practice on each thing. I believe that most guitarists now adays (beginners to intermediates) Learn there favorite songs and then stop. They play them every now and then, but they dont PRACTICE there scales, there chords, and the song itself enough. Guitar is definatly one thing that takes an immense amount of patience and practice. If your strumming patters are off, then try playing the song ALONG with the artist to get the rythem right. Otherwise, it just takes time, practice, and you must be determined. I have been playing for about 2 and a half years and I find myself bored, stuck, and wanting to quit guitar all the time but learning new scales, chords, and especailly my favorite songs by tab help me get back into the spirit of playing guitar and learning more and more. Also, I do understand that you seem that you can pay alot for guitar lessons but they are the best teaching tool possible. Having a more knowledgeable guitarist teaching you things 1 on 1 is a very smart and healthy way to learn. They can show you things to help you out. Maybe you should save a little bit or maybe look into guitar and instrument courses at a near by college or school. All Im saying is, guitar lessons feel like a waste of money at first but they really do help.

Hope any of this helped.

MetallicaMan :)

Sing Me A Song Your a Singer, Do me a wrong, your a bringer of evil. - Dio


   
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(@artlutherie)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1157
 

Hold your pick the way you want . The only thing you won't be able to do holding it like that is Hybrid pick I.E. pick two strings at once with the pick and your middle finger not used much but still a nice technique to add to your toolbox.

Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear!
ChuckNorrisFactsdotCom


   
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(@rocker)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1128
 

mettallicaman is 100% right, also, do you know anyone that plays? lessons are very expensive, but there is no dvd or book out there that is better then one on one instruction
with a qualified instructor, but no matter how you choose to learn, you have got to practice,
and start slow, you may be trying to do to much to fast, good luck and stick with it it will come. 8)

even god loves rock-n-roll


   
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(@prndl)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 199
 

The good news is that you found out BEFORE playing in front of anyone!

You can work on your rhythm - it's not hard, which doesn't mean that it's easy.

I learned rhythm when I got a Miracle Piano, which had lessons and games on the computer or Nintendo.
You learned the song, and then played it - and the computer listened and corrected you.
It was difficult at first, but worthwhile.

Learning a second instrument is required in music schools.
This is because it forces you to hear and learn other aspects of music.

Self-observation and self-correction is definitely the way to improve yourself.
It's also quite a blow to the ego!

First practice some humbleness, then practice guitar.
So what, you're not a guitar god ... I bet you can still have some fun.
If you really need a boost, try playing some head-banger two-chord rock ...
I wanna rock and roll all nite long by Kiss, anything by the Sex Pistols, etc.
Crank your amp and play hard till your sweaty, tired and happy!

1 watt of pure tube tone - the Living Room Amp!
http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Amps/LivingRoomAmp.html
Paper-in-oil caps rule!


   
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(@pkrider)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 59
 

To hell with how you sound! How do you feel while playing? Do you get a release from the daily grind? It's the creative process that is more important than the end result IMHO. DO NOT QUIT! A few months beofre Jerry Garcia died he said, "One of these days I'm going to actually learn ho to play the guitar"! Every guitar player feels unworthy from time to time! The world is better off if more people play music! Keep playing, and you will develop character as you push thru the ruts and the grinds. I've been playing 23 years, and sometimes I know I'm a total hack.... the other day I was playing in front of a guy I consider MUCH better than me, and he said, "Wow, you're good. I wish I could play like that". When I realized he was serious, I told him I was just aboout to tell him the same thing! We both laughed.... The other guy always sounds better :shock: . Anyhow, keep playing. Don't quit! Don't even take a break. maybe break out of your rut by attempting a style you've overlooked (I got into bluegrass last year. I'm still a rocker but the bluegrass is fun too). I hope you stick with :)

PK


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

First of all, it is perfectly normal to get frustrated playing guitar. It is a difficult instrument to play correctly, and an easy instrument to make mistakes on. So what you are going through is normal, it is the same for all of us.

You are already doing one thing right, and it is really the most important thing of all. You are listening carefully. That can be very frustrating because you hear all your mistakes. But it is also the secret to playing well. This may sound simplistic and stupid, but IF IT SOUNDS GOOD, IT IS GOOD.

It doesn't matter if you hold the pick like everyone else. Hold the pick the way it is most comfortable to you and helps you play well. By the way, I believe Eddie Van Halen holds his pick with the thumb and middle finger. He plays pretty well.

Recordings can be misleading. They often tend to sound far more harsh and clanky than the guitar actually sounds live. So take that into consideration.

I think the greatest secret to strumming well is to RELAX. I found this out when I was in a band many years ago. The other guitarist, Sam, was a fantastic rhythm guitarist. He just amazed me. To this day I have never met anyone who could strum like this guy. I used to watch him. He made it look so easy. And then I realized it was easy. Sam just relaxed. He was so incredibly loose with his wrist.

I tell ya, I learned right there to relax. And almost immediately I became a much better strummer. It really works.

And strumming is not just moving up and down. I compare it to playing drums. A drummer doesn't just hit one steady beat. That would be completely boring to listen to. No, a drummer puts accents in their playing. You already know this. But it is the same with strumming. Get loose as a goose and put some feeling into your strumming. Strum soft as a whisper and then bang out some big loud chords on the chorus. Just relax and have fun with it. Don't agonize over little mistakes and the occasional bad note. That just adds character to the song.

Whatever you do, don't give up. If you practice regular, you will get good.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@artvandalay3641)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

Thanks for the advice everyone I think it will help. I am going to take your advice and post a few clips in the Hear Hear forum, I' m pretty apprehensive about doing it but I really dont have anything to lose, since my goal going into guitar wasnt ever to be Warren Haynes (one of favorites) but to just be able to play some songs by my favorite artists (Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Wilco) and have some fun


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Artvandalay3641

Hey, that's the attitude! :D

By the way, are you an architect, or in latex?

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@artvandalay3641)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I tried to be "Latex salesman, the selling of latex, and latex related products". They just wouldn't give me a chance. So I did some work as an Architect and an iporter/exporter

Ah, I love that show


   
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(@artvandalay3641)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I posted a few clips over in the hear hear forum if any of you would like to give me some advice


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

I'll be happy if I can manage to get to where you are.

Relax, dude. I didn't hear any suckage in what you posted.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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