Time for my 6 month whine...
Mike, Keep on practicing those changes. I used to practice those boring chord changes for like an hour a day but soon you will get it. Then you can look back a laugh after you mastered it. Keep working hard!!!
"Failure is the key to success" Lee Wen; Champ vs Champ
I have been in those variouse situations mentioned in this thread.
I got a guitar at age 16 but didn't bother to learn to play anything else than distorted powerchords plus some simple melodies executed with the worst technique ever executed on earth.
It all changed in one evening (somewhen in sep/04) when I decided or realized that this isn't everything I wanted.
I figured I hat "wasted" a lot of time (literally many years) not really practicing, thought about how many cool songs I should be able to play by now and of course I got in a hurry.
I created several different practice plans, all to maximize the results given in the short time I had every day but was never satisfied.
Right from the start I put myself into negative motivation thus leading to frustration.
I quit playing guitar for the whole summer picked it back up in september, decided to learn nothing but a few songs that I liked and was surprised at what progress I really made since the "second beginning" and thatz guitar playing not only can be fun but should be fun.
By now I don't have overcomplicated plans. I choose a few things and stick to them until I can do it somewhat flawlessly.
then the next thing comes along etc... etc...
I still write down what these things are, the approximate time I might do and maybe tempo but nothings written in stone.
I'm not a machine :lol:
And never forget: As good as it may be to completely concentrate to get that lick or chord or song or whatever down, sometimes you just have to grab your guitar and mess around. I doens't matter as long as it keeps you motivated and as long as you have a good time 8)
just my little story
NO MORE THEORY!!
KNOW MORE THEORY!!!!
something that will help you learn chord progression is the song simple man (lynryd skynryd) its got C, G and Am. Once i learned to play that song in time with the real one changing open chords has been easy. And you can take the picking pattern and use any three chords you want while still sounding good. And it gets you better at picking, or fingerpicking. That one song helped me all around as a guitar player more than anything. It took me at least 4 straight hours of playing to get it down perfectly. i suggest any new guitar player to learn that song. Ive been playing since july by the way, so about 6 months for me too.
What Wes said. I too was having some problems with the basic open chords. I could form them just fine and they sounded good, until I tried to move between them. My strumming wasn't that great either. I'd get uptight and a little peeved at myself. So I decided to spend some time only doing chords progressions and doing a DDDU type strumming pattern. Since it sounded like music I enjoyed it and I'd find myself looking up new chords to go with what I was doing and trying different strum patterns. While I'm still not perfect at them, I'm much better though. That was about a month ago I started doing that and I've been playing for well over a year now. So don't feel bad and just relax and enjoy your guitars. Once you get into your head that it's not a race things seem to just start being for fun.
It really is that simple.
"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"
Everyone has given good advise, and I have heard what you have posted so far, and you're doing good. I don't know too many songs all the way through, but the ones I do know I have used this technique. When I get frustrated and experiencing what you are going through now, I just pick one of Davids easy songs, and stick to it until I know it. I find that if I keep skipping around, thats all I learn, is little pieces. You might drive other people in you house crazy with the same song for a week, but it will work. I also try to do one piece of the song at a time, before moving on. Try this, I think you'll get it. Good luck and have fun.
I'll second everything so far.
Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear!
Mike. Just stick with it and enjoy it when it goes good and practice it when it goes bad. Eventually the ratio of good to bad gets better but it will fluctuate depending on practice time. If you get frustrated, put it down or move on to something else then come back. Frustration will be your worst enemy. Your second worst enemy is believing it has to be at speed everytime you start something new like a different progression with even the chords you already know. The order changes precision also.
I practice chord changes at least a hour a day and am still not near where I want to be.
One of the best things I ever got out of having a teacher were practice techniques that really did work.
Here's his "how to learn a new chord" technique.
decide which two chords you're going to practice that day. You only work on two at at time till they are mastered.
If it's totally new chords, start by simply without worrying about time, put your fingers in position on the first chord and strum 4 times. Move them to the second chord and strum 4 times. Do this back and forth 100 times.
Yes, I said 100 times. Speed is not the issue. Rythm doesn't matter here. All that matters is that every strum on those two chords lets exactly the right notes ring. No bad notes.
If it's not a totally new chord, then set your metronome at something really slow and reasonable, say 60 bpm.
You're in 4/4 time. On 1, play the first chord and let it ring. You want to be ready to strum the second chord on the next 1 beat. Then you go back to the first chord. Do this till you can switch between those two chords on the beat with ease.
Now, add strums on beat 3. So you're playing | 1 rest 3 rest | for each chord. When you can do that with ease, then go to | 1 2 3 rest |, then | 1 2 3 4 |.
When you add the strum on the 4th beat you might find that you have lower the speed down a bit. That's ok. Drop it down to 40 bpm if you have to. Then speed it back up.
Once you have it at 60bpm, start increasing by 2bpm until you can just barely manage to stay in time. Stay there until it's natural and sounds solid, then slowly increase speed again.
Before you know it, you'll be playing 4 beats to the bar and switching cleanly between those two chords at 200 bpm.
Now have a basis to add new chords.
It seems like it's tedious, but it works and it works quickly because you're building muscle memory on only two chords. Trying to do this with more than 2 chords at a time, or while doing 15 other things will reduce the effectiveness.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST
WOW! I am completel overwelmed by all your responses!!!!!!!!!! I only posted this to vent off some steam! I never expected THIS much support!
I don't want anyone to think that I want to quit playing guitar...that's the farthest from my mind. I am just having a hard time not having any real milestones to compare myself to. Teaching physical education we are taught that there are various milestones students should achieve by a certain age (ie. walking, skipping, object control, etc.). Guitar playing is so much different it's hard to gauge your progress.
However I was in Daddy's Junky Music yesterday and I was tinkering with a few guitars (mostly acoustic but one or 2 electrics)...and this older guy came into the acoustic room and started asking me quiestions about guitars ansd playing. He heard me "noodling" and said I sounded good! I told him I have only played for 6 months...in retrospect things were coming smoother than the last time I was there playing some guitars.
Thanks everyone for your responses and support!!!
"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"