View Full Version : I need some moral support

11-26-2003, 01:18 AM
It's been a while since I checked in here. I did not have a good lesson last week. Up to this point, I was doing OK, following & keeping up. I had a hard time keeping up w/the group.
I'm SLOW at changing chords--so much so that it take me a whole strum to make the change.
I'm having trouble with bends--I don't really hear a difference in sound.
The instructor aslo made an arrangement w/"I Walk the Line" where he addes some strum patterns into the melody.
Sight reading bass notes is a challenge, but I really don't want to write in the notes.
I try to practice 30 min a day, which is pretty much all I can afford. I'm a full-time Mom w/ 2 kids. Learning the guitar is just something I want to do for ME.
Thanks for listening, guys.

11-26-2003, 01:38 AM
I would consider getting private lessons then if I were in that situation. It will move more at your pace and not the groups pace.

And/or you could try to practice just the chord changes that are giving you the trouble for the full 30 minutes and see how much you improve. If you haven't been here in a couple of weeks, I'm not sure if you saw Eric's most recent article on practicing which was the best article on the subject I've seen. I bet this will help also.

I hope that helps. We all go through moods and get hard on ourselves or down about a situation. Tomorrow is always a new day. I think Troy Stetina said it best at the end of one of his video tapes, "Repetition is the mother of all skill." I have found that to be true not only with guitar but with everything in life. If you only have 30 minutes a day then it will take you a little longer than if you have 1 hr but if you hang in there it will still come in time.

The Bash
11-26-2003, 07:20 AM
You suffer from 2 much too fast :)
There should never be a need to Have to Keep Up.
What is this a race? No, of course not.
Group lessons really don't work well for those very reasons.
It's not u can't get something out of it, but don't worry about keeping up. Just logged as much info as u can and work on it in detail in your own sweet time.

Now as far as chord changes.
Take a tune such as this G-D-C-G-D-C-G-D-Am-G-D-C
Ok now look at what u got there
We got 4 chords G-D-C-Am
We got 5 Chord Transtions, (G to D)(D to C)(C to G)(D to Am) and (Am to G) these are what u need to focus on.

Now we gotta start someplace so let's start with G to D

Be sure first u know the chords by memeory and can see them cleanly in your head without guitar in hand. Be sure u can draw them out on a chord chart. This is a must cause if u can see the chords in your head you'll proably never move between them very well.

Now look closely at the chords see where are fingers are sitting and find the most direct route to the chord we wanna go to.
In this case keep your fingers on G and just imagine, one at a time, them moving to D.
It's better to think of pushing your fingers off in the direction they needed to be headed for the next chord instead of just picking em up then trying to find the next chord.

Ok now be able to do that very slowly in Your Mind. No Guitar in Hand. If you can see in cleanly in your mind and prac this mental approach over and over until you do you'll know where your going.

Now (without playing/strumming) make the chord on your guitar and prac moving to the next chord VERY VERY VERY SLOW just as u were practicing in your head.

Now once u can do the above comfortably enuff try strumming say half notes or give each chord a 2 beat strum then move to the next chord repeat over and over VERY VERY VERY SLOW.

Now Hopefully, and if not GET ONE, you have a Metronome.
Set it to something very slow say 60 and let it click 2 times per chord. So every two clicks we should move to the new chord.
If that's still too fast slow it down sum more.
When we can nail it move it up like 4 beats a min to 64 and repeat till we max out. Mark it down (the number) and work up to it everyday. You'll get faster and the number will go up.
Once u get to say 120 go back to 60 but make the changes quarter notes or one change per click.

Once u got those 2 chords at a reasonable tempo (dosen't have to be warp speed). Go thur the same process with the remaining 4 chord movements. Be sure to set aside time to review and still work on what you've learned (in this case G to D) so u won't forget it or lose it.

Ok that was one example just do the same for one of the songs your strumming. Find the actual chord movements and nail em one at a time. Forget trying to do them all at once. Take your time with them one at a time. This may seem longer and slower but you will actually be able to play something that sounds good this way.

11-26-2003, 11:00 AM
Thank you, The Bash. I'm going to print out your instructions. They are very thorough. I think they will help.

Guess, I'm just going through a mood...it'll all pass...Thanks for the support, Chris.

11-26-2003, 03:35 PM
it will pass, just try to have fun

11-26-2003, 05:21 PM
Can you find on the internet a program where you can use a metronome for playing guitar?

@LIChick: I understand you're problem, now I'm also learning to switch chords.
I also have problems with my left hand and my right hand, it's difficult to let them work both at the same moment. If I focus me on my left hand for switching between 2 chords, automatically my right hand stops with strumming, especially when I change between chords where you have to change all you're 3 fingers from position on the fretboard.

I guess it just will take a long time to switch smooth between the chords, but this forum is really useful when you have problems. It's a pitty that we don't have such a good forum in Belgium:)

11-26-2003, 09:15 PM
Hey LIChick,
Don't worry that you can't keep up with the class, especially since you can only do 30 minutes a day to practice. A book I'm learning from has a series of multipart lessons. The book says something like if you are working at a good pace, you should be able to complete one lesson per two weeks. I have been working on lesson one steadily for about six months now.:( I don't sweat it too much. I just go along merrily at my own turtle's pace.
Good luck

Bongo Boy
11-27-2003, 07:16 AM
All I'll add is that it's hard enough to meet my own expectations, let alone the pressure of having to 'keep up'. Don't let that bug you...30 minutes a day is simply not enough to make the kind of progress I think we'd all like. I average about 30 min a day as well, but only a few days a week. So...after two years now, I really don't know any chords at all, and am not happy with my scale knowledge. I certainly can't play any songs.

You will see progress though, and whatever progress you see in your work, enjoy it and repeat it.

11-27-2003, 07:42 AM
Just keep plugging away! :) Not everyone progresses at the same rate and that's ok. We're all different.

I think you should try singing along with the bass notes. You should also try singing along with the notes you are bending. You need to establish the connection between your ears, fingers, and brain. Singing the notes can make that happen quicker.

Good luck and don't give up! :)

The Bash
11-27-2003, 09:50 AM
LIchick your welcome :)

Timeless you might try actualy allowing yourself to be sloppy.
What I mean is set a metronome faster than u know u can keep up the chord changes and allow youself to blow them, However Force your right hand to keep on going.
That's a problem a lot of people have at first.

What tends to happen is they can't make the change so the left hand struggles the right hand stops and there is now a unwanted pause or rest where u there shouldn't be.

Now the problem is they kinna prgram that rest in there and even after they speed up there changes they still kinna rest inbetween them. You must force yourself to keep the right hand chugging away no matter what happens. This is usually easier to do at a faster tempo (less space between the beats or clicks on the meternome), plus it gaurentees were going mess up the lefthand so we get used to keeping the right hand going.

Now u certainly don't wanna sound like this and I don't suggest u accept sloppy as ok, only that you're allowing it to happen in a controled situation.

What you would like to happen is getting use to the righthand going no matter what. Now once u can master that. Try playing something (simple 2 chord change maybe), now with your right hand chugging away no matter what pasy attention to your lefthand. Is he getting there in time, is it clean etc. If Not your going to fast so back off the tempo until it's clean.

2 things A metronome is a must :)

And if your right hand dosen't learn to chug away no matter what it may not be obvious that your going to fast cause u keep placing itty bitty rest bewteen your chords to help u keep up (so now your real choppy). Forcing yourself to not stop is an easu way to tell your tempos too fast cause if your going to fast what your playings gonna sound like crud :) No biggie, just slow it down.

As far as the Met on line there was a link to the Y-metronome on this site someplace but I don't know where it's at. It's a very cool
tool, and best of all it's Free!

11-27-2003, 06:10 PM
Thx for you're great advice.

11-27-2003, 11:48 PM
Hey LIChick no need to get all down over that, we all have different learning curves for different abilities when playing. Private lessons would be good, but dont quit the group, youll catch up. Just try to really find what chord changes slow you down and work on those!
Hope this helps and it just makes me dang happy ot hear of moms still into making music.... YOU ROCK!

12-02-2003, 07:26 PM
If it can make you feel better: I've been playing guitar for 6 years and I still have trouble with chord changes. Well, maybe it's because I've been playing too much HM with only powerchords :D
Anyway, it doesn't bother me too much, as I can play quite well apart from it, and most of all, I have fun playing guitar. Remember to always have un while playing, I think it's the most important thing for any amateur guitarist. I think you should (in addition to all the aove exercises) keep ten minutes of your daily working time to just have fun playing easy stuff you like, not bothering about sounding bad.

12-02-2003, 09:00 PM
I remember the first time I picked up the guitar I had problems changing chords (doesn't everybody) and I sat down and played from E to A and back to E again over and over till I got it right.

Even today, 20-something years later, when I learn a new chord I have to practice changing to it for 10-15 mins or so untill I can get it. Sometimes I never get it until days later.

Sometimes what happens is on day one I can't make the change fast enough so I just keep practicing it, and by day 2 when I come back to it, it just works. It's just a question of getting the brain hardwired for it. Once something clicks in the brain, then it's there for the next time you call it.

Nothing that a little bit of practice wont cure. Just spend a little time making up a song or rhythm with the changes. Don't "fret" about it. You will get it.