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Site Lesson Specific Questions => Justin's Beginners Guitar Course (BC) => Topic started by: justinguitar on June 03, 2009, 12:01:39 pm

Title: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: justinguitar on June 03, 2009, 12:01:39 pm
Lesson direct link: http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-101-CommonQuestions.php

Questions...

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Flashmann on June 09, 2013, 09:06:12 pm
Hello, I'm a beginner and a woman with small hands. I bought my guitar four weeks ago and found Justin's site about three weeks ago. I have been practicing every day after work. I'm having alot of problems with the D cord. My ring finger just doesn't want to reach. My fingers are so callused that I can't even feel the strings when I change from A to D and so on.

 I don't know anybody who plays guitar that could help me. 

 MY QUESTION - With practice will the mucsles in my fingers and hands learn to stretch? I am 48 and wondered if my hands could make that change. I want this so much, but I'm starting to get frustrated. :-\

I started a year ago at age 58 and I did it,so it's not age...Those very first 3 chords required the muscles in my fingers/wrist/forearm/upper arm to be used in ways they never had.I thought I knew what contortionists feel like.Early on I even had to help place my fingers WITH MY OTHER HAND! ;D
It will all settle down for you,relatively soon.I was on stage 1 for 2 months and I probably rushed it at that.
My size problem was thinking my hands were too big... ;D At 6-2 and 250ish pounds,I have rather large hands/fingers...Sausage fingers... ;D
Didn't matter...Practice and time fixed it for me and it will for you.
The calouses calm down too,and you get a sense of feel through them...More time and practice...

Like you,I don't really know anyone who plays to talk to either.That's a big reason I come here... :D

Yes your fingers will stretch but you have to work at it.There are different exercises designed to focus in on specific areas of stretch/strength,which themselves all take time and practice to show results.
3 weeks in may be a bit early,but when you feel ready,I suggest starting with the "Finger gym",found in the technique section.You're going to constantly need more stretch and more strength as you progress.By stage 3 or 4 you'll see what I mean... ;D
Really try to not be frustrated.I've been down that road and can go on at great length on how that will stunt you,from personal experience. ;)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on June 10, 2013, 01:49:07 am
With practice will the mucsles in my fingers and hands learn to stretch? I am 48 and wondered if my hands could make that change. I want this so much, but I'm starting to get frustrated. :-\

I started at 46, now my fingers do things I never imagined they would. The age thing comes up a lot. It's a myth that you need to be 6 years old and from a family of savant musicians to learn to play.

Fingers are smart, and ignorant. They don't know that they're too long/short/thin/fat/slow or lazy - that's your perception. They learn to compensate for whatever problems you think they have. You're asking them to do something intricate and different, it'll take time. Keep doing the exercises and 1 minute changes.

Check your guitar is set up well and the action is playable. If it's too high, it'll be harder to play.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Christie on June 10, 2013, 08:37:33 pm
Another 40-something beginner delurking. Started playing two months ago, and found Justin's course and website within the first few days. Bought the Beginner's Songbook and got to work on the lessons. Stages 1-2 went pretty well and the progress was encouraging. I hit a wall with Stage 3 and have spent more than four weeks trying to get the problems sorted out. It seemed like the more I worked, the worse things sounded. In particular, changes involving the C-chord have been a challenge. Finally, just in the last week I feel like things are moving forward again, so I have started Stage 4.

Just wanted to tell all of you who post the questions and answers on this forum that you have been very helpful to me, even though I haven't posted a question of my own yet! I've searched dozens of topics so far and there have always been suggestions and encouraging posts to read. It is reassuring to know that there is nothing unique about what a struggle some of this has been, and that things will improve if I work through it. So THANKS!!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on June 10, 2013, 08:53:35 pm
Welcome to the forum Christie.

You'll find learning guitar isn't a long up hill journey it's more spikes and plateau and some times you feel
like your going backwards. Sometimes you'll find yourself play things you didn't know you knew  :)

Quote
It seemed like the more I worked, the worse things sounded.
Sometime it best just to practice some thing else or just play for fun when that happens
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: licksnkicks on June 10, 2013, 08:56:53 pm
It's amazing because some days I sound amazing and am so happy with my progress and then there are those "other" days that I sound like crap.  Gotta just roll with the punches.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: NBecks on June 11, 2013, 11:30:09 pm
Hi Justin,

First a BIG thank you to you for this site. Incredibly helpful.

Well I am a beginner at Guitar (Ibanez- Electric Acoustic), I'm not new to the musical world (Vocalist) and hang out with a lot of Musicans. The guitarists are split on finger picking vs pick, so I'd like to hear your take. To pick or not pick, that is the question.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: licksnkicks on June 12, 2013, 03:55:21 am
Finger picking vs. picking!  I guess it depends wholly on which style of music you play in.  I play rock and blues and can't imagine finger picking.  I love my pick.  It's a red and black Dava pick!   I have other picks but I can't play as well with them. It's psychological, I know! 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on June 12, 2013, 06:36:49 pm
They're both good styles to learn, and both can rock.

Check out Richie Kotzen playing fingerstyle at about 2 minutes in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh65m6SMA5I

The whole thing is tight playing though.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Seagull-S6 on June 12, 2013, 09:08:10 pm
Hi guys,

how long does it "generally" take to go through the beginners course ? How long did it take for you ?

Thanks
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on June 12, 2013, 10:12:33 pm
How long is a piece of string?

It takes different amounts of time for different people. I "finished" it in around 12 months, but still go back to it to brush up on things.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Seagull-S6 on June 15, 2013, 07:18:55 am
Hi guys,

I started playing guitar 2 months ago but a a few days ago I noticed that the thumb of my left hand started to hurt...is my technique bad ? I guess I'm pressing to much with my thumb to compensate the lack of force in my fingers...some say that they use their chest and the right arm to hold the guitar against the fingers of the left hand when playing and this way they just use their thumb for orientation only...I this technique bad ?...should I start playing this way ?

Thanks.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Chantal on June 15, 2013, 09:32:52 am
Hi S6 (love your username, btw)... Your right arm should keep the guitar in place. The left hand shouldn't support the neck at all, it's only used to play the chords. But whether you're doing anything wrong is very difficult to say. Not enough info to figure that out.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on June 16, 2013, 06:24:17 am
Seagull....take your right arm and sort of put the guitar somewhere between the upper arm and you body and strum. See how your arm just naturally holds the guitar in place?

Now put your left hand on the neck fretting chords while you strum. Your fingers provide the pressure for the chords. Your thumb shouldn't be pressing any harder than your fingers.

It takes a bit of work to get used to, but pressing "just hard enough" will be one of the best things you ever learn.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Mac76 on June 16, 2013, 10:26:44 am
Hi I don't know if i have put this in the right area, I have quite large fingers and I'm finding I have to keep looking where to put my left hand constantly to find the right chords is there any techniques that will help me to stop looking where i'm placing my fingers as it obviously makes everything stop while i'm looking!!

Thanks Mac
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Size12jon on June 16, 2013, 12:44:31 pm
Hi Mac it's just time and practice, finger size has nothing to do with it you will build up muscle memory eventually.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on June 16, 2013, 03:57:15 pm
Quote
s there any techniques that will help me to stop looking where i'm placing my fingers

Learn to use your ear more and your eyes less. Practice forming each chord slowly and don't look at your
fingers. Listen to what your fingers are playing and if it's wrong without looking find the right note/s.
It will only take 5 minute every time you practice.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on June 17, 2013, 01:59:34 am
I think it's more a natural progression. The muscle memory, through endless repetition via exercises and learning songs, ingrains it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Chantal on June 17, 2013, 08:09:47 am
Yeah, what drubbing says. It's a natural process. Sure you can train yourself to do chord changes without looking. I have, but that doesn't mean I don't look at the fretboard anymore. And most guitar players, including the professionals, will look at their fretting hand to some extent.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Mac76 on June 17, 2013, 04:44:37 pm
Thanks for the advice people, I suppose i will just keep plucking away whilst tearing what remains of my hair out haha,

I have the A and D major chords down now although not perfect every time but not bad for a week i suppose, Just have to listen to the advice and take my time. Now just have to concentrate on moving from them to the G, C, E Major which is where everything goes bottom up  :-\

Many thanks

Mac  ;)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Nk101 on June 18, 2013, 11:27:53 am
Hey hi, Actually I had few questions to ask. I am 25yrs old and bought a guitar last month. Have been practicing chords and memorizing them. Could you please tell me what should I do STEP by STEP in order to learn and play good guitar .

Please tell me what should I do step by step and how much time should I give it. At the moment I'm just practicing chords and I know 12 chords. Please help me :) thanks

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Chantal on June 18, 2013, 11:31:03 am
You only need to follow Justin's course. Start at Stage 0 and just complete each lesson and then move on to the next one. You won't have to remember the steps, as they're all laid out for you :)


Lesson 1:
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-101-CommonQuestions.php

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TheReplicant on June 18, 2013, 08:48:41 pm
Hey hi, Actually I had few questions to ask. I am 25yrs old and bought a guitar last month. Have been practicing chords and memorizing them. Could you please tell me what should I do STEP by STEP in order to learn and play good guitar .

Please tell me what should I do step by step and how much time should I give it. At the moment I'm just practicing chords and I know 12 chords. Please help me :) thanks

Just follow Justin's Beginners Course, step by step. Last August I'd never played a chord in my life and I'm 36. Now I can play around 15 songs from memory.

I'd recommend getting Justin's Beginner's Course book, plus his Beginner's Songbook. The website and youtube clips are great for demonstrations when you first learn something new but I found having it down in print helped a lot too. You don't have to keep pausing a paper page.

Follow the course, don't cut corners and you'll progress.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Nk101 on June 20, 2013, 07:22:33 am
Thanks a lot of the advice :)

Just wondering as I have been practicing, that do I have to be perfect in a specific chord or have to master Justin's learning stage 1 then 2 and 3 and so on and then move to the next one or just practice stage 1 for a while and then move to the next one even if I don't perfect the 1st stage? Please help
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Chantal on June 20, 2013, 07:27:52 am
Justin has laid out some goals you need to achieve before moving to the next stage. The practice routine is at the end of each stage. Buying the course means those to-do lists are included so you can fill them out and see your progress.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Nk101 on June 20, 2013, 07:28:18 am
Thanks a lot of the advice :)

Just wondering as I have been practicing, that do I have to be perfect in a specific chord or have to master Justin's learning stage 1 then 2 and 3 and so on and then move to the next one or just practice stage 1 for a while and then move to the next one even if I don't perfect the 1st stage? Please help
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Nk101 on June 20, 2013, 07:29:05 am
Thanks a lot Chantal :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Nk101 on June 20, 2013, 07:31:00 am
And what would you advice me, how to practice? with amp connected and practice with headphones or just guitar, nothing plugged?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Chantal on June 20, 2013, 10:16:05 am
Unplugged. You can hear your mistakes better when the guitar is not amplified.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tcopestake1 on June 20, 2013, 04:19:17 pm
Hey,

I've seen a lot of questions about how much practicing to do and finger pain etc (Thankfully I'm past that for the most part). But I was wondering if anyone else just has an "off" couple of days where even the simplest things seem mega difficult?

To give you an idea of where I am in terms of progress, I'm just about to move on to the third section of the beginners course, I practice every day and I'm just trying to finesse my one minute changes to meet Justins recommendation, but for the last couple of days it just seems my fingers aren't connected to my brain anymore and going all over the place, even the simpler chords I've played hundreds of times seem really hard.

Basically my question is this, has anyone else been through this and if so should I knuckle down and plough through and try and correct my mistakes or should I step a way for a couple of days and come back with a fresh head?

Thanks
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Flashmann on June 20, 2013, 04:49:27 pm
Quote
I was wondering if anyone else just has an "off" couple of days where even the simplest things seem mega difficult?
seems my fingers aren't connected to my brain anymore and going all over the place, even the simpler chords I've played hundreds of times
 has anyone else been through this and if so should I knuckle down and plough through and try and correct my mistakes or should I step a way for a couple of days and come back with a fresh head?

I'm having one of those days right now...Just yesterday I was working with 2 open 4 chord progressions and a power chord progression,and flying through them.Today my fingers feel swollen and stiff.Fret buzz,muted strings and having the 6 string ring on power chords rooted on the 5 string.

I've tried both ways,plowing my way through or leaving it be ,for a few days,and doing other things.I don't know what you/I SHOULD do,but experience has shown that the latter works better,for me,than the former.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on June 20, 2013, 04:54:26 pm
Everybody has off days. Try playing something else for a day or so then go back. Over thinking things
can also lead to problems.

Quote
I knuckle down and plough through and try and correct my mistakes or should I step a way for a couple of days and come back with a fresh head?

Never practice mistakes. When you find your making mistakes Stop and go through what your playing
wrong very slowly and analyze what you are doing wrong and fix it.

Practicing mistake only teach you how to make mistakes.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TheReplicant on June 20, 2013, 05:02:38 pm
Hey,

I've seen a lot of questions about how much practicing to do and finger pain etc (Thankfully I'm past that for the most part). But I was wondering if anyone else just has an "off" couple of days where even the simplest things seem mega difficult?

To give you an idea of where I am in terms of progress, I'm just about to move on to the third section of the beginners course, I practice every day and I'm just trying to finesse my one minute changes to meet Justins recommendation, but for the last couple of days it just seems my fingers aren't connected to my brain anymore and going all over the place, even the simpler chords I've played hundreds of times seem really hard.

Basically my question is this, has anyone else been through this and if so should I knuckle down and plough through and try and correct my mistakes or should I step a way for a couple of days and come back with a fresh head?

Thanks

It happens now and again. I'm over halfway through the the Intermediate course and only this week I find that my major scale practice is around 10bpm slower than it was a week ago. I put it down to just starting Intermediate 4. My hands are learning new grips and so I guess that extra effort takes that little bit of edge off other things.

Part of it might be mental and physical tiredness. Think of it like an athlete. They can't hit their personal best every time they go on the track. You'll have off days and even off weeks and then all of a sudden it comes back.

I wouldn't take more than a day's rest while you're learning unless your really have to because of pain or something. I took 4 days off to move house while doing the beginner's course and it set me back a good six weeks or so. Make sure it's not frustration on your part that's affecting your speed. Relax and try and enjoy the learning rather than feeling it's a slog.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: demeedo on June 23, 2013, 02:36:53 am
Hi Everyone! I am also having problems. I have been working on my A, E, and D going on five weeks now. It seemed like I was making great progress but now I am having problems with my D cord. A and E I can get right as soon as I pick up my guitar. D is another story. It takes a few times to ring correctly. I have been practicing my cord changes every day for about an hour or more. The more I practice sometimes the worse it sounds. I'm not going to stop, but I won't go to the next stage until I get it right. I hope that is not like next year. :-\ I'm encouraged to know that I'm not the only one. The tips of my fingers have callused to the point that I can't feel the strings sometimes. :'( I have told myself that I will not quit. I feel like it is in me somewhere.  :D
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Chantal on June 23, 2013, 07:09:48 am
Maybe you should move to the next stage anyway. One of Justin's catchphrases is 'The more you think, the more you stink'. Perhaps you are too focused on this. There's a good chance it'll fix itself if you just relax. Practising an hour on three chords definitely sounds like overdoing it to me, and a good way to get frustrated with the guitar. So, try moving to Stage 2 and try to relax a bit about that D chord. I'm sure you'll do splendidly once you stop trying this hard  :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Flashmann on June 23, 2013, 04:04:56 pm
Hi Everyone! I am also having problems. I have been working on my A, E, and D going on five weeks now. It seemed like I was making great progress but now I am having problems with my D cord.
I was on stage 1 for 2 months.While I've seen/heard plenty of people say it took them just a week or 2,I've seen enough others say 6-8 weeks,that it doesn't seem unusual...My problem was more with the "A",trying to fit 3 of my sausage tips into 1 fret. :D At 2 months I was still,at best,half decent with those 1st 3 chords,barely making the suggested 60 BPM changes,when I moved on to stage 2,mostly out of a misguided and self imposed sense of being under the gun.As if I were falling behind and wouldn't make the cut...In retrospect,as Chantal says,moving on to the next stage seems to have taken some of the extreme focus off my "A" and redirecting it toward 3 new shapes,even though those shapes were the same 3 chords,only minors.The slightly different fingerings served to loosen up my hand/fingers a little more,while making my "A" the un-watched pot that finally boiled... :D

Quote
I have been practicing my cord changes every day for about an hour or more. The more I practice sometimes the worse it sounds.
That may be part of your problem...As I recall from the early lessons,Justin recommends a max of 5 minutes on any 1 exercise.I've seen others say as much as 15-30 minutes.It took me a good while to build up to where I could even do the 5  :D. Either school of thought seems to agree that staying within those limits works best for developing muscle memory and mentally absorbing the given lesson.That going beyond those limits will be counter productive and a huge waste of time.You'll find later on, that devoting excessive time to each new thing,leaves your hand/arm/fingers too sore/tired to "play with" the earlier things you learned,which is itself practice.Practice that you've effectively cheated yourself out of...Been there-done that! ;D

Quote
The tips of my fingers have callused to the point that I can't feel the strings sometimes.
Yup...Had that happen too,but I got past it.So will you.It's hard to explain.From the benefit and perspective of 14 months of callous building,it's like my sense of feel is more subtle,refined and even precise through those callouses.

Pardon me for being so long winded... :D I try to answer questions how I wished mine would have been answered,when I asked about these same things over a year ago.Short,strictly on point replies often prompted more questions,for me,rather than settling the original curiosity,usually resulting in self imposed confusion and frustration...Maybe it's a character flaw that I assume others might be the same way... :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Chantal on June 23, 2013, 05:02:53 pm
Yeah, I stayed on Stage 1 for ages too. I was so scared to move on, afraid I was going too fast. I ended up averaging on a month per stage. I could've gone faster, but taking it slow felt better. I think it's quite hard to decide when you're ready. My life has been topsy turvy for far too long, which kept me from getting any structured practice in a very long time. But you know what? Even though I could have been halfway through the IM by now, it doesn't bother me at all that I haven't even finished the BC yet. It'll happen when it happens and the same goes for those chords. You'll curse them to hell one day, and you'll have them nailed the next. It just happens when you're not looking.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mmmbert on June 24, 2013, 02:17:42 am
I will also agree with the earlier advice and add; don't neglect playing songs. Besides learning new chords and a lot more changes, it also teaches rhythm and timing, which may be more important, and after all, isn't it the motivation for learning the guitar in the first place? It is where the real love and enjoyment starts.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: freewheel510 on June 25, 2013, 12:34:15 pm
Don't forget to have fun. If you're doing G A and D for hours on end, it may become a chore. Go to the next lesson before you are completely ready, you can always come back.
I am struggling with F and I do one minute and forced changes with F then go do songs and exercises from the 1 st 5 lessons. If I spent an hour on just F every day I'd go crazy.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tcopestake1 on June 25, 2013, 12:50:43 pm
Quick update to my initial problem.

Was planning to take a day away and come back fresh of mind and fingers but accidentally spent most of the weekend in the pub (Lions tour!) and ended up being away from the guitar for 3 days.

All my 1 minute chord changes jumped up by at least 10 (and some by 15!) taking me way above the recommended 60 (or 30 depending how you're counting) to move onto the next stage. Not only that but I found I was keeping rythmn better and my changes were smoother, cleaner and more accurate. I've also found that I've transitioned into the next stage, which I was feeling quite daunted about, with relative ease, hitting the stretchier chords much more easily than I thought.

My recommendation for any one who has hit 'the wall" or just having a really crap couple of sessions, is do what I did. Take a couple of days off, do something else and don't even think about it. You will come back relaxed, ready and probably super eager to get on with it!

Love for the axe restored.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: buddriver97 on September 02, 2013, 01:06:47 pm
Was wondering, should one press hard enough on the string to actually make the string touch the wood of the fret board? Seems I'd have to press pretty darn hard to do that.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Majik on September 02, 2013, 02:00:22 pm
Was wondering, should one press hard enough on the string to actually make the string touch the wood of the fret board? Seems I'd have to press pretty darn hard to do that.

You only need to press hard enough that the note sounds cleanly. If you press too hard you can actually make the note go out of tune.

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: sophiehiker on September 02, 2013, 06:29:06 pm
Yeah, what Majik said.  Try this Justin exercise.

Touch the string very lightly so that the note DOES NOT sound cleanly.  Now, slowly increase the pressure on the string until the note DOES sound cleanly.  That's how much pressure you need.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: av8torfl on September 05, 2013, 09:50:32 pm
My sticking point seems to be the songs.  I feel comfy with chords and chord changes now, but when I play, or try to play the songs, grrrrrrrr.  I have a hard time both memorizing them and then remembering the strum patterns.  I do ok if I am playing along with Justin, but when I attempt the song with no backup rhythm I get frustrated.  Any advice?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: sophiehiker on September 05, 2013, 11:48:52 pm
Make up a little "scat" to help you remember the rhythm.  I was having a tough time today making sure I was playing the right rhythm to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.  Too much distortion.  So I made up a little scat that I sang to as I played along.

Bum ba-bum
Bop badda da

Hope that helps.   :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Gazanimal on September 21, 2013, 10:33:09 pm
Just started the course and trying to fit time in to practice as I'm going away on holiday soon, so will be out of practice time for a while. Also, the Beginner Songbook landed through my door today and I can't wait to get going on it, along with the course.

The main problem I have, and I'm sure thousands, if not millions of learner players is the dreaded finger catching another string.

I feel like I must have the chubbiest finger ends known to man and it's infuriating at times. So does it really get better over time as I feel I have to be so precise on finger placement to avoid catching the next string.

(not sure if my very cheap Chinese made Strat look-a-like has a very high action which isn't helping either)

 :-\
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on September 22, 2013, 12:08:46 am
Don't worry. Everyone has fingers that are too fat, short, skinny, long, crooked, or just plain useless when they start. Strangely enough they seem to fit just fine after some practice.

That's not to say that your unique hands won't present unique problems. They most likely will, but having difficulty getting used to the guitar with a "hindering hand" is a pretty universal hurdle. Just stick with it, and you'll get it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: sophiehiker on September 22, 2013, 01:34:03 pm
Yeah, what @Bradt said and my two cents...

If you have a few bucks, take the guitar to the shop for a setup.  I bought a cheap Stat copy when I started and the setup was really bad.  I tried to do it and screwed it up.  If you have it done you'll have the benefit of knowing that the action is set right.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Gazanimal on September 23, 2013, 12:36:34 pm
Thanks guys. I bet it's one of the most disheartening things for beginners as it seems like you have to be so precise :D

I've managed to get a cheap Yamaha Pacifica to replace the chinese copy so will see if that helps at all and will do the British think of Keep Calm & Carry On Strumming!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Mistermann on September 23, 2013, 09:07:17 pm
The "fat fingers" excuse was something I used all the time.  My instructor kept saying to practice and things would "just work".  He was right, of course.  Keep at it and you'll be rocking in no time, Gaz!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: oreilly10 on November 11, 2013, 05:33:33 pm
I have a question:

I may possibly be interested in playing/learning Bass guitar at some point, but already own guitars and feel more motivated to play guitar at the time along with these lessons and a few other things I have picked up to get started. 

Do the things I learn here translate well to playing the Bass?  I realize it is a completely different instrument with a different role in music-making... but say I play guitar for a year or so running through all the information here and other sources, and I picked up a Bass Guitar.  Would I be back in Kindergarten and need to progress as methodically?  I understand there will be a period of learning "picking" and 4 strings, etc, but once I got the "basics" down, would I be able to run through grades 1 - 8 much quicker with a solid base (pun intended) of Guitar knowledge?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on November 11, 2013, 05:50:30 pm
Music theory is the same for all instruments.
As for playing Guitar and bass the biggest differences is technique. All the note on a bass and guitar are
the same. So you want need to relearn the fret board. The knowledge you learn on guitar you can
translate almost any instrument. 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: AcousticLounge on January 23, 2014, 11:56:35 pm
@oreilly10
If you need a book recommendation about a fret board theory, send me a PM.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: misterg on January 24, 2014, 12:22:55 am
I may possibly be interested in playing/learning Bass guitar at some point
...
Do the things I learn here translate well to playing the Bass? 

...would I be able to run through grades 1 - 8 much quicker with a solid base (pun intended) of Guitar knowledge?

Yes, IMHO, very much so.

Stitch is right in what he says about theory being common to all instruments, but I really recommend Justin's Practical Music Theory book, because he relates it to the fretboard (guitar or bass doesn't matter). I nearly didn't buy it, because I thought that 'theory is theory' and I had *some* knowledge, but I'm so glad I did - Provided you can pluck the strings, it would make you the best bass player on the block (#).




(#) Skill may be required...
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: justinguitar on January 24, 2014, 08:39:54 am
@oreilly10
If you need a book recommendation about a fret board theory, check out the reviews on my Practical Music Theory ebook - it works and is dead easy! :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: matheusguifer on April 21, 2014, 07:24:55 pm
Hey guys,

I'm hearing impaired. Can I still learn how to play the guitar? Do you think it's possible that I get good results?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TheCasual on April 21, 2014, 07:33:31 pm
Hey guys,

I'm hearing impaired. Can I still learn how to play the guitar? Do you think it's possible that I get good results?

Of course. It might be harder for you, but if you stick at you'll get there.

Django Rheinhardt amazing jazz guitarist from the 1930's. He badly burnt his hand and only used two fingers.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Borodog on April 21, 2014, 07:41:59 pm
Hey guys,

I'm hearing impaired. Can I still learn how to play the guitar? Do you think it's possible that I get good results?

As long as you can hear at all you can do something. Your exact results may depend on the severity of the impairment though.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Tim Mason on April 22, 2014, 06:20:01 am
Evelyn Glennie cannot hear. She is also a world-class tympanist. Here is what she has to to say about it : http://www.ted.com/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen (http://www.ted.com/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen) (There's a transcript provided from that page).
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: slim69 on May 20, 2014, 07:59:39 pm
I have short fat fingers, can I still learn to play the guitar and if yes what is the best style?

Many thanks in advance

Mark 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on May 20, 2014, 08:20:32 pm
Yes you can and any style you like.  8)

People with every type of fingers, (short, fat, crooked, long, missing etc.) can learn to play.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: GrayCyther on May 27, 2014, 07:52:56 am
I have a Gibson maestro acoustic i just acquired but my problem is that my left hand is really weak and I cant turn it the way you would correctly use your strumming hand... I can't completely turn it over to lets say accept change the way a normal person would... I was thinking about string it backwards like Hendrix... thats where my second problem is my hand isnt strong enough to bend over far enough to pluck the cords with dropping the pick..... and sugesttions would help a great deal Thx
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on May 27, 2014, 04:35:21 pm
Welcome to the forum.
You can't just turn a guitar upside down and restring it for left playing. The nut will have to be recut to fit
the strings and the saddle will be at the wrong angle.
If your guitar was an electric the saddle should be adjustable but it's an acoustic and the bridge will have to
be filled and recut for a left handed saddle. Unless the saddle is straight 90 deg to the strings. Then all
you need to do is have the nut recut.

I looked up your guitar and for the $99 price you're better of buying a left handed guitar. It will cost more
the have the bridge filled and recut.

As for a pick you don't have to use one or you could try a thumb pick.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Borodog on May 27, 2014, 08:05:52 pm
I have a Gibson maestro acoustic i just acquired but my problem is that my left hand is really weak and I cant turn it the way you would correctly use your strumming hand... I can't completely turn it over to lets say accept change the way a normal person would... I was thinking about string it backwards like Hendrix... thats where my second problem is my hand isnt strong enough to bend over far enough to pluck the cords with dropping the pick..... and sugesttions would help a great deal Thx

I have no idea what is going on here.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Broke727 on May 31, 2014, 12:41:26 am
Hello i'm new and having trouble with changing chords and strumming.Without strumming i can change chords just fine for the progress i'm at.But when i go to strum the chords to play a song my chord hand kinda locks up and i can't change chords near as fast.Is there anything I can do to help out?



                                                                                      Thanks For any Advise
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mouser9169 on May 31, 2014, 02:20:54 am
Slow down, keep practicing your chord changes, and keep at it.

When you practice your chord changes - strum each chord as though it were in a song. Back and forth, back and forth. Eventually it will 'click' and you'll be able to move your hand to the chord. 

If you're practicing playing something, be sure to keep your hand moving to a steady beat: 4 downstrums or even 2 downstrums a bar. Even if you completely flub the chord, keep that hand going, your left hand will catch up.

Getting the left and right hands working together is not easy.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: gramps on June 04, 2014, 10:35:37 pm
Calluses

I have been learning to play for about 3 months now. After about 30 minutes my fingers hurt to the point it's painful. I normally stop at this point.

My guestion  is should I be able to feel the calluses as dry dead skin that actually raises on the edges which in turn catches on the strings. I have calluses on my hands at the base of my fingers and they are not like this.

So am I doing something wrong or am I just in some stage. I can sand the calluses down using an emery board but the return.

Thanks

Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on June 05, 2014, 12:02:24 am
My guess would be, like everyone at first, you are pressing the strings much harder than you need to. Fret a chord but just rest yor fingers on the strings. Begin to slowly apply more pressure while strumming just until the notes ring out cleanly. Somewhere around there is all the pressure you really need.

If your fingers get sore after 30 minutes, split your practice up into two fifteen minute sessions with a small break. You could also try staggering your practice routine so that you alternate between practicing fretting and strumming. This will give you some rest for your fingers.

As for the callouses, sounds normal. I had the same at first until my fingertips toughrned up. Now they're more like tough pads. They'll still get all chunky and flaky though if I practice for unusually long periods for a few days.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on June 05, 2014, 12:06:10 am
I sand mine until they're smooth about once a week or as needed..
Of your fingers are hurting when you have that thick of callus you are pressing way to hard.
You only need to press hard enough for the notes to ring out. On a well set up acoustic guitar this
is very little pressure and on an electric even less.


Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mouser9169 on June 05, 2014, 04:01:30 am
Calluses

I have been learning to play for about 3 months now. After about 30 minutes my fingers hurt to the point it's painful. I normally stop at this point.

My guestion  is should I be able to feel the calluses as dry dead skin that actually raises on the edges which in turn catches on the strings. I have calluses on my hands at the base of my fingers and they are not like this.

So am I doing something wrong or am I just in some stage. I can sand the calluses down using an emery board but the return.

Thanks

Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk

You're just in some stage ;)

A lot of people go through two sets of calluses:

First, your fingers hurt, but you press through it and you grow calluses. Then those rise up like your seeing, and will get ripped off your fingertips at some point by the guitar strings (especially if bending notes).

After that, you have raw, pink skin underneath. Now your fingers REALLY hurt when you play. But you press through it, and this time you get a set of 'permanent' calluses for your trouble.

At least, that's the way it's always worked for me when I started and the times I put it down for a while and came back.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Borodog on June 05, 2014, 04:30:25 am
I still get my calluses intermittently torn up.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on June 18, 2014, 04:19:23 pm
Yeah, my calluses "shed" for lack of a better word.  The outermost layer of my callouses peel, but there is still more callous underneath...

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: lsadler on June 25, 2014, 12:46:52 pm


Hi.fist time user. Im doing ok with first lessons with a-d and e chord and feel comfortable with hold the guitar but what Justin says about having your phumb behing neck? Is the phumb ment to be straight or bent.only way I can match it to Justin is when I bend it and that feels strange. Hope you understand what I mean.pics would be great help.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Macabre on June 25, 2014, 02:17:30 pm


Hi.fist time user. Im doing ok with first lessons with a-d and e chord and feel comfortable with hold the guitar but what Justin says about having your phumb behing neck? Is the phumb ment to be straight or bent.only way I can match it to Justin is when I bend it and that feels strange. Hope you understand what I mean.pics would be great help.

Do you mean thumb? This video might help;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWOkUuuF5-Y

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on July 02, 2014, 10:41:46 am
So far I am playing guitar 15 month. I am at szage 6 and can play the F bar chord. I can change to the chord without looking slow but it works. My question is if beeing at stage 6 after 15 month good and fast?

I have a question about the songs.
I can play a few but I can't most of the songs from the beginning till the end. Should I learn one song over and over again until I can play it and than go to the next sond and play that song over and over again as well?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on July 02, 2014, 11:11:53 am
Everyone has a different pace. Nothing wrong at all with where you are after 15 months.

As far as songs go, some will be harder than others. I think it's fine to work on a few songs at a time; especially if they are the simplified versions. Definitely get them playable all the way through.

Pick one you like though, and really work on it. You'll learn a lot. Once you get past the mechanics of the chords, you can start to put finesse into it. I noticed all of my songs improve once I really started focusing on one, and started refining the techniques in it.



Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on July 18, 2014, 10:44:06 am
I will learn one song and when I can play it I go to next. Maybe I learn one song in a few weeks when I am focusing on just one song and than go to the next song.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on July 18, 2014, 02:04:39 pm
There is nothing wrong with your pace. I've been playing for two years and just now started consolidating the Beginners Course. Compared to others it may seem slow but I can "perform" (play and sing) about a dozen songs from beginning to end. Bradt is right, focusing on a song or two at a time really does make you better. There is a big difference between hitting 60 changes per minute on a F chord versus having to hit the chord while strumming in time and have it ring out clearly.

For me the singing and playing at the same time is really the hard part. It takes a lot of practice on a single song in particular, I find I have to "re-learn" playing and singing at the same time whenever I use a new strumming pattern.

Keep going!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on August 11, 2014, 11:16:54 am
It seems to that I jst can't go to the next level. I'm at stage 6 for 6 month. I started for 2 weeks with stage 7 but the F chordis so difficult. I can't change it fast enough.
I think I'm pretty slow to learn songs.

How long does it take for all you to learn a song when you practice a song 5 days a week?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on August 11, 2014, 11:37:36 am
How long is a piece of string?

Learn easier songs.

The F chord takes a long time. It took me 6 months before I got ok with it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on August 11, 2014, 12:06:51 pm
doesn't matter how difficult the song is. I just want to know that. Lets say a biginner is practicing a song for beginner.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on August 11, 2014, 12:11:59 pm
It's a question with no answer. It takes you as long is it takes. What help is it to know it takes anyone else less time. You're learning the song.

If songs you're learning are too difficult, leaner simpler ones. For whatever BC stage I was at, I was learning songs 2 or 3 stages back from there.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on August 11, 2014, 12:25:18 pm
thanks that was very helpful. I also got lazy on my one mintue changes since I can change all chords from stage 1 - 6 Over 60 times. I better start again with them.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on August 11, 2014, 12:40:05 pm
Better to pick songs to play from early stages and use the chords that way. Not much point in hitting numbers for 1 minutes changes, if songs are what you're struggling with. imo
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on August 11, 2014, 01:00:22 pm
thanks. One last question. Do you know I can download a list with chords for the one minute changes on it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TB-AV on August 11, 2014, 03:51:50 pm
You just pick two chords of your choice. There is no list.

You want a couple that will keep you busy a while?

The two best chords are always the two you can't play.

You should make a notebook with your own chords. Draw them out. Label the notes, frets, etc. and name it. Then change between any two.

EX. ( use guitar neck diagram for this )

Em7#9
--|-X------------------X-|
--|--------5---------------|
--|------------------------|
--|----7------7-----------|  <<< 7th fret
--|-----------------8-----|
____1_b3_b7_#9
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: close2u on August 11, 2014, 06:57:28 pm
For the F chord ... loads of advice in the forum already ... play it using the exact same fingering but further up the neck.
If you barre at fret 5 that is an A chord.
It is easier further up.
Practice it there.
Then gradually move down one fret at a time.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TB-AV on August 11, 2014, 07:21:48 pm
It seems to that I jst can't go to the next level. I'm at stage 6 for 6 month. I started for 2 weeks with stage 7 but the F chordis so difficult. I can't change it fast enough.
I think I'm pretty slow to learn songs.

How long does it take for all you to learn a song when you practice a song 5 days a week?

Have you ever listened to, watched, read anything about fitness and diet programs.

Almost all of them based on modern thinking, not all, as I know some very serious trainers that have reduced things to a certain core set, but that is done under supervision.  But for the most part, all modern techniques involve "confusion".

I personally believe this is a valid approach. I believe if you try something more difficult and decidedly different from the F Chord, you will introduce confusion into your muscle memory. In addition you will eliminate the negative mental dialog.

Right now you have reached a point with the F chord to where you negative dialog... "I can't" "I can't" so your brain is saying "I can't" and your muscles are falling right in line and "not doing"... they go to where they go and that's it.

I would suggest you learn some chord that is so totally different from the F that your brain and muscles forget the F chord roadblock.

Then after some success with a new chord or two, go back to the F Chord and see how it feels.

My theory is not well tested but I do know I have had success with breaks in between of learning new chords.

Like spend several hours, then next day same, then maybe next day.... after that I might not play it for a week... but after that week rest, I play it better than I did. Then I push it more to make it better... then a rest again, maybe even two weeks. Before long it just works pretty much as you want it to with a -lot- less effort and from then it just seems to get better naturally... like your mind and body simply accept it as something they need for survival.

Can't hurt to try it.


Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: fabi on August 11, 2014, 09:39:54 pm
My (very short) experience has been just like TB describes.  I'm not at Stage 6 yet, but I remember when I was first introduced to the D chord.  I spent a couple of days with an internal dialogue of "I can't do this" until I became worried I was psyching myself out.  So I began a new internal dialogue of "I love the D chord".  Practiced and moved on to the next stage.  By the time I hit the C chord, the D chord was a piece of cake.

Also as previously mentioned, I play songs from a stage or two behind the stage I'm currently learning chords on.  This helps to solidify and refine what I learned previously.  It's still amazing how previous chords become so much easier once I'm learning new ones.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on August 11, 2014, 11:44:35 pm
The brain is a funny thing isn't it? It's easy to psych yourself out. It's also easy to burn yourself out with working on one thing for too long.

Move on to something new like TB said, but practice the strum pick strum exercise with the F chord for just two minutes a couple of times a day. Basically pick two chords and alternate between them with Strum Pick Strum. The key is to do it as slowly as you need to. Precision is the key here, not speed. After doing this a couple times a day for a few days you should notice a nice improvement when you do your regular one minute changes again.

The way our brains work, is that we retain things better when we leave and come back. When we practice one thing for long periods, not only does our focus drift, but we don't get the benefit of our brains reprocessing the information. If we practice in short sessions, when we come back our brain says "Hey, I remember this. I did this before", and a little mental marker is made that whatever it is may be worth remembering. After doing this several times, our brain is convinced that the information must be pretty important, and we remember it better. Practicing something as correctly as possible for a couple of minutes at a time a few times a day takes advantage of this.



Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Dr Winterbourne on August 12, 2014, 09:41:47 am
F is hard.

Some of the tips in this video are really useful if you are having trouble getting started.

http://justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on August 13, 2014, 07:51:07 am
I had the same problem with the G chord and I I thought I never can change fast enough to this chord.
The G chord is so easy for me now and the same thing will happen with the F chord. It takes longer but I will get there with practice.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: PeteP on August 25, 2014, 10:48:19 am
Is is a bit odd that I find my acoustic easier to play than my electric?

I've been learning for less than a month (and probably only racked up 10 sessions in that time), but I started with an acoustic then decided that to help me progress a bit faster I would get an electric guitar as they're supposed to be easier for a beginner.

My acoustic is a cheap Ashton which has a nice tone and no shortfalls that I can see at this stage. My electric is a Yamaha Pacifica 112J which seems set up ok. I can play the same 3 chords on both but I find it must easier to get the clean sound and change chords on the acoustic. Logic says that it should be the other way round, doesn't it?

Also, I was struggling a little with the D chord using fingers 1, 2 & 3, so I experimented with 1, 2, & 4 and found it much more comfortable although the change up down is a little harder after only 10-12 attempts. This only applies to the acoustic - on the electric it's back to 1, 2 & 3.

OR

Am I trying to read far too much into it at such an early stage?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on August 25, 2014, 01:01:38 pm
The difficulty with acoustics tend to be action related.  The strings being difficult to physically press down.  This aspect tends to be easier on an electric.  An acoustic with a good set up can mitigate this, as compared to an electric with highost action. 

But electrics tend to have closer string spacings.  This means is can be more difficult to get the notes of a chord to ring more cleanly.  So that aspect can be easier on an acoustic guitar.

Plus you get used to what you have been playing, different guitars in general have a different feel and require slight adjustments.

I would stick with the 1 3 2 fingerings for the D chord.  In the future you will want your pinky free for embellishments (Dsus4). 

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: PeteP on August 25, 2014, 01:49:13 pm
Ah, I did think the electric strings seemed closer together. That would explain it.

Good point about the D fingering - not a good idea to make something easier now if it will ultimately come back to bite me.

Thanks.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: PeteP on September 06, 2014, 04:43:22 pm
Argh! I can get the chord pattern right with my left hand but the strumming isn't coming together. I'm still working on D, A, and E but I can't seem to get my right hand to strum the right number of strings.

The only one that is right is E, and that's only because you're supposed to play all 6. Playing A doesn't sound too awful if I hit all 6 (more often than not), but D is as bad as you'd expect. I sometimes manage to only play 5 strings for D but not consistently, and it's still no use.

If I watch my right hand while playing it's a little easier but then my left hand tends to get a bit sloppy. I started to try Three Little Birds, but frankly it was a mess.

What's the secret to getting the strumming right? Rythm isn't an issue for me but that's not enough to mask a duff chord.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TB-AV on September 06, 2014, 04:56:52 pm
Most people are going to be muting the low strings with their thumb.

Mainly just go slow. The pick / strum alternate bass can be helpful too. "Travis" picking.

pick E strum E chord, pick A strum E chord, pick A strum A chord, Pick D strum A chord etc.. Watch Johnny Cash




Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on September 06, 2014, 04:57:31 pm
You need to practice your accuracy. The A chord, pluck the open A then strum the chord. Do it slowly with
no mistakes. Try not to look at your hands use your ears. If you miss the Open A don't strum the chord.
Do the same with the D chord. Pluck the open D then strum the chord. Practice this for 5 minutes a day
until you can hit the open string every time. Them try switching between A and D chords.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: fabi on September 06, 2014, 05:00:21 pm
Pete, you're not alone.   Really struggled with strumming the correct strings (without using any muting techniques).  I think I even posted about it a while back.  There's no secret, other than muting, that I've heard of.  Good news is that it gets better with practice.  I remember it really holding back my chord change speed at first.  Left cooperated but right was blind.  Three months later, I only still experience the problem with fast (or faster) songs.  Anything with a reasonable beginner speed works now.  So, chin up, and keep practicing slow.  The speed and accuracy does improve with more practice.  I hate that it can't be rushed, but I learned the  hard way that 10 hours of practice in one day does not equal 10 hours of practice divided equally across 5 days.  There's no substitute for the calendar time requirement in this learning process.

ETA:  you said 5 strings for D but it's 4.  5 for A
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: fabi on September 06, 2014, 05:11:37 pm
TB, I tried that a couple of weeks ago on a stage 1 song.  Spent a few days on it but never got it smooth.  It's harder to do than it sounds, for a beginner.  I thought it was called a walking bass.  Guess I was wrong about that too.  Travis picking?

Stitch I did do what you describe for a few practice sessions.  I think it helped.

ETA: I noticed this isn't something that Justin covers in his first few lessons.  How to strum the correct number of strings for each new chord introduced.  I assume he doesn't explain it because the answer must be 'slowly and carefully'.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: PeteP on September 06, 2014, 05:16:43 pm
Thanks guys. If it's just practice that I'm lacking then so be it, but I found it odd that on the D chord thread it was only the fret end of the guitar that people seemed to struggle with, yet I find that relatively easy after only a few practice sessions. Lucky me, eh?  ;)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on September 06, 2014, 05:18:34 pm
The secret is the same for most guitar issues:  Practice, practice, practice.  And as much as possible SLOW and perfect practice.  Everytime you do it wrong you are training your muscle memory to do it wrong.  So you want the slowly and perfectly to WAY out number the fast and sloppy.

So for the D, form and hold chord.  I would start with all down stroke to start.  Focus on starting open D string and strum down through the chord.  Repeat.  Start out ridiculously,  stupidly slow.  If it takes you 5 seconds making sure you pick is positioned at the D string so be it.  Very, very gradually speed up. 

You could if you wanted use a metronome.  Set it to say 60 BPM.  Get the pick in place and strum on a click.  Give your self three clicks to get all set up for another perfect strum, then strum with the next click.  So, strum 2 3 4 strum 2 3 4 strum 2 3 4 strum 2 3 4.  When that becomes easy (10 times perfect is no sweat) I would bump up the BPM a bit, say 2 to 5 BPM.  If you hit a speed where you start making mistakes, slow down until you aren't.  Continue until, say, you get to 120 BPM, with the same strum, click, click, click, strum, click, click, click, strum 2 3 4 cycle.  When you hit 120, go back down to 60 and do strum, click, strum, clik, strum 2 strum 4.  Lather rinse and repeat...

You have to decide the appropriate speed and when you want to try to add upstrokes.  But the KEY to the concept is you need to go SLOW enough that the "play it rights" vastly out number the "play it wrongs".  The above is one way to apply the slow and perfect concept.  The concept is way more important than my specific implementation suggestion.

Muscle memory is like a recalcitrant child, if you let youself get away with doing it wrong over and over, you will do it wrong.

Shadow

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: fabi on September 06, 2014, 05:23:03 pm
Pete, my experience so far has been exactly like yours.

Shadow.  Yes.  The metronome.  I did that too, but mostly with chord changes.  Great idea.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TB-AV on September 06, 2014, 07:31:57 pm
... I thought it was called a walking bass.  ...


No, that is something else all together.

Walking bass.
----------
----------
-------------5----7--|-------------5-5-----7
--------7-------------|---------7------
--5-------------------|---5--------
----------------------------------



Actually it's not really Travis picking it's just alternating bass.... sometimes loosely called Travis picking. I probably should not have said that. Alternate bass.
------0-------0---------
------0-------0---------
------1-------1--------
------2-------2--------
------2---2--2------------
-0---0------------------------
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on September 06, 2014, 07:55:28 pm
ETA:  you said 5 strings for D but it's 4.  5 for A

It typically is, but since A is also a note in the D chord, it can sound OK to play the open A string too sometimes.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: PeteP on September 06, 2014, 09:16:09 pm
That sounds like a good plan, Shadow.

I suspect I've tried learning a song before I've fully got to grips with the chords: being able to form them and play them slowly is all well and good, but strumming the wrong strings defeats all the effort.

I'll back off a bit and spend a bit of practice time on that slowed down method.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: fabi on September 06, 2014, 09:23:24 pm
Thanks TB.

Cool, Brandt, that'll hide the occasional miss.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on September 07, 2014, 01:21:46 am
It may sound OK sometimes to play the open A when playing the D chord but you must remember that
isn't a D chord it's a D/A. So if you want or need the D as the bass note you need to play the D string
first.
This may sound a little picky but it does make a difference in the way the chord sound and a big difference
if leading into a run.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: fabi on September 07, 2014, 06:15:06 am
I understand.  I hear the difference if I accidentally hit the A string.  It gives the chord a fuller/deeper sound while the D itself is normally light and airy.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: falcovrod on October 20, 2014, 08:58:29 pm
Hi Justin first thank for a fantastic course...best on the internet.
Question, are there any other way to get an A cord?
My fingers are really think, and there is no way I cab get 3 fingers between the fret's...
Please help...A CORD is holding me back!!!
Thanks
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: pt3r on October 20, 2014, 09:19:18 pm
have a look at the A mini bar http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-143-Aminibar-chord.php it might save you  ;)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on October 21, 2014, 01:52:56 am
Everyone's fingers are too fat, thin, long, short, stumpy or  immoveable to start off with.

The mini bar A is handy to learn, but you'll need both.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: close2u on October 21, 2014, 06:39:12 am
Learn the proper A chord ... ignoring it to learn mini-barre A is a cheat / gimmick and you will regret it.
Plus you are setting a bad precedent ... looking for short-cuts and cheats along the way.
Three ways to try it
fingers 1, 2, 3 in a line
fingers 2, 3, 4 in a line
fingers 2, 1, 3 in a triangular cluster
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Tim Mason on October 21, 2014, 07:03:43 am
It's absolutely normal to have problems getting the A chord right, placing the fingers so that they do not interfere with the 1st and 5th strings. I've been trying to play for over a year, and I still sometimes mess this one up. But now I get it most of the time, whereas at first it seemed almost impossible. Others learn quicker than I do - but in any case it'll take time. It sounds as if you're just starting out: you'll need a lot of patience. But if you keep at it, you'll get there.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on October 21, 2014, 08:27:53 am
Falcovrod as Tim says this normal. It just takes time, patience and practice.
Try the different fingerings provided by Close2u but the 213 does make it easier to make changes to other chords.

Three ways to try it
fingers 1, 2, 3 in a line
fingers 2, 3, 4 in a line
fingers 2, 1, 3 in a triangular cluster

Close - Years back I used 234 as I thought my fingers were too fat for 123 and it helped with A shaped barres, funny as they work now! During the BC I've stuck with the 213 but as I'm near the end I've been wondering if I should be working on these fingerings as well. I can understand the sound difference for the different G chords but an A is an A. Would it benefit to add 123 or 234 into my repertoire?  8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: pt3r on October 21, 2014, 08:43:15 am
I think that mastering different fingerings of the same chord can help you in speeding up different chords progressions, since one fingering might require less  'finger acrobatics' to change to another chord than an other fingering.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: close2u on October 21, 2014, 09:07:03 pm
@ toby

p3t3r makes sense

I use whichever suits .. in terms of the chord I'm coming from or the chord I'm going to.

2, 3, 4 makes move to E Major easy.
Also, 2, 3, 4 with 1 placed on the G string at fret 2 makes a change from A Major to A Major 7 easy.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Sweed77 on October 21, 2014, 10:44:08 pm
@ falcovrod

In case you haven't heard it enough do yourself a favor and learn the three finger A chord.  I've been playing for 17 months and while I probably nail it 95% of the time(took the better part of a year to get that consistent) I can still fluff the A up at times.  Stick with proper fingering and in time your mind and fingers will figure it out. The "normal" fingering of A may be holding you back now (that's not unusual for lots of us) but learning only a mini bar A will hold you back more in your future playing.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on October 22, 2014, 07:25:59 pm
@Close & pt3r thanks guys its kinda how I was beginning to think any way, especially regarding things to include during BC consolidation.

I've a feeling that I might struggle with the A shape barre using 1 and 3 only and (again) years back used to use 234 and the 1st finger barre. Its strange though after nearly 20 months on the BC using 213 and never coping with 123 when I started donkeys years ago but the 123 now feels easily doable !

Any other easy moves you can recommend using 123 or 234 (Justin covers the 213 options) or no doubt as I'm about to hit BC9 you'll say I should be sussing out for myself now !

 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: jpuopolo on November 11, 2014, 02:09:42 pm
Hi All,

For what it's worth, and to lend perspective to other newbies...

I picked up my first guitar 11 months ago, at 46 years old. I've always wanted to learn to play, and had romantic visions of myself strumming for my 3 kids in no time flat. Wow. Naive.

It took me several months to get past Stage 1 (probably 3 or more). I can now play some of the songs up through Stage 4 now; however, I can only really play a few strum patterns ("Old Faithful" and one or two others), and I find it nearly impossible to sing along while playing. When I try to sing, my strumming reverts to all downstrums and I mess up the rhythm.

I play for about an hour almost every day. I'm enjoying the process, but sometimes get very frustrated. Like, how hard can it be to play Yellow Submarine?! Well, I'm finding out the answer is "quite."

I find it impressive that some people say they whiz through the beginner's course in a matter of months. No idea how that's possible if they're starting from scratch, but more power to them!

In any case, if you think you're progress is slow, just remember this post :). I'm almost a year in, and I'm just about level 4.

Eeek.

John




Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on November 11, 2014, 03:11:56 pm
I wouldn't get hung up on strum patterns. If singing and playing is your goal, focus on simple strumming and getting the playing automatic, and singing becomes easier. Watch YT vids of people covering tunes you're learning and you might see or hear alternatives that work, and are easier.

I think it was well over 2 years before I could add vocals to songs, and I started late on tackling those, I spent most of the BC working on the techniques. I till find some rhythms and vocals hard to put together, others click quickly.

I wouldn't view strum patterns as the template for every song. There are a very few 'staples', but the more songs you learn, the more you realise playing it like the record would require pages of strum instruction. See Justin's Wanted Dead or Alive lesson to hear his take on strumming and trying to verbalise tricky patterns.

The patterns are to get people started in hearing and playing rhythms rather than, "This Bon Jovi song uses pattern 46…"

Some people get to the stage where they play a rhythm that works for a song and the way they vocalise it, whether it's the same as the record or not, yet is still instantly recognisable.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: SFDonovan on November 11, 2014, 03:48:46 pm
I till find some rhythms and vocals hard to put together, others click quickly.

Important point.  Sometimes I struggle with a Stage 1 or 2 song, while I can can play a passable Stage 8 Wonderwall.  Pearl Jam's Black is Stage 4 and I play that better than most of Stage 1 songs.  I think the key is finding that one or two songs that you really have a passion about, and can sing it in your sleep.

then...Just.Keep.Playing....

I wish Justin would do some Candlebox lessons.  I really would like a lesson on Cover Me.   
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on November 11, 2014, 04:54:13 pm
jpuopolo,

I wouldn't worry about the speed of your progress compared to others. I'm 40 and started playing about 2 and a half years ago. I'm just now consolidating the BC so I'm on a similar pace. The fact that you can practice an hour a day is great! I'm like you (and a lot of us on here), we have families, jobs, etc. Free time is a premium if it exists at all. I personally do good to get in 30 minutes 4-5 days a week.

Yes there are people that seem to progress much faster than others. Some are simply more musically gifted. Others are younger and I do think the younger you start the easier it is for the brain to soak it up, Some have way more free time and can practice more (another benefit of starting young). Then there are others who think that the whole goal of playing guitar is to get through the coursework so they just blow through it without really mastering any of it. They claim to be a "player" but struggle to get through a Stage 3 BC song.

Don't fret, just enjoy the ride! I feel pretty good that although I'm just now finishing the BC, I can play close to 20 songs by heart (with differing competency for each) and of those can sing and play over half of them. It's enough to entertain friends and kids at party's and camp outs... so it's all good :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on November 11, 2014, 04:58:42 pm
jpuopolo,

I wouldn't worry about the speed of your progress compared to others. I'm 40 and started playing about 2 and a half years ago. I'm just now consolidating the BC so I'm on a similar pace. The fact that you can practice an hour a day is great! I'm like you (and a lot of us on here), we have families, jobs, etc. Free time is a premium if it exists at all. I personally do good to get in 30 minutes 4-5 days a week.

Yes there are people that seem to progress much faster than others. Some are simply more musically gifted. Others are younger and I do think the younger you start the easier it is for the brain to soak it up, Some have way more free time and can practice more (another benefit of starting young). Then there are others who think that the whole goal of playing guitar is to get through the coursework so they just blow through it without really mastering any of it. They claim to be a "player" but struggle to get through a Stage 3 BC song.

Don't fret, just enjoy the ride! I feel pretty good that although I'm just now finishing the BC, I can play close to 20 songs by heart (with differing competency for each) and of those can sing and play over half of them. It's enough to entertain friends and kids at parties and camp outs... so it's all good :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on November 11, 2014, 10:49:27 pm
Hi Guys,
I'm 60 and have been playing for just about four months. I am making steady progress although sometimes it's very frustrating. One thing I did from day one was to keep a journal and record each days practice, even if I put in, No Practice Today. It is sometimes good to go back over when you think things are not going well and read stuff like, "How on earth are you supposed to move your fingers from one chord to make another one, almost impossible". I then don't feel so bad. It's amazing to find out that you ARE making progress. I am hoping to complete the beginners course in one year. If I don't then I don't no biggie.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself, there are some days I feel really guilty because I wasn't able to practice. That's not good. Practice and perseverance that's the way forward. As some other here have said, we all have other things to do with our time, Grandchildren take up a lot of mine. Do as much as you can and enjoy the results.
Good luck to all you people on the journey.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Tazz3 on November 12, 2014, 12:13:11 am
When you press down on with your fretting hand  don't press down hard.
I started playing a month ago I got blisters and now there nice and hard.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Tazz3 on November 12, 2014, 04:19:56 am
Panda bear you need to use a pick.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: SFDonovan on November 12, 2014, 04:56:33 am
Hi Guys,
I'm 60 and have been playing for just about four months. I am making steady progress although sometimes it's very frustrating.

I hear you blue.  I'm 53 and been at it solid, for around 7 months, but very frustrating.  Started over a year ago, but had some hickups along the way.  Lately I've been able to get in a solid 40 minutes to an hour at least 3/4 days a week.  The rest of the days I may just do 5 minutes of chord changes.  I'm still a bit sloppy.  I think I've learned some bad habits that has hindered my progress.  My thumb position on the neck was wrong and I wasn't stretching and ended up muting strings all over the place.  I'm re-learning to drop my arm down more and arch my wrist around so I can get a clear place to press down on the fret.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Slateminer on November 12, 2014, 12:43:02 pm
Quite refreshing to read the last few posts, and good to know that there other learners out there taking their time :)

I'm 51, first picked up a guitar at the beginning of the year, no musical background whatsoever. Just started stage 5 a couple of weeks before tennis elbow has side lined me. :(

I've tried to practice everyday up until that point, but as you can see it's taken 10 months to 'complete' 4 stages. I'm sure age has a lot to do with the rate of progress (obviously other factors come into it as well) I read somewhere that on average it takes a 50 year old 10 times as long as a 15 year to learn a musical instrument, I suspect there is some truth in that. Anyway it's a good excuse for my snail like progress at times. ;)

One thing that doesn't get mentioned that often is the time it takes to develop calluses and strength in your fingers. Almost a chicken and egg situation, I couldn't practice enough to improve because I had no calluses/strength in my fingers, - I had no calluses/strength in fingers because I couldn't practice enough. :-\

This is not a 'grumble' post just an observation! As I've said before for me it's very much a situation of 2 steps forward, 1 step back, and as long as I'm going in the right direction and enjoying it (which I am) then I'll continue the 'journey'  8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on November 12, 2014, 02:08:54 pm
Hey Slateminer,
I know what your saying about hand and finger strength. I am trying to do a few barre chords during some of my practice sessions. After five or six efforts my wrist and hand start to really ache. So I just take a rest do something else and go back. It a sod when you are unable to do stuff just 'cos you're getting on a bit. Arthritis and trigge finger don't help, but we'll get there in the end.
Interessting fact in a previous post regarding the difference in learning time comparing young and old. That makes me feel ancient now LOL.
Anyway, back to that bloody F Chord .............
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Tim Mason on November 12, 2014, 02:32:05 pm
Quote
I read somewhere that on average it takes a 50 year old 10 times as long as a 15 year to learn a musical instrument,

I'd be interested to see where you found that. Most genreal research on learning in adults concludes that they learn as well as youngsters, but in a rather different way and that though there is some decline in capacity after the age of 40, it's very slow. As for musical instruments, older people may suffer some from stiffer limbs and slower movements, but they can gain from their greater ability to analyse. So your sons and daughters may get the scales under their fingers somewhat quicker, but you'll probably score on knowing what to do with them.

As a 68-year-old who started last year, I've got through to the consolidation stage in the BC. Being retired as of September (I was semi-retired for 6 months before that), I have time to practice. I don't expect to get up to anything like professional level but I'm already sufficiently proficient that my friends and family don't tell me to put the guitar down and do something useful. Maybe they're very kind.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on November 12, 2014, 02:46:49 pm
15 year olds have a lot more time. Many also have a lot less patience if they don't master something in a week.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: FPS on November 12, 2014, 02:47:32 pm
I'd be interested to see where you found that. Most genreal research on learning in adults concludes that they learn as well as youngsters, but in a rather different way and that though there is some decline in capacity after the age of 40, it's very slow. As for musical instruments, older people may suffer some from stiffer limbs and slower movements, but they can gain from their greater ability to analyse. So your sons and daughters may get the scales under their fingers somewhat quicker, but you'll probably score on knowing what to do with them.

As a 68-year-old who started last year, I've got through to the consolidation stage in the BC. Being retired as of September (I was semi-retired for 6 months before that), I have time to practice. I don't expect to get up to anything like professional level but I'm already sufficiently proficient that my friends and family don't tell me to put the guitar down and do something useful. Maybe they're very kind.
The dıfference in analytical skills between, let's say a sixteen-year old and an adult isn't that big anymore. At least not that big as to compensate for beeing slower motorically. On top of that is that tendency of over analyzing things whereas young people just do stuff with that divine ability to do it right intuitively. All in all a lot of reasons for jealousy;-)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Slateminer on November 12, 2014, 03:07:07 pm

Tim ; I'm not sure where I  picked up that piece of useless info  ;) but I read it somewhere in the last year since I started to learn playing the guitar, thought 'that's interesting' and it's stuck with me, perhaps it's complete rubbish, but as I said previously I suspect there may be SOME truth in it. Knowing my 15 year old self I would certainly have been less fearing of failure as a teenager. :o

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on November 13, 2014, 04:23:46 pm
I'd be interested to see where you found that. Most genreal research on learning in adults concludes that they learn as well as youngsters, but in a rather different way and that though there is some decline in capacity after the age of 40, it's very slow.

Tim, I just turned 40 last week so thanks for giving me the great news  :-\ Been hearing that on all kinds of fronts lately. My crude understanding of brain biology is that the neuroplasticity of younger folks is higher than older people. I think this is especially true in the very early years (pre-puberty). It's why little kids can easily become bilingual (or more) at a young age or why you see some 7 year old rocking Sweet Child O' Mine on YouTube.

That said, I think people are more health conscious these days and you actually can improve neuroplasticity through brain games, exercise, reading and (aha!) learning an instrument! So we can have a positive effect on the process. 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joleene24 on December 02, 2014, 08:57:35 pm
Hello,
I am very new to guitar playing but very motivated :). I enjoy the online beginner course!  I started practicing 3 days ago and love it. I do not use a pick at this time but I plan on doing so as soon as it comes in the mail.

So far, I have learned the A, E & D cord and was shown the C cord by a family friend.  I can play a simple tune like 'Mary had a little lamb' by picking individual strings and was also shown individual notes on the guitar.  My problem is that I actually have to look at the fret board and the strings when I play the chords. Do I need to focus on trying to look away and "feel" for the correct position? My one minutes changes are up to 20 or 10 cycles; but I am actually looking at the strings and the fret board.  Otherwise, I would obviously be slower :).  So my question is:

1. Do I need to focus on not looking at the fret board / strings when I learn cords or does that come naturally with time?

2. When I play a simple song like 'Mary had a little lamb' I can play it fairly quickly but it sounds like there is feedback from the guitar. It is rather strange.  Even when I play it slowly, on notes that are repetitive, it sounds like the strings are forcefully stopped and then the tune rings again.  It's hard to explain but sounds awful. I would love to fix it, so the song sounds clear.  The same also happens when I play individual notes on the guitar. It is like the tune cannot finish ringing out and gets stopped. Whenever i play a string and then for the next note press the string against the fretboard for another note, it sounds awkward.

Btw, I am playing my daughter's smaller 3/4 guitar with nylon strings. I will gift myself a guitar for Christmas, once I know what I should be buying.

Anyways, thank you in advance!
Joleene
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Borodog on December 02, 2014, 09:40:37 pm
Don't worry about looking at the fretboard yet. Watching your hands to make sure you are doing it right will greatly accelerate the formation of correct muscle memory.

Regarding your second problem, post a recording of yourself so people can hear what you are hearing. It's probably just normal string noise for a beginner; a beginner makes a lot of unwanted noise and unwanted muthing because they have not developed the dexterity to let the right notes ring at the right times and damp the other strings out.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on December 02, 2014, 09:50:39 pm
What Borodog said...

Not having to look at the fretboard will come with time. Better to get it right. It sounds like your question comes out of fear that you might develop a bad habit that you will need to break later. It won't be.

For problem 2) you'll need to have posted at least 5 times before getting permission to put up a link to a recording.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Macabre on December 03, 2014, 07:47:16 am
Hi Joleene, to add to what  the others have said - make sure your guitar is in tune each time you pick it up and your fingers are as close to the frets (but not on them) as you can get. Also playing chords on a guitar with nylon strings won't sound too great anyway, when you save up for your own guitar get a Western steel strung guitar (unless you want to just play classical guitar).
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: de_conne on December 03, 2014, 12:18:46 pm
The way you describe your problem makes me guess the action of your guitar is too low. (action = how high or low the strings are from the fretboard)

It seems like fretbuzz? A rattling sound from the strings rattling against a fret? This happens when you hit the strings a bit too hard and after a while it stops and it rings out clean.

Could be action or perhaps there some frets that need some work? Perhaps you can take your guitar to a luthier to get it setup properly? What guitar do you have? I have an Epiphone Les Paul, and they tend to have this problem (like mine ;) )

regards,
de_conne
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joleene24 on December 03, 2014, 06:38:23 pm
Good morning everybody!

Thank you so much for all the responses.  I am very relieved that I am not already adopting bad habits by looking at the fretboard.  Good to know it is normal at this stage :).

As for my second question; I feel that it is probably likely that it is a beginner's problem & "fretbuzz" but I also am inclined to get the guitar checked out. Even if it is just to make sure everything is set up right. We bought the guitar at a second hand store but it seems to be a Valencia 3/4 classical guitar.

I also like the suggestion of getting a Western steel strung guitar. I will look into that.

Thank you again,
Joleene
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: dabas on December 09, 2014, 03:40:51 pm
Hi ,

Now that I have just started the beginners course my 14 year old son has noticed and would like to practice also.We started today with the D cord, I watched the video and practiced while my son looked on and then he did the same . I hope this is a good idea or should we practice separately ? ,it seemed good to me as I noticed things he was doing wrong and corrected him, the beginner expert that I am  ::) .

The main concern I have is that I am right handed and my son is left handed,but I don't want to spend out on another guitar just in case he decides to give up after a while. Is it a good idea for him being left handed to play on a right handed guitar, should he flip the guitar upside down so that he can play it left handed  or should he just try and play as a right handed person ?

Thanks,
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on December 09, 2014, 03:51:13 pm
Hi dabas,

Nobody can make this choice of left/right handed for him but him really. What I can tell you, being left-handed myself, is that I learned to play right-handed and it has been zero issue for me. Most lefties are somewhat ambidextrous since we have to function in a right-handed world. Still this is about comfort for him. I personally would try him on the right handed guitar first. If he finds it too awkward, take him to the guitar shop and see if a left handed guitar is a lot more comfortable. If it doesn't make a difference I would stick with the right-handed guitar because if there is a guitar lying out while out with friends, on a campout, etc. and he wants to play for fun, it's likely going to be right handed. Again, just my opinion as a lefty :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on December 09, 2014, 04:46:35 pm
I'm a lefty forced to play right.  I do OK.  played lead guitar in a working band for a few years.  always got rehired or got gigs we had to addition for.  but I am no rockstar.

first time I picked up a guitar I picked it up and held it left handed.  I've always wondered if I would have been better playing lefthanded. 

how did your son hold the guitar the first time he picked it up? 

shadow
 

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: dabas on December 09, 2014, 06:11:39 pm
Thanks Deadeye,

 Shadow, it was only when I finished watching the D cord video and after my practice .I was about to hand over the guitar to him and realised that of course (bit strange, all three of our children are left handed but my wife and I are right handed) he is left handed.So I just told him to hold it the way I was holding it.

In hindsight I should have just kept quiet and watched what he did with the guitar.

 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on December 09, 2014, 06:26:38 pm
Play some air guitar with your son. Just spontaneously start jammin' air guitar and see with way he
plays without thinking. 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on December 09, 2014, 11:15:08 pm
Play some air guitar with your son. Just spontaneously start jammin' air guitar and see with way he
plays without thinking. 

This.
If left feels natural, especially for good, rhythmic strumming, he'll struggle to learn Right. Maybe he can do it. I couldn't.

If it doesn't feel as good as left, it will always be hard work. that ids probably more likely to see him give up, them investing in a guitar that suits.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: pt3r on December 10, 2014, 10:35:57 am
On the other hand as a lefty playing right hand guitar (when i started out playing the bass the left hand models were more expensive and less available) I find that my left hand dexterity helps me in forming the chords more easily but perhaps I'm just used to playing right hand guitar by now.  Last time i tried a left-hand guitar in the shop it felt completely wrong.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: pt3r on December 10, 2014, 10:46:32 am
But strangely enough I feels more natural to play air guitar left handed  ;D Then again it's been a while since I played air guitar; the acoustic and the electric take up all my time.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Setneck Tele USA on December 10, 2014, 08:38:20 pm
Hello,
I am very new to guitar playing but very motivated :). I enjoy the online beginner course!  I started practicing 3 days ago and love it. I do not use a pick at this time but I plan on doing so as soon as it comes in the mail.

So far, I have learned the A, E & D cord and was shown the C cord by a family friend.  I can play a simple tune like 'Mary had a little lamb' by picking individual strings and was also shown individual notes on the guitar.  My problem is that I actually have to look at the fret board and the strings when I play the chords. Do I need to focus on trying to look away and "feel" for the correct position? My one minutes changes are up to 20 or 10 cycles; but I am actually looking at the strings and the fret board.  Otherwise, I would obviously be slower :).  So my question is:

1. Do I need to focus on not looking at the fret board / strings when I learn cords or does that come naturally with time?

2. When I play a simple song like 'Mary had a little lamb' I can play it fairly quickly but it sounds like there is feedback from the guitar. It is rather strange.  Even when I play it slowly, on notes that are repetitive, it sounds like the strings are forcefully stopped and then the tune rings again.  It's hard to explain but sounds awful. I would love to fix it, so the song sounds clear.  The same also happens when I play individual notes on the guitar. It is like the tune cannot finish ringing out and gets stopped. Whenever i play a string and then for the next note press the string against the fretboard for another note, it sounds awkward.

Btw, I am playing my daughter's smaller 3/4 guitar with nylon strings. I will gift myself a guitar for Christmas, once I know what I should be buying.

Anyways, thank you in advance!
Joleene

I'm new here and haven't earned the right to give suggestions maybe, but do not worry about looking at the fret board.  Try to make each chord as accurately as possible.  Personally I wouldn't be trying to learn things like Mary Had a Little Lamb, focus on learning chord sets, and then learn a song you can strum to for each set of new chords you learn, but keep it simple and don't try to learn too many too fast.  Follow Justin's beginner instructions and you will be fine.  You will know when it's time to move on.  That's how people get bored with a guitar or give up, they don't keep it simple.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on December 10, 2014, 09:15:24 pm
With the issues you describe playing a melody I suspect what you are hearing is the ringing on the strings you aren't playing.  Eventually this will be addressed in the sequence of lessons.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: dabas on December 10, 2014, 10:30:47 pm
Play some air guitar with your son. Just spontaneously start jammin' air guitar and see with way he
plays without thinking.

Great idea thanks, I did that today and he played air guitar right handed.I then said to him try it left handed which he did, then said he preferred to do it right handed.So hopefully he will be ok playing a right handed guitar.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on December 11, 2014, 12:09:34 am
Great idea thanks, I did that today and he played air guitar right handed.I then said to him try it left handed which he did, then said he preferred to do it right handed.So hopefully he will be ok playing a right handed guitar.

I think the air guitar is a valid test. IMO, the strumming hand is far more important. If that feels awkward (and it does for some either way round…) it will make learning hard work.

Given all RH players learnt to fret with their left, suggests to me it's the far easier skill to learn with the 'wrong hand'.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: monte258 on January 02, 2015, 04:56:11 pm
This is helpful, thanks. Although I've been at this for about 8 months and have purchased the beginner DVD set, I'm new to this forum. I'm at stage 3 but only as far as playing the chords go. I can't change quickly and I can't change very well without looking, even though I'm specifically trying to practice that. I really need some guidance on the best way to incorporate 'not looking' with using the One Minute Changes app. One of the ways I've been trying to learn is to just pick up the guitar and try to find a chord then strum to see if I have it. Most times I don't. There's got to be a better way. Thanks to anybody that can help me with this.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Buckeye1971 on January 02, 2015, 05:41:12 pm
monte258,
hello and welcome to the forum.
Do not worry about playing chords without looking. Just keep doing your one minute changes and following Justin's course. Eventually, when you become comfortable you will just start playing the chords without looking and without thinking about it. I think you are actually holding yourself back by trying to play the chords without looking.
Hope this helps.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on January 03, 2015, 12:47:02 am
As above.
My advice is keeping looking. The skill of not looking comes naturally when your fingers take over from your eyes. It's more important to be able to consistently form the chords first. Not looking adds unnecessary complexity.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on January 12, 2015, 08:45:07 pm
Hey Monte,
I agree with Buckeye and Drubbing. I wondered when I should stop looking at the chords and just playing right. I couldn't get fingers in place without looking so decided not to worry about it, hoping that it would happen when the time was right. I've been on the course for seven months and just about now I'm doing some stuff without looking. The funny thing is, if I think about doing chords without looking it goes wrong. When I don't think about it and just let it happen ...... It happens. I don't know how it works, perhaps its just because you are relaxed about it and not stressing.
The one thing that I have found about this course is that things will happen when you have put in the practice. I keep a daily journal plotting my progress or lack of. When you look back things you thought impossible once upon a time are now possible and its all down to practice.
Anyway good luck with your progress, hey what do you know, I'm not looking at he keys while typing this, I wonder why. LOL
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rossco01 on January 12, 2015, 08:52:39 pm
@monte I agree with the others dont worry about looking, particularly when you're practicing 1 min changes. I've been at it 14 months, still practice 1 min changes and still look at the fret board. Remember 1 min changes form part of your PRACTICE i.e. to get better at playing guitar, rather than your PLAYING of the guitar. Even though I'm comfortable playing songs now I still look at the fretboard when it feels natural too.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Funz on January 19, 2015, 10:28:55 am
Hi,

Firstly thanks to Justin for this site, it has been fantastic so far and the approach to learning has been great.

I have started to get the first 3 chords down and the chord changes are going well but one thing I am struggling with is the timing of the chord change.

I am not sure if I will explain it right but here goes. I am struggling to understand when to move my fingers to the next chord. Do I finish the fourth strum and move my fingers straight away do I have to place back on the fretboard right as I start the next bar? Does moving my fingers too early impact the the current chord?

Any tips on this would be good.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rolandson on January 19, 2015, 11:29:35 am
Keeping the neck still
Make sure that your fretting hand is not supporting the guitar neck at all and that the neck is stable when you are playing. The last thing you want is the neck wobbling about when you are trying to practise getting your fingers in the right position.

The neck is wobbling actually a litle bit when I play especially when I play california dreaming. When I move from G to F I often miss the 3ed string on the 2nd fret. Could that be the reason. I don't have that problem with the other chords though.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on January 19, 2015, 01:33:03 pm
I am not sure if I will explain it right but here goes. I am struggling to understand when to move my fingers to the next chord. Do I finish the fourth strum and move my fingers straight away do I have to place back on the fretboard right as I start the next bar? Does moving my fingers too early impact the the current chord?

I assume you are doing 4 down strums per bar like Justin teaches in the beginning. If that is the case, you switch fingers after the fourth strum but before the first strum of the new bar. At this stage your are strumming on the downbeat (1,2,3,4) and not on the upbeats (all the &'s)

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
                      ^
                switch here

You will eventually need to be fast enough to be able to switch between the & of beat 4 and beat 1 of the new bar. You will get there though, one minute changes are great for building up speed/muscle memory.

If you switch too early on a chord you will hear the difference. If you take them off while strumming it won't sound good or right.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: de_conne on January 19, 2015, 03:42:00 pm
Actually,

It's quite common to play the open strings on the & after the 4th beat.

Once the pace (tempo of songs) picks up, you'll notice that you won't have enough time to go from one chord to the other. What happens is that you play the open strings between the chord change.

If you listen carefully, you'll hear it in lots of songs.

I think Justin speaks about it in one of his video's, can't remember where...

Edit: Found it => http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-146-RhythmBasics2.php

regards,
de_conne
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on January 19, 2015, 07:32:56 pm
Actually,

It's quite common to play the open strings on the & after the 4th beat.

Yes it is and I almost mentioned that in my post but held off because I think it's debatable (though I don't want to debate it) whether or not this is good habit to develop.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on January 19, 2015, 07:51:01 pm
If you are playing in 4/4 time with all down beats(1/4 note strumming) there is no & after the 4th beat.
It is acceptable to play the 4th beat open if you can't make the chord changes quick enough.
Don't let it become bad habit though keep working on your one minute changes

If you are playing in 4/4 time with 1/8 note strumming then It is quite common to play the open strings on the & after the 4th beat.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: daveband on January 31, 2015, 08:45:25 pm
Hi, my name is Dave and I'm a newbie. Have a few chords down pat, following justins guide, but the one thing I struggle on is strumming to a metronome.  What's helped is to sing along, seriously. I got the intro to 'wish you were here' by Floyd, and singing along stops my tendency to strum too fast.

So, so you wish you tell
Heaven from Hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green fleld
From a cold steel rain,
A smile from a veil,
So you think you can tell?

Strum along and sing.  Works for me :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: m_c on January 31, 2015, 09:23:52 pm
Keeping time with a metronome is just about practise.
I found starting about 60bpm, so I was forcing myself to play slow and listen for the beat worked well. Also foot tapping was a major help. Before I even think about striking a note, I get the foot going in time with the beat.

Once I had the whole thing sorted at 60bpm, I gradually sped up by 10bpm at a time, doing at least a couple minutes at different tempos every practice session helped. I'm still not perfect at it, but I'm far better than I've ever been.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Cataract on January 31, 2015, 10:27:02 pm
I think that you shouldn't increase 10bpm at a time! 2-5bmp should be better! You will be forced to exercise more, be more focused and the change of the tempo won't be so drastically.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Danzai! on February 05, 2015, 08:32:25 pm
Hi guys. Total newbie here (never played a note in my life).

Really keen to learn though, and definitely think this is the route for me - Justin's teaching style seems to make everything so much easier and more fun. I am a bit confused though, and apologise if this has been covered elsewhere (I have looked, but couldn't find it).

Justin recommends the Yamaha Pacifica range of guitars, and I think I've settled on the 112V. Thing is though, it has what I believe everyone refers to as a 'floating tremolo'. I can't find one without. Have I misunderstood the jargon, or is there a different arrangement I should be looking for? Or, do I just buy this one and get my local shop to lock the tremolo down for me while I'm learning the basics?

Thanks for your help guys.

Dan
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on February 05, 2015, 08:47:40 pm
Just have the shop put in the rest of the springs or torque down the screws a bit to deck the bridge, pull it solid to the body.  Keep the trem arm in the case.

You can undo it later. All but two real strats I have actually seen and played outside of a shop have been that way.  And in one case the dude had two, one decked and one not.  Wish I had his kinda money.

I'm not sure the Yamaha strat copies are offered in a hard tail.  I think not.

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on February 05, 2015, 11:00:40 pm
Simple option is to just wind off the tremolo arm and put it aside until your ready to use it. That's what I did after reading Justin's comment but given Scott's comments could I be doing some harm by not locking down? Donno but my journeyman squirer works well enough for me 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: m_c on February 05, 2015, 11:22:05 pm
As others have said, you can get the bridge locked down, however the main disadvantage to not getting it locked down is it makes tuning a bit harder.
I've never locked the bridge down on my Strat, and it's never given me any problems.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on February 05, 2015, 11:28:49 pm
No harm, but depending on how stiff the springs doings bends can lift the bridge and make it hard to do in tune unison bending or anytime you bend one string while playing others.  If there isn't enough tension to hold the bridge to the body, when you bend a string up the rest of the strings will go somewhat flat.

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Danzai! on February 06, 2015, 10:18:40 am
Thanks for the advice guys.

This is all what I was hoping you'd say, which makes my decision a lot easier.

Cheers,

Dan
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on February 08, 2015, 07:03:24 pm
Hi Guys,
I have an annoying problem I hope you can help me with. On my Squire Strat when doing chord changes I am finding that my G string rings out loud and long between changes. This is when the chord had an open G. I'm not sure if I'm doing something stupid or of it's the guitar or if this just happens. I find it really annoying . Can anyone shed any light on this.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: routerbooter on February 08, 2015, 08:21:13 pm
Hi Guys,
I have an annoying problem I hope you can help me with. On my Squire Strat when doing chord changes I am finding that my G string rings out loud and long between changes. This is when the chord had an open G. I'm not sure if I'm doing something stupid or of it's the guitar or if this just happens. I find it really annoying . Can anyone shed any light on this.
The only thing I can suggest is to make your chord changes faster, then it won't be so noticeable.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on February 09, 2015, 12:05:47 am
Hi Guys,
I have an annoying problem I hope you can help me with. On my Squire Strat when doing chord changes I am finding that my G string rings out loud and long between changes. This is when the chord had an open G. I'm not sure if I'm doing something stupid or of it's the guitar or if this just happens. I find it really annoying . Can anyone shed any light on this.

Completely normal for beginners. Get faster and smoother with changes and it won't happen
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Musiclover on February 21, 2015, 12:11:54 pm
I have had my guitar for a while but only just got motivated to learn. So I brought an electronic guitar tuner to try and tune my guitar but every time I hear someone play their guitar mine still sounds out of tune. Where could I get a good guitar tuner?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Asem on February 21, 2015, 04:47:43 pm
Hello Musiclover,

It could be the strings are a bit old and sound dull, so consider changing them maybe.
For a guitar tuner you can use guitartuna phone app, really cool app it's very accurate. I hope that helps.:)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bradt on February 22, 2015, 12:34:48 am
Are you sure it's the guitar? :)

I know when i first started, I thought my guitar sounded wrong a lot, but it turns out it was just me. Whenever someone else played it, it always seemed to magically sound better.  :o
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Dosce on March 08, 2015, 10:40:01 am
Hello !

I am just wondering one thing before starting these lessons.

A few years ago, I had guitar lessons, and my theacher was learning me to play the guitar string by string, I was just playing notes, I didn't even know the existence of the chords. Though, you seem to only use chords.

Where does this difference come from ?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: close2u on March 08, 2015, 10:50:14 am
@ Dosce

you will have been taking lessons focussed on single notes, reading musical notes from a classical start point I imagine ...

Justin teaches 'popular' guitar ... not classical
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Dosce on March 08, 2015, 11:06:02 am
Ok, I didn't know there were differents kinds of guitar teaching !

Another question : why is it suggested to buy a set of picks instead of just one ?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on March 08, 2015, 11:23:19 am
Hello !

I am just wondering one thing before starting these lessons.

A few years ago, I had guitar lessons, and my theacher was learning me to play the guitar string by string, I was just playing notes, I didn't even know the existence of the chords. Though, you seem to only use chords.

Where does this difference come from ?

This is commonly the the 'music first, instrument second' approach. It teaches music as the priority, so you can transfer reading music to almost any instrument, once you know where the notes on that instruments are.

A friend of mine is learning that way and two years later is playing Happy Birthday, and not much else. Not my preferred way of doing it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joerfe on March 08, 2015, 04:58:41 pm
Another question : why is it suggested to buy a set of picks instead of just one ?

Because just like socks, picks tend to dissapear!

\m/ rock on \m/
end Jesper
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: m_c on March 08, 2015, 11:53:48 pm
Because just like socks, picks tend to dissapear!

\m/ rock on \m/
end Jesper
Very true Joerfe!
However I suspect the bigger reason is so you get a selection of picks to try, and when Justin says pack, he means a selection pack, not a pack of identical picks!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on March 12, 2015, 09:50:11 pm
When you guys are learning songs do you learn one at a time or three or four and keep going over them until learnt. I'm sort of doing about four at the moment and as one gets really good I leave that one and move onto another new one. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on March 12, 2015, 10:01:27 pm
I work on 3 or 4 song, Riffs, Scales what ever I'm rusty at all in the same practice period.
It all depends on how you learn every one is different. Some like to do one thing at a time I personally
like to mix it up.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on March 12, 2015, 10:43:37 pm
Hey Stitch,
Pretty much how I go about things. Do you try to get the vocals down straight aways as well. I find that bit hard, especially if I don't really know the song. I get there in the end but sometimes it's a bit of a rough ride. It doesn't help when my wife hears me and thinks I'm playing a completely different song. I'm hoping thats down to her being tone deaf and not me being totally crap at playing. LOL
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on March 12, 2015, 10:59:14 pm
Personally I do very little singing. My wife or one of the people I jam with do all the singing.

After 40 years of playing I can probably only sing a dozen song all the way through. So I'm not
much help there.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on March 12, 2015, 11:31:31 pm
Blue

Focus on the playing for now. Going through the BC I was probably working on 3 or 4 songs at a time and they were normally a couple of stages below where I was learning at a technical level. I tended to focus on getting 2 tracks played to a 'good' standard, whilst getting my head around the other two. Then those latter tracks became the ones to focus on, while I added another couple of BC songs to the repertoire.

Right now during consolidation I'm generally focusing on just two songs and trying to get them 'right'. And that's just playing. If I started singing alongside it'd all got to rats wottist and the whole package will end up down the pan. I'll worry about vocals when I'm playing Everything with confidence but many of my colleagues out there, up and around and above my level manage both - and I hate the muthas ;D (And you know who you are and know I don't mean that) One day I'll sort my vocals out (lots of training at the moment) then I'll give it a go. 8)

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on March 13, 2015, 01:30:58 pm
Thanks for that Toby, I am probably doing something very similar to you. I am on the last two stages of the BC plus the bonus section to do. I am picking songs from different stages, mostly ones I like and am slowly getting there. As I said the singing is not great but when you do a verse and get it right It's a great feeling. How long do you practice your songs for. I do about fifteen minutes on each and then do some scale stuff or blues shuffle. It;s surprising how the time goes, I tell my wife I'll be gone for forty minutes and return an hour and a half later. Even then I don't feel I have done much. I have been keeping a daily log since day one and am now up to month nine. When I look back it's amazing how far I've come. Slow but sure. I think I now spend more time with Justin than I do with the wife LOL.
Good luck with your progress.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on March 13, 2015, 02:56:05 pm
Blue

Sounds a familiar story. Going through the BC I was aiming for an hour each evening, breaking the different skill set down to 10 minute chunk. I'd spend about 20 minutes on songs so frequently over ran !! Now I'm spending 20 minutes on the last few things that are nagging me during Consolidation  and the 40 minutes on the two songs I'm working on, twenty mins each.  8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: blueguern on March 14, 2015, 09:06:34 am
Hi Guys,
Just been looking through a few of Justin's videos, in some of them he says about using the thumb to play the bass note. He says it took him years to be able to do this, is there any practice regimes to help get this technique or is it something that just happens. I can just about play one or two chords this way but wouldn't be able to do it whilst playing a song. I have to really throttle the neck to be able to play chord and bass note. Any thoughts.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: pt3r on March 14, 2015, 11:18:51 am
I'd say practice, practice and some more practice. I have not come across any guitar technique yet that can't be mastered with anything but practice. Whether it be chord changes, bar chords, harmonics, scales or whatever.  :D
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on March 14, 2015, 04:06:47 pm
Add the chords you can play with your thumb to your one minute changes
Try D/F# - C 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: ee.griffioen on May 04, 2015, 06:07:05 am
I am a flute player and I have a better quality flute with holes in some keys (like a clarinet). Over the past few weeks I have noticed the pads of the corresponding fingers getting a bit fatter (only on the pad of the finger). You mention later in a lesson that the fretting fingers will narrow themselves out a little, but will that affect my flute fingers? Also, I am aware that I will develop callouses on my fretting hand, but do you think those will affect them as well?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: HeatherBug on May 04, 2015, 11:52:42 pm
@ee.griffioen
I believe the biggest change in the fretting hand comes from continually trimming the nails short on that hand. Eventually it seems that you have more pad at the tip of the finger, beyond the nail when you are looking at the back of your hand. I have developed calluses at the very tips of my fingers but not on pad/where your fingerprint is. (Hope that makes sense). I've been playing about 5 months now and I play 30-60 minutes, 5 times a week usually.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: 5jugglers4th on May 14, 2015, 07:09:38 pm
Howdy!
I've tried to find an answer for this one; I couldn't get my hands on one even though I did a lot of reading on the forum.  ;D
I know some chords, I know about open chords, I also know when the string is supposed to be mute (X). But what do I do when 2 strings are supposed to be picked but when they are apart on the same fret? Let's say E String (thinnest) and A string fretted both on 3rd fret; the strings in between on the tab are not fretted or mute just not played at all. So how should the 2 others be played? I tried between the index and thumb... :o
Thank you for any answer!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rossco01 on May 14, 2015, 07:22:45 pm
Hi there a relative beginner also  ;D but I would suggest you are doing it correctly using thumb and first finger to pluck the string together at the same time.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on May 14, 2015, 07:41:27 pm
Thumb and index is correct if you are using your fingers. If you are using a pick the pick plays the A sting
and you play the e string with either your middle or ring finger which ever is more comfortable.

It's called hybrid picking.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Davdo on December 01, 2015, 06:34:22 pm
Hi. I am at BC stage 4 and I would really like to learn fingerstyle. Should I wait the end of the course or I can start learning it? Thanks.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on December 01, 2015, 06:47:31 pm
You can start learning finger picking patterns at any time.
Still do the BC  as it is layed out and add the finger picking to the chords
as you learn them. Most of the song in the lessons can be strummed or finger picked.
Learn both ways. If never hurts to know both. 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: ruth.tbg on December 02, 2015, 02:39:37 pm

Hi,the truth is that I have a while since I started playing the guitar and now I started to face the barred chords wich are so hard..my wrist hurts a lot..I mean in an unsupportable way..the question is:It is normal to hurt that much?I did become frustrated,but I don't want to stop playing the guitar.. (by the way,I'm not so good with posting,don't know if this is where I should ask,I'm a newbie here,hope I didn't bother somebody) :-[
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rossco01 on December 02, 2015, 03:07:49 pm
Ruth just to make you feel a little better most people find barre chords hard and they do seem to take most (not all people) some months to really get. I would say that whilst I'm getting more comfortable on electric there is definitely a long way to go on acoustic.

If it's hurting then you might not be doing something quite right in terms of the pressure your apply or the angle you're trying to apply the barre. I'd review the comments in the forum for the specific lesson. Also it might be an idea to take a look at the e shaped barre chord lessons in the IM foundation course as they might help.

There are lots and lots and lots of songs you can play without touching a barre chord so don't give up and just keep plodding on.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on December 02, 2015, 04:56:51 pm
If you are hurting your wrist lift the guitar neck up on more of an angle.
Try and keep your wrist as straight as possible. You can do serious damage
to your wrist by cranking it more than 45deg.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Davdo on December 15, 2015, 04:45:31 am
At stage 5, when playing cords with 3 fingers like A or D, I noticed that my pinky is separated from rest of the fingers. Is that wrong and if it is, how to fix it? Thank you.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: de_conne on December 15, 2015, 08:39:47 am
I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
For those chords you're not using your pinky, just keep it out of the way ;).

For later chords, you will be needing your pinky. You'll also find that your pinky is less obediant then the other fingers ;)

regards,
de_conne
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joerfe on December 15, 2015, 10:37:59 am
I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
For those chords you're not using your pinky, just keep it out of the way ;).

As de_conne writes it should not pose a problem. Just make sure that you are not letting it slip behind the neck (of the guitar ;)) to keep it handy for the Next chord which might be one where you need it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: suzidownunder on December 15, 2015, 10:44:55 am
Hi.. I am 64 and started with Justin about 8 months ago. I last picked up a guitar when I was 15 and strummed along to Donovan!
There are lots of hurdles in the beginning but you will get over them eventually. It's just practise and more practise. I don't have anyone to help me either but I go back over earlier lessons just for the buzz of being able to do them easily. I get stiff hands as I have mild arthritis and even had trigger thumb for a few weeks but I never stopped playing and it's now gone. I can now play many acoustic songs plus a few more complicated like 'Wish you were here' and 'behind blue eyes'..
Keep going and you'll be pleasantly surprised. There will be 'off' days too but don't give up! Good luck!

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: suzidownunder on December 15, 2015, 10:47:18 am


Hi guys,

how long does it "generally" take to go through the beginners course ? How long did it take for you ?

Thanks

Took me about 6 months playing every day - and i still go back now and again to see just how well I've progressed. My big 'F'  and Bm is still slow but getting there!

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Khatru on December 18, 2015, 01:49:05 am
Hi everyone
New to the site and a new beginner. Been doing the course for 2 weeks and I've begun attempting some stage 1 songs. I've noticed I'll seem to progress for a few days and then a day comes that I seem to go backwards. When I progress its small but motivating to me, probably sounds like a dying duck to someone else but nevertheless. I'm glad I found this site , I'm 50 years old and never picked up a guitar before but always wanted to. Looking forward to the lessons
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on December 18, 2015, 02:44:25 am
Welcome to the forum.
You'll find as you travel along this journy we call playing the guitar there will be peaks
and valleys. It's not a steady climb up hill. Occationly you will feel like you're going backwards.
Record yourself once a week and you will hear your progress. It will be very little some weeks,
leaps and bounds other weks and some weeks you'll wonder why you ever started.
Keep at it music is the best gift you can give yourself.
 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rossco01 on December 18, 2015, 08:12:57 am
Welcome Khatru and congrats on starting your journey. Would definitely give a thumbs up to the approach you are taking following the course and learning songs at the same time. Keep at it and as you've seen whilst there will be a few peaks, plateaus and troughs in your progress ultimately you'll get better.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: joueur de guitare on December 18, 2015, 02:13:48 pm
Happens to everyone. Good luck, stay at it.

...but I have to ask, are you a Siberian Khatru? Yes?  ;)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: JaminCat on December 18, 2015, 02:17:32 pm
When doing the 1 minute chord changes should I also be aiming to strum only the strings that should be strummed for the chords?

Also is it cheating as a beginner to mute the Low E, for chords that don't use it, with my thumb?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Curtis Suter on December 18, 2015, 03:20:52 pm
When doing the 1 minute chord changes should I also be aiming to strum only the strings that should be strummed for the chords?
Yes

Also is it cheating as a beginner to mute the Low E, for chords that don't use it, with my thumb?
Absolutely!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: JaminCat on December 18, 2015, 03:32:36 pm
Absolutely!

Hope I've not made that too permanent in my brain/fingers then  :-\
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on December 18, 2015, 04:01:28 pm
Also is it cheating as a beginner to mute the Low E, for chords that don't use it, with my thumb?

Clarification here:  This is a valid technique - so don't forget it - it is not cheating.  But one might avoid it as a beginner as focusing on using the thumb to mute the low E string can interfere with properly executing the chord grips.  Make it harder to keep the fingers nicely arched and positioned.

So rather than classify it as "cheating" I would tend to say it is something you may not want to worry about at the beginner stage, and just continue to aim for the "right" strings until the basic chords are working well for you.  They sound good without you having to think too much about making them sound good.

The general order is to first learn to get the strings you want to play ringing out clearly while trying to aim for only the strings you want to hit.  Once you begin to become proficient at that and have developed more hand strength and dexterity, you will start to learn more advanced techniques to mute the strings you don't want to hear.  One of which is "thumb over muting"...

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: JaminCat on December 23, 2015, 09:17:16 pm
When I'm changing between chords, especially ones that don't have a anchor finger like C and D, I find that I'm still putting my fingers down 1 then 2 then 3.

Will they start moving at the same time by themselves or should I spend some time moving them slowly and at the same time?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: JaminCat on December 23, 2015, 09:52:44 pm
When I'm changing between chords, especially ones that don't have a anchor finger like C and D, I find that I'm still putting my fingers down 1 then 2 then 3.

Will they start moving at the same time by themselves or should I spend some time moving them slowly and at the same time?

Looks like http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-153-AirChanges.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-153-AirChanges.php) answers my question.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: suzidownunder on December 24, 2015, 10:15:26 am
Hi guys,

I started playing guitar 2 months ago but a a few days ago I noticed that the thumb of my left hand started to hurt...is my technique bad ? I guess I'm pressing to much with my thumb to compensate the lack of force in my fingers...some say that they use their chest and the right arm to hold the guitar against the fingers of the left hand when playing and this way they just use their thumb for orientation only...I this technique bad ?...should I start playing this way ?

Thanks.
Hi  I was the same and actually had trigger thumb from pressing too hard. I kept on playing. Splinting it at other times and it cleared up. I'm 64 and been playing for 8 months - so I guess I expected problems. All good now though. Don't worry too much. It will all come right eventually :)
I started a year ago at age 58 and I did it,so it's not age...Those very first 3 chords required the muscles in my fingers/wrist/forearm/upper arm to be used in ways they never had.I thought I knew what contortionists feel like.Early on I even had to help place my fingers WITH MY OTHER HAND! ;D
It will all settle down for you,relatively soon.I was on stage 1 for 2 months and I probably rushed it at that.
My size problem was thinking my hands were too big... ;D At 6-2 and 250ish pounds,I have rather large hands/fingers...Sausage fingers... ;D
Didn't matter...Practice and time fixed it for me and it will for you.
The calouses calm down too,and you get a sense of feel through them...More time and practice...

Like you,I don't really know anyone who plays to talk to either.That's a big reason I come here... :D

Yes your fingers will stretch but you have to work at it.There are different exercises designed to focus in on specific areas of stretch/strength,which themselves all take time and practice to show results.
3 weeks in may be a bit early,but when you feel ready,I suggest starting with the "Finger gym",found in the technique section.You're going to constantly need more stretch and more strength as you progress.By stage 3 or 4 you'll see what I mean... ;D
Really try to not be frustrated.I've been down that road and can go on at great length on how that will stunt you,from personal experience. ;)


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Khatru on January 19, 2016, 04:04:25 am
I'm about 7 or 8 weeks into first ever picking up a guitar. I'm in stage 3 and do fairly well with chord changes except the d to c causes me to pause but getting better. My question is: I do attempt to play a song or 2 that is not part of the course and that is above my skill level. Is this the wrong thing to do? These songs have parts that aren't using any chords I know or probably aren't a chord. Something like the very beginning to Roundabout or I've toying around with Country Boy Can Survive which does have the chords I've learned but also some other picking and a different strum than 4 down. Thanks
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rossco01 on January 19, 2016, 08:30:22 am
Hi Khatru, Nothing wrong in learning something that isn't on the course or is slightly beyond you. If nothing else it will keep you interested. My only guidance is that you shouldn't let it totally distract you from the course or getting the core skills down. I say this only from experience in that learning songs can take oodles of time and sometimes that is at the expense of proper learning/practice.

A good practice schedule which combines learning songs is the best way to go. Perhaps allocating a night or two a week just for songs is the way to go with the rest for structured practice.

My experience also tells me that doing the course, getting it down and practicing on easier songs makes it a lot easier in the long run to learn those harder ones....that said my barre chords probably wouldn't have come along as well as they have if I hadn't identified a couple of songs that I really wanted to learn that needed me to play them.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: suzidownunder on January 20, 2016, 11:02:36 am
Totally agree Rossco01 I just couldn't get the hang of Bm until I had to use it in as change from D in 'why does it always rain on me,' it made practise more enjoyable!

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: notbulby on January 20, 2016, 05:03:53 pm
This might be a silly question but how long should we be on stage one of the beginner course before moving on?

It's been a week since I started and I already notice that my fingers aren't as sensitive anymore and don't ache as much when I press down on the strings. The only problems I seem to have are muting of the strings which I try and correct as much as I can but I just wonder to myself sometimes how long students should theoretically take at this stage. I want to know so that I know if i'm doing too much or not enough in my practices.

Thanks!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: joueur de guitare on January 20, 2016, 05:06:52 pm
This might be a silly question but how long should we be on stage one of the beginner course before moving on?

It's been a week since I started and I already notice that my fingers aren't as sensitive anymore and don't ache as much when I press down on the strings. The only problems I seem to have are muting of the strings which I try and correct as much as I can but I just wonder to myself sometimes how long students should theoretically take at this stage. I want to know so that I know if i'm doing too much or not enough in my practices.

Thanks!

Read this. When to move on to the next stage.
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-119-PRACTICEstage1.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-119-PRACTICEstage1.php)

Have you got all the bullet points down? ;)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: suzidownunder on January 23, 2016, 03:45:55 am
My sticking point seems to be the songs.  I feel comfy with chords and chord changes now, but when I play, or try to play the songs, grrrrrrrr.  I have a hard time both memorizing them and then remembering the strum patterns.  I do ok if I am playing along with Justin, but when I attempt the song with no backup rhythm I get frustrated.  Any advice?
Hi I suffer from life long chronic silent migraine and as a result my recall is very bad. I too have a great deal of trouble remembering the order of chords in songs. I write them down as I go even though I have them already in front of me. It really helps!

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Khatru on February 19, 2016, 02:27:41 am
I was having a few bad days where I couldn't seem to do anything right. I think maybe I was staying at the same thing for 2 long. Trying to play brown eyed girl for about a month but it just didn't sound right and forget the intro, I can't get that with any accuracy. I am in stage 4 but hadn't tried any of those songs. I decided to try killing me softly and things just seemed to turn around and things were going right again. After about a week of seemingly going nowhere or maybe backwards the last 2 nights have shown great progress except changing to B7, that's fairly slow. I also started playing Show Me by Jon Anderson which is fun and fairly simple.
 Learning songs just takes repeatedly playing them, eventually you get it, at least once, then you'll forget for a few more tries. Quite the adventure at my age.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Fmaj7 on February 19, 2016, 05:58:39 am
. After about a week of seemingly going nowhere or maybe backwards the last 2 nights have shown great progress except changing to B7, that's fairly slow. Quite the adventure at my age.


For me it´s a bit like climbing a hill:  a bit upward a bit downward but while walking consequent we reach the top. And the 50+ can climb on Everest, K2, so what:  B7 is not really a problem  :) :) :)
Fmaj7
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stanleyarmstrong on March 03, 2016, 10:45:12 pm
I know that the "A" chord is made up of the triad A,C# and E.  What makes the chord an A and not C# or E?
Has it to do with frequencies?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: nickboothmusic on March 03, 2016, 11:06:01 pm

I know that the "A" chord is made up of the triad A,C# and E.  What makes the chord an A and not C# or E?
Has it to do with frequencies?

It's basic music theory at that point.

An A major chord is made of of A (the root), C# (the third), and E (the fifth).

A C# minor chord is made up of C# (the root), E (the minor third), and A# - the fifth in this one makes it not an A major chord. If you changed the E to an F, you'd have C# major.

An E chord is E (the root), G# (the third), and B (the fifth). The only note that has in common with an A chord is the E.

Now, of course, all of this is assuming basic major chords. It starts getting more fun to figure out what a chord actually is when you get into flat 7 9th Augmented chords.


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: shadowscott007 on March 04, 2016, 01:37:24 am
Tweak:  C#m would be C# E G#.

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: nickboothmusic on March 04, 2016, 03:57:10 am

Tweak:  C#m would be C# E G#.

Shadow

Yes, that. The correct way. Lol.


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: jtbrown1 on March 04, 2016, 03:28:55 pm
I know that the "A" chord is made up of the triad A,C# and E.  What makes the chord an A and not C# or E?
Has it to do with frequencies?
You're starting to dive into music theory. The answer to your question will just cause you to ask other questions, but the A chord (really, the A major chord) is made up of the root, third, and fifth of the A major scale.

An E chord would be made up of the root, third, and fifth of the E major scale, which would be E, G#, and B.

Same theory goes for the makeup of a C# major chord.

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Majik on March 05, 2016, 12:43:56 pm
As others have said, you're venturing into music theory here.

One of things alluded to in the answers above is that it is about intervals (the "root, third, fifth bit"). To understand this you need to start delving a bit into scales and scale theory and, possibly most importantly, to understand intervals and their role in scales and chords.

At the end of the day, the short answer is certain combinations of intervals played together have a certain "character" and we have standardised on how we name these. There are sound reasons behind this standardisation (it's not totally random) but until you start delving into music theory you will struggle to understand the reasoning behind it.

If you do want to start to learn this stuff, Justin's Practical Music Theory (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/PR-010-PracticalMusicTheory.php) is a great place to start.

Cheers,

Keith
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Nocturnal1961 on May 20, 2016, 11:32:58 pm
How should I take care of left fret fingers. I got good hard callouses on finger tips but still get grooves. The deepest grooves seem to come from doing E. So when doing minute changes like D to E or  A to E the finger fall right into place for E but flub up trying to do D or A. I thought when callouses came These groves would not get like this any more. What can I do to remedy this?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: de_conne on May 23, 2016, 08:54:47 am
@Nocturnal,

I would say practice, practice, practice.

Callouses have little to do with how your fingers change chords. They will just make it less painfull after a while.

Keep at it!

regards,
de_conne
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rossco01 on May 23, 2016, 02:48:38 pm
@nocturnal I remember this well and thinking that the grooves wouldn't disappear but they do. At the moment it's because you're only moving between the three chords you know. As you learn C, G, minor chords, slash chords etc, you'll be placing your fingers slightly differently and this means the grooves will start to disappear. It happened to me it'll happen to you.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: guitar65riff on May 31, 2016, 09:11:51 am
I've been playing for 40 years and still get grooves if I play for a long time. Ignore them. It's not important

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joerfe on May 31, 2016, 09:39:12 am
I get grooves after playing a few hours but they even out during the night.
When I was a quite new beginner I had to use an emoryboard to deal with the skin but now I never have to anymore.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: aswin on June 17, 2016, 03:27:00 pm
Hi. I don't know if this has been asked before in any of the forums, but how should I keep or store the guitar when not in use?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: joueur de guitare on June 17, 2016, 03:39:44 pm
Hi. I don't know if this has been asked before in any of the forums, but how should I keep or store the guitar when not in use?

In a case/gigbag, hanging on the wall, on a guitar stand. The latter isn't recommended if you've got kids or pets :)

Not by direct sources of heat, including sunlight (we don't get that in the UK anyway...), or leaning against furniture.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joerfe on June 17, 2016, 04:14:38 pm
Hi. I don't know if this has been asked before in any of the forums, but how should I keep or store the guitar when not in use?

Keep it handy. Mine hangs right next to the dinner table. This way I can grab it whenever I feel like it. It is also visible which means that I am constantly reminded to practice and play.
Don't hide it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on June 17, 2016, 05:02:27 pm
On a stand and wall hangers. I have good humidity in my house all year round.
My wife even dressed my guitars up for Christmas.

(http://www.dvcc.ca/images/stories/christmas.jpg)

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Macabre on June 17, 2016, 06:28:48 pm
I used to keep my guitars in their cases. However I found myself not bothering then because I was too lazy to get a guitar out. Now I have at least one guitar out on a stand. Currently have two out, as I've left my electric plugged into the amp.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: scorpio58 on June 17, 2016, 06:51:18 pm
Keep it handy. Mine hangs right next to the dinner table. This way I can grab it whenever I feel like it. It is also visible which means that I am constantly reminded to practice and play.
Don't hide it.

This.

I find because it is constantly on view (or looking at me in a seductive manner) I pick it up and will spend 10 - 15 mins just noodling.

Obviously on top of my scheduled daily practice sessions.

The other Sunday I woke up at 5.30, couldn't get back to sleep, which p***ed me off no end as it is my only day off and if the weather is good normally get out on my motorbike with a few mates for a good blast.

So  got up and came downstairs, looked at my guitar, it looked back and said "play me". So I did, for about an hour.

Well I say that but I did make myself a bacon sandwich first, best not to rush things.

The missus came down about 7.30 and said " Oh, so your playing with both your toys today then."

I replied, "I would have played with all  3 but you were still asleep."

Got a gentle slap for that!

The point is - keep it in plain sight, make it part of your environment, make it easy to just mess about on.

Do not hide it away, it will stay hidden, it will not be in your eyeline, it will gradually vanish.

FWIW
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: ajc24 on July 09, 2016, 10:34:52 pm
Hi guys,

This may seem like an unusual question - and apologies if this has come up anywhere before (I couldn't find it if it has)... I am only a Stage 1 Beginner on the Beginner Course. My practice room is the spare room of my house but, unfortunately, this also seems to be the warmest room in my house during the summer (poor choice it seems) :)

I find that, when practicing, my hands get very hot and sweaty - especially as I'm trying to apply pressure to press down the strings and build my finger strength in these early days. As a result, my thumb tends to slide up the guitar neck towards the thickest string as I'm changing chords. It's not overly bad and I'm getting used to managing it. But it's still frustrating to have to regularly adjust my grip as I'm playing.

I do believe it's because my fingers aren't quite strong enough yet - definitely as I've built that, this problem has become less of an issue. But still... it's distracting and frustrating.

Is this an issue that others have, too? What can I do to help this, if anything?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Dr Winterbourne on July 10, 2016, 12:13:17 am
Yeah, you want to avoid playing anywhere hot and humid - like the Mississippi Delta or a heaving rock club. Seriously though,  you'll just get used to all this stuff.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: ajc24 on July 10, 2016, 01:38:48 pm
Yeah, you want to avoid playing anywhere hot and humid - like the Mississippi Delta or a heaving rock club. Seriously though,  you'll just get used to all this stuff.

I understand that playing in hot places happens - I was just wondering if there was anything I could do to help. Thanks for the tip that it's just something I'll have to deal with :) I'm very much a complete novice at this so I genuinely didn't know if there was an alternative.

I'll just keep going as I am :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Donald Bones Argo on August 09, 2016, 02:06:28 am
Hi Everyone. I'm new I just  found  Justin Page about  3 weeks ago. I' ve started the 3 chord exercises.  Moving onto the  exercise of changing chords that part is kind of rough. I know it takes time. I know everyone is different. But How long is the standard time to spend on this before moving on to the next?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Buckeye1971 on August 09, 2016, 03:38:43 am
Hello Donald and welcome to the forum.

I don't think there is a standard time. Like you said everybody is different. It mostly depends on how long, and just as important, how efficiently you practice. Just follow Justin's course and you will be fine.
Here are HIS guidelines:

Quote
When to move on to the next stage?

It's very hard for me to define the point at which you should move onto the next stage. You should understand the content of this stage, but many skills will develop over the course as well.

The real answer is to move on when YOU feel ready. However, I know that it can be hard to tell when you feel ready or not! So, here are some suggestions as to what you should have accomplished before moving on:

• You should know all the chords from this stage, D, A and E, from memory.
• You should have them sounding good (if not perfect), with most of the notes sounding out most of the time.
• You should have your One-Minute changes to at least 40 changes in a minute (20 x the pair of changes).
• You should be able to play one or two of the songs from the songbook, even if you have to start and stop a little bit here and there.

Beware of trying to perfect every stage, as that will just lead to a feeling of hopelessness! I'm still trying to perfect simple things, and to be honest, I don't think we ever stop improving, so there is no ‘end game' – don't wait until every chord is PERFECT, be happy with good. Perfect will come later! That said, don't be moving on if you are sloppy as a wet sandwich either!

Hope that helps you decide when to move on!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on August 09, 2016, 05:04:25 pm
You first attempts at changing chords are going to be rough and for a lot of us took many weeks, if not months of practicing that little bit a day to be good enough to start playing a stage 1 song. The good news is that once you develop the essentials of this "skill" it gets easier with other chords. Hang in there
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Donald Bones Argo on August 10, 2016, 12:35:10 am
Guys  Thanks for welcoming me. I appreciate the feed back. I'll continue to practice. I don't know if had mentioned this.  But some days. I'll practice the A,D A and E chords and they sound nice and clear. Other days they sound like Joke. Thanks again for the feed back. I'll stay in touch. Happy Strumming.   
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: MichaelNL on August 12, 2016, 11:15:43 pm
Hello all,

Just like Donald I'm wondering about how long things take on average. And I know as well that it depends on too many variables to say something about it. But I thought it would be nice to tell my guitar journey so far.

I started about five weeks ago. The first two weeks my fingers were quite sore. But now I can practice for an hour or more. That will still hurt my fingers but the little pain there is will disappear in five to ten minutes after stopping. I must say that I practiced nearly every day and my guitar still is in need of a setup. The action is pretty high I guess. I used a little trick to make it a bit better until I can get the setup done. I tuned my guitar one step down and play with a capo on the first fret. This makes it a lot easier to play. I don't have to press so hard on the strings anymore.

The A, D and E sound good every time I play them. Especially A was nearly impossible for me. But when I started using the tune down/capo on the first fret trick it became a lot easier.
The really hard bit is in the 1-minute changes. My top score so far is about 27 changes but those where a bit too sloppy for my liking. They sound decent (but not perfect yet) when I'm playing them around 22 a minute. I found any change to D the hardest because the shape I make with my second and third finger becomes different.
The first time I started on the changes I managed around 7-8 in a minute. So it's slowly getting better.

Sometimes I sit and do the changes really slowly and today I started to try and put my fingers down without looking. Up until now I had to look at both my fretting hand and my strumming hand to make sure the chords sound right. I must say I was pleasantly surprised that it went not too bad without looking for a first time. I expected to mess it up completely but thanks to the anchor finger I was in the right place most of the time.

I'm very curious how soon I will be at 40 changes a minute because I would love to get into playing the first songs!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joerfe on August 13, 2016, 08:22:04 am
Oh boy, I could open an ebay pick-shop if someone would give me a pick for everytime the question about how long it takes to do the beginners course/ do x changes pops up.

I understand the need to reassure yourself that you are not slower than everyone else.
The fact is that you need to program your fine motorskills to do the chordshapes and that takes awhile. How long that takes is different from person to person, but you can be pretty certain that if you follow the practice regime Justin has prepared for each lesson you will arrive in due time.

There are no short cuts only hard work and you decide how much fun or how much of a chore it is.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: joueur de guitare on August 13, 2016, 08:27:32 am
Your 1 minute changes don't have to be perfect, just not terrible. Perfect will come, but it'll take time.

Justin writes:

Quote
One Minute Changes
The object of this exercise is to get your fingers moving quickly. Although you should be trying to get the fingers in the perfect positions that you have been working on in your chord practice, if they are a little sloppy it is OK, we are working up the speed here!

Here http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-119-PRACTICEstage1.php
 (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-119-PRACTICEstage1.php)

You don't NEED a certain level of proficiency to start playing songs. Start now. It's a great way to develop your chord changes and strumming. Start slow, and build up. You'll sound crap at first, but no-one else can tell you that they didn't either  ;)

Use a metronome. Start with something simple.

It doesn't get much simpler than Feelin' Alright.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BS-102-FeelinAlright-JoeCocker.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BS-102-FeelinAlright-JoeCocker.php)

Three Little Birds is a bit more interesting.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BS-101-ThreeLittleBirds-BobMarley.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BS-101-ThreeLittleBirds-BobMarley.php)


...and what Joerfe said.





Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: scorpio58 on August 13, 2016, 01:14:51 pm
Something I found helpful when starting one minute chord changes was doing 2 strums per chord at first.

ie - E chord 2 strums - A chord 2 strums for 1 minute.

Doing this for a few days really helped when I moved onto single strum chord changes and it has continued to be handy going through the Stage 2 chords.

I found it allows me to make any minor little shifts to resolve muted strings without rushing the change.

Then, when I move to single strum changes it seems my finger muscle memory is more settled and the chords ring clean with a greater consistency.

Just thought I'd share, maybe it will help someone.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mvpetri on October 24, 2016, 02:16:25 pm
One weird thing that made me get better at the 1 minute changes: Sleep.

The first day I tried the 1 minute changes I was the worst at it. I had time to spare, so I practiced for a long time, more than the suggested 5 minutes.

I ended the day frustrated, because it was so hard and because my fingers were sore like hell.

Then I went to sleep, thinking I had made a mistake buying this guitar.

The next day I woke up. It was saturday, I wasn't going to work that day. Ate my breakfast and after that I gave the guitar another change. For my surprise, I kind of get 100% better. The day before I did what? Less than 10 changes in one minute. But the next day I was able to do 18-20.

It is very interesting how the brain works your memory while you sleep.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on October 25, 2016, 01:54:37 pm
Yes mvpetri, sleep helps and I would say rest in general (meaning not playing the guitar 24/7) allows time for your brain to process what you've learned. There is a reason why Justin only has you practicing individual skills (chord changes, strumming, scales, etc.) for 5-8 minutes tops. Our brains tend to see the biggest gains when we practice in intense short spurts with rest in between. Will you get better if you practice longer? Probably but the rate at which you will improve will likely be far lower. In other words, short, focused practice will yield the biggest "bang for your buck" in respect to time spent.

In my experience, I'll be stuck on something, I'll not practice that skill for a few days and come back to it and it just clicks. The brain is an amazing thing
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: wickedrum on April 12, 2017, 04:38:06 am
Hi all,

Firstly, thanks a ton Justin! This site is amazing and super useful for beginners like me.

My question is - so I have an electric guitar that I have started learning with and I have zero experience with guitars before. I am in Stage 2 of the beginner's course - so been using the electric as an acoustic, ie, without an amp or connecting it to anything. Can someone tell me when I can actually start using it as an actual electric guitar? By connecting the amp, using a pedal etc? Is there some specific course/stage for that?

Thank you!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Drubbing on April 12, 2017, 05:01:51 am
You can use your guitar with an amp anytime you want. The course is the same for either guitar. You will need to buy an amp if you haven't already. You don't need pedals, those are for effects.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: bigbl5 on April 12, 2017, 01:16:23 pm
Exactly as Drubbing said, use an amp at any time.  If you have to buy an amp, don't waste your money on a super cheap $50 amp - they sound terrible.  You can get a decent modeling amp for under $200 if you want to mess with some effects later.  However, for now, just use the basic clean settings.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: joueur de guitare on April 12, 2017, 01:35:41 pm
Hi all,

Firstly, thanks a ton Justin! This site is amazing and super useful for beginners like me.

My question is - so I have an electric guitar that I have started learning with and I have zero experience with guitars before. I am in Stage 2 of the beginner's course - so been using the electric as an acoustic, ie, without an amp or connecting it to anything. Can someone tell me when I can actually start using it as an actual electric guitar? By connecting the amp, using a pedal etc? Is there some specific course/stage for that?

Thank you!

Start now!

I've always found that unamped electrics flatter my playing. Maybe it's just me, but when you plug in and turn it up a little it magnifies any sloppiness.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: wickedrum on April 12, 2017, 01:46:43 pm
Perfect, yeah makes sense, it does seem to help! And the starter kit did come with an amp, so I will use that for now.
One question though, the guitar has 2 knobs - volume and tone. What exactly does tone mean? When I was playing around, I see it kinda makes the guitar come 'alive' but what exactly is it?
Thanks again!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on April 12, 2017, 03:05:52 pm
The tone knob changes the balance of the sound going to the amplifier between treble and bass, it is usual to turn both volume and tone knobs fully up when you're learning and change the sound on the Amp; so put the tone knob so it sounds bright through the amp.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Paulvm on May 18, 2017, 07:19:40 am
Hi there,

I am new to this forum and relatively new to playing guitar. I have tried the justin beginner guitar course a year ago but stopped after a while. I now decided that I really want to learn to play guitar and become somewhat proficient. I am at stage two now and my chord changes are all almost at 60. Ido have some questions
1. I find myself strumming more string than I should with my D chord, A chord etc. Justin says it will come in time that you only strum the correct number of string. However, I read some posts here that you should correct this as soon as possible. 
2. I use a 0,38mm pick because it feels right to me. Should I start experimenting with thicker picks, and what is the 'normal' thickness of a pick?
3. I now own a old Maya fk 344r steel string guitar and a phoenix stc 100 electric guitar. Should I go for better quality guitars or are these fine as well?
4. I know this one has been asked a lot. When did you move to another stage? I now am at stage 2, trying to get my chord changes a bit faster. I can play with a few songs from stage 1, but still struggle a bit with my made up chord sequences with Am, Dm and Em. Should I work some more on that or should I include G and C as well? Because I do know how to play the G and C from earlier.
5. I mostly have an hour or more to play every day. What best to work on after you have done the practice schedule from the justin course? Does the effect of trying to get your chord changes faster wear out after those 5 minutes of practice? There is so much to learn but I am struggling what is more important right now for me.
How, a bit more typing than I hade in mind. Hopefully it is a bit understandable.
Cheers,
Paul
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Rossco01 on May 18, 2017, 08:29:49 am
Hi Paulvm and welcome to the forum.

1. It'll come with practice but focus on trying to hit the 4 strings only for the D. Just focus on the practice routines (pick/strum and 1 minute changes). By the time you get to the end of the course you'll have forgotten this was an issue.
2. Personally I'd stay with a light pick at this point. It's more forgiving (a heavier pick can tend to catch in the strings more). However if you feel you want to step up do so.
3. If you're comfortable playing the guitar you've got and it generally stays in tune stick with it for now. Set yourself a goal to treat yourself when you get to the end of BC! If however it's not comfortable then search around for something else. There are plenty of suggestions on the forum for good beginners guitars (generally Yamaha). I'm still playing my original guitars.
4. If you know all of the material for a stage and are making the progress against the practice goals that Justin has set then feel free to step on to the next stage. Not for all but a general rule of thumb is that people tend to lag by a couple of stages in terms of playing songs from the BSB. Make sure though that you do know all the material and are comfortable with the goals. I have to admit I didn't do (and still haven't) done any of the ear training etc. I'm not saying that because it's a good thing just to say that I don't believe you shouldn't progress if this is the only thing that you're not quite there with.
5.If you've got more time than needed then songs is the obvious place to practice. It's what you're learning guitar for AND my experience tells me that some of the things are easier to learn and embed through songs. On good days I spend about 1-2 hours on guitar and even on bad days I'll spend 20 minutes strumming a couple of songs. Close will tell you learn SONGS SONGS SONGS. There is also no harm in reading ahead a little on the course even if you're not ready to progress to the next stage.

Have fun and stick with it. In no time you'll be playing quite fluently.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on May 18, 2017, 04:20:14 pm
Paulvm,

Agree fully with Rossco.

There aren't hard and fast rules, just guidelines and principles.

You need to stay engaged and interested, striking a balance between challenging yourself to learn new things and practising to lay a solid foundation.

For example, if you spend weeks and weeks on the D chord you could become bored.  But rushing through stage 1 too quickly could dilute your efforts to get solid on A, D & E. 

What worked for me, was doing the strum-pick-strum and one minute changes every time I practised in the initial stages.  And immediately starting to work on songs.  As an absolute beginner I'd follow Justin's advice that "Three Little Birds" is the first song in Beginner Song Book vol 1 for good reason" and start with that as soon as you can play ADE chords.  Work with the video lesson on the song.  I found as I got better at making the changes I could up the tempo.  On that note ... get a metronome.  Start with the 4 down strums at whatever tempo allows you to change from A to D etc.  And then speed it up slowly.  Eventually I could play along with Justin as he taught the chord progressions to play the song.  And some time after that I could play along with Justin when he plays the song at the start of the lesson.

I think that approach would work well throughout the Beginner Course, it has for me. I know he (and others) encourage playing along with original recordings. I've found it difficult to hear the changes and the beat to do that, even when I know I have the ability to play and make the changes at the right tempo.  But playing along with Justin makes following along easier, since it is just the guitar.

I also found it quite effective to go quite quickly through to stage 3 and then consolidate on those 8 chords.  Kept it interesting and expanded the possibilities for songs to play. For me stage 4 was quite challenging so I focussed on that while continuing to work on the stage 1-3 songs for a couple of months.  Only once I was starting to work on stage 4 songs did I think about stage 5.

Just do what works for you to stay engaged and build a strong foundation.

Cheers
David 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Paulvm on May 18, 2017, 10:58:16 pm
Thanks!

I put the G and C chord in my practice routine today. 25 changes on the first real try:).(Or 12,5 if you count it different). I think I will stay at stage 3 for a while, work on some songs and get better with my timing. I am a lefty learning to play guitar right handed so I think rhythm with my right hand will be a challenge. My goal for now is learn to play a few good songs to play at a gathering or at the campfire. Will see how far I will get.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on May 19, 2017, 07:22:41 am
Always a pleasure, Paul

Enjoy the practice and working up the songs. 

A good way to help measure progress and get feedback to help get even better is to post recordings in the Performance section once you are able to play through a song.

I did that, scary as it was to take the plunge, and it has been invaluable in terms of giving myself milestones to work to and achieve, plus feedback and loads of encouragement. 

Something to consider when you are reach that point.  For now, maybe just read and listen, from which you will probably pick up useful tips and maybe even more inspiration to work at your playing.

Love the journey!! Celebrate the moments!!

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Paulvm on May 19, 2017, 05:37:17 pm
Thanks for the feedback. I looked at the Perfomance section a bit, but I think I need to practice some more before I put something up there. I will start with recording myself to see how it sounds when I am not busy with chord changes, foot tapping and looking at the fretboard and listening to the song ;D
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on May 19, 2017, 11:50:22 pm
Thanks for the feedback. I looked at the Perfomance section a bit, but I think I need to practice some more before I put something up there. I will start with recording myself to see how it sounds when I am not busy with chord changes, foot tapping and looking at the fretboard and listening to the song ;D
100% Paul

Keep practicing,  playing songs and having fun then I don't think you can go too far wrong.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: danni on July 02, 2017, 04:59:05 pm
Hi everyone,

I would like to get your feedback on some thoughts, I appologize if this was discussed here before and I haven't seen it.

I am in the beginner course, started stage 8 today.

1) First of all, I noticed that whenever I am playing, I am starring at my hands all the time. I am looking down at either the fretting hand or the strumming hand...if it were physically possible I am sure I would stare at both at the same time. Is this normal for a beginner and will this go away with time by itself, or do you think I should force myself to look elsewhere at this stage to not develop a bad habit this early on?

2) My second question is regarding songs. I practised 2 to 4 songs per stage and I think with a metronom I can get through the songs quite ok, but only with the book in front of me. I cannot do even one song by heart, I always need the chord changes in front of me....which I believe will make me look extremely stupid at the next party when someone says "oh so you can play the guitar now, so play something".. well I can't, I need my book in front of me. How do you deal with this? Do you learn to play all songs by heart, or do you pick some?

3) Last question: When I practise a new song, I never sing. I always practise strumming and chord changes without singing until I can get through the song. Then when I feel, now it works, I try to sing, and I have to say (apart from me being a very bad singer), it's most of the time impossible. I cannot find the rhythm to sing at the same time as the rhythm for the strumming hand. What do you think about that? Is this normal, should I concentrate for now on the guitar and just imagine some lead singer would do the rest? Or is the ability to do both something you should start early with?

I am really looking forward to your comments, apart from all the small things like how to do an F-chord, these issues have been going trough my mind for a while now.

Cheers!
Danni
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mikeb2102 on July 02, 2017, 05:17:29 pm
Hi Danni. I too am a beginner on Stage 8. With regards to either looking at your fretting hand or strumming hand, I think that's perfectly natural for a beginner. It's very rare that I'll be looking at my strumming hand but whenever there's a chord change coming up in a song I'll glance at my fretting hand.

I think if you need a book in front of you when playing a song it's down to lack of practice on that particular song. When I learn a song I break it down into sections and I repeat a section until I don't need anything in front of me before moving onto the next section. Eventually I'll have remembered the whole song, (I do still accidentally hit the wrong chord now and again but thats all part and parcel of learning a song. I'll usually work on one or two songs for a couple of weeks before moving onto another song and even when I'm learning other songs I'll still revisit the songs I'd already learned so as to keep them fresh in my memory.

Playing and singing at the same time is hard. It takes a lot of practice. With me it depends on the strumming pattern. Only recently have I learned that I can sing when I'm playing a DDUUDU strumming pattern or a DDDD pattern, anything else I really struggle putting singing and playing together. I suggest you practice on a simple down strumming pattern and try and sing over the top of that. Once you get that down find a strumming pattern that works for you and practice so much that you do it without thinking about it, then eventually try adding vocals

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: SiegeFrog on July 02, 2017, 07:16:54 pm
It's normal, but there are some steps you can do to improve.

1. It sounds like you haven't actually tried memorizing a song yet. Try it. Go back and choose a Stage 1 song (just A D E) and memorize it. It will be repetitive, so it shouldn't be too hard to memorize. As usual start slow and keep the rhythm simple at first. Ramp up from there. For some, memorization requires some diligence. Play along with the original helps here.

2. For looking at your hands, what happens if you don't? If you're looking at the songbook, keep looking there. Your fretting hand knows where to go, let it go. If it doesn't sound right, use your other senses (hearing and touch to fix the problem). An extreme version of this is to play in a dark room. You have only your ears and fingers to guide you.

3. I think most beginners struggle with singing and playing at the same time. Justin has a lesson on this. I either wouldn't worry about it now and tackle it later, or keep it simple. Choose an easy Stage 1-3 song that you know really well and start there. The guitar needs to be on autopilot. You can't think about singing and the guitar at the same time.

4. One of the consolidation requirements for the BC is to be able to play 10 songs. If I remember correctly, that's 10 songs from memory.


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: danni on July 03, 2017, 08:21:01 pm
Actually, I think both of you are spot on... I have this terrible feeling that I moved too quickly through the course. You are both right, it is lack of practise on each song and yes I haven't even tried to memorize a song.

I think what I am going to do is, I will go back to stages 1-7 and properly learn the songs. Try to not look at the hands, and practise singing with the easy strumming patterns in the beginning.

You know it's weird, I have been reading in this forum soooo many times "Take it slow, don't move too quickly" and I always thought, oh well, I don't move too quickly, this advise just doesn't apply to me. Well I guess it does. I think it's because I was just so excited to learn, I was obsessed with reaching stage 7, cause that's where you get to learn Wanted Dead or Alive, which I really really wanted to play.

Patience can be quite hard... but I don't want to be sloppy, I want to do it right  :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on July 03, 2017, 08:36:14 pm
That's the best attitude to have, learning the guitar is a lifetime thing there will always be something to learn!
Remember the old adage more haste less speed, this is a great model example.
What you have keep in focus all of the time is that you are learning to play a guitar not a particular song you like - as you progress that particular song you may have struggled with will be easy.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Paulvm on July 04, 2017, 06:35:04 am
How much time did you spend on those stages 1 to 7? I don't want to go too fast either. But I find it difficult to decide whether to move on or not


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: danni on July 04, 2017, 06:39:17 am
I started January 1, so 6 months, with one big holiday break where I didn't have the guitar with me in between. I got stuck for 7 weeks on the F chord, so if you deduct that you can see that some stages I just spent 2-3 weeks. I realize now that was too quick. When did you start?


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on July 04, 2017, 07:14:28 am
That's too fast, you can't really cover what you need to properly at that pace; if you had said 12 months that's more like it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: SiegeFrog on July 04, 2017, 07:32:00 am
Except for Stage 6, I think it's reasonable to average a month a Stage. Consolidation may take longer. Also, try to learn 1-2 songs per stage. Learning a song means being able to play it the whole way through. I think for most people after practicing it that much they have it memorized. Also, it's common for song learning to lag behind a Stage or 2 as you progress. All this is just about the guitar, not singing. Justin doesn't set any goals for singing.


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on July 04, 2017, 07:33:37 am
The proof of the pudding is in the playing ...

There are guidelines ... how many OMCs, playing solid with metronome, etc ... even some quite specific ... play 12 bars blue using triplet strumming in key of E, A and G to be "done" with stage 5.

But sometimes it is hard to judge yourself.  That's where I think recording and posting is invaluable.  Once you can play through a song, without necessarily having to sing as well, then you could video yourself, post the performance and the get feedback that will help you to calibrate exactly where you are.  Many folk are making these videos really low tech ... just a mobile phone or tablet propped up in front of them.  Nothing fancy, not looking for radio-ready recorded quality ... just enough that people can see and hear and provide feedback.  And doesn't have to be a video, many post just an audio, which is fine, perhaps less intimidating and simpler.

Doing that will help overcome the one disadvantage of not having a physical teacher (as I see it), being the lack of feedback from somebody who knows to correct errors, judge progress etc.

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Laila on July 04, 2017, 07:36:56 am
How long people take to finish the BC is extremely individual, I've read here everything from a few months to two years (I'm firmly in that last category  ;D) It depends not only on how much time you actually spend playing, but also on age and flexibility and previous musical experience. But six months is definitely quick.

A tip for memorizing a song is either trying to record it or planning to perform it in front of someone. To me that's a whole different ball game from just playing through it for myself. I have to concentrate a LOT more.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on July 04, 2017, 07:42:58 am
How long people take to finish the BC is extremely individual, I've read here everything from a few months to two years (I'm firmly in that last category  ;D) It depends not only on how much time you actually spend playing, but also on age and flexibility and previous musical experience.
Well said, Laila

So one should probably not compare with anybody else.  I consider the question "so how long have you been playing" after posting a recording to not be that useful.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on July 04, 2017, 07:17:30 pm
How much time did you spend on those stages 1 to 7? I don't want to go too fast either. But I find it difficult to decide whether to move on or not


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Paul

As others have said our times to complete the course are all individual and down to how quickly we pick things up mentally and physically. Just abide by the Practice Schedule "lesson" at the end of each stage and read what Justin expect you to have accomplished before moving on.

But don't get hung on getting everything perfect. I made a couple of big mistakes during my 22 months on the BC and try to pass these on to others, so they can learn from my "mistakes".

First off I started out practicing on electric and acoustic and would not move on until I had nailed everything in the stage on the acoustic, when it was fine on the electric. Ok song wise I was always a stage or two behind but that's normal.
Because of this I spent 6 months on Stage 6 as I just could not get the E-shaped barre chord F major nasty bit of work to sound good and clean I lost confidence and went back to Stage 1.

Around then - about a year in - I got my acoustic set up by a pro and bingo barre chords where no longer an issue.

Starting again the other thing I did, was not to get hung up on getting everything perfect. If I new the mechanic of a chord or scale or whatever but couldn't quite reach the required level, I just carried that forward in my practice routine along with the next stage.

By the time I got to BC-199 (Consolidation) I had a clear indication from my spreadsheet based practice schedule, exactly what needed to be worked on an brought up to spec.

I've adopted that approach ever since and although it meant a shed load of work to Consolidate the Intermediate Course I found it kept me motivated and moving forward (but only if I was confidence I understood and could play each element at 75% or more).

I slipped back into my old ways working through Master The Major Scale and Blues Rhythm and kinda of lost my way a bit. So I've recently given myself a big kick up the jacksee and reverted to this formula and am now making progress again. Slow but steady progress. I know something are going to take long to play as my 60 odd year old tendons scream and shout on some moves but with practice and effort they'll find their way. So I might watch a few lesson ahead of where I am comfortably playing and get my head in gear while my physical self plays catch but regardless of how long it takes I intend learn and play as much as I can while I'm still drawing breath. Aint no fool like an old fool.

One final tip. Don't get hung up on speed/tempo when it comes to songs. If you can play a song at 80% its original tempo but it sounds good (but slow) put a tick in the box and move on. Speed will come with practice, the some practice and after that some more practice.

Don't seat how long the course takes. It take what it takes ad is what it is. Enjoy learn and you'll do ok.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: danni on July 04, 2017, 07:48:40 pm
This is interesting what you say about the speed. I downloaded one of those apps that slows down the original song, and some songs are on my practice schedule simply because I cannot do them at 100% speed. So you are saying move on and maybe revisite the song later for speed?

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mikeb2102 on July 04, 2017, 07:52:13 pm
This is interesting what you say about the speed. I downloaded one of those apps that slows down the original song, and some songs are on my practice schedule simply because I cannot do them at 100% speed. So you are saying move on and maybe revisite the song later for speed?

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I'd say move on but keep practicing that song and eventually the speed will come. It took me 6 months until I was able to sing along with a couple of songs, I then revisited the first songs I had learned 6 months ago and found out I could also sing along with them too

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: danni on July 04, 2017, 07:59:53 pm
While we are talking about speed, one more thing that I would like your opinion on: out of the options 1) playing along with the original song, maybe at lower speed, 2) playing with a metronome and 3) just playing by yourself and tapping your foot, how do you practice? Do you do all three or start with one and then change to another?

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on July 04, 2017, 08:02:45 pm
This is interesting what you say about the speed. I downloaded one of those apps that slows down the original song, and some songs are on my practice schedule simply because I cannot do them at 100% speed. So you are saying move on and maybe revisit the song later for speed?
Exactly, don't get too hung up about it if it sounds OK but a bit slow.
It doesn't matter how you time yourself but using the track or a metronome is going to be the most accurate.
I find it is really good to record yourself periodically so you can compare to what you can do at a later date; plus it's much easier to spot what needs attention.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: danni on July 04, 2017, 09:10:45 pm
I will do that. I don't know if I have the courage to post the video, but I will start taping 👍😊

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mikeb2102 on July 04, 2017, 09:14:14 pm
I will do that. I don't know if I have the courage to post the video, but I will start taping 👍😊

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Remember nobody is going to judge you on here, everyone's been where you are in the learning process. I've only posted two videos up and it took me 6 months to pluck up the courage. I'm glad I did because people have been great at offering advice. It's good to get another persons perspective on your playing.

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joerfe on July 04, 2017, 09:29:43 pm
While we are talking about speed, one more thing that I would like your opinion on: out of the options 1) playing along with the original song, maybe at lower speed, 2) playing with a metronome and 3) just playing by yourself and tapping your foot, how do you practice? Do you do all three or start with one and then change to another?

For me it is a combination and differs depending on why I learn the song.
If it is for band use, I start by playing the song for my self. Getting the changes and the progression internalised.
Then I play along with the original slowed down. I up the tempo as I get more and more familiar with the way it is played in the played back version.
When at 105% (yes, 105%) I am ready for rehearsal with the band.

If I learn a song for my own purpose I do the same steps as before. But during that first stage I also start humming the song to get a feel for the melody.
When the previous steps are done I play on my own to a metronome and work on the singing.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on July 04, 2017, 09:33:35 pm
While we are talking about speed, one more thing that I would like your opinion on: out of the options 1) playing along with the original song, maybe at lower speed, 2) playing with a metronome and 3) just playing by yourself and tapping your foot, how do you practice? Do you do all three or start with one and then change to another?
Danni,

I've not tried playing along with an original. What has worked for me is playing along with Justin on his song video lessons.  Initially when he is explaining and playing real slow. Eventually I've been able to play through with him at the start of the lesson when he plays the song to show how it should sound.

I don't play songs with metronome but do strumming practise with a metronome. For songs I just play and after a while sing, just trying to get into a groove .... foot tapping, head bobbing, whatever comes to try and get into it.  No idea if I am faster or slower than original, as long as it sounds ok. Which would be based on how I have the original in my head.

But really whatever works for you to learn each lesson, play songs ... steady rhythms, smooth changes, clean chords.

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Dr Winterbourne on July 05, 2017, 04:51:26 am
Danni,

I've not tried playing along with an original. What has worked for me is playing along with Justin on his song video lessons.  Initially when he is explaining and playing real slow. Eventually I've been able to play through with him at the start of the lesson when he plays the song to show how it should sound.

I don't play songs with metronome but do strumming practise with a metronome. For songs I just play and after a while sing, just trying to get into a groove .... foot tapping, head bobbing, whatever comes to try and get into it.  No idea if I am faster or slower than original, as long as it sounds ok. Which would be based on how I have the original in my head.

But really whatever works for you to learn each lesson, play songs ... steady rhythms, smooth changes, clean chords.

Cheers
David
What worked really well for me was I created: playlists of songs as I was learning them, and once a week or so I would put on the playlist and play along with Bob Marley, Bob Dylan etc.

I don know if it was important or not, but whilst playing and singing along, I imagined myself playing to friends, to girls, at the pub, at Wembley etc.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Paulvm on July 05, 2017, 06:29:51 am
@danni
I started a month ago and I am at stage 2. I got most of the 1 minute changes up to speed now, except the ones with dmin in them. I do train all changes, not only the ones which justin says. When I get one at 60 changes per minute two days in a row, I skip that one the next day untill I get them all. I am only practising two songs now, three little birds and 5 years time. I can play along with bob in three little birds but 5 years time is too fast. Still looking for a good app on macbook to slow down songs from spotify. I practise both songs with metronome and foot tapping. I try to start slow but find it difficult to keep rhythym whem I am below 50 bpm.
I can play all chords clearly on my guitar so instead of 5 mins only practising strum pick strum I added trying air changes with the first three chords.
I only do ear training two or three times a week because it becomes too merorized instead of listining what sound it is.
How longer post than I meant to.
Ow yeah I did post a recording of myself playing. Its in roadcases. A really rough version of the chorus of three little birds. I will post somethin there every few weeks.

I got a question too. How do you know if your guitar needs a proffesional set up or not? My guitar plays fine now but I got no idea if it can be set up even better. The strings are about 3-4mm above the fretboard around the 12th fret


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: RobertTKunze on July 08, 2017, 12:47:34 am
so i am trying to learn how to play guitar and my cousin gave me an old one of his that he never uses. I dont know anything about guitars so how do i know if the guitar is good quality or if i need to get a new one. To me it doesn't sound like most acoustics but i dont know anything about guitars.   :-\
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on July 08, 2017, 01:04:19 am
A little more information would help. Like what brand is it?

Pictures would help even more.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: RobertTKunze on July 08, 2017, 03:15:54 am
A little more information would help. Like what brand is it?

Pictures would help even more.

My cousin said that the guy never finished staining the guitar so it looks kinda funky :P idk if that ruins anything or not but this is my guitar. If you need more pictures let me know. I have no idea on the brand or anything like that, all i know is that it is a guitar, lol...

(http://i65.tinypic.com/ojxqp.jpg)
(http://i67.tinypic.com/96yduf.jpg)
(http://i67.tinypic.com/2ro3nz7.jpg)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on July 08, 2017, 04:08:37 am
It looks like an inexpensive nylon string classical guitar. You could start learning on it. The finish being sanded
of want stop it from being played. If you deside you want to continue playing guitzr you may want to get a steel
string acoustic or an electric.

Start with Justin's beginner course anb deside from there.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Paulvm on July 08, 2017, 07:02:08 am
If you know you keep wanting to learn guitar I think you are better of with a steel string acoustic. A good one to consider is the fender CD60S. They are around 200 euros, and you get a lot of guitar for your money.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170708/011e4313bb2832e0a8111d4009580eac.jpg)
That one is mine:)


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Banksy on February 17, 2018, 06:13:47 am
Hi,

  ??? :-\  Tune with a Capo or Not?
I am complete beginner and never even heard of a Capo until I wanted to start to learn guitar.
I know how to put the Capo on the guitar and for there purpose (well a little at least) But could you please tell me if whenever I use a Capo, do I have to re tune the guitar with the Capo in place? Only when I put the capo on, the chords never sound right, I have Two Capo's, A G7 and the other is the same as what is in the Justin store. The G7 seems ok, but as general rule if it sounds bad with a Capo, would you re-tune to standard tuning (depending on tuning required for the song) with the Capo in place, then obviously, re tune again once the Capo was removed?

Banksy  :)



Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on February 17, 2018, 07:04:11 am
Yes you should retune when using a capo and taking it off. If your guitar is set up perfectly then you may
not need to retune. You should retune any time your guitar doesn't sound right with or without a capo.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: MrBumble on February 17, 2018, 07:36:06 am
Depends on the capo, and the guitar to an extent.

Using a Shubb capo on my acoustic or my electric I don't need to re-tune.
With a Jim Dunlop on the acoustic it's usually OK while on the electric I sometimes need a tweak after I take the capo off.

Mind you, I need to adjust the Shubb between guitars due to the different neck size, so it tends to stay with the acoustic.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: close2u on February 17, 2018, 08:46:34 am
If you are asking whether to tune your strings to the notes
e
B
G
D
A
E

with a capo on then NO NO NO NO ------- STOP RIGHT THERE.

With the capo not on the guitar, tune it up.
Place the capo on.
Now you need to know the names of all 6 notes the capo is making at the fret you have chosen to place it.
You need to use your tuner to make sure that those notes are showing correctly on your tuner.
You may need to make some small adjustments.
If any of the strings are sharp then best advice is to take the capo off again, slacken those strings, replace the capo and then when you are fine tuning, you will be tightening the strings to correct notes which works better than loosening them to correct pitch - especially with a capo on.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Banksy on February 21, 2018, 03:04:33 pm
Thanks for the replies. Helpful.
Close2u; being a total beginner i am a little confused to your reply, though do understand what you are saying. How do i know what notes to tune the strings to, depending on where the capo is placed?  For exampme; if the capo was on the 2nd fret, what would the notes of each string be tuned to? Silly question, but how do you know that? Not you personally, but for someone like me who, who cannot read music and has never learned any musical instrument until now. Is it alot easier to get to grips with and lwarn, than it sounds?
Thanks again for your comments.

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on February 21, 2018, 03:38:28 pm
Take a look here, this shows the notes at each fret you would have to tune to when using a Capo, you may not have to change them but it's also useful to know the notes so you can check if it's still in tune.
http://www.guitar-chord.org/fretboard.html
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Banksy on February 21, 2018, 05:10:54 pm


Take a look here, this shows the notes at each fret you would have to tune to when using a Capo, you may not have to change them but it's also useful to know the notes so you can check if it's still in tune.
http://www.guitar-chord.org/fretboard.html

Thanks Darrell.

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: JordiL90 on February 26, 2018, 07:23:11 pm
Hello,

I didn't really know were to ask this question, but I have alot of free time during the day, and I currently practice 4 days a week. My goal is to be able to play blues lead guitar in a band and play a few gigs a month. I am currently at stage 2 of the beginners course and was wondering if I can practice more then 22 minutes a day, and if so what should I focus on?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on February 26, 2018, 07:50:01 pm
No reason why you can’t practice more if you want to but I wouldn’t do it all in one session, if you intend to play Blues then I would suggest that you look at what style of Blues you want to play, there are several different styles, it’s worth looking at artists that you know and like and analyse their style then look for other artists who play the same sort of style. A lot of learning is about understanding the styles and structure of what they are playing, without that knowledge you won’t understand how to play it. Next look at the scales and chords used and make sure you can play them fluently.
Don’t deviate from the BC, the structure is really good and will definitely get you playing faster than learning random things that you might think will be good but as I said a bit of extra work in your desired direction won’t do any harm provided you don’t let it take over from the main course; THE most important way to learn to be a good solo player is to learn rhythm guitar first so you can get your timing right without thinking about it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: batwoman on February 26, 2018, 10:12:42 pm
Banksy welcome to the forum. I have a tuner that I change to Chromatic setting when I put a capo on. This makes it very easy to tune the guitar. When I take it off I re-tune with my tuner on the Guitar setting. Looking forward to hearing more of you.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: The_Fien on May 06, 2018, 08:09:27 pm
Hey,

So I am nothing but time and I want to practice as much as possible while I'm unemployed. I've been practicing everyday for 3 weeks, sometime 4 or 5 times a day ( I do one main practice and 3 or 4 times I just do chord changes). I'm at stage 2 at the moment able to play A, E, D 60 changes a minute.

I'm wondering as I have so much time and can practice at any time of the day should I split my practice into multiple sessions a day? I was thinking 30 minutes 3 times and then increasing in 5 minute increments.

Also I have built up calluses quickly and the last week my fingers don't really get sore but I have to stop because my fingers wont move properly to change chords after a while. Do you think this is because I am practicing too much too soon or should I keep practicing until I get stronger? I'm not in any pain or anything and I'm enjoying the practice.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: m_c on May 06, 2018, 08:51:06 pm
I have to stop because my fingers wont move properly to change chords after a while.

The key to effective practise with most things, is to be able to realise the point at which you stop progressing, and that comment is just after that point. At that point, go and do something else for a while.

How much you practise throughout the day, is entirely up to you. There is a limit as to how fast your brain can absorb information, so in terms of time spent practising, four 30 minutes practise sessions are likely to be less effective than the same 30 minute sessions spread over 4 days. However you'll still progress faster with multiple sessions a day.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: The_Fien on May 07, 2018, 08:18:38 pm
Ya that makes sense, I'm going to do three practice sessions a day. I will have had the guitar a month on the 20th so I am going to record a video then and post it here.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Fantomas01 on August 22, 2018, 10:31:58 am
Hi Guys

Tired Justin's lessons in the past but really got into them this time around, about 3 weeks in and on stage 2, and feel like I'm making slow but steady progress.

One thing that puzzles me though is that Justin recommends beginners start with electric guitar but then the videos in the beginners course are played on an acoustic.  I realise it probably doesnt matter, but I just wondered why.

Thanks
Matthew
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on August 22, 2018, 11:06:54 am
Hi Matthew, welcome to the forum!
The simple answer to your question is that an Electric guitar is easier to play than an acoustic in the early stages.
If you get either type and the setup isn’t correct both will be more difficult to play than a correctly set up one but the electric will be easier the biggest reason being the gauge of strings used. Generally speaking electric guitars come with 9’s or 10’s acoustic with 11’s to 13’s - thicker strings means sore fingers because the tension is higher. If you’re already playing acoustic don’t rush out and buy an electric, if your acoustic has been properly set up it won’t be a problem.
Good luck with your future efforts!!!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: taako on August 29, 2018, 01:10:23 am
I'm on stage 3 and trying to learn a few songs, i kind of rushed to this point because i didnt like any of the songs from stage 2. My chord changes are pretty solid (45-60 for all the ones in stage 3 practice, 60+ for stage 1, 40-50 for stage 2 practice awkardly) since ive been on this stage for like three weeks now.

I have been trying to incorporate advanced strumming (old faithful D DU UD, etc) but in Brown Eyed Girl justin says we aren't supposed to use them until stage 6. Why? The songs so so dull without a strum pattern and i am not finding them super difficult (not old faithful at least).
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on August 29, 2018, 06:21:47 am
I'm on stage 3 and trying to learn a few songs, i kind of rushed to this point because i didnt like any of the songs from stage 2. My chord changes are pretty solid (45-60 for all the ones in stage 3 practice, 60+ for stage 1, 40-50 for stage 2 practice awkardly) since ive been on this stage for like three weeks now.

I have been trying to incorporate advanced strumming (old faithful D DU UD, etc) but in Brown Eyed Girl justin says we aren't supposed to use them until stage 6. Why? The songs so so dull without a strum pattern and i am not finding them super difficult (not old faithful at least).
I think Justin's approach is to establish really solid basics, the foundation.  For strumming he is focused on a smooth steady rhythm, in time with a metronome at a range of tempos.  And he builds on this through to Old Faithful when you start skipping a down-strum, which in his experience, is often tricky for beginners. If you are solid on the basic strumming then I don't see a problem to be playing BEG with Old Faithful. 

Something that has worked for me is to record myself playing and post up on the Performance/Progress area.  Doing that I have been able to confirm that my impression of how well I am doing is realistic, that I am not developing bad habits that without a face-face teacher I am not able to detect.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: taako on August 29, 2018, 08:49:30 pm
x
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Fantomas01 on September 07, 2018, 12:42:17 pm
Hi Matthew, welcome to the forum!
The simple answer to your question is that an Electric guitar is easier to play than an acoustic in the early stages.
If you get either type and the setup isn’t correct both will be more difficult to play than a correctly set up one but the electric will be easier the biggest reason being the gauge of strings used. Generally speaking electric guitars come with 9’s or 10’s acoustic with 11’s to 13’s - thicker strings means sore fingers because the tension is higher. If you’re already playing acoustic don’t rush out and buy an electric, if your acoustic has been properly set up it won’t be a problem.
Good luck with your future efforts!!!

Thaks Darrell, I've got an electric that I've loaned from my brother whos been playing forever.  Still enjoying the course and making some progress I think.

 

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Fantomas01 on September 07, 2018, 12:54:46 pm
Hi everyone

I've been following the course for about a month now and I feel like its going well.  I'm enjoying it anyway  :)

I've got to stage 3 and can play the chords OK.  I usually get around 45-50 one minute changes so feel I'm doing OK on that.

I have been working on the rhythym exercises and I can do the DDDUD to a metronome on different tempi (thanks Justin;). 

However, it all seems to go to pot when I try and play a song, I've been working on Hey Joe and Wild Thing and I just can't seem to drop my fingers into the correct grips and keep up the strumming.

I keep telling myself to keep strumming and not worry about missing a note out of the chord but just can't seem to get it.  Also, when I play a bad chord etc. it seems to throw me out completley.  It must be because I know the song so well in my head, when I can't replicate it, my brain tells my hands to stop what they are doing ??

Any suggestions on how to keep my right hand moving would be great.  I've had a couple of false starts in the past with learning guitar and bass, and I feel like I've made much more progress recently and I want to keep going with it.

Thanks for reading
Matthew

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on September 07, 2018, 02:41:02 pm
Matthew, all you need to do is slow down the tempo until you can get the changes right - initially it doesn’t matter if you’re playing way too slow to get it right, once you start getting there you can gradually speed up until you get up to tempo.
The whole thing is about patience and diligence, practice both and you will be rewarded.
Good luck!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on September 07, 2018, 02:42:02 pm
Matthew,

When you do your rhythm exercise do you do that with muted strings, a single chord or with chord changes?

Maybe initially it might be useful to treat the chord progression of the song like another rhythm exercise.  By that I mean play the progression using just down-strums with the metronome.  Do it slow enough that you can make the changes while continuing to strum as per the rhythm exercise.  Once you know the chord progression then you can speed up and start to think of yourself as playing the song.  Maybe that small re-frame may help.

When you play a song are you also attempting to sing it?  If so that may be throwing you off.  Good approach to limit what you have to concentrate on in the beginning.  Initially just taking care of chord changes and strumming is enough.

Other than that, just have confidence that you have learned chord grips, built up speed with one minute changes and over time you will be able to play the songs.  Initially perhaps just with 4 down strums per bar and over time in more and more sophisticated ways.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarthCroz on September 10, 2018, 04:36:02 pm
49 year old beginner here. With life stuff, it's been slow going. (8 months to get to stage 5) At level 5 now, I'm feeling like I'm not making much progress in my daily practice as opposed to earlier stages. I'm doing the recommended 30-minute schedule.

So my question is, do I just keep plugging away at 30 minutes a day until it clicks? Or do I add practice time?

And for those that suggest adding time (on the days I can) do you suggest adding a second 30-minute session? Extending the time of ever part longer? How do you suggest boosting practice time?

Thank you,
Bob
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: AlexOT on September 10, 2018, 05:36:26 pm
Besides my daily practice routine I add as much time as I can (and not overplay and burn out)!

What I do after practice is put music on or jamtracks and just float away, doing scales, improvising, make noises and/or try to actually play along. It’s easy, fun, improves my playing and motivation! Also time flies with a looped backing track 😬 Somedays I have to stop, because my hand gets exhausted (working on tension release and meditation for that)

Good luck and you are doing great!!
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: silman on September 12, 2018, 06:13:09 am
So as i have been progressing i noticed two problems on my fretting hand:

1) I have started to le the inside of my hand rest on the bottom of the neck. I remember justing saying in one very early video to pretend like there is an electric wire running along but bottom edge (high E side) of the neck and not ever let your hand touch it. I have started resting against it for C and G chords and i think it has started to form a habit for the other chords as well. I still play chords find and i am not getting any buzzing from the high E it just am worried its "Bad form".

2) My thumb likes to point towards the headstock as it rests along the neck when i do C chords and occaisionally other chords. This seems like bad form as well. I feel like the thumb is always supposed to be pointing up to the ceiling and resting against the neck so that if needed it can wrap around and fret the Low E (which .i cannot do right now). Should i focus on making sure my thumb is not pointing up the neck to the headstock when i rest it?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Fantomas01 on September 12, 2018, 11:15:27 am
Matthew,

When you do your rhythm exercise do you do that with muted strings, a single chord or with chord changes?

Maybe initially it might be useful to treat the chord progression of the song like another rhythm exercise.  By that I mean play the progression using just down-strums with the metronome.  Do it slow enough that you can make the changes while continuing to strum as per the rhythm exercise.  Once you know the chord progression then you can speed up and start to think of yourself as playing the song.  Maybe that small re-frame may help.

When you play a song are you also attempting to sing it?  If so that may be throwing you off.  Good approach to limit what you have to concentrate on in the beginning.  Initially just taking care of chord changes and strumming is enough.

Other than that, just have confidence that you have learned chord grips, built up speed with one minute changes and over time you will be able to play the songs.  Initially perhaps just with 4 down strums per bar and over time in more and more sophisticated ways.

Thanks for that David.

I think the main problem I'm having is I'm getting ahead of myself.  As I said, I've been practicing for about 4 weeks, my guitar aim is to be able to jam along with my brother and maybe play a few open mic nights with him (he's been playing for about 30 years and is really good).

I sometimes struggle when I play a chord individually they sound great, but when I play them in a sequence they seem to sound off or somehow disjointed.  Also, the strings of the previous chord often ring out when I change to the next one, and it doesnt sound right.  I know I will be learning about muting etc in the future so is it OK to accept it for now ?

I am probably my own worst enemy and am clearly trying to run before I can walk, it's difficult when you are the sole judge of your progress.

Thanks for all the helpful comments guys.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DUrquhart on October 11, 2018, 10:22:07 pm
Hi All, I'm currently on stage 4 and have started working on strumming patterns, can I ask when you start introducing this to songs? I'm a wee bit away from this just now.  When I'm playing the songs up to stage 4 I can't even get my head around how you implement the strum patterns into the song

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on October 12, 2018, 12:09:29 am
DUrquhart

From what I recall Justin recommends sticking with the 4 down strums per bar or one down strum per beat for the BC songs until around Stage 8. This is to ensure you get a really solid foundation of timing and getting your left and right hand working in unison. Sound advice but I think many folk try to introduce the patterns much earlier. Just make sure you have mastered that basic grounding before jumping in but have a go if feel you've mastered the timing and coordination.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: silman on October 12, 2018, 12:50:55 am
DUrquhart

From what I recall Justin recommends sticking with the 4 down strums per bar or one down strum per beat for the BC songs until around Stage 8. This is to ensure you get a really solid foundation of timing and getting your left and right hand working in unison. Sound advice but I think many folk try to introduce the patterns much earlier.
 8)

I just spent two months on stage 3 and in that time i definitely incorporated the strumming pattern for Hey Ya! to a point where i can do it without thinking. unfortunately i have not used a metronome as much as i should so i wonder how solid my rhythm keeping is. I also started learning to do muted strums from the Lean On Me tutorial and i've pretty comfortable with that too. I just moved onto stage four and am planning to try and use the metronome more and foot tapping more. Probably should post a new video update to get critiques.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DUrquhart on October 13, 2018, 10:37:10 am
DUrquhart

From what I recall Justin recommends sticking with the 4 down strums per bar or one down strum per beat for the BC songs until around Stage 8. This is to ensure you get a really solid foundation of timing and getting your left and right hand working in unison. Sound advice but I think many folk try to introduce the patterns much earlier. Just make sure you have mastered that basic grounding before jumping in but have a go if feel you've mastered the timing and coordination.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Phew good I'll keep practicing the strumming patterns until I get to stage 8 unless I feel comfortable implementing them.  But the pressures off

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: suffolk112000 on October 18, 2018, 12:13:00 am
I have been practicing for about two and a half weeks now. I found Justin site about 2 weeks ago. Been doing Lots of finger stretching and working on the E A and D chords. I've also been working on a exercise called the spider. One thing I've noticed is, my fingers tend to push down on the string and sometimes push it over ever so slightly to accommodate finger positioning. Is this okay, or is this a bad habit.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on October 18, 2018, 12:31:34 am
Hey Suffolk

Welcome to the forum and I'd be happy to help if I can but can't quite see what you are referring too with your question. Could you possible post a video of what you think to issue is, as sometimes a picture paints a thousand words (some one else said that not me).

If you're referring to the Spider its been a while since I watched the vid and at the moment it won't download. But I recall Justin saying the exercise was not for beginners. Now I'm not saying don't do it but just be mindful of that if just starting out.

There's so much of an urge to rush into things and get ahead of yourself and these things always have a negative outcome. Take it from me as I crashed and burned many times from 1996-2012 before I got here. So I try to help folk avoid my FUBAUs.

Anyways can you try and clarify
Quote
push down on the string and sometimes push it over ever so slightly to accommodate finger positioning
And if I can I'll try and advise.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
 

 
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: suffolk112000 on October 18, 2018, 12:46:42 am
I can try to post a video. But I think I can explain verbally.
So I've noticed when I push down on the strings, sometimes my finger will actually push the string over ever so slightly.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: joueur de guitare on October 18, 2018, 08:00:49 am
I can try to post a video. But I think I can explain verbally.
So I've noticed when I push down on the strings, sometimes my finger will actually push the string over ever so slightly.

If you're pushing the string along the fret (when done properly and intentionally it's called a bend) when making a chord you're bending the string out of tune.

Just the tips of your fingers should press on the string(s).

Forget the spider for now. Watch Justin's A, D and E chord vids and concentrate on proper fingering and making your chords sounding good
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mixedcolors on October 20, 2018, 02:26:31 am
I've started learning the E chord after getting D and A learned, and this one is the worst. Ironically its suppose to be the easiest but because I'm now at the point where my fingers are KILLING me, tips and all, I'm having a hard time pushing down on the strings so playing the A chord is awful right now.

I do have a couple of questions. One, I keep reading about needing the right strings on your guitar as a beginner. I bought one of those guitars that came from a kit and I'm wondering If I'm learning on bad strings. Is there a way to tell what strings I have that came with the guitar?

Also, I know you can over practice, but how much is too much? right now I can barely tolerate 5 minutes at a time, so would I be okay doing 5 minutes, then taking a break for a few minutes then go back, ect? Or should I stop for the day when it gets really bad? I know your suppose to suck it up and press on, but I don't want to hurt myself either you know?

I just started this week so I know I have a long ways to go, and I'm excited to learn guitar so any pain I will press on  ;D
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DavidP on October 20, 2018, 07:52:09 am
I've started learning the E chord after getting D and A learned, and this one is the worst. Ironically its suppose to be the easiest but because I'm now at the point where my fingers are KILLING me, tips and all, I'm having a hard time pushing down on the strings so playing the A chord is awful right now.

I do have a couple of questions. One, I keep reading about needing the right strings on your guitar as a beginner. I bought one of those guitars that came from a kit and I'm wondering If I'm learning on bad strings. Is there a way to tell what strings I have that came with the guitar?

Also, I know you can over practice, but how much is too much? right now I can barely tolerate 5 minutes at a time, so would I be okay doing 5 minutes, then taking a break for a few minutes then go back, ect? Or should I stop for the day when it gets really bad? I know your suppose to suck it up and press on, but I don't want to hurt myself either you know?

I just started this week so I know I have a long ways to go, and I'm excited to learn guitar so any pain I will press on  ;D

Welcome to the Community.

Can't help on string question. 

As for practice and finger-tips, just persevere.  When it is too sore stop and come back later.  Do that as often as you can on a daily basis and you will develop the callouses and finger strength in time. 

If I recall correctly, it took me a few weeks to build up to a 15-20 minute session.  And that is a reasonable practice session in Stage 1 to practice forming your chords (strum-pick-strum), then changing between them and when ready to start doing the One Minute Changes.

Wish you well, enjoy the journey ...
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: close2u on October 20, 2018, 09:37:08 am
The strings on the guitar will be the 'right type' but may be old, degraded and due to be changed for a new set.
They are likely to be either gauge 9 or gauge 10 depending on what the guitar actually is.
Gauge 9 are slightly thinner and slightly easier for a beginner to press.
Look for Ernie Ball or D'Addario or Rotosound.
To begin you may be better ringing a local shop that has a guitar tech to look over the guitar and do a little setup - a part of which will be to make it better in terms of playability and put new strings on.
Kit guitars are notoriously erratic in terms of quality and some of them can be very badly setup and hard to play.
This in itself can deter beginners because it makes the guitar more painful then needs be.

As to pain - do five minutes and no more. Then come back later in the day.
It will ease and very quickly.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mixedcolors on October 20, 2018, 05:20:57 pm
Thanks for the advice, I will defiantly look into one of the music stores around here to look at my guitar. I want to learn the right way and have good habits so I want to make sure I have a good working guitar.

The more my fingers hurt the more I want to play funny enough. I guess that's a good sign that its not putting me off  ;D
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: batwoman on October 21, 2018, 02:56:26 am
The more my fingers hurt the more I want to play funny enough. I guess that's a good sign that its not putting me off  ;D

It's great that you're motivated mixedcolors!

I'd add one more thing about playing with fingers that are sore. It wasn't until some months later, after learning the early chords,  I realised that in the early days when my finger were sore,  I'd 'taught' myself to not press down on the steel strings, particularly the high E string to reduce the pain. I continued this bad habit for months because I was so intent on progressing through the course. It wasn't till I was checking the tone of each string that I heard what I was doing. It's taken me a long time to unlearn this. I still find if my fingertips are getting sore I'll do that, so I hear the unpleasant plunk of a badly played string.

So what I'm suggesting is that now and then you check the sound and tone of each string. That will quickly tell you what you need to hear.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: sairfingers on October 21, 2018, 04:49:18 pm
You may also be pressing down too hard on the strings. Experiment with how little pressure you can use and still get clean notes. Its all too easy to develop a ‘death’ grip with your fretting hand.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mixedcolors on October 21, 2018, 08:18:17 pm
It's great that you're motivated mixedcolors!

I'd add one more thing about playing with fingers that are sore. It wasn't until some months later, after learning the early chords,  I realised that in the early days when my finger were sore,  I'd 'taught' myself to not press down on the steel strings, particularly the high E string to reduce the pain. I continued this bad habit for months because I was so intent on progressing through the course. It wasn't till I was checking the tone of each string that I heard what I was doing. It's taken me a long time to unlearn this. I still find if my fingertips are getting sore I'll do that, so I hear the unpleasant plunk of a badly played string.

So what I'm suggesting is that now and then you check the sound and tone of each string. That will quickly tell you what you need to hear.

That's good advice. I have read that you shouldn't push down hard on the strings, just enough to make the right sounds, or you will hurt your fingers in the long run. Its hard to judge now how hard or soft I should push down on the strings since anything I do hurts and the feeling in my fingers are weird.

I'm trying to find the balance in training myself to have good wrist/hand/finger posture so I don't end up with bad habits. I think I'm doing something wrong playing the A chord. I'll have to post photos or video of me playing to get some feed back. I have a feeling my fingers are not positioned right.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: batwoman on October 22, 2018, 01:47:42 am
Mixedcolors, one other thing. As you develop callouses on your fingertips, look after them. They will probably go through a phase of developing loose edges. The edges can catch on the strings.

Don't peel them off!

Best to file them down with an emery board or similar, just enough to smooth the edges.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Shalo on November 04, 2018, 06:42:48 pm
I hope this is the right place to post this, as I'm not quite sure.

Whenever I find myself playing a song with a strumming pattern/chords I'm not very used to, or even when I'm just noodling around, I seem to find myself unintentionally falling back to the 'old faithful'. Is that a bad habit?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: sdd56 on November 04, 2018, 09:16:27 pm
I wouldn't call it a bad habit as "Old Faithful" is a very common pattern so it's good to have it on auto.

But it's also useful to be able to learn (and remember) other patterns.

When you are learning a song with a different pattern, get the pattern memorised by strumming with muted strings, until you can do it without thinking.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Fantomas01 on November 06, 2018, 02:40:59 pm
Hi everyone

So I'm at Stage 3 and my 1 minute changes are pretty much up around 60pm, I can play along to backing tracks for a couple of songs, namely Hey Joe, Wild Thing, 3 Little Birds and I also play Knockin on Heavens Door for a bit of variety. 

I've been playing for about 2.5 months with regular practice at least every other night, and I try to pick up the guitar everyday even if I just blast through a quick chord progression before going to work.

I feel I can play individual chords OK and I've started to jazz up the strumming patterns a little here and there.  But I just dont feel that the songs sound very good and feel a bit downhearted.

The D chord in particular seems to sound great on its own, but when I play it in a song it sounds like a string is out of tune, although when I check it seems to be OK.

I guess my end guitar goal is to be able to jam along with my brother and maybe even play at open mike nights.  I know thats a long time off yet.

I'm not sure whether as a beginner White belt, I should be looking to play along to an entire song, or whether it is more a case of being able to play the main progression through a few times.

Any advice would be gratefully received.  I'm enjoying my journey but feel I've stopped progressing, should I continue to work on the beginner songs that I've been working on or move on to the next challenge.

thanks
Matthew
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: jono on November 06, 2018, 05:01:08 pm
You may be bending one of the strings slightly as you try to make the chord. It happens when you are rushing the chord changes. If that is what is wrong you should be able to see one of the strings moving sideways along the fretboard slightly as you land on it.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mixedcolors on November 07, 2018, 06:11:38 pm
The D chord in particular seems to sound great on its own, but when I play it in a song it sounds like a string is out of tune, although when I check it seems to be OK.

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this issue with the D chord. I've gotten all the other chords to sound good, but when I go to play the D chord with another one it sounds off. I know why, my middle finger keeps hitting the string wrong. I don't have perfect flexibility yet so sometimes I get it right, others times I don't.

Its frustrating because I know what I'm doing wrong but I just cant get the fingers on the strings perfectly yet when I'm trying to change chords as quickly as possible. You gotta keep trying it will all fall into place eventually. :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Fantomas01 on November 08, 2018, 03:39:04 pm
I'm glad I'm not the only one with this issue with the D chord. I've gotten all the other chords to sound good, but when I go to play the D chord with another one it sounds off.


Thanks for that mixedcolors, its funny because I didn't seem to have too much of a problem last night, but I bet tonight it'll be off again haha.

I guess this is the lot of the beginner guitar player.  I can see that the chord shapes etc are relatively easily commited to memory, but it's the consistancy that takes a long time to perfect.

Slowly starting to feel my strumming falling into place, so I'm sure everything else will eventually.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: guitardan on November 10, 2018, 06:50:26 am
Hi
Chantal and others with comments and helpful hints, just reading these is helping me, to learn.  I must say I am making slow progress, in the begginer course, but I am making progress!
And also I enjoy it. Which to me is what playing the guitar is all about.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TFX on November 15, 2018, 08:35:17 pm
Hi everyone,
I'm currently doing the Beginners Course and if I follow the Lesson Map I reached the theoretical part of the White section.
My question is: When do I start to do things from the Spectrum section? Is it in any way connected to the Beginner-, Intermediate- or Advanced-course or is it completely separate from the rest? Do I take a look at the spectrum section just in between, whenever I want to or after the last course?

Thank you for the answer :)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mixedcolors on November 23, 2018, 02:12:59 am
So I've been at this now for over a month. I've been only playing the A, D, and E chords and I'm learning how to playing a couple of songs with those chords. I'm getting there, one song I'm getting the hang of it, so I know I'm progressing.

But I'm hitting a mental wall now where I'm getting sick of playing these same chords over and over again, even putting them to a song now is boring me. Should I be "mastering" these chords in songs before moving on to learning new ones, or am I suppose to just wait till I can change chords perfectly? I'm not perfect but I feel like I need to start adding something new or I'll just get burned out playing the same chords.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DanniTSI3 on November 23, 2018, 02:39:55 am
So I've been at this now for over a month. I've been only playing the A, D, and E chords and I'm learning how to playing a couple of songs with those chords. I'm getting there, one song I'm getting the hang of it, so I know I'm progressing.

But I'm hitting a mental wall now where I'm getting sick of playing these same chords over and over again, even putting them to a song now is boring me. Should I be "mastering" these chords in songs before moving on to learning new ones, or am I suppose to just wait till I can change chords perfectly? I'm not perfect but I feel like I need to start adding something new or I'll just get burned out playing the same chords.
How many changes per minute are you up to?

I'd say move on. Each stage you will continue to use the chords you have learned before so you will still be working on them.

I've just moved up to stage 4. My 1 minute changes are up to around 45-50. I was getting ready for a new challenge and am comfortable playing all the chords just usually the song slowed down a little.


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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: mixedcolors on November 24, 2018, 03:25:08 pm
How many changes per minute are you up to?

I'd say move on. Each stage you will continue to use the chords you have learned before so you will still be working on them.

I've just moved up to stage 4. My 1 minute changes are up to around 45-50. I was getting ready for a new challenge and am comfortable playing all the chords just usually the song slowed down a little.


Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

I'd say easily more then 40 switching between A and E but the D chord I'm still struggling to consistently change, even then around 25-30. I'll still practice those chords everyday but I just feel like I need to start adding new things. I have a feeling the D chord I'll have issues with for a long time. My fingers are getting better at flexing so it is getting easier to make that chord.

Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: sairfingers on November 26, 2018, 03:03:41 pm
What are ‘chips’? And I don’t mean the potato variety. 😃
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Majik on November 26, 2018, 03:12:33 pm
What are ‘chips’? And I don’t mean the potato variety. 😃

Erm, in what context?

Cheers,

Keith
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Joerfe on November 26, 2018, 04:31:31 pm
What are ‘chips’? And I don’t mean the potato variety.

Chips is hitting the strings 1 & 2, sometimes 3 as well, playing diads or triads. Justin has a lesson on that in the Intermediate Course
https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/intermediate-rhythm-guitar-5-im-155
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: sairfingers on November 26, 2018, 07:43:46 pm
Thanks for that. Not reached that stage yet. It’s just that I’ve read the expression ‘chips’ used in various music books but was unable to find what it meant.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TFX on November 27, 2018, 05:30:08 pm
Hi everyone,
I'm currently doing the Beginners Course and if I follow the Lesson Map I reached the theoretical part of the White section.
My question is: When do I start to do things from the Spectrum section? Is it in any way connected to the Beginner-, Intermediate- or Advanced-course or is it completely separate from the rest? Do I take a look at the spectrum section just in between, whenever I want to or after the last course?

Thank you for the answer :)

Couldn't anyone help me really quickly?
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on November 27, 2018, 05:50:51 pm
There is plenty to learn in the beginner course why are you worried about the spectrum?

The play ground area would be a good place when you can't practice. It's full of helpful
and interesting video. Same with the Guitar, amp and effects.
Don't waist valuable practice time watching videos on scales that are years above your
level. Follow the beginner course as laid out from beginning to end.
If your at Music Theory Introduction you still have a long way to go.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: TFX on November 28, 2018, 03:11:32 pm
Thank you for the reply :-)

What about the General Section? Seems as if there are a lot of basic technique videos.

And I would be very disappointed if I wouldn't have a very long way ahead of me.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on November 28, 2018, 04:08:30 pm
TFX

I'd suggest you complete the Beginners Course first and start looking at the first part of the Spectrum modules once you've made a start on the Intermediate.

The most important part of learning to play the guitar, is the development of a strong and deep foundation. The BC and IM are designed to give you that and provide a platform for everything else to be built on. So focus on that for now and worry about the Spectrum stuff later.

Now there is purely informational stuff in some of the Spectrum modules that you could look at but don't let it distract you from developing that critical foundation.

Enjoy the ride.

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Shalo on December 29, 2018, 04:24:05 pm
Hello.

These last few days I've noticed that while I do feel like playing guitar, whenever I go to pick it up and think that I should start by practicing chord changes and some technique, I start feeling lazy and just do 10-20minutes of more focused practicing and the rest is little more than noodling.

I was wondering if I should just take a week or two to learn new songs/play around to see if it brings me some more motivation or if that will actually be worst and I should just insist on keeping to my schedule.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on December 29, 2018, 06:18:12 pm
If you don't give yourself time to have fun what the point of learning?
Changing up your routine may be exactly what you need to bring back
the spark. Pick a song you want to learn and go for it.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Shalo on December 29, 2018, 06:32:58 pm
Thanks for your  input on it. I'll give it a go.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Skinny Dog Jefferson on March 07, 2019, 03:31:36 pm
Is it more important to learn a couple of songs at the end of each module or is it okay to keep moving along,practicing my one minute changes and  learning the next chords in the modules?Thanks for your time and answers in advance.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: hilts17 on March 07, 2019, 03:52:41 pm
Is it more important to learn a couple of songs at the end of each module or is it okay to keep moving along,practicing my one minute changes and  learning the next chords in the modules?Thanks for your time and answers in advance.

The whole purpose of following Justin's course and learning guitar period, is to learn to play songs. This is why, for each stage of the course, Justin has a list of songs that are related to and appropriate for that stage. You should be learning at least a couple of these songs for each stage as you progress. Whether you want to focus on a couple of songs before moving to the next stage or whether you want to learn the songs at the same time as starting the next stage is up to you. It all depends how you want to organize your practise time. But......learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: DarrellW on March 07, 2019, 03:59:22 pm
100% learn songs, after all it is the biggest reason for wanting to learn to play!
Another very good thing to do is to record yourself playing and post for critique, you will get the best and most positive advice and comments that will help if you have any lack of confidence in yourself; also you will be able to look back further down the line and easily see your progress.

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Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: tobyjenner on March 07, 2019, 04:20:40 pm
Its fairly normal for song learning to lag a stage behind the new techniques your learning. Try to learn a few songs before you move on but if you struggle with them, move on to the next stage BUT keep working on those songs from the previous stage and work on a few more at that level as well. This way you are keeping motivated by learning new skills and applying the ones you already have.

But learn songs, lots of them, otherwise what's the point.

Good luck on your journey.

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on March 07, 2019, 04:28:40 pm
I've never been asked at a party to play a few chords and while you're at it
throw in some scales.
I do get asked can you play (insert your favorite song here) all the time.

I was told a very long time ago "It's better to play 3 song very well than
100 song badly". 
You'll most likely be one or two stages behind in song lessons than chord lesson
but yes keep learning both songs and new chords at the same time. If you have
the time.
If you don't have the time split your days practice, day one BC lesson day 2 learn
song.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Skinny Dog Jefferson on March 07, 2019, 05:19:23 pm
Thank ya'll,all ya'll's comments make complete sense.Thanks for your time and effort. 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: close2u on March 08, 2019, 11:21:37 am
......learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.

[ insert Thumbs up emoji here ]
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: hilts17 on March 08, 2019, 12:29:01 pm
[ insert Thumbs up emoji here ]

Your mantra has rubbed off on me!  ;D
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Skinny Dog Jefferson on April 09, 2019, 02:09:18 am
When I change from D to A I get a little string buzz from my fingers moving to the next chord.Is this normal to happen in some instances when you are changing chord positions?Thanks for your time and effort. 8)
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: Tomcat on April 17, 2019, 11:28:34 pm
Having a ton of trouble.....have not yet been able to complete a clean chord. Always muting strings, etc. Feels like my fingers are just too big no matter what angle I try.  I've been at it for about 1.5 hours total over 3 days.  Question: when my fingers toughen up, will it be easier to get between strings and fret a note?  I'm thinking that my fingertips are just too "squishy" at the moment....
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: stitch101 on April 18, 2019, 01:11:15 am
When you calluses get harder they will take up less space on the strings
and make it easier to fret notes.
Make sure you are curling your fingers and not laying them flat..
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: flux1968 on April 19, 2019, 03:37:43 pm
When I change from D to A I get a little string buzz from my fingers moving to the next chord.Is this normal to happen in some instances when you are changing chord positions?Thanks for your time and effort. 8)

I've been having the same issue. I've looked around and everything I've seen says this is normal until we get better at changing chords smoothly.

In terms of changing from D to A, what I've noticed is that when I move my fingers, I slightly let up on ring finger on the D string, the anchor finger. I've made an effort to keep that finger down and it's helped a bit. However when changing to another chord without an anchor finger, like D to G, I still get the buzz and that will probably be the case until I transition better.
Title: Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
Post by: deadeye_ag on April 24, 2019, 01:16:06 pm
Yes, it's normal. That said, if you haven't already, have a guitar tech check the action and setup on your guitar to make sure it is ideal. If the action is high, it could be contributing.