Author Topic: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered  (Read 162258 times)

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Offline Flashmann

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2013, 04:49:27 pm »
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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.

Offline stitch101

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #31 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.

Offline TheReplicant

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #32 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.
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demeedo

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #33 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

Offline Chantal

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #34 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  :)
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Offline Flashmann

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #35 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

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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

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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... :)

Offline Chantal

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #36 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.
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Offline mmmbert

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #37 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.

freewheel510

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #38 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.

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #39 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.

Offline buddriver97

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #40 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.

Offline Majik

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #41 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,

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Offline sophiehiker

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #42 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.
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Offline av8torfl

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #43 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?

Offline sophiehiker

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #44 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.   :)
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