Author Topic: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered  (Read 206163 times)

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Offline Fantomas01

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #325 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.


Offline DUrquhart

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #326 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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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #327 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

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Offline silman

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #328 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.

Offline DUrquhart

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #329 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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Offline suffolk112000

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #330 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.

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #331 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
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Offline suffolk112000

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #332 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.

Offline joueur de guitare

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #333 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
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Offline mixedcolors

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #334 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

Offline DavidP

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #335 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 ...

Offline close2u

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #336 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.

Offline mixedcolors

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #337 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

Offline batwoman

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #338 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.
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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #339 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.
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Offline mixedcolors

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #340 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.

Offline batwoman

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #341 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.
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Offline Shalo

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #342 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?

Offline sdd56

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #343 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.
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Offline Fantomas01

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #344 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

Offline jono

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #345 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.

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Offline mixedcolors

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #346 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. :)

Offline Fantomas01

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #347 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.

Offline guitardan

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #348 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.

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #349 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 :)

 

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