Author Topic: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered  (Read 155676 times)

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Offline justinguitar

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BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« on: June 03, 2009, 12:01:39 pm »
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

Offline Flashmann

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #1 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. ;)

Offline Drubbing

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #2 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.

Offline Christie

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #3 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!!
"Whether or not you can never become great at something, you can always become better at it." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Offline stitch101

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #4 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

Offline licksnkicks

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #5 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.

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NBecks

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #6 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.

Offline licksnkicks

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #7 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! 
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Offline bradt

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Seagull-S6

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #9 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

Offline bradt

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #10 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.

Offline Seagull-S6

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Chantal

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #12 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.
Thank you for the music!

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Offline bradt

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #13 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.

Mac76

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #14 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

 

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