Author Topic: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered  (Read 205814 times)

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Offline Tazz3

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #125 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.

Offline Tazz3

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #126 on: November 12, 2014, 04:19:56 am »
Panda bear you need to use a pick.

Offline SFDonovan

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #127 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.
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Offline Slateminer

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #128 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)
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Offline blueguern

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #129 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 .............

Offline Tim Mason

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #130 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.

Offline Drubbing

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #131 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.

Offline FPS

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #132 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;-)

Offline Slateminer

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #133 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

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Offline deadeye_ag

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #134 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. 

Offline Joleene24

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #135 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

Offline Borodog

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #136 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.
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Offline deadeye_ag

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #137 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.

Offline Macabre

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #138 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).
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Offline de_conne

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #139 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 ;) )

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Offline Joleene24

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #140 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

Offline dabas

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #141 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,

Offline deadeye_ag

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #142 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 :)

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #143 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
 

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Offline dabas

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #144 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.

 

Offline stitch101

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #145 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. 

Offline Drubbing

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #146 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.

Offline pt3r

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #147 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.
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Offline pt3r

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #148 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.
You gotta put a lot o' time in that thing. (Buddy Guy)

Offline Setneck Tele USA

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Re: BC-101 • Common beginners questions answered
« Reply #149 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.
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