Author Topic: Learners Tips that have worked for me  (Read 16889 times)

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2013, 09:29:44 pm »
I'm not sure where I picked up this tip, but it worked for me.....

Like most people I guess, my little finger, left hand (I'm right handed) was pretty weak and when it came to playing notes using my pinky, or fretting a G or D chord using the pinky, I'd struggle to both feel comfortable and get a clear sound on that string.

A simple finger strengthening exercise - take a clothes peg and hold between thumb and pinky, then try to open the peg. Quite embarrassing the first time, how it was a struggle! Can do it while sitting around watching TV and you can (and probably should) only do it in short bursts. After a week or so I was comfortable opening the peg, holding it open, then closing for about 10 times. Little finger now has no problem with the notes  :)

Offline bradt

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2013, 06:46:21 pm »
That's an interesting idea kdc. I don't usually like the exercise machine type training, but I'm going to have to try that one. :)

Offline MRD

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2014, 12:49:36 am »

I'm also a very late starter - took up the guitar a couple of years ago, aged 59.

Few things I found really important;

Always have a guitar within arm's reach when at home - out of sight is out of mind. I often pick mine up and play it just because it is there, right next to me in the lounge.

I found choosing the right guitar, to learn on, to be very important. I'm sure it will vary from one player to another (I have very small hands) - but there are so many variables. I eventually found one (electric) that suited me - it wasn't terribly expensive but plays like butter. And give it a really good set up (I do this myself - it really isn't that hard).

Experiment a bit with strings. I've found some Manufacturers trings more comfortable than others - and don't assume thinner strings will be easier - I hated playing on the lightest strings.

Play every day - even if it's just a noodle

Find someone to play with on a regular basis. I set up and run a Guitar club (before I could even play a chord !!) - this gives me a regular short term goal and incentive to learn and practice. It is also a great to get help from other players.

Always have fun doing it.

Offline H M Murdock

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2014, 09:07:36 pm »
Great thread Craig and great tips from everyone.

I do the same as MRD, I always have one of my guitars beside me and whenever I get the urge, or hear a catchy tune on tv, or see something online etc, I pick it up without thinking and give it a go. It's fun and it kind of gets me in the mind-set of being a guitarist rather than a learner if you know what I mean.

In my own experience I agree with Craig about getting the guitar more vertical the more confident I get with chord changes and they do get easier. Yes I have the strings tilted towards me as I learn them then work at getting the strings vertical as I go on.

One of my very fussy rules for myself is never play with cold fingers. I'm really strict on myself about that one. If I'm having a a practice and the dog wants to go out I'll wait a while when I come in, warm up again, and go back to where I started. If I'm having a cold beer when I play I hold it in my right hand so the left doesn't get cold. Call me paranoid about looking after my left fingers but a mate of mine didn't and he ended up with carpal tunnel after 2 years. Now to be fair he came home to an empty house every night and had nothing better to do but pick up the guitar when he walked in and just play for 6 hours constantly every night. We had a long chat about it and he said his mistake was not warming up and not listening to the advice available. Once he's had his op and goes back to guitar he says he won't make that mistake again.

Don't be paranoid guys, just be sensible and look after the fingers, we can't play without them. That's my tip for this thread, always warm up and keep them warm :)
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Offline roncoss-online

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2014, 07:52:19 am »
Wow, what an encouraging thread to discover! I'm new to the forum, also very new to guitar. I was sure as a 50 year old I'd be one of the older new guys around here. Glad to be in such great company.

I logged on tonight looking for tips on getting strings to ring clear. I'll tell ya, this is way harder than I thought it would be guys! I'm a keyboard player so when I decided to learn guitar I was naive enough to think it would come easy for me.

But making chords ring clear is giving me the blues (no pun intended, lol). I'm also a member of the short fat fingers club. What sent me running in her earlier was just trying to play that C chord with the stretched-out fingering. I've been having trouble fingering that chord because it's such a stretch for me. My index finger is often "crooked" and laying sideways trying to stay on that B string on the first fret.

It's getting a little better now but at first I was so frustrated I'd stopped practicing. To get myself interested again I though maybe finding a song I could work on would help. So I thought I'd try learning "Lost Without You" by Robin Thyke. It has this 4-chord sequence that repeats for almost the whole song so I thought it would be fun.

The chords are fingered, and amazingly when I started trying to play it I found that a lot easier. I wasn't having trouble with muted strings or anything! Went back to strumming chords and the muted string challenges came right back.

I've already learned a couple of things to try, like minding the position of my guitar neck, elbow and trying to keep the guitar more article. That one is tough for me just because I really like kicking back on the couch playing with my feet up while I watch tv.

Anyway guys I've learned a lot already here and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better. Thanks for the suggestions so far, really helpful guys.

Ron Cross

Offline ab23cg

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2015, 06:47:50 am »
I posted this in another thread, but thought it might fit here also..

For those who have purchased the Beginners Course book:
When you arrive at the practice schedule page (e.g Page 90 for Stage 4), there will be a section with
"Chord sequences to try"
Then it will list the 4 chord sequences, e.g C G Am Fmaj7.
Beneath the listed sequences there is usually a bit of blank space.
In that space I wrote in some of the RUST strumming patterns.

E.g RUST 4:    D D DU DU
      RUST 8:    D DU DU D

That way I could apply the new strumming patterns to the chords I was learning.
Even as I advanced further through the book I could go back to each practice stage, and those chord sequences and strumming patterns to refresh.

Doing each sequence with a metronome and timer on my phone was also of great benefit, keeping things fresh.

For added variety as I got better at it, I would:

- Change the BPM slightly for each sequence.

- Play a chord sequence with one chord for a full bar, then the next chord for a full bar etc.
E.g    C C C C,   G G G G,   Am Am Am Am,   Fmaj7 Fmaj7 Fmaj7 Fmaj7

- Play a chord sequence with one chord for 2 beats, then change for the next 2 beats of the bar.
E.g    C C G G,   Am Am Fmaj7 Fmaj7

- Play a chord sequence with one chord for each beat of the bar, adjusting the metronome speed accordingly.
E.g    C G Am Fmaj7,   C G Am Fmaj7,   C G Am Fmaj7

Hope it helps!
Apologies if this is just repeating what Justin or others have already mentioned.

Offline ElectroGuitara

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2020, 11:08:54 pm »

What a Great thread, mates! 
Craig et al., thanks much for great tips from everyone.
I've started noodling maybe from March but learning properly
with Justin's only a month ago (also from 50+ club :)).

Making a mental note of all tips, btw,
I've started learning from holding my guitar on my right hip but then switched
to the left one, like a classical position for an acoustic guitar.
Found it easier for practicing chords.

Take care!

Offline RyanPlaysGuitar

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2020, 06:26:38 pm »
The practice assistance is hard to use at first but once I got it down it saved ALOT of time. Defintly reccomend it

Offline JustMe123456

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2021, 12:01:23 pm »
I am a complete beginner. Started at the age of almost 40. Only did some drums for couple of years a a kid. So, I am clueless. Still, I have an opinion on something you said (like all people who are clueless but still want to say something).

However, I did get fairly good at making rap music. Started at the age of 12, and did that until late 20s.

My opinion/question is about Noodling. See, as a MC you "freestyle" often and besides writing, it's one of the ways you come up with cool lines and also learn how to rap better. See, when I am just rapping some stuff that comes out of my mind ... my technique will become better just because I am practicing (doesn't feel like it but I am) and I also letting my own creativity flow.

So, shouldn't noodling anything (not just what you are learning) be super beneficial for learning how to play guitar?

I see noodling a bit like freestyling for a MC. Or is that just a comparison you can make?
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Offline Ex-Calif

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2021, 02:50:21 pm »
"As learners we tend to lean the guitar back (too far) just so we can see the strings and  place our fingers visually.

This actually makes it harder to form the chord because it bends the wrist a lot more than it should and makes the fingers go claw like and even sideways."

This is from early in the thread and is a piece of gold. Sometime around L7 Justin talks about being able to "feel" the frets. It's hard but getting to the point of no-look chords is realy important.

Then while playing and reading lyrics, I'll hit a chord wrong (I am sure everyone does) - "Oh crap I have 2 bars of this and I am all wrong"

It's tempting to stop there and look.  I am starting to get to a point of "feeling" where I am off by finger adjusting and for sure never stop strumming. As Justin says, "Non guitarists won't notice you are muting the E string on your A chord.  But they will definitely notice if you stop playing" - LOL...

PS - Noodling - Super important. In the Justin lessons periodically he teaches riffs. I leave all of them in my practice routine. I also put 10 minutes of pentatonic scale with an A backing track and just mess around.

You just can't let noodling distract from "the work" and you have to design a practice session based on your available time that gets the work in and let's you have fun with the guitar.

Last night I did 30 minutes of songs with F, C, Dm, Em, Am, G changes.  Not because I like the song (couldn't even tell you the title of the song) but because those are the chord changes I need to work on. Not totally fun but it's "the work" - At least with the song app I am not limited to 1 minute chord changes (although I do them - "Eat your peas") and I can listen to a nice backing track while doing them to a cadence.
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Offline Mister_B

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Re: Learners Tips that have worked for me
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2021, 11:17:31 am »
Great tips, thanks!


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