Author Topic: Slow progress  (Read 1037 times)

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Offline 5544

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Slow progress
« on: September 10, 2013, 08:06:41 am »
Well I have played Instroments all my life, but the guitar is something else. Moments of real joy, but also moments of total frustration. I have been playing for a year, have lessons each week, and just when I think I am finally progressing, hit a massive brick wall. I can play all the open chords reasonably well, and have just started looking at bar chords. But there are occasions where I will  practice a certain chord progression for a song, with a different strumming pattern, and even though the chord progression is open chords, I will make a complete hash of making it flow or sound nice. I don't know if it is because I am older, but I never had these issues as a kid. Or perhaps, I did not care then! I have to say, the walls seem to be bigger as an adult. I practice for at least an hour every day, but for me the progress is really slow. I would love to start looking at something a little more blues orientated but that seems a long way off!

Offline Dr Winterbourne

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Re: Slow progress
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 01:25:38 pm »
First advice here is always

1) Do the Beginners and Intermediate courses.

If you have, and have trouble still with rhythm then the 2 strumming DVDs are an extremely good remedy for poor rhythm. The second one in particular, on 16th note strumming, really changed up my playing.

If you have done the 2 courses, then jump into the Blues courses. Both the Lead and Rhythm ones are great, and I guess the solo acoustic blues course probably is too, but I haven't done it, as I don't really do the fingerstyle thing.
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Offline Drubbing

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Re: Slow progress
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 02:37:35 pm »
I'd suggest you look at what your practice entails, and whether it's all 'work', and if you are in a rush to get someplace. I don't think guitar lets you do that easily.

My experience is progress comes in blocks. You reach plateaus and walls and sometimes nothing seems to progress, motivation also ebbs and flows. That's when I either focus on something in particular on the course (Intermediate, blues or something else), or nothing at all, and just bliss out playing anything - or nothing. I pick up the guitar everyday and do something, even if it's not 'work'.

Even if it doesn't help, it reminds me that I'm playing to enjoy it, and sometimes my nicest moments are just messing around with chords, palm and string mutes and rhythms. I'm sure I'm getting something from all that too.

If I made it all work to 'finish' something, I'd have completed the IM course months ago, but life gets in the way too much.

Offline LievenDV

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Re: Slow progress
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 02:50:58 pm »
it looks liek you need a plan;

A. map out: where are you now?
(what can you do, what goes smooth, hat needs work)
B: think about: Where do you want to go?
(playing full songs, singing and playing, specific techniques, specific songs, explorign certain styler)
PLAN: determine what is the route from A to B

We can help you with that if you like;

a good way way is take a large piece of per (like an european A3, which is +- a double letter format) and create a mindmap of things you want to explore
you need to dig for some inspiration though. It's easier to get a lot on paper and scratch what you don't need than evaluating each and every item that springs to mind

get drawing and writing, let it flow and afterwards you see what you can use from it.

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Offline bradt

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Re: Slow progress
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 12:16:51 am »
Another thing to look at is the saying "the more you think, the more you stink". Justin says that a lot in his lessons, and I think that's especially true with strumming.

When I was playing strumming patterns, and some songs, I would fall into the trap of sounding bland because I was focused on striking each chord cleanly and on time. I'd get stuck in my head thinking about when where and what to do. It would make the strumming sound mechanical and often harsh.

Try just sitting down with a backing track, the radio, or even unaccompanied and play. Don't worry if it's right or wrong, just choose a chord (or a couple), get into a groove, and play something. You'll notice that you naturally start accenting certain parts over others. Sometimes you'll skip one strum and sometimes you'll add an extra. That's ok.

Free play like that is really helpful in developing feel for songs and how hard or soft to strike the strings, or at what speed to rake the pick across the strings. At least it has been for me.


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