Author Topic: Wandering Around after Grade 2 and Staying Inspired  (Read 222 times)

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Offline ggsrox

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Wandering Around after Grade 2 and Staying Inspired
« on: July 18, 2021, 11:25:01 pm »
Hi guys/gals!

So I picked up the guitar shortly after COVID seeing as I was working from home and had the time to dedicate to it.  I went through Grades 1 and 2 over 7-8 months, and then began the Theory course with the goal of understanding music on a more technical level.

Since then, I got a new job that's demanding a lot more of my time.  I was struggling to find time to play for around a couple months, then upgraded my guitar in the hopes of motivating/inpsiring me to play more.

I picked up the guitar again this weekend and just found myself getting frustrated.  I jammed with some friends (one has 20 years on me on the guitar) and I just couldn't play at their level.  They were talking about playing in key, minor pentatonic scale, and other things that I just haven't learned yet or feel comfortable with.  Long-story-short, it was just super uninspiring.  The next day I decide to practice more theory and I feel like the fun's been sucked out of playing.

I'm just a point now where I want to jam with my friends, but they're at such a higher level of playing and I can't keep up.  I could just learn songs, but I don't feel like I'd be understanding music on a technical level like I want to.

What should I be practicing to stay inspired?  How can I have fun jamming with my friends even though they don't really play at my skill level?  I'm at a wall right now and I don't want to give up on my guitar journey.

Offline zlybilly

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Re: Wandering Around after Grade 2 and Staying Inspired
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2021, 04:03:39 am »
I'm not experienced at jamming but try this. Discuss earlier with other guys what connects you. You at begginer stage and them as advanced players. Figure out songs you all like and give yourself time to prepare at least the rythm. Then you always know what to expect and you are prepared. Also if jamming is your goal focus all your guitar time at what you are lacking. Get a go on a minor/major pentatonic and follow theory course there is bunch of hints how scales connect with chords and keys. I think the most critical theory-wise is learning the notes on two lowest strings, minor pentatonic, blues shuffle.


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Online close2u

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Re: Wandering Around after Grade 2 and Staying Inspired
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2021, 09:08:39 am »
Hello gg.
Welcome to the forum.
7-8 months to go through all 14 modules of the Grade 1 & Grade 2 beginner course is super fast.
If you have managed to learn all of the manual skills and techniques of chord formation and chord changes etc then that is amazing - well done.
What I suspect you will not have been able to do at such a rapid rate is to absorb how all the things you have learned fit in to music. My mantra is learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.
When you learn to play songs, many songs, lots of artists / styles/ tempos / etc then you learn so many crucial things.
Chord formation and chord changes
Tempo, counting and rhythm.
Which chords work well together.
Your ear begins to hear the movement of music.
Your brain begins to recognise patterns of how songs and music is created as a whole rather than just a linear set of instructions ... play chord x now, play chord y now, play chord z now etc.
All of that super important stuff will allow you to be able to recognise what is happening in the chord progression when in a jam.

Also - keep up with the theory.

For playing with others, if you are the support, the rhythm, not the lead guitar, learn open chords, barre chords, triad chord shapes. You will be able to add in your own part without simply chugging away at boring chords incessantly.

Can you tell us what sort of jam music your friends played?

Offline adi_mrok

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Re: Wandering Around after Grade 2 and Staying Inspired
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2021, 01:12:21 am »
Hi and warm welcome. I can understand it might be a bit frustrating when someone knows more than you do and you just can't keep up. We as people tend to compare ourselves to others and unnecessairly feeling bad about being worse than someone who practiced a lot longer than us.

Personally I would say learn all open chords Justin teaches and then you'll be able to play along in most common keys with your buddies. Perhaps learn one shape of a major scale and minor pentatonic scale and try to play it across all different keys. If they are into blues include 12 bar blues, famous chunka chunka.

However I would first encourage you to speak with your friends - tell them what songs/techniques/chords you know or you are able to learn at your level. Practice those while at home so you become better and better with every practice.

After all if they are a true friends they should be helping and accomodating you - they are more advanced and they can improvise over simple songs as well. They can't expect you to keep up if you are just starting! I am not saying they need to turn their practice upsixe down but surely they can spend a bit of time with you playing along. So have a little chat and I am sure they are sensible people who will help you out.

All the best.

Keep on rockin' my friends

Offline skeldol

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Re: Wandering Around after Grade 2 and Staying Inspired
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 01:14:16 pm »
Hi what has inspired me the most to learn theory is improvising over a backing track.  First I learnt some licks, then the minor penatonic all over the fretboard, then the notes on the fretboard (still learning!) and currently on active listening which has inspired me to learn how chords and notes interact.  Justin has lessons on all this stuff.  Whatever route you take keep it fun and take pleasure in the small steps.

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