#1
Hi everybody

I struggle to practice more than 20-30 minutes a day.
I have no trouble picking up the guitar, but i rarely play/practice for more than 15-20 minutes, because at that time, I'm so frustrated of all the mistakes I made, that i just put the guitar down, and don't want to play it for a while.

I just feel that guitar should be fun, but it just isn't fun, when you mess up what should be very easy riffs, everytime you try to play them, even at something that's nearly 20-30 bpm

I have used Justinguitar.com, and this sticky https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=942688 a lot
I usually start off doing stuff like Justin's "Finger Gym" and/or Freepower's Independent fingers exercise. This goes fairly well. Then i start practicing stuff like chords, or riffs from songs. Here I'm trying to do Smells like teen spirit, and the intro to Sweet child o' mine. This is the part where i get mad at myself, for not being able to do anything right at all, except from Silent night, which I think I've got down ok by now.

I do realise, that it takes time to learn to play, and i hvae now been playing for 5 months.

I also often find myself in the spot, where i don't really know what to practice, and i feel that it would be very nice to have some kind of schedule to go from.
#2
well, first time a did scales i felt the same way, and now 3 years later, they just flow. just make the mistakes over and over again. be patient. trust your fingers more than your brain. and practice for say 20 min on technique, then play a song you like for the next 40. thats my advice.
#3
You've only been playing for 5 months and you're falling into the same old trap that other beginners fall into - you expect yourself to play perfect without any mistakes. Let's face it: Playing the guitar isn't easy, it has a steep learning curve and it can take years to get "good."

Here's what I want you to do:

1. Before practicing, get in the right frame of mind. You must realize that you're going to make mistakes in the beginning - everyone does! It's part of the learning process. Who's your favorite guitar player? Do you think he/she started out on the first day playing lightning fast riffs without any errors? No. They didn't. And neither will you.

2. Realize that this is something that's going to take 3 to 5 years to get good enough to even think about joining a band. You're going to sound like crap at first and for the first couple of years, but if you keep at it, you're going to get better. When you begin to see improvement, it motivates you to keep going and doing better.

3. Practice every day. Practice every day. Practice every day. Practice every day. Get the idea? At a bare minimum, you should be practicing AT LEAST 30 minutes. I would recommend practicing an hour to an hour and a half. Experts have studied those starting out on the guitar and have concluded that it takes around 10,000 hours - yes, 10,000 hours of practice to master the guitar.

4. Start out slow. Whether you're playing scales or trying to learn a new piece, start out playing it slowly at first. This idea is to work on technique, fingering the frets correctly and playing each note as it's supposed to be played. Tap your foot to keep time or use a metronome. After you can play it slowly, add some speed and play it again. If you stumble on one or two notes, that's no problem. You want to challenge yourself to master the piece you're working on. Just don't play it so fast that it turns into a train wreck as you stumble to keep up.

And finally....

5. Consider taking professional lessons. In the US, lessons from a qualified instructor generally run anywhere from about $20 per 30 minutes on up, depending upon the qualifications of the instructor. Generally, you want to find someone who's been playing for at least 10 years and has gig experience. It'd be even better to find someone who'd been playing for 30 years, has gig experience and has a music education background. An instructor will help prevent you from making mistakes that can become bad habits. Bad habits are hard to break, once they become set in your brain. An instructor can also fast-track you towards your goal of becoming a good guitar player and playing in a band - if that's your desire. Additionally, if your paying for and taking lessons, you're highly motivated to practice for your weekly lesson.

I hope these tips work for you. Remember - keep a good attitude and remember that your favorite guitarist started out as badly as you - possibly worse. If you keep at it, you will get good. I promise.
#4
that sweet child o mine intro is pretty hard. i remember when my guitarist started playing he sucked at it and eventually gave up. A couple months later he tried it again and nailed it. Just keep practicing and eventually you'll get it.
#5
I like how steve said "Do you think he/she started out on the first day playing lightning fast riffs without any errors? No. They didn't. And neither will you."


haha good unsexist boy
#6
Quote by Maton+SG
I like how steve said "Do you think he/she started out on the first day playing lightning fast riffs without any errors? No. They didn't. And neither will you."


haha good unsexist boy


Let me tell you - there are some good female guitarists out there and you have to give them credit. To only include the male sex would be a little short-sided.
#7
Thanks for the very fast answers, please keep em' coming.
I really found your posts useful, and I think that I'll try to practice some more, though I'll still have the problem of not knowing what or how to practice.

10.000 hours, that really is a lot.

Lol at the last couple of posts, ofc there are very talented female guitarists as well
#8
Yeah dont worry about mistakes dude just have fun even if your messing up thats why you play guitar, because you love to play.
Ibanez RG7321
Jackson Randy Rhoads V with Floyd Rose
Peavey Valveking 112
Digitech RP70 Guitar Processor
#9
Quote by longneckdude
that sweet child o mine intro is pretty hard. i remember when my guitarist started playing he sucked at it and eventually gave up. A couple months later he tried it again and nailed it. Just keep practicing and eventually you'll get it.


So true. I tried it the first week and I failed. Then I tried it 1 month later and first-try nailed it.

Some things just seem to click after some time.
#10
Relax. Don't simply get upset at the mistakes you make, learn to correct them.

It's kinda like golf. A lot of golfers will swear and get pissed and throw their clubs around when they have a bad game, but at the same time strut around proudly while they're having a good game without paying attention to why they're having a good game.

It isn't enough to simply notice when you make a mistake. Anyone, musician or non, can usually do that. You have to pay attention when you don't make mistakes and figure out what you did there that you don't always do. Did you lean the guitar differently? Was your fret hand positioned in a way that makes it more natural? Were you feeling a particular looseness that you don't always feel? What can you do to achieve that? Did you take a jog or do somthing active that loosened you up more then usual? etc.

Don't be afraid to troubleshoot yourself. I re-learn the way I play every couple weeks just to try to do the things right that I need to, rather then get upset about doing them wrong. The more negative you are about your playing the more of a chore it's going to seem.
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#11
This is EASY.

ACCEPT the FACT that YOU WILL SUCK AT GUITAR as a beginner. Thats why you are currently LEARNING how to play.... Get it???

There is no way around this other than to keep at it till you get better and thats going to take good old fashioned time and practice.

Once you come to this simple realization, guitar becomes really fun!!!!

*On another note (pun intended) Ive been playing now for about a year, and just recently am able to play the Sweet Child of Mine intro. It took me so long because when I got frustrated, I just left it alone and moved on to other stuff. By doing this I learned how to play a bunch of other riffs, and my frustration level stayed at a minimal level. This works for everything from scales, chords, riffs, songs...whatever. Its supposed to be fun, so MAKE IT FUN!
Last edited by Axe Murderer at Dec 14, 2008,
#12
I agree with the above post thats what I usually do if something frustrates you just move on to something else then come back.
Ibanez RG7321
Jackson Randy Rhoads V with Floyd Rose
Peavey Valveking 112
Digitech RP70 Guitar Processor
#13
Quote by aZu
I'm so frustrated of all the mistakes I made, that i just put the guitar down, and don't want to play it for a while.

its the mistakes that should drive you to continue to play. to correct them, and rewrite them. for me, the more i mess up, the more i knew i had to keep going and the more i had to practice until i got it right. its your failures that should motivate you to continue, until you succeed.

did i sound wise enough?
Last edited by fearstrike at Dec 15, 2008,
#14
Quote by aZu
Hi everybody

I struggle to practice more than 20-30 minutes a day.
I have no trouble picking up the guitar, but i rarely play/practice for more than 15-20 minutes, because at that time, I'm so frustrated of all the mistakes I made, that i just put the guitar down, and don't want to play it for a while.

I just feel that guitar should be fun, but it just isn't fun, when you mess up what should be very easy riffs, everytime you try to play them, even at something that's nearly 20-30 bpm

I have used Justinguitar.com, and this sticky https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=942688 a lot
I usually start off doing stuff like Justin's "Finger Gym" and/or Freepower's Independent fingers exercise. This goes fairly well. Then i start practicing stuff like chords, or riffs from songs. Here I'm trying to do Smells like teen spirit, and the intro to Sweet child o' mine. This is the part where i get mad at myself, for not being able to do anything right at all, except from Silent night, which I think I've got down ok by now.

I do realise, that it takes time to learn to play, and i hvae now been playing for 5 months.

I also often find myself in the spot, where i don't really know what to practice, and i feel that it would be very nice to have some kind of schedule to go from.

Practice the Minor Pentatonic Scale, and then the Major Pentatonic Scale.
Then just keep learning scales, they really excercise your fingers and coordination, as well as being able to identify sounds easily.

Sweet Child O' Mine intro is quite difficult. I've been playing for almost a year, that was one of the first things i tried to learn. I still don't have it completey down.

Just keep practicing, stay strong.
Quote by J.Bass.M

I don't care about the f***ing radius of the f***ing inlay.
#15
Quote by aZu
Hi everybody


I do realise, that it takes time to learn to play,


bear in mind this,

it takes time to learn how to practise, learn how to practise before you learn how to play
If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all
#16
Thank you very much guys, I really feel much better now

So what I should do is, if i make any mistakes - try to correct them, and if I don't make mistakes, try to find out why I didn't make mistakes?

And I think practicing scales sounds like an ok idea.

I could always use more advice on how to practice.
But again, thanks a lot for the answers you gave me.
#17
Quote by aZu
Thank you very much guys, I really feel much better now

So what I should do is, if i make any mistakes - try to correct them, and if I don't make mistakes, try to find out why I didn't make mistakes?

And I think practicing scales sounds like an ok idea.

I could always use more advice on how to practice.
But again, thanks a lot for the answers you gave me.


Well of course you should try to correct you mistakes, othewise you will be a horrible sounding guitar player. The point we all were trying to make is that mistakes are inevitable when first starting out. Mistakes will be inevitable years down the road. Mistakes are no reason to quit anything. How else are you going to learn? Have you EVER learned anything in your life without making mistakes?? No. So why should guitar be any different?

Take your mistakes in stride, dont get frustrated-cause they will keep happening, continue to practice and YOU WILL GET BETTER.
#18
Quote by aZu
Thank you very much guys, I really feel much better now

So what I should do is, if i make any mistakes - try to correct them, and if I don't make mistakes, try to find out why I didn't make mistakes?

And I think practicing scales sounds like an ok idea.

I could always use more advice on how to practice.
But again, thanks a lot for the answers you gave me.

well when it comes to mistakes, instead of asking why you made it, ask how. then ask how you can change it to make it right. nobody is immune to mistakes. they are normal, even the pros make mistakes on stage. as for scales, dont speed yourself. learn to walk before you run. get comfortable with your guitar first.
#19
aZu, like other's are saying, if you feel a bit frustrated, feel free to practice or study any other technique or research to benefit what you want to do with guitar. There's alot of information around here and i see you're a beginner, when you have sometime look around at some of the columns and do some research on what chords or scales you want to learn. (Also helpful to be flexible on alot of music, so you have something to keep away frustration)

Sometimes people tell you to learn this and that, try to find what YOU want to play and take some advice here and there, guitar will be fun sooner for you and you'll learn how to practice the way that's best for you. A quick note i think is nice to add, it's really good to know the pentatonic scale (blues scale) as it is the basis for mostly all of guitar improvisation if you're into that and specific modes you think sound good. Think about mastering most or all of the basics as well. Always remember that it is supposed to be fun, there will always be a steep hill to climb when it comes to music but one day you'll make it to the top.

Cheers
#20
Stick at it fella, i`ve only been learning for a few months now and can now play the "this is impossible to do" D chord , G "no way will i ever be able to do this" chord among others , and even played a F barre chord the other day TWICE !! how about that? nobody ever picked up a guitar and just got it first time, clapton and hendrix were crap at some time in their life
yes all six strings buzz !! but it`s unique isn`t it
#21
This is how I leanred the intro to SCOM this past year. I started out horrible as expected. I stopped trying to play it with a metronome and focused on playing it clean (I read some post about the significance of accuracy at that time). Did the accuracy thing for a few weeks and then started to do it with a metronome and then finally with the song playing in the background.
A year deep and I can do SCOM intro, 1st and 2nd solos and the first half of the 3rd solo. I haven't really looked at the chorus and verse yet. The downside is, I learned the intro with all downstrokes and now have to learn to do it with alternate picking.

Recently, I started working on the 1st solo of November Rain and I used the same approach (focus on clean), insanely slow, etc. I am progressing faster now with this approach, granted I can fret notes, bend, slide a lot better than I could a year ago.

When I run into a lick or phrase that gives me trouble and really need some inspiration, I youtube for a little while. For the GnR fans out there, search Kobiba on utube. One of my goals is to play like that some day.

Frustration is just part of the game. Just have to find a way to attack it. Also, the toughest part of learning guitar for me is to sift through the tons of information. Some basic theory is finally starting to make sense to me.

Good Luck !
#22
Let me tell you - there are some good female guitarists out there and you have to give them credit. To only include the male sex would be a little short-sided.


OWWWW can you please give me some names of good girl guitarists because i am a girl guitar player (hense me pointing out your unsexism) and i dont know of any chick guitarists and would like some girly influences please tell
#23
Quote by Maton+SG
OWWWW can you please give me some names of good girl guitarists because i am a girl guitar player (hense me pointing out your unsexism) and i dont know of any chick guitarists and would like some girly influences please tell


Is the bassist for Silversun Pickups not a woman?
#24
Learning the guitar takes time and it is very heavy going sometimes. You tend to keep looking to the next thing to learn and don't appreciate how much you are improving. Just make sure you practice on your mistakes and you will get there eventually. The most annoying I found to learn was to play just looking at my fretting hand when picking strings. It is really tough to begin with but once you can do it your playing improves no end.
#25
Quote by longneckdude
that sweet child o mine intro is pretty hard. i remember when my guitarist started playing he sucked at it and eventually gave up. A couple months later he tried it again and nailed it. Just keep practicing and eventually you'll get it.


5 months in I couldn't even play the riff from *Seek and Destroy* by Metallica.

Im lucky though. As a kid I wanted to learn to draw and it took me years to draw a piece of comic art. When I started guitar I understood how much work it would take to become a good player.

Quote by Maton+SG
OWWWW can you please give me some names of good girl guitarists because i am a girl guitar player (hense me pointing out your unsexism) and i dont know of any chick guitarists and would like some girly influences please tell

Rumor has it that Allison Robertson from *The Donnas* came out of a time machine from the 70's. She sure plays like it.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Jun 14, 2009,
#26
I would like to add, contrary to what has been said before, begin playing with other people as soon as possible.

When i had been playing for about five months, i knew open chords well, and i could barely play barre chords. But i joined this band, and some three/four months later, when our lead guitarist left the band, i could just switch from acoustic to electric and play almost all of his parts.

the lesson: playing with other people really boosts you playing abilities
#27
Quote by aZu

I also often find myself in the spot, where i don't really know what to practice, and i feel that it would be very nice to have some kind of schedule to go from.


Do the warm-ups from justinguitar, practice scales, practice chords, pick songs to learn, and make sure to leave yourself time to just mess around. I remember having the same frustration as you when first learning. I started in 8th grade or so and actually gave it up because it hurt my fingers and I wasn't any good at it, but a few months later I gave it another go and stuck with it, and boy am I glad I did. As others have said, mistakes are inevitable, even as you get better. Just keep at it and eventually you will make less mistakes. It might just take a long time. The more you practice the better. I also only practiced about 30 minutes when I started out, but if you can do at least an hour that's gonna help more. just make sure you actually ENJOY it, even if you're messing up. you're playing GUITAR! think of all the other boring things you could be doing instead, like homework or something [well not now since it's summer, but you get the idea].

Quote by Maton+SG
OWWWW can you please give me some names of good girl guitarists because i am a girl guitar player (hense me pointing out your unsexism) and i dont know of any chick guitarists and would like some girly influences please tell


I'm sure there are plenty of female guitarists out there, but almost none of them are famous (besides the really basic poppy singer-songwriter type stuff) ... it's quite unfortunate. Kaki King does awesome fingerpicking and tapping on acoustic guitar, but I can't think of any girls famous for playing electric guitar off the top of my head. There's Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, but she also plays bass so I don't know how often she plays guitar, and you never hear about her anyway. All my guitar heroes are male, but that never stopped me
#28
Phew!! many thanks Azu , I could have written your piece , wow this stuff is really hard
and I thought it was just because I was a ham fisted dumbo , It has taken me a very long time just to get my head (and fingers !) round some very basix stuff but I have kept at it
and yes after a while it does start to stick between your ears and not wander off somewhere . Very sadly there are no short cuts or magic lessons and only lots of practice but as I have got a bit better at some stuff you can start to feel it improving ,I will get better as I will not give up ,do practice on tabs inbetween I have found this very helpfull
when the other stuff gets difficult
#30
Everyone gets frustrated. The other day, I did a little test, and told myself, Im just gonna have fun, regardless of my mistakes, Ill take it on in an optimistic way. I played, and it sounded good, and I enjoyed it. Frustration and too much focus will make you sound worse, its counter productive. Just try to have fun with it. Take a break, step back, and come back with a different mood and perspective.
#31
I've been playing for 11 months and i know how you feel. I actually feel that the best way to learn is through songs...If you find a song to hard, try a new one and wait a bit while playing easier stuff. I can play stuff now that i never dreamed or even thought about trying 6 months ago.

It just takes time dude, you can do it
Live and Let Rock
#33
Play for 20 minutes, take a break of around 20 minutes too, then continue again. YOur brain actually learns faster that way.
“The guy said NBA players are one in a million, ... I said, 'Man, look, I'm going to be that one in a million.'”
Kobe Bryant
#34
don't put pressure on yourself to be an amazing guitarist right off the bat. at the 5 month mark i was lucky if i could play a few blink 182 riffs. 5 years later im still learning and im certainly nothing close to the best, i still take lessons, and still can't play some of the music i would like to. the point is just have fun while you are doing it. if its a constructive hobbie and you enjoy it then you are doing it right! just relax, practice and keep playing parts until the mistakes dissapear. you are only just beginning, so have fun and enjoy the ride
"every prince has to slay a few dragons before he meets his princess"
#35
I'm frustrated/have a question, and figured since this thread is called "Frustration" and I already made a thread i thought i could ask it here :P

There's a riff I play in a song, starting on the G string and then going to D. It's a very very simple riff, but it's somewhat fast. I can do it pretty well with downstrokes, but I'm trying to use alternate picking since that's the proper technique. and I just can't get it up to speed without sounding sloppy. I practiced it for about a half hour today. should I keep practicing alternate picking or just use the downstrokes? for some reason it's just awkward for me to switch strings going that direction.
#36
tl;dr. lol.

But I did have some frustrations on playing my guitar. Mostly because.

1.) I can't play it (Unless I know the songs I wan't to play. I pretty much don't know how to construct some simple riffes/solo's before).

2.) Broader music influence. I was pretty much an alternative rock/acoustic type of guy before. Then I got into a punk band. Now I'm learning some metal to build of some speed work. This is where I mostly pick up most of my techniques. I just somehow learned it after practicing it.

Now, even though I don't know what the hell I'm doing, every time I pick up my guitar I can honestly say I can make up riffs/rhythms/some mild solo's on the fly. And I can perfectly(cleanly I mean, not speed wise for the most part) play the songs I wan't to play.

What I'm saying? learn basic theory. I know it's totally out of topic(what I'm saying) but it's pretty helpful. Nothing beats just jamming in your guitar while being frustrated on learning some new licks/riffs. Makes me more calm and less agitated cause I can't play some riff cleanly or something.

/Just wanting to share something here.