#1
Okay - my experience - " dude, help me pick out a guitar ", guitarist friend replies " okay lets go to guitar center " - Me " is this one good? " Guitarist friend " Sure, get it"
...

He's never taken lessons, doesn't practice, etc. He is pretty good, but yeah, not the way I wan to go about it. That was 9months to a 1 year ago. He's in his own band and is actually good, he can't do anything technical though. No sweeps, etc. I'v only had the guitar that long and was practicing on my own for a good bit.. doing what I can. I can play somethings and understand the guitar as best as possible for not having any past experience with an instrument, music, etc.

Now. I'm taking lessons, I just began last Thursday and have been practicing like a mad man. I try to get in 2-4 hours a day, and usually do. Let me just begin with this - the teacher gave me "Basic Chords", C, F, etc. I have 3 guitars atm. On the acoustic (epiphone) which I use the most because it's convenient, - Holy ****- I really want to take it and smash it. Chords are so damn frustrating to get down. I try, I really do, I try them for a bit, and when I begin getting frustrated, I stop. I then begin some scale work, basic ones such as 1234/4321 ( I feel weird doing that scale ) and 1434, 1424 - these are basic scales, and I already feel a bit better with my fingers. I also use the 1st 2 or 3 scales from gym exercises at myguitarsolo.com.

To the point, I have a couple of questions.
Will I ever be "amazing?" - I understand it's not overnight, but does everyone have a wall or can that be surpassed via practice? Which I do not mind pushing/doing very often. I often feel it's "too late" - im 23 right now. but I don't want to stop/quit cause that's just a ****ty excuse. I have the drive to become really good.

Is what im doing now a good way to advance? it must be..

Also, for my left hand ( fret hand ) scales etc make you tired and it obviously makes you stronger/faster. Would those hand squeeze thingies be good to use when I am not practicing? Weird question, I know, but I was thinking about it and it may help.

Sorry guys - im /ranting cause I was just practicing for a while with some Scale/Chord work, Scales were ok, chords were meh. I tried to finish off the night by trying to play the intro to Fade to Black on the acoustic, my hands are not strong enough I don't think - simply because of the stretch/control/nimbleness of my pink etc. Any feedback is appreciated guys.
#2
I was about 23 when I started too. I became rather good. Age is never an excuse. Motivation is the only thing you need.

Don't use the hand squeezy thingie, it will make you slow.

And don't focus to much on the 1234 4321 scales. It gets boring real fast. I do that kinda **** sometimes when I'm watching tv or something on autopilot, but other than that, better learn some simple songs, and just mind your technique (alternate picking, using all 4 fingers) while playing them.

And about the chords: I felt the same way (guess we all did). In a couple of weeks/months these chords will be so easy you'll find yourself wondering how you could've ever found them hard. Just try some easy chord songs each day and just stop if you get too frustrated, try again tomorrow. You'll get there. We all did.

Good luck!
#3
oh yeah dude, the alternate picking is alright - I think I do it rather well for the amount I play, mostly cause I tried learning fast metal songs and the picking requires alternate picking. Everyone says that about the chords. I find it hard to believe, It's really frustrating, and how come it makes you slower? Just curious why you think that. thanks for the quick response
#4
Carry on with the lessons and work hard at what your teacher tries to teach you. Within a short time you'll be surprised at what you have achieved.

Like everything in life, set yourself small realistic targets and work hard to achieve them. The rest will follow.

And it isn't about being 'amazing' or being able to 'sweep'. Its about having fun and enjoying the music. I bet your friend has a lot of fun with his band, its always good fun to play with other musicians. When you've learnt more chords and stuff from your lessons ask your friend to come round and jam together. It'll help with your learning whilst being a lot of fun.
#5
I'm 34 and started in September - and I know for a fact I'm learning loads faster (and practicing more) than I would have as a teenager. In fact I reckon it would have taken me a couple of years to get to where I am now if I was doing this as a teenager, purely because I wouldn't have had the motivation or the concentration then (and I'm not speaking teenagers in general - just me before anyone takes offence )

If you're getting frustrated I'd suggest learning chords on an electric rather than an acoustic as it will take less physical effort to hold the strings down.

If you're struggling to play stuff, slow down. If you still struggle, slow down some more. WHen you reach a speed you can play it at stay there for a while. Doesn't matter if its less than half the speed it should be. Once you can play it fluently at that speed you'll naturally start to get faster anyway.
#6
This is a good way to do it. Just do what peeps here have said and what your teacher says, and you'll probably be past your self taught friend in a no time.
I'm so adjective, I verb nouns.
#7
well......all i can say is practice practice practice...we all had trouble when we were first learning...the only chord i ever had trouble with however was B....it took me a month to learn how to play it right...damn thing...just keep at it...even Jimi Hendrix started learning just like you are..btw..fade to black..awesome song..thats my fav Metallica Song
Last edited by darkwolf291 at Feb 11, 2009,
#8
you guys ****in rock - the replies this quickly is amazing, and yeah dude.. im practicing like mad.. I'v always loved music... and im really surprised to heae that man, alot of the younger guys can absorb so much more much quick ( not the teens, but younger ) and I agree on the concentration part. but can anyone tell me if the hand squeezer would hurt or help more? thanks again!

and yes, metallica is amazing.. can't wait to be able to play orion honestly. saw em live 2 weeks ago :O
Last edited by xva at Feb 11, 2009,
#9
I've heard a lot of people say the hand squeezer things can do more harm than good - if you are already getting a couple of hours practice in a day I'd just let your hands strengthen naturally from playing.
#10
hmm, I see, are there any specific ways to help the ability of your fingers stretch, like that stretch with Orion early on in the tab, that's something I can't do.. should I just keep doing it the natural way or is there anything that can help w/ that?
#11
Just play stuff with long stretches - like 3 note per string scales I guess. If you find something where the stretch is too large, move it up the fretboard a bit (where the frets are closer together) to where you can reach it, and when you get comfortable there gradually move it back to where you started.
#13
Quote by ElBarto2811

Don't use the hand squeezy thingie, it will make you slow.


Srsly? I spend 2 hours a day sitting on a train with nothing else to do so I was thinking of getting a gripmaster to get in some sly guitar-less finger excercises. Is this just an opinion or is there some logic behind it?
#14
Quote by JohnnyLee82
Srsly? I spend 2 hours a day sitting on a train with nothing else to do so I was thinking of getting a gripmaster to get in some sly guitar-less finger excercises. Is this just an opinion or is there some logic behind it?

thats exactly my thoughts too dude , anyone?
#15
Just to make this clear, I have no empirical evidence, this is just conjecture.

I'd guess that by using a squeezy ball you're training the muscles to perform a slow, rhythmic motion, giving you fingers a strong but slow grip. With guitar you want your fingers to be as agile as possible in order to move around the fretboard, so by teaching them a slow movement and developing the muscles for that you would likely harm your guitar playing.
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#16
Quote by Hidden Hippo
Just to make this clear, I have no empirical evidence, this is just conjecture.

I'd guess that by using a squeezy ball you're training the muscles to perform a slow, rhythmic motion, giving you fingers a strong but slow grip. With guitar you want your fingers to be as agile as possible in order to move around the fretboard, so by teaching them a slow movement and developing the muscles for that you would likely harm your guitar playing.


hmm.. maybe.. however, wouldn't a mixture be beneficial? I'v spent a good amount of hours playing the guitar with my hands hurting, im pretty sure it would feel rather similar as far as the soreness/pain if I used the hand grip for a bit, wouldn't it be alright to strengthen my hand for stamina, while still working on speed when playing the guitar?
#17
I don't really know but I would think those things would make my carpo worse.
#18
Be a sponge ... soak in all advice, practice .. get doing scales... and trust the process.

Sometimes you'll think you've plateaued and aren't improving as fast as you like, and then... whammo.. you suddenly notice your at a new level. I can remember as a youngun when moving from chord to chord seemed like a chore.... At some point over the years, I don't know when .. .that wasn't an issue anymore.

Sometimes practicing while doing other stuff helps... get the focus off. I used to practice while watching TV a lot. You work your dexterity, and strangely enough, you'll develop your ear because you'll start to learn to play all them cheesy commercials.
2001 Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Black/Gold
2008 Alvarez-Yairi DY40C
2004 Taylor 310
Marshall AVT275

Ex guits 2002 Ovation Elite, 1995 Seagull 12 BC Rich Gunslinger Snakeskin Various Yamaha Various Sammick Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone ES
#19
Quote by Hidden Hippo
Just to make this clear, I have no empirical evidence, this is just conjecture.

I'd guess that by using a squeezy ball you're training the muscles to perform a slow, rhythmic motion, giving you fingers a strong but slow grip. With guitar you want your fingers to be as agile as possible in order to move around the fretboard, so by teaching them a slow movement and developing the muscles for that you would likely harm your guitar playing.

Right now I haven't got time to counter that argument.... I will tho...

But for now.... I'll say this.... Bollox!!!