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#1
Ok, so I have been talking about learning how to play guitar for more than a few years now. I finally bought a DOT Cherry in December and have practiced maybe 3 times, 1 hour at a time. I have been using the Justineguitar.com and just get discouraged, not sure if I will ever learn how to play. I know 3 times, wtf, barely enough time to tune the guitar, lol. Guess I need some encouragement, 34 now and not sure how easy I will learn how to play this thing. I don't have an amp, just playing acoustically and really doesn't sound all that great, lol. I think I played more guitar hero than my REAL guitar. Not whining just frustrated with myself.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
#3
Find a song or a youtube video of someone playing a song you like which encourages you to play and want to learn.

I'd learn a song you want to learn first, a simple one for starters, then once you feel comfortable and happy knowing you have learnt it go back to the justineguitar.com lessons and keep alternating to keep you progressing.

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#4
Quote by mfarre03
Ok, so I have been talking about learning how to play guitar for more than a few years now. I finally bought a DOT Cherry in December and have practiced maybe 3 times, 1 hour at a time. I have been using the Justineguitar.com and just get discouraged, not sure if I will ever learn how to play. I know 3 times, wtf, barely enough time to tune the guitar, lol. Guess I need some encouragement, 34 now and not sure how easy I will learn how to play this thing. I don't have an amp, just playing acoustically and really doesn't sound all that great, lol. I think I played more guitar hero than my REAL guitar. Not whining just frustrated with myself.

Thanks in advance,
Mike


I don't know what you expect from three 1 hour practice sessions, get yourself back to justinguitar and start from the beginners coarse, also find your self a song you like that's easy, Justin has easy songs 1, 2 and 3 youtube vids but there are plenty others on youtube.

Learning guitar takes practice and perseverance, giving up after three hours because you can't play is just dumb. most people here measure there progress over a period of months not a few hours.
I wish I had tallent and ability.

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Last edited by Andy Jarvis at Mar 4, 2009,
#5
It took me months before I could play anything properly, mind you I have never been very dedicated. The key thing is just not to give up. Now I look back and wonder how I ever had trouble with some things. If you remain persistent, then you will get there. Sure it gets frustrating at times, but one day you will just notice a huge difference in your playing.

Also, maybe record yourself every 5 practice sessions or something, just so you can see evidence of the progress. It's probably already happening, you just havn't noticed it.
#6
learn songs you really like stick at it and get an amp
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#7
Discouragement is definitely a big problem in the beginning, but keep going! It's the only thing that'll make you good.
You should always try to keep your playing as interesting and fun as possible for yourself.
#8
Quote by mfarre03
Ok, so I have been talking about learning how to play guitar for more than a few years now. I finally bought a DOT Cherry in December and have practiced maybe 3 times, 1 hour at a time. I have been using the Justineguitar.com and just get discouraged, not sure if I will ever learn how to play. I know 3 times, wtf, barely enough time to tune the guitar, lol. Guess I need some encouragement, 34 now and not sure how easy I will learn how to play this thing. I don't have an amp, just playing acoustically and really doesn't sound all that great, lol. I think I played more guitar hero than my REAL guitar. Not whining just frustrated with myself.

Thanks in advance,
Mike

Learning how to play guitar is difficult and it's going to require a lot of work an patience. If you do learn how to play, though, you'll be rewarded with the ultimate prize: You'll be able to play guitar. I got frustrated a lot when I was first learning, but I kept telling myself that if I kept at it, I'd eventually be able to actually play guitar. That alone was enough to keep me going. I'd hear a certain artist I'd like and go, "It might take a really long time, but I'll eventually be able to do that!"

If that doesn't motivate you enough, then maybe guitar isn't for you. And that's not a bad thing at all. Different strokes for different folks, you know? But don't let your age discourage you for two reasons:

One, why does it matter that you're 34?? You're not trying to be a teen idol, are you? And let's assume you'll die at 80... that's 45 years of guitar playing! Imagine how good you'll be after playing guitar for 45 years! Haha.

And two: You shouldn't concern yourself with being wildly famous, but if that's what you really want, there are PLENTY of old guitarists who are still around. Plus, if you decide to play the blues or folk music, the older you are, the better.
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Last edited by BigFatSandwich at Mar 4, 2009,
#9
When i first started playing I had the same problem I thought that no matter how much I practiced I would never improve. But dont get down learn to play something that sounds really cool and really stick at it. And learning songs in small chunks helps alot.
#10
Well, obviously you should get an amp, as learning the workings of an amp is important to a guitarist, but yeah, find a song, or something about guitar that you really like and use that as motivation. If there was nothing that made you really want to pick up a guitar, then why did you do it?! =) but seriously, the better you get at guitar, the more fun you'll have. Like, it can be boring when you're learning theory and how to slide, bend properly etc. but when you can and start listening to awesome songs, looking up the tab and you tell yourself "Wait.....I could learn that!" is a great feeling.
#11
Well, everyone has said it so far, all of us sucked at first. But it takes dedication. You came to the right website though. We might play around a lot, but we don't mind helping. Keep up with those lessons, and if you don't have any real big obligations, lock yourself in your room and play like crazy. Practice and practice.

You can do it. We did.
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#12
I started at 34 - got lessons for my 34th birthday in fact! I would definitely recommend a decent teacher if you're struggling to teach yourself from scratch - knowing I've got a lesson in x days helps motivate me to actually practice (as oppose to just noodling and playing stuff I like or already know). A teacher will give some structure to your learning, and just the fact that someone will be there at the end of the week to listen to your progress, and that someone other than yourself has an interest in how you are getting on helps a lot - for me anyway.

And get an amp - even if its just a cheapy 10W practice amp. You can pick a real cheapie up for the price of a couple of beers, and even a crappy amp is infinitely better than no amp!
#13
Well, that's the same age as I was when I started last year. My advice, such that it is, is...

1. Either get an amp or get an accoustic.
Yeah, there are a few on here who'll extol the virtues of playing an electric sans amp, but as far as I'm concerned playing a lump of dead wood that sounds like a broken bed spring just isn't fun. Fun, of course, being the only reason to do this...

2. Getting starting is hard
When you first pick up that guitar, your fingers haven't got the first clue what to do. It's just totally alien to them. Consequently, it takes a few weeks (at, say, an hour a day) just to get a little bit of hand strength going, and to get the fingers used to the idea that they've got to do something a bit fiddly now. I'm not saying that a couple of weeks will get you to any kind of reasonable standard, just that those are the really difficult weeks to get over, because during that time you'll struggle terribly with even the most basic stuff. It's worth it though, and it doesn't take that long before you're looking back and thinking "Hehe, it used to take me five seconds to fret G major, and even then it sounded like poop... now I just kinda do it".

3. Forget the internet, get a book or two
In fact, get a really, really basic book or two. Go to Amazon, or your local bookshop if you prefer, and get a couple of absolute beginner books, and follow them slowly, and (more or less) to the letter. The reason I say go for books rather than the net is beginner books will not be overwhelming, and won't leave you looking for the next simple, basic lessons in amongst all the usual advanced technique stuff you find on the net. Or, to put it another way, learning a few open chords, a scale, "Amazing Grace", and all those other starter lesson thingies seems to be the right way to start, and getting distracted by pinch harmonics, 101 exciting things to do with a whammy bar, and stuff of that ilk really ain't gonna help.

4. Don't rush
For pure physical reasons (especially at our age), the learning curve at the start feels like the side of a skyscraper. A mistake (there were plenty more ) I made was to try and do too much too soon, especially in the first few months. My hands just weren't ready for it. This meant I put too much time into attempting things I wasn't quite ready for, and not enough building up the absolute basics. Okay, yes, pushing yourself forwards is always needed, but being able to recognise when you're attempting something that's just way beyond you is handy to. This is, again, why I recommend some starter books.

5. Once you've punched the air in delight once...
...it gets so much easier. No idea about everyone else, but every so often I have a "I can't believe I just got that right!" (cue whoops of delight, punching of air etc.) moment. They're wonderful. They make the previous evening's banana-fingered disaster just melt from the memory and drive me on. It doesn't matter if it's something amazingly basic - the first time I managed to repeat a few bars of a simple two chord progession over and over, in time to the metronome, at a reasonable pace, without messing it up - had me jumping around the room like I'd just sunk the winning put in the Ryder Cup, the buzz is still brilliant. Or I might just be odd

...and most importantly...

6. Practice
Quite simply, just do it. Utlimately, the only to learn to play the flippin' thing is to play the flippin' thing. Try and set aside some time as regularly as possible, and just work through whatever you're practicing at the point. Whilst "practice" sounds dull, it's not. Once you really start to make progress it's amazingly good fun.
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.
#14
Quote by mfarre03
Ok, so I have been talking about learning how to play guitar for more than a few years now. I finally bought a DOT Cherry in December and have practiced maybe 3 times, 1 hour at a time. I have been using the Justineguitar.com and just get discouraged, not sure if I will ever learn how to play. I know 3 times, wtf, barely enough time to tune the guitar, lol. Guess I need some encouragement, 34 now and not sure how easy I will learn how to play this thing. I don't have an amp, just playing acoustically and really doesn't sound all that great, lol. I think I played more guitar hero than my REAL guitar. Not whining just frustrated with myself.

Thanks in advance,
Mike

That's just it., you have to spend some time learning how to play before you'll be able to play anything.

The guitar isn't just something you can pick up and "do", at least not in the manner you're used to. It takes a good few months to get to grips with the purely physical aspects of having it there. It will feel like a big stupid piece of wood with razor wire attached to it for quite some time, you just have to knuckle down and work through the initial awkard period.

The wealth of information avaialble to you is also your biggest obstacle, it's hard to know where to start and matters aren't always helped when you get dozens of people offering contradictory advice, especially when many of those people aren't all that much further along than you are.

Best thing to do is set yourself realistic, short term goals and at this stage they will be really short-term....stuff like learning to tune the guitar, learning to play a single chord etc. This may seem tortuous, but the fact of the matter is that everything you do is building a foundation, and each one of those baby steps will will make the next one a little bit easier.

For the time being forget tabs and forget learning songs, just start getting a feel for the guitar. Learn to tune it and try to learn a couple of chords - E A and D are probably the easiest ones to get to grips with and you'll also be relying on those chords in some way or another for a good chunk of your entire playing "career". Start with the E chord, and literally all you're trying to do is fret that one chord cleanly so that all the notes ring out when you strum it, and likewise you want to be able to strum the chord cleanly and controlled. If you get dead notes then look to see why it's happening and try to remedy it - if you're not pressing down hard enough see if you can increase pressure a bit, if you're touching other strings then shuffle your fingers round a bit and get them out of the way.

Once you feel you're getting somewhere with the E chord do the same with A, and then D. Once you've got to the point where you can play each of those chords cleanly on a fairly consistent basis then you can look at putting them together and changing between them. You can also experiment with strumming patterns, this is best done with a single chord until you're a bit better at changing. Play around with the different patterns that you hear in songs and also experiment within the chord - pick the notes individually rather than strumming them all, that's going to help you build pick accuracy and control.

Most importantly go slow all the time, make sure you learn how to do something before trying to do it fast. Like with picking individual notes out of a chord, do it at whatever speed you need to for you to have complete control over your picking hand, that way what you're doing is training yourself how to do things the right way from the start - the more practice you get in doing those actions correctly the better you get at them, and as you get better at those actions you'll gradually find yourself performing them faster. If you rush though all that happens is you teach yourself the "wrong" way, and no matter how much you practice something if you learned it the wrong way you'll never get any better at it.
Actually called Mark!

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#16
I was there, only 3 months ago.

I remember looking at those pages on JustGuitar and thinking "what.. the.. hell.." And my fingers hurt, and I was pissed off and frustrated.

Learning guitar is LONG road. But after only 3 months I can "play" parts of a few songs that I like and I'm learning a few other bits. It's getting rewarding. Playing an E Chord has no reward, but once you string a few chords together you'll be much happier I'm sure.

I spent a decent amount of time finding tabs for songs that I liked, and I made a note of which ones looked easy. I then picked one of those (Seven Nation Army - White Stripes) and started to learn that. I still suck at it, but if someone heard me playing they'd be able to tell what song it's supposed to be

I know some people say forget songs etc. My personal approach is to spend a certain amount of time on technique and a certain amount of time on songs. When I started I knew no songs, so I was just focusing on being able to cleanly strum a chord. Then when I learned a riff or two I would spend a bit more time on the riff and a bit less time on the chords. But you still need to balance. And if you're still following JustinGuitar he'll get to the pentatonic scale soon too. Well worth learning.

Anyway - stay motivated. It's a very, very, very long road. But for me, being able to play a few riffs from some songs that I like is rewarding by itself, and I know that the only way I got here was practice, and the only way I'll get further is practice.

I'm 34 too. Even old folks can do it.
#17
I am also 34 and started playing about 8 months ago. The biggest thing for you to do at this point is just get used to having this chunk of wood and metal in your hands. Get used to how it feels and where each fret and string is. Soon, it will become second nature as to where things are.

Definitely start to do the easy chromatic finger exercises 1234 up and down the fret board to get your fingers used to working in sync with your strumming hand. Also learn a few scales so you can get used to playing on adjacent strings.

It will get boring after a while so also throw in an easy song here and there. It won't seem easy to you at all at this point, but really, all the techniques you could learn at this point are in the songs you will want to play.

Last thing is keep at it. There will be days and weeks that you just don't feel like you are going anywhere, but you really are.
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#18
I'm also 34, I just started playing 19 years ago

I can still remember how hard it was in the beginning though.
Actually called Mark!

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#19
Okay, so would everyone who's not 34 or thereabouts please leave the thread.
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.
#20
I'm 46 and although I've spent 28 years half heartedly playing ie strumming chords it was only 18 months ago I decided to take things a little more seriously, yes it's hard but I'm not for packing it in.
I wish I had tallent and ability.

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#21
I'm relearning at the age of fifty. When I first started many years ago, I'd literally fall asleep while practicing. The same repetitive motions, the same boring exersizes, over and over and over... That's how ya get good, at anything. Had I stuck with it throughout all the years, I'd be almost playing like all the great guitatist that I admire, instead of wishing.

CarpUK and steven seagull hammered it. Take their advise. Guitar isn't something ya learn to do overnight. besides what they noted, ya might wanna hookup with a someone that's at the same level guitar wise as youself and practice together once a week or so. Having a teacher is good, but having someone to bounce your enthusiasm off of really helps.

"Hey dude, check out this little riff I learned!! bowchickabowbow"

Blaze On!
Last edited by blazzingroach at Mar 4, 2009,
#22
I think you should start with these "babysteps" - tune the guitar (that's pretty important though), play the easy chords E, A and D and just get a feeling for the instrument. After you've done that, you can throw in some easy songs ( e.g. Seven Nation Army, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo). Don't stop when your fingertips hurt a bit, you mustn't stop playing when they do, soon enough they'll be hard enough.

I don't know JustGuitar, but I recommend you to get a book and a amp! Maybe you know somebody who is playing guitar, you can ask this person if there are any questions (or us of course, but here you'll get 1000 opinions from 1000 people). Or you can get a teacher.

I hope I helped you.

PS: This may be interesting:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/teach_yourself_guitar_part_one_-_making_the_decision.html

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/teach_yourself_guitar_part_two_-_working_with_your_instrument.html

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/teach_yourself_guitar_part_three_-_taking_the_first_steps.html

Even if you have these guides, you should get at least a real book
#23
Try making it more fun. See if you can find someone to jam with. (Plug for group in my sig coming) Bluegrass shows have hundreds of people of all levels of experience, and I've never seen snobbery from anyone in two decades of going.

If that's not your thing, maybe try recording yourself or finding a backing track to jam along with.
Bluegrass Rocks

CYNONYTE!

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#24
I actually find guitar a simple instrument to get started on. I played violin for 3 years, I had the finger strength and then I taught myself guitar with some tabs.

I've played for 1 month and I'm doing Crazy Train for the school talent show.
#25
Find a good song that you like but thats easy at the same time my teacher has been teaching me a couple songs latley and it really makes me want to play even more when I hear myself playing these songs that I love. I learned Dr. Feelgood 2 weeks ago and I was so excited that I could play it. Then I started learning Sweet Child O Mine this week and ive got the first riff in the intro pretty much down and I cant put it down now.
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#26
Quote by MetaMegaMagic
I actually find guitar a simple instrument to get started on. I played violin for 3 years, I had the finger strength and then I taught myself guitar with some tabs.

I've played for 1 month and I'm doing Crazy Train for the school talent show.


Yeah violin is way harder to play then guitar, and good for you.

Anyway my recommendation is to just practice some chords while watching tv. And if you can pick up your guitar everyday and play for at least 15 minutes. If you really wanna play buy a roland microcube for like $80 or whatever it is and play some power chords, they are fun and easy.

It's not as complicated as it seems just have fun and play your guitar everyday. The first week or two will be a bit of a chore but after that practice becomes fun because you can really see how you're progressing.
Switzerland is small and neutral! We are more like Germany, ambitious and misunderstood!
#27
I'm way too lazy to read all these, so here is my advice. Don't think about whether you want to be good or anything. Just play. And by just play, I mean use youtube, tabs, you know, whatever, to build up your knowledge. If you like it a lot you will progress and move past tabs, and ultimately mature as a player. If you sorta kinda like it, you might just pick it up every once in a while, but still enjoy it. The point is, don't think about it too much, just pick it up and play. Learn some chords, and play them. Then learn the pentatonic scale. Then learn songs. And before you know it, you can play it.
#28
Kill your guitar hero game. Destroy it, it represents everything lame about our society.
#29
To the person that said learn the E, A, and D chords, do that. I'm trying to learn some Dylan songs for my history of rock class (totally get to play guitar in class tomorrow! So excited) and I've had to put so much work into Mr. Tambourine man.

Sorry for the tangent. But yeah, I've been playing everyday for the past 3 months, thats when I started taking it seriously, and once you get better you will love practicing.

So, the best advice I can give you is this:

1. Learn your basic open chords. They will take you a long way. Don't be like me and decide that you want to play metal, and then when somebody asks you to jam say that you can't switch between your G and D very well.

2. Once you feel decent with your open chords, learn some basic Dylan songs, as they are all basic chord progressions. Seriously, it will help a lot

3. Learn your major, minor, and pentatonic scales, so that you can learn some improvision skills. If you're ever bored, its nice just to throw some basic solos out, because its a lot of fun and doesn't feel like you're practicing.

Good luck man. Stay driven, because I wish I had. Its a lot of fun after a while, so keep at it.

EDIT: Just one story for motivation- I was playing guitar in my dorm and this cute girl walks up and starts talking to me. I'm not good looking by any means, but shes talking to me, and asks, "How long did it take you to learn how to play?" I've only learned how to do almost everything I know in the past 3 months, so my reaction was, "Since when do I know how to play?"

You'll never be happy with how good you are, but after a while others will think that you are actually good. It really happens that quickly with any sort of dedication
Last edited by nightrain789 at Mar 5, 2009,
#30
Quote by Chetbango
Kill your guitar hero game. Destroy it, it represents everything lame about our society.


Where did the TS mention Guitar Hero?
I wish I had tallent and ability.

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#31
It took me about 3 months before I could mechanically play songs with reasonably smooth chord changes. Over the next few months afterwards I learn strumming patterns, could play faster and more accurately. More importantly I learnt to feel the music I was playing so I could pick out the patterns to play and get the tempo / changes correct. Now I am learning lead guitar it is quite easy to know what to play but the how to play it takes alot of practice like everything else with the guitar.
#32
Quote by Andy Jarvis
Where did the TS mention Guitar Hero?



In his original post.
#33
Quote by Chetbango
In his original post.



Ah, last sentance, missed that, sorry.
I wish I had tallent and ability.

Squier Vintage Modified Strat, Black with laquered 70s neck
Farida FLP-26
Vox VT20+
Ampkit for iPod
Jamvox (not impressed)
#34
Thanks for all the advise, its just the kick in the ass i needed, LOL. This weekend I should be picking up an amp, either from GC or the local pawn that I noticed a few. I pretty much got my D,E and A down, even though A kicks my ass, damn fingers seem so big. Hopefully when I get an amp everything will sound a lot crisper.
#35
Quote by mfarre03
Thanks for all the advise, its just the kick in the ass i needed, LOL. This weekend I should be picking up an amp, either from GC or the local pawn that I noticed a few. I pretty much got my D,E and A down, even though A kicks my ass, damn fingers seem so big. Hopefully when I get an amp everything will sound a lot crisper.



Check here for nice deals. How much do you want to spend on an amp? Sell your Xbox to get a better amp

http://buffalo.craigslist.org/msg/
#36
Quote by mfarre03
Thanks for all the advise, its just the kick in the ass i needed, LOL. This weekend I should be picking up an amp, either from GC or the local pawn that I noticed a few. I pretty much got my D,E and A down, even though A kicks my ass, damn fingers seem so big. Hopefully when I get an amp everything will sound a lot crisper.


Better than a sharp stick in the eye.
Get any kinda small amp to begin with and practice, practice, practice. Take some time and research to find the amp you want. Eventually you'll be spending all kinds of money on effects pedals looking for that certian sound. A lot of the modelling amps are effects laden and will help cut down on useless effects pedal purchases.
BLAZE ON!

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#37
I can't believe its been this long since I posted this. So...its almost 2012 and I haven't gone anywhere with my guitar but I still have it. We will try this again, I am going to stick with it this time. Thanks for everyone's advice, I read all the posts again.
#38
Have you tried getting a teacher? I think the psychological aspect of not wanting to disappoint your teacher due to not practicing can be a big impetus. My exams are next week, but I still feel the need to practice for my next lesson because I don't want to disappoint, in addition to not wanting to waste my money and time.

Do you have any friends who play guitar or any other instruments? I find it makes for quite a fair bit of motivation.

Find some music you like that you think aren't too hard, then work on them. I've found that my biggest advances are when I actually sit down and try and nail a song just out of reach.

There's really nothing you can do about the helplessness associated with picking up a new
instrument at first. You just need to convince yourself that it's going to be worth your time and get up your butt and start practicing. (It is, by the way. There aren't many other choices I've made that I think are better than making the decision to pick up the guitar.) I remember not actually being able to do anything on the guitar in the first few months, and I'd just play random notes on the guitar while lying down on my bed because I didn't have a real teacher guiding me.
#39
I do have a buddy that is lead singer/guitar in a band. He actually has my guitar right now because one of the pickups isn't working. Once he has fixed it we are going to sit down and play. I also bought my 8 yr old daughter a guitar for Christmas so I want to have some idea what I'm doing, lol (can't get upstaged by an 8 yr old).
#40
For me - it's every finished song that I play. As soon as you get it right, you get 100% motivation boost for playing longer and harder. Just need to find the right song, starting from very simple and easy ones, and going towards more complicated. The harder the song, the bigger the reward afterwards, and more motivation. I also hate learning all those chords, scales, etc - I hate theory, I just want to play, but in order to play good, you have to learn them, so it's a package deal, and when you want to learn so badly, you just make yourself go through all that theory.

A buddy is good, but difference between the buddy and a teacher, is that you have to pay the other one, and when you pay, you actually want to learn something, to get something out of what you paid for. Just my two cents.
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