#1
I've been playing about a week now. This isn't a thread to say "oh my god, why am I not shredding yet"?. It's a thread looking for insight. I'm 18 and playing an instrument has always been something I've wanted to do. I finally decided to do so and I'm loving it. So far I play about 1-2 hours a day. I've got most chords down to where I can switch in and out of them no problem, but once I try to put them together for a song it just gets ugly. I can play smoke on the water, took all of 5 minutes. I also began the beginning of stairway to heaven, It doesn't sound just right yet. I'm not sure when most people learn their first song, but I'm dieing to learn "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. No, I don't play on playing this for a special lady or anything of that sort, but this is the song that made me really go "Wow, guitar is a beautiful thing". During the time that I do practice each day I run through these things
1.) Chromatic scale, 4 fingers, 4 frets, starting from E, playing each fret
so 1/Pointer, 2/Middle, 3/Ring, 4/Pinky, then going down A,D,G,B, and onto E and then backwards starting this time with Pinky.
2.) Practice chords and moving fingers from let's say a D to G while making sure I don't play the top 2 strings on the D.

Pretty much what I do as of now, my questions are
1.) What can I do besides chromatic scale to improve speed?
2.) Is there a better way to increase accuracy besides doing what I'm doing, Just slowly going between chords.
3.) I can switch between chords quickly, but once I try strumming them into a song it just becomes a big mess. I can easily go D,Down,G,Down,C,down. Once it becomes DDUUDU, dear god...What might be the problem?
4.) I'm not taking lessons at a music shop, I'm self teaching myself and my friend who's been playing for 8 or so years helps me out. What should I do to improve? If what I'm doing is all I can do for now, I'll do it. Thanks for reading sorry for the wall of text. =)
#2
To improve lateral speed try some single string alt picking
ex: (---12-15-13-15-12-15-13-15-12-10-13-12-13-10-13-12-13-10-8-12-10-12-8-12-10-12-8--etc)
It has a nice neoclassical sound rather than sounding like an exercise.

To improve accuracy try some string skipping stuff, that also helps your muting.

Also something that I can not stress enough is AURAL TRAINING! Learn to play things by ear, trust me, it helps tremendously.
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#3
You said you've been playing a week now?
Hmm, I suggest finding simple songs you like to play, it's how I started off.
Songs like-
Times like these-Foo Fighters
Seven Nation Army-White Stripes

These were some I first got.
As for the chromatic scale, that's good . Just keep that up and it should be enough for speed, you might not see much improvement quickly but be patient.

Quote by jmeyer1022
Once it becomes DDUUDU, dear god...What might be the problem?

A good tip here is for anything you can't immediately do, slow it down. No matter how slow as long as it's correct. Than speed up when your confident at your pace.
Hope that helps
#4
The chromatic scale isn't going to increase your speed. Using it as the basis for exercise can, however, contribute to developing dexterity and finger independence provided you mix things up a bit. Dexterity and finger independence are two of the factors that determine how fast you'll be able to play, so it'll help...but it's important to be aware of why you're actually practicing something, you're not practicing "to get fast".

Likewise speed comes from accuracy, and the only way to get accurate is to play slowly so you perfect the movements required to play asomething, being as controlled and economical as possible. Only when you actually know how to play something should you worry about playing it any faster.
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#5
Update:
I picked up A and E chords today as well as learned Three Little birds by Bob Marley.
My only thing is, I love playing guitar. Unlike when I did other things I find I can practice as much as old hobbies. My fingers are toughening up nice, but today my knuckles are killing. Would icing them help at all? Or should I take a day or two off?
#6
Your knuckles shouldn't hurt ever.

I'm not a pro guitarist or anything but I think you should look into some guitar technique and make sure you're holding the guitar properly and doing the right wrist movements for the chords or whatnot.

Or maybe MY knuckles didn't hurt.
#7
I looked it up in google, I asked my mom who's an RN, it's muscle pain in my fingers from playing to much. I guess like pulling a hamstring in a race if you jump right into it. It's more at the base of the fingers rather than the knuckles. Thing I saw just said stretch/warmup before.
#8
I looked it up in google, I asked my mom who's an RN, it's muscle pain in my fingers from playing to much. I guess like pulling a hamstring in a race if you jump right into it. It's more at the base of the fingers rather than the knuckles. Thing I saw just said stretch/warmup before. Other things I read said arthritis, but I'm 18 so I'm doubtful