#1
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums. Just thought I would ask your opinion on my dilemma. I picked up the guitar about five months ago. I practice, at the very least, forty minutes or so a week. All of this time has passed and I still cannot finger basic chords like G, D, C without string mute. And forget about changing between them! The only chords I can sometimes change cleanly between are Em and A, and I've been working on them since the beginning. If I skip a day of practice I come back the next day and the strings seem really hard to press down and my muscle memory isn't that good. Some days I truly feel like I am getting worse. My fingers are sore and get all dry but never seem to form callouses. I know that it takes a lot practice and years of playing to become a great guitarist but shouldn't I be able to do a few basic chord changes to play a simple song by now? I don't want to give up but I feel hopeless. I don't know what to do, with this rough economy I don't have enough money for lessons. Thanks in advance, I'm sure you guys get quite a few of these posts.
Last edited by nosedive22 at Sep 27, 2009,
#2
40 mins a week? If it's possible, try playing for at least 15-30 minutes a day. that will work much better. Don't practise only once a week, you basicly have to start over every time at your level
#3
You need to practice a lot more than 40 minutes per week. Bare minimum, an hour a day. Things will get a lot easier from there. And yes, you're right, it does take a while, and you'll probably hit a few ruts on the way. Just keep at it, it gets a hell of a lot easier.
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
no seriously 7x NGD is epicness i declare you the winner of all NGD's on UG never have i seen this xD
#4
Quote by nosedive22
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums. Just thought I would ask your opinion on my dilemma. I picked up the guitar about five months ago. I practice, at the very least, forty minutes or so a week. All of this time has passed and I still cannot finger basic chords like G, D, C without string mute. And forget about changing between them! The only chords I can sometimes change cleanly between are Em and A, and I've been working on them since the beginning. If I skip a day of practice I come back the next day and the strings seem really hard to press down and my muscle memory isn't that good. Some days I truly feel like I am getting worse. My fingers are sore and get all dry but never seem to form callouses. I know that it takes a lot practice and years of playing to become a great guitarist but shouldn't I be able to do a few basic chord changes to play a simple song by now? I don't want to give up but I feel hopeless. I don't know what to do, with this rough economy I don't have enough money for lessons. Thanks in advance, I'm sure you guys get quite a few of these posts.


So are you only getting in like 6 minutes of practice a day? I've been playing for about 2 hours everyday for the past 4 years. I'm barely adequate imo. If you want to be good at something, you have to find the time and put effort into it.

If you practice maybe an hour a day on a certain technique for a full week, you may find a noticable difference.
#5
Do you have small hands?

And yes, that is not enough practice at all.

I thought I didn't practice enough at all and I'm usually at least doing two half hour sessions a day.
meh
#6
40 minutes a week will get you nowhere. AT LEAST 30 minutes a day. and that is a bare minimum.
#7
I had a similar problem...i got the guitar in february of this year and all of a sudden it clicked...i play much more than 40 minutes a week though...and until july or so i didnt focus much on chords cause i wasnt good at them...just tough it out and practice more...it will come to you but it just takes patience and time...
#8
I agree with what everyone has said. It will take commitment to get better at anything we do. Also, if you play more & continue to progress too slow for your liking - try lessons. Sometimes, a teacher giving you direction, showing you what you need to do, can be a big help.
#9
Wait till you get calluses, then you'll be like
"wow I'm Kirk Hammett!!"
Gear:
Yamaha F310 acoustic
Ibanez RGR321ex
Peavey Vypyr 30
#10
Quote by falconthefirst
Wait till you get calluses, then you'll be like
"wow I'm Kirk Hammett!!"


And when you gain experience, you'll realize how naive you were when you said that
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
no seriously 7x NGD is epicness i declare you the winner of all NGD's on UG never have i seen this xD
#11
Thank you for all of the replies, I appreciate it. I think my problem is if not a lack of practice, inconsistent, sporadic practice. Today I played off and on for about three hours and after just half an hour of focusing solely on the G chord was able to finger and strum it multiple times, a big accomplishment for me! I am going to make more time for guitar and keep plugging away. I will continue to stalk the forums. Thanks again.
#12
After you got those down try power chords - then barre chords.
Gear: Lindo victory flying V, Orange 30w practice amp, Jazz iii guitar picks, mobile phone apps for tuner and metronome.
#13
I've been at it 2 months, I feel like I got a decent grasp on my open chords.
There are a few things that helped me a lot.
1.) Practice slow, as perfect as you can. Speed will come after your mind feels comfortable with what it's doing
2.) Stretch out. Warm up before playing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvhZ80OsuTQ&feature=PlayList&p=FA239CA8EF73CEC9&index=3
Follow that video as best as you can. One finger at a time, at first you'll def be moving other fingers just do your best not too. And once again GO SLOW.
3.) Have a practice routine. I'm currently following
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-000-BeginnersCourse.php
4.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn3tR6ODaBs
#14
Trey Spruance - I will do that, thanks!
jmeyer1022 - He is fantastic, and very easy to understand. Thanks so much!
#15
Quote by nosedive22
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums. Just thought I would ask your opinion on my dilemma. I picked up the guitar about five months ago. I practice, at the very least, FOURTY MINUTES OR SO IN A WEEK. All of this time has passed and I still cannot finger basic chords like G, D, C without string mute. And forget about changing between them! The only chords I can sometimes change cleanly between are Em and A, and I've been working on them since the beginning. If I skip a day of practice I come back the next day and the strings seem really hard to press down and my muscle memory isn't that good. Some days I truly feel like I am getting worse. My fingers are sore and get all dry but never seem to form callouses. I know that it takes a lot practice and years of playing to become a great guitarist but shouldn't I be able to do a few basic chord changes to play a simple song by now? I don't want to give up but I feel hopeless. I don't know what to do, with this rough economy I don't have enough money for lessons. Thanks in advance, I'm sure you guys get quite a few of these posts.




seriously man do at least an hour a day and you'll definately get somewhere
DO YOU LIEK ME???

cause i dont like you


Quote by Floods_Solo
Lol. If insomniac's were called something less cool like "cock lords" or something I bet there would be significantly less people claiming to be it.
#17
Maybe you're trying to learn to much at once? When I first started I worked on one or two new chords every week and practice changing to and from those new chords. Try to do chords that are close to start with. Like E to Am or C to F (non-barre, or barre if you really want to ;p). Those are pretty easy changes and it'll get your fingers moving. I'd say practicing an hour a day is good. Thirty minutes at a bare minimum. Once you get hooked the problem will be making yourself stop!
#18
The first step is always the hardest... u need to have an extra effort into ur training regime dude...

look for it in UG Lesson... there are so many lessons that will help u with that...

hope u will get better and enjoy ur musical journey
#19
Quote by BlockFour
Maybe you're trying to learn to much at once? When I first started I worked on one or two new chords every week and practice changing to and from those new chords. Try to do chords that are close to start with. Like E to Am or C to F (non-barre, or barre if you really want to ;p). Those are pretty easy changes and it'll get your fingers moving. I'd say practicing an hour a day is good. Thirty minutes at a bare minimum. Once you get hooked the problem will be making yourself stop!


Personally, I think the F chord (barre, I could never even get my fingers to do fret a non-barre one) was a toughie, and I actually still think it is. That is, if you're transferring from open to barre, because the barre is so darn close to the neck.

If I were you, I'd learn the open chords, then some power chords, and when you can play the power chords pretty well, move to barre; basically, the chords will stretch your fingers, then powerchords will help you mute with your fretting hand (whilst preparing for barres, because the index finger plays a major role in fretting these) and the barre chords will then be much easier to do.

After you got those 3 chord types down, try and mix in additional notes (as in, learn to play chords like an Amadd9 or a C7). Knowing some basic theory will help a lot with this as well, because you can then construct your own variations of chords instead of textbook chords lol.
#20
If you've been averaging 40 mins a week for 5 months you're only going to be the standard you'd have been if you'd practiced 40 mins a day for 2 or 3 weeks.

A callus is an especially toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation (thanks wiki). Since repeated contact is required, if you're barely spending any time playing you won't form calluses.

If you want to get better you have to put the time in and work at it
#21
Take your little accomplishments and build from them. You said you were able to get the G chord, well, that is a milestone for you so build from it and now learn to transition. Make little goals and when you reach them it makes you feel much better and almost revives your ambition to play.
Gear:
Fender Strat
Epi Joe Pass Signature
Epi LP Plus Top
Jackson Dinky
Fender Hot Rod Deville 212
#22
Quote by Rio38
Take your little accomplishments and build from them. You said you were able to get the G chord, well, that is a milestone for you so build from it and now learn to transition. Make little goals and when you reach them it makes you feel much better and almost revives your ambition to play.

+1

It's better to make a bunch of smaller goals instead of a couple big ones. You'll feel more confident in you playing. Just take baby steps.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#23
You guys are awesome. Last night I planned a little schedule of what I would like to work on and I've been spending most of the day practicing and I'm already noticing tiny little improvements here and there. It's still seems super hard but maybe there is hope after all.