#1
I've been playing guitar on and off for a month. Learned some from my cousin(that's how I started) and then came home from Thanksgiving. Didn't have strings for a bit, and then couldn't tune it, had it tuned, and guitar was so old and damaged from moving that the frets were vibrating off each other thus sounding like a drum around 9-14 on E-D. Got an electric for beginner, it's a Les Paul Special II, and it was with the all access amp pack, so have a 15w amp with reverb and all those goodies.

So my problems as a guitar player: I'm having trouble with picking control. When I'm just messing around trying to master power chords, I can't help hitting other strings, and over-all just have a hard time. So what advice can you give on picking and strumming control? Does it take a lot of time to totally master? How can I hit only those three strings?

It's not really a problem, but just like fretting, what can help me get better at it? Switching chords, power chords, and what not. And holding down a bunch of strings next to each other on the same fret, and holding them down all the way: does it get easier the more callused your fingers are? Or do I just have really weak girly arms?

Lastly, I want to know how you progressed when you first started playing guitar. Tell me if you locked yourself up and just played and played and progressed very slowly, or if within two hours of picking up a guitar you could shred out a whole song without missing a note. I've been playing for a month, but haven't had much of a chacne to play(When I get back in school, I'll practice like crazy). I can play a scale, I have eight chords memorized that I can put together, and I have pieces of songs like Seven Nation Army, One, You Really Got Me, Stairway To Heaven, Smoke On The Water, Sunshine Of Your Love, Enter Sandman, and Nothing Else Matters. So tell me how you progressed and what you think of my progress.

I think I covered it all. Give me all the advice you got, warn me about what might be really hard, and just anything you got to give out of playing guitar!
#2
After only playing for a month, you have nothing to worry about. Most of guitar technique takes seconds to learn, but years to master. Like everything else in life, it just takes practice.
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.
#3
Basically, you're doing everything perfectly right. Learning beginner/intermediate songs, practicing often, looking to progress in the right place. (ultimate-guitar ftw)

Honestly the only tip I can give you, and even after playing guitar for nearly a decade it's helped me quite a bit. Anyway, I would honestly suggest getting a subscription to Guitar World magazine. I know a lot of people might disagree and I can't blame them, but there are some really excellent techniques shared in those magazines.

Oh, and if you'd really like to know...

I started off the exact same way you did, except I had a $100 pawn shop guitar and a 17 year old 30w Crate amp. But that didn't stop me, I played all day every day, not necessarily learning songs. But more-so just trying to figure out what the hell to do with my hands.

Some of the first songs I learned were; One, Nothing Else Matters, Fade to Black, Emily, Minuet, Wish You Were Here, Santeria, What I Got, and Highway to Hell.

I was always more of an improvisation person though, I would turn on songs and just play shit I thought sounded good over it thinking I was writing songs. lol

I think the most important thing I discovered during my playing was alternate picking, I spent four years playing guitar without even hearing about alternate picking. The second you can start developing and mastering that technique, is the second you start becoming a faster player.

I'm not saying speed is everything, 'cause I still can't play fast myself. But for when you do need that speed on a riff you've been working on, you've got it.

The best advice I can give you is; Don't let anyone tell you that you can't play, don't let frustration and lack of ability stop you from playing, and finally, please... Please... Rub it in everyones face that you can play guitar, they love that. ;-)

Good luck :-)
Last edited by AlexzGuitar08 at Dec 28, 2009,
#4
Quote by Kaitlynnsguitar
So my problems as a guitar player: I'm having trouble with picking control. When I'm just messing around trying to master power chords, I can't help hitting other strings, and over-all just have a hard time. So what advice can you give on picking and strumming control? Does it take a lot of time to totally master? How can I hit only those three strings?

Only thing is to slow down, concentrate on your picking hand and make sure those are the only strings you're hitting. A lot of guitar problems are solved by slowing down and practicing.

It's not really a problem, but just like fretting, what can help me get better at it? Switching chords, power chords, and what not. And holding down a bunch of strings next to each other on the same fret, and holding them down all the way: does it get easier the more callused your fingers are? Or do I just have really weak girly arms?

It'll get easier when you've got your callouses. However, make sure you're not fretting too hard. Lightly rest your finger on the string (but don't press down) and start picking the string, as you're doing this slowly increase the amount you're pushing down on your finger until the note sounds right to you. That'll let you know how hard you should be pressing.
A lot of beginners end up tensing their hands and having some kind of weird demon claw when playing, this isn't what you want. Relaxation is key (in all aspects of guitar).
Lastly, I want to know how you progressed when you first started playing guitar. Tell me if you locked yourself up and just played and played and progressed very slowly, or if within two hours of picking up a guitar you could shred out a whole song without missing a note. I've been playing for a month, but haven't had much of a chacne to play(When I get back in school, I'll practice like crazy). I can play a scale, I have eight chords memorized that I can put together, and I have pieces of songs like Seven Nation Army, One, You Really Got Me, Stairway To Heaven, Smoke On The Water, Sunshine Of Your Love, Enter Sandman, and Nothing Else Matters. So tell me how you progressed and what you think of my progress.

You sound like you're being more sensible than I was, I started out trying to shred and needless to say failed abysmally! After a lot of misery and time wasted I finally sat down and started practicing things more on my level. I'd play for 8-10 hours a day, I still do sometimes, but mostly now I'm playing 4/5.

I think I covered it all. Give me all the advice you got, warn me about what might be really hard, and just anything you got to give out of playing guitar!

A few important bits of advice:
- Don't neglect your pinky.
- Relaxation is important!
- Thumb of the fretting hand should be behind the neck of the guitar unless you're doing bends or vibrato.
- Don't anchor your right hand.
- Alternate picking is good.
- Oh, and, try sitting in the classical position, you might like it

Good luck, have fun and I hope you get everything you're looking for from guitar.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Last edited by Aleksi at Dec 28, 2009,
#5
A lot of what I would say has been said by the good dudes above but I want to emphasize that playing and practicing very slowly at first will help immensely down the road, especially when it comes to chord changes. Concerning your powerchord issue and hitting adjacent strings. I will actually hit more strings than just the 3 used by the powerchord but I use my index finger to deaden the strings I am not playing by just laying it across them without pushing down. Something which might work for you as well
#6
This is all really good advice! It's kind of nerve wracking to think that you're not getting any where and you're not progressing around two weeks after when you first start playing.