#1
Hi All ,

Thanks ahead of time for the advice. FYI ,Im 42 yrs andI have taken exactly 5 guitar lessons and I have every intention of sticking with it .

I Have some questions

I can devote about 1-2 hours per day 5 days a week to practice Minimum .I actually been practicing 7 days since I started .

How should I split up my time that I have to practice?
What should I be working on ?I seem to pick up on the Chord shapes very well but have a ton of trouble switching from one to another.The music stops during a change.Any pointers on how I can improve this ? I specifically have trouble going to C Major chord no matter what chord Im on . Any advice would be appreciated.I just got a metronome can this help me and if so how should I use it?
#2
When you are in the beginning stages like that the only thing you need to do is play play play. Play until your fingers bleed! When I began I just focused on chord shapes like you are doing and from there I went on to learning easy riffs from my favorite songs. And yes play to your metronome, using a metronome will get you playing accurately and fast in no time. What you want to do is align whatever you are playing on and between the beeps. I am a terrible teacher I don't explain things well, but I am sure someone here will explain how to use the metronome better than I just did. Anyhoo good luck!
Barf

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#3
For any and all chord positions there's two things you have to figure out.. First hold your C position, now think about where you're going.. For example, lets start at c and go to Em chord.. normally I'd play an Em with my ring and middle finger.. But if Im about to switch off from C I can leave my middle finger on the second fret of the D string(4th) lift my ring finger, use the middle as an anchor and lift my index finger up and over to the A string 2nd fret. So always try and look at what the chords have in common, sometimes you dont have to lift one or 2 fingers. Sometimes you can slide a finger up or down a fret, or just slide it over one chord.

As far as the metronome, the metronome is a great big deal of help. It's much easier to have this explained on youtube, where you can hear the guitar in action with the metronome. But as basic tip to first get use to it, start your metronome, if the "clicks" are too quick find something that says "BPM" and lower it, on older models they have a lever like thing I think that slows down the BPM (beats per minute) Now lets say you're holding the A chord, you'd play it each time you hear the click WHILE counting in your head "1...2...3..4" for each time you strummed.. After the 4th strum, switch to another chord, play it 4 times with the metronome and switch.. just a basic exercise to help get you used to rhythm.

As far as your practice sessions go.. Start off the day with a stretching exercise. Most everyone usually develops some sort of warm up exercise they do before they start practicing. For a beginner I'd say go with a stretching exercise, can be found all over this site. Learn as many songs as you can, go to youtube and type in the search bar (easy songs on guitar" or you can use this site and to the right of the search bar click "advance" and you'll see a "Difficulty" choice, chose novice and click search all. The songs will help you get different strum patterns down, little riffs, ect ect. You want to try and condition your fingers, get them use to holding strings, get your fretting hand use to strumming and picking, just spend a good few months doing the most simple basic things you can till your fingers are strong and flexible.
Last edited by sparta09 at Jun 27, 2010,
#4
First of all congrats on learning guitar. You have years of enjoyment and sometimes frustration ahead of you but it is worth it!!

Certainly use a metronome but I will address your chord change problems. When learning open chords it's very important to practice, practice, practice. I would recommend doing one minute chord changes and pick 2 chords. Say C and D. Set a timer and strum and switch between those two chords for one minute, counting the changes. Eventually your speed will improve as well as muscle memory. Soon your fingers will just go where they need to be. Be sure to include all the open chords in this practice and make certain your strings are ringing out (chords are being played accurately etc.)

Good luck and you will get there! I promise!
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