I'm going to say I've been playing for a solid 6 months. Since work started I have not been practicing, been too tired. (Building windows is not the easiest job in the world, I fear for my hands every day I go to work, haha.)

But to the point. Over these several months, I believe I have been doing things all wrong. I know a hand full of open chords. I used to know a whole lot more, then I dropped guitar for a while, I think school played a part in that one.

So I know a few chords, and a song or two.

What I noticed, is when changing chords with a strumming pattern, I'm much more accurate, but then, here I am learning Coffee break by forever the sickest kids, and the intro is like C to Em7. They're single notes, and trying to change chords for that is just insanely hard compared to actual strumming patterns.

I have tried to learn barre chords, I don't have the strength yet.

So basically, what I am seeing here, is I have to attack the guitar from a different angle.

So, I know a few chords, a song or two, bits and pieces of a couple others I've been working on.

I need somewhere to go with this now. Something to practice. I've been around the net a few times, found some helpful info, like justin guitar, but his shit is so boring.

So, in my position where should I start, Problems with chord changes, sometimes with strumming patterns but def with single notes, those ones just kill me every time.
Learning barre chords is a must for me, some helpful tips for that would be awesome.

Where should I start?
Last edited by Halt at Jul 28, 2011,
Hey there! Where you should start definitely depends on your goals for the guitar, so once you know where you want to go with it you'll know where to get started

From what i can garner it seems you want to focus on acoustic guitar or at least songs with full chords in them. One thing to keep in mind is that six months is not a very long time when it comes to practicing guitar, it takes years to fully master it! but I'm confident that with some good focused practice you can start making quick progress right away!

When it comes to chord changes, it can be tricky to get these down. It is for the most part, just getting muscle memory to take care of the job. Some good ways to practice chord changes are look at what chord changes are giving you trouble, and just spend time focusing on switching between those chords as fast as you possibly can. Have your hand in the position of the first chord, then quickly switch to the next one until you can execute the switch flawlessly every time. Also, try to make sure your fingers move as little as possible in the switch, if you move them too far away from the fretboard, it will take much longer for the switch than if you move them just as much as needed. You can practice making these chord changes just while strumming, or you can try the single notes (picking single notes in a chord shape is called an arpeggio) and focuse on switching chords while playing in an arpeggio pattern!

As far as barre chords, those can take a little bit to build up strength. One way to practice barre chords and build up strength is just to try to hold down a barre chord and strum it once, holding it down, trying to make sure every played is ringing out. Keep adjusting until you can get every string to ring out, and then keep practicing this. The best way to build strength for barre chords is just to play barre chords If you keep at it you'll be a barre chord pro in no time!

THe main idea is to break down what you need to work on and just working on it individually, then when you've gotten better with it, pull it all together by playing the song.

Hopefully this helped!!! If you have any more questions or are confused on anything, let me know! Keep rockin!

Quote by Halt
Since work started I have not been practicing, been too tired. (Building windows is not the easiest job in the world, I fear for my hands every day I go to work, haha.)

There is your problem. You aren't practicing. How do you except to get any better if you don't practice? It's important to understand though that playing guitar and practicing are different things. When you practice, you are aiming to get better; when you are playing guitar your just messing around playing songs, and doing whatever you feel like. Two different things. If you want to get any better at guitar, you need to practice more. Even just 20 minutes every single of concentrated, focused practice will yield results at a decent pace. It's also important to practice every single day. It's like a boiling cup of water, if you don't keep on heating it it will cool.
If you have 1 hour to practice per day, try doing 20 minutes of songs with difficult strumming patterns (something within your range, but still a challenge), 20 minutes of single note lines and 20 minutes of songs/technique on bar chords. If you have 30 minutes, do 10 minutes of each. Just break down each area and you will notice a difference if you stick at it. Good luck!
I am very aware that practicing and playing are two different things and that practicing is very important. I know what I need to work on, as I stated in my post, its just where to begin?

I've also seen video after video, I've learned a lot from them too. And yeah 6 months really isn't a long time for playing guitar. Something that I can't do, is get a guitar teacher. I'd have to drive over an hour to get a "good one" The only one in town is pretty terrible. (I live in a small town.)

Again, I'm just looking for a starting point for things i mentioned in my first post. barre chords are something of a must for me, I have tried to learn them but I just can't seem to get them to work. I'm probably going about it the wrong way or something.

But yeah, I'm tired of watching videos. If anything give me a starting point and I'll work on those things and come back later when I've got them down, and go from there.
As far as I can tell you are fine with chord progressions just you cannot do barre chords right?
If you don't have the strength all it takes is practice, your fingers will eventually get strong enough. How quick however depends on how often and how long you work at it each practice.
Ohh ok I see what you mean now.

For starters, judging by your analysis of what you need to work on, you want to focus more on chord work, and playing songs where the guitars play chords, am I correct?

If that is the case, start with your open chords, specifically the CAGED shaped chords (try going on justinguitar.com and check out his lesson, they are great lessons).

Speaking of Justin Sandercoe, he has a website called justingutiar.com. His lessons are all free, and are very oprganized and structured. He even has a course for complete beginners. I would check that out. He starts you off with the basics, and teaches you what you need, and does so in an oganized way, progessively getting harder and harder in difficulty. I wish I knew about him when I started playing guitar myself, would have saved me from a lot of research.