#1
I've been practicing/playing electric guitar for about a month now. I'm having trouble with switching between chords, and moving from different notes fast enough. I'm not expecting to be playing like a professional already I just can't seem to build up finger strength and speed. I've tried going back and forth between two simple chords like E minor and E major but I can only do it at a very slow pace. I'm sure my setup might have at least a slight effect on it but I can't afford anything else for awhile. I use Rocksmith 2014 on 360, and various book sources since Rocksmith is missing parts on music theory/notation. Any recommended exercises/methods or advice to help me with this would be appreciated. Thank you

Setup:
Tye-ger Electic Guitar
Hollinger BC-08 Practice Amp
Ernie Ball Nickle Wound Guitar Strings
Planet Waves Guitar Picks

(I know its a crap setup but I'm not going to get anything better until I can play decently, then I will invest in better gear)
#2
Hi there,

Unfortunately it is just practice practice practice. I'am returning to guitar after 2 years off so I can fully sympathise as I'am having the same problems at the moment. Just take it slow and focus on moving between the different chords slowly so they are accurate and ringing clearly, then build up speed. It can seem this is very boring but it is essential to building good foundations in guitar playing. Keep going my friend, you will get there

Helen
#3
Yup, just practice. Everyone has been there.

What helped me when I was struggling to play more than one chord a minute, was finding really simple slow stuff that I liked, so I had at least something to play, a tune rather than just finger exercises.

REM's "Everybody Hurts" for instance, love that song, slow, easy and everyone can sing along with you. Had lots of fun with just those 4 chords (except for the bridge, where I let everyone go acapella cause I didn't know the chords )
#4
Sorry pal, a month is nothing. The best way for you to improve is to:

1. Really focus on playing it slow and well. If it takes one minute for you to change between so be it, it's better to play one chord a minute than to switch between them "okayish" at a faster pace. Slow down and do it properly, it will help you in the long run.

2. Somewhat like 1. Forget about speed altogether, you have only played one month. Way too many guitarists fixate on speed, even if they have played for many years and most of the time it's holding them back doing so. Focus on playing relaxed, playing accurately and playing cleanly.

I hope you take that advice to heart, cause if you do you have the potential to become really good. If not you might end up like some of the players i've met and taught. Either they are unsatisfied cause they learn stuff that is way above their head or they end up hurting themselves because they try to play stuff they are not physically ready for yet. Enjoy it, but take small steps.

Hope that was helpful to you.
Best Regards
Sickz
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#5
Thanks Sickz, I know one month is barely anything when learning to play, I just wanted to know if there was something I could to to help my accuracy, I will just take your advice and slowly build up
#6
Quote by poet666
Yup, just practice. Everyone has been there.

What helped me when I was struggling to play more than one chord a minute, was finding really simple slow stuff that I liked, so I had at least something to play, a tune rather than just finger exercises.

REM's "Everybody Hurts" for instance, love that song, slow, easy and everyone can sing along with you. Had lots of fun with just those 4 chords (except for the bridge, where I let everyone go acapella cause I didn't know the chords )


Great advice, find a slower song that you will enjoy playing and learn that as well to help. It will give you a goal and make working on your chord progressions more fun.

Helen
#7
I think that some of you will disagree with me, but learning by playing songs is really limiting... i say that because i've done it and i wasted a year on just playing couple of songs that i love and everytime i try to learn another it's like starting all over again.

So my advice is to follow a structure plan and learn guitar the proper way to avoid all the bad habits in your technique. there are so many websites and lessons in the internet for free and the best one is:
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-000-BeginnersCourse.php

i'm saying that 'cause i consider myself a beginner (if we forget about my 1st year of noodling around) i only practiced guitar properly for more than a year, so i feel your pain.

hope this helped

PS: sorry for my english
#8
I'm not learning guitar by just playing songs, I said I was having trouble switching between chords. Nobody can expect to be a good player by learning from just playing songs
#9
Well i play guitar for fun, so i'm not trying to be the next tommy emmanuel or something (i play acoustic) so i didn't practice guitar correctly that time...

For changing chords, check the link that i gave you, it sure helps.
#10
well lol I was in the same boat as you, I got the guitar like a year ago and just messed around but only for about the last month or two I have been serious about learning to play. I'm not looking to be a Jimi Hendrix kind of guy, I just want to learn to play well and have fun doing it. As long as its enjoyable to learn I don't really care about the time frame it takes.
#11
Start with chords changes where you only have to move one finger - like going from open A minor to the open C. You move your ring finger from the second fret of the G string to the third fret of the A string. Everything else stays put. It's also helpful to just practice moving your fingers from one chord to the next without actually strumming - it lets you focus on one thing at a time. Try doing that ten times, then start strumming after that. Another good chord change to practice starting out is G to E minor - that's just a tiny bit harder than A minor to C. The point is to try to find the easiest chord changes to practice first, and then move to the harder ones gradually. You will already have more co-ordination from practicing the easy ones by then and be better prepared to attempt the ones which are a bit harder.
Good luck with it. It does get easier!
#12
Quote by JacobyDB
Nobody can expect to be a good player by learning from just playing songs



Well, there's an army of great guitarists out there that would completely disagree with you, in fact, I'd even go so far as saying you CAN'T be a great guitarist without learning songs.
I've had guys turn up for auditions that could play some great riffs and lead, but knew almost no songs. What you going to do? Stand around on stage holding your willy waiting for your solo?
Its knowing how a whole song works that makes guitarists like Satriani so great for me, the fact that you could bring him in in any part of a song and he'll just slot straight in.

Anyway, I wasn't suggesting JUST learning songs, technique and scales etc are all important, but just as important is motivation, enjoyment and confidence.
I always make a point of ending a practice session on something simple, that I know well and that sounds good. Then no matter how badly the practice has gone, at least I'm putting the guitar down feeling good about it, rather than looking at it as an instrument of torture.
#13
Hi JacobyDB,

Moving your fingers efficiently between chords is something that I suspect is what you may need to work on. The idea is for each individual finger to move from its place in the previous chord in a direct line to its place in the next chord.

When most of us first learn to change between chords, we don't do this. We find, on inspection, that our fingers move far too much in one direction and then reverse and come back towards where they need to be in the new chord. To break this habit you have to practise changing between the chords extremely slowly. At these slow speeds you will have more control and be able to focus on keeping unused fingers relaxed whilst the relevant ones move.

This takes patience but the more you do it, the more it will gradually become a habit that will filter through into your playing.

Best wishes,
Stuart
#14
On the contrary to many peoples opinion's i think learning songs is an effective way of improving. As long as you challenge yourself and don't play things that pose no difficulties then you'll improve.
#15
Quote by vayne92
On the contrary to many peoples opinion's i think learning songs is an effective way of improving. As long as you challenge yourself and don't play things that pose no difficulties then you'll improve.



I agree with this learning songs can help you improve. If you go about learning songs that are challenging then you can make practice fun at the same time I have an hour of song practice. Other then that to the OP if you want your chord switches to be better then follow the advice that was given to you about following the beginners course by, Justin he has a set of exercises that will improve your chord switching. Basically his course will answer all the questions you have if you follow it properly, and not rush.


By the way don't even sweat the switching between chords you're at a month that's nothing it takes a while to get clean chord switches just go about learning the course like everyone's said above, and you wont have any issues. ^^^^

Here's a link to the website


http://justinguitar.com/
#16
Good advice here.

Justinguitar gets repeated over and over whenever these questions come up, and it is with good reason. Its probably the best, to the point free, "do it yourself" lessons out there. He will provide everything you need to know (for now) including hand strength, chord switches, what strings to use, etc...

I have "attempted" to learn before. I didnt really get it. The first sign of difficulty or frustration and I would hang it up. You really cant say "I cant". You need to say "I can't yet". Things are slow. Improvements are gradual, sometimes grueling. The process is a lifelong hobby. A month is a blip on the screen.

So now I think I have my head on straight to really get through the barriers. I use Justinguitar as a primary tool. Probably 6 days a week and going through very slowly. I also made a purchase of Rock Prodigy. It is OK. It doesnt feel quite as substantive as JG, but it does help. Many good exercises, and it has been very good in making a base in rhythm. Like everything else, it provides further familiarity with the fretboard and strings. I also use that 6 days a week.
On the weekends, I will mess around on Rocksmith and Bandfuse just to fart around, see if I can improve scores on songs, do some of the lessons/exercises, etc. Each time, I dive in, (because I only try every week or so), I find my scores are really jumping each time.

Having 4 environments of learning has really helped keep it fresh and motivating. This has by far been the longest "run" of learning I have experienced, about 3 1/2 months. Still a "baby", but I love it all I really want to do is play and keep progressing. Probably going to (eventually) get a few live lessons maybe in a year. I also have a "point system" in learning where I earn dollars to save for a new guitar/equipment (by the time I earn enough it would be a good purchase, not a waste).
Last edited by MayDay10 at Jan 27, 2014,
#17
I've just set up a blog of guitar lessons and exercises. I go through music theory, explain how to compose songs, and how to improve your technique with specific exercises. I set it up because when I was first learning, I had trouble finding things on the internet that could help me, so I'm setting up a free resource that will be of benefit to many. Have a look:

27fretguitarlessons.blogspot.com