#1
Hi everyone. Since about last week or two weeks ago, I've been trying to practice exercises and songs every day and to always tap my feet while I play. I've spent too many years not playing guitar seriously enough and now that I have time, I want to change that. That means working with a metronome, slowing way the f*** down until I'm comfortable, and gradually speeding up. I never did that before!

I decided to force myself to tap my foot because it could help me build the chops required to sing and play guitar at the same time (independence). I also realized that it helps me a lot when it comes to keeping time and being in sync with the groove. I suppose that my playing was probably very sloppy before!

But tapping my foot also makes things a lot harder for me, and I have to play even slower to keep paying attention to it. My instructor got me working on the intro to this song : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfgvsHn7Odw

It's ridiculously fast, so we're playing it slowly for now. The bpm is 109, but I have to go down to 44 (!!!) if I want to be able to play it correctly while tapping my foot on the right beats. Actually, I don't even feel completely at ease at this speed. Sometimes my foot misses a beat or stomps on an off-beat, which probably means that I should slow down even more.

As I said earlier, I've never really practiced seriously before, so I find it a bit disheartening that I have to play at a glacial pace for it to be perfect. I also noticed that tapping my foot along eighth notes instead of quarter notes is easier for me. I think I also need some kind of encouragements. Should I tap along eighth notes instead of quarter notes if I find it easier, or is it cheating? Am I practicing properly? I know that it's only been a few days, but will I make it eventually? Will I be able to play at more enjoyable speeds if I'm patient and if I keep practicing with the metronome? Should I slow down to an even more ludicrously slow speed?


Thank you for your help.
#2
I've been there. I had been playing around 5 years. I could move my fingers around but I didn't tap my foot and my timing was all over the place. So my ex-wife says "why don't you just quit? Your timing is awful". Yeah, she was "nice".
My response to this was a) Fu*k you. I'm not quitting! b) She has a point about the timing.
So I busted out the metronome, and made a point to tap my foot to literally everything I played.
My playing improved quite a bit, and my basic rhythm improved really quickly. Trickier subdivisions take a lot longer to get decent at, but it doesn't take long for the basic stuff that you play 95% of the time to get a lot more solid.
The only advice I have (other than to stick at it!) is to take something a bit easier than the intro to the song, and work on getting it solid while tapping your foot first. Sometimes it goes faster if you just find the easiest thing you can first, get it down, then keep moving on to gradually more complex rhythms. That way your learning more from a position of strength rather than staring up at this mountain of difficulty! I think working on something easier will also solve the issue with wanting to tap eighths instead of quarters. When you go really slow, it gets hard to subdivide the beat evenly, which is why eighths is easier at that tempo. With something easier, you won't need to go as slow, and it will be easier to tap quarter notes at that tempo.
#3
Trust me, playing at snails-pace may not look like it'll help you much, but before long, you'll play much faster than that and you'll still have correct timing.
Gear:
Jackson Dinky (JB+59) > TC Polytune Noir > TS808 clone > DOD 250 > Modded RAT > CH-1 > GE-7 > TC Flashback > Plexi Clone