#1
Hey all, been playing guitar for about a year (well a year in may then quit for two months but have really picked it back up the last three weeks)

I'm not quite sure how to assess my progress or if theres anything wrong but I read stuff on the net about people being able to play most rock rhythms in less than 6 months and here I am at a year and I'm not to that point, I don't feel I'm doing anything wrong with my hand technique; it seems to me just a matter of the muscle in my hands (my hand gets very obviously fatigued like it's just not up to snuff yet) but that seems a matter of practice and I am practicing pretty hard

perhaps it's something that just comes when it comes and I shouldn't compare myself to other people (it is strange though; I def wasn't lagging in my guitar class starting out and got compliments on my hand movements) or maybe these other people are playing electrics and acoustic takes longer or have played other musical instruments (this is my first) but my worry is I'm either doing something wrong technique wise or I just don't have some natural ability others do (that would suck as this is one of my main activities right now)

should I just not worry and keep practicing or do something different or try another activity or what, any guidance would be great
Last edited by jprince11 at Jul 27, 2014,
#3
a set-up or lighter strings could make a huge difference. i actually gave up guitar for years after playing for over a decade because i just couldn't do barre chords - and then i discovered the set-up, and have been happily playing like mad. having the strings closer to the neck works wonders.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#4
Quote by jprince11
....[ ]....I'm not quite sure how to assess my progress or if theres anything wrong but I read stuff on the net about people being able to play most rock rhythms in less than 6 months and here I am at a year and I'm not to that point, I don't feel I'm doing anything wrong with my hand technique; it seems to me just a matter of the muscle in my hands (my hand gets very obviously fatigued like it's just not up to snuff yet) but that seems a matter of practice and I am practicing pretty hard
Before we get started, let me go on record as this being the kind of topic I hate more than anything except, "my fingers hurt and turn black when I play my acoustic.

As two people have already told you, your guitar needs to be adjusted for best playing characteristics, or more properly to meet YOUR individual needs.

Then, is there such a thing as a rock rhythm? The reason I ask is, most metal albums are 1/8 note chugs from the initial downbeat, to the last badly distorted power chord. Oh say it, I'm a miserable old man, and I suppose it's alright for the kids.

In any event, the only way, (that I can think of), to learn, "rock rhythms", or any other rhythm, is to familiarize yourself with the material, and play along. Instead of reading, "down, down, down, up, down" off a rhythm chart, just feel it. Use the force, or whatever the f*** else you want to call it, and get inside the song, and in sync with the feeling, the technique should come to you on its own.

The bad news is, you may never be as good at the guitar, as you believe you can be, or should be. I think there is a musical equation in the minds of the true greats, and it's a true gift.

In any case, this topic is always asking its hand to be held, for affirmation, for pity and condolence.

Unhappiness with one's talent or progress in any endeavor is understandable.

It's really not a reason to quit. I've known for literally decades I'm never going to amount to anything as a musician. I continue to play, not in spite of that, but more because of it.

You shouldn't measure yourself against others, but more importantly not against what YOU think you should be. Accept your ability for what it is, and work to see if you can better yourself, without allowing the desire for an end game of rewards, come between you and the goal of simply being able to make music. That's whether you never get to perform in public, or eventually have an audience of tens of thousands.


Quote by jprince11
should I just not worry and keep practicing or do something different or try another activity or what, any guidance would be great
I can't tell you that. Best I can tell you is, don't quit your day job, and hang in there with your music. My opinion wouldn't count, and I've already said I'm averse to hand holding. Play for the love of playing, and you won't need any of your questions answered. You'll know what to do.

And BTW, a year on and off, is the blink of an eye in the pursuit of excellence.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 27, 2014,
#5
Quote by Tony Done
Has your guitar has a set up? IMO, poor set up is the major problem for beginners, and a source of fatigue and frustration.


what do you mean by "set up"?
#6
Quote by jprince11
what do you mean by "set up"?


"Set up" is the process of getting the guitar as comfortable as possible to play that is compatible with your style of playing. On acoustics for normal fretted playing this usually means getting the strings as close to the frets as possible without having the strings buzz on the frets when you play. It involves adjusting the degree of curvature of the neck (neck relief), saddle height and nut slot height. It might also include levelling and dressing the frets, and adjusting intonation. These adjustments need to take into account string gauge and playing style, as mentioned above.
#7
The manufacturer cannot "set up" every instrument... First, it's a time and labor-intensive job, and second it's highly individual. An optimal set-up for you might be dreadful for me.
So...They ship instruments with a sort of baseline setup and expect that guitarists will either have final adjustments made or do it themselves.
Problem is....Beginners don't know this. I didn't..... 40-ish years ago. I started reading (no internet back then....) and guys in the magazines were talking about this.
So I hauled my painful-to-play little cheap Yamaha up to the local music shop and the nice man returned me a guitar that was about 100% easier to play.

Wish there were some way to get this information out.... But like many activities... Folks just suddenly get the urge and buy a guitar and start whanging away without any research.

I do a lot of work on bicycles...Have been involved for many years. You get the same thing. "My knees hurt, and my bike won't shift right, and it makes noises..."
I can usually make the standard adjustments and fit the bike to the person in under an hour....