#1
I could badly do with help.

Quick run through - I'm playing guitar almost 4 years. I know little theory (which I'm also looking to improve, but don't know how). I only have an acoustic guitar, a pretty cheap one. I had about 6 months teaching, but the guy was a rip off and kind of a nob.

Now in regards to skill - I'm a pretty competent rhythm guitarist, I guess. But only your basic major, minor, 7 chords. After that, my lack of theory hinders me, though that's not necessarily a problem.

My main problem is finger style playing. I'm dreadful, and really don't know where to start. Even songs as easy as, say, 'Rolling Stone' by The Weeknd - even though I know the picking pattern and the chords are basic, I still find myself making quite a lot of mistakes.


I guess i have a lot of issues with timing. Like, Atlas Sound - 'Shelia' is 3 basic chords in triplets (I think) that I can play easily, but when I try to sing and play, I find myself really forcing it.


I have a metronome and all the other gear available, but I have no idea how to put it to use.

I really should'a made this a long time ago, my development has been stagnant with a long time, even though I play a ton. I'm willing to post videos of technique or whatever necessary, if anyone can help me, I'd really love to improve. I know the knowledge is out there, but to someone like me, lacking in music theory or people to bounce it off, I really don't learn a thing.


Any help much appreciated. Thanks guys.

- Jamie
#2
If you want to learn fingerstyle there are lots of lesson vids on youtube or you could buy a lesson dvd.

Then work at it until you become proficient.

That's basically it. You put in the time. Patience is the big play.
#3
I know all that, but I'm saying I'm overwhelmed by all the information. I'd like more specific help.
#4
If you want to learn fingerstyle - get a classical guitar teacher or research beginner classical guitar arpeggio and scale exercises.

It's really the best way to get started. The important thing is having proper hand placement and using the right fingers for the right task.
#5
Hi Jamie,

There is a great deal of truth in the statement "knowledge is power". WIth it, progress often speeds up greatly.

If you go down the fingerstyle route, to the exclusion of using a pick, or using some of your fingers as a pick, then you will be restricting your options of learning and adapting new techniques.

Harmonic theory is independent of playing technique, so you can (and I'd advise should) always dip in and out of this, regardless. It will help you visualise the guitar better, understand other's songs better, and open up whole new musical avenues.

The main thing is applying the knowledge. I think you'll benefit from a teacher here ... this stuff is the exact opposite of rocket science, and well-explained,the basics can be grasped very quickly.

If you do engage with this, just bear in mind that the end-goal is learning the various ways you can put together chords for (some of) a tune, to create a sense of moving towards and away from the key (that section of) the song is written in. Likewise, with a melody, and also a few approaches are taken to raise more interest in a given (upcoming) note.

"justinguitar" gets recommended a lot for this. He's a very good teacher, and it's free.

Rhythmic theory is fascinating, and another great source of ideas. Understanding the tools available for structuring music, in this sense, is a really good use of study time (forgive the unintended pun) ... good players understand how to accent beats (or subdivisions) within the music, not just by playing louder, but my knowing where strong and weak beats are, and repackaging these. They have a good sense of phrasing (where to start and stop in relation to the beat).

Experiments with timing (feel play),with phrasing, phrase structure ... all these can be worked on with no harmonic or melodic theory ... but of course, it's when combined the magic can happen.

To get you going, you can use your ears and hands very simply ... listen to tunes you like, find the beat, observe where chord changes occur (beginning of a bar, at end of previous bar ...).

Similarly, observe where melodies start and stop.

Observe if one line of a melody (a phrase) sounds rhythmically similar to the previous one, or is a variation, or is different.

You'll quickly start realise that phrasing really helps pull the music together.

You may want to make a personal library of phrases you like (same in guitar solos), and then re-use the timing with notes of your choice; or experiment with how to adjust the phrase without losing its sense.

Good luck, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jan 14, 2015,
#6
I've played for ten years and I still feel overwhelmed by all the information about what I "should" know and "should" do while playing. Take control, dude. Nobody can tell you what you "should" be doing but yourself. You don't need to become a guitar hero and you certainly don't need to feel like you need to live up to any of the great guitarist everybody here worships. :P

Getting used to finger picking took me about 100 hours. I practiced Nick Drakes "Clothes of Sand" and an arrangement for "Yesterday" by the Beatles. Just endure, it will work if you have the patience. Just take your sweet time and practice a little every day, and take it one step at a time, without caring about doing anything in the "right" order. That will just cause meaningless anxiety as there is no "right" order to learn things in.
#7
Quote by damillion
I've played for ten years and I still feel overwhelmed by all the information about what I "should" know and "should" do while playing. Take control, dude. Nobody can tell you what you "should" be doing but yourself. You don't need to become a guitar hero and you certainly don't need to feel like you need to live up to any of the great guitarist everybody here worships. :P

Getting used to finger picking took me about 100 hours. I practiced Nick Drakes "Clothes of Sand" and an arrangement for "Yesterday" by the Beatles. Just endure, it will work if you have the patience. Just take your sweet time and practice a little every day, and take it one step at a time, without caring about doing anything in the "right" order. That will just cause meaningless anxiety as there is no "right" order to learn things in.


Hi ...

I agree a lot with the sentiment of your post.

I would say however that there are better or worse orders of learning info (especially around types of theory). The better approaches build on the foundations of the previous teaching, and try to minimise the additional effort. A good teacher makes a huge difference here to speed up progress. (A "dive-in" approach can be a lot harder).

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jan 14, 2015,
#8
I really do agree, Jerry. I should perhaps rephrase myself a little bit: while it can be better to learn things in a certain order, it's not the most important thing. The most important thing is that you practice something. The anxiety of not knowing what to learn, often a result of drowning in information, is usually acting paralyzing on players. Being paralyzed is the absolutely worst thing you can be, so just pick a method and stick to it.