#1
So i've been playing the acoustic guitar half a year, and i barely know anything. Yesterday was a fairly productive day because i learned the pentatonic scale, but today a long with hundreds of other days was an absolute waste of time. I've been playing the guitar from 5pm to 2am today, and i didn't learn one ****in' thing, and that pisses me off.

in half a year i learned music theory, pentatonic scale, most of the chords, tears in heaven, romanza, and street spirit by radiohead.

This must be the 200th time you've all heard this thread but i am progressing insanely slowly, all the while battling through a lack of musical talent. i was the last chair in the school band for 2 years for f**ksakes.

my biggest problem is that tabs are just too complex for me, and i have "stupid fingers." today (which makes like a month for all of these songs) i wasted my night on i will follow you into the dark by death cab, and first day of my life by bright eyes. in a month i can only play like two measures of death cab, and i can't play anything that sounds even remotely like first day of my life.

It's just my lack of musical talent, but i can't even make the TABS for first day of my life sound like FIRST DAY OF MY LIFE. I play a couple measures of it and the whole time i'm thinking "what the hell is this? it doesn't even sound like the song."

**** man someone turn me in the right direction, and please don't give me obvious advice like "keep practicing and it'll all come together."
#2
Have you tried learning how to play actual sheet music? If you play with a metronome you could slowly build up the speed of the tunes you want to play and since it will actually show you the duration of the note it'll have to sound like the song. It won't have the instant gratification that tabs give you when you can quickly learn the song but if you're in for the long haul try sheet music.
#3
You're trying too play too quickly for your own good, try slowing down the parts to a point at which you can play them and then speed them up gradually, there really is no other way, it may be long and hard, but keep at it, you'll progress faster this way than you think.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
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Album.
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#4
a number of things,

1. do not become a slave to tab. while there are many very accuate tabs out there, there are also many diabolical ones too. try a program like power tab which lets you listen to the notes being played, and also allows you to speed up / slow down sections.
2. Why are you playing? if you are playing simply because it seems like a good idea then you are doomed to failure. Practice music that you love, if you are passionate about what you are playing, practice will not seem like a chore.
3. Record yourself. Start a tape running while you start to learn a new piece. turn off the tape and put it away. continue to practice the new material. record yourself again after a week of practice and i garantee you will be amazed at the difference.
4. Rest - practice is not about quantity. twelve hours doing something the wrong way is not productive practice. use short, focused bursts of an hour at a time then take a break. the reason classes in schools are only forty minutes to an hour long is because this is the point at which your mind begins to wander and further information cannot be assimilated/
5. Plan your practice. - make out a plan, for example you want to improve down picking speed then dedicate a half hour to nothing but down picking. set a metronome to a reasonable speed and pick on every beat. use number three above to show yourself how much you have improved.

improvement comes slowly, its like if you started eating 4 big mc's a day every day. your friends wouldn't notice you getting gradually fatter but your aunt who you only see every christmas would be shocked at the size of your fat ass!

this is why recording yourself helps.
#5
Quote by maxrevs666
improvement comes slowly, its like if you started eating 4 big mc's a day every day. your friends wouldn't notice you getting gradually fatter but your aunt who you only see every christmas would be shocked at the size of your fat ass!

nice analogy

It's true, it takes ages to get good on guitar, even if you were a leading authority on the trombone or flute, it'll take years to become even proficient at guitar. Last year I thought I was getting quite good, I recorded myself playing some riffs and leads I thought were fairly decent. I listened to them the other week and thought they were sh!te as hell, and recorded something ten times better. No doubt, in a year or two I'll think that was sh!te too.

My point being, you may not notice it happening, but simply picking up your guitar and playing anything each day will make you improve over time. And the process will be a whole lot faster if you're playing things you like!

I must've wasted several hundred days in my three years of playing, but I'm still much, much better than I was two years ago.
Last edited by blue_strat at Jul 2, 2007,
#6
i know what you mean. i have this problem too. the main answer is to have a practise schedule, as someone mentioned. eg, make a list of the things you want to learn, say blues scales or modes or whatever, then make yourself a plan of what you are going to learn. it is much easier to make progress if you are learning something specific, rather than just bits of tabs or whatever. another good idea is to get a book and follow it through step by step, skip any stuff you know, but learn the new stuff. I dont know if u have a teacher or not, but if so, get them to help you with the stuff u find hard. also, there are a lot of good lessons on here. print a few and work through them. find the areas you dont know/find hard and work on them. good luck
#7
i always do it i only a grade 5 guitarest i not that good but i get stuck in and it does come... keep trying
#8
Originally Posted by maxrevs666
improvement comes slowly, its like if you started eating 4 big mc's a day every day. your friends wouldn't notice you getting gradually fatter but your aunt who you only see every christmas would be shocked at the size of your fat ass!


LOL NICE
#9
Quote by mizoufiziks

**** man someone turn me in the right direction, and please don't give me obvious advice like "keep practicing and it'll all come together.


Your problem is not lack of talent. But it IS practice. You don't know HOW to practice
to get the results you want. That's pretty clear.

So what you need is:

1) "The Principles of Guitar Practice"

and I'd also recommend:

2) "The Deeper I go, The Deeper is gets"
3) "Beyond the Basic Practice Approach"

All available from www.guitarprinciples.com
#10
So i've been playing the acoustic guitar half a year, and i barely know anything. Yesterday was a fairly productive day because i learned the pentatonic scale, but today a long with hundreds of other days was an absolute waste of time. I've been playing the guitar from 5pm to 2am today, and i didn't learn one ****in' thing, and that pisses me off.


I'd expect someone who'd only been playing 6 months to barely know anything, you've barely started playing! Just be patient and stop trying to force improvement, nobody picks up a guitar and can play instantly, everything takes time...it sounds to me like you've been trying to cram in loads of bits of random knowledge with little ryhme or reason - that gets you nowhere.

You've said you've learned "music theory and the pentatonic scale" in 6 months...no you haven't. Music theory is incredibly complex and takes a lifetime to learn fully, and as for the pentatonic scale have you really learned it across the whole fretboard in every key, not only that have you fully explored it and ammassed an arsenal of pentatonic licks and learned when to use it?

Of course you haven't, I'm guessing you've just learned the basic 2nd position box, probably in A at the 5th fret. Learning the guitar isn't a video game, you don't run around levelling up and you can't grind on something and have it improve everything else. It's a very slow process, and it's even slower if you don't structure your learning or try to go too fast. To be honest it just sounds like you need a teacher, if you've got one then get a different one!
Actually called Mark!

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#11
And there's a difference between knowing music theory and applying it. You may know that chords are constructed by harmonizing scales, what the chords are in each key and how modes are related to chords, but can you apply that and form a progression that sounds good, and solo over it in a mode that not only sounds good with the chords, but which you can use to create an original and memorable solo?

Even if you do know all about modes, the cycle of fifths, declan modes, IV-vii-iii-vi-ii-V-I progressions and predominants (these being just a handful of the many aspects of music theory), the knowledge is nearly useless if you don't know how to apply it, which you will learn through years of playing the guitar.
#12
i learned 5 months worth of lessons reading music and playing classical but I quit that because I wasn't playing what I wanted to be playing, which led to not enjoying myself. Yea I only know the basic position of the pentatonic.

I've done a lot of things in my life and I understand you don't get good at things in a short time...I even know that big mac analogy quite literally back in the day when I was a kid. I had to employ 2 years of intense boxing to fix that mistake, hehe.

- i only spent 12 hours because I enjoy myself when I'm plucking around on the guitar. It was at the end of the day that I realized I hadn't learned anything.

I knew I'd get all kinds of "keep practicing and you'll get better answers", and believe me I understand that completely considering all of the hobbies I've had in life but what i was hoping for was to be led in a direction. Someone tell me what to do, tell me which scale to practice, what song to try playing, etc. etc.

Thanks for all the advice folks, and yes, I do need a teacher hehe. The guitar is just one thing I really don't understand by myself.
#13
Quote by mizoufiziks
but what i was hoping for was to be led in a direction. Someone tell me what to do, tell me which scale to practice, what song to try playing, etc. etc.


Um, well did you read my previous post? That's a direction. Very specific.

You're getting direction, but maybe you don't like the sound of what you're getting.
#14
Quote by maxrevs666


improvement comes slowly, its like if you started eating 4 big mc's a day every day. your friends wouldn't notice you getting gradually fatter but your aunt who you only see every christmas would be shocked at the size of your fat ass!

this is why recording yourself helps.


LOLz
#15
This is what I give to everyone who needs tab help from now on lol ^_^ I wrote it like yesterday. So far its worked.

To start with, put your guitar on your lap, strings facing up. See the highest sounding string? The one that’s farthest away from you? That would be the top string on a tab, above the B.
Tabs are always written like this. If you put your guitar with your strings facing towards you next to your tab, the strings will be positioned the same way. Either way, something like this would be your empty tab:

E |----------------------------------------------------|
B |----------------------------------------------------|
G |----------------------------------------------------|
D |----------------------------------------------------|
A |----------------------------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------------------------|

Now, if I was to tell you to strike the 1st string (highest sounding E) open (without pushing down on any frets), then hit the first fret on the same string, and then the 2nd on the string above it, I would write it like this:

E |--0---1--------------------------------------------|
B |---------2-----------------------------------------|
G |----------------------------------------------------|
D |----------------------------------------------------|
A |----------------------------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------------------------|

Notice how each number represents what fret to hit, and depending on which string the number is on, that’s the string you have to strike. Getting clearer? Still got chords to do, sorry.

Lets say you have this:

E |---------------0-----0-----0------------------|
B |-----------1---------1-----1------------------|
G |--------0------------0-----0------------------|
D |-----2---------------2-----2------------------|
A |--3------------------3-----3------------------|
E |------------------------------------------------|

This is a chord (see if you can figure out which one) picked one note at a time and then strummed twice. The picking part is telling you to: strike the A string while pressing down on the third fret, then strike the D string while pressing on the 2nd fret, strike the G string in the open position, B on the 2nd fret and finally E open.
I’m hoping you’ve figured out by now that tabs on UG are always written left to right (unless you’re in Japan [?]).
On the chord section, notice how the numbers are stacked on top of each other. It’s the same as the last one, except played ALL AT ONCE. On the first bit, where you picked them out, you should have played the notes one at a time. Try striking a string, waiting a second, then the next, then the next etc… That would be the first part of the tab. Then, strum down all the strings in one second. That would be the strumming part, all though in the tab its telling you not to hit the 6th string, the low sounding E.

I hope this was easy enough. If you haven’t figured out the chord above, it was the C Chord.

If you still don’t get it, it’s my bad teaching not your bad reading ^_^

Oh one more thing, if you haven’t noticed, tabs generally don’t have rhythm. Also, generally people put instead of repeat signs things like x2 or x3. Tab is easier, but musical notation is far more accurate and will help you later on with theory.
#16
learning to play an instrument takes some time. when i first started out I learned the whole blood sugar sex magik cd by the chili peppers then afterwards i learned some theory to be able to understand what i was playing.

that soreta helped me, everyone has their own way of learning.
#17
Quote by minichibi
This is what I give to everyone who needs tab help from now on lol ^_^ I wrote it like yesterday. So far its worked.

To start with, put your guitar on your lap, strings facing up. See the highest sounding string? The one that’s farthest away from you? That would be the top string on a tab, above the B.
Tabs are always written like this. If you put your guitar with your strings facing towards you next to your tab, the strings will be positioned the same way. Either way, something like this would be your empty tab:

E |----------------------------------------------------|
B |----------------------------------------------------|
G |----------------------------------------------------|
D |----------------------------------------------------|
A |----------------------------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------------------------|

Now, if I was to tell you to strike the 1st string (highest sounding E) open (without pushing down on any frets), then hit the first fret on the same string, and then the 2nd on the string above it, I would write it like this:

E |--0---1--------------------------------------------|
B |---------2-----------------------------------------|
G |----------------------------------------------------|
D |----------------------------------------------------|
A |----------------------------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------------------------|

Notice how each number represents what fret to hit, and depending on which string the number is on, that’s the string you have to strike. Getting clearer? Still got chords to do, sorry.

Lets say you have this:

E |---------------0-----0-----0------------------|
B |-----------1---------1-----1------------------|
G |--------0------------0-----0------------------|
D |-----2---------------2-----2------------------|
A |--3------------------3-----3------------------|
E |------------------------------------------------|

This is a chord (see if you can figure out which one) picked one note at a time and then strummed twice. The picking part is telling you to: strike the A string while pressing down on the third fret, then strike the D string while pressing on the 2nd fret, strike the G string in the open position, B on the 2nd fret and finally E open.
I’m hoping you’ve figured out by now that tabs on UG are always written left to right (unless you’re in Japan [?]).
On the chord section, notice how the numbers are stacked on top of each other. It’s the same as the last one, except played ALL AT ONCE. On the first bit, where you picked them out, you should have played the notes one at a time. Try striking a string, waiting a second, then the next, then the next etc… That would be the first part of the tab. Then, strum down all the strings in one second. That would be the strumming part, all though in the tab its telling you not to hit the 6th string, the low sounding E.

I hope this was easy enough. If you haven’t figured out the chord above, it was the C Chord.

If you still don’t get it, it’s my bad teaching not your bad reading ^_^

Oh one more thing, if you haven’t noticed, tabs generally don’t have rhythm. Also, generally people put instead of repeat signs things like x2 or x3. Tab is easier, but musical notation is far more accurate and will help you later on with theory.


sorry but i knew all this 6 months ago, thanks though. i have no trouble reading tabs whatsoever, it's just a case of "stupid fingers" when things get complex.
#18
everyone has some great comments here. listen to them.

also, one thing i notice in several of my students is that the biggest part of "hindered progress" is readjusting the left hand for every change. go through each change SLOWLY and see where you don't have to move parts of your hand. economy in movement makes your playing smoother, faster, and cleaner.
#19
To help with your "stupid fingers" try some warm-ups and stuf just do 0-1-2-3-4 on the low e then go up to a to g to d to b to high e then move up a fret and do it down start slow good luck
#20
Fingers will be still be pretty stupid after 6 months, that's not unusual at all. Stupid fingers just means one thing - you're trying to do stuff that's too far above your current ability level. It's akin to trying to run a marathon when you've just learned to walk - it's simply not possible without covering all the steps inbetween.

Find stuff that you can play comfortably and smoothly at the correct speed, when you're breezing through it either speed those songs up a bit or find a different song that's a little trickier/faster. That's the only way to do it, if you keep attempting stuff that's too hard you'll not only keep failing, you also won't get any better.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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#21
Quote by mizoufiziks
sorry but i knew all this 6 months ago, thanks though. i have no trouble reading tabs whatsoever, it's just a case of "stupid fingers" when things get complex.


There are no such things as stupid fingers, like I said: you have to slow thing down until you can play them, no matter how slow that may be, even if you're only playing quarter notes at 10 bpm once you can do that you can start speeding up, speed is all about muscle memory.

We're not going to tell you exactly what to learn because we don't hold people's hands around here, we help and give people pushes in the right direction but we're not a community of teachers, this is more like a buddy giving you some helpful tips, showing you some licks or whatever, if you want someone to hold your hand then suck it up and get a teacher, they'll do a much better job than we can anyway.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#22
What I'd do is forget about songs for the moment. The best way to rise higher as a beginner is to practice, get used to the instrument, and most importantly YOUR FINGERS. Always play exercises that will make them quicker, exercises with hard positions, etc. so they become good enough for you to play what you want. It's always a big mistake to start playing songs asap...
#23
wait, how do you hold your pick/how do you position your right hand? And where is your thumb on your left?
#24
Quote by edg
Your problem is not lack of talent. But it IS practice. You don't know HOW to practice
to get the results you want. That's pretty clear.

So what you need is:

1) "The Principles of Guitar Practice"

and I'd also recommend:

2) "The Deeper I go, The Deeper is gets"
3) "Beyond the Basic Practice Approach"

All available from www.guitarprinciples.com



Thanks! This site helped me a lot
#25
that guitar principles website and series of books are a very clinical and machine-like look at playing. it takes a great deal of discipline to apply the teachings detailed, what it does not show is how to play with feeling . even in Jamie Andreas' videos, she is like a robot playing the tunes, no excess movement or emotion at all, check out what i mean on you tube
Gear:
Jackson Dinky
Jackson King V
ESP Eclipse
Marshall TSL 100
Marshall 1960AV Cab
Boss ME-6
#26
Quote by maxrevs666
that guitar principles website and series of books are a very clinical and machine-like look at playing. it takes a great deal of discipline to apply the teachings detailed, what it does not show is how to play with feeling . even in Jamie Andreas' videos, she is like a robot playing the tunes, no excess movement or emotion at all, check out what i mean on you tube


I don't think you get it. Before you can play with feeling, you have to the physical
and mental control over your body as the mechanism that plays the guitar, that is,
if you want to be able to play very demanding things with feeling. Having that
kind of control takes expanded awareness and attention to detail and its an
ongoing process. The more you work on it, the better you get.

Anyone can probably take a single note and play it with feeling. But that's probably
not going to be very satisfying for very long -- to the player as well as anyone
listening.

So you can go from that absurdly simple example on a continuum all the up to the
most difficult movements to make on the guitar. Where you want to be on that
continuum as a player, is up to you. But, to reach the more advanced levels
requires the kind of displine you'll find in Guitar Principles.
Last edited by edg at Jul 4, 2007,
#27
dude, get powertab. it's great
guitars: G&L Legacy USA, Peavey Rotor EXP, Squier affinity strat.

amps: Peavey Bandit 112

Effects: DF-7 distortion factory, Crybaby wah(gcb-95)
#28
There has been some good advice here, but just let me emphasize that you shouldn't allow yourself to become discouraged. Slow down, go back to the basics, and make sure your practice sessions are productive... that seems to be the problem here. It doesn't matter how long you practice if there is some fundamental flaw in your method.

Again, good advice has been given -- these guys are great. In my short time browsing these forums I've seen this thread time and time again, and often it's caused when someone tries to perform guitar acrobatics before they've learned to crawl. Sometimes a relatively advanced song, technique, etc... becomes a fixation, obsession even, and it pretty much halts their progress. It consumes practice time, giving little to no return for the investment, which in turn causes frustration and a whole vicious cycle.

You seem to have good work ethic and you've rounded yourself out with some knowledge of scales/theory, so build on it: You've got the rest of your life to do so.
#29
its better to play and not learn anything, then to not play and not learn anything. just playing will make you more familiar with the instrument, and skills will come with time.

and you mentioned the death cab for cutie song. check out these chord tabs, unless you've already seen them.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/d/death_cab_for_cutie/i_will_follow_you_into_the_dark_crd.htm

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/d/death_cab_for_cutie/i_will_follow_you_into_the_dark_ver2_crd.htm
#31
Playing good music will help you get better.Not to say yours is bad, but learning one led zeppelin song taught me about a hundred things and gave me a million new song ideas.learn songs you know like the back of your hand and itll be easier to make it sound good, listen to the song 3 times a day while your learning it.
#32
What I think is a really important point in this thead is that TABS are written by... well, anyone.

If you can;t get to grips with reading tabs, read sheet music, or read tutorials on how to read tabs (there are some great ones just on this website)

The guys are right, play slow and speed the song up until you're playing in the right time. My tutor gave me a song the other week (I'm new at guitar as well FYI -- he gave me Hotel California by The Eagles) and at first it sounded nothing like the song, but as the last few weeks have gone by I've done other stuff... Scales, other songs, other kinds of chords (barres and power chords etc.) and then gone back to it and somehow... something's just clicked in my mind and now I can play it.

I think you're looking at a song, listening to it and just going for it, RAAA~! but you need to work on things bits at a time, come back to them and leave em for a bit. Rather than learning songs, why not learn theory or some technical stuff like tapping etc (get lessons, or take online tutorials to make sure you're doing stuff technically correctly, as if you aren't you're gunna have to start all over again down the line anyway)

And yeah, just chillaxe dude. It's not like you're in a massive rush to become a rock god, is it? Lol.

-sc00t