I know I just started a everything and I know, since I'm a beginner, that I'm not going to catch on very quickly like other people, but I'm very discouraged right now...

I'm trying to do Stairway to Heaven and I'm having trouble with the frets, it's hard for me to go from one fret to another and I have to press extra hard and that just makes me really frustrated.

I know I probably sound like some stereotypical girl who gives up when the going gets tough, and well, sorry.

So my many questions are:
What keeps you motivated? Inspired?
What do you do when the going gets tough?
Any advice?

Thanks for your opinions.
You're pretty tough for making this thread! AND attempting Stairway. I would suggest a less difficult song.

For motivation, listen to your favorite bands/songs.

Also, at your level of playing, it's good to start with very, very basic songs, even if its boring to you. It's important not to develop bad habits by trying anything fast, cause that can mess up timing and rhythm later on.
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Last edited by CLIFF_BURTON at Jul 14, 2008,
its the satisfaction u get when u finally learn the song that really does it, bu yea, id start of on a easier song to
I find it very helpful to listen to the song. Imagine yourself playing it. Plus, if you listen to it well enough, you'll know if you're making a mistake when you playing. When I play Stairway, I bar which helps a lot.

I also listen to your favorite guitarist play [example for me: Slash, Jimi, Kirk]. When you get frustrated, just take a break because there's plenty of time. Good luck. :]
Quote by wreck1819
its the satisfaction u get when u finally learn the song that really does it, bu yea, id start of on a easier song to

“If it seems like you are playing around and not practicing, that's when you know you really love it.”
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start with the rhythms to dazed and confused or something. stairway isnt a good place to start off unless youre doing some type of crash course.
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The thing i have done when i had a hard time with a song was either getting it done within the time limit (that was when i played in band) and magically enough, it also worked when i was under pressure in the band. Or else i start of easily step by step, progressing down through every single note there is in the song slowly and easily, then i learn them by heart really slowly and smoke some cigarettes and drink some beers, and then i go at it again. It's worked for me fine enough for the time being. But also a good advise as the other guys give is to start of easier. But you could also seek the satisfaction in just learning the notes really slowly first and then just keep on developing slowly and steadily, it's up to you good luck^^
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listen to the guitarists that inspire you (for me they're Adrian Smith , Adam Jones, Kirk Hammett and a lot more) before you play. and don't just sit there and try to learn songs, just fiddle with your guitar to get to know it better and spend more time learning
scales, chords and excercises than songs for now. And when you are ready to learn songs start with fun easy ones like Dammit by Blink 182 and Iron Man by Black Sabbath
If I get stuck on a song, I sometimes go to something else and come back to it later. If you get fustrated it seems to get worse rather than better.

Look at songs that you like to listen to, preferrably easier songs than you want to play, gives you practice at moving your fingers etc,, Give yourself enough time to learn, and give yourself a break from playing.

It's also good to look back at what you have learnt, rather than concentrate on what you want to learn, or can't play yet.
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Thanks everyone for the support and advice, especially Cliffy_Burton. That really went to me. Everyone elses' advice will not be ignored though!
It's a long process till playing music is easy. it lot's of practice and for the early on, I hated playing bass. but i started getting better, and now i play for 4-6 hours a day, i love it so much. you just got to keep pressing on and take things one day at a time, and you will get good.
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Quote by Reemee

I'm trying to do Stairway to Heaven and I'm having trouble with the frets, it's hard for me to go from one fret to another and I have to press extra hard and that just makes me really frustrated.

Like the others have mentioned, "Stairway" is a difficult song especially for a beginner. Try a few easier songs to start with. Secondly hand strength and coordination develope with practice. Everyone struggles with this at the beginning. I've found that chromatic excercises help with both (i.e. simply 1-2-3-4 on each string).

Quote by Reemee

I know I probably sound like some stereotypical girl who gives up when the going gets tough, and well, sorry.

At some point everyone gets discouraged, it's normal so no apologies necessary.
Quote by Reemee

So my many questions are:
What keeps you motivated? Inspired?

What keeps me motivated is hearing improvements in my own playing. I've been practing segments out of the Hal Leonard handbook for a month and one part was giving me a lot of difficultly, but after a steady month of practice it sounds much better and it's a lot easier to play. For me the greatest motivator is to experience improvements in guitar playing from practice, because it proves to you that practice pays off. What keeps me inspired is listening to good music. Also I have a good friend who is awesome on guitar. I want to be at a level to jam with him, but I'm a ways off. LOL

Quote by Reemee

What do you do when the going gets tough?

I think it's important to have several (but not too many) different things to be working on so if one particular piece causes you flustration, you can work on something else. Currently, I have lessons in Hal Leonard I'm working on, chord changing exercises and songs I'm practicing with the aid of the computer program Guitar Pro. I'm also working on commiting all the notes on the fretboard to memory. When one aspect gets me flustrated I work on something else, then I come back to it in a couple days.

Quote by Reemee

Any advice?

Last year, when I picked up guitar again, I found as you did that a lack of hand strength and coordiation was slowing me down in playing chords and the flustration was a drain on motivation. So what I did was work simple chromatic scales into my practice routine. I still worked on chords, but I made strength a focus. Sure enough, after six weeks of exercises chords became easier to finger and the flustration was gone. I still have lots to work on, but I'm much better than I was and I look forward to being a better guitarist a year from now. Good luck!
i'm also a beginner, one thing i learned right away is , i learned a lot faster on an acoustic than an electric. Acoustics are a lot tougher to play because it requires more finger strength, hand stretching, and picking skill. All fundamental basics that enhance everything you do the better you get at them. Right now I'm pretty much trying to improve one or two things at a time, strumming/ picking and left hand chords. Theres a ton I need improvement on but I consider these important right now and I think in time if i spend more time on just these two aspects I'll be able to be where I want faster in time and learn something more advanced. So just take it slow, quality of practice is just as important.
Learn an easier song. Such as Smells Like Teen Spirit, Smoke on The Water, Sweet Child of Mine.. Such
Don't bother starting with an easier song if you don't want to. If this is the song you feel like learning, go ahead.. just go slowly. The non-solo bits of stairway to heaven are pretty easy if you go really slow.. your fingers'll get stronger on their own, just push hard and play some chords for fun. It takes a few weeks of constant playing to get callouses on your fingers.

Don't bother with teen spirit and smoke on the water... they're single string songs.. come on people.

tl;dr - go slow, press hard, play til' it hurts like hell.
It's easy to get frustrated when you're still a total beginner (as I am too), don't have the coordination and muscle memory developed yet, and you attempt something that's just too difficult.

Right now I'm just trying to learn Taylor Swift's "Teardrops on My Guitar" all the way through. I bought the Hal Leonard easy guitar book, "Country Hits 2007-2008", which gives a good arrangement of this and other songs. "Teardrops" may be a sappy country teenage girl song, but it's nevertheless a nice piece that's recognizable and easy to learn.

I manually tabbed the entire thing into GP5, which is awesome because I can slow down and loop difficult parts. I've found this is the best tool ever for learning to keep the rythym of a song you're trying to learn. The book arrangement follows her album recording exactly, which I like because after I've got the tab down, I should be able to play along with the actual song (gotta get a capo before I can do that though).

If you like country at all, give this song a shot. I'm finding it quite satisfying to learn and it will probably be the very first real song I'll be able to play all the way through.
As far as being motivated to play, you either will be or you won't be. You might go through stretches where you hardly play at all, and then stretches where you play all day.

The point is, lots of people pick up a guitar and make some kind of attempt at learning to play. A far smaller number actually stick with it.

If you really want to play guitar, the only motivation you need is the fact that you make yourself happy by playing music.

Guitar is a lifelong journey of learning.
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For me playing my guitar relieves stress rather than creating it.

My journey began last year when I started watching a local band play live at night clubs on a regular basis. Watching their lead guitarist was a truely face melting experience and everytime I'd see them I wished that I had my own guitar.

Then the day finally came that I broke down and decided to get one. From the day I picked it up oh so many months ago I've been married to it, and now I'm actually practicing and playing shows with the same band that inspired me to get started!

Motivation comes from all kinds of sources. Watching the hotties cheer you on while you jam out on stage is a hell of a motivator to keep playing LOL! Don't take that the wrong way you being a chick and all, for guys it's golden. Another great motivator is to be able to jam along with all the songs I've loved growing up.

Best thing to do is just stick with it and practice what you enjoy. I think so many beginners give up because they take guitar or whatever instrument way too seriously right off the bat and quickly burn themselves out on boring, repetitous drills. Playing music is an expression of emotion and it brings out certain emotions in the people that listen to it. You may want to learn Stairway because you love the song and in your mind it you think "how cool would it be if I could play Stairway in front of my family and friends." By all means keep practicing with the tabs and tab software (power tab is free and works very well).

But in addition to Stairway find some songs that are easy to pick up and jam along with but still build the essential finger strength and dexterity. Greenday is one of my favorite bands, and most of their songs are pretty simple to learn and jam along with.

Good luck...and most importantly, have fun!
Quote by Reemee
I know I probably sound like some stereotypical girl who gives up when the going gets tough, and well, sorry.

Nah, you sound like a stereotypical early guitarist, who knows that they want to excell but aren't sure how
Quote by Reemee

What keeps you motivated? Inspired?
What do you do when the going gets tough?
Any advice?

1) Music, generally. I know it's a simplistic answer, but when I hear notes resonating that I know are coming from my hands, it always puts a big smile on my face. That and learning. I'm always learning somthing. Often times I'll go back to somthing I think I know, and learn somthing completely new that I either missed or didn't understand the first time around, and it recharges me. You only stop growing when you stop learning!

2) Generally just bearing in mind why it is I play guitar to begin with. I have a deep-seeded love of music, and whenever I get frustrated I go back to one of those pieces I struggled with, and it reminds me that whatever I'm trying to learn, I'll eventually get there. Taking a break never hurts either. Put the guitar down for a day. Listen to some music that really inspires you. Stare at some clouds. Write music or poetry. Anything that clears your head while allowing you to be artistic.

3) Relax! It's called "playing" guitar for a reason! If you find yourself getting flustered, don't necessarily give up, but take a break and play somthing you really enjoy. Try moving on to somthing else and coming back to whatever it is you're stumped on. It may just be a matter of muscle development that's holding you back. Make sure you're getting enjoyment from it. The more you make it a chore, the more it'll feel like one. Try having fun with the parts you already have down, improvise a little, be creative; it's why we all do it. The potential for creativity is limitless with guitar, you just have to be paitent enough and open enough to experience it.
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Haha... This whole thread inspired me as well, being that I'm a beginner and can really only play "In Bloom"... Cheers to everyone who responded and Reemee for writing this thread...

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