Jump to content
  • 0
Neil Dare

Feeling a bit lost 😕

Question

Hi there. New to the forum,  but about a year and a half into playing, so not a complete newbie. Had lessons for a couple of months during lockdown but stopped due to family illness. And thanks to some serious belt-tightening can't really afford any atm.

I expect this is a bit of a perennial problem but I'm really struggling with WHAT to practice. My guitar time is very unstructured and I don't feel like I've improved much over the last 6 months or so. Was thinking of trying one of the online guitar lesson apps. Has anybody out there given any of them a go ?, and if so, we're they any good ?

Thanks in advance, Neil 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
6 minutes ago, Neil Dare said:

...I expect this is a bit of a perennial problem...

 

Good evening, Neil...

Would you mind giving a bit more detail as to what you're wanting to achieve..? What style..? Any favourite influences you'd like to work towards..? Any songs or pieces that you are already either good at or struggling with..? There's a lot of general advice, suitable for any and all occasions, but a bit more info would help to put you on the rails.
Meanwhile, here's a few general tips that will always serve you in good stead...
A little-and-often approach is much better than irregular long sessions. Make a conscious decision to do, every day, at least 10-15 minutes, without fail. This is better than 2 hours at week-ends, for instance. It matters less what you do in that time as the regularity of doing stuff, every day. It's a simple discipline, but works wonders.
Learning the guitar, like many other things, goes in leaps and bounds. One may easily get the impression that not much is sinking in, then suddenly, there's a modest 'quantum leap'. This levels off to another plateau, until 'Bingo..!'; there's another..! The trick is to stubbonly keep ploughing on, in the firm and certain knowledge that it's improving, whether you think so or not. Be patient, and persist; the rewards are there.

A quick'n'easy test..? Turn the guitar over and try to play it left-handed (or right-handed, if you're a 'lefty'...). This is roughly the ability you had before picking up the guitar at all. Turn it back to normal, and recognise that progress has, indeed, been made.
Be convinced that everyone here, and every one of your favourite players, started out the same way; no-one was born with the 'gift'. It only comes through keeping on keeping on, that's all.

Tell us more, then, and you'll be guided onto a firm path for you to tread, at whatever pace you wish. We all know it's not easy, but we also know that it's worth it. Over to you, then..?
Douglas rWNVV2D.gif

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Thanks for the reply Douglas. Musical interests are vast. Brought up on a lot of classic rock from Sabbath, Deep Purple, Zeppelin, E.LO ect. But love anything from Ralph Mctell, Warren Zevon, Flaming Groovies, the Decemberists.  through blues, punk and indie. Anything with guitars basically and quite a bit without. 

I just feel like basic things like finger placement being poor and slow chord changes. Technical stuff. I do practice a lot. 2 hours a day most days. A lot of that is playing songs but I make sure I practice the parts I'm weak at rather than the bits I find relatively easy. 

I practice my pentatonic and major scales, plus a few finger exercises. I'm learning a bit of basic theory aswell. Things like how chords are formed from scales and I'm enjoying learning that at my own pace. I just think that after a good year and a half, I'm still making more errors than I should be. Especially with finger placement and chord changes between open chords and barre chords further up the neck. I can play bar chords fine but the changes are a bit slow. I don't really practice with a metronome or play along with songs. Would that help at all ? 

Just for reference, I'm 47 years old.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Good Stuff, Neil; you're on the right track. Just for reference : I'm a drummer, but playing (learning..?) guitar for well over half a century now (72 next birthday...). As I mentioned, it goes in steps, whereby little progress is apparent, then... Light bulb..!
I started the hard way, with a very bad Russian-made steel-strung 'classical' guitar, and bought at the same time a method book. Little did I know what was between those covers..! I can heartily recommend it; it's served me in good stead ever since (I've worn it out a few times, and bought another...). Here's the book, dirt cheap from Amazon (Click; it's a link...)...

 

1WrWgCO.jpg

 

Try it; it's guaranteed to get you out of a rut and thinking differently.
Your practice routine looks good, if you're able to keep it up regularly. I'd suggest the first half-hour as warm-up, and a refresher of whatever you did the day before. 45 minutes or an hour of looking at new stuff, mixing a song or two and a bit of theory (new chords, a scale or two in different keys, a few 'hot licks'...), then finish the session with a 'free for all', just chilling out with whatever, solo or with a backing track or similar. Maybe a break in the middle, for a glass of water and a quick stroll around the garden, to give the brain and fingers a rest..?
It's healthy to attack many different styles, and mix 'em up. I might even suggest taking a peek at a few classical pieces arranged for guitar..? I'd suggest  from what you've written above that you won't stay in a rut for very long..! Keep us posted, please; your input here will doubtless help others. Bon courage..! B|

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I'm a bit like yourself Neil, in that sometimes I struggle with what to practise. I'm not always sure what my goals are with learning to play. I suppose I'd like to be one of those guys who go into guitar shops, pick up guitars and just fire off dozens of licks. It's not going to happen though 😄

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Thanks Crueso. Yes, I've watched loads of Justin's stuff, along with a lot of others. I think that's half the problem though. There's so much online and I'm not sure of the order of practicing things. Not really sure if there is an order as such.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

What are you passionate about playing?  I'm thinking that if you couldn't wait for the first opportunity to pick up the guitar and get into something you really enjoyed, you'd probably still be unstructured but practicing more often.  Which leads to the next question about why structure is important if you can pick it up whenever the mood strikes?  

 

I haven't been playing much over the last 6 months and the other day I realised it was because I felt bad about the impact of practicing on others in the apartment.  And I also felt a bit guilty about being self indulgent...despite working six days a week for no salary as I'm trying to get a business off the ground. 

So to address the first problem I bought a nice pair of AKG monitor headphones to plug into an old Zoom unit so I can practice silently.  I'm hoping that'll also solve the second problem because noone will know when I'm practicing.  I actually practiced last night for the first time in ages and for a solid couple of hours but it was mostly on bass.   Mainly because bass is second nature and I wanted to make getting back into things easy.  But I do have some learning goals for guitar including properly how to play:

1) Rosanna solo and outro - Steve Lukather
2) Heaven In My Hands - Alan Murphy
3) White Wedding - Steve Stevens
4) something by Def Leppard, maybe Hysteria or Pour Some Sugar
5) Surfing with the Alien or Satch Boogie - Joe Satriani (if I'm feeling particularly ambitious)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...