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Frustrated Beginner

Aightball

Garage band Groupie
  • Nov 11, 2019
    133
    337
    Iowa
    aightball.wordpress.com
    0
    So I've been working through strumming and chord changes, reviewing past lessons as needed. I fully admit I don't practice as much as I should because I don't have a good space to practice in/don't want my SO to listen in. Thus, I mostly practice on Saturday nights when he's not home. Anyway. Tonight, I decided to go into another room and try practicing. My SO suggested I sit on a folding chair to help with muting strings, so I gave that a try. I am still muting strings 😠😠😠! I feel like I've tried dropping my wrist, curling my fingers more (they won't curl much more), everything under the sun. And nothing. I don't know what else to do 😥. I thought getting a full size guitar would help but it didn't. I thought sitting in a better chair and droping my wrist and curling my fingers more would help but it didn't. I don't know what else to try. I know that my fingers won't curl anymore than they already do (I've tried), so it might be that I'm not cut out for guitar? I don't know what else to try and I don't want to bore you all with more videos of the same chords over and over. Changing between chords is hard, too, but I think that will come with practice. But I don't know what else to do about the muted strings. Nothing seems to work :(. I don't mean to sound whiny...I'm just venting some frustrations.
     

    William B.

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    It's okay to have some muted strings, a lot of chords already sound nice with 2 or 3 notes ringing. Usually the root note and the note that makes it Major or Minor are important. Some months back we did riffs for fun playing on one string, all the notes are on each string so it's possible to play a melody or could try to figure something out you've heard before. Could be Jingle Bells. When playing from the low to high strings think of brackets of between 3 and 5 frets to find the notes you want. I guess that's something like a position to play in. The first chords are in open position so from 0 to 4th fret, only the B string is different by one fret. If you tune the low E string down 1 full step to D, the lowest 3 strings become an open D chord, so from here playing chords with one finger is possible , I think they're called 5 chords so like A5 or D5 etc.
    A way to practice changing chords with the metronome is to put it slow maybe 50 bpm and on the 1st click strum the chord then take time for 3 clicks to reposition and then on the 1 do it again and switch. After it's comfortable try changing it to every 2 clicks and so on. I usually do something like this when I learn a new chord and try to match them with the other ones I know. It's like synchronization
    Maybe there's 12 bar blues format, I think that's where there's 12 counts of 4 so then like take 3 or 4 chords and mix them into the 12.

    Sorry if it's a lot I kept thinking of more but I'm tired now

    Oh yeah tilting the guitar upwards like a shoulder angle may give better leverage for the muted strings
     
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    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Hey! Thanks for sharing how you're feeling.

    What I'll say first of all is that you are absolutely cut out for the Guitar - frustration and hitting walls in your playing is something that happens at every stage, it's just a matter of taking a deep breath and pushing through 😊 (If it was easy, everybody would play guitar ha!)

    It's really difficult to give good advice without seeing/hearing what's going wrong, so if you get a sec, feel free to post a video on this thread, or even DM me privately and I can help much more.

    From experience of having taught loads of beginners over the years, it's important to understand that chords are a slow burner - they do not give themselves up easily and they require A LOT of attention.

    If you think about exactly what you're training yourself to do - training loads of tiny muscle groups to be exactly on point, jumping from shape to shape, while keeping enough strength, the right finger/hand angle, consistently, every time - It's a lot to get right at once, which is why it needs to be pure muscle memory.

    So without seeing exactly what you're doing at the moment- my suggestion, and the most worthwhile thing you can do in my opinion is to try and add more days into your practice. With chords, to develop that muscle memory, consistency is everything - I like to think that our hands have a bad memory, so if they're only being reminded 1 day a week of what they're supposed to be doing, alot of the hard work you put in on that 1 day can be lost/forgotten in the 6 days they're not being used (if that makes sense). Sometimes even working on something 2-3 days in a row will give noticeable results 👌

    So basically, Chords require a lot of time/trial and error to start to click into place, so see if you can find those extra days (I'm sure your SO will be able to handle it 😊) Feel free to DM me any time if you need more advice or want tips.

    Cheers!
     
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    Aightball

    Garage band Groupie
  • Nov 11, 2019
    133
    337
    Iowa
    aightball.wordpress.com
    0
    Thank you guys for all the great advice and making me feel better! Sorry I haven't been on lately, but life hapens/been kind of tired and crabby all week. I do appreciate you all taking the time to read and respond!!

    I confess I stashed the guitar that night into the back bedroom out of frustration. But I plan to get it back out tonight and see if I can run through chords again. I will grab a video and post it here for those that asked to see how I'm playing. And I will work through all the great advice and posted videos here as well and see what I can apply to my practicing! Definitely need to practice more than once a week =)!

    Thank you all again!!
     
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