Guitar is just nothing but frustration 24/7

Dan Shipway

Garage band Groupie
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Over the years I have been playing guitar I have become very aware of the problems I have when playing guitar but no matter how hard I try or how many hours I put into watching YouTube videos on the issues nothing seems to get better. It's getting to the point where I dont want to play because its just a constant loop of "wake up, try to play something, fumble around because my technique is horse sh*t and then go to sleep feeling like im making no progress and wasting my time"

    I do have a personal guitar teacher which has helped a lot but outside of lessons it can be difficult to maintain progress

    The issues I find are:

    When I get to the E and A strings when trying to pick lead lines my wrist is practically at a 90 degree angle to my arm and there is a lot of tension in my shoulder as there is no support for my arm as the strings are so close to my body. I have had some success with moving my arm instead of relying on my wrist for all the movement as the natural curvature of the wrist motion is what creates the awkward angles on higher strings.

    When I am picking, the strings seem to be immovable, with every stroke it feels as though the pick is having to work unnecessarily hard to push through as apposed to a gliding motion that I see people like syn possess.

    Following on from the gliding motion, I find with my picking that the motion of picking in general (because of the reason above) is very jerky. Going across strings foes not feel like a smooth movement, instead every string feels like its disconnected from each other and there are large jumps required to get to each string.

    I constantly change picking positions and styles based on what strings I am playing due to discomfort and its difficult to find one that works across all strings

    Lastly, I find that my fingers tend to uncurl themselves or move about when playing which is less than Ideal

    Does anyone have any tips because it feels as though Im wasting my time trying to learn as I have made as I haven't made any more progress in the 10 years I have been playing than the first 3.
     
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    Dan Shipway

    Garage band Groupie
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    57
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    A big issue I noticed that I need help with is trying to cover large amounts of strings with minimal wrist and hand movement, when I watch a lot of players they can hit all 6 strings almost without moving their hand whereas I feel I have to make huge movements to go across all the strings. I often have to completely change the way my arm is sitting on guitar or how I am picking depending on what group of stings I am playing. I can never play all six at the same time.

    I can strum perfectly fine but when I need to play lead there is a problem

    Another issue I find is that due to tension in my shoulder and arm I tend to anchor it pretty heavily to take all the weight of my arm so it can go limp and not tense up but it makes it tough to push through strings to minimise the large motion my wrist would have to make to hit all the strings.

    What would you guys suggest To deal with these issues?
     
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    Dan Shipway

    Garage band Groupie
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I have decided to invest in a different chair to help with posture as I have noticed that the way I sit with my current chair leads to my body being quite tense. I am also looking at maybe getting a massage soon or something of the sorts to take any knots etc out that I may have. Mainly just taking time to make sure that my body is relaxed and ready to play in a comfortable position
     
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    Dan Shipway

    Garage band Groupie
  • Nov 11, 2019
    656
    57
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    as i have been working on my picking hand and arm, one of the big things has been positioning, i have watch a few videos all similar view points but some differences but the one which resonated with me was one by Guthrie Govan which talked about your hand and arm having to turn off and on again and i feel that is what I have been doing as I feel I need to change position to go from Tremelo picking on one string to multi scale runs and then to rhythm playing and the whole process doesnt seem very fluent.

    I have been trying to find a resting position that allows for easy changing between all of these but i was curious, is moving your hand around something that should be such a concern/ something that is unavoidable or is it possible to have one anchor point for your wrist that allows for you to be able to play anything?
     
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    Brian McQuiston

    Music Theory Bragger
    Legend
    Nov 11, 2019
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    Thanks for everything Ed, there is so much useful advice here! I will admit I am harsh on myself and probably more than I need to be. Guitar for me has always been more about getting good than having fun because it was something that always gave me a sense of achievement and that kept me going so it can be very stressful at times when it feels like nothing is being achieved but all these tips are sure to help!
    There's so much good advise there. Always remember. You may be one song from having a big breakthrough, i.e. I've been playing a lot of Trivium stuff, both on bass and guitar. I've seen my progression accelerate more and more and I'll move on to another song and it's a different challenge.

    Just remember to have fun. Getting better is just part of it.
     
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    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
    2,411
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    as i have been working on my picking hand and arm, one of the big things has been positioning, i have watch a few videos all similar view points but some differences but the one which resonated with me was one by Guthrie Govan which talked about your hand and arm having to turn off and on again and i feel that is what I have been doing as I feel I need to change position to go from Tremelo picking on one string to multi scale runs and then to rhythm playing and the whole process doesnt seem very fluent.

    I have been trying to find a resting position that allows for easy changing between all of these but i was curious, is moving your hand around something that should be such a concern/ something that is unavoidable or is it possible to have one anchor point for your wrist that allows for you to be able to play anything?
    If you go and watch my video again youll see where my resting point has become. Essentially a palm muted position over the bridge pick up. This is for three reasons. One is i palm mute from there most of the time. So i dont have to really move. Two is i pick my pinches in that area as well .. for most of the strings. Some require neck pick up strikes. The third is the general fact that when i do use my neck pick up my picking is over top the neck pick up. Its where i tend to get my best tone ideas from.

    I used to rest my hand where you do. And i realized what i was doing most of the time was pressing on the bar. It was one od the reasons i started working on that area. Closing my fingers into my hand also made it hard to keep playing there. As i worked on making more a fist while playing i slowly found better areas to rest while helping mute strings.
     
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