Guitar is just nothing but frustration 24/7

Dan Shipway

Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    707
    114
    9
    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

    Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    707
    114
    9
    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

    Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    707
    114
    9
    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

    Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    707
    114
    9
    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
    Nov 11, 2019
    2
    2
    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
    2,591
    1,996
    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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    Dan Shipway

    Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    707
    114
    9
    My practicing has been going pretty well lately. I found a dude on YT called Bernth who offers absolutely stellar courses which i have been working on.

    the main focus of my practicing has been on hand synch and trying to build up spped without going sloppy or loosing the feel and its actually been going good, ive noticed a considerable improvement but there are a few things that i was hoping for a bit of advice on

    The main thing is that my arm still seems to get stuck on the edge of the body, this is causing problems with my wrist curving and the picking angle not staying constant whilst doing big runs across all strings (not too bad when doing 2-3 strings, just when the strings are a little out of reach). Another reason I wanted to get this sorted is so when i do things such as tap a note at the top of a sweep i can move my arm freely to perform the tap and go back into position.

    The second issue i noticed which seems to be again, when doing run's across 4-6 strings is that feel like i dont have a lot of picking control when changing strings on an upstroke, i guess it just feels unnatural but it would be nice to find ways to strengthen that as it feels like my arm needs to pull my hand through the strings.

    The other 2 problems are solely to do with speed

    The first is that i find that my wrist tenses up when going quick because my picking motipm gets so small to try and accommodate for the increase in bpm that it seems as thought there is no movement at all


    The last issue i had was with trying to move strings when picking fast. When playing at slow tempos like 50bpm i can make nice large fluid strikes that set me up to pick the string above or bellow but i'm finding it difficult to make it fluid at higher tempos as the pick movements keep the pick close to the string that has just been picked as apposed to resting on the next one


    hopefully these have enough detail to convey my problems if not i am more than happy to elaborate!

    Thanks guys
     
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    Dan Shipway

    Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    707
    114
    9
    Do you guys have any tips on how to shred but musically? Due to practicing workouts which are designed solely to work I have neglected working on how to apply the techniques and wondered if anyone had ways they go about adding speed runs into improvisations or different things they practice to build speed which aren't typical chromatic runs or running scales up and down.
     
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    Lindsey

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Nov 16, 2019
    756
    1,931
    The Netherlands
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    10
    Do you guys have any tips on how to shred but musically? Due to practicing workouts which are designed solely to work I have neglected working on how to apply the techniques and wondered if anyone had ways they go about adding speed runs into improvisations or different things they practice to build speed which aren't typical chromatic runs or running scales up and down.
    Try learning songs with runs like that. Children of bodom for example has nice arpeggio sweeps and scale run throughs in their leads. You can take those parts and use them in your own improvs, or just use them as practice.
     
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    Dan Shipway

    Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    707
    114
    9
    I have recently been running into problems with my forearm and wrist and wondered if you guys could help

    The main problem is my picking Arm gets stuck on the guitar if direct skin is in contact with guitar (possibly putting too much weight on it causing it to take more effort to move) which causes an arching motion when running through all 6 strings and this causes difficulty when trying to run back down through the strings and when starting again as my picking hand is out of postion and my pick is at a different angle

    On the other hand, if i am wearing something like a tshirt with longer sleeves, the friction goes away but the pick seems to move diagonally as it goes through the strings since my arm is moving diagonally

    Basically to sum it up, as i move through the strings, i cant keep my pick moving in a straight(or there about) line which is causing a lot of inconvenience. It also seems like the relationship between my arm and hand isnt there and i have to say "move my arm now" while my wrist carries on.

    The other thing I noticed is that the part of my picking hand that I use to anchor my hand (which is usually the boney part on the side of my hand) seems to move back to the fleshy part under my thumb and its mainly to mute strings and to stop my fingers from hitting the Tremelo arm or pickup selector but it can be tricky to return to return to the same point i started at to repeat a scale run.

    any help is appreciated, i havent found many videos covering these topics so any thing that you guys find will be gems
     
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