My frustration with learning guitar

Posted: August 23, 2006 in Uncategorized

I never picked up a guitar until a couple of months ago. I bought a nice Takamine acoustic and my father-in-law, who is a very good guitar player, taught me some chords. When he’s there, I can do them. When I practice alone, I have major trouble. My father-in-law and I work different schedules so we get to sit down and play maybe once a week.

So I practice when I can, that means when my kids aren’t around. Sometimes I get an hour in, sometimes two, every day…..I’m trying. I really want to play and I want to learn but it’s just not coming. I pick things up very easily, I learn and retain quickly. but learning to play guitar has been a struggle, I can’t get my fingers positioned properly. I admit to being a little intimidated as well.

I’m sure someone out there plays a mean guitar…..any tips for a beginner?

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Comments
  1. Mike says:

    I used to play also when I was much younger. I can barely remember anything exceot maybe, Jingle Bells. I got a Fender Bass a few years ago and learned to play things like “Boris the Spider” and Intro’s to Crazy Train and “Sunshine of your Love”. Now that I have a child, I have no time to practice. If you figure out how to make more time in the day, let me know.

  2. I hear you about longer days. I work 3rd shift so my day starts at 11pm when I get up for work. My day ends at 6:30 pm when I go to bed before work. Between my 2 girls, work, household chores (I’m Mr. Mom), and errands, there isn’t a lot of time left in the day for practice. Hell, there isn’t enough time in the day for anything!

  3. kbel says:

    If you want to play, you have to steal time. While you sit there watching TV, assuming that you have the time to do that, pull the guitar out and work on chords and dexterity exercises. Move your hands around as much as you can but make sure that you are playing things correctly. This means starting out slow and gradually increasing speed. Your father in law can help.. Don’t play chords by slowly putting on finger down at a time. Learn to grab the chord in one motion. get a simple song and work at moving your hands through, starting S-L-O-W-L-Y. While picking, ensure that you are relaxed by exerting a conscious effort at first. If you take the time to do things right as you work on them, you will be rewarded after a short time. Don’t be impatient as that is what kills most fledgling guitar players. good luck.

  4. alx says:

    Learn to enjoy sucking – really. Get good at the simple things like scales, chord memorization, building strenth in your fingers. Enjoy what you can do rather than feeling bad that you can’t do more. when you get good at the simple things (Kbel had very good tips) then cooler new things will come out and suprise you.

    Learn modal scales front and back, up and down, and you can do anything from building your own chords, to figuring out songs and riffs. But that may be a ways away yet.

    Start with simple blues scales, play SLOW and ACCURATE. When you start memorizing the scales, play them as you watch TV. You wont get bored and you will build speed and accuracy. Go until your hand goes numb. It will help with everything. Get used to switching from chord to chord. Dont strum with your wrist, use your elbow mostly. Play to a metronome if possible.

    It takes time, find a good teacher. Depends where you want to go with it. MOST IMPORTANTLY –
    Make sure your guitar is in TUNE when you practice, and that the guitar is intonated (research that word) You will need a guitar tech to intonate it, costs like $20. IF your guitar sounds like crap, you will not enjoy playing because you will sound like crap. I have 15 years experience and only play my own material, I love playing and am extremely comfortable playing and ad-libing, I have fun with it. Just have fun no matter how good or bad you are!

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