Hi, my kids bought me a 50 quid acoustic guitar from amazon for Christmas, and I have been trying to practice 20-30 minutes a day since then. From other online guitar sites I have learned to play the open chords and can bumble my way through some simple transitions. Rather than spending money on new kit to make me better :), I thought I'd pay for some lessons.
My goal is to be able to play a few recognisable songs by the one year anniversary. I can play a few single note versions of stuff like Ode to Joy, Happy Birthday, White Cliffs of Dover etc.. but I would like to play some other stuff all the way through, currently working on Hotel California, Purple Rain and Wonderwall.
As I work full time and have other commitments, I do not get as much practise time as I would like, I want to start practising smarter (focussed) rather than dipping in and out of random youtube videos.
Any top tips to help me over the next few months would be greatly appreciated - thank you.
My first target would always be to bring a simpler version up to speed rather than getting bogged down in a more complex version that leaves you feeling like you're walking through treacle. *Play* using what's easiest but *practise* the tougher things you'd like to make easy. Re. using a barred F, the required mechanics are covered in the 2nd half of this article: https://www.taplature.com/single-post/2020/02/24/How-to-Practice-Guitar-Chords-Definitive-Guide
Thanks Paul :)
I have a question about using a particular song for beginning to learn techniques.
I was practising Hotel California (very slowly - video coming soon) and whereas I had played it before with a Fmaj7 style F, I have been trying to use the barre F in the Am-E7-G-D-F-C-Dm-E7 part.
This slows everything down a bit, but as I only have myself to please, is this ok, or should I play the easier Fmaj7 so that the whole thing rolls along a bit quicker?
Similarly in the chorus I am trying to learn the Am - F walk-up ( like in the Marty Guitar video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIDdI-AtK-Q&list=PLdJXIih5lwxnZYZOxnV8HXvRPfhNqoSJr&index=6&t=0s .
Again, this makes the whole thing a bit ploddy and less musical (at this point in time), but I see it as an opportunity to practise something new. Maybe as a beginner I should be focussing on the basics, such as timing, clean changes etc...
I don't want to try to run before I've learned to walk, but on the flip side, if I am going to learn how to integrate barre chords and walk ups into playing, I will need to develop the finger strength and dexterity required, and this seems ( to me anyway, a complete idiot beginner) a reasonable place to start.
"trying to get the "gap" for the missing down strum in D-DU-UDU" "I am hoping that Paul will send me the silver bullet by e-mail" If you haven't seen this yet then it's probably worth a look and gives a decent idea of how I'd approach just about *any* problem on guitar (as John can vouch for 😉). https://www.taplature.com/single-post/2019/01/30/Fix-Your-Strumming-Problems-Today PS. I've now remembered to issue you both with your Founder Members badges ... for those brave enough to take the plunge into this (unique to my knowledge) online
approach to the subject.
Hi John. I am really pleased that you are still enjoying the thrill of learning something new, and the fact that you feel you have really kicked on is brilliant, as there must be some tangible and I guess audible difference in your playing.
I will try the Dummer's Pulse site tonight when i pick up my guitar. I
have tried using the metronome on Guitar Tuna app, and also on garage band, but as my timing is a bit like British Rail (there's one for the kids) then I have found it a hinderance as much as a help.
I found it useful when trying to get the "gap" for the missing down strum in D-DU-UDU but when I set it to play along to say Purple Rain, ('cos its slow), I find myself fighting it a bit.
I should probably try and listen to more music, as I'm sure that can help too. I have never studied music, or played an instrument (not even a recorder), so it's all a bit of an enjoyable struggle at the moment, but the fact I can play 8 more chords than I could 9 months ago means at least some of it is getting through :).
I am hoping that Paul will send me the silver bullet by e-mail, and I'll be transformed into Glen Frey quicker than you can say "New Kid in Town".
Or more realistically help me kick on a bit :)
I will try and record myself over the weekend, but never having done it, I was wondering if it's better to use an external mic ( I have one for Zoom ) or just to try and sit close to the computer ?
Thanks for all your advice, encouragement and other kind words,
Hello Paul, I’ve been having weekly lessons with Paul since August 2018. Unfortunately we've had to use Skype for the last six months for obvious reasons, but I still really enjoy it. Although I loved sitting in Paul’s guitar room strumming my new chords while he played the melodies. Practice has been a struggle for me too. To begin with, it was a perceived lack of progress. Just trying to nail a D chord is not the most scintillating thing to do. But it is absolutely worth it. I struggled with a metronome, but I now use the Drummers Pulse website, with the count set to Voice. “One and, two and, three and, four and.” Made a big difference and you can see progress if you write down the speeds you achieve. I’ve also started to video my playing and post them on the blog. It’s a challenge and something specific to do. Rather than saying ‘I’ll do 10 minutes today.” My lessons are on Tuesday evenings so I always try to play at weekends (fills the void left by having no football at the moment) and I always play on Monday nights, and try to play for an hour before my lesson. I’ve feel as though I’ve “kicked on” in recent weeks, and Drummers Pulse and videoing my playing has definitely helped. Plus Paul is a top teacher! Good luck - I look forward to seeing your playing. Hotel California, Wonderwall and Dakota are my three songs that I aspire to nailing 👍
Hi Paul, Welcome! How about showing how far you've got to date with a video? Quality isn't especially important and "warts & all" is good as it highlights where work will be best put in. Ideally in time with a metronome or backing track (ChordPulse Lite is great, and free for Windows PCs if you haven't got something like this already) though without would be enough to get us started too. Paul.