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Thread: 35yr old, Frustrated, feels Lost and need proper direction

  1. #1
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    35yr old, Frustrated, feels Lost and need proper direction

    Hey Guys and Dolls:

    I am 35 years old... in the last 5 years I have taken private lessons (on and off), currently doing the video lessons (Vguitarlessons.com).

    Private lessons: I found my private lessons to be somewhat stressful.. 1 hour of being told what finger to go on what string at what fret and then putting it all together at the end of each lesson... with a week in between lessons, I was able to play what I was taught but not clean or mistake free..... I felt rushed. Didnt know from Adam what note I was playing, in what scale.. etc..etc... just out there floating in TAB hell. I have not had a lesson in a while and i couldn't play a thing right now from those lessons if you paid me.

    Video Lessons: I purchased the entire selection of video lessons @ vguitarlessons.com. I have been working on Purple Haze for a while... I can hit the opening riff no problem... not at the proper tempo but I know how to play it... When it comes to the chords i am lost... transition between chords does not exsist.. But I am trying to prefect the opening riff so I dont spend much time on the chords yet.

    Physically: I know I am super tense when I am playing... not because I notice it when I am playing but when I stop playing .. The pain in my left shoulder is unreal!!


    Basically what I am asking is HOW CAN I LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR!!?!?!?!? I want to learn ... I am die'n to learn... I have the time to learn... i am just not learning... i have doubts on the way I am learning.. I not only want to learn.. I want to know what I am learning... Why is it done this way? How can I fix mistakes? Chords, Scales... you name it I want to learn it and need directed to the right person or places for this to happen... I just want to be able to JAM, hear myself play some tunes and be able to talk music and most of all have some fun...


    Thanks

    J

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    I relate to your story. When I retired at 65 I started banjo and took lessons for about a year. Friend had a band and I ask to sit in - long story short -- I started playing with the band. Acoustic guitar fit better than the banjo so I started learning guitar and again took lessons from a couple of really bad instructors. Got enough to take over myself and then a few years later I found a really good instructor. I take lesson from John for about 6 months and then stop for 6 months or so and catch up on what he has given me. As I need more I go back to John and he takes me a little farther on down the road.

    So..... don't give up on finding the right instructor.

    Now to some of your questions.
    When it comes to the chords i am lost... transition between chords does not exist.. But I am trying to prefect the opening riff so I don't spend much time on the chords yet.
    Give this some thought -- If you play a basic three chord progression -- which is pretty simple -- and let your voice handle the melody you will be playing complete songs in no time. O'h you say your voice sound terrible? Who cares, you are learning how to play the guitar, when you have accomplished this you can go public and use a vocalist to do the singing.

    Playing melody is hard and using tabs you could probably get five or six songs memorized in the next five or six weeks, IF you practiced an hour a day. Or you could sing the melody and accompany your vocal with chord harmony on your guitar and be playing a bunch of songs in that same amount of time.

    You also said:
    Why is it done this way? How can I fix mistakes? Chords, Scales... you name it I want to learn it and need directed to the right person or places for this to happen... I just want to be able to JAM, hear myself play some tunes and be able to talk music and most of all have some fun...
    Relax you sound like the kids -- that want to know everything at once. Chill out and take it one step at a time. Here is my suggested route:

    Call up some fake chord sheet music on songs you know the tune to -- something you can already sing the lyrics to. Let Google find them for you. Use these key words. Guitar chords, "name of the song"

    Probably will have three or four chords. Learn them. Now learn to change between those chords while singing the song.

    Fake chord looks like this.

    Dm..................G.................C........... ..........F
    I heard he sang a good song. I heard he had a style.

    Dm................G.................Am............ .........
    And so I came to see him to lis - ten for a - while

    Learn the Dm, G, C, F and Am chords.

    Make a Dm chord and start strumming - all down strums are OK at first -- Sing the song and strum that Dm chord till you get to the word "a" change to the G chord. Keep strumming the G chord till you get to the word "I" change to the C chord ---- you get the idea.

    Here is what you want to accomplish in the next three months. Be able to sing and play chords to a complete song. That could take that three months. Getting the chord changes and the singing to work together will take some doing, but, well worth all the effort. Next provide an instrumental single note solo between the chorus and third verse of the song.

    Using the chord progression as background harmony accompany your vocal to two verses and one chorus of your favorite song. You voice has been providing the lead solo --- now pass the lead solo to your guitar and play a 12 measure single note solo of the song's tune (the tune to a verse or the chorus) Pass the lead back to your voice and sing the last verse, repeat the chorus and tag the last line of the chorus to end the song.

    When you can do that you will have learned how to play chord harmony and single note melody. That's about all we do with our guitars.

    After you can do that to several of your favorite songs THEN start worrying about all that other stuff you asked about.

    Jamming a chord progression with friends. Easy. Playing a single note improvisation. Not as easy, and will take awhile, but, lets take it one step at a time.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 07-31-2008 at 02:42 AM.

  3. #3
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    Excellent advice Malcolm !!

    the one thing I would add:

    well maybe a couple of things(ha ha),

    start with 3 chord songs(as malcolm mentioned, and there are literally thousands of songs that only contain 3 chords, especially songs based on the blues)

    start at a slow steady tempo,
    that when changing from 1 chord to another you are going slow enough that you don't have to pause the song to put your fingers down in the right place for your next chord.

    stick with beginning chords like G, C, D, A, E before going on to "tougher" chords like an F chord(which is considered a harder chord to play)

    most importantly have fun, end your practice on something that you enjoy(and already know) so that you end your practice having fun and will be excited to play tomorrow.
    "Success is arriving at a Personal Satisfaction within yourself"

    Dedicated To Guitar!!!

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    Basically purple haze the song I am currently trying to learn has 3 chords,

    Hendrix Chord (7#9) G, A and I think A#dim (not sure what this one is) so maybe 4 chords. Not sure what 7#9, G, A , A#dim means.. another thing I want to learn... Music therory

    I have not tried yet.. But I think singing while trying to play the chords seems harder than just trying to play the chords.... So I should trying to stick the chords with the strumming pattern??? Or should I just be trying to form the chords for about 2 weeks and not worry about the strumming? What's up with my tension in my shoulder? Should I hit a joint to relax? I will take up the habit to help me :-P

  5. #5
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Hendrix Chord (7#9) G, A and I think A#dim (not sure what this one is) so maybe 4 chords. Not sure what 7#9, G, A , A#dim means.. another thing I want to learn... Music therory
    Music theory is on top of all the other stuff. Takes a lot of reading and study. Do Not let theory get in the way of practicing right now. Learning how to play is your number one priority. Learning why it works comes later --I'm a theory geek -- and it is important, but not right now. Ask questions here if you get tied up on something.

    Here is a good chord generator that may come in handy.
    http://www.looknohands.com/chordhous.../index_db.html

    Now all those fancy chords. Right now dumb down your chords to the basic Major (A) or minor (Am) chord all that other stuff is color and flavor, except for the A7 and that is a structure chord. So if you have something like Am7(b5) work left to right --- Am you want for sure. Am7 is also a structure chord and really not all that hard so grab the 7th with your little finger. Now the b5 is asking a lot right now so forget about it. I bet you can not tell that much difference in the sound anyway.

    I have not tried yet.. But I think singing while trying to play the chords seems harder than just trying to play the chords.... So I should trying to stick the chords with the strumming pattern??? Or should I just be trying to form the chords for about 2 weeks and not worry about the strumming?
    Unless you strum the chord how will you know you have formed a good chord? Form the chord and strum it. See if it sounds good, if you have some dead strings in there look and see what you need to do to move your fingers around to get good crisp chords. Hint -- if your finger are sore on the finger print portion of the finger you are doing it wrong. The finger tip should be sore. Why? The finger tip is the smallest part of the finger and does not slop over onto other strings. Push your elbow out into the room that will bring your hand up over the top of the strings.
    What's up with my tension in my shoulder? Should I hit a joint to relax? I will take up the habit to help me :-P
    You are asking your body to do things it is not used to doing so there is a shake out process that needs to take place. With out seeing what you are doing hard to tell you how to fix the problem. Again Google may help. There are some posture sites you may be able to find.

    As to the joint, no I do not recommend that.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 07-31-2008 at 03:28 AM.

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    Can u recommed a blues or classic rock song with these chords you speak?

  7. #7
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    http://www.chordie.com/browsesong.ph...d=3000&filter=

    http://guitar.about.com/library/bleasysongs60s.htm

    http://www.12bar.de/soloscal.php


    http://www.guitarnoise.com/easy/

    This one is Country, but has dirt simple chord progressions.
    http://www.roughstock.com/cowpie/songs/
    Hank Williams is about as basic as you can get.

    Here are five sites that should give you plenty to work with. Understand using things like this you really have to already known the tune to where you can already sing the song --- as the fake chord or tab do nothing to give you the tempo or note duration, etc you will need to pull the song off.

    So asking us for A SONG --- unless I give you one you already know is not really going to help you. Google can find most anything.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 07-31-2008 at 04:08 AM.

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    `I suggest that the most important thing you can do....
    (1) Play songs that you like,frustration has this way to make you give up....playing stuff you like is something can never bore you....try and pick the easier ones that u like...and try and play it...no matter if u cant....try....
    (2) Get yourself something like "Accelarate your guitar playing-tomo fujita" really really helpful to build up basic aspects that every guitar player should have
    (3)Start recording yourself...so you can SEE progress....sometimes ppl lose track
    (4) After a coupla months of the above...find yourself some jam buddies!!!

    The rest will start falling into place...

  9. #9
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Take a look at how Hank Williams plays Cold, Cold Heart in this video. It is an excellent example of a four chord - bum chuck strum - song. About as basic as you get. Should give you an idea what you are shooting for in playing chords and singing at the same time. Don't let the Country turn you off, Country is dirt simple and has a lot of good songs to learn on. Willie Nelson's songs will be a little more "up to date".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pYTOHernds

    http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/ww...dColdHeart.cpm

    Speaking of Willie - also on Chordie.com

    They say this was the most recorded song of the twentieth century. I only
    know of three who've done it, Dorthy, Willie and Miss Piggy. I'm sure you've heard this one enough times to follow the fake chord.


    Nice and slow..........

    (G) Somewhere --- (Em) over the rainbow,
    (C) way (Am) up (G) high
    (G) Theres (C) a (Am) land (Em) that I heard of
    (D) once in a (G) lullaby

    (G) Somewhere --- (Em) over the rainbow
    (C) skies (Am) are (G) blue
    (G) And the (C) dreams (Am) that you (Em) dare to dream
    (D) really do come (G) true

    Little faster ......

    (G) Someday I'll wish (Em) upon a star
    (Em) And (C) wake up where the clouds are far ----- (Am) behind (D) me
    (D) Where (G) troubles melt like (Em) lemon drops
    (Em) away above the (C) chimney tops ----
    (C) Thats where you'll ------ (Am) find (D) me

    (G) Somewhere (Em) over the rainbow,
    (C) blue(Am) birds (G) fly
    (C) Birds (Am) fly (Em) over the rainbow ----
    (D) why then oh why --- can't --- (G) I

    Because of the many chord changes this song will take you several months to get it to flow. Take it one verse at a time.
    Good luck.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 08-01-2008 at 12:01 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the great info... I decided to start with beginner song #1 @ http://www.guitarnoise.com/lesson/horse-with-no-name/ and work my way to the rest.......

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    I can kinda relate to you. I tried learning to play the piano by myself and after a while, I was real frustrated and stopped playing ever since. A couple months ago, I was determined to play the guitar and so far, it's been a slow learning process. I guess I'm just trying to see results.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknout89
    I can kinda relate to you. I tried learning to play the piano by myself and after a while, I was real frustrated and stopped playing ever since. A couple months ago, I was determined to play the guitar and so far, it's been a slow learning process. I guess I'm just trying to see results.
    It is tough. Guitar is a very hard instrument. That may seem surprising given all the well known idiots who appear to be able to play, but let's not get side tracked with that issue here.

    I haven't read the replies above, but ....

    If you are just starting with open position chords then the only thing is to stick with it and just be patient and don't get discouraged no matter what ... but do try to put in at least 1 hour practice every day.

    After a few weeks of that, whatever progress you think you have made or have not made, then if your real aim is to play fancy solos (like everyone else), then please do yourself a favour and get a couple of really good beginners instructional DVD's. The best I've seen, after looking at literally hundreds of them, are those by Danny Gill, ie Rock Essentials and after that Rock Concepts.

    Just get those and use them as the basis of your daily practice (that's what they are meant for).

    For modern chords, particularly in jazz-fusion context, I suggest you get Chris Juergensen's book The Infinite Guitar. For the clearest scale diagrams etc. be sure to get Guthrie Govan's first book Creative Guitar vol-1 Cutting Edge Techniques (includes a very good demo disk with loads of modern practice examples).

    That's it. After a few months of that...get a good instructional DVD on your favourite songs, and learn to play the songs from that...again anything by Danny Gill ("Lick Library") is either good or very good (he has dozens of them on loads of different bands/players).... to see all that stuff, just browse at Musicroom.com.

    Same advice to 35yr_Frustrated (despite what you say about already having those videos ... forget all that stuff, instead do what I suggest above. Eg, get Danny Gill's teaching DVD on Hendrix, ie this one http://www.musicroom.com/se/ID_No/096290/details.html

    Ian.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 09-05-2008 at 08:26 PM.

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