September 9, 2019 at 5:33 pm #144045
For the past few weeks now, I feel i am not progressing in my guitar journey. I am jumping from one thing to the other, and it feels like i am wasting a lot of time. Should i structure/regiment my learning with a plan maybe? Anyone feeling the same? or do you have any tips? Thanks
September 9, 2019 at 6:02 pm #144053
This is often the way in learning many skills. I find it often seems to proceed a breakthrough to a new level. Tell us a bit about where you are. Whilst skipping about can be fun too much can be a bad thing. In order to achieve you need patience, practice and success. What I would recommend is that you target something well within your current capabilities and stick with it a fair bit until you can get the better of it. One of the simpler lessons to play basically is LEG 022. You will get this down pretty quickly but you will notice that there are nuances that perhaps you cant follow at this point. Again get the basic and then move to another similar lesson and hammer that a bit, perhaps a simpler Micro lesson such as 048. This way you will notice that you are achieving and gaining success. From time to time go back and repeat the ones you have moved on from and you will start to see that you play them a little more fluently and start to put in some of the nuances that you could never manage earlier. If you bite off too big a chunk they take a long time to digest and thus progress and success comes less frequently. My betting is you need to just keep at some of the bits you nearly have and you will overcome them and notice the improvements. Chew off winnable slices and that way you will reward yourself with progress. Nothing encourages like success!
I hope that’s a help
September 9, 2019 at 6:17 pm #144069
Thanks John, yes sorry i should have said a bit more about me. I have been playing/practicing for just over 5 years. So i can play a few things, but to be honest, i feel like i should be better after that time (i practice every day for a minimum of 30 to 40 mins, and sometimes for a couple of hours). I knew from the start that playing the guitar was not a natural thing for me (ie, i have seen some people picking up a guitar and within a few months were doing ok). I don’t mind putting the hours and hard work. But as said lately, i have lost my mojo a little bit. I usually pick up Brian lesson, the ones i like, some i don’t touch them because musically they don’t appeal to me. I have a few YouTube subscriptions and practice some of the videos, I also have a Patreon subscription with another guy. Progress have been made, and I know this because for example when i go back to an old lesson from Brian, which maybe i could not do properly when it was published, i suddenly find myself able to play it (not perfectly though, but definitely much better than when I first picked it up). I have tried personal lessons with teacher, but it does not seem to work out for me, plus financially it is not viable. It’s probably just a phase, and hopefully find my mojo again
September 9, 2019 at 8:57 pm #144094
I’m not a great player but can play a little bit. But this happens to all of us, over and over again.
I suggest laying your guitar down until you hear something that moves you. Then pick it back up and play it.
You are putting in the work so I’m pretty sure you will be able to play as well as you want to play.
For me, I know I could play, but I’m unwilling to make the sacrifice!
September 9, 2019 at 9:01 pm #144095
One thing I found that helps me to progress is recording myself. Then when I listen to the recording the first thing I think is “that sucked”. From there I ask myself what makes it suck. What sucks the most? Then I pick out that one thing that sucks the most and that’s what I work on. When I overcome that shortcoming I know I have progressed. Now it’s time to pick out then second thing that sucks the most.
If you attack your practices this way I am sure you will see progress. It makes your practice time more effective because you are attacking the things that need to be addressed specifically.
September 9, 2019 at 9:54 pm #144100
It’s funny you say that. For the last 12 or so months I have been binge-studying different artists and techniques over a very wide-ranging field of interests. Now I have come to realize that if I spend a month or two digging deep into BB King and learning his licks and style, for example, then I begin to forget the licks and styles of some of the other artists I have studied. So I’ve begun to wonder, would it be better to just pick one or two styles or artists, and become an expert on them? Most people see diversity as a good thing, but it looks to me like it’s possible to over-diversify.
This is similar to the question that has been posed many times in the past here on the forum: How many of Brian’s lessons should we try to keep in our repertoires? 10? 20? Some members say none, that we should just extract licks and techniques from the lessons. I admire members like Lights, who doesn’t even want to learn electric guitar. He just focuses on acoustic blues, which seems like a nice finite goal to me. Because of that, he has become a master in that field.
September 10, 2019 at 1:56 am #144112
Make small, specific goals for your practice sessions. They can be haphazard, but any time you decide to practice, there should be something you determine you will accomplish. It might be getting the pitch better on a bend, or memorizing one measure of a piece you are working on, or smoothing out a difficult hand transition between chords. It doesn’t matter how small, but achieving particular goals leads to progress faster than you would believe. Going through too much, but not well, will just dig the rugs deeper and deeper.
September 10, 2019 at 2:47 am #144124
No words of wisdom from me,think I’ve played guitar once or twice this year.
Tbh all I ever seemed to do was float from one lesson to another and not picking up anything from any of them.
Hopefully you find your mojo again.
September 10, 2019 at 5:16 am #144129
Well you’ve god some great pointers in this thread. I am a 4 year member here and played a bit 40 years ago but very limited. Accomplishment seems to be a recurring theme and as I said nothing succeeds like success. I was a bit of a finger flapper and decided to concentrate on getting past that mainly by playing scales major pentatonic etc pretty much most times I pick up the guitar. This has helped and its one thing that you can continually practice and spot improvement coming through. So yes I agree with the comment about technique above. I hope to get to the point where I can put up soundslice and just play a lesson from the tab. At the moment I can sometimes do this but usually the tempo is the stalling point. Also when I have got a bit stuck as you are experiencing I have found it useful to stop taking on new stuff and revert to the favorites list and find a few that I know I can play and go and try and improve them. This has proved to be good thing for me. You can immediately identify the improvements and also the stalling points and gauge how you have progressed. It thus gives a quick route to some success and is morale boosting. Layoffs are perhaps not too recommended but can do the trick for reviving enthusiasm.
September 10, 2019 at 5:45 am #144130
Thanks guys! You have given me some stuff to think about. Yes going back to old lessons is good, i do that some times and that’s when i realise that yes i did progress. Sunjamr, i think you are right, too much material is maybe not a good thing. Roger, i tried to record myself (on my phone) a few times, I don’t know why but it made me cringe, maybe i am over criticizing myself a bit too much. My wife says sometimes that I sounds good, but i don’t know if she is just being polite ;0).
The one thing i really need to do, is to find a buddy guitar player with the same musical taste (who is much better than me) and do some sessions together. I unfortunately work weekends evening, so i need to find somebody that works the same pattern or is retired. I really think that i would benefit enormously from this. My wife’s cousin is a musician and told me once that i could come to his house and jam with but he never really materialise the invite
PS: Billy, you need to leave that guitar on its stand and pick it up as soon as you get 5mins
September 10, 2019 at 10:01 am #144137
Hey Jeannott, do not despair. Your progress depends upon a lot of variables. I have been playing guitar for a long long time and can honestly say that it hasn’t been until recently (since I discovered this site) that I really started to learn how to play and understand the guitar. Brian has created bar none the best online music community going. He provides performance worthy arrangements in just about every genre imaginable. Should you look into others for help and guidance? Of course. Don’t limit yourself to one teacher or resource. Your improvement level can be measured in countless ways. Two weeks is barely enough time to measure improvement. It depends upon what you are working on as well. It has taken me years to learn a solo. Each time throwing my hands up, quitting, cursing but always coming back with a new and improved attitude and perspective. IF YOU LOVE THE JOURNEY YOU WILL NOT WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT HOW GOOD YOU ARE OR HOW RAPIDLY YOU ARE IMPROVING. Take your time, smell the roses, take advantage of all of Brian’s learning tools and start simply. Focus on your interests. Let me tell you this. You cannot escape having to work hard at playing. For most of us, it doesn’t come naturally or easily. Once you learn a volume of arrangements, you have to maintain them or you will forget all that you struggled to learn. Enjoy the journey. You will improve over time at different rates, depending on what you are trying to do. Know what you want to learn and give yourself years to evolve. This is no easy task. It will happen.
September 11, 2019 at 6:32 pm #144236
So obviously from the responses you have got, yours is a common problem.
You mention that you feel you are not making progress, but you don’t specifically say why. You have recorded some of your performances. Put them on continuous play, and listen. First identify the things you feel are good. We often hear the mistakes, and don’t hear the good. Then identify what it is that you are unhappy with. Then focus on a way to improve the deficiencies. If you are unsure of what you need to do, post the performance here, and ask for honest feedback. A few years back, I decided that my playing wasn’t progressing. I realized that my view of what I wanted to be able to do had changed, and my practice routine wasn’t going to get me there.
You also mention, that you are moving from one thing to another. I have also had this problem. Sometimes I think about what attracted me to the piece in the first place, and realize it wasn’t the complete piece, but just a riff. In that case learn the riff and what makes it work and move on. In other cases, it was that the piece was just too difficult, and it was taking too long to master. Again, nothing wrong with moving on.
Hope that helps.
September 12, 2019 at 1:06 pm #144276
Thanks Bob, i actually saw on Facebook one of the member posting a video about lesson EP074 (Eric Clapton), so i had a go yesterday recording myself with my phone (i don’t have any fancy recording equipment unfortunately). It’s a lesson that i did ages ago, went over it a few times yesterday before recording it, if i had to grade myself in all honesty, it probably would be a 5 out of 10, and that’s being generous. I completely messed up one bit of it, timing with a track is definitely an issue for me. i will maybe carry on with this lesson a bit more and try to record it to the best of my capabilities and post it here.
There are progress, most definitely, but then i guess when you watch videos from people that have been playing for many years and are good (ie Brian), and you try to compare yourself, it’s just not going to happen. When i wrote the original post i was just feeling down a bit, but after reading some of the replies, it somehow gave me back some of the mojo.
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