Daphne's Learning Log

I have been playing guitar for a little over 3/12 years. I grew up in a musical family and played trumpet for several years. I stopped playing trumpet several years ago. I wanted to learn to play guitar since I was 15. I have tried to learn guitar several times in the past several years and had several false starts. It finally clicked a in the spring and summer of 2018. I consider myself to be an advanced beginner. I am not sure if I am an intermediate player yet. I know my open chords, strumming, power chords, palm muting, picking, alternate picking and riffing over a pentatonic scale. I am currently working on learning bar chords and more beginning lead guitar.

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All sounds grand, Daphne. I suggest a good way to get a sense of where you are would be to post some recordings in #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing. That will get you feedback, encouragement, and perhaps some suggestions.

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Thanks, I may do that. There are a couple of things I want to get feedback on.

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Great stuff Daphne, nice to meet you,

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Nice to meet you too.

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Right now, I am working on Bar chords and couple of songs. I want to learn the E, E minor, A and A minor shapes. I am almost done with the E shape. I feel like it is taking a long time to learn bar chords and I am a little frustrated. For a while, I was learning bar chords, picking patterns and some beginning lead. I had fun learning picking patterns and lead techniques but I feel like it was taking too long to learn bar chords. I decided to focus on bar chords. I am also working on the songs, Zombie by the Cranberries and Hurt by Johnny Cash. I am almost done with Zombie. I want to finish and and record myself playing the song soon.

I look forward to hearing it Daphne! Definitely a good call to be focussing on the barre’s, I’m only really stepping into that world but appreciating the flexibility that they offer.

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Hi Daphne, barre chords take time. For sure even if the sound is not perfect yet you may have noticed that is getting easier to do them that when you first tried them. Mines are not good enough yet but with a little push of focused practice they should get better.

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Thanks, I am hoping to finish the song in a week or two. I am frustrated with bar chords right now but it will be nice to be able to play songs that use them.

I do feel like it is getting easier to play them.

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Hi Daphne. One of the things I did to develop my barre chords was to practice songs using mostly barre chords regardless of whether the song required them or sounded as good with them. Using Hurt as an example: I might play the intro using the Am open then move to C as an A shape on the 3 fret and then D on the 5th. In the verse I might play the Am as Em shape on the 5th fret, C on the 3rd, D on the 5th back to Am on the 5th, etc. In the chorus I would choose Am open so that it was close the F then to G on the 3rd. This approach can be progressive in that you can pick just one chord to barre, such as the G on the chorus, and then add more as you feel comfortable. For practice I often did this using Justin’s app. It allowed me to just pick a song at random without having to learn it very well and play along substituting barre chords wherever I wanted. And when my hand started to get tired, I would switch to open chords to give it a rest.

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That is a good idea. I am looking at songs I want to learn that use bar chords.

I have been struggling with motivation lately. I am frustrated and bored with what I am working on. I feel like bar chords are taking so long to learn. I am almost done with a song I am working on but I need to push myself to finish it. I have been looking at songs that use bar chords. I used to listen to this song a lot this song several years ago. I looked up the chords for the song and It uses either the A minor shape or a F shape and open chords if I use a capo. Here is a chord chart. I am thinking about learning this song once I know the A minor shape. Here is a chord chart.

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Daphne, we all go through our ups and downs, plus those times when we feel we are putting in effort but not seeming to progress. The ability to adopt a mindset where one can just enjoy what you do today, without stressing about progress, time to learn etc is most helpful.

I also find it then helps me to learn another song that uses chords and techniques that I have ‘mastered’. I used to make recordings of these songs. Some call it consolidating. I think I am a master consolidator :laughing:

Wish you well with the new song.

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I had the very same thing earlier this year Daphne, funnily enough around the time I was learning F chord, blame the barres!!!

I was still playing the guitar but my progress felt absolutely glacial and what I had learned already seemed to be very hit and miss in my playing. I ended up doing exactly what you’ve identified, picked one song to focus on and used that as my sole practice for a couple of weeks. That single mindedness was exactly what I needed, it rammed home the skills I had learned already and proved that, yes, I had improved!!

Wish you all the best with the song! :+1:

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This is excellent advice. There is a terrible temptation to avoid the things we feel are difficult. I still struggle with A major shape barre chords (especially on my acoustic) so try to fit them into songs where I’d normally play an open chord.

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