First recording “yikes”

Looking for critiques on what you see I could improve on…. I really try when I practice to not look at my chord shapes but when I play I’m constantly looking at my strumming and my chord changes… “lol” I’m smoother than I was a month ago but wow the struggle is real to strum and have a clean chord change.


Hi Richard,

You are off to a good start in your guitar journey. I liked that you always kept your hand moving the whole time strumming… one technique that may sound crazy to force yourself to stop looking at your hands is to try to play in the dark. Put your hands in that first C chord then move to a G after turning the lights off. Your hand will naturally start to feel the frets if you don’t give your eyes a chance to look.

There was a guy named Jeff Healey who was popular in the 1980s and 1990s who was blind and still played music. If you’ve seen the movie Road House, that was the guitar player for the bar band. If he can do it we sure can. Just a thought for you.

That sounds like Stand By Me chords you were playing. That may be a good song choice if you want to try it. I play that with G—Em—c—D7 and find it sounds nice. If you need a strumming strategy (down-down-up-down is a start) if you’re interested in that song.

Good luck and thanks for being brave and sharing your music



Hi Richard,

I agree with Jeff, that was a good start! You kept your arm moving constantly and it felt as it was getting smoother along the duration of the video. :+1:

Regarding watching you hands, this is nothing unusual, especially in the beginning of learning something new. You maybe want to check out one of Justin’s Lessons on that (don’t know where you are on your learning journey):

Good luck and lots of fun! :slight_smile:

PS: That was a cute dog checking in on you practicing. :smiley:

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Its a good start Richard. With time you will stop looking at your hands.

You’re doing good Richard!
Sometimes I like to start out “normally”, watching my hands & then just close my eyes for 3-4 chord changes. Then do it again at a different point in the chord progression… etc. You’re going to goof it up at first, but it does get better! Side benefit is that it kind of connects you with the “groove” & once you can play through your favorite progressions, it’s sort of a Zen Moment! Very relaxing, especially if you don’t obsess on the mistakes - just keep going!


I thought your rhythm was mostly pretty good…in spite of all the looking and head turning.

One thing I noticed was that you are mostly looking at your fretting hand…your strumming hand seems to be running on auto-pilot…which is exactly what you want. It’s not clear to me why you keep looking at your strumming hand.

Maybe that’s a place to start breaking the looking habit…add a few minutes to your practice routine where you set a timer for a minute or three, where the only goal is to never look at your strumming hand.

As others have already suggested, closing your eyes or playing in the dark will also help…they certainly helped me.

Pretty solid start Richard. Don’t worry about looking at your hands in the early stages of your journey, its quite natural and something that you will gradually do less and less. All is good. :sunglasses:

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Exactly what Toby said. It’s natural early on to be looking where that hand is going. It’s all about muscle memory too, so the more you play the more comfortable those changes will feel; just takes a little time, patience and practice. You’ll get there. You said it yourself, smoother now than a month ago. All in good time.

I’ll echo the comments that this is a nice start Richard and well done to you for posting your first recording. Plenty to be pleased about there, steady strumming hand and chords ringing true. Some tidying on your changes needed but as always that’ll come with time.
Don’t concern yourself too much about constantly looking, although I bet you’ll surprise yourself about how much muscle memory you’ve developed already if you gave it a go.
Bravo :slight_smile:

Nicely done Richard. Some great comments and advice in the postings above. Things look to be coming along really well.