Meduso sucks at guitar! (Meduso LL)

Hello!

I am Meduso and for the last year and a bit i been irregularly posting on youtube a few vlogs talking about my guitar progress and issues.
The videos are on spanish but all of them have english CC available.

You can watch the playlist here!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyu4Z7paH23tZ2fFlALKHFrmWpqApZDUc

Yesterday i posted my most recent video after several months with nothing to show.

TL;DW: i feel off pretty hard on guitar the last couple of months. For reasons i mention on the video i changed systems back on october from Justinguitar to a music school, but after 5 months (and some dental emergencies) i quit the school after realizing it was not helping me with my issues (cant land all my fingers at the same time when forming chords and i cant do barre chords).
I went back to justinguitar but demotivation and self-doubt got the best of me and i havent practice guitar since early may and a few weeks ago i catched myself seriously considering on pawning off my guitars.

On this video i talk about my plan on how to try to get back on the horse:
-practice schedule focused on finger independence, barre chords and chords changes, practicing at least 60 minutes each day for 30 days.

To keep me honest i have posted a small google docs document where any person can track my progress and the time i practice each day

And i plan to livestream once a week to show my progress (tonight will be the first stream just to check how much i have degraded in these last 2 months and to have a baseline to compare againsts).

If you are interested on seen a more in deep approach about the issues and problems that lead me to this place, please check the video!

So yeah. i will post here any new videos or livestreams i do and i’ll share my thoughts on the process.

Cheers!

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Hi Meduso, I also have frustration at times due to me not progressing at a faster speed. However I have eventually learned that we all learn at a different pace. and in different ways, what works for some doesn’t for others.
I think that 60 minutes a day for 30 days is a really big ask (I may be wrong) and you may find that it becomes a chore more than the fun it is supposed to be.
For me I will take a day or so off each week as that muscle memory needs time to bed in.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember its a journey not a destination.
It took me months to nail the C chord and I practiced and practiced but still couldn’t quite hit it every time then one day it just fell in to place.
Best of luck and have fun. Happy strumming.

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Yeah i know is gonna be pretty hard, but i personally feel that this is my “do or die” situation in regards to guitar.

So yeah, ill see how it works.

Thank you!

Also, im starting my first stream where i will see how much i degraded in these two months and how much i need to improve!

https://youtube.com/live/dUU_dFxYMFA?feature=share

Hi Medu! I just wanted to encourage you a bit. I’ve seen quite a bit of your video, hat off for being this honest about your playing.
During Grade 1 and 2, I also had the impression some things should go more smoothly and that I certainly should pick up some things faster, compared to others. At times I got really frustrated about certain chord changes that didn’t improve after tousands and tousands of repetitions. At a point, I suddenly made a huge step forward…
To whom are you comparing yourself? Be aware, we are a big community, only a small part of the whole group post their videos here. The majority of people post when they are quite satisfied with their own production or when they have improved on a certain skill. What you see here or on YT is only a very small percentage of those who learn and practice. And you mostly see only their best
moments. You don’t see them fighting, sweating and moaning.
Be kind to yourself! Maybe you set yourself too much under pressure and are provoking the opposite what you want?
I read a book of a guitar player about strategies to learn guitar. One aspect he mentioned was, we are not learning in a linear way, but in circles. Will say, you’re learning something up to a certain point, then leave it for a while, while learning something else, but you come back and back and over time you’ll get proficient.
Don’t give up! Most of us have their weak spots!
You are only one year in!

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There is a natural progression of frustration in most things we learn in life. For most people, learning guitar you can make a lot of progress really fast and go for ZERO knowledge to playing some basic songs in a few days or a week. Once you reach a certain level, the progress would naturally slow down because the skill level is higher and the effort to reach that next peg is so much more intense.

I do not know the answer to you personally progressing further, but I do know that setting goals that are always just ahead of where you are is important to the feeling of success. Sometimes, the song Justin picks are right up my ally. Sometimes it takes me time to find what is the next song or skill to learn. But if I make sure I am pressing just up against the next goal, without pushing it so far that I get frustrated then I keep the enjoyment and feeling of success going. For example, if you are having issues with Barre chords, maybe don’t start with all of them, just practice and learn song with F Major, and then F Major and G Major or so until you have good success and feel like that is down so you can move on to something else. If you stretch too far you will invariably cause more frustration and what you really want is to enjoy the journey, learn and have fun right?

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Disclaimer : I did not have time to watch all the vlogs, but you might ask yourself those 2 questions.

Hope it helps ! Good luck :slight_smile:

Is my practice schedule fun or boring ? Boring practice schedule leads to motivation problems and quitting the guitar.
It looks to me that your 60 minutes practice plan focus on finger independence, barre chords and chords changes will not be that fun. Why not focus also on your strengths during that practice ? Incorporate easy songs that are fun to play. Did you try using the justinguitar app ? It’s a lot of fun to play simplified songs with the backing track. It makes you feel like you are in the band and boost your confidence and motivation.

Why is my practice schedule so much focused on barre chords ?
It’s in the intermediate grades Grade 4 in 5 that we get more serious with barre chords. In the beginner grades, it’s definitely normal to be struggling with F. It’s a long process. Therefore, it’s a better idea to practice 10 minutes / day (5 min barre chord change + 5 minute in songs) than to do 30 minutes of it and get discouraged.

It takes time for your thumb muscle to develop. It took me at least one year to be confident with the F and I was not focusing my practice schedule on it. It didn’t clicks for many months and one day it just clicks.

Also, Bm is only taught at the end of Grade 3 in case you see it in songs that you love. It’s not even required to nail it now.

Finally, there are thousand of songs to play without barre chords, so it’s not that useful at this point to put your whole focus on that. You should focus on having fun and playing fun songs that you enjoy. It will help with your open chord changes. Only invest a few minutes everyday on F barre chord.

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Hi, Meduso. Here’s my view:

Nearly all of us here are self-taught, which means we are not only the student but also the teacher. Yes, we have Justin’s excellent lessons and program to follow - but Justin is not with us while we practice, watching our form, pointing out areas where we could do things differently/better, and encouraging us. We have to do all of that.

And teaching, much like playing guitar is a skill and an art that very few people are born knowing how to do well. So it shouldn’t be surprising that we have a difficult time teaching ourselves to play guitar, because we don’t know how to do either thing when we begin.

Imagine trying to teach something you know very well to someone who is just beginning. How would you approach it? I don’t think you’d say, “It has been a year, and you are not very good. I want you to practice these exercises for 60 minutes every day for 30 days. If you are not better after that, you are finished.”

A good teacher is patient, supportive, and moves the lesson to where the student’s skill and needs are. That requires honest evaluation of what the student does well and where that begins to need work. Then the teacher develops a clear plan for improving those areas but also includes “treats” that provide enjoyment so that the process doesn’t become boring. All of this requires time and effort that is on top of the actual practicing.

I recommend keeping written records that track what you are doing well and what you think needs work. During each practice session, be sure to continue working on the areas where you think you need improvement, but write down how it goes. You will see improvement. Also include in each practice some “fun” things that you enjoy doing but also help with finger independence, dexterity, rhythm, and so on.

Usted puede hacerlo, mi primo, pero como se dice, “Con paciencia y saliva, el elefante se la metió a la hormiga.”

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Hello!

Thank you all for your answers!.

Firsts let me answer some of your comments by saying that i appreciate the advice and kind words!
I get that the schedule that i have imposed on myself is pretty aggressive but im doing it cause i feel this is the only way to force myself not only to progress but also to keep consistency.
Is very easy for me to fall back into “lazy mode” and just skip practices, do it for less time or outright not practice when i should. Having a super aggressive schedule along with a control table will a keep me honest and force me to do what i need to do in order to improve.

Also the reason im hyper focusing on boring practices like finger independence and chord changes instead of more fun stuff like practicing simple songs that use open chords or stuff like that, is because i feel that doing those stuff will distract me and give me a “fake” sense of progress when i get stuck on doing the “easy” stuff instead of forcing myself to push forward with the hard stuff that i dont want to do it.
I say this because this has happend to me before, where i keep practicing for weeks easy songs not because i like the songs, but because im afraid of moving forward into more difficult stuff.

Also, the vast majority of songs i like and want to play use barre chords, so if i want to play what i like i NEED to be able to play this stuff right.

Currently im on my second day of coming back and my fingers hurt just as much as they did during my first week back in february 2023. Is crazy how much resistance, strength and calluses you can lose on your fingers by not practicing for 2 months.

Still, on just the second day i already noticed a big improvement over the first day, tho is less “improvement” and more “going back to where i was back in april” lol.

I’ll keep you all posted about how things turns out!

I’ll be going live in a few minutes showing the progress of this first week of renewed practice.
After that i’ll edit this message and add a written report of how things are going in my opinion.

https://youtube.com/live/dBezJ0e5kq8?feature=share

Well, i can safely say that the first week has been a surprising success.

I was expecting to take longer getting my fingers “back in shape” after a almost 2 months break but surprisingly in only took a couple of days to get them back to the same speed they had.

The onyl thing that is still lagging a bit is my resistance and pain tolerance, i used to be able to play a couple of hours without to much pain but right now my fingertips feel closer to what they used to during the first couple of weeks. Still they are improving rapidlly.

On this first week alone i have manage to get all one minute changes to over 40 per minutes, tho i feel im close to hitting a ceiling that it will take me a lot of work to break through.

Im also having issues with playing semiquavers at 90 bpm, hell, even at 80 bpm its pretty inconsistent so thats something thats probably gonna give me issues through the whole month.

Other than that i feel im improving, my finger independence and strength feels like is slowly but surely improving and my speed is getting better, i also seem to be able to play consistently the F chord as long as i have a bit of rest, but once i have to play it constantly through a song is when it goes to hell.

Still, is an improvement.

Based on this improvement and the fact that alll of you guys insists me on having at least a day of rest peer week, i think i might ease up next week and let myselft rest for a single day, as long as i can keep some level of consistency with the recent results.

Back here to post another update:

Some quick reminders that you can track my progress on here

Week 2 practice stream: https://youtube.com/live/YUKVYnCN61Y

Week 3 practice stream: https://youtube.com/live/l7xtArUJ280

Lets talk about the last couple of weeks

So as you can see on the control table i decided to take a day off as some of you recommended.
But after that you can see that the second week was pretty bad. I failed to complete my 60 minutes schedule 2 times.

First time was on the 2 of july, cause i started practicing super late and i didnt want to annoy the neighbors anymore, so i just did 40 minutes and i didnt do the song practice segment of my schedule.

The second was on the 5th where i only practice songs for 20 minutes, this was because that day my mom had an emergency consult with the ophthalmologist because she started suffering from retinal detachment.
And then the next day she had to go through surgery to fix that (which thankfully was successful, she is currently recovering pretty well!) .

So yeah that week was pretty bad in terms of practice, only completing 4 out of 6 practices.

Also on that sunday 7 stream i did TERRIBLE on everything. You can see that my OMC feel pretty behind. This seems to be due to a combination of being tired AF due to taking care of my mom and the lack of practice that week.

Still there were a positive that week: the OMC of F-Em and BM-Em reached 60 changes per minute.

Week 3 went better i only had to take a break on the 12 due to my mom doctor appointment to see how her eye is healing.

The other days went pretty well, and in fact i managed to get every OMC that i been practicing to at least 60 changes per minute.
Mind you, they sound horrible but the point was doing the chord changes as fast as possible.

Due to this i have decided to change a bit the focus of the practice. Instead of going as fast as possible, this next week im gonna focus on doing the changes along with a metronome at 60 bpm and focus not only on keeping steady with the beat, but also to make the chords sound fine.

As you can see on the document i have changed a bit the way i mark the progress, starting yesterday.
On red there will be the chord changes which i have trouble even keeping the pace with the metronome.
On yellow are the chords changes were i can keep up with the metronome but they dont sound good.
And in green will be the chord changes that sound good while keeping up with the metronome.

This way i will focus a bit more on the form than on the speed of the changes.

Im still incapable of moving my fingers at the same time, and based on the finger independence exercise i have notice that my main problem right now is no longer the ring finger, but the pinky.
I think my pinky is still to slow and it depends a lot on the ring finger to position itself (ie, if the ring finger is not landed on any string, then the pinky just flails around before finding the string). So i think i will add a short, maybe 2 or 3 minutes exercise to work out the pinky, not so much in strength but in independence and precision.

In terms of the quadraphonic exercise i have managed to reach 140 bpm and the goal is to get to 160. But on the semiquaver exercise i havent made progress since the first week, im still stuck on 90 bpm and cant do them consistently… i think maybe my pick has a bit to do with it since it keeps getting stuck, but as always the main problem is skill issue. Lol.

So yeah, another week down and only one more (and a couple days) to go!

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Looks like you’ve made some good progress though. When you started your changes were around 30 per minute, and you’ve basically doubled that to around 60 in a few weeks. Great work :grinning:

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