Stuartw’s Learning Log

Second attempt at my road case, and bringing it over from the old Forums.

I wrote my next post (my first post for my road case) on April 06, 2021, and here we are some 8 months on. Doesn’t time fly!

As I have noted in this post Progress....what progress? it’s just about a year since I started this journey.

As an update and start of this ‘road case’ I can happily say that I know a lot more about guitars and playing than I did a year ago. Still don’t know a lot but it’s a start!

I have just about finished Grade 1 of the Beginners course but find myself in a position where I am stuck and can’t really move on. Basically, I’m stuck on the ‘C’ chord, which has been the position for the last 3 months at least. I can form the chord slowly and it usually sounds OK. I can even take my hand off and replace and it usually sounds OK. What I can’t do is get close to 30 OMC’s with any chord combination that has C in it, well apart from C – Am, but that combination only moves 1 finger. I have even tried songs with C in them to force it but the strumming/rhythm go out the window. Someone on here said take it slowly and then then speed it up. Slowly is all I can manage and my fingers just wont go to where they are supposed to with any speed. I must have spent hours trying to get this chord sorted! So at the moment not really sure what to do.

I have been practicing songs and some are OK but don’t sound like songs. I don’t sing. Put it this way if I didn’t know what I was playing I wouldn’t be able to recognise the song. Dull and boring is the phrase, I think. The thought of doing Open Mic, playing live or even recording myself just fills me with dread at this point.
Seeing other forum members who have done all the beginner’s course and moving into intermediate at a similar timescale as me, or others posting videos every week, doesn’t help. Fair play to them that they can do this but must have a lot more time to practice. I know that I shouldn’t compare, and I generally don’t, but just sometimes it gets to me!!

To alleviate some of the boredom I have had a look at Beginners 2, and also music theory. Have been doing scales as well.

Someone asked the other day why did you start with this playing guitar thing and to be honest I don’t know. I know that I won’t get to the heights of others on here and am just plodding along but don’t really have any end goal. Perhaps I should.

There are a few negatives with this post but to be honest there isn’t that much to smile about at the moment. It’s not that much fun :frowning:

I’ve not given up yet though. I guess time will tell with this. Sometimes I think back to ‘what if?’ What if I had started 40 years ago? Would I still be playing? Would I be any good? Oh well, it is what it is!

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Good to see your RC here

Do you have to have any more of a reason than you felt like it? Do you have to have any greater goal than working through one more lesson, or simply enjoying playing through a song you’ve learned?

Most of all, as much as possible, live without regret. This might be a better question to ask yourself if you feel rudderless. “How would I feel in a week, month, year if I give up now?”

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So how you feeling today, Stuart.

If I recall correctly, you’ve made progress on some of the things that were proving challenging.

:medal_sports: gold medal question, Maggie :clap:

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Hang in there Stuart, I spent 17 years of giving it up until I got here 8 years ago and I ain’t going nowhere now nor am I stopping, period.

Is it easy ? No.
Is it a downright PITA some days ? Absolutely
But when it goes right, is it rewarding ? You better your sweet :llama: (still no donkey) !

But I can look back on just this one year, let alone the 7 before and the 17 before that and see I have come on in leaps and bounds. I ain’t no spring chicken but age is just a number. To coin a phrase penned on a different subject “you’ll have to prise my guitar from my cold dead hand”. Keep going please.

We are here to support you ! :sunglasses:

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You are right of course. We shouldn’t look back and say what if. It’s too late, and it is, as I said, what it is.

My original post was written some time ago & things have changed and got better so I don’t see myself giving up any time soon. Giving up is not an option.

It’s strange really. I try and do some form of practice every day so we don’t really see the improvement, but I did have a bit of a revelation the other day. Suddenly realised that my strumming had improved no end and that 8th note strumming with accents was a lot easier than a couple of weeks ago.

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Feeling good to be honest and yes things are getting better, although still having problems with the C chord. OMC’s with the C chord form part of most of my practice sessions. As for the F chord, well that’s going to be a long haul! The cheats are a lot easier.

As noted I intend to. Not going anywhere any time soon.

Thanks, and that’s what makes this a great place to be part of.

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Glad to hear it Stuart.

Keep remembering how it was when you started, appreciate the progress you’ve made, all you can do now that you could not before, and know that the cycle will repeat in perpetuity.

As part of my guitar journey New Years Resolution, as noted on another thread, my aim for 2022 is simply to make more progress than I made last year and to practice/play more regularly, daily if possible.

Also intend to sort out the C chord which is still problematic and hopefully the F chord.

And play more songs! :grinning:

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Your plans sound good Stuart, and you sound more optimistic. Yeee haaaaa

When you get to the E shape barre chords, and F is one of those, make sure you work through the lesson Justin does, taking in every single tip and take your time with it.

Hi Stuart, thanks for sharing. I really identify with this:

Yesterday I mentioned to my wife that I was working on learning a particular song and she said “oh, is that the one that goes [proceeds to make sound of three repetitive atonal chord sounds]?” My response “could be, that’s pretty much what they all sound like.” Without singing or other instruments it doesn’t really sound much like a song, and that does frustrate me sometimes. Hopefully it will start to sound more song-ish if I stick with it and continue to practice and slowly improve.

That’s exactly the same conversation I have had with my wife!

Frustrates me no end as well. At the moment I would suggest that I an playing bits of music and not songs.

Singing for me is not really an option. I have ‘sung’ (I use the term loosely) at church services, Christingles, etc but it’s more of a croak!! I’m not likely to practice at home and incur the humorous comments from my wife.

Yes, that’s a good way to describe it. You and I know we are playing songs, but to the family it just sounds like scraps of chord progressions. In my case, somewhat arrhythmic chord progressions.

My wife doesn’t say anything at all because she does know that is just what it is like when someone is learning to play any instrument, and she doesn’t want to be unsupportive, but if I actually ask her about it she has to admit (as gently as possible) that it is a little annoying. I try to practice when she is not around whenever possible. There is just no place in our house that is possible to play without being heard pretty much everywhere in the house.

I have come to accept that this is just part of the journey and it will eventually get better if I ignore all of that and don’t worry about what it sounds like to my wife. If I keep practicing I will get better and it will start to sound like songs.

If I lose my wife along the way, it was just not meant to be and the last 27 years of marriage were just a sham! :crazy_face:

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Have viewed that F chord lesson a number of times. I can make the shape and make the chord ring but takes 5-6 seconds each time to get it right. PFC’s are going to be hilarious at that speed!

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As the big kahuna says “practice makes permanent” to take all the time you need Stuart.

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I’ve been learning with Justin for roughly 1 year and I’m a little over halfway through Beginner 2 so that’s not that much further ahead than you. Everything I play is messy and abstract sounding haha! It’s good to play along with the app or recommended songs on YouTube so what I play doesn’t sound so random.
I’ve accepted that can’t learn as quickly as I hoped. It’s the journey that I enjoy and find motivating. I like being able to focus and build on something which is not work related - it’s something for me. I find it therapeutic!
I’ve read the thread and I’m pleased you are now feeling more optimistic after recognising your success.
Justin said it’s okay to move on if and when you get really bored- I’ve had to do that!
Good luck

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Honestly the F chord (or barre chords in general to be more precise) takes ages to get natural…well it took me the best part of 5-6 year I think in total! but it didn’t stop me playing lots of songs along the way. Funnily enough it then suddenly clicked and I don’t think about it at all now…in fact to be honest they are what I play most of the time now given the sorts of songs I play.

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Stick at it Stuart. You’ll get there! Don’t think of them as cheats. Think of them as alternative or mini versions. So long as you only strum the strings you are fretting they’ll sound great.
You’ll also find that in many songs the mini version is all that is required and also facilitates a quicker change from/to the next chord.

Don’t get too hung up on the one minute changes. Remember you only need to change chords as quickly as a particular song requires. Practice the changes you need for that song. Concentrate on them and at the end of the day you’ll have a quick change down and will also have learned a song. :smiley:

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Yes, yes, yes! :-). Couldn’t agree more.

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