What is the hard-for-you thing you're currently working on?

Currently my frustrations revolve around not muting stings when I want to hammer on or pick a string. An example would be playing the note E, fourth string, second fret for the C chord. Conversely, muting strings I don’t want ringing out while playing a simple shuffle or bending.


Picking single strings (both with a pick and fingerstyle) when e.g. attempting to play simple riffs and melodies. Especially attempting to play simple single string melodies e.g. “Happy birthday” is an ultimate desaster at the moment… I will need to invest a lot more time in practicing picking single strings.

Barre chords of chords as well. At the moment I’m practicing F and Bminor both on my electric and my acoustic and for the moment it’s still seriously hard.

Changing from Em to Fmajor7 with an F bass, although I can see this transition very slowly but surely becoming more smooth in the near future.

Attempting to keep unwanted strings from ringing out when playing the open Em pentatonic scale (also see beginning of this post :laughing:)


This has got to be the hardest for me too. I’ve recently had my first appearance and i must say, it’s been one of the hardest things i’ve ever done so far.
I really need to get my nevers under control. Also, concentrate harder on what i’m doing/playing, instead of freaking out on how many people are looking… (and hopefully, listening).

I’m learning arpeggio’s. (Major 7, 7, minor 7 on the E and A string).

Getting the solo down for "The green ringer) It’s a wip, so i’ll get there…

and on and on… :slight_smile:


I agree, great topic. Same as Stuart @Stuartw Matthew @mattswain, and Nicole @JokuMuu , changes from open chords to the F barre chord are still difficult for me. In November, I thought maybe by the end of the year I’d be better at it. Well, that did not turn out as expected. :smile:
So, I have added a song that uses the B minor chord to my practice routine to exercise with my pinky. Progress is slow, babysteps, as always :smiley:


Ach Franz, if I could even dream of being able to play these chords in songs… :roll_eyes: Right now the goal is trying to get all strings out clearly 50% of the time , when I’m practicing these two barre chords. Most of the days this goal is totally illusoric :upside_down_face: But as you say… babysteps. Let’s see what things will look like next year in February :grinning:


Everything that falls under the category of “playing guitar”?

Right now, I am struggling with singing and playing. I don’t need to be good at it, but I would like to be able to sing along enough to make a song more fun.


best answer :rofl:


Yeah, Greensleeves is on my list of lessons to go back to because I never really got it going. Hopefully my overall technique has improved so this will be easier to accomplish.


It’s interesting to see many comments about Barre chords. Being a lefty playing right handed, after a few months I can fairly consistently get decent sound from Barre chords (except B) because I’m fretting with my stronger hand. My challenge is strumming consistently, for a sustained period (a whole song) without straying. I guess that is related to my resistance to using the metronome, which I’m forcing myself to do lately. In an earlier post, someone said the metronome “takes all the joy our of playing.” That is my feeling, but I know I won’t find true joy in playing unless I do the metronome drudgery.


Finger picking a song.
I’ve got two that I work on and have been working on for a while now.

It seems to be going slowly and I don’t think the songs I’m working on are particularly hard to do either. But finger picking them to get them to sound like I think they should sound seems to be elusive so far.


That’s how it is. Even professionals need a month or more to embrace a piece. Most things in fingerstyle are marathons.


As mentioned Rhythm is work in progress for me. As I see it playing to a metronome will help you play in time to a perfect beat but as a guitarist you need to be able to play in time with a drummer and/or bassist who might not be as perfect as a metronome, so being able to play along with a recording is potentially more useful and almost certainly more fun. Not sure if this will be a controversial take or not!


Yes. I can strum more smoothly and consistently playing to the count in my head, or along with a song or backing track, than with the metronome. I feel like my attention becomes focused on the stupid metronome, not the guitar. This too shall pass…


It’s barre chords for me. I am making progress but it is something that I’ve been practicing every single day for months and it is still far from perfect. I don’t get discouraged as I knew it was going to be one of the most difficult lessons to learn.

And then legato pentatonic scale. The pull off/flick off with my pinky is a bit challenging as well.

But I feel that nothing is more difficult than the first days/weeks trying to play the first chords. So, I think we all went through the worst part.


Great thread.

I have actually made progress on two difficult-for-me things:

  1. Linking chords - for some reason that little walkup/down exercise linking chords was hard, esp the C to G. I realized that the walk up was a different direction note-wise between the C-G and the A-D/Am-Dm so that was throwing me off. But I’ve seen this become easier after a couple weeks of practice.

  2. Travis picking - This wasn’t part of a Justin lesson but a technique my dad gave me to learn as it was something he was currently learning too. Also challenging but I’ve seen it get better over time too. Ive got it going for just the C chord right now.

As for challenges right now:

  1. Basically practice in general - Some of the early Gr 3 concepts need to be applied to a song but I always struggle with finding songs to use. I don’t think I’m getting quality practice on those exercises that I need to be doing.

  2. Improvising/transcribing/chord melody practice - Coming from piano, it’s hard to mentally adjust to the fact that a note scale does a zig zag pattern across a couple or a few frets, so I am making a lot of mistakes trying to find the next note I’m looking for. It’s definitely making progress take a lot longer than I’d like it to for any exercise involving using my ear.


Songwriting. A number of half baked --one or two line concepts, and a few interesting musical motifs, but it has been challenging gluing them together. All is not lost though, I have one completed song since January.


This is a great thread!

I definitely feel this! :laughing:

Like several others, I still have trouble with changes from F to open chords in songs. I can usually get the chords to ring out, but the transition sounds like garbage.

Also, string accuracy, particularly in the context of the M13 blues solo. I can get through each of the phrases alright (slowly), but moving from one to the next, I often fall apart in picking the correct strings. I’ve only been practicing it a week or two, though, so it’s still pretty new, as opposed to an ongoing thing like the F, which I first learned close to a year ago.


I’ve got two things that are taking way longer than I expected to get under my fingers:

  1. Changes to/from the “Hendrix Chord” shape (in this case, D7#9). I’ve been practicing this for over 6 months now, and I can form the chord perfectly, but when I change TO it, the fingers don’t quite make it to the right places accurately/quickly enough. I seem to be stuck at ~40-45 changes/minute when doing PFC. It’s the only part of “Breathe” by Pink Floyd that I can’t seem to get right.

  2. 11th bar of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Stevie Ray Vaughn. I decided to get this 12-bar blues under my fingers at 60bpm, then take however long it takes to bring the speed up to ~120bpm (the original tempo of the song). However, 4 months later, I’m still struggling to be able to repeatably play the fingering in the 11th bar. The fact that I can’t get it solid even at HALF SPEED is kinda pissing me off LOL!


My F barre (I had it and now it’s escaped me!)

Selecting songs for my songbook. I like a lot of the songs at my level, but I don’t love them. To spend that much time memorizing is a real struggle for me.


Currently I have 2 things that are hard for me:
A-shaped barre chords - Getting much better, I can use them in songs now, but it’s been a few months of working on them
Singing with a fingerstyle piece that’s more complex than a travis pattern - Right now I’m working on getting Richard Thompson’s “Beeswing” up to speed. After a month+ of working on it, I can play at ~70% speed, but if I add singing lyrics, it’s a total trainwreck