ZedExDM's Learning Log

It really is! I’m ok with C while practicing but it all goes to :poop: when I’m playing a song. I’ll just keep at it :sunglasses:. In a few months I’ll look back to these early stages and have a laugh about it all I’m sure!

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Happy NGD Zed!! Mustang is a cool looking guitar!! Like your new acoustic too :+1:
As JK said. dont think about it, C-chord is tricky. And i have days with it too… and a lot of other chords :rofl:
For me its the other way around… going from acoustic to electrical is s**t.
Hang in there!!

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Currently learning to play Wish You Were Here. Really struggled with this one but have got 99% of the basics sorted - need to tidy it up now that I’ve finally ‘got’ it.

Also learning Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Love the strumming pattern for this. It sounds great, but sure does give my arm a workout!

For Father’s Day today, my boys got me a personalised metal pick :blush:. One side has got their names on it with a message and ‘Megapint’ is written on the other side :joy:

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With hindsight, I got in to a bit of a ‘bad funk’ last week for want of a better phrase.

Since beginning my learning, I experienced my first moment of “this sounds terrible, I can’t do it, this is too tricky, I should have started years ago, I’ll never be good at this”

After a couple of days, I realised that I have made some good progress. I can bash out a tune. I can keep the rhythm going for an entire song. I can do this!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is what helped me recover and get back on track. Justin’s lesson on this song is amazing and I felt it was custom made for me and just what I needed.

You start off with the simple chords, then the simple strumming pattern. Once mastered, the next phase is to improve the strumming pattern and then, work on embellishing aspects of it. Justin takes you through this in sequential stages. For a beginner, this lesson was perfect.

I’ve had a ton of fun with this song. I’ve got the verse part 90% of the way there and the chorus, say, 70% sorted.

If any newbies (newbier than me!) are reading this - if you find yourself in a bit of a ‘bad funk’, my advice would be to mix it up a bit appropriate to your level and realise what you have have accomplished already.

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Good to hear that you managed to get out of your ‘bad funk’ Zed. I myself was in a bit of a guitar limbo at the start of this year and didn’t have motivation to get back into it… until I found this community last month which helped turn it around for me a bit.

Whenever anyone is in that frame of mind or in a plateau, I’d suggest to take a moment and review some of the cool stuff that’s already been learnt; or compare where you are now with when you first picked up a guitar (like watch some Week 1 audio/video recordings of yourself if you have any).
This allows you to acknowledge that plenty of progress has been made along the way and that most of your efforts have not been in vain.
It sounds like you’ve come to that same conclusion yourself, and provided some nice advice to any newbies that read your post.

The good thing about this site is people of all levels get to share their advice, experiences, feedback and provide encouragement. I reckon that whoever manages to find this community during their early stages of learning is already a couple of steps ahead of people that are doing it alone. Keep it up mate

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The bad funk moments are the times some people quit. I know I have those moments. You feel you’re not progressing.

The reality is progress is not linear. It takes time. Easier to type that than feel it in those moments though.

Good on you for keeping on keeping on.

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Good on you mate, keep on trucking! I’m a month or so behind you, and went acoustic → electric rather than the other way.

I recognize the funk from other activities (MTB, running etc) so I’m sure it’ll turn up in guitar. Always worth remembering that you’re well ahead of anyone who isn’t having a go! And having a go is the right way to get better.

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I’m a couple of days in to learning the F-chord. Oh my - I thought C was hard!!!

I’m at the point where I don’t think it’s even possible to do, and everyone who says they can play it is a liar! :joy: I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it but need to give my finger a bit of a rest today after punishing it :joy:

In other news, I’m super cheesed off that the paid app’s been upgraded and removed songs I was learning with no prior warning. :grimacing::grimacing::grimacing:

I get it’s a licensing issue. I get that more songs have been added. But there is no excuse for removing songs with no prior warning on a paid service. Somebody somewhere knew this would happen and didn’t forewarn the paying users to at least give them the chance to note them down manually.

I’ll get over it but its super annoying. Rant over.

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Stick with it Zed,

  1. Go back to basics, picking individual strings will let you know a lot.

  2. Maybe try a capo and move down the neck a bit.

  3. Practice on that acoustic for a couple of weeks, then will be a breeze when returning to electric :grin:

But all in all, don’t beat yourself up. It will take time for the fingers to toughen up and the thumb muscle to strengthen a bit. I know Justin makes us beginners practice the early chords with the thumb around the back of the neck as preparation for the barre chords, but it still takes a bit of time…

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Really oddly, I’m finding F easier on acoustic than electric!

F will come Zed, it’s a nasty battle and you’ll doubt yourself but if ever the mantra of practice paying off was more true, it’s learning F chord!

The advice of practicing further up the neck is good but keep in mind it’s not a magic fix, it does really help with the shape and speed of finger placement though.

Wish you all the best of luck with it, we’ve all been there!!

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Hi Zed, about the F chord and all the barre chords in general I can say it is two things, position and strength. Developing the strength is a matter of practice, but without the right position more strength won’t make it easier. One exercise I’ve done when having trouble with a barre chord is doing the barre only and checking the sound of each string with different positions of the index finger with the rest of the fingers almost in position but not touching the strings and when I have it right for me I add the rest of the fingers and check again. This is only for finding a good position of the index finger and checking the sound. I had to do it because I was relearning how to do A shape barre chords and the strings that were sounding muted were the ones that were being barred.

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Thanks for the advice all :slight_smile:

The main issue I think is my index finger itself. I can’t find a comfortable position for both the low E and high E/B strings. The ‘natural-feeling’ position puts my 2nd digit crease on the high E string which is really painful. If I move my index finger down, it doesn’t press the low E string enough. If I move my index finger higher, the 2nd digit crease sits over the B string and doesn’t depress it fully. I feel like my index finger either needs to be a few millimetres longer or shorter!

Even when I bear through the pain and can ring out each string, overall, F sounds really muted to me.

That’s on the electric guitar. On my acoustic, it sits more naturally. More strength needed of course, but overall much more comfortable.

It won’t beat me though. I’m better at it today than yesterday so progress is being made! :sunglasses:

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That’s a mantra that applies to everything guitar! It would make a good slogan for one of Justin’s T-shirts. :smiley:

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Part of learning the F is building some new calluses along your finger :sunglasses:. Make sure you do mini F too for those mini barre calluses :grinning:.

Still struggling with that 'effin F chord!

I’ve got in to a bit of rut of late with not much progress made. Daily routines have become playing/tidying up songs I know, some stretching/scale stuff and then working on the F chord all the time. I’ve gotten sidetracked here or there and may have ended up learning ‘duelling banjos’ and playing it badly along with my son on his uke. :joy:

As a side note/bonus, I’ve got real comfortable with all other chords learned to date, and much more fluid with my strumming, and can even play while standing up now.

Standing up has its challenges. I’m 6’4’’ and ‘built for comfort’ so need to find a longer strap to avoid having to play like BB King does! Need the guitar a little lower.

I’m going to have to move on and forget about it F a little bit but it limits my song choices as F features in a lot of songs I like.

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Hi Zed sounds like you’re making great progress. Yes, don’t let the F Chord prevent you from moving on. You can keep practicing it as you progress. What helped me was to keep on doing perfect fast changes (F to E, F to G, F to C, F to Am and F to Dm). I just kept 2 mins of PFC in my practice routines and alternated which two chords I’d practice changing with the F.

As for song choices with the F chord, use one of the F alternatives to learn the song and then work on bringing in the F Chord without the added hassle of remembering the chord sequences and strumming patterns.

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Absolutely I think moving on is the best way to go. The F chord gets developed the entirety of grade 2. I only just recently started to feel comfortable using the F chord and I’m a month and half into grade 2 consolidation.

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F is hard. Are you practicing the F chord “cheats” as well? Took me a while to figure out they’re not actually cheats, they’re alternate ways of playing F and a lot of songs use those too (e.g House Of The Rising Sun uses mini F). And Fmaj7 is a chord in its own right! :rofl:

Do what makes you feel good and keeps you playing & learning.

Thanks for the update, Zed, sounds like you are continuing to make progress. Keep up the patient, persistent practice of F and you’ll get it.