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Old 01-07-2017, 02:59 PM
Ben1101 Ben1101 is offline
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Post Learning progression/next steps

Hi,

I've been playing guitar on and off for the best part of 5 years, teaching myself songs via tabs online. I like the fingerpicking style and have learnt a few songs from artists like John Mayer, Ben Howard, Bert Jansch & some of Sungha Jung's arrangements of songs.

I'm at a stage now that whenever I pick up my guitar I play the same few songs, or parts of songs over and over again and It's driving me mad. Even when I'm learning new songs I seem to always resort back to playing the same stuff after 10 minutes.

I got bought a Martin GPCPA5 and It's helped me decide that I want to progress more with my learning rather than just play the same stuff as I seem to be stuck in a stage without gaining any other knowledge other than just learning a new song by following a tab. Ideally I'd like to be able to jam along with other guitarists without having to first spend weeks learning the same songs.

Do any of you have any suggestions on what I should do to start? I did go through a stage of learning music theory but after getting told by a few other guitarist that it's possibly not the best way to get where I went, I stopped.

Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:24 PM
EllaMom EllaMom is offline
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When I started I used Justin Sandercoe's website. Very helpful. But in the end, I found that a teacher was the only way I could move past any places where I got stuck. Whether it was the mechanics of a particular song, or motivation on my part that stopped my progression....a teacher always got me moving forward again. Mind you, I am not talking necessarily about weekly half-hour lessons, either. I actually do best with one-hour lessons every two to three weeks or so.

Oh, and I too continue to play the songs I learned a few years ago and play relatively easily now. I find that I can always improve on them (timing, musicality), and playing them also makes me appreciate how far I've come.

Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:14 PM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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I'm a skipping record on this. Consider Mark Hanson's Contemporary Travis Picking followed by The Art of Solo Fingerpicking. Both books are very well thought out structured courses with lots of exercises and songs. I did 90% of the first and I am about 30% into the second. The skill sets I've learned along the way have allowed me to add more fingerstyle songs to my library. There are other courses out there also (on Truefire, Homespun, Peghead Nation, and others) but I think Mark's material and structure set the bar.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:24 PM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Welcome, Ben. Glad to have you here. I agree with the advice you've already gotten. I think the best idea is a teacher... a real, live one. The number of very good DVDs available is remarkable, but a good teacher will be much more effective. And there are a number of websites and youtube videos that can help too. Mark Hanson's 2 fingerstyle books are excellent. I think he's among the best when it comes to teaching fingerstyle guitar.

Lots of ways to do it. Show up here a lot and ask a bunch of questions. There are a lots of excellent players here to learn from. The Show & Tell section is a great place to watch good guitarists play. Keep at it... good luck!
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:33 PM
FwL FwL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben1101 View Post
Hi,

I've been playing guitar on and off for the best part of 5 years, teaching myself songs via tabs online. I like the fingerpicking style and have learnt a few songs from artists like John Mayer, Ben Howard, Bert Jansch & some of Sungha Jung's arrangements of songs.

I'm at a stage now that whenever I pick up my guitar I play the same few songs, or parts of songs over and over again and It's driving me mad. Even when I'm learning new songs I seem to always resort back to playing the same stuff after 10 minutes.

I got bought a Martin GPCPA5 and It's helped me decide that I want to progress more with my learning rather than just play the same stuff as I seem to be stuck in a stage without gaining any other knowledge other than just learning a new song by following a tab. Ideally I'd like to be able to jam along with other guitarists without having to first spend weeks learning the same songs.

Do any of you have any suggestions on what I should do to start? I did go through a stage of learning music theory but after getting told by a few other guitarist that it's possibly not the best way to get where I went, I stopped.

Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!


With or without a teacher, you need to organize and structure your practice time if you want to accomplish certain goals and stop running around in circles.


The first step is to figure out where you want to go.

Then you have to figure out what things are going to get you there.

Then figure out how much of your practice time to devote to each thing you need to work on.


An example would be breaking a 2 hour session into 4 half-hour parts:

Pt1 - warm up on a tune you already know. Pick a different one each time. Go back and work through any spots that need improvement.

Pt2 - Now that you're warmed up you could work on technique... picking hand and fingerboard hand exercises for speed, accuracy, tone, control, etc...

Pt3 - Chord and scale theory. Things like learning major and minor scales in 5 or 7 positions up and down the fingerboard in every key or learning major, minor and 7th chord inversions up and down the neck.

Pt4 - Work on a new piece of music or practice improvising melodies over basic chord progressions.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:36 AM
pf400 pf400 is offline
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"Ideally I'd like to be able to jam along with other guitarists without having to first spend weeks learning the same songs."

Hey Ben that's cool but it's hard to jam along to artists such as Sungha Jung, etc. What got me jamming was learning the 12-bar blues and the blues scale. Then when I heard a good rock song it was easier to learn it.

I find it very inspiring to just embellish the chords I know. Take the pinky off, or put it down somewhere on the fretboard and discover new chords...often with open strings ringing out.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:13 AM
Ben1101 Ben1101 is offline
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Thanks for all the help, I've decided to purchase Mark Hanson's Contemporary Travis Picking and see how that goes. I'll be looking into finding a local teacher who will hopefully be able to get me where I want to be!

Thanks again!
Ben
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