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Old 02-21-2024, 07:49 PM
Denandannie Denandannie is offline
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I taught myself using Gibsons Learn and Master guitar course. But, I also can read music which is a big plus. After using the Gibson course I continued using books. NO YouTube. I practice three hours a day, five days a week. There is NO substitute for practice, practice, practice.
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Old 02-21-2024, 07:52 PM
Merak Merak is offline
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You didnít say what kind of music you want to play but Iíve been using Stefan Grossmans videos. They are pretty inexpensive with guitar tab and great instruction. Two years was a hard spot for me too (and my wife!).
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Old 02-21-2024, 09:12 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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I think it was Tony Rice who said he never played a piece in public until he had practiced it for at least a year.

Find the chords to a simple song like Knocking on Heavens Door. Practice until you can make the changes smoothly. Donít try to sing over it until you can. Record yourself and listen hard, and then start noodling over the top of the chords until you hear something you like. Pretty soon you have learned a song. Repeat ad infinitum if you are enjoying yourself.

If not then there are lots of perfectly good other hobbies, but donít get down on yourself because you are finding it hardÖitís hard for everyone, and really doesnít get much easier if you keep stretching yourself to improve. Best of luck, and give yourself a chance, 2 years in your 60ís is like 2 weeks to a teenager!
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Old 02-21-2024, 09:25 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Heh heh. I've been playing since '68 and make mistakes in every song I play.

Who cares? Like Mick Jagger says, it's only rock 'n' roll, but I like it. I have fun, I get a few gigs, I get to have some laughs with people I like, and my wife is glad it's not motorcycles.

Two years is nothing. Don't beat yourself up. If you like playing, just keep on playing. There's nowhere to go but up. And if you're only entertaining yourself and the dogs, that's a dang good start.
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Old 02-21-2024, 09:30 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Originally Posted by Chas007 View Post
I know no one on here can fix me. I'm simply posting to get this off my chest.
63 and I've been self teaching from YouTube for about two years now because I can't afford lessons. Long story short, I suck. Can't play anything without making mistakes. I punch the record button on my phone and everything goes to sh_ _. Can't play if anyone is watching me for sh _ _ either. Every once in a blue moon when it's just me and the dogs I will get something that sounds kinda good. I'm starting to think there's just no hope for me. I enjoy making noises with my guitar, but if I want to play, well, I still can't play a single song all the way through.
Doomed to sell out. I guess that will finally make my wife happy.
Look on the bright side, it takes some of us half a century to figure out we suck,

Stop worrying about how "good" you are. Like someone said, record yourself and delete it every day. (I should do this too). Red light syndrome is real and affects all of us, so don't use that as a yard stick. Keep at it and play things that you enjoy.

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Old 02-21-2024, 09:35 PM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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Give yourself a pat on the back. And, cut your self some slack. Picking up guitar later in life is a challenge, and sticking with it for 2 years is an accomplishment. Even if you were in your teens the 2 year mark is an accomplishment.

Keep going. Something will click (muscle memory) around the 5 year mark. In the mean time rock on
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Old 02-21-2024, 11:31 PM
Mr.Thumbpick Mr.Thumbpick is offline
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Don't call it mistakes. Call it jazz.

Here's a song called "Ode to Mel Bay"

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Old 02-22-2024, 10:21 AM
Chas007 Chas007 is offline
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Default Let me apologize

First let me apologize for my post. I was down in the dumps about my playing. I don't get any support from my wife and I don't have any friends that I could play with.

I get down from time to time, but I do enjoy strumming around on my guitars. And you guys/gals on here are the best. Thank you so much.

I have read every comment posted. Several of them have prompted me to respond. Knocking on Heaven's door is a good suggestion. I was working on the Hollies' version of Long Cool Woman. I have worked on several songs, learned their chords and then given up on them because I couldn't change between chords fast/smoothly enough or couldn't get their strumming pattern down. Rod Stewart Maggie May, CCR Bad Moon Rising, just to name a couple and give you an idea of what kind of music I like.
Also, the recording everything and then just deleting it sounds like a good way of getting over that fear/anxiety.

As someone commented, just strumming my chords and playing like I can should be enough for me if I enjoy it and I do enjoy it. It relaxes me. But every now and then I see someone that it seems to come naturally to and I get down on myself.

Again, I can't apologize enough and I can't thank you enough. I've said it before, I love this forum!
I don't know enough nor am I good enough to help anyone on here, so my hope would be that anyone else that is struggling with how good they're are doing finds this post.

Thank you, Charles Price
Just pickin' around

Last edited by Chas007; 02-22-2024 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 02-22-2024, 12:22 PM
zuzu zuzu is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
OP - it appears you live somewhere in Tennessee. I'm certain there are some jams/song circles that meet weekly or monthly that you can attend within an hour's drive of where you live.

I'll keep saying this until they kick me off the AGF:
There is NO SINGLE BETTER WAY to improve your playing, timing, rhythm, lead and harmony singing, improvisation skills, playing in front of others and more than PLAYING REGULARLY WITH OTHERS.
In person lessons are good. On line lessons are good. Books, CD's, DVD's, etc. are other ways to learn. But NONE of these are better than simply regularly playing with other people.

You don't think you're good enough yet. You never will! If we all waited until we thought we were "good enough" to play with others we'd all be still sitting alone on the edge of the bed or couch, plinking out sucky versions of beginner songs. We all started at the bottom. Nearly none of us will reach the "top." But we can all improve. Playing with other people is the best way I've found (in over 50 years of doing this).
Follow this advice of ever you can! This is the way forward!
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Old 02-22-2024, 07:35 PM
Arapaho G Arapaho G is offline
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It's a journey. Just keep at it and you will improve. It takes time. I make a lot of mistakes too. Play it 100 times and you'll start getting some good takes.
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Old 02-23-2024, 07:29 AM
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Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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If you enjoy guitar and your guitar journey, then you are succeeding. Ultimately that is what it is all about. The things that you do and hear that give you enjoyment are things you should do every so often. Build on that and step by step and little by little you will be doing more things that work for you. After all it's just guitar.
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Old 02-23-2024, 07:43 AM
Sarhog Sarhog is offline
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I am not the OP, but all these responses rejuvenate me! Sometimes you get in a rut. Next time I do, I will re-read these responses. Thank all!
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Old 02-23-2024, 08:30 PM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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To the OP, first for sure cut yourself some slack as others have said here. Itís only been 24 months! Iím 65 and started my guitar journey 12 years ago.

Second, if you have to pursue the self taught route (I did for my first 2-3 years), stay away from YouTube as itís the WORST source for structured learning for the guitar (or any musical instrument IMO).

My path started out with a JamPlay subscription (it was about $12 a month) and I worked through the beginner acoustic course taught by Steve Eulberg. After I completed that course, I worked through the entire Justin Guitar beginner course and since it was free, I ended up buying four of his acoustic guitar songbooks (which are excellent and will be valuable for your entire guitar journey). So my total instructional investment over that 2-3 years was about $250, not bad. Both courses taught basic concepts and technique but also gave me instruction in the basics of strumming, flatpicking, and finger style with the point being to get a foundation established but also guided me in figuring out what I want to do on the guitar. For me, the dash of fingerstyle playing in Justinís course lit a fire in me and 90% of my playing is now fingerstyle.

Going beyond that I worked through Mark Hansonís Contemporary Travis Picking course book and followed that with his Art of Solo Fingerstyle course book. Both books took me another 2-3 years to work through and in addition to the songs taught in those books, I started finding other arrangements I wanted to play. But the biggest and best decision was to at that point start taking online lessons with Mark and Iíve been his student for the last 7 years.

I hope you find a similar path/strategy that will be fun and fulfilling. You will find you make much better progress and get more enjoyment from your playing.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-23-2024, 10:48 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Charles, you are going to be fine. Guarantee it. And you will look back at this time, two years in, as an important turning point in your guitar journey. It was for me. And I am just not quite three years ahead of you in guitar time. And I started at the same age as you as well. I made it. And, now, the guitar, and the music life it gives me, is irreplaceable. It continues to unfold, literally every day.

You are further down the road than you think. Sorry to tell you, mate, but everyone (surely myself included) struggles to perform, whether to others or a recording device. Until you don't. Much of that has to do with cultivating the right attitude. And that comes with time and scars. If you will forgive an example. I resolved this year to perform at the local monthly open mic, just to hit my discomfort head-on. Last month, I was performing an original song, and in the middle of it, I just forgot the next line. And I looked up at everyone who was staring at me and said "I just forgot the next line." Someone yelled back, "it will come to you." Ya, right, while 30 people have 60 eyes locked on you. Not likely. So I just moved on to the next verse. That was a better learning experience than if I had made it through unscathed. While I stumbled, I did not crumble. The earth did not shatter or begin to revolve in the other direction. And people clapped and told me after how much they enjoyed the song - "a winner," a stranger put it to me. That "failure" boosted my confidence far more than finishing whole. Because knowing you can recover and move on is about the best lesson you can learn and embrace. Worrying about a crash and burn is far worse than the impact.

So, Charles, I see that you are on solid footing. You care enough about your music experience to worry about it. Everything else follows from that. Players who do not care do not reach out for help when they feel they have hit a wall. They just give up and walk away. You didn't. And you won't. But there are dues to pay. As I suspect you already know, you get so much more in return.

I will not offer any mechanical or process suggestions. As always, this community has given you a great deal to chew on. All I will do is welcome you to the rabbit hole. The rabbits welcome you.

I took up the guitar at 62 as penance for a youth well-spent.

Last edited by Deliberate1; 02-24-2024 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 02-24-2024, 06:58 PM
Chas007 Chas007 is offline
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Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
To the OP, first for sure cut yourself some slack as others have said here. Itís only been 24 months! Iím 65 and started my guitar journey 12 years ago.
Thank you, for your advice. I will look into the books you mentioned. I too like the fingerpicking styles. Justin Johnson on YouTube is awesome to watch.
Just pickin' around
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