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  #16  
Old 02-03-2011, 12:22 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Originally Posted by dlknight View Post
He has this thing he calls 1 min changes. You use 2 chords and see how many changes you can make in a minute. They don't have to be perfect. I started at like 14 changes per min. A=1, then D=2, and so forth. After one month I can only do 18 at most. This is so frustrating.
Uh-oh. I think any method that encourages a beginner to see how fast he can play and to quantify speed while ignoring accuracy is a bad idea. Forget speed, stop measuring your speed. What matters now is fretting the chords cleanly; take however long that takes. When you try for speed and "don't have to be perfect" you are practicing playing sloppy and developing bad fretting habits that will have to be unlearned and relearned later on.

If you are not already fretting the open G with your middle, ring, and pinky, this would be a good time to start. It will be hard at first, but will speed your changes later. You need that fingering to change to a G7 chord anyway.
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2011, 12:32 PM
bluesbassdad bluesbassdad is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
Uh-oh. I think any method that encourages a beginner to see how fast he can play and to quantify speed while ignoring accuracy is a bad idea. Forget speed, stop measuring your speed. What matters now is fretting the chords cleanly; take however long that takes. When you try for speed and "don't have to be perfect" you are practicing playing sloppy and developing bad fretting habits that will have to be unlearned and relearned later on.

If you are not already fretting the open G with your middle, ring, and pinky, this would be a good time to start. It will be hard at first, but will speed your changes later. You need that fingering to change to a G7 chord anyway.
I'm so glad someone of your stature in the guitar domain made this point regarding speed. I was tempted to do so myself.

I don't have the guitar chops to speak with any authority, but I know that a brass player who learned speed and not precision will spoil the sound of an entire section. No matter how cleanly the other eight trumpeters play they can't make up for one who plays sloppily.

As a soloist a player who values speed over precision will always sound rushed, even to an audience that doesn't quite know what's going on.

P.S. Playing the song "It's Hard Ain't it Hard" in the key of G is a great way to imprint the G, G7, C progression using the fingering you suggest.
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  #18  
Old 02-03-2011, 01:55 PM
garywj garywj is offline
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I was able to improve when I became aware of the order in which I lay down my fingers. I was able gain speed and accuracy by reversing the order with some transitions. Sometimes I play and purposefully reverse my "normal" order. Easy example, from a C to an F, I lay down mr 4th finger first. At one time I did it in the reverse order. With barre chords in general, I find an order that's best. After less than 2 years of trying to actually play, I find myself having to work on basic basics.
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  #19  
Old 02-03-2011, 02:42 PM
JamieK JamieK is offline
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DL,
I am by no means an expert but I'd like to give you my .02. First off I think you have gotten some great advise by folks more qualified than I. Secondly I would just like to echo the comments of those that suggested you play some music... I mean if you have the desire to play like most of the rest of us, it's more than likely driven by the love of music. At least that's what drives me (that and we all know guys play guitar to pick up the ladies...). Most importantly have fun! Playing is like any other activity, say for example golf. Your never going to be Phil Mickelson, but if you practice and take the frustrations in stride and HAVE FUN, you will eventually get it to a point where your having fun more often than your frustrated. While I'm still young and haven't played for the length of time some of the more advanced on this board have, I'm sure they'll tell you that it's a life long learning experience, and that just when you think your at the top you realize you've only really just scratched the surface. Find some friends to play with and enjoy it!

J
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2011, 03:11 PM
RGlenn RGlenn is offline
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Wow, this is why I love this discussion board. All of you are very helpful and encouraging.

I too am just learning to play. My problem is in addition to learning the chords and trying to get my fingers to work properly, is learning to read tabs. I have a very difficult time with this sort of thing. I am going to learn this, it is a challenge and one I will overcome.

I have sometimes just play around, just to have fun and to break the monotony. My wife says it sounds like music to her, but she is biased since she is my wife after all.

Keep up the good work.
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  #21  
Old 02-03-2011, 03:57 PM
dlknight dlknight is offline
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I like classic rock (REO Speedwagon, Styx, Journey, The Eagles, Bob Seger). Blues (Joe Bonamassa, Clapton), JElvis, immy Buffet, Southern Rock, a lot of country, but I hate old country, I like more of todays stuff, can't stand Taylor Swift. Easy Listening is good, I am learning to like stuff I didn't like before, like James Taylor, and some others. I have over 900 albums, 500 CDs. I didn't like cassettes, other than I made my own. I need to find some song books of some of these groups. I have books of Buffett, Eagles, AC/DC, Bob Marley (loaned it out to a coworker). So any songs you can recommend would be great. I have tried some but I have no idea how to strum them so I couldn't get them to sound right. I can play a two chord version of Horse with No Name I will say fairly well, but still make a lot of mistakes.
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2011, 04:00 PM
dlknight dlknight is offline
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Hey, I really appreciate every one of you guys. I appreciate all of your suport. This is a great forum and the members are super. Thanks to everyone for your encouragement. I am not going to give up. I will play a lot better one of these days. I was just thinking it is taking me so much longer that everyone. I know others have some advantages, longer, slimmer fingers, but I will get it.
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2011, 04:01 PM
japple japple is offline
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Ryan Binghams "depression is a good song and fairly easy. G and C are the only chords. There is one part were he changes between the two very fast, but other than that the changes are spread far apart and will be good practice for you.

Not sure how you feel about Bob Dylan but most of his songs are quite easy to strum. Tombstone Blues is another with just two chords E and A very simple chord change.
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2011, 04:10 PM
dlknight dlknight is offline
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Oh gosh LOL I hate Bob Dylan. The music may be great, but to me his voice is so terrible that I can't listen to him. I am the same way with Neal Young. As good as Hendrix may play I can't stand listening to him, I don't like a lot of stuff by the Stones cause I don't like Jaggers voice. I am not a beattles fan either. But we all have our own taste.
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2011, 05:46 PM
japple japple is offline
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Well Richie havens does Tombstone blues the same way so listen to him as you play! LOL! I hear the same thing about Dylan all the time. He is a love him or hate him kinda guy.
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2011, 05:49 PM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Originally Posted by dlknight View Post
I know others have some advantages, longer, slimmer fingers, but I will get it.
There can be advantages some folks have but you are not authorized to use them as an excuse if you don't have them. (says I)

I have 35th percentile finger dexterity. Measured, documented. If I can get my sausages to be useful, nearly anyone can.

I strongly recommend looking into Jamie Andrea's material for getting a handle on the power of focused attention and deliberate practice. Perfect practice makes perfect. Unnecessary tension anywhere in the body can cause problems with guitar playing. (and more)
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:01 PM
mikerol mikerol is offline
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Originally Posted by dlknight View Post
I like classic rock (REO Speedwagon, Styx, Journey, The Eagles, Bob Seger). Blues (Joe Bonamassa, Clapton), JElvis, immy Buffet, Southern Rock, a lot of country, but I hate old country, I like more of todays stuff, can't stand Taylor Swift. Easy Listening is good, I am learning to like stuff I didn't like before, like James Taylor, and some others. I have over 900 albums, 500 CDs. I didn't like cassettes, other than I made my own. I need to find some song books of some of these groups. I have books of Buffett, Eagles, AC/DC, Bob Marley (loaned it out to a coworker). So any songs you can recommend would be great. I have tried some but I have no idea how to strum them so I couldn't get them to sound right. I can play a two chord version of Horse with No Name I will say fairly well, but still make a lot of mistakes.
I'm sure there will be some disagreement from others on this comment, but in terms of learning how to strum the songs -- forget it. You're playing for fun. You know the songs in your head. Hear it in your head and strum it. IMO people get too caught up in strum patterns. Once you know the chords, hear it in your head and play it.

Regarding books, go to a music store and look for one of those huge compilation chord books with songs you like in it. Come off the $25 and you'll have the correct chords with chord charts at the top of the song if you need a reference.

You mentioned that you like classic rock and newer country - here are a few with easy changes and these transcriptions are mostly correct:
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/z/za...e_ver2_crd.htm

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/..._chair_crd.htm

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/...le_man_crd.htm

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/e/ea...e_ver2_crd.htm

something a little newer
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/co...a_vida_crd.htm
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2011, 09:47 PM
JDevenger JDevenger is offline
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Some great advice so far, for my experiences Im in my first year of learning. You shouldnt worry too much or get down on yourself, everyone goes at their own pace.

With chord changes, I just found some easy songs with only 3 chords or so ( and theres a million) . Obviously some transitions are harder than others, but you will adjust. Someone previously said they changed around the order they place their fingers on the fretboard, which can be very useful.

At first I had difficulty with the dreaded F barre chord ( 133211 ) But now I love barre chords, and they come very easy to me now. As they will come to you after you have practiced and get your hands in sync. You will get a real feeling for the fretboard. My fingers almost automatically form fit to a perfect F because Ive practiced it so much on my guitar and that same chord shape is common all over the fretboard and are in a lot of songs. Give it time you will learn to "feel" your instrument It will be more and more rewarding as you get better.

Now that Ive become proficient with strumming, and playing harder songs that I love, Ive started to try finger-picking and it feels so alien to me Its like Im a child plucking away at strings But with some practice it will come to me, just like with a little time chord transitions will come for you.
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2011, 12:24 PM
JohnnyDes JohnnyDes is offline
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A few thoughts and tips.

First, as others have said, everybody is bad at it at first. I still remember trying to fret a C chord and thinking, this must be wrong, surely nobody can do this. And now, two years in, I can do it in my sleep while standing on my head. It's just there without thinking about it.

2nd, it's very important to relax. I would slow things way down and try to keep your fret hand as relaxed as possible. Jamie Andreas has a whole course of guitar instruction based on the premise that tension in ones muscles interferes with the learning of muscle memory.

One exercise I learned (works for my 8 yr old son too) is to fret the chord (relax!), then pick up your fret hand, and then slowly fret it again. And again, and again, ... fret, lift, repeat. This is a great way to train your muscle memory on a chord.

3rd, I'll second the advice that it's ok to strum open on the pickup to the next measure. In fact, I've had teachers that insist I do it this way.

4th, as someone else has said, you need to train your mind to always think ahead to the next chord fingering.

Good luck - it'll come with time for sure.

JD
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  #30  
Old 02-13-2011, 08:42 AM
ocmcook ocmcook is offline
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this may or may not help. try playing single notes while making the tranistion from one chord to the next. g position going to c- play g on e string, open on a string then b on a string then c on a string. this will put you into your c chord shape. you can then use the same type of fingering to go to the f position. this also adds just a little something to your sound. hope it helps
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