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  #16  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:18 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Many good replies here...

One thing that hasn't been addressed is, if you're learning a Beatle's song and it's a full band song; you are trying to play EVERYTHING that the band is doing, so far as keeping the rhythm and bass notes and guitar part... all going at the same time! Very difficult to do, even for a pro... in this instance, I realize that I am not going to play EVERYTHING, so I choose what to play, the parts that help the song groove, the notes that help define the song...

When you are strumming, you not only don't HAVE to play all 6 strings (or 5, even), you actually don't WANT to... excepting very few songs, a constant full 6 string rhythm will bore people to tears! Good news for the player is that, the fewer strings you have to sound, the easier and faster it is to make them sound...

Employing devices like hammer-on's and pull-off's, with full chord shapes, is a wonderful way to "spice up" your rhythm work... they are not "cheating", not in my book...

A metronome, although BRUTALLY HONEST, is essential to develop great time; not that you want to PLAY like one, but that you KNOW where you are in the meter of the tune.

Keep working at it... you CAN do this!

play on......................................>

John
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:35 PM
AirWolf AirWolf is offline
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Pair up two chords that are difficult. Practice the chord change with a metronome at least 100 times in a row for 5 days in a row (doing 100x in a row multiple times per day is even better as long as you're not experiencing physical pain because of it).

Use a sheet of paper and pen to keep track of your tempos and progress.

This idea works well for any lick, solo, or section of a song that is problematic... you may never reach the tempo of the original performance but doing something 100 times for multiple days in a row will have a positive effect on your playing one way or another.
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:55 AM
jwing jwing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianMcG View Post
I have a practice routine I call 100s.

I have a spreadsheet that has all the major, barre and other chords on it. The chords are listed both on the top and bottom on a grid.

I pick a chord, say a C chord on the top then a D chord on the side. Then I change chords between the the two 100 times. Then I go to the next, a C and a G for example then do that 100 times. When I finish a series I color in the box corresponding to the two chords.

My goal is to fill out the whole spreadsheet by the end of the month.

After a couple of months of that you will be good to go.
This is a good idea. However, you will be wasting a lot of time on unusable combinations. Better to group the chords in keys.

For instance, in the key of G, you would rarely, if ever play an E-major chord. But you may often play an E-minor chord. Likewise, in the key of E, you would rarely, if ever play a G-major. Off hand, I can't think of a key that uses both E-major and G-major, so I would not bother practicing that combination. If I ever found a tune that I wanted to learn that had that combo, THEN I would practice it.
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  #19  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:49 PM
k.crabbe k.crabbe is offline
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You're not alone Jasperguitar. I'm like you. I know the next chord, but I just can't get there in time. In fact, I've noticed that it's gotten worse over the last couple of weeks. I just keep plugging away. I figure that eventually I will get there.
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  #20  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:51 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Just place your fingers randomly and if someone comments, tell them you are "jazzing it up"
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:53 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanron View Post
You might already be doing this but if not,

As well as practicing chord sequences it is worth spending some time concentrating on pairs of chords. Take the first two chords of a song. Strum down and up on the first chord then down and up on the second chord. Down and up on the first and down and up on the second. Try and set up a rhythm changing between these two chords. Start slow and get a good groove and gradually speed it up. Consitancy of rhythm first and speed later. After some time on one pair of chords try another pair. Some time in each practice session should be spent doing this until it is no longer an issue. Concentrating on pairs of chords can produced rapid results.
This is a great exercise.

Concentrate on economy of movement. Spend some time "visualizing" the chords. Eventually your hand will follow your mind, but playing chords is just as much mental as it is physical. I don't beleive in muscle memory...muscles cannot remember anything...there has to be a synapse firing--a mental connection--for something to truly become second nature. Visualize it happening, over and over...
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:42 PM
billyfamilyvide billyfamilyvide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
Disagree with these. Yes to keeping a tempo. But slow that tempo down until you can actually make the changes. You get better at whatever you practice. When you practice playing sloppy, bad sounding chords with the fingers out of place, that is what you will get good at. Same with anything else you practice. If you play faster than you can play with decent execution you are teaching yourself to play badly, and will need more time to unlearn it later than you would have taken to do it right.

It has been said many times, but it can't be said too often: speed comes from accuracy. Practice playing cleanly and you will improve your speed without practicing playing fast.
I don't see how you can disagree with a past experience that helped me ~shrug~
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  #23  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:15 PM
Smurf Smurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
I don't think the metronome is the answer to this.
I recommend the metronome in this case for one reason, a track-able improvement gauge. You can see how much of an improvement you are making in a tangible way. It is not the answer by far, but a tool to keep ya excited about practice! LOL
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  #24  
Old 02-02-2012, 11:55 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyfamilyvide View Post
I don't see how you can disagree with a past experience that helped me ~shrug~
I disagree with your advice, not your past experience. I don't know what disagreeing with a past experience means. Past experiences are not the sort of things with which one can agree or disagree. I believe that you believe your method helped you, and that you believe the OP should do the same. I do not share the latter belief. I'm pretty sure you can see how I can disagree with your advice to the OP. At least I hope so.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 02-03-2012 at 12:28 PM.
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  #25  
Old 02-04-2012, 07:19 AM
billyfamilyvide billyfamilyvide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
I disagree with your advice, not your past experience. I don't know what disagreeing with a past experience means. Past experiences are not the sort of things with which one can agree or disagree. I believe that you believe your method helped you, and that you believe the OP should do the same. I do not share the latter belief. I'm pretty sure you can see how I can disagree with your advice to the OP. At least I hope so.
Which is exactly why you can't disagree with my initial post. I was sharing a past experience, not offering advice
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  #26  
Old 02-04-2012, 08:10 AM
jasperguitar jasperguitar is offline
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Thanks for all the tips. Disagree, or agree, or whatever .. I appreciate all the advice and personal experiences which helped you, as a player.

I am using the 100 chord changes. Started on that one first thing. By chord change 60, my brain is fried, but I do find this is helpful.

The tip to stay in the diatonic progression is also helpful.

I take a key, such as G maj. Start off with G to E min. Back and forth. Back and forth. Then I do G, E min, F sharp minor .. play one, then the other, then the third and then back to G.. Many combinations.. Its fun. When the fingers start to get that weird feeling, I break.

A friend who does not play an instrument gave me a tip which is also helping me.

She recommended that I play a song beginning to end .. Beginning to end.

In tempo.

When learning, especially by myself, I find I like to noodle. Nothing against noodling, but ..

Anyhow.. thanks..
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  #27  
Old 02-04-2012, 07:52 PM
Hotspur Hotspur is online now
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It's really worth emphasizing this, which others have mentioned but may have been lost in the shuffle:

It is fine you leave the old chord early. What is important is hitting the new chord on time, right one the "one." If that's late, the timing will sound off.

But if you leave the old chord early, most people won't notice. This will make you sound much better as you slowly improve.

There's always SOME gap, because it always takes nonzero time to move your fingers. You can do the open-string trick or not. But the key is to leave the old chord early, and make sure you're in time for new chord.

As you get better, you can leave the old chord later and later and still get to the new chord on time.

The rule of thumb to start slow and make sure you make the transition clean is important. Don't speed up faster than you can make the transition well enough to hit the new chord properly.
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  #28  
Old 02-05-2012, 12:20 AM
Smurf Smurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperguitar View Post
A friend who does not play an instrument gave me a tip which is also helping me.

She recommended that I play a song beginning to end .. Beginning to end.

In tempo.
This is good advice.....it sounds like she has been o a couple of the same Open-Mic / Jams that I have once to often!
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  #29  
Old 02-05-2012, 04:07 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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I'm going to add just one more bit to all the good stuff already here and wonder if others agree.

A practice session ideally encompasses a range of practice activities. I can think of 4.

1. Technical practice. This is the kind of practice where you gain the ability to do specific actions. Changing chords in time is one example of this. As your playing develops you will encounter other technical problems and work out exercises to overcome them.

2. Another important area of practice is repertoire development. This is where you learn pieces, as your friend suggested, from beginning to end. Over time you will get a list of these pieces you have learned.

3. Performance practice. Eventually you will want to play music to other people. When you do this you play differently from when you practice. You need to decide what order pieces are played in and if and what you say between playing.

4. Playing for pleasure, experimenting or noodling.

An ideal practice routine should include all of these to some extent. Certainly if your practice sessions only ever involve one of these your playing and motivation can suffer.

Your motivation doesn't seem to be a problem so maybe you do all these already. Have I missed any out?
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  #30  
Old 02-05-2012, 04:44 AM
Runepune Runepune is offline
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Just quoting some advice I find important:

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanron View Post
...spending some time concentrating on pairs of chords.
You don't need to spend time on what you already can do. Just move back and forth with two chords that are problematic. Do this for half a minute or so, relax your hand for 15 seconds or so.....repeat this for some minutes (Skip the metronome. Using a metronome or playing in time is not the point here.).
Repeat all of it several times a day. Pay attention not to put any strain on that hand, and remember that it's during breaks that your body rewrites the code and makes it easier the next time you pick that guitar up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
On the other hand in finger picking you often do not have to put down all the fingers at the same time. Plant first the fingers that are played first.

Leave the prior chord a bit early (short of a full beat). A lot of people to this and it usually sounds fine (normal in fact).
Even when strumming you need to find the right sequence for those fingers. Usually you can remove "bass" string fingers first, and they also need to be the first one(s) ready for the next chord.

It was also mentioned that you should seek to find economical ways to play chord sequences. Could some fingers stay in their positions?
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