The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-26-2022, 06:20 PM
OzzieMikie OzzieMikie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 18
Default I Must Be The Slowest Learner!

So I'm three weeks into my guitar journey (at age 67). I've had three 1/2 hour lessons thus far, with another coming up tomorrow.

I've learned the A, C, D, E, and G chords thus far. (Along with a simple I, IV, V bluesy kinda thing picking single notes in the key of A).

But for the life of me, I simply can't seem to change chords in time, even though I know ahead of the change where my fingers need to go (knowing where they need to go and getting them to do it seem to be at odds with each other!). Two things seem to be happening that, despite my best efforts, I just can't seem to correct:

1. My instructor has me picking the string by itself and then strumming the rest of the chord on the next beat. Sounds easy, and it should be, I think, except my right hand only seems to want to pick the right string about 60% of the time. Most of the time my right hand seems to want to pick the string on top of the one I need to start strumming on, or it picks the one on top of the one I need to pick by itself. If I watch my right hand, then I seem to make mistakes fingering the chords. If I watch my left hand (which my instructor is adamant I should do, then I make mistakes picking the wrong string with my right hand.

2. For some reason, the D chord gives me the most problems. (I've been working on that I, IV, V thing using just the A, D, and E chords). It's the darned high E string that my middle finger just doesn't seem to want to land in the right spot. Most of the time my error is that the finger is too close to the fret...but when I try to correct that, my ring finger wants to slide up the B string and most often won't ring out properly.

Maybe the solution is to only choose songs that have a full measure of empty space between chords? 😄

Anyway...maybe what I'm experiencing is normal, but I sure do feel like a 5 year old at times.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-26-2022, 06:35 PM
Jamolay Jamolay is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 394
Default

You are normal. Keep at it!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:53 PM
OzzieMikie OzzieMikie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 18
Default

Gonna keep going. (One of the nicer things about retirement...work won't get in the way).😄
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-26-2022, 10:04 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Central Connecticut, USA
Posts: 4,983
Default

Mike, after only three weeks you are doing well to be getting any noise at all out of the thing. Get back to us after three years Seriously, it takes a long time to get to the point where it feels natural, because it’s not natural. There is no substitute for putting in the hours, days, months, years, decades and if you are lucky the rest of your life The good news is after the first few months it’s a whole lot of fun!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-26-2022, 10:46 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,559
Default

Yep, totally normal. I remember one of my very first chord progressions back from mists of time: G - Em - Am - D7 - G. I remember how painfully slow it was to change chords. Strum, strum, strum... hang on... uh, this finger goes *there*... that finger, now... Strum, strum, strum.... Okay, where now? Wait a sec...

It gets better. You'll figure out things like which fingers you can leave in place between particular chords, rather than readjusting your whole hand every time. The muscle memory will start to take, and you'll find your fingers going where they are supposed to eventually without you having to think about it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-26-2022, 11:08 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 1,840
Default

It took me a LOT longer than three weeks to be able to change chords cleanly.

Your expectations might be a little optimistic. Congrats for getting there quickly!
__________________
-Gordon

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway
1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway
2006 Larrivee L03-R
2009 Larrivee LV03-R
2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
2020 Irvin SJ cutaway (build thread)
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter


Notable Journey website
Facebook page

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. - Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-27-2022, 12:43 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 389
Default

I started with Justin Guitar online video lessons. Part of his practice plan was changing between chords for a minute. One exercise you did just a fast change, no strumming, just moving your fingers. Then he had another exercise where you would move between two chords and slowing strumming to make sure you have good fingering. I still do theses exercises when I learning new chords. Eventually muscle memory should take over.

I learned to Travis pick by playing to backing tracks starting at 40 bpm. Working my way up in speed once I was good at a lower speed. I recorded myself one day and saw I looking at my picking hand. I tried to do without looking and discovered I could do it without looking.

I still think of the beginning days when it was one strum per measure. Then 4 strums per measure and then strumming up and down. LOL
__________________
_____________________
Martin HD28 w/Dazzo 60s
Martin OM28 w/Dazzos 60s
Taylor 214CE DLX
Amalio Burguet Vanessa
Fender Player Stratocaster HSS Plus
Timberline T60HGpc
Boss Katana-50 MK-2
Bose S1 Pro
SunnAudio MS-2
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-27-2022, 01:20 AM
raysachs's Avatar
raysachs raysachs is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Philly Area
Posts: 3,708
Default

If you can even make chords and get them to sound decent at three weeks, let alone change between them smoothly and in time, you’re NOT the slowest learner. If you could change between them smoothly at this point, I’d have to accuse you of being the fastest learner I’d heard of. At three weeks, most people are still in a lot of pain just holding a chord for any amount of time.

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. There’s a LOT of muscle memory involved and that takes time at any age, and I have to imagine it’s somewhat harder at 67 than it was at 18, and it was freakin’ impossible at 18. Hang in there - if you’re having any fun at all, you’ll stay with it and you’ll get there… SOMEwhere, wherever “there” is.

-Ray
__________________
"It's just honest human stuff that hadn't been near a dang metronome in it's life" - Benmont Tench
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-27-2022, 05:21 AM
Bob Womack's Avatar
Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
Guitar Gourmet
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Between Clever and Stupid
Posts: 24,720
Default

Nah. You are fine. I was so slow that my teacher gave up on me after four lessons. That was fifty-two years ago... this month.

Bob
__________________
"It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

THE MUSICIAN'S ROOM
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-27-2022, 06:53 AM
Mr. Paul's Avatar
Mr. Paul Mr. Paul is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: in the shadow of Humboldt Peak
Posts: 3,167
Default

Early on a great player told me that "you just have to take it by force" when I described having the same troubles you're going through.
__________________
Baranik, Goodall, Iris, Martin, SC
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-27-2022, 07:17 AM
TBman's Avatar
TBman TBman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 31,778
Default

Good so far, just keep at it!
__________________
Barry
_________________________

Basement recording demo....



2016 Avalon Ard Ri L2-320C
2021 Furch Yellow
2016 Gibson J-45
2015 Guild D-120C
2004 Larrivee OM-05
2003 Martin D-16GT
2021 Pellerin SJCW


My Celtic play list

https://soundcloud.com/barry329
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-27-2022, 07:30 AM
OzzieMikie OzzieMikie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 18
Default

It's awesome to know my case isn't all that unusual (apparently)!

LOL...I'll have to see if my instructor will stick with me, or give up.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-27-2022, 07:30 AM
E-OM E-OM is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 249
Default

Thirteen years ago I started @ 62 yrs old.....

You are doing great... practice, practice, practice...

Playing guitar is a life long dream that is giving me a great journey in my retirement years... and I hope for many more to come...
__________________
Bob
Life is grand with a guitar in hand....

Enjoying:

Webber RB (Eng/Rosewd)
Eastman AC 722 CE (Eurospruce/Rosewd)
Larrivee LS-03 Forum VI (Moon spruce/Black Walnut)

A few Electrics
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-27-2022, 08:24 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,283
Default

The OP's progress seems normal to me. If there is an advantage to learning guitar when we are much younger, it is that we just went for it without overthinking the process. It is just something we wanted to do.

Also, when we were growing up, we tended to have friends around who were also learning so we had "jogging partners" rather than doing it in isolation as we typically do when we are at or past the age of having families, full time jobs, and responsibilities or older and into retirement. It just seems that as we get older, we tend to isolate and have to make elaborate plans with scheduling to get together with anybody. When we were much younger, we just did that naturally.

So the world is different for us much later in life in so many ways. Adjust to that and learning to play guitar can become a thing that gets you up and going every day.

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-27-2022, 08:39 AM
rmp rmp is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4,209
Default

Nope, nothing out of sorts here

If this was really easy, everyone would be doing it!
__________________
Ray
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=