Guitar Fundamentals 1


spasspecker
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spasspecker
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03/13/2012 10:31 am
Hi,
I have been learning to play guitar for the grand total of 2 weeks and I have a question about the core learning system.

Should I learn each lesson perfectly before moving on to the next? At the moment I am having a go at each lesson and getting it basically right and then moving on to the next but I am unsure if it would make more sense to just hammer each lesson until it is second nature.

I am 38 and like most people I just wish I had started learning when I was younger but I am having so much fun learning something new.
# 1
john of MT
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john of MT
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03/13/2012 5:07 pm
It's a question I faced and continue to face. Partly based on my experience with lessons decades ago, I didn't move on from the Fundamentals I and II lessons until I knew/played them 'very well.' My logic was that the lessons were putting down very basic skills and techniques...that the lessons would continue to build on what came before and it was therefore essential that I had the stuff 'down pat.' Later in Country Styles Level 1 the idea seemed to be validated when I came across admonitions to learn the lesson I was working on to the point I could play it perfectly...because of the importance and 'basics' of what what being taught.

While I was still in Fundamentals I gradually added to my practice time. Somethings I added were outside the Fundamentals course but most of the added practice time was devoted to things already covered in the GT course. In this way I could move on to new lessons but still work on that which still needed work or things which could easily justify daily practice no matter what the lesson, e.g., chord progressions, scales, versions of 12-bar blues, etc.

In the dim memories of my lessons when I was a teen, I can remember being frustrated by new things being introduced or attempts at progress that were stymied because I hadn't built up the supporting skills well enough. These days it's wiser for me to lean to the other extreme...get it down and get it down well before moving on. The idea of gradually adding to the practice sessions kinda helps me do both.
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 2
Jon Broderick
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Jon Broderick
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03/13/2012 6:17 pm
Hi,
I think "basically right" is what you want and "perfectly" is not necessary. So I would recommend you continue doing what you are doing.

If you find at some point that the next lesson is way beyond your skill, then you probably went to fast and will need to back up. But until that time, keep your current pace.

Glad to hear you are enjoying it.

Jon
Jon Broderick
Guitar Tricks Instructor


www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 3
Neal Walter
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Neal Walter
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03/14/2012 2:14 am
"having fun" is the key, it's what keeps you going. I would do what you're doing, then come back later to hone a skill.
[FONT=Book Antiqua][FONT=Arial][FONT=Tahoma]Neal
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# 4
spasspecker
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spasspecker
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03/14/2012 11:53 am
Ok Thanks guys, I will keep going the way I am.

I am really enjoying it, I have done between 30 minutes to an hour every day and the fingers do seem to be finding there own way to the right strings more often now.
# 5
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,386
03/14/2012 5:49 pm
Hey & welcome to GT!

I encourage GT students to keep each lesson in your practice schedule until you understand all the info presented and, or can do the skill taught.

Having said that, please keep in mind, all the lessons in the courses are designed to be watched over & again. So, if you get bored with one chapter, move forward to the next. But, always make time to keep going back over older lessons until you have it completely under your command.

Things like memorizing note names, chord shapes, scale positions, are all things that will take a certain amount of time that there is no getting around. There is simply no substitute for repetitious practice until these things become automatized in your mind & hands; until they are "second nature" to you. So, expect to keep revisiting the same things over & again. But keep moving forward enough to keep things fresh & interesting.

Hope this helps. Take your time, be patient with yourself & have fun. :)
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 6
Stephen Quinn
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Stephen Quinn
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03/24/2012 3:44 pm
Working to perfect every single technique or lesson before moving onto the next can make the learning process much slower. It can be quite effective to get a basic understanding of the first few ideas then working on using them together in your playing. Continuing to work on these techniques over time will allow you to master them while also allowing you to combine them in your playing.
# 7
reldridge
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reldridge
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03/25/2012 1:51 pm
The correct answer is going to be what works best for you. It'll probably be somewhere between "getting it perfect" and "basically right". I just got started w/ Guitar Tricks Fundamentals. I breezed through the Fundamentals 1, but I've been spending a lot more time on Fundamentals 2.

I find that everytime I pick up my guitar I do a sort of review of things I worked on before, then I spend a fair amount of time on whatever lesson I'm focusing on at the moment. If I feel like I'm at least 80% there and getting bored, then I'll start the next lesson. But I keep going back and practicing the prior lessons at the beginning of my next practice session.

If what I'm working on is taking awhile and I'm getting bored or frustrated, then I find I'll go peruse the lesson lists and pick something out that sounds interesting and (possibly) within my skill level. So if I'm tired of working on practicing chord progressions in time, then I'll go check out the beginner fingerpicking course...or maybe one of the song lessons...or something.

I try to be vigilant about beginning my practice sessions w/ a review of previously learned skills, spending a majority of time on a focus topic, and preventing boredom or frustration by previewing the next lesson or another topic altogether.

For example, right now I'm focusing on the Guitar Fundamentals 2 lessons on mixing major and minor chords, specifically in time w/ the backing track. I start my practice sessions going through some scales and chord progressions from previous lessons that I feel like I know well...even if I don't play them 100% perfectly yet. As long as I feel comfortable enough to move on (knowing that I'll be coming back to it the next time). Then I spend quite a while working on those chord progressions to the backing track. I basically repeat them over and over until I'm bored or my hands get tired. I then finish my sessions off by checking out a new lesson...like Blues or a song lesson. It's not with the intention of getting it down pat or adding it to my daily practice...just to keep me interested. Like a preview of things to come.

I expect that as my guitar playing evolves, my practice sessions will evolve as well, but this seems to be working pretty well for me so far.

Best of luck!
# 8

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