I would like some advice


justinbirtha
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Joined: 05/12/17
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justinbirtha
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05/12/2017 1:07 am

Hey guys I am brand new to the forums and I would just like to ask for a little bit of advice. I am 15 years and love the guitar. I have been playing for 2 1/2 years now through taking lessons. I constantly think about it all the time and how I can't wait to go home and play. The problem is though when I go home I just procrastinate my way from avoiding the guitar completely. I have a schedule for practice but lately it hasn't been put to use. I would like to become really good at the guitar, but it just seems like I am lacking something mentally from me achieving that goal. I would like to practice 3-4 hours a day, but I barely reach 2 hours. I get easily distracted from video games and when I get discouraged from the guitar I just decide to call it a night and hop on my video games. Is there anything I can do to break this habit and achieve the goals I would like to achieve? Do any of you have the same issues? If you a response with some advice would greatly appreciated from a fellow guitar player.


# 1
maggior
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maggior
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05/12/2017 1:37 pm

If you find that you can only focus on guitar for 2 hours, then allow yourself to stick to that. 2 hours of focused practice (even 1 hour) is much better than 3 or 4 unfocused.

I go through this myself actually. Part of you may be fearful that it's going to be hard, a lot of work, you won't accomplish much, etc....all sorts of negative stuff.

Do you have a plan? Goals? Without these you will progress slowly and won't feel much satisfaction, and that makes it feel like work!

Make a plan and set some long, near, and short term goals. Make them realistic! As you accomplish these things, you'll see progress and it will encourage you to continue. You'll have things to celebrate!!

Allow flexibility in your plan and goals. Don't beat yourself up if you skip a day practicing or you don't meet a goal according to your schedule.


# 2
Guitar Tricks Admin
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Guitar Tricks Admin
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05/12/2017 7:05 pm

Maggior is correct here. You want to have a focused practice session and not worry too much about how many hours you're putting in.

If you've been playing for a little while already, and you mentioned that you've been playing for roughly 2 years, you should start playing music you like to listen to.

This is how I learned to play guitar. The first couple of years I spent learning the core guitar fundamentals like chords, barre chords, scales, keys, etc. I learned a few songs but eventually I hit a roadblock. I was feeling unmotivated and uninterested until I started to learn some Beatles songs. I really like the Beatles and I remember trying to play Beatles stuff early in my guitar playing but I wasn't able to, I just wasn't good enough yet. But after a few years of playing, I went back to those songs I had trouble with and then I was able to play them. This gave me a ton of satisfaction and it was really fun.

My advice, play and learn the songs you like to listen to.

Another thing, don't overdo it. Doing anything for more than hour a day is exhausting. Practice for 30 minutes a day, and focus it on something you really enjoy, like learning a new song or something.

Also, playing with others is super fun and you learn quite a lot from playing music with others.

I hope to hear your progress soon.

Sincerely,

Billy


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# 3
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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05/13/2017 1:22 pm

I'm gonna go a little different direction than the others (though good advice); you also have to take some time and just carelessly bash away at the thing. Being methodical and regimented definately has value but remember that you're playing the instrument because something in music moved you enough to want to pick up the guitar.

You must (must) connect with that feeling too. It's why you play.

You don't play to be good at it, you play to connect with your emotions. Being good at guitar is a means to get there. Skip that feeling stuff and I'd say don't even bother playing anymore. I'm not suggesting you stop. I am suggesting that you reconnect with why you want to play guitar.

Early in my playing days, I was spending time learning some songs and getting better but I recall that first time when I played that I really got a buzz doing it. I was standing in front of my modest little practice amp and had the volume up just enough to be kickin'. Since the amp was on a stand and about belly height, it was aimed at my torso. I stopped trying to get 'Black Dog' down and just started agressively beating on some power/barre chords. Just goin' to town. It was such a buzz. I could feel it in my body. My belly and chest were vibrating. Before that, I wanted to play, I liked playing and was hooked by then, but that moment is when I went from hooked to addicted.

I wanted to play.

Every time I practice, I end with a sort of bashing away (ok, I'm a lttle better than those days decades ago) but I still smash at the thing without a care at the end of practicing. It's something of a practice credscendo. I think it releases those chemicals in your brain that make you happy.

So, it's also about emotion, remember that.


# 4
justinbirtha
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justinbirtha
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05/14/2017 4:17 pm

Hey thanks guys for your replies to my post, I really appreciate it. I would like to address some things you guys have asked. Yes I do have goals on the guitar that I would like to enjoy. In fact I have a sheet full of songs that I would like to learn within 8 months , and the list has over 10 songs. I also take lessons and learn the songs that I believe have a technique in them that I would need to learn from my teacher to understand how to play it. Right now I am learning Mr. Crowley- Ozzy Osbourne and the chords and stuff have become fairly easy. I have reached a point where chord progressions are pretty simple to me. The thing I have slight trouble with in that song is the licks, but I know how to sit down and get them up to speed. I have started learning the first solo with my teacher and god damn it is crazy. The reason why I wanted to learn this is becuase it would help boost my alternate picking skill and speed in terms of playing solos. So that will address maggior. I will also do some thinking over the next couple of days to see why I really play guitar and to find myself in my own guitar playing. Thanks guys for your respones, I really appreciate it.

m/


# 5
justinbirtha
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justinbirtha
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05/14/2017 4:45 pm

Also one more thing I would like to add, how could I increase my stamina to practice for a longer period of time?


# 6
BigScaryGary
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BigScaryGary
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05/22/2017 5:42 pm

Your fingers are all muscles, and like all muscles you need to use them to keep them going. I have a rule where I'll do at least 15 minutes every day of something, and then go into focused practice. On the days where I'm just not feeling it, at least I did some maintenance on my fingers. I bought one of those "daily exercise for guitar" books. But you can really do anything: go up and down scales, practice a technique you see. Just don't keep playing once your fingers hurt. If you cut through your calluses you'll be unable to play for a few days if you're lucky.


# 7
winryember
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winryember
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06/03/2017 1:42 am

I highly suggest you check out this e-book by Martin Lass! http://www.martinlass.com/99_Master_Secrets.htm

This book totally revolutionized the way I approach learning instruments.

The best advice I can give you is to join a band or just start playing with other people. It's more motivating and playing with other people is just a lot more fun. I have days where practicing makes me want to fall asleep on my instrument, but I'm learning music I love that I'm really excited to play with people, I can practice for hours without even noticing it.

Also, just be patient with yourself, and try not to demand too much from yourself too soon or you'll get burned out (easier said than done soemtimes :) ) It's better to set standards that are too low and find tha you wish to increase your practice time than to try to keep up with a crazy practice schedule before you are ready.


# 8
johnv31552
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johnv31552
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06/05/2017 8:24 pm

my suggestion Justin and take it from someone 65 years old. Even us old folks procrastinate. What got me back to practicing every day is that I just decided to learn to play some songs that I liked to play. As I learned each song, it became fun to play. That stops the procrastination. My opinion, you can do it!! Don't give up!!


# 9

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