chord changes hard


tammielyn.ts
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tammielyn.ts
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11/17/2022 8:33 pm

hey, so i can do chord changes really well in the context of songs i play and using a metronome, and some strumming patterns, other times i still really struggle for it to feel comfortable and mess up,  i feel like i just won't get this, i wish it was taught in the fundamentals as part of the program, not only doing fast down strums to learn chord transitions,  but within the context of different strumming patterns, i do not know if my hands will ever be in sync and i'll be able to do this, this is the first time i've felt completely stressed and concerned i won't ever get this, it doesn't help i broke my wrist in the spring and get pain at times, but besides that, at times i've felt on top of the world, i'm doing barre chord changes (again not yet within a strumming pattern yet, not ready) and i can play songs, landslide with travis fingerpicking, blackbirds, i can do hammerons nicely,  i see unbelievble progress in my journey so much, but with chord changes i'm just not there yet at all times, and forget trying a new strumming pattern, it's like my right hand forgets to land clean and right on the spot, it struggles, and i think wow, i began chord changes with the 3 notes in pay 2020, so 2.5 years in, and i think hmmm maybe it just won't click for me.  i can jump right on the spot clean even if i close my eyes, so it isn't my right hand not knowing where to go and cleanly,  i'm great, but if just sit and do certain strumming patterns, just certain ones, or a new technique involving percussiveness, i don't get there and really struggle especially in context of new strumming pattern, is this normal to still not be perfectly clean at this stage? 


edited
# 1
William MG
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William MG
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11/17/2022 10:17 pm

Here is some encouragement:


You are where you are supposed to be. Enjoy the experience, there is no test at the end of this.


I cheat like a son of a gun Tammie, and I don't care and neither does anyone else. It's supposed to be fun. So for an example. I just learned Suzie Q. The hardest part was the finger picking. The chords - easy peasy because I cheat! I don't care if I have the strum pattern down, all I need to hit is the chord in step with the bass and 99.9% of the time I just use power chords. And I love it. Because I'm playing along to the song and having fun.


It could be age, it could be lack of coordination,  but whatever, some chords are too hard and at my age, this is just for fun.


A drink, some friends or a backing track ... it's all I want.


Try to take the pressure off and take your success where it comes. 


Good luck!


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 2
mjgodin
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mjgodin
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11/18/2022 2:29 am

Tammie


I agree with William. I think your putting too much pressure on yourself. We all are guilty of it. Especially if you had a wrist injury. Try to relax and enjoy what you have accomplished and tell yourself your a guitar player. Focus on your strengths. 

Quick chord changes will always be a challenge cause as we learn and progress we also learn more notes and chords so it's always gonna feel like day one. I see a lot of posts about playing songs at tempo. You know what. I don't play a lot of songs at tempo and that's ok cause I'm not planning on performing on stage anytime soon. I'm not auditioning for a band and I'm not in a studio trying to record an album in time for a greedy record company. Just sitting on my couch and having fun. 


So while I can't help you with the mechanics of playing guitar to get you to the level you wanna be at just keep telling yourself your a guitar player. There will be days of struggle that's to be expected but more often than not your making more gains than you think you are. Like Anders says. As long as you keep playing your guitar your doing something right. 

Moe


 


edited
# 3
tammielyn.ts
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tammielyn.ts
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11/18/2022 5:20 am
#3 Originally Posted by: mjgodin

Tammie


I agree with William. I think your putting too much pressure on yourself. We all are guilty of it. Especially if you had a wrist injury. Try to relax and enjoy what you have accomplished and tell yourself your a guitar player. Focus on your strengths. 

Quick chord changes will always be a challenge cause as we learn and progress we also learn more notes and chords so it's always gonna feel like day one. I see a lot of posts about playing songs at tempo. You know what. I don't play a lot of songs at tempo and that's ok cause I'm not planning on performing on stage anytime soon. I'm not auditioning for a band and I'm not in a studio trying to record an album in time for a greedy record company. Just sitting on my couch and having fun. 


So while I can't help you with the mechanics of playing guitar to get you to the level you wanna be at just keep telling yourself your a guitar player. There will be days of struggle that's to be expected but more often than not your making more gains than you think you are. Like Anders says. As long as you keep playing your guitar your doing something right. 

Moe


 

Thanks Moe, I tend to be my best teacher and my worst critic.  If I get something perfect and right often hoe the heck can I struggle still. I kind of got really excited to learn lots of new things about they were time consuming and I got burnt out. I'm going back to my previous practice methods which I've been successful so far, tweak a bit, but I note realize more than ever this thing we love will teach us many lessons, the reward week be great but it will not come easy for all things, maybe some, but that stuff that comes easy, can fool us and make us forget there are zero shortcuts, so kind of arrogant of me to think I could skate by with ease, it's been a wake up call, moving forward no tolerance for criticism. If I keep up this negativity and doing too much I'll burn out and miss the fun, which up until I went crazy learning multiple new things I was having a blast.  I think tiredness can play a huge factor. I've had too long practice sessions really. TX all for the help!  Cheers 


# 4
tammielyn.ts
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tammielyn.ts
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11/18/2022 5:28 am
#2 Originally Posted by: William MG

Here is some encouragement:


You are where you are supposed to be. Enjoy the experience, there is no test at the end of this.


I cheat like a son of a gun Tammie, and I don't care and neither does anyone else. It's supposed to be fun. So for an example. I just learned Suzie Q. The hardest part was the finger picking. The chords - easy peasy because I cheat! I don't care if I have the strum pattern down, all I need to hit is the chord in step with the bass and 99.9% of the time I just use power chords. And I love it. Because I'm playing along to the song and having fun.


It could be age, it could be lack of coordination,  but whatever, some chords are too hard and at my age, this is just for fun.


A drink, some friends or a backing track ... it's all I want.


Try to take the pressure off and take your success where it comes. 


Good luck!

TX so much! I think I may have a drink, might help with my songwriting!  Sure will loosen me up in these moments. I just thought hopefully when I do play perfectly it will be done no more "bad days". Not true!  Just kind of got in my head a bit. I'm a bit of a perfectionist yikes. Happy guitar journey friends glad we are in this together.  I do think guitar tricks needs to have troubleshooting tutorials. There's tons of those on YouTube. They don't really have that on here as far as I know.  Like I'm learning a new riff. And. I tried to find tutorials on bending. And it assumes you already know how to bend? That's crazy that there's not a tutorial on bending. 101.  Oh well that's what YouTube is for. Enjoy your drinks and friends and your guitar! 


# 5
tammielyn.ts
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tammielyn.ts
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11/18/2022 5:31 am
#3 Originally Posted by: mjgodin

Tammie


I agree with William. I think your putting too much pressure on yourself. We all are guilty of it. Especially if you had a wrist injury. Try to relax and enjoy what you have accomplished and tell yourself your a guitar player. Focus on your strengths. 

Quick chord changes will always be a challenge cause as we learn and progress we also learn more notes and chords so it's always gonna feel like day one. I see a lot of posts about playing songs at tempo. You know what. I don't play a lot of songs at tempo and that's ok cause I'm not planning on performing on stage anytime soon. I'm not auditioning for a band and I'm not in a studio trying to record an album in time for a greedy record company. Just sitting on my couch and having fun. 


So while I can't help you with the mechanics of playing guitar to get you to the level you wanna be at just keep telling yourself your a guitar player. There will be days of struggle that's to be expected but more often than not your making more gains than you think you are. Like Anders says. As long as you keep playing your guitar your doing something right. 

Moe


 

Thanks Moe, I tend to be my best teacher and my worst critic.  If I get something perfect and often how the heck can I struggle still at another time...... I kind of got really excited lately to learn lots of new things, and they were time consuming and I got burnt out. I'm going back to my previous practice methods which I've been successful so far, tweak a bit, but I now realize more than ever this thing we love will teach us many lessons,patience being number one,  the reward will be great but it will not come easy for all things, maybe some, but that stuff that comes easy, can fool us and make us forget there are zero shortcuts, so kind of arrogant of me to think I could skate by with ease, it's been a wake up call, moving forward no tolerance for criticism. If I keep up this negativity and doing too much I'll burn out and miss the fun, which up until I went crazy learning multiple new things I was having a blast.  I think tiredness can play a huge factor. I've had way too long practice sessions 4-5 hours really.  Which is ridiculous. TX all for the help!  Cheers 


# 6
ddiddler
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11/18/2022 9:47 am

Nice , not nice to read your post.


I'm at a similar point in time


Except I'm happy to just take any progress as it comes.


I'm doing finger picking patterns . I can follow single note melodies


I can only do the chord changes to about 85-90 with a metronome and can play along in the lessons when Anders or Lisa is doing the slower demo's but rarely fast enough for most songs in real time


However it is my general strumming I am not happy with . My single strums can sound very clear and chimey but as soon as I play chords and changes in multiples, even in a simple 4/4 time my chords soon  get very clunky , bicycle wheel clicky. Even worse on up strums.  I think I need to go for a drive in the car and do what Caren advised. Just repeat that 20,000 times and it will be fine. Your family and neighbours will love you for it.


It does seem that we get frustrated when others appear to be flying and the utubers are supposedly playing songs after a week but I feel from my position, your post and from what William says , we are where we are , doing the best we can and accepting that improvements do come just very very slowly in the real life situation.


Dave


 


 


# 7
tammielyn.ts
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11/18/2022 2:57 pm
#7 Originally Posted by: ddiddler

Nice , not nice to read your post.


I'm at a similar point in time


Except I'm happy to just take any progress as it comes.


I'm doing finger picking patterns . I can follow single note melodies


I can only do the chord changes to about 85-90 with a metronome and can play along in the lessons when Anders or Lisa is doing the slower demo's but rarely fast enough for most songs in real time


However it is my general strumming I am not happy with . My single strums can sound very clear and chimey but as soon as I play chords and changes in multiples, even in a simple 4/4 time my chords soon  get very clunky , bicycle wheel clicky. Even worse on up strums.  I think I need to go for a drive in the car and do what Caren advised. Just repeat that 20,000 times and it will be fine. Your family and neighbours will love you for it.


It does seem that we get frustrated when others appear to be flying and the utubers are supposedly playing songs after a week but I feel from my position, your post and from what William says , we are where we are , doing the best we can and accepting that improvements do come just very very slowly in the real life situation.


Dave


 


 

Sorry Dave to post such a long winded frustrated concern., i posted not good timing to where i was at, just wanted to know it's ok to still struggle at times even at this time in my journey.  in the light of day i, we have lots to be proud of even attempting and taking the 20,000 times to do it.  i see rapid progress everywhere, but just wondered from ones longer in their journey  if i would ever get to where chords would be smooth and clean  and easy which is our goal right? should have simpified and asked one of the teachers and been specific and not emotional.  we took this journey for a reason and need to remember that and focus on proper practice, and internally celebrate each win and they will eventually get us where we want to be., i'll be deleting post and hopefully you still get the message. keep up your good work.  i pick songs i love, choose ones from your childhood that moved you, and feel the rhythm.  i also enjoyed doing Keith Urban's 30 songs in 30 days, he picks fairly easy songs and teaches you something new each song and you can slow down youtube playback and also you eventually play along with a professional and then the band and then you as the guitar player as the ultimate goal of each song.  youtube song teachers really go slow teaching each song, i have my fav youtube song teachers, you'll find them., bc when you learn a song, best you can play, you feel on top of the world.  but remember to learn only parts of the song, get them right, slowly and that could take awhile, i take 2-3 weeks getting right the first line of Blackbirds, but i'm tenacious that way and that's what we have to do.  i have since realized and looked back at this new frustration and see i took TOO much on at once, and overpracticed chord changes to the point of tiredness.  i'm going to scale that down and add 'beats loop' or something to make it fun to do those drills.  you have to do chord drills daily, i read once the slower you go the faster you'll get there.   


# 8
William MG
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11/18/2022 6:26 pm

good luck with it Tammie!


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 9
ddiddler
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ddiddler
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11/18/2022 8:51 pm

Tammie


don't delete the post.  It's important newbies see that it's ok to struggle, to be frustrated.


too many google or YouTube sales pitches make it all sound so easy and we'll have people dancing along in short time .


I just read an honest post around where we all get at times


Dave


# 10
mjgodin
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mjgodin
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11/18/2022 10:11 pm

Tammie, 


First off sorry for the misspell of your name  ( originally put Tammy), but glad to read you've gotten a different perspective on it and are pushing forward. 

good luck,


Moe


# 11
tammielyn.ts
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tammielyn.ts
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11/19/2022 3:40 am
#11 Originally Posted by: mjgodin

Tammie, 


First off sorry for the misspell of your name  ( originally put Tammy), but glad to read you've gotten a different perspective on it and are pushing forward. 

good luck,


Moe

yeah that's true!  but we do think they need more content, some things missing. that's what youtube is for!  well wishes and thanks for the chin up message, surprised not many more chimed in to help a fellow musicianšŸŽøšŸ˜„ i will never let myself get like this again, but i'm in good company, i hear many of the greats wanted to quit at one time or another too!  it took me 2.5 years and i think i just did too much, got tired, messed up more than usual, dust myself off, read some guitar motivation stuff and onward i go, like we all do!  


# 12
tammielyn.ts
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12/27/2022 10:38 pm
#8 Originally Posted by: tammielyn.ts

Sorry Dave to post such a long winded frustrated concern., i posted not good timing to where i was at, just wanted to know it's ok to still struggle at times even at this time in my journey.  in the light of day i, we have lots to be proud of even attempting and taking the 20,000 times to do it.  i see rapid progress everywhere, but just wondered from ones longer in their journey  if i would ever get to where chords would be smooth and clean  and easy which is our goal right? should have simpified and asked one of the teachers and been specific and not emotional.  we took this journey for a reason and need to remember that and focus on proper practice, and internally celebrate each win and they will eventually get us where we want to be., i'll be deleting post and hopefully you still get the message. keep up your good work.  i pick songs i love, choose ones from your childhood that moved you, and feel the rhythm.  i also enjoyed doing Keith Urban's 30 songs in 30 days, he picks fairly easy songs and teaches you something new each song and you can slow down youtube playback and also you eventually play along with a professional and then the band and then you as the guitar player as the ultimate goal of each song.  youtube song teachers really go slow teaching each song, i have my fav youtube song teachers, you'll find them., bc when you learn a song, best you can play, you feel on top of the world.  but remember to learn only parts of the song, get them right, slowly and that could take awhile, i take 2-3 weeks getting right the first line of Blackbirds, but i'm tenacious that way and that's what we have to do.  i have since realized and looked back at this new frustration and see i took TOO much on at once, and overpracticed chord changes to the point of tiredness.  i'm going to scale that down and add 'beats loop' or something to make it fun to do those drills.  you have to do chord drills daily, i read once the slower you go the faster you'll get there.   

As an update, i have made remarkable improvement and realized where i was going wrong with practice and also being hard on myself when in actuality i was doing well, my teacher observed and said i'm in my head and not seeing how good i'm doing, expecting perfection really.  but what i did was found a good tutorial on chord transitions, the more challenging ones f chords barre etc and how to improve.  i was takng these more difficult ones and doing complex strumming patterns, where i should not have been, bc the brain needs to focus on one thing at a time and working on that.  i have no issues with these transitions anymore and have crossed a bridge, so my experience  taught me  not only to get better in the area i wanted, but also for my long term journey, being hard on myself, frustrated will get me no where, but to breathe, be patient, put the right work in and trust the process, and be happy i spend the time in practice i did, that in itself is an accomplishment and it will all work out as long as i'm staying patient and chill enjoying every single bit of the process, failure included, because failure teaches us.  it's funny to say, but guitar has taught me many life lessons, ones i needed in my life.  hope your journey is going well too!  you look back and where you were last year or even six months.  a musician told me you'll see times you just begin to take off bc the hard work is beginning to pay off and i see that.  you'll see the brain and muscle memory and your fingers just flying over to a chord across the neck and be wow, look what i can do now and that rocks! and these little things move you in a forward momentum.  


# 13
William MG
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12/28/2022 2:19 pm
#13 Originally Posted by: tammielyn.ts

As an update, i have made remarkable improvement and realized where i was going wrong with practice and also being hard on myself when in actuality i was doing well, my teacher observed and said i'm in my head and not seeing how good i'm doing, expecting perfection really.  but what i did was found a good tutorial on chord transitions, the more challenging ones f chords barre etc and how to improve.  i was takng these more difficult ones and doing complex strumming patterns, where i should not have been, bc the brain needs to focus on one thing at a time and working on that.  i have no issues with these transitions anymore and have crossed a bridge, so my experience  taught me  not only to get better in the area i wanted, but also for my long term journey, being hard on myself, frustrated will get me no where, but to breathe, be patient, put the right work in and trust the process, and be happy i spend the time in practice i did, that in itself is an accomplishment and it will all work out as long as i'm staying patient and chill enjoying every single bit of the process, failure included, because failure teaches us.  it's funny to say, but guitar has taught me many life lessons, ones i needed in my life.  hope your journey is going well too!  you look back and where you were last year or even six months.  a musician told me you'll see times you just begin to take off bc the hard work is beginning to pay off and i see that.  you'll see the brain and muscle memory and your fingers just flying over to a chord across the neck and be wow, look what i can do now and that rocks! and these little things move you in a forward momentum.  

Nice to read the update Tammie, all the best in the new year!


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 14
innocci
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innocci
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03/24/2023 6:37 pm
#1 Originally Posted by: tammielyn.ts

hey, so i can do chord changes really well in the context of songs i play and using a metronome, and some strumming patterns, other times i still really struggle for it to feel comfortable and mess up,  i feel like i just won't get this, i wish it was taught in the fundamentals as part of the program, not only doing fast down strums to learn chord transitions,  but within the context of different strumming patterns, i do not know if my hands will ever be in sync and i'll be able to do this, this is the first time i've felt completely stressed and concerned i won't ever get this, it doesn't help i broke my wrist in the spring and get pain at times, but besides that, at times i've felt on top of the world, i'm doing barre chord changes (again not yet within a strumming pattern yet, not ready) and i can play songs, landslide with travis fingerpicking, blackbirds, i can do hammerons nicely,  i see unbelievble progress in my journey so much, but with chord changes i'm just not there yet at all times, and forget trying a new strumming pattern, it's like my right hand forgets to land clean and right on the spot, it struggles, and i think wow, i began chord changes with the 3 notes in pay 2020, so 2.5 years in, and i think hmmm maybe it just won't click for me.  i can jump right on the spot clean even if i close my eyes, so it isn't my right hand not knowing where to go and cleanly,  i'm great, but if just sit and do certain strumming patterns, just certain ones, or a new technique involving percussiveness, i don't get there and really struggle especially in context of new strumming pattern, is this normal to still not be perfectly clean at this stage? 

You will eventually be able to do the transitions. In the early days I would practice transitioning without putting the strumming, or picking hand in to the mix, that way I only had to concentrsate on one aspect. Look for a common finger when transitioning, perhaps if your middle finger is on the G string, for instance, maybe the middle finger will be on the G string on the chord your transitioning to, in that case just slide that finger up or down to the desired note and you only have to rearrage your other fingers. Practice your challenging transitions in super slow motion, back and forth, this is the best way to develop muscle memory. When we are working on something that is more challenging for us, we are not as relaxed, which makes the motion more difficult, the more you practice the more relaxed you will become. One more thing that helps me, is anyhing that is challenging for me, becomes an exercise.


Don't give up, it's not a race, it's a journey.


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03/25/2023 11:12 am

Tammie, we've all been there at some point (or will be one day), where we don't think we'll ever "get it". I'm with William, I cheat and improvise a bunch too. Depending on the chord progressions, I may have to play it "properly" so the hooks sound recognizable, other than that I'll play just parts of the chord for brevity or quick changes. Believe me, if you practice enough (enough is relative for everyone), you'll get it. Like anything else, if you truly put in the effort and time, your muscle memory will improve. For instance, you said you play Blackbird, you've got to nail those chords as written, and I learned it differently years ago with really hard chords than with the version GuitarTricks teaches, but it sounds like the original.   You're progressing wonderfully for only 2.5 years! Don't beat yourself up over a lil spilled milk, you're gonna be a rockstar!


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