Frustration after 8 weeks practicing em, c, d, g

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Frustration after 8 weeks practicing em, c, d, g

kochj79

Full Access

Joined: 04/03/20

Posts: 16

Hello,

does anyone feel the same as I do? Ive been practicing the major chords C,D and G EVERY single day for at least half an hour since 8 weeks and I feel like im getting stuck. Im so frustrated because of this. I started this course 3 march 2020, playing every day 30-60 min. Played the "ode to joy" 100ths of times and still not perfect.

I just dont see any improvement anymore which stopped me from going further on the guitartricks lessons. I feel like ive wasted some money here. The songs where the Em, C, D and G are practiced are still going to fast for me. All this effort and such small result makes me think "IS THIS MENT FOR ME?" It makes me think about my typing skills. For decades ive been typing (no diploma, never did a course) and i still make a lot of typing mistakes and corrections. So does this maybe have a correllation to guitar skills?

Does anyone please have motivating advice for me. Im eager to learn and Ive been so patient (I guess). Feel like the last few weeks im getting 1/2 nanometer progress in a week. Virtually NOTHING. I just cant make the transition as fast as needed in the songs in chapter 5 - 6. Predominantly when needed this speed and going to D, my left ringfinger goes too often (4 out of 10 times) to the 3rd string (fret is good) instead of second and middle finger also misplaced by a few mm. When going to C at needed speed, my left middle finger too often (5 out of 10) goes to the 4th string and other finger also misplaced, index often goes to 3rd string. G goes very wel. From D to G and G to D goes well. Probably cause I have reference / edge of the neck.

Regards,

Jeroen

#1

Hello,

does anyone feel the same as I do? Ive been practicing the major chords C,D and G EVERY single day for at least half an hour since 8 weeks and I feel like im getting stuck. Im so frustrated because of this. I started this course 3 march 2020, playing every day 30-60 min. Played the "ode to joy" 100ths of times and still not perfect.

I just dont see any improvement anymore which stopped me from going further on the guitartricks lessons. I feel like ive wasted some money here. The songs where the Em, C, D and G are practiced are still going to fast for me. All this effort and such small result makes me think "IS THIS MENT FOR ME?" It makes me think about my typing skills. For decades ive been typing (no diploma, never did a course) and i still make a lot of typing mistakes and corrections. So does this maybe have a correllation to guitar skills?

Does anyone please have motivating advice for me. Im eager to learn and Ive been so patient (I guess). Feel like the last few weeks im getting 1/2 nanometer progress in a week. Virtually NOTHING. I just cant make the transition as fast as needed in the songs in chapter 5 - 6. Predominantly when needed this speed and going to D, my left ringfinger goes too often (4 out of 10 times) to the 3rd string (fret is good) instead of second and middle finger also misplaced by a few mm. When going to C at needed speed, my left middle finger too often (5 out of 10) goes to the 4th string and other finger also misplaced, index often goes to 3rd string. G goes very wel. From D to G and G to D goes well. Probably cause I have reference / edge of the neck.

Regards,

Jeroen

Carl King

GuitarTricks Video Director

Joined: 10/08/07

Posts: 349

Hey Jeroen,

Sorry to hear you're feeling stuck. It happens to all of us!

It can often help to change your focus to a different idea and come back to your em / C / D / G chords. You might find after changing gears you'll make some unexpected progress, and it also helps refresh your enjoyment of the process.

This happens to me all the time with everything, to be honest -- and changing things up always seems to solve it. Burnout is no fun!

I don't know where you are in the Fundamentals courses, but maybe try switching to simple scales or something else for a little while? It might be that the em progression you're focusing on is too big of a challenge right now, with so many finger changes and big chords. It's hard to tell without seeing an example of your playing.

Because of that, you might want to take a one-on-one lesson with one of our instructors to help get you out of that rut, see things from a different perspective, and get you excited again. Every time I take a one-on-one video lesson I feel better. Hope that helps and message any time.

https://www.guitartricks.com/pro/

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

#2

Hey Jeroen,

Sorry to hear you're feeling stuck. It happens to all of us!

It can often help to change your focus to a different idea and come back to your em / C / D / G chords. You might find after changing gears you'll make some unexpected progress, and it also helps refresh your enjoyment of the process.

This happens to me all the time with everything, to be honest -- and changing things up always seems to solve it. Burnout is no fun!

I don't know where you are in the Fundamentals courses, but maybe try switching to simple scales or something else for a little while? It might be that the em progression you're focusing on is too big of a challenge right now, with so many finger changes and big chords. It's hard to tell without seeing an example of your playing.

Because of that, you might want to take a one-on-one lesson with one of our instructors to help get you out of that rut, see things from a different perspective, and get you excited again. Every time I take a one-on-one video lesson I feel better. Hope that helps and message any time.

https://www.guitartricks.com/pro/

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

William MG

Full Access

Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 919

Good advice here from Carl.

Good to step away from time to time and work on something else.

I think as I remember the 1st 3 months or so was the hardest.

Good luck

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#3

Good advice here from Carl.

Good to step away from time to time and work on something else.

I think as I remember the 1st 3 months or so was the hardest.

Good luck

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

mjgodin

Full Access

Joined: 11/23/19

Posts: 150

It sounds like the frustration kicks in when trying to keep up with the songs tempo and with the instructor. Common problem for us beginners. There is a way to slow the speed down on left of the screen click on the lower buttons. Better yet if you have the printouts just practice them on your own before tackling it with the soundtrack and the instructor. Go at YOUR pace don't try to play it as it was performed by the instructor. She's got way too many years of experience on ya. Trust me we've all tried. Go slow and like Carl and Bill said veer off to something else for now. Those chords will come in later lessons so you'll have plenty of time to get them down.


Hope that helps. Good luck.

Moe

#4

It sounds like the frustration kicks in when trying to keep up with the songs tempo and with the instructor. Common problem for us beginners. There is a way to slow the speed down on left of the screen click on the lower buttons. Better yet if you have the printouts just practice them on your own before tackling it with the soundtrack and the instructor. Go at YOUR pace don't try to play it as it was performed by the instructor. She's got way too many years of experience on ya. Trust me we've all tried. Go slow and like Carl and Bill said veer off to something else for now. Those chords will come in later lessons so you'll have plenty of time to get them down.


Hope that helps. Good luck.

Moe

pointmanrb

Full Access

Joined: 05/22/20

Posts: 57

First, I was just about to post something quite in line with yours and then I saw your post. I was about to ask if I'm paying to much detail to trying to get every little thing perfect and am remaining stuck at a certain level. So, I decided that it's time to move on and expand by trying to get thru songs and not perfect every little detail.

I think of something that Lisa said earlier about sound quality and strumming technique. That is, with pratice and time they both will come together. I believe I've been hampering that union by over trying to get perfection on each detail. I'm glad I saw your post because I know I'm not alone. And neither are you !! Hang in there and keep at it but let's both relax a little, keeping it fun. We'll get to the destination but the journey should remain fun. Pulling for you as I am for myself. I totally get ehere you're coming from but I see from the concern you have for wanting to get there, I think you'll be just fine. Growing pains !. Growing is fun. It's the pain part that sucks. Go back to the basics; the reason you chose this journey from the beginning. Best to you !!!!!

Ronn, " Chew The Hay and Spit Out The Sticks "

#5

First, I was just about to post something quite in line with yours and then I saw your post. I was about to ask if I'm paying to much detail to trying to get every little thing perfect and am remaining stuck at a certain level. So, I decided that it's time to move on and expand by trying to get thru songs and not perfect every little detail.

I think of something that Lisa said earlier about sound quality and strumming technique. That is, with pratice and time they both will come together. I believe I've been hampering that union by over trying to get perfection on each detail. I'm glad I saw your post because I know I'm not alone. And neither are you !! Hang in there and keep at it but let's both relax a little, keeping it fun. We'll get to the destination but the journey should remain fun. Pulling for you as I am for myself. I totally get ehere you're coming from but I see from the concern you have for wanting to get there, I think you'll be just fine. Growing pains !. Growing is fun. It's the pain part that sucks. Go back to the basics; the reason you chose this journey from the beginning. Best to you !!!!!

Ronn, " Chew The Hay and Spit Out The Sticks "

DavesGuitarJourney

Full Access

Joined: 02/22/20

Posts: 307

Hi Jeroen,

I think I completely understand what you are going through. I'll talk about some of my own struggles a bit because 1) I like to talk about myself, and 2) I suspect that my experience is probably similar to that of many other folks, and if my experience is similar to yours, maybe you can take some encouragement.

So far one of the most difficult things for me has been accepting that my progress on this is going to be very slow. I have to constantly remind myself that there is no deadline here. I am doing this for my own enjoyment. No one is keeping score.

It does get frustrating because sometimes (most times) I start to feel like I am not any better than I was a month ago. But the sneaky thing is that I really am better at most of this than I was a month ago. It just doesn't feel like it, because I still can't play up to speed and I still can't hit the chords just right and stay on the beat, etc. But, if I go back a couple of lessons and play something I was working on a few weeks ago, almost every time I will discover that hey, it still sucks, but it doesn't suck quite as bad as it did before! Or if I was only hitting that chord on time 50% of the time before, maybe now I'm hitting it 60% and even when I don't hit it quite right, I'm just a little bit closer to it.

We have to be patient and really set expectation levels realistically. We all want to be able to play one or two songs really well within a month or two (or six, or ten) of picking up the guitar. That may be realistic for some of us, but not for me. I don't have time or energy to practice enough to make that happen, and if I'm honest, I don't know if I have the natural ability to learn it all that quickly even if I did put in a lot more practice time.

The most important thing really is to keep it fun though. This is not a job. Find some pleasure every time you pick up your guitar. Some days that pleasure may be just enjoying the way the strings feel under your fingers even if the sound isn't great. Some days it will be you find the groove for three bars and it feels just right, even if you completely fall apart after that. Let yourself laugh a little bit even as you make that ugh! face when you hit a clunker. Even on a really bad practice session, take a posiive away. For me sometimes that can be "well, my fingers totally got lost on my D to Am changes but I kept that right hand strumming all the way through it anyway."

On my absolutely worst practice time, I might pause for a few minutes and close my eyes and just enjoy how the guitar feels in my hands. I like the smell of the wood. I like the way it feels to slide my hand along the fret board and hear the raspy noise the wound strings make. I know I'm sounding a little weird and creepy here, but I challenge anyone here to say that they don't feel the same.

If you can't find any pleasure in your practice, then it really is time to do something else - and that can be throw away your practice routine and just goof off and see what kind of weird sounds you can make to annoy everyone around you, or put away the guitar and play a game of yahtzee and pick up the guitar tomorrow. Don't let it be a drag, because that's not why you are here.

A final thought - by all accounts from people who have gone through this, you are going through the hardest part of the guitar learning journey right now. This is the part where probably well over half of beginners walk away. Those who push through this become guitar players. It will take some of us longer than others, but if we stick with it, we will become guitar players. And I ask you, what's cooler than that?

Hang in there Jeroen, you are not alone with this.

Dave...

It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

#6

Hi Jeroen,

I think I completely understand what you are going through. I'll talk about some of my own struggles a bit because 1) I like to talk about myself, and 2) I suspect that my experience is probably similar to that of many other folks, and if my experience is similar to yours, maybe you can take some encouragement.

So far one of the most difficult things for me has been accepting that my progress on this is going to be very slow. I have to constantly remind myself that there is no deadline here. I am doing this for my own enjoyment. No one is keeping score.

It does get frustrating because sometimes (most times) I start to feel like I am not any better than I was a month ago. But the sneaky thing is that I really am better at most of this than I was a month ago. It just doesn't feel like it, because I still can't play up to speed and I still can't hit the chords just right and stay on the beat, etc. But, if I go back a couple of lessons and play something I was working on a few weeks ago, almost every time I will discover that hey, it still sucks, but it doesn't suck quite as bad as it did before! Or if I was only hitting that chord on time 50% of the time before, maybe now I'm hitting it 60% and even when I don't hit it quite right, I'm just a little bit closer to it.

We have to be patient and really set expectation levels realistically. We all want to be able to play one or two songs really well within a month or two (or six, or ten) of picking up the guitar. That may be realistic for some of us, but not for me. I don't have time or energy to practice enough to make that happen, and if I'm honest, I don't know if I have the natural ability to learn it all that quickly even if I did put in a lot more practice time.

The most important thing really is to keep it fun though. This is not a job. Find some pleasure every time you pick up your guitar. Some days that pleasure may be just enjoying the way the strings feel under your fingers even if the sound isn't great. Some days it will be you find the groove for three bars and it feels just right, even if you completely fall apart after that. Let yourself laugh a little bit even as you make that ugh! face when you hit a clunker. Even on a really bad practice session, take a posiive away. For me sometimes that can be "well, my fingers totally got lost on my D to Am changes but I kept that right hand strumming all the way through it anyway."

On my absolutely worst practice time, I might pause for a few minutes and close my eyes and just enjoy how the guitar feels in my hands. I like the smell of the wood. I like the way it feels to slide my hand along the fret board and hear the raspy noise the wound strings make. I know I'm sounding a little weird and creepy here, but I challenge anyone here to say that they don't feel the same.

If you can't find any pleasure in your practice, then it really is time to do something else - and that can be throw away your practice routine and just goof off and see what kind of weird sounds you can make to annoy everyone around you, or put away the guitar and play a game of yahtzee and pick up the guitar tomorrow. Don't let it be a drag, because that's not why you are here.

A final thought - by all accounts from people who have gone through this, you are going through the hardest part of the guitar learning journey right now. This is the part where probably well over half of beginners walk away. Those who push through this become guitar players. It will take some of us longer than others, but if we stick with it, we will become guitar players. And I ask you, what's cooler than that?

Hang in there Jeroen, you are not alone with this.

Dave...

It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

Carl King

GuitarTricks Video Director

Joined: 10/08/07

Posts: 349

Originally Posted by: DavesGuitarJourney

On my absolutely worst practice time, I might pause for a few minutes and close my eyes and just enjoy how the guitar feels in my hands. I like the smell of the wood. I like the way it feels to slide my hand along the fret board and hear the raspy noise the wound strings make. I know I'm sounding a little weird and creepy here, but I challenge anyone here to say that they don't feel the same.

If you can't find any pleasure in your practice, then it really is time to do something else - and that can be throw away your practice routine and just goof off and see what kind of weird sounds you can make to annoy everyone around you, or put away the guitar and play a game of yahtzee and pick up the guitar tomorrow. Don't let it be a drag, because that's not why you are here.

A final thought - by all accounts from people who have gone through this, you are going through the hardest part of the guitar learning journey right now. This is the part where probably well over half of beginners walk away. Those who push through this become guitar players. It will take some of us longer than others, but if we stick with it, we will become guitar players. And I ask you, what's cooler than that?

Hang in there Jeroen, you are not alone with this.

Dave...

Could not have been said better, Dave! And this applies not just to guitar, but everything in life. It can be too easy to beat yourself up or make it a competition, trying to live up to an imaginary standard. Everyone's on their own path, and if you can preserve your core enjoyment, everything else (the ups and downs) is extra credit.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

#7

Originally Posted by: DavesGuitarJourney

On my absolutely worst practice time, I might pause for a few minutes and close my eyes and just enjoy how the guitar feels in my hands. I like the smell of the wood. I like the way it feels to slide my hand along the fret board and hear the raspy noise the wound strings make. I know I'm sounding a little weird and creepy here, but I challenge anyone here to say that they don't feel the same.

If you can't find any pleasure in your practice, then it really is time to do something else - and that can be throw away your practice routine and just goof off and see what kind of weird sounds you can make to annoy everyone around you, or put away the guitar and play a game of yahtzee and pick up the guitar tomorrow. Don't let it be a drag, because that's not why you are here.

A final thought - by all accounts from people who have gone through this, you are going through the hardest part of the guitar learning journey right now. This is the part where probably well over half of beginners walk away. Those who push through this become guitar players. It will take some of us longer than others, but if we stick with it, we will become guitar players. And I ask you, what's cooler than that?

Hang in there Jeroen, you are not alone with this.

Dave...

Could not have been said better, Dave! And this applies not just to guitar, but everything in life. It can be too easy to beat yourself up or make it a competition, trying to live up to an imaginary standard. Everyone's on their own path, and if you can preserve your core enjoyment, everything else (the ups and downs) is extra credit.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

mjgodin

Full Access

Joined: 11/23/19

Posts: 150

Well spoken Dave, I couldn't agree more. Been going through all those stages myself, but I still find the joy somewhere in it all. It's something we all have to continue doing.

Moe

#8

Well spoken Dave, I couldn't agree more. Been going through all those stages myself, but I still find the joy somewhere in it all. It's something we all have to continue doing.

Moe

faith83

Full Access

Joined: 04/23/20

Posts: 194

I think a lot of the time we expect steady, observable, incremental improvement, but for many people, maybe even most, learning doesn't seem to work that way -- I know it doesn't for me. I plateau for what seems like forever, and then take a big leap to the next level almost in the blink of an eye.

I know sometimes I'm working on a lesson and it seems like I'm not only getting nowhere, but getting worse. Sometimes I step away, but other times, I take a breath and ride the wave through it and all at once, it feels like things slide into place and I get it.

If you feel this deeply, keep at it. In addition to learning something you love, you're also teaching yourself patience, persistence and a lot about how you learn best, and these are not small and inconsequential things.

Another thing -- We live in a culture that doesn't cultivate patience and in which most of the unglamorous work of getting better happens "off screen." People share their successes, etc., but very rarely the hard work of getting to that point. So it may be that in some ways you, and the rest of us sometimes, are victims of this cultural mindset in which everything happens fast and everyone seems to be successful without effort. Of course, that's just not so. I would encourage you to go read about Michael Jordan and the many thousands of hours he spent being BAD before he became a master of his craft. Or -- I was just reading Bruce Springsteen's memoir -- about how hard Bruce worked to get where he got. It don't come easy, but it comes... it you want it. Hang in there.

And finally, I noticed you used the word "perfect" re: Ode to Joy. Is it possible your standards are too high? I don't think we're shooting for perfection here -- even the best of the best aren't perfect, they've just learned how to work with their mistakes and move past them. Billy Joel calls his mistakes "real rock and roll f*** ups and points out that only our mistakes are original -- perfection is generic. And Emmylou Harris once said that our limitations define our style. So forget perfect! It's not an attainable goal, and probably nor should it be. Perfect is boring. Be like Michael and Bruce and Billy and Emmylou instead.

"You can get what you want or you can just get old." Billy Joel

#9

I think a lot of the time we expect steady, observable, incremental improvement, but for many people, maybe even most, learning doesn't seem to work that way -- I know it doesn't for me. I plateau for what seems like forever, and then take a big leap to the next level almost in the blink of an eye.

I know sometimes I'm working on a lesson and it seems like I'm not only getting nowhere, but getting worse. Sometimes I step away, but other times, I take a breath and ride the wave through it and all at once, it feels like things slide into place and I get it.

If you feel this deeply, keep at it. In addition to learning something you love, you're also teaching yourself patience, persistence and a lot about how you learn best, and these are not small and inconsequential things.

Another thing -- We live in a culture that doesn't cultivate patience and in which most of the unglamorous work of getting better happens "off screen." People share their successes, etc., but very rarely the hard work of getting to that point. So it may be that in some ways you, and the rest of us sometimes, are victims of this cultural mindset in which everything happens fast and everyone seems to be successful without effort. Of course, that's just not so. I would encourage you to go read about Michael Jordan and the many thousands of hours he spent being BAD before he became a master of his craft. Or -- I was just reading Bruce Springsteen's memoir -- about how hard Bruce worked to get where he got. It don't come easy, but it comes... it you want it. Hang in there.

And finally, I noticed you used the word "perfect" re: Ode to Joy. Is it possible your standards are too high? I don't think we're shooting for perfection here -- even the best of the best aren't perfect, they've just learned how to work with their mistakes and move past them. Billy Joel calls his mistakes "real rock and roll f*** ups and points out that only our mistakes are original -- perfection is generic. And Emmylou Harris once said that our limitations define our style. So forget perfect! It's not an attainable goal, and probably nor should it be. Perfect is boring. Be like Michael and Bruce and Billy and Emmylou instead.

"You can get what you want or you can just get old." Billy Joel

snojones

Full Access

Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 243

Dave is right! Over my time on Guitar Tricks I have come to the conclusion that facing platteaus is the most improtant lesson you can learn as a player. No matter how great or small your skill you will return to this cross road again and again. There is no escape... It is the nature of the beast.

Faith is also right... PATIENCE AND PERSISTANCE. These are the cornerstones of musicianship (and life in general). If you can find your way to these goals, without loosing your joy, you will be well on your way to becoming the guitar player you wish to be.

#10

Dave is right! Over my time on Guitar Tricks I have come to the conclusion that facing platteaus is the most improtant lesson you can learn as a player. No matter how great or small your skill you will return to this cross road again and again. There is no escape... It is the nature of the beast.

Faith is also right... PATIENCE AND PERSISTANCE. These are the cornerstones of musicianship (and life in general). If you can find your way to these goals, without loosing your joy, you will be well on your way to becoming the guitar player you wish to be.