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Thread: Small to big

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    Thanks for posting. Your experience sounds similar to mine, and I'm certainly glad that guitar is working out for you!
    Thank you. Id say Im on about my 4th guitar now. Buy one, try to learn, set it aside, try to learn again, get frustrated, sell it, repeat. Never did any lessons, just youtube etc. I do find the justinguitar site really helpful. Just chip away at it. Dont have expectations and dont be hard on yourself when it seems like youll never get it. You will. Just accept that it will take a while and it will be frustrating but you will eventually start to make gains if you just persevere and stick with it.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by v30 View Post
    Thank you. Id say Im on about my 4th guitar now. Buy one, try to learn, set it aside, try to learn again, get frustrated, sell it, repeat. Never did any lessons, just youtube etc. I do find the justinguitar site really helpful. Just chip away at it. Dont have expectations and dont be hard on yourself when it seems like youll never get it. You will. Just accept that it will take a while and it will be frustrating but you will eventually start to make gains if you just persevere and stick with it.
    That is excellent advice! I think the problem with me and the guitar is that, while I now understand that progress is incremental and the steps may be small, the steps for me with guitar are so small that I lose my focus and spend time with something more rewarding -- like uke!

    I decided last week to try to learn the dreaded E chord on the uke, and after a while was hitting it maybe half the time which was encouraging. There are chords on the guitar that I tried and tried to do and just couldn't nail even once.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    That is excellent advice! I think the problem with me and the guitar is that, while I now understand that progress is incremental and the steps may be small, the steps for me with guitar are so small that I lose my focus and spend time with something more rewarding -- like uke!

    I decided last week to try to learn the dreaded E chord on the uke, and after a while was hitting it maybe half the time which was encouraging. There are chords on the guitar that I tried and tried to do and just couldn't nail even once.
    Some chords are hard/impossible to fret cleanly unless I have callus on my finger tips. The callus helps the tips maintain shape when pressing a string. Also, a guitar chord can have many commonly-used fingerings. For example, the open A can be fretted with fingers 1,2,3 or 2,3,4 or a just single finger; so if one fingering isn't working for you, you can try another.

    WRT your slow guitar progress, I don't think we should think of progress as fast or slow (I mean, who are we comparing/racing against anyway?). I think, instead, you should focus on 1 area that you have trouble with and work on it. Kind of like your E-chord on the uke. For example, can you fret an open E on the guitar? (022100) If you can, then try using fingers 2,3,4 instead of 1,2,3. Next, move those 2,3,4 fingers up the neck. Next barre with finger 1 behind finger 2. See, before you know it, you've just learned 10+/- chords.

  4. #34
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    That is very good advice, clear. Thanks!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    That is very good advice, clear. Thanks!
    I offer you 2 more advice: playing the uke will make guitar seem extra difficult; having a purpose will make goals easier to achieve.

    I understand these are 2 unique (and possible weird) advice, so please hear me out.

    I used to play the guitar many years ago; I didn't think it was that difficult, but I had no purpose with it so I quit. I took 2 years worth of college-level courses and put in a lot of practice (i.e. I didn't just own a guitar and mess with it once a while, during those years I was actively learning it). When I quit, I would rate myself as an advanced beginner/intermediate player on the acoustic guitar.

    About a year ago, I started to play the uke. Coming from a guitar background, the uke was easy to play. Recently, I picked up the guitar again with a purpose. This time around, I found it very difficult to play. I think it all comes down to expectations. The uke spoiled me with its mostly easy 1-, 2-, 3-finger chords, short/4-string barre, and small size.

    So I practice and practice and practice on the guitar (I couldn't even being to see how I used to play my old guitar books). I also couldn't get comfortable holding the guitar (and I don't remember having any comfort issues back then). I think, in my mind, I'm expecting uke level easy so the guitar became hard. (I think maybe kind of like if I set my expectations too high, a movie disappoints vs the same moive becomes more enjoyable with a lowered expectation.)

    Anyway, that was 4 months ago when I restarted the guitar. Now I'm fine again on the guitar. I'm nowhere near of my old skill level; but I'm at a level where I can fulfill my guitar purpose., which is infinitely more useful than where I used to be with the guitar.

    So, overcome the psychological issue of "guitars are difficult" (this is hard to do when you've been playing the uke for a while); find a purpose for the guitar.

  6. #36
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    Oh, another thing that may help is to switch to light tension strings.
    Also, electric guitars are generally a lot easier to play than acoustic.

  7. #37
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    Clear, thanks for all your helpful suggestions! I wanted to put nylon strings on this Baby Taylor but the Taylor Co said to not do it -- I had the Taylor tech put on the lightest strings it can take though he was suggesting a different, heavier set for better tone. I think nylons would be a lot easier but at this point am not willing to invest in a nylon strung guitar.

    A friend let me handle his Stratocaster, and I see what you mean about the strings. However, I saw a new set of problems. First of all, the amplification meant that all my buzzes and squeaks and thumps were, uh, amplified. Secondly, the frets seemed farther apart on the Strat or maybe the neck was wider or both as chords seemed to require more stretch. And thirdly, to fret a note cleanly seemed to require a very precise touch. On the acoustic, if I don't press hard enough the note won't sound but once I hit the right pressure I can press harder and the note does not change. On the Strat, not pressing hard enough of course does not work but pressing too hard makes the note go off as well. The Strat just seemed like a whole new animal.

    Didn't think I'd ever get an E chord on the uke but I see now that the bigger challenge is F on the guitar!

  8. #38
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    If you mean classical guitar when you mentioned "nylon", then they aren't any easier to play because of the wide, flat fretboard and chunky neck.

    Like an acoustic, electric guitar needs a good setup to be playable. The amp wouldn't amplify any buzz if it isn't there; it is actually much easier to fret a clean note on the electric than an acoustic because of the low action and light tension.

    The E on the uke is just ridiculously difficult, in the opinion of many (just do a search). This says something: it says E is non-ergonomic and hurts your fingers; even with practice many can't play it.

    However, everybody can play the F on the guitar. To me, this says that you can too, just do some practice. A tip is to barre on the 3rd or 5th fret instead of the 1st; this will give you a G and A, respectively. Once you can do those barre chords no problem, then move to 1st fret. You want to train finger strength and barre techniques on easier frets (and 3rd and 5th is going to be easier than 1st even on a well-setup guitar).

  9. #39
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    No I didn't mean classical, I meant one of what I think are called "parlor" guitars ie smaller bodied and with nylon strings.

    Good tip on the F chord. I'll give it a shot.

  10. #40
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    There's also the crossover guitars that's a blend between the classical and acoustic. I recently bought one (all thanks to the uke, which made me want a nylon string guitar, but I was too scared of a full-on classical since I really just want to strum it like my uke/or an acoustic guitar); they are very easy to fret thanks to the nylon strings and plays like an acoustic.

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