Going backwards

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Do\ have you ever felt you where going backwards when first playing?

I am at the moment on a downward hill after being quite upbeat about my prospects of actually getting to grips with this Instrument.

I am not new to it having attempted to play in and off for a couple of years. Now I find myself in total limbo I used to be able to pick off certain chords without any problem. Now though it’s a different story and I am  taking, basic chords here A, A minor , D my fingers are all in the erotic place and I am second guessing where to put my fingers.

Does any of this sound familiar, or is just me. I now know how the reason why I have tried on and off. Hence my post - “Is not everyone cut out to play”

Yes, I am aware I’d the adage, if you can’t you can’t... However that is like  saying if you can’t swim you drown 
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 5228
    my fingers are all in the erotic place
    Well that's your first problem, stop fiddling with yourself and put your hands on the guitar. 
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  • CeeJayCeeJay Frets: 221
    my fingers are all in the erotic place
    Well that's your first problem, stop fiddling with yourself and put your hands on the guitar. 
    Beat me to it. You'll never manage a D Major with your hands in your pants!
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 3346
    It’s a natural stage of learning. At first your conscious brain is controlling your finger placement. As you get more experienced the detailed movements are delegated to the sub-conscious (there are technical medical terms for this) and the conscious brain just issues a “play Am” instruction. You’re at the point where that transfer of control is happening, but hasn’t settled in yet.
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8499
    amusing autocorrect aside, everyone goes through peaks and troughs in their playing, it's just how it is.
    The obvious 1st step to getting past that is lessons from a good teacher. Guitar is one of the few instruments where the bulk (I'm guessing here, but seems to me that this is the case) of the players didn't learn in a structured environment. If lessons aren't an option, try a structured course, like justin sandercoe, of the RGT etc. 
    Secondly, this is something I've linked to before, but it's very relevant: https://clawhammerbanjo.net/brainjo/

    basically it breaks down how we learn, and how that can be applied to learning an instrument. Worth taking the time to look at IMO.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1160
    Yes. Perseverance Patience and Practice. Take your time.
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8499
    Roland said:
    @VimFuego I like that brainjo idea.
    it helps me a lot, some of the tips really resonate, things like always ending session on a high not looking to far forwards, the only person you should compare your playing to is the player you were before.  

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 5228
    VimFuego said:
    amusing autocorrect aside, everyone goes through peaks and troughs in their playing, it's just how it is.
    The obvious 1st step to getting past that is lessons from a good teacher. Guitar is one of the few instruments where the bulk (I'm guessing here, but seems to me that this is the case) of the players didn't learn in a structured environment. If lessons aren't an option, try a structured course, like justin sandercoe, of the RGT etc. 
    Secondly, this is something I've linked to before, but it's very relevant: https://clawhammerbanjo.net/brainjo/

    basically it breaks down how we learn, and how that can be applied to learning an instrument. Worth taking the time to look at IMO.
    So its normal to go forwards *and* backwards?
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8499
    VimFuego said:
    amusing autocorrect aside, everyone goes through peaks and troughs in their playing, it's just how it is.
    The obvious 1st step to getting past that is lessons from a good teacher. Guitar is one of the few instruments where the bulk (I'm guessing here, but seems to me that this is the case) of the players didn't learn in a structured environment. If lessons aren't an option, try a structured course, like justin sandercoe, of the RGT etc. 
    Secondly, this is something I've linked to before, but it's very relevant: https://clawhammerbanjo.net/brainjo/

    basically it breaks down how we learn, and how that can be applied to learning an instrument. Worth taking the time to look at IMO.
    So its normal to go forwards *and* backwards?
    and sometimes in ever decreasing circles. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • NPPNPP Frets: 179
    and 'on and off' playing will be part of the problem. I am saying this not out of arrogance but from experience - I became an on-and-off player having had some years of more regular practice and lessons so there are some things I'll never forget but whenever I get back into regular playing I have to re-learn things I already knew - songs and chords as well as speed and technique. 

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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 1624
    edited February 1
    "I'm second guessing where to put my fingers" - I wonder if you're "practising mistakes", which is a very common error in learners, who often want to play it something at full speed straight away.  I include myself in this category by the way.  They practise things too fast, and maybe get it right 1/3 of the time.  The trouble is, the muscle memory is being programmed incorrectly 2/3 of the time, so progress is impossible.  The correct technique is being dominated by the incorrect, rushed version.

    Slow down.  There is a speed where you can play perfectly.  Speed is the least important aspect of one's playing, accuracy being the most important.  Ok, so you have lost some speed because you've had a break in practising - no big deal, just have patience and it'll come back. But practise slowly, otherwise you'll imprint mistakes in your muscle memory and not progress.

    For pupils stuck on a certain chord change in a song, I'll suggest not strumming all four beats, which gives them about half a beat to change chord, but just to strum on the one of the bar, giving them them three beats to change chord.  The really important part is to have your left hand ready for the one of the bar.  The bits in between are just a bonus.  Try this technique with a tricky change in a song or just over a metronome.  You'll find quite soon you'll be reducing the number of beats you need to perform the change, and it'll just keep getting better.
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 1102
    When people ask me when I learnt to play guitar I tell them 76 78 and 81. I didn't really make progress until 97 as I got sidetracked playing bass. 

    I very played a folk festival with people who used a capo to play in A. If you are happy where you are fine if not keep going. I'm in a band with a guitarist whose better than me but 20 years younger. I say it again keep going 
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  • Yes, I am aware I’d the adage, if you can’t you can’t... 

    Sorry but this is BS, if you have functional fingers & ears you can play, some people take to it quicker than others but I believe we all can play to a reasonable standard if the hours are put in.

    Take some lessons is possible & learn some basic songs
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 3346
    the_butler said: ... I believe we all can play to a reasonable standard if the hours are put in...
    ... and they are used effectively.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 4412
    To be honest most people approach learning the guitar in completely the wrong way, mainly to get some instant gratification which is fine but it's the lack of fretboard and music knowledge that will trip up beginners every time. 

    If you take the time to learn where the notes are on the fretboard and take the time to learn which notes make which chords then you won't ever have to second guess where to put your fingers ... your never need chord charts and your be able to play in tune all over the neck 

    But for some reason as guitarist we are virtually taught we don't need to know any of the above, we can just bumble on with learning chord shapes and the pentonic box. You don't come across this unwillingness to learn is fine  in the teaching  of any other instrument ... it's bizarre. 

    In terms of natural ability people do differ wildly .... I have two 12 year old students. One is superb with the kind of playing some 20 year old's would be proud of. The other is still struggling. Now I could put that down to one practices like mad and the other doesn't which is true but I also have to consider the fact good kid progresses quicker due to his natural ability makes him want to practice more and more whether the other kid get's disillusioned because it takes so much practice to move on a tiny amount. 

    Just keep at it, I think every player I have ever talked to remembers a time when something clicked and they began progressing quicker.  But my advice is learn where the notes are, and learn some simple theory. Think back to school and learning the alphabet before you learned to read and write 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 1624
    Roland said:
    the_butler said: ... I believe we all can play to a reasonable standard if the hours are put in...
    ... and they are used effectively.
    It's just like driving a car.  A complex process that requires many hours of tuition and practice, but pretty much everyone can do it given sufficient motivation/reward.  Some people are naturally gifted drivers, some aren't but pretty much everyone who wants to can learn to a standard sufficient to pass a rigorous test.
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  • Thanks for the comments. It’s not that I am complaining it’s just frustration I totally agree that you have to be fully invested in wanting to learn. That is why I have come a cropper. I have managed to learn to play other instruments to easily and now come across one that is for me, extremely challenging and makes me question my desire and ability to master it 

    What is frustrating as that in Millions of cases it can be done.. However maybe millions before have come to the same conclusion as to why this maybe one step to far
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