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No improvement, need tips/advice

TrippyB

Music + Video games = the ultimate obsession

Location: MA

Joined: Aug 06 2012

I'm currently at a plateau with my playing and I don't know how to get past it. How would you guys recommend improving? I want to get better at playing fingerstyle, but a lot of tabs that I see (here or elsewhere) are difficult for me to play -- or I can play something but my left hand sucks at certain chord changes. Playing melodies on one or two strings is hella boring, and I want to go beyond all that. Any advice?

Play some difficult songs,

hashel

Location: Liège (Belgium)

Joined: Mar 04 2008

Play some difficult songs, really slowly, then a bit faster, then a bit faster...

I think it's the best way to improve, play something again and again and again slowly until it's "perfect" then try it a bit faster?

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I do VGM covers and stuff at https://www.youtube.com/c/hashel

what's the most difficult

amz181

Joined: Oct 07 2008

what's the most difficult fingerstyle piece you can currently play?

Re: No improvement, need tips/advice

Lemoncobbler

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Location: SoCal

Joined: Dec 22 2010

TrippyB said

or I can play something but my left hand sucks at certain chord changes.

You need to sit down and practice those chord changes then. You'll never get better if you don't practice something that is difficult for you.

Fingerstyle guitar isn't

What if bears could

Location: Florida

Joined: Jun 29 2010

Fingerstyle guitar isn't really the same thing as classical guitar, but they are similar enough that if you were to pick up a how-to classical guitar book, you could benefit from some of the material. If you're interested, I'd recommend the intro book by Frederick Noad.

1. What are you bad at? 2.

surreal

Eric: tank,godlike

Location: Arizona

Joined: Jan 04 2009

1. What are you bad at?

2. Do the following things in step 1 until they no longer apply.

I think they should teach more critical thinking in schools these days.

Yeah one of the ways to get

zen03y

CATFOOD

Location: Lynn, MA

Joined: Jun 20 2009

Yeah one of the ways to get better at something you struggle with is to keep practicing.

But on another note you may want to pay attention to your fingering on those chords and their progressions. Find a fingering that feels comfortable and more convenient for the chords/changes you're playing.

I suggest yu try learning Choros no. 1 by Heitor Villa Lobos. Yes, it's a difficult/very advanced song but wwhe you keep practicing and get it, that's when you GOT THE MAGIC and conquer a variety of chords. It really will help t learn the difficult stuff!!

Don't be afraid, my friend! The toughest monsters give the highest LEVEL UPS!

@hashel I do that when I play

TrippyB

Music + Video games = the ultimate obsession

Location: MA

Joined: Aug 06 2012

@hashel

I do that when I play piano, and I get the hang of it eventually, but guitar as always been a different story. I always feel like I'm playing TOO slow when I start something harder than I'm used to. I'll seriously try it again though because I'm fed up with not getting better.

@amz181

The 'hardest' fingerstyle piece I can play is archard's arrangement of Time's Scar. When I first learned it, it was really hard, but not so much now. I can play the whole thing, but I still suck at some of the chord changes.

@Lemoncobbler

Trust me, I am. The longest I go without practicing is a week in extreme cases.

@What if bears could

I'll look into that sometime.

@surreal

Don't be a douche. I'm only asking a question here.

@zen03y

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind!

Build a lesson plan. Mine is

Giogiogio4

For all the dreamers: Our planet's dream is not over yet...

Joined: Jun 10 2010

Build a lesson plan. Mine is broken up into this

30 Min warm up running scales with a metronome.

30 min using a program to drill my note locations

30 Mins of sweep picking exercises and lessons.

30 Mins doing a dvd topic of my choice.

60mins of using what I learned that day over back tracks, writing or whatever.

3 hours total of pure practice 5/6 days a week. 1 day of goofing off.

You will be surprised at how long 3/5 mins really is when you play something over and over again with a metronome.
No sitting in front of the TV, no friends over. just pure focus. Even if that means playing it so stupid slow to get correct. Little by little day by day you will get better and as you progress you will see your progress.

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My Art for sale! : Here

Latest Recording:Man of the World

Re: @hashelI do that when I play

Lemoncobbler

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Location: SoCal

Joined: Dec 22 2010

TrippyB said

@Lemoncobbler

Trust me, I am. The longest I go without practicing is a week in extreme cases.

Out of curiosity, how many hours a day do you practice? what does your routine look like?
Just because you've never gone a week without picking up your guitar doesn't mean you are practicing correctly or efficiently. I generally pick up my guitar at least once a day, but that doesn't mean I practice every day. Playing along to songs and tabs or dicking around with simple melodies doesn't usually help you improve much. That is mostly playing for fun, which is fine too, and you can improve that way, but its a slow process. I would recommend assigning yourself some kind of practice regimen or giving yourself goals for every time you pick up your guitar, such as saying "today I will work on chord changes" or "today I will work on dynamics".

@Gio That's a good idea

TrippyB

Music + Video games = the ultimate obsession

Location: MA

Joined: Aug 06 2012

@Gio

That's a good idea actually. I'll definitely try making a legitimate lesson plan. (This perfectly segues into Lemoncobbler's question).

@Lemoncobbler

For the past few weeks, I've been aiming to practice at least an hour, five days a week (I usually get home from work late). Before that, I would play for two to three hours, five days a week. Some days I would work on scales, while others I would try to find a tab to learn/find chords of a song by ear. It's probably not efficient to practice that way, but I sacrificed efficiency to keep things interesting for myself. Like I said before, I'll try to give myself some structure.

As they've probably already

yashakenkyaku

Joined: Nov 24 2009

As they've probably already told you, if you can't improve the quantity of your practice, its very important to focus on the quality of your practice. Does this mean you get serious to the point where you don't have fun? Not by any means. I'd say 5 minutes of warm-up, and 30 of actual "practice." Then use what time you have left to play whatever you like. That's just my opinion though.

Re: As they've probably already

Giogiogio4

For all the dreamers: Our planet's dream is not over yet...

Joined: Jun 10 2010

5 mins is nowhere near enough. You will be surprised how quickly 30 mins goes by when it comes to technique practice.
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If you can't find time during the day after work then try before work? I wake up earlier to practice. it doesn't do me any good to play after work because my arms are just too tired to get anywhere.

Practice doesn't do you any good if it isn't practice. Playing things you can already play over and over again will get you nowhere. you should be constantly improving on new things. Like reading a book, moving forward. When I practice something like a chord I will spend 5 mins on chord. Then 5 on another one. then the next week or so I will slowly add new chords. The Old ones you already know how to play become easier to play and take up less time.

Like my scale practice. 5 mins at a slow tempo to perfect it. Then as I get better i increase the speed and not only am I getting better that them I am getting More practice time in due tot he increased speed that opens up ore time to do other things.

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My Art for sale! : Here

Latest Recording:Man of the World

Re: As they've probably already

yashakenkyaku

Joined: Nov 24 2009

Giogiogio4 said

5 mins is nowhere near enough. You will be surprised how quickly 30 mins goes by when it comes to technique practice.
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If you can't find time during the day after work then try before work? I wake up earlier to practice. it doesn't do me any good to play after work because my arms are just too tired to get anywhere.

Practice doesn't do you any good if it isn't practice. Playing things you can already play over and over again will get you nowhere. you should be constantly improving on new things. Like reading a book, moving forward. When I practice something like a chord I will spend 5 mins on chord. Then 5 on another one. then the next week or so I will slowly add new chords. The Old ones you already know how to play become easier to play and take up less time.

Like my scale practice. 5 mins at a slow tempo to perfect it. Then as I get better i increase the speed and not only am I getting better that them I am getting More practice time in due tot he increased speed that opens up ore time to do other things.

I told you, that's just my opinion. ^_^ What's the point in playing if you're just working on technique instead of actual music? Again, just my opinion.

I find that the best way to

OggirtMoonfrad

You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?

Location: Guildford, UK

Joined: Mar 18 2011

I find that the best way to get into fingerstyle is to pick some of the simpler pieces that can be easily played - but encompassing rich harmony with bass/chords and melody.

When starting out I didn't even dare to think about any crazy advanced techniques as I could seldom pull them off with a reasonable degree of consistency.

However, as I continued to arrange pieces, I started to find that there occasional notes that I couldn't reach. Trying alternate tunings, which is my usual first step when I encounter impassable hurdles as such, sometimes couldn't quite make it work so in came the techniques - used solely as a tool of necessity.

Somehow, by being used for the sake of achieving the note I needed, as opposed to just a technique for technique's sake, it felt more... special. More "fun" and rewarding and less of a flashy masturbatory exercise.

I've got a couple of easier to learn arrangements from early on in my fingerstyle stuff (just click on my username then Tabs) I'd recommend Zelda's Lullaby if you need to work on handling bass and melody together, or Sweden if you're budding to try out some advanced harmonics whilst maintaining bass and chords.

Höpe this helps!