Learning Guitar Lesson Survey – What Should I Make?
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In this week's video I talk mostly about the mental aspect of learning guitar because from my experience that really is the biggest issue. However let me describe what you're trying to do with your fingers to get them not to mute the other strings when you make a chord.
When playing guitar chords you want to angle your fingers so they go up and then down again on the string. The idea is that as much as possible the tip your finger is pressing straight down into the fretboard. To be even more accurate it's not exactly the very tip but just lightly behind the tip. You really do have to feel it in that comes from practice and making little changes over time.
The pad of your thumb should be behind the guitar neck. One way to look at it is that the tip your finger in the pad of your thumb would press together except the guitar neck is between them. This will give you the most amount of leverage with the least amount of strain.
Your elbow should be hanging straight down and your shoulder and arm relaxed. So relaxed that if you were to release the pressure between your thumb and finger your hand would fall down.
This said the only way to get this right if they just practice it and keep making small adjustments. Over time you will develop a habit that will support you for years and years to come.
I have enjoyed your videos so much. I am a very beginner player and am having trouble holding my fingers correctly on the strings. It always seems that I will mute the next string too easily.
Do you have any advice on holding the fingers without muting the adjunct string?
Terry, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying my lessons. You’re on the right track.
The issue you're struggling with is a very common one. I won't pretend to have a magic bullet that will solve this issue and I don't think there actually is one. I will share with you some ideas that have helped me and my students over the years. Please feel free to take what works for you and ignore anything that doesn't make sense.
Keep in mind that everyone in the beginning cannot do it correctly. Yes some people are more naturally coordinated than others and seem to pick up physical things faster than some. But there really is no right or wrong. Where ever you are right now is just where you are supposed to be for you. Paradoxically accepting what you are right now will ask you help you progress bother and faster.
When your first learning guitar go slow and take your time putting your finger on the strings. Many adults try to go faster than the ready to go. It's better in the beginning to be patient and get it right. Your mind and body are recording your movements. Unfortunately if you spend too much time doing it incorrectly it takes longer to get it right.
I'm not telling you this just to make you feel better, though I'm hoping you feel better also. The struggling in your mind actually holds you back. If you can let go of some of the judgments and just put in the practice time it's very likely it will just take care of itself.
Probably the most important thing to tell you, though certainly not the most popular. My experience with both learning guitar and other similar physical things like dance and martial arts is it just takes time and repetition. The best thing you can do is just make peace with that, practice every day and stick with it.
I happen to be struggling with learning a new technique right now. I’m basically impatient. My mind wants me to go find more instruction or some way to do it that it will magically work. Kinda sucks, but I've been here before. I have enough instruction on how to do this technique. Now I need to just stick with it long enough until I get the results I want. There… I’ve just given myself a guitar coaching.
Now don't get me wrong. A good teacher can be a great help. The two things they can do is help you make little changes to speed up progress, and secondly keep telling you “you can do this”. It really helps. As an experienced guitarist with a good solid foundation I can usually do this for myself. I know the fundamentals of finger movement and I can usually auto-correct.
A beginner especially needs instruction early on to know what to do and what order to do it in. But nothing takes the place of practice, patience and persistence.
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We would love to hear your comments and questions. What specific things are you struggling with while learning guitar?