What is the hardest part about learning to play guitar?

Steve

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Guitar Player
Using my pinky! :p

It's stubby and weak though have gotten better here in the last month or so it is still a pain sometimes to hit certain notes just right. Second hardest thing is barre chords, though I can see that'll just take time to get my fingers used to stretching.
 

zappaDPJ

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Running up and down the minor pentatonic scale using your pinky on the farther stretches (marked '4' on the diagram) will help you gain strength and control of it. If you are picking the notes with a pick also try to use alternate up and down strokes to pluck as that will help you gain speed. Picking those notes to the beat of a metronome will give you a better sense of timing and help you pick up the pace when your muscle memory kicks in.

Scale_MinPent-1.gif


'Alright Now' as taught in the video below (and only this video) is a great way to practice barre chords and stretching. It's a more advanced lesson than I'd normally recommend for a beginner so don't be put off if you find it hard but practiced over time you'll find it very rewarding.

 

Steve

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I’ve been studying alternate picking and watching all the videos I can find, a lot of the pick slanting techniques. Sometimes I do it naturally then when I try to do it I fail. Guess I need to do more of the slow practicing as you said. (y)
 

zappaDPJ

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Guess I need to do more of the slow practicing as you said. (y)
It really is one of the most fundamental lessons when it comes to learning to play.

You can't learn speed, that comes naturally in time after doing the same thing a million times. If you don't slow things down the chances are you are going be making mistakes. When you've made those same mistakes a millions times, congratulations you have just become a terrible guitarist that can play very fast. You'll then find it almost impossible to unlearn those mistakes.

Don't be enticed by videos from anyone claiming to teach speed. Yes there are techniques that are condusive to rattling off a bazzillion notes a second but those techniques still have to be slowed right down to nothing and practiced a million times before the speed comes naturally.
 

Tracy Perry

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My instructor will chomp on my ass when I try to play "to fast". He's a BIG believer in slow wins the race. Learning to be fast does not typically allow for the best technique when a beginner.
 

Tracy Perry

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On a related note... I've got to start doing stretching exercises.... the fingers are not playing that well (pardon the pun) when doing some chords. I've got a finger stretching ball on order (comes with 3 balls and various strength finger tensors). Alex has also given me some "warm up" exercises that should help to limber up the fingers.
 

Tracy Perry

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Guitar Player
One he has me doing is
All fingers on 3rd string starting at index on the 7th fret, middle on 8th, ring on 9th, pinky on 10th (you eventually work up the neck) and then using individual fingers (while keeping the others where they are) just touch
Index - string 5 then string 2 (repeat 3 times)
Index - String 6 then string 1 (repeat 3 times)

Then do the same for each finger, taking it slow, concentrating on finger placement and your hand position.

Another is doing the standard chromatic scale slowly (more an exercise but it also limbers the fingers up) for 5-10 minutes.

He also suggested several (which are shown on this video)
The fingerstretch shown is what Alex especially recommends.

This is also similar to one he suggested... and you can do it when sitting almost anywhere
 
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