Kirk Lorange

What's the Hardest thing about playing guitar?

What's the hardest thing about playing guitar?   6 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the hardest thing about playing guitar?

    • Staying it in tune?
      11
    • Keeping time?
      82
    • Making your fingers obey?
      180
    • Getting the strings to ring properly?
      46
    • Understanding how music works?
      95
    • Playing chords?
      22
    • Playing single note melody lines?
      19
    • Strumming?
      33

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177 posts in this topic

I posted this question years ago in a poll on the early GfB&B site ... there was one answer that was the overwhelming winner. I'll let you know when the results come if it's the same now.

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The hardest thing to learning to play any instrument is to have patience. Your muscles have to develope as well as your knowledge of the music. The muscles in your finger develope a memory of the position they need to be in. Everything got to come together,finger and hand strength,muscle memory and knowledge of music. Some day i hope to get there. This year I can do things easily that frustrated me to no end last year

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I personally have to go with getting the strings to ring properly(at least if we are going by what you have to choose from). I never noticed it until about 3 months ago, but when I bend a string a full step I come in contact with other strings, and when I bend it back down I can faintly hear the string I come in contact with through my amp. I have been working on muting while bending, but is is very difficult for me. Of some of the things you didn't put up their, I would say legato or sweeping are hardest.

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My biggest demon has always been keeping in time.

I love the midi files Kirk provides with every lesson for helping there. Until I can play along with the midi files I don't even try to play along with Kirks recorded version.

I also tap my foot, pencil etc to any music playing trying to nail the 1. Practising with a click has helped too.

The funny thing is I did not realize how bad my timing was until I started to get better and actually listen to my playing. I knew how to play some great songs but my playing was unmusical....still a work inprogress. I'm sure it always will be but I think it is like most things in life, the satifaction and enjoyment comes from the journey not the destination.

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For me it is pulling together all of the knowledge and skills that I have to make my own music. I can't seem to make the connection. I practice everything, read everything, and listen to everything waiting for it to grab me. You know that "ah ha" moment. I"ll keep playing because I love it.

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I do find keeping time difficult, but making those fingers do their thing is quite a challenge. Once i learn the rhythm for the song if I'm playing chords I seems to have less trouble with timing. With finger style playing and playing melodies it does seem to concern me more often.

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I think the trick is just to plain relax while playing, not stress out about mistakes, just learn slowly and steadily, and I think you'll get it.:)

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For me it is pulling together all of the knowledge and skills that I have to make my own music. I can't seem to make the connection. I practice everything, read everything, and listen to everything waiting for it to grab me. You know that "ah ha" moment. I"ll keep playing because I love it.

You want to write songs? The way I started was to begin with a chord progression. Almost any progression will do -- a 12 bar blues, for example. Or the classic progressions like C-Am-F-G or C-Em-F-G. Vary the progression any way you want, for example you might try C-Am-C-Am-F-G. Picking out particular strings can help finding a melody that goes with that progression.

Lyrics are another story entirely. Often the rhythm of the melody you wrote will suggest a lyrical rhythm and you find words to fit. Not always easy to write a good lyric, but the "feel" of the song is more important than the lyric alone. There are many great songs with fairly mundane or ordinary lyrics. Just keep trying.

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For me it is keeping time or wondering if I am keeping time.

Even though I use a metronome at times and start out tapping my foot I find myself playing and then realizing I'm not tapping my foot or my foot is completely stiff. Then I wonder if I am keeping time which throws me off.

But then my wife, who has a classical piano background and who 'hates' hearing the metronome since she heard it every morning at 7:00 AM from 5 years old to her 20's, says "Don't worry you were keeping time." I'll trust her judgement.

By the way, my wife is the perfect example of parents who push their children into music. All those 30 minutes before and 2 hours after school practicing for over 15 years turned her completely off to the piano. She had the strict classical piano teachers who wouldn't let her noodle around. It is a shame since she is very talented.

Dan

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Yes, it is a shame. This year though as I was getting back into the guitar she wanted a mandolin and we got her one. She learned it so fast it was amazing. Then she switched to a 4 string tenor guitar (standard tuning) and is learning that very quickly. She's backed off some due to wrist problems.

She attended the old LA Conservatory of Music years ago and won many honors playing classical piano. She wanted to be an accompanist and learn jazz but they burned her out - "You have to be a soloist." Her childhood sounded like the "If you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding!" Like playing at the Shrine Auditorium in LA before thousands and instead of compliments from family and teachers hearing "You missed a note in that piece" or "You should have done this or that."

I've lately been sitting down at our piano working out songs and have gradually got her to help me. :cool:

Sorry to diverge off the topic but maybe this might help some parents out there. Let them have fun and explore their musical talent.

BL

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Keeping time and finger dexterity, specially the ring finger which always seems to need the company of other fingers :-)

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i cannot for the life of me keep in time because i find it very difficult to tap my foot in time as i play, or even to just count in my head because i cant seem to do the 2 things at once :(

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Man, some of the easy ones were ok, but there were a bunch of blunders. I think the hardest part about playing on the spot is that you need to know your chords in a kkey and remember the sounds of them. I played a few that, man, were awful, not event eh right chords, then just had to stop and sing; I gave the excuse that I was enjoying the words and voices too much (little did they know). Oh well, such is life. This means I will have to practice more right :)

Anthony

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Relaxing while playing, I believe most other problems will either go away or be less appearant if you are able to truly be relaxed when playing.

Even a small amount of tension robs you of your potential.

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I would say the hardest part of playing guitar is staying motivated, and moving forward.

That's what this site is for, seagull, to keep you motivated ...:)

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I learned to play many years ago, but I havent palyed for about 15 years. I recently bought a 12 string so I'm having to learn all over again. The muscle memory is still there, but the timing is gone. Oh well, practice,practice

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So far, the hardest part has been playing a barred "F" and making it sound properly. :o)

Don't even mention barred chords. My fingers just don't want to know

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