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Pulse
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Hello Everyone,

 

I have been trying to learn electric guitar for quite some time now. Unfortunately, the process is not going well for me.

The main reason i grew interest in electric guitars is the insane solos by guitarists like Buckethead, Neil zaza .. etc. I am okay with the fact that i need a lot of patience to reach this level of playing. However, i faced the following issues and i would like to know your opinion about it.

 

1) Exercises bore the living shit out of me. Is it possible to skip the 1-2-3-4 exercises and jump straight to easy songs on Rocksmith and work my way up to harder songs.

 

2) I have a case called trigger finger, my pinky gets locked while playing. Some say it requires a surgery and others say that practicing would make the finger improve by time. If any of you had the same case, please share you experience with me.

 

3) My hand is really small , is this going to be limiting for me, meaning that i am going to be stuck with simple songs (no shredding in the "far" future)!

 

4) I have an awful time learning chord switching no matter how hard i exercise, single notes seem to be a lot easier to me, is this normal?

 

5) The first song i have tried to learn on RS is REM - Losing my religion because i like it and it seemed easy. i managed to play the single notes part on full speed and highest difficulty but for the chords part what am playing sounds completely different than the song itself because RS doesn't show the strumming pattern. Now, this song is popular so i think i could get the strumming pattern by googling it, but what about the less known songs?

 

6) Dynamic Difficulty vs Accelerometer. Should i use one of them or a combination of both? which one would be more beneficial to me on the long term? is there a "better method" here or is it just a matter of personal preferences..

 

I don't want to sound like a quitter because hey, Marc Playle plays with one hand and a hook but well, realistically speaking i dont have that kind of determination and i have this feeling that by facing all of these issues combined at start , am not going to reach any good level.

 

Thanks in advance for your replies

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Hey,

 

don't sweat it.

You have to have patience and commitment in order to play the guitar for real. RS is a great tool that helps you on your way but it should not be seen

as a win on it's own.

Playing the guitar like Buckethead lies beyond the abilities of 90% of all guitar players out there. It does not only need technique but soul as well and 

this you can not learn quickly, it has to grow on you.

Get yourself a teacher it will boost your learning speed. I never got one and I am wondering where I would be now if I learned with someone telling me what to do and what not.

Shredding is an advanced thing you ought to play basics first. Go step by step. You cannot run until you first have learned to walk. Be patient. learning an instrument devotes the learner

to stick with it for years. It is hard, very hard in the beginning. It is the way it is.

Chords and especially Barrechords are where people usually give up. I witnessed it a lot when I was giving lessons. There is no shortcut. Practice is the key.

 

You can do this!!!

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2) I have a case called trigger finger, my pinky gets locked while playing. Some say it requires a surgery and others say that practicing would make the finger improve by time. If any of you had the same case, please share you experience with me.

 

 

I had really bad trigger finger in my ring finger. It was just annoying for awhile but eventually it transformed into full-on peripheral neuropathy; a lot of the time it felt like my hand was being continually slammed in a car door. Not fun at all.

 

If your trigger-finger isn't too far gone, you can get a cortisone injection into the tendon that will do wonders. It hurts a lot for 8 hours after the injection, but it thins out the tendon and will help mild cases. It completely cured my right hand.

 

I ultimately had to get surgery for my left hand - they scraped the tendon to make it thin enough to fit through the tendon sheath properly. After the surgery you need to do a bunch of exercise with the finger to get everything working properly; the surgery worked out great for me - a very tiny scar. I wish I had gotten it done sooner.

 

I was worried when starting the guitar that this might bring back my trigger finger problems, but if anything it has had the reverse effect -- my fretting hand fingers have never been stronger & happier.

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...but ultimately it's all about practice. Just practice, practice and practice. There's a reason Rocksmith has the 10,000 hour achievements.

I'd say you're wrong. It's all about having fun while playing and practicing. If you're not one of the 0.01% who have an absolute iron will, you will need to have fun, or you'll give up sooner than Hellen Keller trying to play Baseball.

 

Also, just forget your goals and enjoy what you're doing, be one with the music you're playing, let it flow through you like the force flows through a jedi (or sith, whatever floats your boat). Make it be fun. Even the tedious bits. 

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I have been trying to learn electric guitar for quite some time now. 

 

Hi Pulse,

 

I'd be interested to know just how long quite some time is?

 

You haven't replied for a month so probably wont to this either, but I reckon it will take me a good five years to be able to call myself a guitar "player"

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.

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I have been trying to learn electric guitar for quite some time now. 

 

Hi Pulse,

 

I'd be interested to know just how long quite some time is?

 

You haven't replied for a month so probably wont to this either, but I reckon it will take me a good five years to be able to call myself a guitar "player"

 

Yesterday, I saw a Muse concert from 2013 in Japan on public tv. Reminded me I'll never be able to call myself a guitar player in earnest, not when that same label applies to real guitar players like Bellamy or Hendrix or whathaveyou. Buuuut it's still fun :)

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All of us get frustrated.  Don't look too far ahead, you need many hours of practicing to develop muscle memory and create new neural pathways.

 

If you have the passion in you for guitar, playing becomes part of your life, and helps you to become a better person.

 

I started at age 52, 5 1/2 years ago.  Looking back, I can't believe I didn't give up, progress was so slow, and my playing just shit for years,  until I heard about Rocksmith2014 last October.  The technical improvement in my playing the last few months has for me been astonishing.

 

That doesn't mean much without some context about persevering.  I worked as a miner in deep underground gold mines here in north Ontario from 1985 to 2009.  The type of mining I did is called jackleg mining, and is very physical.  So much so that I have a lot of legacy issues after busting ass for those years. 

 

Left hand index finger cut to the tendon and bone first joint, now curved so that barre chords are not straightforward. :cool:

Left hand pinky, crushed by being pinned -  yes another f'ing falling rock.

Right hand had thumb split open by a rock fall, wrist broken, index finger broken.

White hand in both hands and feet.  ie: vibratory damage from drills

And of course, the obligatory back strains from years of heavy lifting and exertion.

 

I chose that work, because I loved it. The injuries made me stronger, and I accept them.  That part of life is over, and playing guitar does it for me now,  in a big way.

 

If you want to be a good guitar player,  you can be.  Just tell that part of you that says, dammit all this practice is going nowhere, to step off and get out of your way.

 

Hope you take the road. Its a life affirming one.

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I feel like in am the perfect person to address each of these issues.

 

1) forget anything that makes playing guitar unenjoyable. I started playing songs where it was possible for me to use one finger on my fretting hand and worked on memorizing simple.songs so I could stare at my guitar because my hands didn't know where they were on the guitar neck. Play songs you like, in the simpliest difficulty you can manage, and work your way up until you get to the point where you know what's being displayed is just barely out of your league. At that point, slow the song down in riff repeater and grind at it until you learn that section. ALTERNATIVELY, what I did at first, was to play songs up to getting to that point, then I'd just find another song I really liked and played the easier difficulties until I hit that difficulty threshold again, then j found a new song. I'd work on like 3-4 at a time, play each of them every time I picked up.the guitar, and eventually I got comfortable enough that is want to crank up the difficulty. On easiet songs, sometimes i wouldnt even go into riff repeater, id just play the whole song terribly and have fun working on my coordination. Eventually I got to the point where I couldnt just jump into a song and play it. Thats when you need to use riff reapeater to its fullest potential to undetsta d and practice the song you're working in.

 

Just a disclaimer real fast, I'm still a beginner/intermediate guitar player. The hardest thing I've gotten 90% on is probably plug in baby, we share the same skies, etc., two songs I still struggle on. I've played both of those songs a LOT. But pushing the limits of your ability is when you can actually feel your skill increasing.

 

2/3) can't speak to this on a personal level, but I have a friend who is in the advanced/expert level of guitar who has small hands and more importantly, has a condition where he cannot twist his wrist, AT ALL. He can still playbarre chords better than iI can. Want more inspiration? Look on YouTube "audrey rocksmith". You'll know exactly what video to watch, she plays base and guitar.

 

While were on the inspiration digression, look up wodashin on the rocksmith forums and look up his thread. I strongly suggest you look up that thread and use the techniques this guy used to learn guitar. In one year or playing, this guy can play hanger 18 and cliffs of dover. One fucking year and he's one of the highest scoring players on the leaderboard. He worked his ass off to get there and he was smart enough to be able to train himself. Audrey has a very good mentor.

 

Speaking of which, get yourself a mentor. Someone that you can ask simple questions and even more importantly, jam with. I always just wanted to learn songs, noyn improvise, but its so important and really just added a new layer to my guitar skill.

 

5) Losing my religion was the first song I played where I was like "holy shit I'm a guitar player.". I love that song also, its not incredibly hard (but took me a lot of practice, especially the 12-17 double stops stretches that instill have problems with). Up until that song, I avoided all chords other than power chords. After that song, I was comfortable with chords and started learning more. That song was a huge turning point for me, keep at it, one section at a time.

 

Some other songs I put in that relative difficulty range (easier and harder than losing my religion that I like to play) are: me and the bean, step out of the car, slow hands, take me out, no rain, in bloom, plug in baby, go with the flow, all the small things, vasoline, we share the same skies, do you remember, rebel rebel, song 2, don't fear the reaper, self esteem, boys don't cry, smoke on the water, pumped up kicks, high and dry, are you gonna go my way, icky thump. That's very roughly the order of difficulty. Ordered by my mastery, though some of those songs I got to the 90+% range in a few tries, some took 50 tries. Some of them just have very hard solos, generally i leave solos leveled down unless I really like a song.

 

6) the riff repeater is the main reason rocksmith is as amazing as it is. You need to harness the riff repeater to its greatest extent. You said you were having problems with the strumming pattern. Well if its going too fast for you to figure out, SLOW THAT SHIT DOWN. You'll know the pattern in 10 minutes. There are times that I literally put the speed down as far as it can go, and slowly work the speed up. When you get into the 90+% range, ho 1-2% at a time, especaiily for over 95%. I, by far, spend the most time in riff repeater than any other facet of guitar playing.

 

Additional tips: I don't have a lot of bad habits, but part if playing guitar has been figuring out why I sound like shit. You need to shut the game off, or pause, and play the notes without background music- a lot. Jamming helped me a lot in this regard. I have yet to use session mode much, but it is something I'm going to be using more and more this summer.

 

Try to learn some basic chords. As soon as my finger dexterity was good enough to use 4 fingers reliably, I should have gotten more exposure to chords. Lots of riffs are based on several chords, and if you know them, it makes the song so much easier to play. We share the same skies is a great example of this. If you are trying to play that song one string at a time, its nearly impossible for me, at least. Don't fear the reaper is another good.example. A good wah of learning chords is to play that game castle chorded or whatever. Not only are you given some.extra time to hit those chords, but they slowly give you more than one at a time, and they say exactly what the chord is called. Its seriously a great game.

 

Book complete, the end.

 

6)

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Oh, for 4, in addition to what I said, plug in baby chorus is a nice little exercise for barre chords. That was how I became more comfortable with playing them.

 

Oh, also, don't forget about YouTube and the internet in general for lessons. I admittedly haven't taken advantage of this as much as I could, but I've been watching g more and more guitar videos in the last Couple months.

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To quickly address this thread. I am not sure how this one slipped through our fingers for so long, but thank you to everyone in it for not going too far over the edge. 

 

I apologize on behalf of the entire staff for not catching the comments. The OP was reaching out to the community at large and there is no reason for anyone to ever treat them with anything but respect. If you guys catch posts like this that we miss, please let me know so I can take care of it quickly.

 

Basically if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. 

\m/(><)\m/

'99 Fender Stratocaster / '12 Gibson SG (Nothing special but they are mine)

"If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you're fooling yourself. That's like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn't eat him."

 

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To quickly address this thread. I am not sure how this one slipped through our fingers for so long, but thank you to everyone in it for not going too far over the edge. 

 

I apologize on behalf of the entire staff for not catching the comments. The OP was reaching out to the community at large and there is no reason for anyone to ever treat them with anything but respect. If you guys catch posts like this that we miss, please let me know so I can take care of it quickly.

 

Basically if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. 

 

 

You meant the Grateful Dead video?

 

I've always found them annoying, but not offensive. Well, some of their fans could be pretty offensive back in the day. Their smell, that is. :-P

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To quickly address this thread. I am not sure how this one slipped through our fingers for so long, but thank you to everyone in it for not going too far over the edge. 

 

I apologize on behalf of the entire staff for not catching the comments. The OP was reaching out to the community at large and there is no reason for anyone to ever treat them with anything but respect. If you guys catch posts like this that we miss, please let me know so I can take care of it quickly.

 

Basically if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. 

 

 

You meant the Grateful Dead video?

 

I've always found them annoying, but not offensive. Well, some of their fans could be pretty offensive back in the day. Their smell, that is. :-P

 

 

You hit it right there.  :mrgreen:

\m/(><)\m/

'99 Fender Stratocaster / '12 Gibson SG (Nothing special but they are mine)

"If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you're fooling yourself. That's like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn't eat him."

 

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I had a bad case of trigger finger on both hands 20 years ago, and when it came to soloing, I had to just leave my pinkie out of the mix.  Much of the issues went away over time from playing bar chords and standard G, D, C type songs, Like Skid Row's I Remember You or Patience by GNR.  I still have the issue to a degree on my right (picking) hand but the build up of muscle mass and reformation of the knuckle socket due to the pressure being placed onto acoustic strings has drastically reduced the problem.

 

Playing guitar is 90% muscle memory.  When you're first starting out, you'll want to set a realistic goal for yourself.  You aren't going to play buckethead in your first 3 months of playing guitar, unless you're an absolute prodigy.  Learn the basic chord pattern and where your fingers need to go, but most importantly you should try to learn to play it perfectly even if it is at 10% speed.  Your muscles remember your mistakes as easily as your perfections.

 

25 years ago when I first picked up the guitar, I decided to learn the main electric part of "Icarus Dream Suite Op 4" by Yngwie Malmsteen.  25 years later I can play that part pretty well, but not to level of feel that the Maestro does.  Some people are just graced with this thing called talent, and some of us are not.  Only in time will you know if you are the prior or the latter.  In the interim, try to have fun with it.  ;)

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Sometimes I use big words that I don't completely understand, just to make myself seem more photosynthesis.

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Guitar takes TIME, an insane amount of time. BUT, it gives you back what you put in. If you dedicate 1 hour a day to it in 1 month you will be amazed at how many things you used to struggle with now come easy. Don't EVER give up.

 I'm Allergic To Stupidity. I Break Out In Sarcasm.

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