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90-day challenge done! Love some advice on what to work on


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I started out doing the 60 day challenge except I've kept it going for 90 days now :). Been playing about 2 hours a day, and I've been making a video at the end of each month to track my progress and hopefully get some feedback.

 

I'm not able to sign up with a guitar teacher just yet, so I'm not sure if I'm developing any bad habits or learned some things wrong which will limit me. Or what I should focus on the next few months.

 


I do almost all of my playing in riff repeater at a slow speed trying to work it higher and higher, and whenever I get to a speed that I start to feel tension in my hand and not able to relax it while I play, I usually stay around there until I can progress comfortably.

 

The first month I tried to focus a lot on trying to get the basic techniques usable. And played a really wide variety of stuff to do a bit of everything. But I made a shortlist of about 10 songs with relevant sections and focused on them only for 2 weeks to try to work them up to speed.

 


 

The second month, I wanted to focus on being able to do bends more in tune, and also increasing my finger speed, as in the first month I really struggled to get past 85-90% speed comfortable on anything except really simple songs. Like hitting an invisible wall with every song! So I made a new shortlist of specific riffs / solo lines but this time, I only played the relevant sections over and over. 

 


 

The third month, I wanted to focus on trying to get my playing to sound more musical. I focused a lot on my right hand and trying to control the pressure / picking dynamics. Also to start trying to use volume and tone controls, and switching channels on my amp. So this time, I've been playing longer sections continuously / some whole songs. So I focused on only about 5 songs for the month.

 


 

I'm wondering which approach would be best for me going forward now? To keep focusing on only a few songs and focus on them sounding good and the techniques to sound good. Or focusing on trying to "train" my finger speed / more complex riffs / solos and force myself past my limits?

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Mastery before proceeding.

 

Or you can be like me and play every song...poorly.

 

Those are it for options.

 

The only bad habit I see is always leading with the index finger. Try making chords with your middle finger and pinky too sometimes. And Enter Sandman's intro needs that slide up into the notes after the chord. Try and hit those notes with your ring and pinky fingers. And never stop learning chords, they give clues on hand positioning.

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Yeah. Using all your fingers builds synapses. It's not really a strength thing, but an ability to get signals to/from the fingers faster. Your brain literally builds more new pathways for your fingers the more you use each one. While the hand and fingers mostly get stronger as a whole. If you are always biased to index and ring finger, they won't really be stronger but they will feel infinitely more useful than the others and you don't want that. You want them all up to the same level.

 

Why?

 

You cannot go faster by trying harder. Or let me rephrase that, you cannot go faster by using more force. You need the get comfortable hitting notes with the least amount of pressure on any finger. Or else any fast fretting will always be sloppy. The pull offs just don't happen right if you went down with too much pressure and the hammer ons will be early.

 

All those, faster playing, more complex and solos are locked behind comfort. If you don't have comfort you don't nail it.

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Yeah I get what you mean now, had misunderstood but glad I asked for clarification. I tried using my middle and pinky to do the powerchords and it was like I was trying to use someone elses hand to play guitar or that I had a dead arm. Felt a bit numb and weak even trying to finger the chords. Definitely going to practice and incorporate this, nice one. I should probably do more chord work in general I haven't really got them down well yet at all.

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