(29 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Well I'm snowed in at home today so no work, I've practiced for a few hours and it all sounds normal (for me anyway).  I guess last night was down to my mood (which seemed fine).

Having thought about it last night (over a few beers), I think partly to blame is the fact I want to sound better than I do and subsequently I'm always gonna sound unsatisfactory - does that make sense?

Anyway, off training now and hopefully a practise session later.


(29 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I'm a racing cyclist in training so whilst I could stretch to a beer I think a smoke would be out, perhaps I'll puff on a pencil!


(29 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Just come home from work, eaten, showered and was looking forward to my hour or two practice but everything sounds wrong??

The guitar is tuned, and nothing has changed but it sounds awful, out of tune, out of time, strange strings ringing etc!

I don't know whether to crack on or put the guitar down, have a beer and chill and hope everything sounds better tomorrow?



(7 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Just like to say a big CHEERS to all the folks on here, I don't think you all realise how much help and motivation you give absolute novices like myself.

4 weeks in and I'm astonished how far I'm come in such a short period, I was really expecting it to take about 6 months to get where I am now. 

I've settled into an hour a night practice but I often pick the guitar up and quietly strum with my fingers if I'm bored which is quite often.  10 minutes just practicing scales to warm up the fingers, then 20 minutes practicing open chords (changing from one to another as quickly as possible and also playing slowly and checking for finger positioning) and then 30 minutes on a few songs, for me that balance is about right.  I really need to start on F and B tho!

One problem is that my fingers have already hardened up but the tips are grooved and not flat, this causes a problem because after 20 mins or so the grooves get so deep that I cant get the strings firmly on the frets and this causes a lot of vibration!

Is there anyway around this?

Also are there any finger exercises you can do when not on the guitar to help strengthen and loosen them ready for the F and B?


(3 replies, posted in Bands and artists)

alansheeran wrote:

If you are looking for stories about the writing of particular songs, the BBC have a long list of songs with detail about their writing. For instance, "blew his mind out in a car" from A Day in the life by Lennon / McCartney was about guiness heiress Tara Browne.

You can access this at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/ .

I have a book at home, I can't recall the name but it lists every Beatle track, how it was written, who wrote what and what state of mind they were in. 

I read Hey Jude was initially written by Lennon and was called Hey Jules (refering to his son) but Lennon was struggling to fill parts so he handed it to McCartney who finished it off (and changed the name to Jude).

Great read, if your interested I'll dig out the name and publisher when I get home.


(25 replies, posted in Music theory)

GerB40 wrote:

I have been playing guitar for around a year and a half and i think im fairly good. The thing is i dont have a clue about music theory. I was just wondering if there is anyone who has been playing for years and cant read theory?? Nice one

Where do you start, are there any good books, ebooks, on line sites that can get you started.


(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Hello Deadstring, funny you should say that.

I was "trying" to play Free Falling by Tom Petty last night and I was hitting the sequence G...C....CGD in the chorus and I was struggling to get from C to G and then D.  I then realised I think I was hitting the 3rd, 2nd and 1st strings open instead of the G and it sounded ok, whatever I was actually hitting.


(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Thanks, I'll slow everything down and ensure my strumming is constant.

I had a little breakthrough yesterday, I've been trying to speed up chord changes, obviously trying to lay all my fingers as quick as possible.  But last night, rather than concentrate on where all 3 fingers go (I don't use the pinky yet), I just focussed on where my first finger was supposed to go and to my surprise the other fingers just fell into place making changing quicker!

Cheers for the advice.



(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Hello all,

I'm at the stage where I can play pretty much all the open chords and change reasonably quickly between them, some are clean and some not, I'll blame the cheap guitar for the latter ;?)

There are a few chords which I'm taking longer to position my fingers for, namely C and it messes up my timing for the song (I haven't atempted B or F yet). 

My question is this, when playing a song, do I keep to the beat and possibly hit a duff chord or do I ease up and make sure the chord is clean?

At the moment I'm starting to work on strumming patterns so if I did ease up I would mess up my strumming??


(20 replies, posted in Acoustic)

As a "total" novice I feel a little awkward giving advice.  I have 6 songs I'm currently learning all from different genres, they're just songs and tunes that I love to here and play.  However, even as a total novice I like to put my interpretation into them so they sound like "my songs" rather than the originals.  Yes the melody is the same but thats it!

What I have found that the better I get (and we are still taking pants) and the faster I can change chords, I find myself putting in different strumming paterns without thinking about it, I guess this is "feeling" the music?  It can be annoying as I struggle to get a C without missing a beat (forget F's and B's for now) and when adding strumming paterns I have less time to change chords but ultimately I think subconciously I'm pushing my self, which is good.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you truly listen to the tune you'll do it anyway but I have spent 36 years listening to acoustic guitar music which has definately helped me.

Hope this helps.


(19 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Sorry to bump this old thread up but as a total novice I tried to use one as I was concious that my timing was getting quicker and quicker as the song went on.  I vertually find it impossible to keep to time but as mentioned above I found the metronome impossible to keep to, not to mention my wife, she can cope with the gentle strumming of the guitar in the background but she drew a line with the metronome!

I start a song with slower than normal time in an attempt to make all the changes but it just gets faster and faster until Stand by Me sounds like Duelling Banjo's - well almost ;?)

Don't say it.. Practice, practice, practice!

I've been learning a week and I am absolutely hooked!

I can play these 3 songs pretty well considering it's only been a few days so they must be pretty easy.

This one is Mad World by Tears for Fears, very easy and the chord changes lead into one and other.

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/?url= … ranspose=0

This is Knocking on heavens door, a bit harder but only 4 chords repeated the same order over and over, G, D, Am, G, D, C! 

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/?url= … ranspose=0

This one is harder but still doable within a few weeks.  Go to Justinsgitar.com Youtube pages and theres a lesson for this song.  A bit more challenging

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/?url= … ranspose=0

I hope this helps.


(7 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Hello Sinann, I'm probably at the same stage as you having recently picked a guitar up after 20 or so years (I wasn't any good back then either)!

I also have the ocasional buzz and also have a cheap guitar.  I found Justinguitar.com great to learn and he has a good technique when practising chords, simply strum the chord and then pick each individual string and this helps me identify which string was buzzing.  In my case the culprit was a different string on different chords so adjusting the fingers was easier.


(8 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Cheers Zurf,
Your pretty spot on with cjoice of music, most of the artists you lisy I enjoy although I have never listened to them indepth.  I'll see what I can find. 
There's some good stuff in your songbook too!


(8 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Hello to you all, I’m after a little advice and wonder if you can help.

I’m very new to the guitar and I am still practicing chords and picking up a few different techniques off youtube to break up the monotony of the chord practicing, so far so good.  I tried to learn 15 or so years ago but really struggled, it’s so much easier now with the internet and sites like this and youtube.

Basically I’m after some advice on music choice, I’m a competitive cyclist and spend between 15 and 20 hours per week training and often listen to music when on the bike.  I’ve always listened to acoustic music from artists like Paul Simon, Glen Campbell, Neil Diamond etc and also a lot of the “unplugged† sessions that are available.  The problem is I’m after music with basic guitar riffs so I can learn to identify different chords and chord changes, I figure this will help my actual development when on the guitar and learning new songs.   When I listen artists like Paul Simon there is really too much going on for me to differentiate between the different notes and chord changes.   I suppose Bob Dylan is a good starter?

Thanks in advance for any advice.