Returning and much older newbie

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Joined: 11/23/19
Posts: 426

Hello everyone. I'm Moe. I just started a few weeks ago and doing pretty well on the first tutorial. At 57 I'm picking up the instrument after over a 35 year layoff. It's been one of my regrets in life for stopping to play back in my twenties. Who knows where I would be now if I hadn't, but life happens for a reason right so hopefully I will stick with it this time. I am enjoying Lisa McCormick's guidance and songs she has written for us newbies to play. What a talent she is. Im mostly into learning country but some good classics like every rose by poison is in my repertoire goal. I'm playing a steel string Ibanez electric acoustic, no amp, that used to be my nieces and it's perfect for learning but man my fingers are practically bleeding. My calluses are coming back but I'm regretting not getting nylon strings for it.

Also I'm having problems strumming with a pick. It's actually easier with my thumb but is that a bad habit to get into and should I force myself to use the pick. Plus using my thumb the sound is quieter so I can hear Lisa's instruction and backup band better while learning the songs.

# 1
Registered User
Joined: 02/24/17
Posts: 214

Hello Moe, ( hey, that rhymes. Might be a song in there somewhere :) )

Welcome to you.

Good to hear you are doing well and have some goals to aim for.

I agree that Lisa is very good at introducing and teaching the guitar. You will find, as you progress, that all the teachers on Guitar Tricks are also very good. That is why this site is so popular.

It can be a bit hard on the fingers at first. A common mistake is to press down too hard on the strings.[u] If the guitar is properly set up[/u] you will be surprised how little pressure is required to produce a nice clean sound. Try playing a note then gently ease off on the pressure to find out what pressure is required to produce the note.

It is perfectly OK to strum with your thumb. Later you may find a pick more usefull to produce a note or you might like to learn some finger picking techniques. It is entirely your choice. There are some excellent lessons on finger picking to be found on this site. There are no hard and fast rules about how to strum a guitar just common conventions.Do what you are most comfortable with.

I wish you well on your journey of discovery. Take it slow and easy and enjoy the journey.

Take time out now and then to let us know how you are getting on or if you have any questions.

Kind regards


# 2
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,435

Hi Moe,

Wishing you the best on your journey. Once you have gone through Lisa's course, Anders offers a fun little 2 parter on Country. I'm sure it will put a smile on your face.

I'm not good with a pick and keep a selection in my pocket. Depending on what I am doing I might use a pick, I might use my thumb. When I do play my acoustic I prefer a little flimsy nylon pick, seems to be very forgiving. But on electric, I find it too flimsy.

# 3
Full Access
Joined: 11/23/19
Posts: 426

Thanks guys for the good advice on string pressure and picks. I'll pick up some thinner ones next time I'm in store. That should help. [br]I'm almost done with first tutorial though still got to master some chord progressions, but I am looking forward to the second and seeing some of the other instructors. I'll take my time though and keep you abreast of my progress.

# 4