Hello from Spring Grove, Illinois

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Joined: 01/16/23
Posts: 1

Hi all!

I am new to Guitar Tricks as of yesterday. I have wanted to play the guitar for years, but two things got in my way: 1) lack of belief that I can learn something musical that looks so complicated, and 2) Failures from past attempts to learn that I didn't give the necessary commitment. So I come here hoping this time is different. I still struggle with the first block, even after completing the first three lessons out here today. The instructor makes it look so effortless, and I feel like Elaine dancing in Seinfeld. 

I don't know how the forums are used, but I figured I'd at least say hi and document the blocks to success I am aware of from my past efforts. Perhaps reading this someday I'll see that I have overcome them both and can call myself a guitar player. :-)


# 1
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Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,602

1) Until a couple of years ago, I lived in Huntley IL. Not exactly next door but in the 'neighborhood'. I do miss the IL area but I really lile my GA taxes!

2) Complicated...The good news, when learning the guitar, you will always be learning with guitar. The better news is; you don't need to learn it all now. I've been teaching my wife and she felt the same until I broke it down a little. The Guitar Tricks program helps with that a lot by walking you slowly in to playing. I told my wife that if you know the 'Cowboy' (open) chords and the pentatonic scale, you can play 75% of most songs on the radio. I would not quote my actual percentage though. The point being is that it seems overwhelming until you start making the small, first steps. If uyou start with bebop jazz, that's complicated but I assume you're not trying to tackle to tough stuff first. The meat and potatos of playing are not that scary.

3) Failures...Sure, when you feel commitment waning, failure may happen. You seem to keep trying. So I think you really are motivated to play but the right pathway to success has not been available to you. Hopefully Guitar Tricks will do that. Coming here and asking people of all skills about points of frustration, it helps. You have people exactly where your at, a few steps down the road, experienced (like me) and the best part; instructors like Chris are often answering stuff.

4) The 'Elaine effect...Well, true. Set a realistic expectation. Let's say you're right handed and you decide you want to throw a ball left handed. Do you think you will be able to throw lefty as well as with the right immediately? Nope. You wouldn't expect that and would know that you'd need to practice that skill. Guitar playing is a new skill to you.

Don't watch an expert (instructor) feeling dejected. They're the expert. I watch a legendary guitar player and say 'man, I sooo cannot do that'. However, they're a pro and I'm not and they spent their life getting better. I've become a solid player from years of doing it but no one's callin' be a legend. Adjust your mental viewfinder accordingly. At first you're gonna stumble but take your small victories as victories. Those small victories at the beginning are everything.

4) Forums...I kniow I mented above but it's a good place to get help. It's an intenet phone-a-friend. Document progress too. There aren't a million people on the boards but the regular group of varying level are pretty useful when you need it.

Lastly, best of luck and you can do it.

# 2
Rumble Walrus
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Joined: 12/30/20
Posts: 344

Welcome Ron!

# 3
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Joined: 01/22/23
Posts: 4

I am right there with you, Bro. Have "started" several times over the past 10 years and not stuck with it. I ain't gettin' any younger (63) and it is time to commit to it. I wish you success!




# 4
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,435

If it encourages you Ron, I learned how to play a song at the age of 56 - with the guitar I bought when I was 17! Doesn't matter how you got here, keep practicing and be patient. If frustration gets to you come back to the board for some encouragement.

Good luck.

# 5
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Joined: 10/19/15
Posts: 57

Just take one section of the lesson at a time until you can play it correctly. Then move to the next section. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to learn the sections and put them together. I learned Wild Horses that way.

         Good luck!

Blakeney from North Carolina.

# 6
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 3,841

Hi Ron,

Congratulations on joining GuitarTricks and getting back to your desire to learn to play. It WILL happen!

And it is perfectly normal and totally to be expected - that we will feel like Elaine on the dance floor (this gave me a good 😂) at times, most especially in the beginning!

Don't forget, every one of the instructors here, and every skilled musician, each had their 'Elaine' periods. None of us were born knowing how to play the guitar! 

Take it real slow. Know that it takes time and LOTS OF REPETITION to learn a new physical skill - but once it begins to bake into your physical memory, then it becomes something you can count on, and build forward from. 

Slow and steady wins. Have fun! - Lisa

Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

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# 7