not progressing with acoustic :(

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Joined: 08/25/22
Posts: 2

I've had my acoustic guitar now for about 2 years. before autumn 22 I learned from youtube and 'Your guitar academy' free lessons. All i hear around me is that you should keep practise sessions short, but frequent and that's what I've been doing really.  

However, now that I look at my progress I have to say I'm not pleased. I don't mind that I'm still playing open chords since, there is a lot you can play with them, but my chord changes are still s**t and playing along a beginner tune I have to play it at 0,75x speed and still it's s***t.  The F chord is totally out of the question, no matter which way I try to play it, and it makes a total mess of whatever beginner song I would tackle. 

After everything that I just said, it may sound crazy, but what do you guys thing about buyng an electric guitar in this situation? I listen to rock mainly and the idea all along has been to buy an electric. I was thinking that perhaps by learning some power chords (easier??)  and actually procucing some meaningful sounds, I would keep up my motivation and maybe have some fun for a change...

Sorry for the depressing post and thanks in advance for any advice.




# 1
Drake the Red
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Joined: 10/12/11
Posts: 344

It could be that you're just incompatible with the size of the acoustic body and fretboard of the guitar you bought. Some classical/acoustics are larger than others (Dreadnought.) The ultra-wide fretboards on some these guitar types can make chords seems really hard (harder) for beginners to learn.

I agree that maybe you should switch to an electric. The fretboard spaces are thinner than acoustic and chord-beginner friendly. The techniques are all the same on the basics and you mentioned you enjoy listening to rock, anyway. A natural progression, wahoo!

You can always return to an Acoustic when you gain a little more expertise. No harm in identifying weaknesses so you can build on them to become a better player!

And don't forget the importance of metronome/backing track practice.



Am I the only one who plays multiple instruments? Let's be inspirational and find our muses everyday!

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

I think you need to find an instrument that you want to play. Fighting the guitar is no fun. If are close to a well stocked music store it would be worth your time to go in and play a variety of guitars. Electric is by far the easiest guitar to play - low string tension and low action being the main differences you will notice. 

And while I don't like suggesting particular gear, in this case I will. Try an Ibanez Gio Mikro guitar. It's overlooked as a kids guitar but shouldn't be. It's hands down a rock machine that is super easy to play. It makes a great guitar to start with.

# 3
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Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 339

I'm in a very similar position and timeframe to yourself . I started with an inexpensive fender squire electric and a small orange practice amp with headphones to ensure silent practice.  Then an inexpensive acoustic. Then a better parlour acoustic, very nice to play but unsurprisingly those dratted  chord changes didn't speed up. A better electric followed and another with a better practice amp. I stopped attempting to learn songs until I could get my changes better. I can now keep up with a couple of slower songs. Ed Sheeran  ,Perfect 75bpm.Stones Little Red Rooster Creedance and Sweet Home Alamamha in parts. I am now doing more, even parts of any songs after reading someone on the forum who advised breaking songs down in to parts you can accomplish so we are practicing skills away from scales and patterns eventually sticking with each song a little longer piece by piece . Undoubtedly electric is easier for fretting and some chord stretches but the manipulating between chords is much of a muchness. We are where we are and we do expect too much of ourselves. After 2 years consider any purchase of an electric set up as a just reward for keeping going and a useful motivation to yourself.  Main point is to keep persevering in our punishment/fun hobby.

p.s. I have just started private lessons with a local tutor. He was very complimentary about the foundation skills I have acquired from my GT lessons. 

Dave L

# 4
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,009

Sorry for your frustration.  Sounds like you need to do focused drills on chord changes until they are second nature.  The time it takes varies by individual student.  But the same thing has to happen.  You have to do enough repetitious practice on any given physical motion until it becomes completely automated.  Organize your open chords into groups & drill them as changes.  Don't strum them in time, don't play them as a song.  Do this:

Play one chord (C major, for example), strum it once to make sure you've got it sounding good.  Stop.

Play a different chord (G major, for example), again, strum it once to make sure you've got it sounding good.  Stop.


Do that for an entire practice session.  Do that mixing & matching all the open chords you know.

Until you can do those changes smoothly & naturally you aren't going to be able to play them in time in a song.  After you can play those changes quickly & smoothly, then you can start to work on strumming them in time to play a song. 

"All i hear around me is that you should keep practise sessions short, but frequent and that's what I've been doing really."

How short?  That strategy is fine as long as you are getting enough repetitious practice to automate the physical motions.  Practicing an hour is better than 10 minutes.  Especially if you are practicing effectively.  Playing more is always better than less, as long as you avoid physical injury.

"After everything that I just said, it may sound crazy, but what do you guys thing about buyng an electric guitar in this situation?"

Playing an electric guitar is often easier because of the smaller size, lighter strings & lower action.  But it's not going to replace hours of repetitious practice.  :)  That part is required regardless of the instrument you play.  Go to a local music store & try a bunch of guitars to see which one is affordable & feels good in your hands.

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 5
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Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,602

Just adding to what Chris said as that's exactly true; you gotta put in the work and time.

However, acoustic is 'harder' to play than electric. If you're an experienced player, you simply adjust to the instrument that you're playing. As a beginner or early in playing experience, it's a much bigger thing. Learning guitar already brings its own set of challenges, finding an instrument that's easier to play will make you want to put in the time and 'work'. To be honest, when you enjoy playing, it ain't work.

Because you want to play rock styles and you have played enough to know that you want to continue to grow, the jump to electric is not a bad decision. Easier and it aligns with where you want to go anyway.

Unless you're wealthy (and I figure most of us here ain't), set a budget for a guitar and even a small amp. You can get a lot of guitar without spending $2500 on a Gibson Les Paul...that problem comes later  😎   

# 6
Rumble Walrus
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Joined: 12/30/20
Posts: 344

Stay with it Fender Bender.  We're all with you.

# 7
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Joined: 10/22/20
Posts: 12

 I feel your pain, I bought my guitar 5 years ago and got frustrated and set it down. I picked it up again two years ago and have been making very slow but noticable progress. The way I look at it I have no deadline on how good I should be at a certine point, I would just be wasting my time if I was'nt messing with my guitar. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself. On the F cord, I can not do the open F most people do either. I do a bar fcord much better and easier for me.

 Anyway stick with it!

# 8