January 5, 2016 at 5:46 pm #1178
Happy New year too everyone. I made my new years resolution and I will share it with you. I am going to get some structure in my guitar practice. I hope you are not like me. In the past I have just jumped around and gone down all kinds of “guitar” roads. Kind of a “Jack of all trades and master of none”. But NO MORE. This year I’m going to get a plan and stick with it. If you are anything like me you have got aboard this internet “train” and found all kinds of things you’d like to play on a guitar. Well, take it from me, it don’t work that way. Got to settle down and follow a plan.
So, I dug up a bunch of “practice” stuff that I had downloaded over the past two years, sifted through it, and built me a practice routine That I’m going to stay with UNTIL I become really go at some part of it. Then I’ll add something new and continue forward. So if you think this will help you , go for it. I’ll check back and let you know how I’m doing. See ya’ll. Mr. Nick
January 6, 2016 at 8:38 pm #1179
I’m with ya, Mr. Nick.
I have a tendency to jump around in my practice routine. But starting this month, I’m going through the various lessons / programs I’ve taken starting at the beginning of each.
I’ve also taken stock in what I know or can do well and what I’m not so good at.
My self assessment tells me I know basic music theory; I know how to form the 10 common open chords and I can play barre chords.
But my weaknesses are rhythm, finger picking and playing lead / licks.
I’ve gone through 18 of 35 video lessons on rhythm and I’m doing some improvising using the pentatonic scale. I’m also practicing a few picking patterns every day.
Of course I have to throw in playing along with my favorite songs into my practice routine as that’s what makes me happy.January 6, 2016 at 8:40 pm #1180
And one more thing; I’m using the metronome as part of my practice routine every day (not just once in a while as I did before).January 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm #1181
Good for you Bill. I just made myself a note to get out my metronome more, that’s one tool I don’t use as much as I need too. You mentions Barr chords. That is a sore subject with me, literately, it really hurts the side of my index finger not to mention not being able to reach those 2 to 6 frets. How many Barr chords are there? Or maybe a better question would be, How many positions are there for Barr chords. If you don’t mind give me a breakdown on making Barr chords, starting with easy(No such chord) to the more complicated. I’ll make myself start practicing them. I thought I found a way around them a while back. Closed chords and finger picking. On paper it looks like it will work but the finger picking has got me bogged down. So I just decided to bite the bullet and learn Barr. As always, thanks for your help. OH yea, If you see Jonathan out there, tell him we don’t mind if he wants to chime in once in a while. NickJanuary 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm #1182
Learning the shapes for the barre chords is easy. And if you know your notes on the 6th and 5th strings, then you’re good to go.
The barre chords are based off of the E and A shapes (not the fingering, but the shapes). So if you know the shapes for E Em and E7 along with A, Am and A7, then you can barre all over the neck.
Start with the E major shape. That shape will let you play every major chord using the 6th string as the root.
So using the traditional E fingering, the 6th string is open, so you’re paying an E.
Now using the same shape, play the chord with fingers 2, 3 and 4. Still an E, obviously.
Now slide that fingering up the neck (away from the nut) one half step. Lay your first finger across all six strings above the other three fingers. You’re fretting the F on strings 6 and 1. So you are playing an F major (using that E shape with a barre).
Slide everything up one fret, now you’re playing an F#. Another fret, you’re making a G. Another fret, you’re making a G#, another fret, you’re making an A. Another fret, you’re making an A#, another fret, you’re making a B. Another fret, you’re making a C. Another fret, you’re making a C#. Another fret, you’re making a D. Another fret, you’re making a D#. Another fret, you’re making an E again. You should be at the double dots on the neck.
So one shape, you played every major chord in the diatonic scale. Super cool. But not easy to get the fingering.
The same works for the Em and E7 shapes. Just throw the barre across and move up the neck to play every minor and 7th chord.
But you have to do the same with the A shape, which is the harder barre chord to make. The root is on the 5th string. You use the A, Am and A7 shapes with the first finger making the barre. Actually the minor and 7th shapes are not hard, But the A major shape can be a challenge. You have to get your 3rd finger to press down on strings 4, 3 and 2. Your first finger takes care of the root note on the 5th string and it holds down the 1st (skinny) string.
It can be done! Work on the F barre chord. It is the most useful. Once you have that one, the Em and E7 barre chords are easy.
Then learn the B major. It’s a bitch. But once you have it, all the other A barre chords are a piece of cake.
Using barre chords to play songs in the 1, 4, 5 pattern is really cool. And using barre chords to play all the chords (except the diminished) in each key is an easy pattern to learn. But you have to start with the basic barre chord.
Good luck. It is worth the effort, IMO.
BillJanuary 9, 2016 at 9:46 pm #1183
Correction. I said you can paly every major chord in the diatonic scale with the E shape. Actually you can play every chord in the chromatic scale (12 of them).January 11, 2016 at 11:12 pm #1185
You make it sound simple. It’s the finger contortion that gives me fits, but I’m going to work on it until I can get it. Oh yes, I wanted to tell you, I gave up on trying to master a strumming pattern. I tried several and I just couldn’t get a rhythm going with them. They wanted me to strum up, down, skip, back up, skip, down, etc. Just couldn’t get it to work. Now I sing my songs and strum what ever feels right. This way I maintain my own rhythm and play what I feel. Of course all I care about playing is older country songs but it WORKS(for me).I even throw in a few upward picks when I feel like it. It serves a purpose for now and as I told you my ultimate goal is “chord melody” or finger picking up the fret board chords. Good luck on your end.
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