Are you stuck like me?

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Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:48 am

Hey from Canada,

I'm one of those guitar players that Neil described in the 'webinar'. Intermediate player- can play ok but not great. I can play a bit of a lot of songs- but never get the WHOLE SONG DOWN! Forget about actually singing at the same time!!

I'm hoping this site will help me change that. I'm impressed so far..
Thanks Neil and keep the vids coming!


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Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:59 am

You and I are in the exact same boat. I am really hoping this will help get me over that next hump.

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Sat May 02, 2009 6:21 am

I also have the same problem. I play lots of partial songs. Rarely do I play an entire song. I have 2 thoughts as to why, that I'd like to throw out for discussion: (1) Could it be that those who have this problem (intermediate players who don't play complete songs) aren't singers? Maybe we don't play entire songs because most of them were "vocal" songs to begin with and just a single guitar doesn't quite "make it right". So my question here is, "Are there many intermediate players who don't play complete songs who ARE singers?".... and (2) Maybe our problem is that we really aren't as good as we think we are. Sure we are better than beginner guitar players and we can quickly pick out a catchy riff or strum the chords with the proper rhythm, but when the next part of the song is not so easy or not so obvious or is actually a little difficult, rather than working to get it right, we just give up. Maybe if we were better players we wouldn't find these parts difficult. What do you all think?

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Sat May 02, 2009 10:11 pm

I would like to have that natural talent to just pick up the guitar and play, but since I don't. I just say to myself (if it was easy everybody would do it). I just had to make up my mind to complete a song. Focus and practice, practice, practice works for me.

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Sun May 03, 2009 6:45 am

Thanks for the comments..

Re. ffsooo3- I don't think I only play partial songs because I can't sing. I'm actually not a bad singer. I just find it tough to keep a steady steady strum and keep the chords/lyrics going as well. Neil touched on this (in his webinar, I think), where he talked about intermediate players that can play some pretty complex stuff- but never got down the basics (strumming/picking etc).

I have gone back to the beginner lessons in the TARGET program and am finding stuff in there that I'm sure will help my playing.

Bottom line is I(we) just have to practice, I guess. (and not just play the parts we KNOW)

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Mon May 04, 2009 12:32 am

Well sure given that TARGET is a new program to all of us, you should as I am doing go back over the introductory lessons. For who knows what Niel might stick in there that someone else might not. Niel also is very detailed in his explainations of anything. So in the details new information about a familar subject can be found.

Talent to just pick up a guitar and play it...nobody starts out like that. Tommy Emmanuel didn't start like that. He played for 20 years before anyone knew who he was. I am sure Niel will tell you the same. It takes work. I think one thing that happens to intermediate players is they get side tracked. They learn a pick of this which sounds good and a piece of that but they don't play it all the way through.

From this I take a quote from Tommy Emmanuel, when you are learning a song play that song and nothing else. Play it until you can play it all the way through. Play it until you can play it and watch tv. When you get that point, you can put feeling into the song without struggling to hit the notes. They will be there.

Yes I am personally still on song number 1. But I can play it all the way through. Still working on the playing it while watching tv. Heck I would like to play it while blindfolded. I tried that a time or is rough.

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Tue May 05, 2009 2:37 am

Inclined to agree with Quincey.
Distraction and one more thing, boredom.
The notion that you know how to play the piece, so there is no point learning it right through often presents itself.
Not everyone can be in, or even wants to be in a band, but there is noting like that type of pressure to make you learn songs, and pretty damned quick.

Something I learned about myself long time ago. If I knew the words, it was always easier to learn to play the song all the way through.

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Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:50 am

Thought I'd give y'all an update on my original post.

It's been a little over a month and I'm finally finishing songs!!

Here's a partial list of tunes that I'm able to play all the way through (and I'm not embarrassed to play them in front of others!).

Lucky Man (of course)
House of the Rising Sun
Brain Damage
Needle & Damage Done (already pretty much knew that one)
Cinnamon Girl
Norwegian Wood
Here Comes the Sun (although I'm waiting for the full lesson on Target)

Funny thing is I find figerpicking easier than strumming. Don't know if that's weird or not but oh well. Having a blast! Will try to upload a vid at some point..

Many thanks Neil!

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Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:00 am

That is me also...:blink:

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Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:44 am

I had no idea so many people shared the same problems I do when playing the guitar. I can't remember a song for squat probably because I never play it all the way through. If I get the intro and the first verse or two sounding okay I'm bouncing off to learn the next cool song. That's Neil's fault for providing so many cool songs that I always wanted to learn! LOL!

Like Lefty suggested boredom plays a big role. If you are just playing vs. performing for someone else there is no pressure to play all the way through. Plus, I only have so much practice time and I've got enough to learn to take full days not an hour or two.

But the singer idea has merit, too. I try to sing to all my songs because singing seems to give the song purpose. I'd never call myself a "singer" but singing while playing is what so many of us old folk singers aspire to.

Thank you all for pointing out that misery does indeed have company!!

Happy Playin'

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