Learning the Guitar, Pt 3

We’re into mid/late June and I can now play the basic ‘F’ chord pretty consistently and at a more reasonable speed. I took my Yamaha acoustic guitar into Long & McQuade and had them throw on a new set of strings and change the angle of the neck so that the strings are closer to the fretboard. Made it a lot easier to play.
In the meantime, I’m experimenting with different ways to play the ‘A’ chord, so I’m not quite there yet on this chord. I really do have to wonder why Justinguitar used the A chord so early in his course. It’s not a real easy chord. Otherwise things are pretty reasonable with the basic 13 chords. As for strumming, I’m OK with basic strum patterns, simple up strum’s as well as some basic ties. Am trying to get that all in time with a metronome as well, so it’s a work in progress.

My guitar teacher is trying to teach me the strum patterns for “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, but I think that’s a bit advanced for me. I like to see a gradual build up of skill sets. Currently, my practice consists of:

  • Quick chord changes
  • Chord progressions
  • Chord progressions with strumming patterns
  • Fretboard exercises (up and down the fretboard)
  • Different finger picking patterns, with different chords

I’m still really weak on recognizing the notes for the 5th and 6th strings and still pluck the wrong string quite a lot, but at least my confidence level with strumming and basic chord changes has increased significantly in the past few weeks.

Oh, and for picks, I use very lightweight nylon picks when strumming and a slightly thicker pick when plucking notes. Of course, finger style is pick free.

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