Few things i wanted to ask (that you may all laugh about)

E.X

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Barely a month 'old', so.. been reading and searching and asking a lot, have kept what makes sense, bought a good number of "beginner" books (there's never the one perfect teacher), sure watch the usual 'learner' youtube channels. Typical watch/hear, distill and adapt process.
Am already seeing progress, developed some methodology in as far as how to practice, when to take a break, etc. etc. That, needless to say, am sure will change and evolve a million times over. But i've some questions you'd normally need a teacher to ask i guess, so.. here goes.

In no particular order;

1) (am right-handed) i'm having issues with my left thumb movement over the back of the neck. It doesn't move fast enough as there's friction involved. In the long run, this results to one of two alternatives:
- i'm reaching further and further with my 4 fingers (because thumb is anchored in its original position) which can only take me thus far, be it because i can't reach further or because i tire faster
- i need lift thumb and re-position it, which takes time and messes up the tempo, as i need first reposition it and then move the fingers to form chords again.

Is there anything basic i'm missing, some trick you may be employing, or is it just lack of practice? Am trying to learn right, not learn fast, ie if any bad habits, i'd rather never get used to them

2) Everybody will show you how to position your left, strum or hold a pick. What no one's told me is what angle should the neck have in relation to my body (i play sitting).

How far.. forward/away from you do you extent the neck and does it matter in any way? I currently have it just far enough from me to be able to move my wrist all the way up to the joint.
But now that i know what to keep an eye out for, i notice most folks when sitting, their neck is really extended, like 50 or more degrees outwards. What gives?

3) Got an average Chinese Cherub metronome that does the job right, but its 'beat' sound makes me consider lobotomy. Want to purchase a better one and i'm currently split between the two:
or

I'd prefer the Wittner because old school, plus no batteries or power chords, but i thought i'd ask first. Do i need all the extra stuff from the Korg? Pretend i won't stop, will continue evolving, etc. Wouldn't want to buy a metronome three times over, so let's make this second one the last

Appreciate your reading :)
(and apologies for the inane questions)
 
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Brek

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You will tire, no way round that, some necks are sticky and you can do something about that, as you are new to playing what I would say is technique, master it. Forget trying to play faster etc. It’s about control, of your fingers and the strings, the electric guitar is unforgiving of sloppy technique, I know because I’ve had it for years, because I never had a teacher, I learnt before the internet was a thing, from songbooks, which showed you the notes and nothing else. So I never learnt to control string noise, sympathetic vibrations, now I have come back to the guitar later life it’s a slow process, and if I miss a couple of days prwctice like I did this week, I feel like I regress 2 months. As for posture etc and teacher might be a good investment for a few lessons.
 

BadPenguin

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Don't get hung up on speed. That will come over time. Worry about precision. As you become more precise, the speed will naturally come.
About the thumb: Sounds to me as if you have a death grip on the neck. Relax, the guitar is not going to kill you, so relax your grip. Imagine a thin line along the back of your neck, right down the middle. put your thumb there, and think of it as a pivot point for your hand. Now, lets go to about where the G is on the low E string. (3rd fret) Thumb along the line, fingers should be able to reach 4 frets without any stress or strain on the thumb. To get to the thinner strings, the thumb pivots. See no pain.
Sit in your comfy chair and place the guitar between your legs, the curve resting on your left thigh, the back of the guitar against your inner right thigh. Angle the guitar until it feels... right. Only you will know what that is.
About the metronome.... whatever you want. Digital ones have the ability to do triplets, odd times, whatever. the wind up ones are traditional. whatever you feel you need, is right.
 
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E.X

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@Brek this COVID situation makes it impossible for the moment; getting proper lessons i mean. I've thus settled on looking at it this way, that by the time i can actually get some, i'll have proven to myself i should also deserve them, ie that it won't be for nothing, you know?
i appreciate the advice and your time by the way.

@BadPenguin am not gripping with the thumb at all, though it was a logical assumption, should have specified further.
It's more that i lose 'track' of my hand's placing on the board when i need lift the thumb/move my hand entirely; ie i've got to look down on the fretboard again. Found a good trick where applicable, if i got a finger needing to stay put i can use it as a 'mental' anchor, shift thumb position and re-position the remaining fingers just fine; but when i need to move everything.. :)
Will take your advice regarding the pivot point, hadn't thought of that. This isn't my first language, but if i got you right, i'm thinking dual compasses and drawing circles, my thumb being the center pinpoint of the circle drawn. Will try put that to practice, thanks man.
 

ehb

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What Freddy said. The more you practice, the more likely your thumb anchor will work itself out.

My big bro always preached to me, plant you thumb in the middle of where you are going to be playing... Conservation of movement and enrgy.... He also preached 'Play the damn frets, not the board. You won't get cramps or tired hand...Just enough energy to fret the notes...' Guitar height is where your wrists are the most straight and comfortable... Get a cheap easily adjustable strap and find the point. You'll know.... Then adjust your slot straps to match as close as possible... I play with a strap 100% of the time, whether standing or sitting... W I D E leather is the most comfortable and stable. It spreads the weight of the guitar across a much larger surface area....especially nice playing no-swiss'd Lesters...

You gotta figure out what works for YOU.. Nothing about how -> I <- play may be what works for you...
 

ehb

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I have a Snark digital metronome and love it... Does fine for me... If the wife is watching TV and it gets on her nerves, I turn it face down on my leather recliner arm... You can stick it in your pocket toward body, etc...

Everybody can benefit from practicing against a metronome.
Some really really NEED to practice against a metronome....
You CAN develop a hella internal clock from using one....
Metronome practice helps you to be able to count your way through a tough phrase.... I am a firm believer in being able to count through something you are learning.... Lots of stuff folks can play the notes but cannot play the rhythm because they can't count the beats... If you can count it, you can play it.... You can figure out what beat or fractional a note lands on with practice.... Takes work but pays off in gold....
 
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dspelman

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1) (am right-handed) i'm having issues with my left thumb movement over the back of the neck. It doesn't move fast enough as there's friction involved. In the long run, this results to one of two alternatives:
- i'm reaching further and further with my 4 fingers (because thumb is anchored in its original position) which can only take me thus far, be it because i can't reach further or because i tire faster
- i need lift thumb and re-position it, which takes time and messes up the tempo, as i need first reposition it and then move the fingers to form chords again.
Don't let your thumb get too anchored on the back of the neck. Pick it up and lay it down as necessary. You'll learn to do this pretty quickly as you prorgress. Watch a jazz player reposition to play complicated chord patterns. It comes with a whole lot of practice.
 
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dspelman

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If you've got a smart phone, you can download free apps for tuning, metronome and the like.
The old pyramid metronome with the sliding weight works pretty well, too.
 
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E.X

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Appreciate the replies guys;
(i don't have a smart phone; caveman and proud of it!)

Practice is a given, was more concerned about learning the wrong way (as in bad habbits i'd then need to break out of); that pivoting verb sure illustrated that, was actually making it harder on myself for no reason.
This damned COVID crap needs to end so i can drive my ass to a teacher.

Been barely over three weeks, but can already see progress. I can reach for everything i need now (i swear 'D' stands for d*ck in that chord), though i still tire pretty fast. Have a pretty bad left hand, multiple injuries during the army.
It's shocking what can happen if you really will it, you know?
I started doing all the exercises the physio instructor had given back then plus some i saw for classical guitarists, which definitely helped, but.. mostly stubborness. Which payed off :)

Really enjoying this, been something i wanted for many years. The guitar is really good too, much better than i 'deserve' at this point, but i wanted it so; you know, wanting to grab it just by looking at it.
Anyway, much obliged once again, will shut it now ^^
 

simon connor

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I've been playing for 40 years. I stopped taking lessons 25 years ago. After looking at what I've been doing during the first several months of lockdown, and concluding I've been basically wasting/killing time, I called up my old guitar teacher and started taking lessons again. I forgot about this part: having to meet with a teacher to demonstrate you have been working on something, is way more motivating than copying licks or scales or whatever from someone on YouTube. I'm not knocking youtube - I have learned many things using that source - my point is just that taking actual lessons is a very valid and compelling way to learn. Yes, it's expensive, but given how much time you (or I at least) end up putting in, I think it's totally worth it. I've been doing an hour lesson every two weeks, which gives me more time to integrate the material. I feel like my guitar playing is moving forward in a focused manner for the first time in ages.
 
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E.X

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I've been doing an hour lesson every two weeks, which gives me more time to integrate the material
That's kind of what i'm looking at, partly due to time limitations (need factor in driving to and fro), partly due to this being a hobby for me, don't want to insert any 'musts' into it. Being down that rabbit hole before :)
 

simon connor

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That's kind of what i'm looking at, partly due to time limitations (need factor in driving to and fro), partly due to this being a hobby for me, don't want to insert any 'musts' into it. Being down that rabbit hole before :)
I forgot to say, we do it on Zoom. It’s a little weird, but it does work.
 
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ErictheRed

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You just need to practice.

Also, try using good posture, like a classical guitarist would. Even if you insist on resting the guitar on your right thigh (if you're playing right handed), try propping your foot up with something like this:


It's one of the best ways that you can spend $10 as a guitar player. You won't use it all of the time, but when it's time to seriously practice, it helps.
 
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Rds

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Everybody's experience is different concerning playing the instrument. When I started it took a few weeks to strum a simple chord progression and change chords cleanly. As far as placement of hands, thumb, etc.. this will all come uniquely to you. Just keep playing. Just try to make clean notes and chords and you will get faster and more proficient as time goes. No one on the planet will play like you. I remember the first time I muffled through my first pentatonic scale without missing a note all clean notes, 30 yrs ago. Man was it cool. Good luck.
 
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ehb

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I use a strap...sitting or standing. Positional repeatability.
 

ArchEtech

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To repeat some good points.

Don’t focus on magic dust. It just takes time. Get a metronome or app and make sure you do exercises, specific repeatable exercises every day. Don’t get stuck noodling and being random all the time. That’s probably the hardest thing for me to quit doing because I just like to play, I don’t like the practice.

Little things like neck shape and scale, sticky vs not sticky, hand positions, how to hold a pick are all totally up to the player. Sure they may make a little difference but a crack player can make any guitar sound good. Everyone is almost always completely different. My option is if you practice, and use precision and smoothness over speed with a metronome the technique and speed reveals its self without thinking about it.

I’ve probably made more progress in the last year than the last 15, simply because I started treating practice like my gym workouts. I’m not a professional, so practice wasn’t part of my routine: I just like to noodle over backing tracks which is fun and good improv practice but you can end up being repetitive. Separate playing from practice and do both.
 

E.X

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Apologies for the belated reply, pleasantly busy :)

Appreciate the responses folks, happy to state am progressing. And not incidentally, i've adopted a number of things mentioned here.
Have also figured a lot out by myself, you do the same exercise over and over, it eventually dawns on you i guess.

Different can of worms now as i'm building my own amp, but thankfully that's a topic i know more than enough about, so you don't have to worry ^^
* minus a ready-made combo cabinet from Weber, everything's from scratch, my design; want something single-ended, responsive and detailed, proper clean, not Vox/Fender-like ""clean"", loads of headroom. Currently hunting for transformers, otherwise good to go.
** Having my personal stash of JAN tubes from back then helps a bit. If only i'd the space to hoard transformers too..
 
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