Poor me. Crying in my beer

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Jelly Roll Horton, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Gretschie

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I try to practice two hours a day. That’s been my goal since autumn 2016, when I bought my first electric guitar, after some 40 years (!) of playing acoustic. Transitioning to electric has been much more difficult than I expected. I was surprised that very little of what I knew translated to the electric environment. I started taking lessons, trying to find a teacher who would/could show me the basics of rock and roll roots: Scotty Moore, Cliff Gallup, James Burton, Sonny Curtis, and such masters. After about six teachers and two years, I found one pretty close to what I thought I need.

    But I am largely discouraged by my very slow progress. I still practice about 2 hrs a day, but it is becoming less enjoyable, to the point that I think I am never going to advance, and I’m about ready to set it aside. At least for a while. I have a beautiful 5422 that I will never sell, but I find myself returning to my D-18 more frequently.

    OK, poor me; enough crying in my beer. I’m sure others have gone through this kind of slump. What did you do? Any suggestions for lighting the fire again? :cool::oops::rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    BOBP likes this.
  2. mschafft

    mschafft Gretschie

    Jan 19, 2017
    Take a break. Knowledge needs to sink in. Congrats on your effort!
  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Do you play with anybody? If no have your teacher connect you with someone similar in skill.

    If you are focusing on guitar and music fundamentals in practice, do something different like learn a song you like from beginning to end complete with an intro and outro.

    If on the other hand you are just learning songs, again, break the mold, delve into music theory

    Change it up, practice for shorter periods.

    And......if you decide to take a break from guitar there is nothing wrong with that.

    Last comment, if you are like me, not someone gifted who picks things like guitar up quickly, but must really work at it, then do what I did. Accept your learning style and learn to enjoy the struggle and forget thinking about where you are going with guitar. Enjoy where you are with the guitar right now.

    Good luck
  4. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Don't worry : it takes time... Go slowly, if needed !
    But if you are tired or discouraged, then take a break, or play what you like.
    It must never be a stress to you !

    But it's me, OK ? :D
  5. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    ... and remember: no matter how low your skillset may be, you could always play The Ramones! :)
    aiabx, Alberta_Slim, new6659 and 7 others like this.
  6. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Thank goodness , another Martin guy . Don't worry , I'm more of an acoustic player myself but do love electric . Try som acoustic artist songs on the electric like Neil Young stuff or CSNY
  7. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I’m with @radd about playing with other folks and learning songs. I play alone everyday for a little while, but I live for band practice a few times a week. The only thing I love more than practice is when we’re recording or on a stage in front of an audience. The only reason I’ve been playing music obsessively since I was a kid was to rock n’ roll in a band with other awesome people.

    Not saying anyone NEEDS to be in a band, BUT jamming with other people is an experience you won’t wanna miss. Even if you just play a 12 bar blues for 90 minutes taking turns with the rhythm and the leads. It definitely makes playing guitar more fun.

    Also, i’m with @stiv..... perfect your power chords and learn Rocket to Russia album by the Ramones!
  8. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    Also if you're really wanting to play Rockabilly and can't find a local teacher with the chops, you could do a lot worse than taking Randy Richter's Udemy Courses. His course 'Rockabilly Guitar for Beginners' isn't aimed at beginners to guitar, more for beginners to rockabilly guitar. He plays in a '50s rockabilly band and has even played with Glen Glenn! Check him out here:

    Also today is the last day of Udemy's New Year sale so you can pick up all three of his courses for $9.99 instead of $29.99 each. You get lifetime access to the courses as well, so once you sign up for one, it's yours forever.
  9. JHowdy

    JHowdy Country Gent

    Nov 16, 2013
    He's no beginner for sure. Sounded great and that (non-educational) video gave me something to think about :).
    Lionpotato, drmilktruck and Yukimajo like this.
  10. JHowdy

    JHowdy Country Gent

    Nov 16, 2013
    Like some others said already, play with someone, don't just practise to be that master. Enjoy playing. You'll find out that you can do music with your present skills, too. That doesn't mean that you'd have to give up the learning process, it's just good to go loose and use your skills in practise. If you can't find anyone to play with, then at least play along with your records, youtube or what ever.
  11. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Get in a band immediately.
  12. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Suggest you take a break and try again. You’ve probably advanced more than you realize. Also, perhaps you are simply happier playing acoustic and that would be okay too. We are what we are, I tried to play fast for years......I can’t and had to get over it. Best of luck and I am sure it will all work out well.
  13. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    I think sometimes it’s like a pressure cooker. You take in information.......you play.....you watch videos and listen to music........nothings happening, your playing is on the same level.......but you take in more information, watch more videos, listen to more music......keep playing.......feels like it’s going nowhere..........info keeps building and building..........then one day BOOM!!! You jump up a level..........then you start over. Repeat.

    It’s a lot of peaks and plateau’s. I think we all feel that way.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    BOBP, Alberta_Slim, Bertotti and 9 others like this.
  14. LA Miles

    LA Miles Country Gent

    Dec 6, 2012
    I'm sure your skill set is beyond what you suspect and I'm sure TSims1 is right too - I've noticed it in various aspects of life - you think nothing is happening and all of a sudden you make a leap in your ability.

    I second the Randy Richter lessons, I bought a course and easily worth the $. You are obviously very dedicated - maybe drop the in-person lessons and try online options to mix things up. Good luck.
    Jelly Roll Horton and Yukimajo like this.
  15. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    I agree with Tony. When I first started, I was taught a few chords, and had to figure out how to play then cleanly, how to move cleanly from one chord to another . . . and how to strum . . . all at the same time! I was doing this while I was in seminary, studying most of the day. Well after 6 months I didn't see much progress - strumming and forming the chords was doing fine, but I still couldn't move cleanly from one chord to another. I just figured I had a stupid left hand, and I would never learn to play the guitar. "Something" made me decide to give it just one more day before giving up. Call it God, or intuition, whatever you prefer, but in the one day, my left hand suddenly got smart, and I've been playing ever since.

    All my practicing since those early days on the guitar have been the same. I put in a lot of time practicing, and seemingly get nothing but frustration out of it for quite a while. Then all of a sudden I am suddenly doing what I'd been practicing. Knowing that this is how it goes for me makes it easier, and over time the frustrating part gets shorter, because I am building skill on skill now.

    Hang in there Jelly Roll Horton!
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  16. johnny g

    johnny g Synchromatic

    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    Don't sell yourself short. I believe playing great guitar is a gift. You have it are you don't. But hard work and practice will make you better.
    Don't give up. We need more guitar players not less.
    TSims1 and Jelly Roll Horton like this.
  17. dilver

    dilver Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2009
    One of the hardest parts of playing guitar is that it quickly goes from "this is going to be great and it's really fun!"... to "wow, I'm really terrible". Take hear in that if you can tell that you're really terrible, it means you have the ability to get better at it, and (most importantly) everyone hits plateaus where the progress comes slowly. As Tony put it, you'll just reach a point one day where something you've been working on kinda clicks. It'll happen - just be patient and keep at it.
  18. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    As it has been said----play with others!
    Even showing basics to a beginner can be informative to you. I think that the interaction with others is what helps.
    Also, doing something else for awhile might help. Try a different style of music or a different type of instrument.
    Variety is the spice of life. Most of all, have fun.
  19. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Synchromatic

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Hang in there. Remember you do it because you love it. I would suggest cut your practice time down a bit. Split your practice time. Start with playing something that you enjoy to get you in the spirit.
    Then spend some time on the new stuff. Don't over practice the same bit. It will bore you and kill you spirit.
    Once you begin to feel that frustration put it down or pause and play something enjoyable. You are not a rookie. You have been playing for years and know that this is an expansion if your already compitant musical knowledge. It takes time to get your hands and mindset accustomed to this new way of playing
    View it as an expansion of what you already do Don't become discouraged. Forge through. You will be happy with the results. Give it time and work. It's like all things. From crawling to walking, jogging, running and finally flying.
  20. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Looks like the New Years sale was extended and 15 hours left.

    Randy’s great for learning original rockabilly for those that may struggle learning songs by ear. He usually posts a new YouTube video almost weekly for free. But it’s usually the just the original solo’s. I feel he’s one of the more accurate one’s out there.
    5120mantis and Yukimajo like this.
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