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Guitar playing advice. I'm having trouble!

spacerobotspacerobot Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I have been playing the guitar for maybe three months now. I typically practice for maybe an hour a day, but usually less. I'm really not very good yet, and I need help rather quickly.

I was recently recruited to play the guitar for my swearing-in ceremony in the Peace Corps (I was told, not asked). Not only will there be people there, but important people, such as the Prime Minister and Governor General of the country I'm living in. Oh yeah, it's going to be televised too. soooo, can anyone offer me some advice?

I only have to play the following chords for three songs: C, F, G7, Am, and D (once). I'm able to do C, G7, and the D without a problem, but my F and Am suck. First off, I am having trouble switching between chords, and when I hit F and Am I always get lots of metallic twangy sounds.

I'm practicing as much as I can, but I'm still worried I'll suck when it comes time to play. Help!

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    SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    Accuracy first, speed second. Make sure you can finger the chords properly, and then move on to the next chord and finger it properly. Then practice on moving from chord to chord.

    Emphasis on proper fingering. I'd check online for pics on how to play chords to make sure you're not getting a finger stuck somewhere.

    Sheep on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Fuck the technical stuff -- focus on playing the songs you have to play, at tempo, exclusively. Afterwards, work on the chords you're not good at, and general technical stuff. For now, you need to be able to play what you'll be playing at the event, and that's pretty much it.

    Do any of the songs you're supposed to play include an F or Am chord?

    EggyToast on
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    KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    How are you doing Am? It's a pretty easy chord if you do it 002210. F is the only barre chord there, and you can even make it a little easier by doing it xx3211 or x03211(I learned it this way, just play C, move your middle and ring fingers down two strings but in the same position and flatten out your index finger to cover both strings) If it's just guitar and no one else playing then you might want to do the more full versions with the Barre chords and any wonky bass notes, but if you're playing with other people you can fake chords a lot more easily and be just fine.

    Also, yeah, do some exercises to strengthen your grip if you have those little hand things, that'll help. Also, just keep playing through the chords. Try just putting them in random-ish orders and just playing some picking pattern over them

    And finally, practice practice practice practice.

    As for sucking when it comes time to play, I once turned two pages as though they were one, and then realized halfway through a measure that I had turned the pages wrong, flipped back, couldn't find where I was, and it took a good 4 measures for me to get back on. The vocalist noticed and no one else did. Keep in mind that for the most part audiences don't know how the music goes before they hear it, so relax.

    Khavall on
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    spacerobotspacerobot Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    How are you doing Am? It's a pretty easy chord if you do it 002210. F is the only barre chord there, and you can even make it a little easier by doing it xx3211 or x03211(I learned it this way, just play C, move your middle and ring fingers down two strings but in the same position and flatten out your index finger to cover both strings) If it's just guitar and no one else playing then you might want to do the more full versions with the Barre chords and any wonky bass notes, but if you're playing with other people you can fake chords a lot more easily and be just fine.

    I am doing Am 002210 and F as xx3211, but on the F my index finger has trouble keeping the strings down enough to make a solid sound.

    There will be the rest of my group singing along with my playing, which will take a lot of pressure off of me. The songs themselves are very easy, I just play quarter notes, plucking the lowest note then playing the rest of the chords for the other 3 notes. But I still want to do well even for that.

    As for the Am, the main problem (other than switching fast enough) is that my fingers barely touch the other strings, making it sound not so hot, so when i adjust my hand so they don't do that, it's difficult for me to get to the next chord quickly. I suppose that's something that only practice can fix.

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    garroad_rangarroad_ran Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Sheep wrote: »
    Accuracy first, speed second.



    Slow down, go further.

    If you want, post a video of you playing these things so we can give you more specific pointers.

    garroad_ran on
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