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Anyone having a hellish time learning an instrument?


PwnageSoldier

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PwnageSoldier

Hey guys! Just wanted to come check out if anyone had any nightmarish instruments theyre trying to learn. Personally Im learning the Alto Sax, and I have a hard time with playing lower notes because I always go up an octave lol. Its no biggie for sure, Ill eventually find out how

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My guitar has sat in a corner for a little over a year. My fingers refuse to cooperate and I don't care enough to make them.

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^ Got to stretch your fingers and wrists first before you start playing the guitar. After 20min of stretching play every note on the neck with all four fingers 0 1 2 3 4, next string 0 1 2 3 4, etc. That's why 90% of people quit playing guitar and it's a shame because once your fingers cooperate learning becomes a breeze. Usain Bolt doesn't just hop out of bed and instantly runs a 100m race, he stretches for hours.

 

As for the sax, I would love to learn how to play one. As with anything else in life you get what you put in, keep practicing man!

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The cello. I gave up in the end and played the clarinet.

^ Got to stretch your fingers and wrists first before you start playing the guitar. After 20min of stretching play every note on the neck with all four fingers 0 1 2 3 4, next string 0 1 2 3 4, etc. That's why 90% of people quit playing guitar and it's a shame because once your fingers cooperate learning becomes a breeze. Usain Bolt doesn't just hop out of bed and instantly runs a 100m race, he stretches for hours.

 

As for the sax, I would love to learn how to play one. As with anything else in life you get what you put in, keep practicing man!

 

gave up on that too cuz my pinky finger was too weak HAHA.

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It could just as well be an issue with the quality of the instrument itself. Too many times people give up on an instrument because the instrument they have is a hassle to play.

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PwnageSoldier

It could just as well be an issue with the quality of the instrument itself. Too many times people give up on an instrument because the instrument they have is a hassle to play.

Agreed. I had a reed once that was a bitch to use - turns out it was a little bent :/

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Have you had the sax looked at?

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AtomicDarling

I can sing... OR play guitar/ukulele.... I cannot for the freaking life of me do the two at the same time. I can play just fine until I start singing and then my strumming goes to sh*t.

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Well, I used to play guitar badly but recently I bought a mini MIDI controller to learn a few chords, to play around with and loop/produce etc. It's only 25 keys so it's not ideal to learn properly but I did try some chords and did learned some simple Boards of Canada (

) and simpler Kraftwerk (Autobahn). I find it difficult to figure out the best/most comfortable way to play chords. I figure I need to get at least a 49 key which I will do so I can attempt to learn with two hands and also just having the more standard size of keys will help me. It also has 6 pads so I'd like to try tapping out beats too. I never had good rhythm. I could recognize and enjoy good rhythm but in practice I was always atrocious.

 

I'm going to spend my time learning keyboard so I can make some ambient and electronic music. Currently working on some tracks for a concept album that's inspired by Fallout's post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Edited by Mister Pink
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Hey guys! Just wanted to come check out if anyone had any nightmarish instruments theyre trying to learn. Personally Im learning the Alto Sax, and I have a hard time with playing lower notes because I always go up an octave lol. Its no biggie for sure, Ill eventually find out how

Try blowing with hot air instead of cold air (like fogging up glass).

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  • 3 months later...
Arrows to Athens

Touched my acoustic guitar after a long time so I could actually learn to play it this time. What do ya know? One of the strings break as I'm tuning it.

 

Back in the corner, guitar.

Edited by Arrows to Athens
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I've been playing guitar for around 18 years, the first couple months were hell. The hurting fingertips and building calluses, the frustration of trying to be Jimi Hendrix within the first week. It sucked but eventually it became second nature and is very rewarding in the end.

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I can sing... OR play guitar/ukulele.... I cannot for the freaking life of me do the two at the same time. I can play just fine until I start singing and then my strumming goes to sh*t.

 

I'm basically the same way. The only exception is a Noise project that I have where I do early Anal c*nt style stuff with keyboards and vocals. But, that requires no skill. LOL BUT, if I wanted to do the same thing with a guitar instead of a keyboard, it wouldn't work at all.So, figure that one out.

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  • 5 months later...
Cutter De Blanc

I've f*cking sucked and hardly ever played any of my three guitars over the course of the 13 years I've been trying

 

I don't get any joy from playing it

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  • 1 month later...

I'm trying to teach myself trumpet, and I've concluded that it's a stupid instrument. But, I've come this far... 

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  • 2 months later...

Recently, I've picked up the guitar again. I haven't played in about 13 years. Even when I did play, I was awful. I was just teaching myself and picking up what I could from friends. I didn't have the patience to learn properly. I just wanted to try play Zeppelin and The Doors. I picked up some really bad playing habits and had huge lack of technique. Things like not playing with a plec, and never correctly developing my strumming. But that's kind of what happens when you are stubborn kid that just picks up his brothers guitar when he wasn't home. I'm also left-handed and play with a right-handed guitar, so I'm sure there was some challenge there. Although I don't know how much. I consider myself quite ambidextrous. 

 

Anyway, I recently picked up a very cheap and used strat. I have no amp. I did pick up a cable to try plug into my laptop. I managed to record into Audacity, albeit very badly. So it sat there for a few months collecting dust. Then I got a second wave of wanting to play. I'm producing some electronic music on my laptop but wanted to have some more "organic" instruments such as guitar for some nice chillout music I was going to make. I decided if I'm going to learn guitar, I'm going to really learn about it. 

 

I decided to restring the guitar. I've only done that a handful of times in my life. Maybe once on an electric guitar. I bought some Slinky strings (9-42) and removed the old strings. I removed the dust from the guitar. I used some steel wool to rub down the neck and the frets and then went over the neck with some linseed oil. I adjusted the pick-ups as they seemed to be completely out of whack with what most technicians online were advising. I lubed the nut, then I strung it up and tuned it. Oh yeah, and I bought a tuner! So handy! I also bought an Ernie Ball strap and found a cheap stand in Lidl!  After the clean and re-string, I decided to adjust the intonation with some help from YouTube. I must say. For a cheap, used guitar, it feels and sounds great!

 

How am I playing it, you may ask? Well, I don't have an amp. I do have a Behringer Audio Interface. I only paid €40 for it used. It's in perfect condition. The guitar, I paid about €50. I have that run into my laptop through the audio interface. I also got a copy of AmpliTube 3 and I'm playing back on my headphones. I'm really happy as this is a pretty cost-effective way of playing guitar. Aside from already owning a laptop, the venture really only cost me about €100 (hardware) and I have so many VST options via AmpliTube 3. You can pick AmpliTube 4 for about  €100 on sale. For €200, you get so much. I ordered an inexpensive DI Box as well as it might reduce signal noise I'm getting. Although the mid-pickup seems to be the culprit. 

 

Now I'm just doing some exercises and starting small. Learning the guitar as I should have from the beginning. I'm treating the whole process as a complete beginner and not afraid to call myself a complete novice either. It's a nice process. I think tweaking the guitar helped me appreciate and love the thing, even if it's cheap. There's a bit of my effort gone in to it and the cleaning and adjusting has improved the sound so much. A bit of TLC goes a long way.

 

Photos below

 

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Lubed the nut with a graphite and petroleum jelly mix

 

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Used steel wool for the fretboard. Oiled it with linseed..

 

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Adjusted the pick-ups..

 

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All done..

 

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Bonus image: Here's the midi controller I spoke of in an earlier post. 

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Edited by Mister Pinkerton
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  • 1 month later...
On 10/11/2018 at 12:52 AM, mr quick said:

I'm trying to teach myself trumpet, and I've concluded that it's a stupid instrument. But, I've come this far... 

 

I managed to learn some basic stuff -- enough to play my own trumpet lines on my stupid jazz rock demos that i never finish -- but still thought it was a pretty dumb instrument, so I sold it to a mate who's much more interested and bought an alto saxophone instead. I deeply prefer the throaty, raspy quality of reed instruments. 

 

e: but to be clear, it's also a stupid instruments. transposed instruments are all stupid. 

Edited by mr quick
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  • 9 months later...

Learning guitar seemed to force my hand into the most unnatural shapes. My fretting hand was sore everywhere: finger muscles, fingertips, palm, wrist, and places I don't know how to name. 

 

Mandolin was more of a brain-hurt thing after guitar. 

 

From there, fiddle came kind of alright,  as it's fingered the same as a mandolin, but what messed with my head was the long, sweeping motions of the bowing hand, compared to the tiny movement required when picking a guitar or mandolin. 

 

Now it's lap steel...and I think I've hit the wall. As one with no natural ability,  who picked up guitar in my twenties, I have most of my musical mental real estate taken up with E, A, D, G, B, E, and have a hard time working with open tuning. 

 

Also, with any instrument, it seems the more you learn, the more you discover how little you know. 

 

Ive been sticking to guitar for the past 10 - 15 years for that reason. I'd like to get back to the level of mediocrity I achieved before breaking my (fretting hand) index finger about five years ago. 

 

 

To anyone struggling with an instrument, keep at it. There is no talent, only skill that comes from practice.  

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  • 1 year later...

For about the past year or two I've been trying to seriously learn guitar, but have found myself limited by my finger positioning and lack of dexterity. Over the pandemic I figured out more complex finger positioning and chords, but I'm still somewhat disappointed in my playing and I still can't play very fast for long unless I'm really in the vibe. I can never seem to break out of E and the same riffs I always play. Learning more chords is what I'm trying to do, but it can be hard if your fingers aren't used to it. This was part of the reason why I got a short scale Jag since I thought it would be easier for me to play. It is easier to reach notes that are farther away, but just barely. Since I'm a girl my hands aren't very big, so it can be tough to play wide or string-switch (try anything Eric Johnson, it's impossible). This was a big reason why I stopped trying to learn piano, some of the chords were basically impossible to play and my hands were always cramped (it was especially bad since I was younger). Violin too, my arms would always get tired. It could be because I'm just not strong, I don't know.

 

Because of this I feel like I might be playing with the wrong positioning. I've come to figure out "shortcuts" where I can play the same note but without reaching so far or string-switching, sometimes playing comically high frets on E to avoid having to move down to A and D (plus the frets are narrower closer to the guitar). It makes playing slightly easier, but sometimes I'll view reference positioning for a song and it'll look completely different to how I play it. I'm trying to figure out ways to "unlearn" these, but I might also be making a mistake by trying to do that. I can play a standard chord just fine, and I can move up and down the strings playing the same frets, with hammerons and all, but moving across the fretboard horizontally is still a problem. I think learning how to play with a capo would be a big help, but I've never owned one.

 

On the bright side, because of how much I've practiced, I'm still way more confident in my playing than I was a year ago since I know a lot more about technique and have branched out more with chords. But I still have so much to learn. And I know nothing about theory. So learning how to read tabs and so on is another priority. I play everything from memory (I use E as a reference point and then work my way up/down the frets until I find the pitch/key), which is great for learning songs and melodies but it's not great for understanding songs if that makes sense. I want to be able to read what I'm doing and be able to refer to it without having to resort to recording everything so I can listen back and try to piece it back together another time.

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