Overcome Difficulties

An attempt to find solutions to problems you might encounter. Read further to find out different kinds of problems you may encounter during your guitar playing or practicing and learn how to overcome them.

Problem Comments Possible Solution
Barre Chord   You play the barre chord with your finger bones, not with the soft finger flesh that you use when soloing, so the palm will be slightly turned outwards, not perpendicular on the fretboard. Try also to play "small barre" - covering only the 3 high strings. Always check the sound of each string. Play the easiest chords at first (E-shape is easier than Em-shape, maybe the easiest shape). There has never been a student who didn't overcome this problem in two weeks at most.
Scales You simply can't memorize the scale patterns. Begin with the Box Position, a logical sequence of patterns, starting with the easiest to remember, then learn the others in the order of the scales featured on the page. You can play a scale tens of times in 10 minutes, if you'll follow the schedule you'll memorize the scales for sure.
No Speed You can't reach the speed of your favorite players, somehow you get stucked. The secret of speed is to play as lightly as the phrasing allows it. Keep the fingers of your left hand as close as possible to the fingerboard, don't make big moves with your right, use only the tip of the pick. Of course, speed comes with time. While practicing Gym and Chops, increase the speed gradually. There is a certain "speed barrier" that disappears suddeenly, of course if you practice enough.
Same licks You think you improvise but you play the same licks again and again. Learn as many chops as you can, learn other's solos, make phrasing exercises and: try to think a step forward - it means that, while you're playing, figure out what's the next step, what's the next musical sentence.
Pains   Before seeing a doctor, do the hardest thing: take a break of one or two days. While practicing, always have short breaks any 15 - 20 minutes, stop immediately if you feel the slightest pain and never play licks or chords that twist your palm in a strange way (tabs often contain errors).
Standard Notation You just can't remember where the notes are. Remember that the notes between the lines are F-A-C-E, they form the word "FACE", then the notes go in alphabetical order (for instance, between A and C - you'll find B, between C and E - you'll find D) from A to G (therefore, between F and A - you'll find G). See also the analogy between tablature and standard notation.
No Progress Your playing seems to go nowhere. Try the schedule.
The Sound Stinks   You have to locate the problem. Is it the guitar, the amp or your way of playing? If you don't like the gear - buy something else but this time, be sure you buy the right instruments to get that sound you have in mind. If it's your playing, try to play softer or closer to the neck, apply finger vibrato and don't forget: it takes a lot of time to get a good sound.
No Feeling You play like a Midi File, you may be accurate but your music doesn't raise any interest. Play the same exercise with different feelings, not only glad and sad but also frightened, laughable, tenderly, etc. Your solo must tell a story. It's all about phrasing.
Bored Yes, it may happen. Take a break of one or two days or until you miss the guitar, don't listen to any music at all or listen to styles that you don't listen to usually, walk a lot, have fun other than music.

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