TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • Feeling stuck. Need guitar journey advice.

    Posted by OhWowMan on December 25, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    I showed up every day this week, and I worked on each challenge for 10 minutes or more. I’ll accept a pat on the back for that, thank you! Since I joined the TAC family, I’ve logged 385 sessions over 14 months, and I have collected a lot of “participation trophies” (small wins). But, I’m still struggling as a guitar player. I am not where I want to be. I am considering one-on-one lessons with a local instructor, to supplement or augment what I’m doing here. I value the lessons and challenges Tony Polecastro provides, as well as the encouragement from the TAC family, but something is missing. Thoughts, comments?
    Happy Holidays! Have a blessed Christmas and a memorable year ahead!

    N-lightMike replied 1 year, 3 months ago 8 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Fletch

    Member
    December 26, 2022 at 1:26 am

    So firstly I think everyone’s Journey is unique… So all I can do is share mine…

    4 years into playing the Guitar I still don’t strum well… Seriously I never took to it… I can however fingerpick OK… I found that naturally a lot easier for me… So that’s where I focus 95% of my time and effort.

    And I think that’s an important lesson… You can’t be good at it all… So focus on what you like to do… Have fun with it… I still don’t do Barre Chords!

    I also supplemented my TAC learning with a lot of learning songs I personally wanted to play and sing… I simplified them as much as I could… Cheated with a Capo… Playing songs I love I found great fun… As well as rewarding…

    I don’t judge my progress to harshly… Any progress is good…! And I view progress month on month, not day on day. And I don’t judge my skills against others, most people are better than me, who cares…? I don’t.

    And finally… I always always remember what the late great Woody Guthrie said about Guitaring…”If you play more than two chords, you’re showing off.“… And I never ever search for perfection… 80%(ish) is fine…!

    And now… Well I write simple tunes, sing and play the way I want to, and have a seriously lot of fun just playing and making music…

    If you get the chance to play with others, virtually or IRL, seize that opportunity… You’ll learn so much and it’s great fun, no matter how good you or they are.

    I hope that helps…

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    December 26, 2022 at 5:41 am

    @OhWowMan , I guess it’s all about what you are looking for. You are probably better than you think. I would recommend listening to some of the songs played in the Forum. Usually you can watch how they are playing the guitar, giving you a better idea of how to get the strumming style right. But, I like your idea of having an instructor. You can’t go wrong with one on one instruction. He (or she) might be able to help you figure out just what you want to do. Strumming, Fingerpicking, flat picking, etc. It would make you play in front of a real live person, which to me is the biggest step of all. Good Luck.

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    December 26, 2022 at 5:45 am

    @Fletch , Good advise here. I love the comment about Woody Guthrie.

  • That_Guy

    Member
    December 26, 2022 at 5:48 am

    I recommend looking up songs you like and trying to play them. Practicing chords transition exercises is great but its not as fun or engaging as doing it in an actually song. To me its the most practical way to practice and after all playing songs is the end goal we are all after.

    Tony’s lesson keep me on my toes showing me a variety of things that I didnt know I didnt know about which slowly adds to the ability to play those songs.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  That_Guy.
  • Kitman

    Member
    December 26, 2022 at 7:46 am

    Great advice here so far @OhWowMan . Nothing wrong with supplementing TAC with some other type of lesson(s).

    I have only been with TAC for 8 months and have learned a lot. My take is that TAC is focused on technique, skills and knowledge and not necessarily learning songs. TAC provides a jumping off point for daily practice to reinforce sticking to your guitar routine. It provides at least 10 minutes of technique, skills and knowledge. No need to wonder “what should I do” when starting your practice.

    To balance that I select a few songs I want to learn in each 90 day cycle that are match my other goals on technique. There are many YouTube videos focused on teaching the viewer how to play a specific song. Oh and by the way there is a TAC song vault (https://app.searchie.io/hub/254V7grV3m/)

    that provides lessons in both flat picking and finger style techniques

    I want to reinforce the idea of selecting a song or two to you really like and using them to inspire you and your learning. Select a song(s) you really like and try to make sure they are achievable at you proficiency level.

    I also agree that one on one lessons to supplement what you are doing on TAC is a solid idea. Playing with others is also key.

    Finally – make sure you are having fun and keep on playing! 😎🎶🎸

  • GerryB56

    Member
    December 26, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    Some excellent advice already offered above, but I’ll try to add my 2 cents worth. I heartily agree with the strategy of learning songs you like, it’s much more motivating than doing skill exercises, though of course those are helpful, too.

    Taking one-on-one lessons can definitely be a good thing, but I’ve found you need the right instructor, someone who caters their approach to what your interests are, not someone who has a “set in stone” plan for everyone. I have tried 3 different teachers, and all helped me to some degree, but I eventually found I could make more progress at what I wanted to learn by watching some of the better instructors on YouTube (and get better value for my money).

    TAC is awesome for motivating you to “show up” every day and work on technique, skills etc that will improve your finger dexterity and music theory comprehension.

    I also love the suggestions to play with other musicians, and make sure to have fun with your guitar every day. Those are things I need to work on, but I’m confident they’ll come along eventually😄

  • Loraine

    Member
    December 26, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    @ohwowmanG I can totally relate to your question, as I reached te same questioning of where to go next and how to move forward toward my goal of being a guitar player. I’m a slow learner, or better yet I am slow on being able to pull all the knowledge together and use what I’m learning on TAC in reaching my goals. I asked a lot of questions on the forums, and I began to research simple 2 and 3 chord songs via YouTube, Justin guitar, Andy’s guitar and several other sites. Find a song or two and focus on a lesson from one of these sites. If you’re a little more motivated to listen to a song to determine a strum pattern or to learn a fingerpicking version of a song or to strum and follow a chord sheet, then I highly recommend Ultimate Guitar.

    TAC teaches foundational skills that you’ll encounter when playing the guitar, and it teaches you to build a strong practice routine. To put it all together, you need to learn songs, which unfortunately TAC no longer teaches. That is not their focus.

    I do supplement TAC with guitar lessons, and I agree that the right teacher can make a world of difference. I’ve grown quite a bit through my daily lessons on TAC and my guitar lessons – as complimentary teachings.

  • OhWowMan

    Member
    January 3, 2023 at 4:09 am

    Thank you all very much. I appreciate the feedback and suggestions.

  • N-lightMike

    Member
    January 3, 2023 at 11:37 pm

    Hello @OhWowMan ;

    Well, it’s late and I wanted to get to some song writing before bedtime. But then I saw all the “community support” topics. My first thought was, I’ll take a look at them tomorrow. But I read down the list. Yours caught my attention. Why? Well, because we all face the same thing, feeling stuck, or whatever you wanna call it.

    You see, learning guitar is difficult. And even after we learn how to play guitar, we wonder if we “really” know how to play guitar, because there’s so much to it. Ok, Tommy Emmanuel knows how to play guitar. Does anyone else?

    Then, throw in a little bit of doubt about why we do it in the first place, and we feel “stuck”. What do it do?

    So, let’s start with the obvious. All those beginners… wait a minute, what beginners. That’s ridiculous. A beginner is someone with little to no knowledge, skill and experience. All those instructors who call us beginners are full of shit and just trying to get students so they can pay their rent. You don’t have to be Tommy Emmanuel to be a guitar player. We are guitar players. And we are not beginners. We aren’t the best. We aren’t the worst. We aren’t the newest. We simple are guitar players. Period.

    Ok, now, why?, why do we play guitar? Because we love the guitar. Yeah, but do we love it enough to put up with how hard it is to learn and how much we STILL don’t know and can’t do after all this time?

    Well, now, that is the question, actually. That’s it right there. @Fletch said it straight away: what gives you joy with your guitar? Pursue that and cultivate it. Don’t ever forget that you will get better so you will need to find ways to keep challenging yourself and improving.

    But it’s a long journey. And the key is to have fun and do it for the love of it. But sometimes we just get “stuck”. So what do we do? We look at the “community support” questions and when we find one that asks for help with their guitar journey, we answer it even though it’s late. Why?

    Because we all get stuck and this is what gets us unstuck: to tell someone else how to have joy and purpose in their guitar journey. Or we can just write a song about how we love our guitar. It’s already been done a number of times. “This Old Guitar” by John Denver for example. Or write it down in a journal.

    So, now, you tell me why you play guitar and put up with this frustration and doubt. What is your purpose? Because when you get clear on that, you’ll be fired up again.

    My purpose? To write songs. And specifically, write songs to help me process my emotions. I’ve written the first dozen and I’m working on the second dozen. So I gotta go.

    MG 😀

    • OhWowMan

      Member
      January 9, 2023 at 3:27 am

      Thanks @N-lightMike I appreciate your late night feedback. I admire your determination and sense of resolve. Have fun, and I wish you the best with your songwriting.

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        January 9, 2023 at 12:29 pm

        👍🙏😊

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