TAC Family Forums

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

  • Help please.

    Posted by IMPBW on October 16, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Help; Feeling very overwhelmed. It has been a couple of months and feeling way too much pressure. I can’t see how it is possible to keep up all the daily stuff in 10 min. plus try to learn the other stuff. I have done 30 days, 6 chords, all was fun and got it except bar chords, then started several jump-start courses, (I could only get so far in each of them and then they got too hard, (Not sure if it is best to stay until I can get it) or move on to another course. Then I keep hearing that I should do the daily exercises, (I find a lot of them over my head) I can play basic chords and am learning lots of cool stuff. I have been keeping track, watching the 90-day playback, filling out and reflecting on the journals but I now am avoiding opening up TAC because as soon as I get to the home page, daily challenge, (which is part of a weekly one, which is often too advanced after 2 days, and the skill courses, etc… I have yet to do an Acoustic Tuesday, I just keep saving them. So I feel now like I am drowning!!!

    Is there a step by step for newbies, which skills first, should I ignore the daily challenges until I can do all the skill courses? I am very happy to learn and I can find at least 30 min. a day to practice. But I just feel confused and overwhelmed still.

    I want to keep going so I am reaching out for support and help. It will be greatly appreciated.

    GuitarGeni replied 2 years, 5 months ago 11 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • Ddtediejm

    Member
    October 16, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    IMPBW, I think most of us when we first start TAC feel a bit overwhelmed at the daily challenge, but that is kind of the point. Push yourself a bit out of that comfort zone and you will start to see improvements. It will be subtle at first, and you may not even realize it, but you are slowly getting better each time. The 10 min is the window that Tony wants you to at least give to your guitar routine so you start playing every day. I always equate the 10 min challenge to a Crossfit WoD “Work out of the Day”. If you ever look at their web site, there is no way in hell I will be able to do handstand walks or muscle ups…but I can hang on a pull up bar and get a bit better each time….and if I keep working at it, pull ups get easier as I have put some effort into gaining muscle by simply hanging and attempting to do the muscle up. So my advice, do what you can with the daily challenge for 10 min-remember you do not have to be at Tony’s level at this point…God knows I still am not either…but the more you do them, the more you will start to see yourself get better. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Good luck to you!

  • IMPBW

    Member
    October 16, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Thank you, so should I just do the daily challenge and nothing else if I only have 10 to 30 minutes. (I have never been able to do a daily challenge for just 10 min.) In the beginning, I did not even do them because I thought we were supposed to do the 30 days to play which I really enjoyed. I then saw the jump start courses and started them. But quickly they got too difficult. So then I read if you get stuck or frustrated to go to something else. Now I have so much still not finished and don’t know what to focus on first, next, etc…. Thanks for your reply.

    • Ddtediejm

      Member
      October 17, 2021 at 10:13 am

      No Ma’am, do the challenge, as much as you can to your best ability-strive for ten minutes…if you make it great if not, no worries. Then use the remainder of the time working on things you want to do. Myself, after my ten minutes is finished (I actually put a timer on myself) I start working on songs that I want to be able to play. Lately I have gone from simple strummers like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” to trying to get down “My Hero” and “Hunger Strike”. The Daily Challenge is the spring board to my playing sessions.

  • Marty73

    Member
    October 16, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    You’re stressing yourself out. The 10 min. to play each day is a start. The lesson of the day doesn’t mean you have to master it. Just put 10 min. into it then move on. The neat part is you can favorite it a and go back to it later. The skill courses are just that. No time stress. You do them when you can. I’ve done all the skill courses 2 or 3 times. I have found that I am able to play the hard one now. Keep it fun. 😊🧙‍♂️😎

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Marty73.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Marty73.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Marty73.
  • Loraine

    Member
    October 17, 2021 at 1:52 am

    @IMPBW I think you’ve gotten some great advice from the others. I had never played guitar when I started a year ago, and I too thought the daily’s were difficult and over my head, but I tried each day, and I slowly was able to do most of the challenges. The 10 minutes per day is the minimum. Once you’ve put in at least 10 minutes, then mark the lesson complete. Keep working on it longer if you have the time. There are days I put in an hour on a lesson, or I go back to it another day to practice it. I have found that I’ve improved quite a bit and I’m able to get through all the lessons now (albeit not at Tony’s level of play). When I first begin the lesson I’m all thumbs, but as I practice it over and over I get better at it each time. If they were all easy, then I wouldn’t be learning through the process. Hang in there and just give them your best shot.

  • Biff_Gordon

    Member
    October 17, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    A few things that might help:

    1. Do not expect to master a TAC session in a day. Mastery comes with time and experience. I watched a documentary on Doc Watson, and when asked how long it took him to master a certain piece of music, his reply was 12 years! Sign on, watch the video, play the exercises at 1/2 speed, and learn the principle Tony is teaching.

    2. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. I can work on an exercise first time for 10-15 minutes before I turn into fumble fingers. At that point, I have to put the guitar down and come back to it in a few hours for another 10 minutes or so – and repeat again later. If you continue to “practice” after your fingers start to have a mind of their own, you will reinforce bad technique. Trainers tell us it takes 1000 perfect repetitions to build muscle memory. You don’t have to do it all at once. Start at 1/2 speed and try to work up to 3 good repetitions. Then stop and try again later. Speed will follow accuracy.

    3. Tony is good at offering bite-size chunks, with each session building on the last, but trying to get all 5 days right may not be possible yet. Spend 10-20 minutes on each TAC session, then pick 1 or 2 sessions for that week, print off the tab, and practice in 10 -15 minute bits through the week. Are you interested in licks? Focus on Tuesdays. If you are more comfortable with chords, focus on the Rhythm Guitar days. Before going on to TAC, I tune up, do some stretching exercises, play a few scales, and use the lesson I want to focus on as a warm up.

    4. Weekends, do the skill lessons OR work on a song you want to learn. Let it be fun!

    Hope some of this helps!

    • AttyTJ

      Member
      October 25, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      💡💡💡💡👍

  • Moonhare

    Member
    October 18, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Loads of great advice already so I’ll keep it short. I have NEVER managed all 5 daily challenges in a week. No beginner (I’m 6 months in) should be able do everything straight away or we wouldn’t need the course. I try them, then move on, making sure to fave any I like but haven’t quite got the hang of so I come back to them.

    One of my 90 day goals this time is to redo the 30 day challenge. Well I’ve started playing through and I can hit them all so far at 2x speed. That was a total surprise because I couldn’t do that in month 1. Doing the daily practice has improved my playing without me realising. Again – I rarely get through more than 2-3 daily challenges in a week.

    So don’t ‘fret’ (sorry for that one). 10 Minutes or more if you can on a challenge, pick some faves to really concentrate on doing well (or some skill lessons you like), do what you can with the rest but mostly get in the routine and the skills will sneak up on you.

  • EverydayAmy

    Member
    October 18, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    “I have yet to do an Acoustic Tuesday, I just keep saving them. So I feel now like I am drowning!!!”

    Acoustic Tuesday show is mostly entertaining guitar-related stuff with a little education thrown in. I like to play my guitar while I listen to the show and noodle on the warm up, scale, or lick we are learning that week. No need to keep old shows. Just tune in when you have the time.

    I felt exactly the same as you once I was done with 30 Days. Lost and overwhelmed. I actually did stop logging in for a bit and that was a mistake! I lost my callouses and had to start over with that. After coming back, I did 30 days over again and vowed to not let that happen again. Hang in there! Its worth it.

    • AttyTJ

      Member
      October 25, 2021 at 2:04 pm

      Anything you want to do, that brings you joy, that is what you should do. AT is a show that has evolved over the years. Now, it is a simple list of unusual things we might like, musicians we have not heard of (frequently), and the lick for the week in question. I watch it (later) but it is not a great part of my progress.

      There is nothing in TAC that can be instantly mastered. That is not the point. The point is to do “something” every day, and the lessons are a suggested something. When Tony delves into alternate tunings, I admit to setting a timer, and the instant the 10 min is up, I am off to something else. Not a current thing for me to focus on at my stage of learning.

      When there is a lesson, idea, scale, or subject that grabs me, I can get lost for hours. I can’t apply in the real world much yet, but I have enjoyed working out something and playing guitar for that time.

      If, and only if, you have the mindset that says, I must learn anything I learn to completion, no matter what, then you are to be congratulated. And the Guitar is going to be an awesome instrument in your hands. I can’t do that, but if you must, then I will be in line, eventually, for the tickets to your opening show.

      Keep working, and all else will come.

  • David_Leo

    Member
    October 19, 2021 at 4:32 am

    “I can play basic chords and am learning lots of cool stuff.” This is great success. Give yourself a break!

  • AttyTJ

    Member
    October 25, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Not exactly a step by step. But, if you are overwhelmed, or sometimes even just whelmed, do three things. First, relax, and do some other thing. (clean the guitar, tune it, play a 4-chord progression you know without thinking (or 3 or 2)). Second, try it again the next day. Third, instead of pushing to get each lesson “done” each day. Schedule yourself 2 days each (be sure to favorite them all, however, so you can come back). This last one is because we all are too critical of ourselves, and if we take the time, will feel stronger about it.

    A story. The 30-days to play challenge was introduced, and at the time, at the end of the challenge, those who had completed doing the lessons and had posted a result on the site were in a drawing (dart thrown at a page of faces) for a guitar. Now, the reward is the joy of learning the shuffle, and transitioning chords, and sounding more like music. So the candy apple on the string is different, but no less tasty (after all, there was only one guitar). By the way, the original completion period was 60 days between introduction and qualification for (in my case not) winning a guitar. Does that suggest anything?

    Good luck. You can do this. From your post, it is clear you have the motivation.

  • ted_h

    Member
    October 25, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    There is so much good advice here. What a nice group of people!

    Most importantly: be kind with yourself – you’ve already accomplished a lot!

    Some other thoughts:

    — It’s OK to just dabble in the skill courses. If you can do the first couple lessons, that’s awesome! If they get frustrating, do something more fun and less frustrating. Then you can come back down the road and hit the harder ones and they will seem easier. And I mean weeks to months later, not, like, tomorrow. 🙂

    — Do the daily challenges that you like. You’ll know in the first couple minutes if it’s something that will click or not. Skip the ones that are over your head, and just do something fun for the rest of your ten minutes. The daily exercises all come back around sooner or later, so you can try the harder ones on the return.

    — If you’ve done the 30 days plus the next six chords, you have the tools to play a huge array of songs. The “Strumming Kickstart” is pretty fun and a good way to get used to different strumming patterns. After that, if you don’t like what TAC is serving up on any particular day, play a song you enjoy!

    You’ve got this! Do what is fun and rewarding, and shelve what is not. The shelved stuff will wait patiently for you until you’re at the right point in your guitar journey!

  • GuitarGeni

    Member
    November 15, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Tons of great advice from others so I won’t repeat them. What I will do is let you know that I’ve played guitar for well over 40 years and I don’t get through all of the challenges. Some are pretty easy and others are quite difficult even with a ton of experience.

    What I will tell you is that it’s important to warm up properly before doing these challenges. Play one of the warm up exercises from week 1 or something else that you’re very familiar with for the first 5 minutes and then give the challenge a try. I’ll bet you see improvement just doing that!

    As someone who has broken both wrists and has had to relearn everything, trust me on this. Do this every day and you will see improvement.

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