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

  • I’m floundering….

    Posted by WillyB on June 22, 2022 at 6:02 am

    I’ve been on board for about 5 months and I’m struggling finding my value for the subscription. I posted previous looking for direction because it seems like I was missing something and I still feel that way so much so I’ve began looking for other online learning tools. Before I dump my subscription and hop into another one with yet another online guitar lesson resource, I was hoping for some help.

    Am I completely missing something? I do the daily challenges and some courses, yet I’m not making any progress and feel like I’m wasting my time. Maybe I’m just in a rut. I do have quite a few outside distractions but I don’t miss a day to play.

    Any kind wwords or inspiration would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all

    charandbobscomcast-net replied 1 year, 9 months ago 10 Members · 23 Replies
  • 23 Replies
  • Kitman

    Member
    June 22, 2022 at 8:35 am

    Hi @WillyB , it can be very frustrating to put time and effort into something and feel like you are not progressing. Are you open to sharing some additional specifics? What are your specific guitar goals when you signed up for TAC. For example, what did you write down in your guitar journal as your goals? Also, what specific expectations I do you have of TAC? Finally, if you think about those things are you able to articulate the gaps you are feeling?

    My thoughts are that by examining these we may be of more help.

    Best,

    Kit

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  Kitman.
    • WillyB

      Member
      June 22, 2022 at 3:38 pm

      Hey Kit. Thanks for the reply. I have reviewed my initial goals and I’m not far off from achieving them. However the last few weeks I’m definitely not growing. Perhaps that’s normal at times. I’m not sure. I do get bored with the daily challenges. In fact I’ll dowoad the tab at work and review at lunch, so when I get home I can knock it out and do something else. Typically this will be me working a few different songs. Chords, strumming, etc.

      • Kitman

        Member
        June 22, 2022 at 4:12 pm

        Hey @WillyB ,

        It sounds like you are making solid progress towards your goals which is great. I am wondering if you have considered taking the skills that are taught in the challenges and applied them to real life. For example, would you be willing to consider using one of the rhythm patterns for a song that you know or would like to play? Would you consider experimenting with some of the transition skip string picking to “walk “ into the next chord? Perhaps scale or lick used in the improv challenges might work in the same way. Maybe there is a song you already play that you could combine both: a new rhythm pattern and then a break during the song to do a guitar like or improv.

        Finally, I am wondering if you have taken a look at any of the skills courses offered. These can be done while continuing the daily challenges.

        Does any of this sound like it may help?

        Kit

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        June 24, 2022 at 12:26 pm

        “Hey Kit. Thanks for the reply. I have reviewed my initial goals and I’m not far off from achieving them. However the last few weeks I’m definitely not growing. Perhaps that’s normal at times. I’m not sure. I do get bored with the daily challenges. In fact I’ll download the tab at work and review at lunch, so when I get home I can knock it out and do something else. Typically this will be me working a few different songs. Chords, strumming, etc.”

        So, @WillyB , if you don’t mind, I’d like to take a closer look at your reply to @Kitman . You said you have reviewed your goals and your not far off from achieving them, so you have improved. But then comes that word, “however”. We can’t convince you of anything you’re unwilling to believe. The plateaus get longer and longer the farther along your guitar path you go. That’s just the way it is. Then you admit you get bored. Right there is the key. That’s a rut. That’s what TAC is supposed to get you out of. Then you tell us “when I get home I can knock it out”. I knock out the lawn when it needs mowing. I knock out the dishes when they need doing. I knock out chores. I have fun playing my guitar.

        I’m truly sorry, Willy, but there is nothing we can do for you. You aren’t enjoying your guitar. There is only one rule here and you aren’t doing it. “Have Fun”. It always surprises me when I run across someone for whom TAC doesn’t work. But it’s always the same reason, their attitude. Only you can change that.

        You need to be true to yourself. You need to find enjoyment on your guitar journey. You have improved. But you don’t believe that improvement was worth the cost. That’s the justification you feel you need to move on. Be honest. You don’t need any justification, you simply need to want to move on. You’re allowed. I hope you find what you’re looking for.

        Before you go, there is a way to “have fun” with the lesson if you wanted to give it a try. It’s pretty simple, it’s not some big, profound solution. It is simply a “tangent’. Start with the lesson, but have an open mind, a child-like mind full of wonder. Then dig into the lesson. Can you go somewhere else with it? Can you create something new? Could it be the riff for a new song you write? Could it be the beginnings of a really cool chord progression that you’ve never heard? Use it to come up with an original song or instrumental. Record it so you can share it. So you can learn to repeat it. Nothing like playing your own music. That’s the best.

        MG 😀

      • Kitman

        Member
        June 25, 2022 at 10:47 am

        Before you go, there is a way to “have fun” with the lesson if you wanted to give it a try. It’s pretty simple, it’s not some big, profound solution. It is simply a “tangent’. Start with the lesson, but have an open mind, a child-like mind full of wonder. Then dig into the lesson. Can you go somewhere else with it? Can you create something new? Could it be the riff for a new song you write? Could it be the beginnings of a really cool chord progression that you’ve never heard? Use it to come up with an original song or instrumental. Record it so you can share it. So you can learn to repeat it. Nothing like playing your own music. That’s the best.Before you go, there is a way to “have fun” with the lesson if you wanted to give it a try. It’s pretty simple, it’s not some big, profound solution. It is simply a “tangent’. Start with the lesson, but have an open mind, a child-like mind full of wonder. Then dig into the lesson. Can you go somewhere else with it? Can you create something new? Could it be the riff for a new song you write? Could it be the beginnings of a really cool chord progression that you’ve never heard? Use it to come up with an original song or instrumental. Record it so you can share it. So you can learn to repeat it. Nothing like playing your own music. That’s the best. @MikeGaurnier . <div>
        </div><div>I love this advice Mike and will be applying it myself! 😀
        <div>
        </div></div>

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        June 25, 2022 at 11:30 am

        Thank you, Kit @Kitman . I believe this is what Tony has wanted for us all along. To get us to explore and have fun doing it. There are a million ways to do that on the guitar. It’s a wonderful instrument full of magic. 😊

        MG 😀

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    June 22, 2022 at 8:45 am

    Hey @WillyB , there is a site that was removed from the site when they did the revamp. You can do the songs in Easy, Medium or Hard levels. TAC Song Vault (searchie.io)

    I you have any issues opening it just message back. When you log on you get an option of Fingerpicking or Flat picking. Click on the icon and open the song by clicking on the arrow (>). It will bring in all the learning videos and the tab will be available in the attachment.

    I also sent you a message. Check it out when you get the time.

  • Alfred

    Member
    June 22, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    Record yourself… Then look back on your recordings in 90 days after making them. I bet you are improving and noticing the road for the turning of the wheels.

    I just looked back at some of my old recordings and found that I was doing better than I felt I was, and with about a year’s worth of recordings I could see the growth I was missing when I was in the middle of it.

  • Mrfredsporty

    Member
    June 23, 2022 at 6:06 am

    Sometimes it seems on the surface you aren’t making any progress while underneath you are building more strength. Suddenly you can do one note better or another phrase becomes evident. As many have said before, review back in a month or two and compare. You will be surprised. Also, obey the 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not sweat it”. Just show up!

  • Skyman

    Member
    June 23, 2022 at 10:42 am

    I can feel your pain, and was in a similar spot a few weeks ago. I’ve been on TAC about 6 months now. Been playing for almost two years. I am disappointed in the progress I have made in the past two years, and thought I would be so much better by now, and probably set some unreasonable expectations. That said, I’ve started to put a lot less pressure on myself, and realize the guitar is a very complicated instrument that no one really ever masters. I’m concentrating on the “small wins” and try not to get caught up on the destination. I will tell you, if you show up everyday and give it your best, you will see some improvements with this course. This is different from other online courses for sure. This is meant to teach you guitar, and how to improvise. The other online courses I have seen are mostly based on teaching songs. I feel you get limited when just learning songs, and don’t get the tools to just sit down and play. That is my main goal. Just to be able to sit down and play. Don’t get me wrong though, I do practice a number of songs, and continue to learn songs. I just get something “different” here. And you can’t beat the amazing people here willing to offer help and suggestions. Enjoy your journey, and I do hope you start to find some value here.

    • Mrfredsporty

      Member
      June 24, 2022 at 3:29 am

      Well said skyman

  • Carol-3M-Stillhand

    Member
    June 24, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    @WillyB Sorry to hear that you are feeling the “Flounders”!! It sounds like you already have a good solid guitar practice habit and that you are meeting your short term guitar goals!! Big win there, way to go!!

    There’s been a few great posts here already with very good advice. Might I add that it may help to write a list of all of your guitar goals, not just short term, but also medium term and long term. Goals need to be specific and measurable (and achievable). Having goals written down makes them more real, and it’s easier to recognize when you’ve reached one. (Crossing things off can be truly satisfying). Not sure if you’ve attended any of Tony’s quarterly guitar parties, but he usually covers topics just like this at every one of them. (Next one is in July 2022)

    Another way to make it easier to see your progress is to video some of your practice sessions. Every time we pick up our guitars we are better players than we were yesterday. The little improvements can be so easy to miss unless we look back on a practice video from a few weeks or months ago and then it’s right there in plain sight.

    One other tip I can offer is to keep a practice log. Look at your goals and ask yourself, “What do I need to do to reach that goal? What do I need to practice? How often?” Then incorporate that into the headings/objectives in your practice log. So each practice session should have a short list of specific songs/exercises/chord transitions etc, at the top when you open each page to start your daily guitar practice.

    Progress can be furtive and elusive. It loves to hide itself from us. We need to go look for it and let each milestone fuel our future progress. Yes, it’s so easy and common for most of us to go through “guitar doldrums”. Sometimes it’s just no time/energy left over for guitar at the end of a busy day. Sometimes it’s a touch of boredom from doing the same routine every single day. Sometimes it’s a perceived lack of progress. So you’re not alone here. Not at all. I hope some of this helps you, and wherever your guitar journey takes you, I wish you success and joy!! Carol

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  Carol-3M-Stillhand. Reason: spelling error
    • N-lightMike

      Member
      June 25, 2022 at 11:46 am

      Hey @WillyB ;

      I wanted to reiterate what @Carol-3M-Stillhand said. “It’s so easy and common for most of us to go through ‘guitar doldrums’.” There are a number of reasons, but it boils down to ordinary life taking over. But boredom and thinking we aren’t making progress are the real culprits. But that part that really stood out to me was when she said: “You are not alone”.

      For me, it’s always comforting to know that my struggles are the same as what others go through. The reason that comforts me is I know that some of those other people have found ways to gain victory over those struggles. Carol has shared some of her secret strategies to keep boredom at bay and to not only have continuous improvement, but to be able to see it.

      I shared one of my secrets. I have written a number of original songs. That gives me joy and purpose and direction. But a second secret is I attend the Virtual Open Mics on a regular basis. Not a week goes by without my listening to my fellow guitar geeks playing songs for us. And I usually play something for them. But if I don’t feel like playing, for whatever reason, I can just listen. It’s a very supportive and tolerant group.

      There hasn’t been any reply by you since the very first comment by @Kitman . I do hope you are logging on and that you come see the support you have been given. The only thing any of us could want for you is that you find joy on your guitar journey.

      MG 😀

  • WillyB

    Member
    June 28, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Hello all!

    I want to thank everyone for the support shown to me through this thread. I took a couple of days to evaluate my approach to my guitar journey and utilized a few ideas shared by you folks. I recorded myself and I stink..surprise.. But I stink less than when I began 6 short months ago. I’ve been hard on myself lately and honestly it’s not fair. I’m new! I’m gonna suck a long time, but it’s less! I’m using a junk Crafter guitar that sounds terrible, but I’m trying each day.

    I’m also guilty of trying to take on too much too soon I believe. I started another module to help keep me focused. If I get bored with any daily challenges I go down a rabbit hole of internet and YouTube and wind up no better off and questioning myself.

    It boils down to focus, understanding this is a journey and staying in my lane given my inexperience. Thank you once again!

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      June 29, 2022 at 2:09 am

      I am so happy for you @WillyB . I mean, yeah, I’m happy that you stayed, but that’s not the main thing in my mind. You have found peace with your guitar journey and so your joy will increase. That’s what was sad to me that you weren’t having joy.

      But I applaud you, because you have gotten really honest with yourself here and let us in on it. I would have been happy for you if you could have gone somewhere else and found joy in your guitar journey. But, from what you are saying, you would simply have been in the same boat, bailing water out of the sinking ship. The double sadness is that eventually, you set your guitar down in a corner and don’t pick it up anymore. At least, not for several years, maybe decades.

      So good for you. This is such wonderful news.

      MG 😀

  • WillyB

    Member
    June 28, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Sorry not done…

    I had my finger on the cancel button the other night, but I paused. I started another thread in hopes of some encouraging advice and decided to sleep on it. When I saw that folks were willing to take their time and share some personal insights into their own guitar journeys i felt inspired.

    That’s when I took a breather. I was looking at getting a different guitar as well thinking maybe a better sound would help. I, do thoroughly enjoy my time in the evenings with my guitar. In this crazy house, that is my time. Instead of binge watching crappy TV I choose to do this. I have creative ideas for songs and would love to some day be able to put it all together. For those of you able to do this now, I applaud you.

    For what it’s worth I appreciate you folks! Tony should too, if not for you I’d be going down another rabbit hole right now…

    Thanks again all!

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      June 29, 2022 at 2:17 am

      And you don’t have to be sorry… don’t be done, ever. Keep talking, keep asking questions, keep whining if it helps. Whatever it takes to stay committed to your guitar journey. You won’t always have fun and excitement. But it can always be good. Sometimes it’s just mellow and chill, and that’s ok. But you don’t have to fall into the doldrums, as @Carol-3M-Stillhand put it as long as you can find the attitude of gratitude and appreciation. Sometimes we gotta dig for it, but it will always be there if you dig hard enough.

      Choosing guitar over “crappy TV” is a win any time, all day long. I have been with TAC for 3 years now and I have been able to learn how to write songs. I have written a number of original songs now. You can get there. And maybe sooner than you might think. Yeah, it’s slow. It takes a long time to learn guitar. In fact, you never actually stop learning guitar. You will always be learning and improving, hopefully. But you can have fun and make beautiful noise right from the start. And you can start writing songs way sooner and with way less knowledge and way less skill than you can imagine. Just experiment, have fun. Start with something Tony shows you and just play around. Be a kid.

      I’m truly happy for you Willy @WillyB

      MG 😀

  • the-old-coach

    Member
    June 28, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    Willy-

    My advice– be cool.

    I’ve read every word in every post in this thread– twice…. From a lot of great people– there is indeed a lot of great advice and suggestions given in the responses here- (and I’m not talking about my post, that’s for sure)- and I CERTAINLY don’t have any advice better than those.

    It’s YOUR posts that catch my interest. I think that what you are/were experiencing is CLASSIC.

    Being bogged-down/ bummed out/ bored/ “lost”…….. If you’re NOT feeling that way, then you’re not doin’ it right.

    It was- (and still is)- in ALL of us here at some time (and)/or another. I say it like that, because it comes around again and again. If it **doesn’t** happen to you- then I’d start worrying- because then it’s all “too easy”.

    Learning to play a guitar is TOUGH…. Enjoy that….. If it’s too easy- you won’t get to experience the satisfaction. Expect tough. “Through” that, you’ll realize that the key is the FUN that Mike talks about. None of us are likely to be the next George Harrison…… Realizing just **that** takes “the pressure” off.

    I can tell by YOUR posts that “it” is within you. You know what to do- and how to do it.

    Small bites– enjoy the TRIP– forget about the destination…..

    Be cool.

    The Old Coach

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      June 29, 2022 at 2:20 am

      Nice pep talk Mark @the-old-coach . 😎 I like it.

      MG 😀

    • the-old-coach

      Member
      June 29, 2022 at 9:47 am

      Explainer–

      Really sorry about all the CAPITAL letters, and asterisks, when I want to emphasize something😃.

      It’s NOT that I’m trying to yell to make a point!

      When I try to put something in italics, or underline something using the buttons- (here in the lower left corner)– sometimes it shows up ***in the post*** with all sorts of weird symbols before and after the words I want to emphasize.

      Please forgive.

      MORE IMPORTANTLY– Let’s keep Willy’s thread going strong- (this affects EVERY single TAC member at one time and/or another!)🤔

      the old coach

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  the-old-coach.
  • WillyB

    Member
    June 29, 2022 at 8:07 am

    You guys are awesome! I can’t believe I almost walked from this TAC family. Much appreciation going out to you folks! When I stumbled through the daily challenge last night I was laughing at times and nodding to myself after scoring small wins at times. At the end I checked “completed” and went to sleep satisfied with my accomplishments. And wondering how I’m gonna take one or two songs and apply this to just to hear the difference.

    I get it now guys! 😀

  • Kitman

    Member
    June 29, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    Hi @Willyb glad you found some of the advice here helpful. Thanks for posting your question to the group as we all learned and benefited from the ideas. Happy picking! 😎

  • charandbobscomcast-net

    Member
    July 12, 2022 at 11:51 am

    I just read thru the thread to WillyB. This is my first time reading the FORUM. The ‘thread’ hit the nail on the head.

    Thanks Folks

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