Learning progress report thread.

nero0410

Distinguished Member
Thought I'd make one thread to help track progress with Rocksmith/2014 and learning in general.
I think it'll help me remind myself of what and how I have done due to poor memory and hopefully it will help others too.

I'll reserve a few posts, and update one at a time to keep track of things.
Please feel free to do the same, it'd be nice to see how others are progressing and what tips and tricks they learned too.
Obviously feel free to ask any questions :)

Any questions I'll highlight in red, otherwise any advice is always appreciated.

Rocksmith/2014 -

As many of you know I started last week with some basics and tried a couple of songs, I have been mainly concentrating on the 'Lessons' section, and I have made some progress there in just a week (well, technically 4-5 days learning an hour or so a day).

First day (May 14th 2014):



Today (May 21st 2014):


Over the past week, my hand, fingers and wrist have gotten a little better bit by bit, I'm not quite holding the guitar at it's most comfortable for me, it's getting there but not there yet.

I have been doing the lessons almost every day and tried a few songs that have gradually 'levelled up' in difficulty adding in more notes and I think some chords.

I have gotten faster and faster with the shifting, started off only using index and middle finger, but now I'm starting to try to use my ring finger a bit more too.... as for my little finger, it's just not going where I tell it to go. I guess it still needs training, but for the moment I can't do anything with it.

Sustains I think I have gotten down, I found this easier than shifting, I imagine as there is less finger work involved.

Slides I am having problems with, and although its a '101', I think it's more of an advanced technique.

It also get's you switching between about 3 strings, there hasn't really been any work on that in game prior to this lesson (other than in the songs), so I'm finding it difficult to switch strings quick enough. It will help when I know exactly where the strings are without looking, but it's early days yet so I'm still getting to grips with a 'feel' for the guitar.
----
I can touch type on my system easily, which I presume is muscle memory, as I use my keyboard (computer) every day, so would this be the same/similar thing to using a guitar?

The chords lesson must be bugged, it's given me 95% and I'm damn sure I was touching other strings when I shouldn't be and wasn't sure which strings were to be strummed and which not to.
I am having a problem with these a lot, especially now I have done this they are starting to appear in songs. Switching strings was bad enough, doing that and having my fingers on the right chord is impossible for me at this moment in time, so a lot of riff repeating is going on and trying to find the right shape for my hand to be in isn't really shown in game as far as I can tell.

Tremolo is a little strange too, as I know I didn't do it as fast as the person in the game done it when having a go at that, sometimes I only found the string and picked it a few times, it didn't sound anything like it should have done as my strumming/picking in this case is currently not fast enough.
Though I think this is another advanced technique for me, so I'll be leaving that one alone for a bit.

Non-Rocksmith -

I have been watching the beginners course with JustinGuitar.com, I can see and hear clearly what I need to do and am currently trying to learn to read tabs and trying to get my hand shaped for the 'D' chord without having any fleshy bits on any other strings. It's proving difficult to me to say the least, but thats about as far as I'm going until I get this 'D' chord and hand shape down.

I have talked to a guy in the music shop we have a few times now, and he has said that he does lessons after the store closes at £12 for 30 minutes.
I'm not sure how much these things usually cost, but I thought it might be an idea if I go for a couple sometime when I can afford it for some basic in person beginners stuff that might help with how to hold my guitar comfortable, find the right shape for my hand etc....

tris
 

nero0410

Distinguished Member
Non Rocksmith learning:

Chords:
I'm currently having trouble getting a D chord following Justins Beginnner's songbook and online course video's. The fleshy part of my fingers are just touching the strings

Songs:
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars:
JMD:1 Settings used -
Master - 2
Pres - 0
Reverb - 9
Delay - 0
Del Adj - 0
Mod Depth - 3
Mod Adj - 0
Vol - 4
Treble - 3
Mid - 4
Bass - 2
Gain - 7
Manual
Pre amp left on - Clean 1

I have found I seem to be able to be getting to grips with the beginning part so far, it's pretty much the same riff throughout the song.

Here's a video of the song:

and the tutorial I'm following:

I do seem to be having a problem making the stretch with my index finger and keeping my little finger still on the 9th fret when getting my index finger to the 5th. My little finger twists towards the head of the guitar and moves right up almost onto the little metal bar, making it not being able to ring out that note.
(For the time being I have put my capo on the 5th fret and getting that note that way.)

I'm still working on how I'm going to do the chorus parts for the time being. I'm having a go at doing the same fretting as above, but playing the string above at the same time as the notes throughout the chorus parts, but I am not sure it's sounding right.

I'm quite happy I am making a little progress outside of Rocksmith now, not much, but good enough for me :)

Update 30/06/14:
Starting to get a bit more speed into it now, and recording a few seconds longer:
Chasing Cars Take 4 by trisguitar on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds

tris
 
Last edited:

nero0410

Distinguished Member
Reserved.
 

nero0410

Distinguished Member
Reserved.
 

Christian 71

Distinguished Member
Great stuff nero, glad to see you are making progress. Rocksmith's awesome isn't it and soo addictive. :D

Yup I'm afraid it's all muscle memory, but it does get easier the more you practice. The JustinGuitar courses are great, he mentions doing 1 minute chord changes and these really help with speeding up chord technique.

Trem is quite an advanced technique, but you can pick it up as you go along. Beginners tend to play everything flat and press down to hard making everything sharp so it's a good technique to pick up early.

Quite a few of us have progressed on to lessons and £10-14 for half an hour is pretty much the going rate so that sounds fine. Lessons can really help especially at the start if you can afford it, they are not mandatory but I find 1/2 hour each week works well for me.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Agree with Christian on lessons, I go fortnightly (tonight as it happens) and pay £20 an hour.

Even if you can just afford to go for one or two you'll find it helps with stuff like hand positioning etc..
 

nero0410

Distinguished Member
Didn't think I'd be able to do what simple stuff I have done by now, so I'm pretty pleased with it so far.... and yes, it's bloody addictive :)

I've watched his 1 minute chord changes, that will be fun once I get the chords down. So do both hands use muscle memory when finding the right shape of fingers, finding the frets and the right strings to strum and pick?

If so, that would be pretty handy, since my actual memory isn't that great. Though I guess I'd need my actual memory to remember what notes and chords to play in songs when not in rocksmith

I'll have to continue to work on the trem then since it'll be good in the long run and I guess it'll help get my strumming hand moving and maybe get a bit quicker changing strings.

I'll make sure I get a couple of lessons after I've paid off this amp, the least I can do is pick up how to hold my guitar properly and also get to ask a few questions etc.... not that you lot aren't doing a fine job yourselves :) Being there in person at least they'll see how I'm holding it and advise from there.
It's difficult to explain, but my fretting arm is holding my hand straight, whilst trying to keep my palm off the back of the fret board, but my wrist is sort of at an angle from frets 1-5 ish I think it is.

tris
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
One of my first lessons, my tutor could see I was struggling with some stretches on chords, he told me just to drop my thumb down a bit on the back of the neck, which would allow my fingers to reach further.

Blindingly obvious when you think about it, but it haven't occurred to me :)

It's the little things like that that make lessons worthwhile for me.
 

Nik73

Distinguished Member
Didn't think I'd be able to do what simple stuff I have done by now, so I'm pretty pleased with it so far.... and yes, it's bloody addictive :)

I've watched his 1 minute chord changes, that will be fun once I get the chords down. So do both hands use muscle memory when finding the right shape of fingers, finding the frets and the right strings to strum and pick?

If so, that would be pretty handy, since my actual memory isn't that great. Though I guess I'd need my actual memory to remember what notes and chords to play in songs when not in rocksmith

I'll have to continue to work on the trem then since it'll be good in the long run and I guess it'll help get my strumming hand moving and maybe get a bit quicker changing strings.

I'll make sure I get a couple of lessons after I've paid off this amp, the least I can do is pick up how to hold my guitar properly and also get to ask a few questions etc.... not that you lot aren't doing a fine job yourselves :) Being there in person at least they'll see how I'm holding it and advise from there.
It's difficult to explain, but my fretting arm is holding my hand straight, whilst trying to keep my palm off the back of the fret board, but my wrist is sort of at an angle from frets 1-5 ish I think it is.

tris
Great stuff Tris, glad to see you're enjoying it. I'd agree with what the lad said. I was totally self taught and picked up a lot of bad habits that are ingrained now. Lessons would have helped with this I'm sure, you can't beat the face to face with someone knowledgable, like learning anything. You can take training courses for weeks on end, but learn more in a day with someone who actually does it.
I don't like RS personally, not because there's anything wrong with it, just because it goes against the way I learned and I'm stuck my ways! ;)
If you're coming to it fresh I think it's a cracking learning tool, but maybe not on it's own as Christian and Goooner have said. What I'm sure we all wanted to do asap when learning is play some of the songs we love. RS lets you do that, which is a massive help in keeping you motivated. The only thing I wonder is if it helps you learn to play the song away from the game. I'm sure it does, just maybe not the same as learning it in a more traditional way. Could be wrong and don't use RS enough to say either way. Plus that might not matter to many.

As the lads have said, muscle memory is a big part of it. It's amazing how it sticks sometimes as well. I went about 8 years without ever touching a guitar, but as soon as I picked one up again there were a lot of songs I could still play straight away!
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure it (RS) does help you learn songs away from the game, not for me at least. Even when it switches some of the parts to Master Mode it's like I've never played the song before, my mind just goes blank :)

For me the best way to get things to stick is from tab. I'm sure transcribing would be even better but I don't think my ears are developed enough or that I'd have the patience for that :)
 

nero0410

Distinguished Member
By the time I finish keep going back to the shifting 101 lesson to help train myself to use more than one finger more for that, I'll probably be able to play that by ear away from RS.

I do find my guitar sounds a LOT different via my little vox amp than it does in game when 'playing' songs. I guess the game applies effects to the tone or something.

My sister has told me about these little boxes you get that you put between an amp and a electric guitar and pedals. I presume the game is mimicking those.

I'm having a go at reading tab from various sites out there that have tab music you can look at, but find it hard to understand how fast to play the notes etc.... or if they sound right when I do play them.
Tab is a strange thing to me at the moment, chords on tab I recognise, though some of them require me to have more than 4 fingers available (of which I can only seem to fit 3 till I learn more).... or I'm meant to hold down two strings with one finger whilst not touching the others. All part of the learning process I imagine :)

tris
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Yep, sometimes one finger has to hold down more than one string. Just wait until you discover barre chords :D

That's the thing with tab, unless you know the song, it doesn't really give you any indication of how to play it. It's good to have a listen to the songs you're trying to learn to give you an idea how they're supposed to sound if you don't know.

Yep, the game is making tones using all sorts of effects pedals. If you go into tone designer and load up a tone from one of the songs you'll get to see what pedals are used to get that tone.
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
Nero, set aside a bit of time to learn the notes on the neck, starting with the thick E string.

You don't particularly need a guitar in your hand, just print off a neck diagram and grab a pen.

It's a productive way to kill spare time on something that you'll find useful later on.
 

Christian 71

Distinguished Member
The game spoils you as people used to have to have to buy a plethora of pedals and amps, whereas all this can be modelled now.

You have probably already seen a few mentions of the Line 6 Amplifi (Modelling Amp) or HD Pod (Effects unit) which are the one of the market leaders for modelling and can give you pretty much any tone you need. However you still can't beat a decent valve amp and a couple of good pedals though, but to get the best out of them you need a bit of volume.

Of course the next step is the Variax where you can model the type of guitar you are playing. :D
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Good idea Hyperfish.

If you can just learn the E and the A strings, that'll be a great help when it comes to power chords and later barre chords and of course if you've learnt the low E, you've also learnt the high E by default, because it's exactly the same and that's half the job done.
 

Attachments

nero0410

Distinguished Member
Updated - See post 2 :smashin:

tris
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
I do seem to be having a problem making the stretch with my index finger and keeping my little finger still on the 9th fret when getting my index finger to the 5th. My little finger twists towards the head of the guitar and moves right up almost onto the little metal bar, making it not being able to ring out that note.
The important thing for this is the positioning of the thumb. It needs to be right in the middle of the neck to allow the fingers to articulate. If it's too high the fingers will lay flat and cover less distance.
 

Kelltic

Well-known Member
Nero you have only been learning a little while, things like big finger stretches and pinky strength will only come with lots of practice and finger exercise unless you have long fingers that is! Try not to get discouraged!! :smashin:
 

Christian 71

Distinguished Member
My daughter is having the exact same problem on the same song as she has just chose this last week. It's one of the Rockschool Grade 1 pieces.

What I have found is working so far is to do some stretching exercises each session and then get her to practice the whole song. The stretching losens up her fingers and once she has played through the song she has relaxed a bit and the stretching doesn't feel as forced. We have only done 3 sessions but I can see the improvements.
 

nero0410

Distinguished Member
The important thing for this is the positioning of the thumb. It needs to be right in the middle of the neck to allow the fingers to articulate. If it's too high the fingers will lay flat and cover less distance.
My thumb is all over the place, I find I have to keep adjusting a fair bit in order to keep my wrist from hurting.

Nero you have only been learning a little while, things like big finger stretches and pinky strength will only come with lots of practice and finger exercise unless you have long fingers that is! Try not to get discouraged!! :smashin:
Oh don't get me wrong I'm not discouraged, I keep wanting more :) (Not too fast though ;))

My daughter is having the exact same problem on the same song as she has just chose this last week. It's one of the Rockschool Grade 1 pieces.

What I have found is working so far is to do some stretching exercises each session and then get her to practice the whole song. The stretching losens up her fingers and once she has played through the song she has relaxed a bit and the stretching doesn't feel as forced. We have only done 3 sessions but I can see the improvements.
Something like this for the finger stretching?:

tris
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
My thumb is all over the place, I find I have to keep adjusting a fair bit in order to keep my wrist from hurting.
Actually that's good. In a short time you will be adjusting the position of your hand and thumb without having think about it.
 

AndrewH13

Distinguished Member
Non Rocksmith learning:

Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars:

and the tutorial I'm following:

tris
You really are picking hard song choices for a beginner:D

Great tuition videos though from Justin.

Having said that, I looked at 'Don't Look Back In Anger' and started following the strum pattern. Then downloaded Lick Library version and instead of a Full strum followed by a small flick on first few strings it uses: dominant note of chord followed by next string, then a full strum then two sixteenth note Alt strums! So five instead of two, and also using two notes Arpeggio at beginning. And that's for practically every chord beat in the song.

So although I thought Justin's was pretty spot on, it was only a fraction of the Lick Library version.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Mus try some of those Lick Library vids, there are so many to chose from though, it's a job to know where to start :)

I have order the Blues You Can Use book, thought I might stick with it more with the actual book in front of me, rather than having to be looking at the PC screen.
 

AndrewH13

Distinguished Member
I have order the Blues You Can Use book, thought I might stick with it more with the actual book in front of me, rather than having to be looking at the PC screen.
Wasn't that one that someone here 'gave' us?

I found 'Blues By The Bar' the best tuition book I have had, but even then, I needed help from my tutor to get the phrasing and finger technique as they started getting harder. Have learnt about 16 out of 100 licks!
You learn licks for bars 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 etc separately, saves knowing what goes where! Otherwise the Turnaround is the only obvious one.
 

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