Billy Jean exercise frustrating!

good to hear! i did what others did and just passed that lesson up! now on module 5 lesson five and learning so much!

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@Alex_G yeah i passed this lesson up and am learning so much! currently in module 5 lesson 5!

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@420bpm same boat as you where I am practicing about 1 hour to 1.5 hours a day. I will just noodle around, and try to finish a complete module in a night. if I seem to struggle, I stop take 15-minute breather, and if I still struggle I come back the next day which seems to work. Maybe the gold old brain absorbs all the new info overnight lol.

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I’ve went to all fretless… am for the bottom of the marker :wink:

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It does in fact. Sleep allows your brain to absorb what it learned. I don’t even fight it anymore. When I hit something difficult, I slow it down so I can do the mechanics, then move on to something else. And come back the next day, and its much easier

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@WillieD, right now I’m struggling a bit with: M6 L4 Medium Workout. I’m sure I’ll be able to do it eventually but this one is getting me all jumbled up. :rofl:

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I too am working on this one as part of the graduation checklist for “Super Badass”. During my first run through the course I took Josh’s advice and moved on after the slow workout. Coming back to it I was able to do the medium after a few tries but I will have to spend some time on it to succeed at fast. At that speed my plucking fingers want to do something other than what I am telling them.

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@bob.oconnor1, Ha ha yeah I was having a similar experience with that. I was able to do the fast workout but not perfectly. I moved on and am on M7 L1 now. I am spending a lot of time doing scales and acquainting myself with the fret board. Learning the octave shape was / is very helpful. Reading (reciting) backwards through the musical alphabet with flats is a little challenging and saying the musical notes aloud when descending through scales is also a little challenging for me so those are the things I’m working on. I am practicing the things that I’m NOT that good at. I’m really happy with how I’m progressing. Loving this course!!

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Rolling my little finger works like a charm. That said, I worked out the riff with my ring finger, too. It’s nowhere near as natural for me to do it that way, but I strive to work out on what I can’t do easily as it always pays off.

Tip: Go slow! There’s no rush. Repeat it so slowly that you think you’re cheating. But realize you’re not. You’re learning something new and strange feeling. Just go slowly until you can nail it cleanly. Technique first, then methodical, mindful practice. That’s the ticket. Speed and accuracy will come naturally.

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Sounds familiar. It sounds like such a simple bassline, but it’s quite tricky.
I struggled with it, and moved on. Then I came back a while later and suddenly it was … not quite easy, but at least possible.

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I’m on this now and, after a bit of struggle with picking middle-index instead of index-middle, I mostly have it (at a slow speed).

My problem is that my left arm is completely exhausted after 3-4 repetitions of the pattern. Ache all down the top of my forearm, like you get with extended computer use. I’m hoping that’s just a matter of strengthening and practice, but if anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.

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Part of it is definitely just strengthening, but it’s also likely you’re tensing up your left arm and/or pressing down on the frets too hard due to the stress/speed of the riff. Try to check in with yourself if that’s happening, pause a second to relax, and then start again

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Many have struggled with Billie Jean. I have not been an exception to that. I haven’t finished the course yet (side-tracked learning songs for a band I’m in), however, I too am pretty new myself to bass playing (started playing three years ago). In my experiences, learning how to play Billie Jean wasn’t really “the lesson”. “The lesson” was that ANY new song that is busy, difficult and requires getting our fingers to move more quickly than they have been accustomed to, will require dedicated practice—just like Billie Jean. Learning new stuff takes time. It will be that way with future songs as well, but you will have more tools in your tool box because your muscle memory will be better, your knowledge greater, your intuition sharpened—your bass will feel more like a part of you rather than apart from you—you’ll naturally start working your way around it with more calm and ease. So while we always have these learning curves for more challenging songs, we find we master these curves more quickly. You will master Billie Jean and then it will morph into another wonderfully intriguing song that you’re driven to play but that you don’t think you can…. until you surprise yourself….and you do.

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figured I would update everyone since I started this topic a week or so ago! I am now on module 7 lesson 4 - just finished learning the G scale. reminded myself to go back and try billie jean since I haven’t tried in a while. Good news is that I can actually play it now on the slow workout, and i can get it down maybe for 2 full passes on the medium speed and then i get mumbo jumbo again lol.

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Good for you, @WillieD . . . :slight_smile: . . . Billie Jean is pretty tough . . . I still struggle with it :roll_eyes:

Sounds like progress already! Well, keep moving along and don’t get hung up on her!

Cheers
Joe

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well, it makes me feel better that i’m not the only one struggling with Billie Jean. It’s mainly the ring finger thing. I’ll keep on with the lessons, and come back to it. Soon…

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@WillieD … there is a “F Word” I was thinking when I encountered Billie Jean, and “frustrating” is NOT it!!! LoL You are definitely not alone.

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Trying to keep it relaxed, which is helping a little. Still cramping a whole lot after a few reps. Will update in a few weeks after I give my hands and forearm more time to strengthen. Fingers crossed!

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Try rolling your little finger instead of using the ring finger. It works really well for me, although everyone is different. Either way, practice, take a good break from it, and repeat. The good news is: it will come.

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It’s funny how every time I see a post about Billie Jean it bring me back to the day when I was a complete mess on this track.

After reading the posts of encouragement I end up pulling up Module 4 Lesson 6 to play along with it again. I always start with the medium and I feel really confident then move on the fast and that is when my brain and my fingers stops working. It is a tough riff to play and is going to take some practice. If I told you I nailed every time I played I would be a liar… so I won’t. One thing I did that helped me get closer to getting it was to stop looking at my fretting hand so much. Just look when it feels like you’re moving up the fret board or getting out of whack.

@WillieD you will get it!! Struggle is good, struggle to the point of frustration is not good. I would move on and revisit it in a day or two. Peace!!

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