Jenni Gribble wrote:I think what was really giving me trouble is that 4th finger on the left hand. It has a tendency to buzz because I don't hit it right up next to the fret.
It's good that you're aware of your own errors. I solve most of my technique problems like this: first, become aware of them one by one, then mentally figure out a solution/exercise, and finally execute the exercise until it becomes muscle memory and I no longer make that error. Usually the first two parts are the job of a teacher, but since we're teaching ourselves, we need to do them all. For your problem, you should play that part extremely slowly to analyze what's going on. Give the 4th finger a little preparation/anticipation by moving it closer to the spot of action while playing the previous notes. After you can do it smoothly, raise the tempo and practice until muscle memory.
Jenni Gribble wrote:I find that one of the best ways to work through a difficult song is to memorize it.
Yes. I memorize everything I play. This forum is a terrific source of knowledge. There's a topic about Why memorise?
. Memorizing helps me focus on other aspects of playing, such as interpretation and playing expressively. I first work with the music sheet, practice it in small parts, overcome all the technical difficulties, put them together and memorize the final version.
Jenni Gribble wrote:I am not so good with rhythm. I like to count by tapping my foot and I find that difficult to do while holding the guitar on my lap.
You should work with a metronome. I started off before with Shearer's book. The first exercises are about rhythm. I spent quite some time with a metronome and it seemed to give me a solid foundation. Now most of the time I don't need to count or tap, except for some tricky parts.