How I did it: I crawled around a huge shipping/receiving yard that had a few teeny tiny inclines and practised for 3 or so days. I borrowed a car to get to work with at the beginning.
At first, I just rode the clutch... this is generally bad as it will wear it out... but I don't think riding the clutch for learning purposes will really do much damage. Just be fore-warned!
So what I did, was let the clutch out really slowly until I learned to find that point where the car makes a bit of a different sound and it starts to creep forward.
Once I knew where that "go" point was on my clutch, I started adding the gas and perfecting the timing between letting off the clutch and giving it more gas.
I would just practise this. Stopping and starting, stopping and starting. Once you can comfortably and safely get from park into 1st, going into 2nd, 3rd, etc is EASY-PEASY!
The other thing I practised a lot was starting on a hill, since my driveway ends with a hill onto the main road :( At first, I used the hand brake to keep me from rolling backwards down the hill while I figured out what to do with the clutch/gas. This was a lot the same as learning how to start: you find the "go" point on your clutch, match it with gas but then release the handbrake and accelerate.
I had to get out of the car and yell a time or two, but it's pretty amazing how fast you figure it out. Try to stay relaxed and keep it slow!
Lessons & tips: Turn off your radio. Roll up the windows. Keep the fan low. If someone is with you, tell them to be quiet. Listening to the car is really important!
You'll learn to recognize the sound it makes when it "wants" to go into gear (when you're in 1st and just starting to move). You'll also learn to hear the sound of when the RPMs say "time to change up a gear".
The other thing: if you feel like pulling out your hair because things are just not going right. Stop. Take a few breaths and take a look at what you're doing. Did you put it in 3rd instead of 1st? Leave the parking brake on?? Usually everytime I got really frustrated, something obvious was not right that I overlooked.
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