Learning to play the guitar...

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  • mcmonkeyplc 18 Mar 2008 11:41:03 39,414 posts
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    After guitar hero 3 got me hooked on guitars I have decided to start learning to play the guitar.

    I know its nothing like the game, so I need tips on how best to learn.

    I'm a complete novice so any advice is welcome. Any fancy software or DVD I can buy to help me learn?

    Come and get it cumslingers!

  • jonsaan 18 Mar 2008 11:56:42 25,341 posts
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    What do you want to play. Electric guitar, classical, folk?

    FCUTA!

  • FightingMongoose 18 Mar 2008 11:56:59 496 posts
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    I'm in exactly the same boat mcmonkey, i will track this thread with huge interest.
  • nickthegun 18 Mar 2008 12:02:38 59,367 posts
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    Its harder than you think its going to be and there is a 90% chance you will give up quite quickly, so dont spend a lot of money.

    Ive got a fender squier thats only had 'o when the saints go marching in' on it in the last two years.

    Ah....no...seriously...it depends if you want to learn how to play music or the guitar. Learning how to play music is hard. Learning the tab to sweet child of mine, not so much.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    He totally called it

  • elredeyegrande 18 Mar 2008 12:03:01 2,382 posts
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    Give up. Unless you're seriously committed to it, it's a waste of money.

    /glares at unused bass & amp
  • FightingMongoose 18 Mar 2008 12:06:09 496 posts
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    I have indeed heard of many a soul giving up rather quickly when they started to learn. Apparently it's a good idea to get a teacher, they keep you motivated as well as teach you the technique etc.
  • elredeyegrande 18 Mar 2008 12:09:16 2,382 posts
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    If you have mates who also play its good. Jamming and swapping techniques helps a lot. But I gave up even with that..

    I guess I'm an unmotivated kind of person. :)

    edit: Also, probably the fact that all my mates seemed to play is melodic metal crap or MOR crap.
  • AwesomeWells 18 Mar 2008 12:11:40 407 posts
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    It's too hard so I gave up.

    /is 'youth of today'
  • mcmonkeyplc 18 Mar 2008 12:11:54 39,414 posts
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    I have mates who play the guitar and are willing to teach me to some extent.

    I just want to learn to play the guitar not music. Small steps.

    So learning to play the sweet child of mine is bang on the money!

    Come and get it cumslingers!

  • Fat-Boy 18 Mar 2008 12:12:31 4,300 posts
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    As a ten year veteran and all round guitar god, please, for the love of all that is holy, learn on an acoustic first. I'll repeat that:

    LEARN. ON. AN. ACOUSTIC. FIRST.

    I know people who would be able to convince you that they were brilliant guitarists because they can solo like motherfuckers, but ask them to strum a tune and they're fucked. This is because they went straight to an electric and didn't learn the basics first. Now it's too late and they'll never be able to start playing in a different style.
  • Mageme 18 Mar 2008 12:13:30 2,008 posts
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    FightingMongoose wrote:
    I'm in exactly the same boat mcmonkey, i will track this thread with huge interest.

    Same here, though I've got so far as to actually buying a cheapo acoustic guitar off my work colleague (but who is now constantly bugging me to buy his Fender).

    Started to learn the basics from a guitar handbook but imagine I'll need a teacher down the line.

    3DS: 5086-1465-9252

  • FightingMongoose 18 Mar 2008 12:14:22 496 posts
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    elredeyegrande wrote:
    If you have mates who also play its good. Jamming and swapping techniques helps a lot. But I gave up even with that..

    None of my mates play. Damn.
  • FightingMongoose 18 Mar 2008 12:16:00 496 posts
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    Fat Boy wrote:
    As a ten year veteran and all round guitar god, please, for the love of all that is holy, learn on an acoustic first. I'll repeat that:

    LEARN. ON. AN. ACOUSTIC. FIRST.

    I know people who would be able to convince you that they were brilliant guitarists because they can solo like motherfuckers, but ask them to strum a tune and they're fucked. This is because they went straight to an electric and didn't learn the basics first. Now it's too late and they'll never be able to start playing in a different style.

    I have also heard from other sources that this is very wise advise.
  • jonsaan 18 Mar 2008 12:16:37 25,341 posts
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    Fat Boy wrote:
    As a ten year veteran and all round guitar god, please, for the love of all that is holy, learn on an acoustic first. I'll repeat that:

    LEARN. ON. AN. ACOUSTIC. FIRST.

    I know people who would be able to convince you that they were brilliant guitarists because they can solo like motherfuckers, but ask them to strum a tune and they're fucked. This is because they went straight to an electric and didn't learn the basics first. Now it's too late and they'll never be able to start playing in a different style.

    Fat Boy speaks the truth.

    FCUTA!

  • istandfreed 18 Mar 2008 12:24:10 2,388 posts
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    Also practice practice practice. The learning curve is huge, a riff that you couldn't nail despite constant practice all day you nail the next day when you pick up the guitar, or a riff you struggle with slowly gets better and better until you have it, a great feeling :)

    Also go to a teacher, learning about timing is so important and really helps with your technique.
  • FightingMongoose 18 Mar 2008 12:35:25 496 posts
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    Witchking wrote:
    As has been said, get an acoustic (nothing special one) and get a teacher. Your local music store shoudl be able to recommend a decent starter book as well to work through.

    You would probably also need an electronic tuner for the thing. The other most important thing is to practice every day for whatever you can (15 mins).

    Nice advice.
  • Deleted user 18 March 2008 12:38:07
    If you live near a Sue Ryder charity shop they sell cheap accoustic guitars for 20, they ain't bad either I have one.
  • Deleted user 18 March 2008 12:47:52
    The Yamaha Pacifica is apparently a highly recommended first-time guitar - I've never played one mind. Apparently they retail in the 200-300 region.

    When learning, the most important advice is to practice regularly and often, even if you don't spend long at it each time. Playing for 15-20 minutes a day is worth far more than spending two hours every couple of weeks, particularly early on when your fingers won't have the strength to be able to play for longer anyway.

    And also, progress is never steady - it won't seem like you're getting better every time you play and sometimes it can feel like weeks or even months have gone by without you improving much, but you will be getting better, and one day you'll suddenly realise you can play that riff or solo you've been struggling with for so long, and that feeling is impossible to beat.

    I can highly recommend those book and CD 'Learn the guitar' packs you can get - I've been through a number of them and whilst the quality does vary a bit, I've learnt something from them all. Reason being, I think, because the most important thing with the guitar is to just keep playing. Realise you can spend a lifetime playing and still be improving and you'll get on fine - expect to be a blues legend after a week and you'll fail.

    Edit: Regarding the advice on getting a tuner - I'd say get one and keep it as backup, but try to tune by ear before resorting to using it. Tuning your guitar by ear is vital to developing your musical ear and use of a tuner just encourages laziness on that front.
  • Seto 18 Mar 2008 12:53:48 671 posts
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    I found learning the basics (of how the music works) helped a bit.

    www.guitarbasics.com

    Been teaching myself for about 6 months and can only just string a number of basic chords along to be called a song (only practice around once a week tho).

    As peeps have said - the learning curve is huge - I looked at some beginner vids online and they where just impossible to follow unless you know every note on the guitar, But stick with it and its great.


    The joy i felt when I first played the below was pure Win:
    Em Em Em Em Am Am Am Am C C C C G G G G

    Edit: Spelling
  • jonsaan 18 Mar 2008 12:58:39 25,341 posts
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    Don't forget the real basics.

    Tuning ( a nasty cheap guitar that isn't setup right is likely to cause you to struggle right from the outset).

    Restringing (the number of people I know who break a string and give up there and then as they need to get it 'fixed' :))

    General guitar maintenance. (Buzzing frets, action set too high, etc.etc. All likely to hinder progress).

    If you understand the intsrument your path will be much clearer. ( Mr Miyagi voice please).



    FCUTA!

  • Subquest 18 Mar 2008 12:58:40 312 posts
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    don't necessarily need a paid-for teacher, but a good book, a cheap playable acoustic (get a guitar playing friend to help pick one out), and friends to play with and pick up ideas from are a great introduction. biggest thing you need is a willingness to learn and practice, and the knowledge that it ain't gonna happen overnight.
  • FightingMongoose 18 Mar 2008 13:01:17 496 posts
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    Seto wrote:
    I found learning the basics (of how the music works) helped a bit.

    www.guitarbasics.com

    Been teaching myself for about 6 months and can only just string a number of basic chords along to be called a song (only practice around once a week tho).

    As peeps have said - the learning curve is huge - I looked at some beginner vids online and they where just impossible to follow unless you know every note on the guitar, But stick with it and its great.


    The joy i felt when I first played the below was pure Win:
    Em Em Em Em Am Am Am Am C C C C G G G G

    Edit: Spelling

    Good linky.
  • FightingMongoose 18 Mar 2008 13:02:04 496 posts
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    This is helping loads fellas, cheers.
  • Vantre 18 Mar 2008 13:02:15 22 posts
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    Go to this place;
    www.musicradar.com/forum/
    the forum has lots of helpful folks & good tips.

    & a contrary opinion to the people saying get an acoustic first. If you want to play rock songs, get an electric not an acoustic. If you want to hear those distorted, chunky rock sounds you'll need & electric - and you'' possibly just get frustrated at an acoustic sound.

    I think the point the other folks were saying is that you'll need a good foundation to your playing - which is true, but the important point is to have fun with it.

    Theory & practice are vital if you want to progress in specific ways & will help your musicality, but I'd guess most people would just like to be able to play a few of their favourite riffs as quickly as possible.

    edits cos i dont know how to link properly! doh!
  • Ciaran 18 Mar 2008 13:03:50 1,070 posts
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    Fat Boy speaks truth. Get an acoustic first, if only to toughen up your fingertips.


    Also check out Justin's site. Lots of valuable lessons for beginners on there, including youtube video lessons for both technique and songs, and he's quite fun to watch.

    Sweet child o' mine is on there too, btw:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kGJUc9SIgPE


  • Deleted user 18 March 2008 13:06:07
    Fat Boy wrote:
    As a ten year veteran and all round guitar god, please, for the love of all that is holy, learn on an acoustic first. I'll repeat that:

    LEARN. ON. AN. ACOUSTIC. FIRST.


    +1

    Amen to this. Acoustics sound cool. Chicks dig being serenaded. Most importantly an acoustic is the best way to learn chords IMO, especially barre chords.
  • Popzeus 18 Mar 2008 13:09:37 8,289 posts
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    I really ought to play my guitar again. It's just been gathering dust for years.

    Advice for noobs: as has been said, buy an acoustic first to learn on. Learn the basic chords first, then spend time practicing till you've got some sort of sense of rhythm and don't have to look at the frets.

    If you're still interested, THEN buy an electric guitar and learn barre chords and power chords (as you can use them to play 90% of all rock songs :D).

    Only then should you bother with riffs or solos, and the more high-falutin' chords.

    Currently playing: Standing In A Car Park Simulator 2013

  • Seto 18 Mar 2008 13:14:35 671 posts
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    Ciaran wrote:
    Fat Boy speaks truth. Get an acoustic first, if only to toughen up your fingertips.


    Also check out Justin's site. Lots of valuable lessons for beginners on there, including youtube video lessons for both technique and songs, and he's quite fun to watch.

    Sweet child o' mine is on there too, btw:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kGJUc9SIgPE



    Very good site - this Basic Chords PDF is great to start with
  • Popzeus 18 Mar 2008 13:16:30 8,289 posts
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    Also tablature is for girls, real guitarists just figure riffs out for themselves by trial and error :)

    Currently playing: Standing In A Car Park Simulator 2013

  • dufftownallan 18 Mar 2008 13:32:14 4,724 posts
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    ive been playing for about 3 or 4 months now, i got an iaxe guitar that you could plug into your computer and use as an amp. its an electric but i take fatboys point, id like to pick up an acoustic now instead, but saying that, i havent neglected playing chords. in fact i prefer banging out a tune as opposed to doing solos.

    anyhoo, what i did first was pick up an electronic tuner, i got one for 15. being able to tune the bloody thing is an important first step but i couldnt do it by ear.

    after that you just have to practice a lot. about 3 months in and im comfortable with most of the major chords (f and b i can do but not intuitively), and most of the minors (eminor ftw).

    then use your record collection along with this wonderful website and just learn the songs that you love. blind persaverance and practice means i can now perform the following:
    radiohead - fake plastic trees
    elbow - leaders of the free world
    flaming lips - yoshimi battles the pink robots
    travis - blue flashing light
    once you kind of figure out what youre doing it gets easier and easier. i can also play bits of loads of other songs, and when i practice them a lot im sure i'll get there with them as well.

    good luck and happy strumming! its well worth it.
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