Learning to play the guitar... Page 29

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  • wobbly_Bob 16 Dec 2012 00:38:35 1,626 posts
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    Hello. I'm trying to learn guitar: this is my story! :-)

    Always loved rock and guitar music, always wanted to learn but never did and so when rocksmith came out i took the plunge! This lead to frustration and disheartening times. So I put the guitar away and vowed not to be defeated and return one day.

    Fast forward to December ( today) and I got the guitar out along with rocksmith with a fire of determination in my heart. This time. This time. Once again frustration, bordem, and, despair. I can't keep up even at the slow speeds and as soon as I start to string a few notes together it throws more at me! And woe betide if I actually do those! If I managed that then here have some chords or slides or a million more notes. It was then remembered some advice on the rocksmith thread.

    So I watch some vids, read a bit, and set about trying to learn a simple song. Great! I'm grinning like a loon and having a great time! Feel like I'm making progress. Spent around 3 Hours at least with the guitar.

    My name is wobbly_Bob. I can play a good bit of jingle bells and play the E minor chord. I am wobbly_Bob and I'm learning to play guitar. Finally. Hi! I might need you kind folks advice from time to time.

    Cheers, thanks for listening.

    Ps: my goal is to be able to play all of jingle bells by Christmas lol
  • ibenam 16 Dec 2012 01:07:50 1,347 posts
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    cool story bro
  • wobbly_Bob 17 Dec 2012 19:17:57 1,626 posts
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    I do have a little question for you guys. The pick feels really alien to me. I actually feel more comfortable picking with my fingers; although, picking with fingers difficult now that I have cut all my nails so as to use the pick!

    I have a thin gauge pick that I got with the RockSmith game. It's a thin pick. I have read that it's the best for a beginner? I have looked at vids/read about how to hold it but it just feels odd. I ended up holding it on my 2 fingers and my thumb over the top with like 2 cm sticking out and I find that's the most comfortable for me. Although, I have read this is wrong to hold it like that o_O And even holding it this way the pick still feels alien.

    So is this a thing that will come with time? Is it just that I have to get used to it or am I holding it all wrong?? Is it normal?

    BTW, I'm using an electric guitar - the one that came with Rocksmith. It's a Les Paul.

    Edited by wobbly_Bob at 19:19:32 17-12-2012
  • RobTheBuilder 17 Dec 2012 19:47:30 6,521 posts
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    I was always advised to keep your right nails from being too short for picking.

    You'll get the hang of the plectrum, I tend to hold it about halfway down.

    All guitar stuff takes time but it will gradually feel more natural.
  • FWB 17 Dec 2012 19:49:19 43,848 posts
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    Playing the guitar, or any instrument, is the hardest thing in the world. Only a special elite ever succeed so if I were you I'd give up now and have a sausage sandwich instead.
  • Beetroot_Bertie 17 Dec 2012 19:56:44 291 posts
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    I can't really give you any seasoned advice (I was hesitant to even reply to be honest as I'm just learning too) but lots of people have recommended justinguitar as a good place to start.

    I've aimlessly flitted about from place to place for info and it's probably why I've not progressed too much but there's plenty there to get you going, including a bit on how to hold a plectrum.

    Apologies if it's something you've already seen.

    I've also been using the free lessons that you can download for GarageBand '11 on the Mac (which you may or may not have access to) and found them to be quite helpful at this early stage, especially if you can get a line in to the pooter (that said, your Rocksmith cable should work). There's some instruction, then you play along a bit to check you've got it, do some more instruction etc and finish off with a play along to a band track that can (kind of) tell you how accurate your playing is. There's a chord trainer in there too which times you as you move through a series of chords and lets you choose between Major Open, Minor Open, Major Barre and Minor Barre chords.

    I'd suggest moving on to learning the G, C and D chords next as quite a lot of beginner tunes use these and the books I have started looking at all seem to like to start with these. If you also learn E then move the fretting position down a string (towards the floor and not down a fret) then you have an A minor without much extra learning.

    EDIT: I hope you get your Jingle Bells down in time :)

    Edited by Beetroot_Bertie at 19:59:22 17-12-2012
  • jonsaan 17 Dec 2012 20:16:52 25,326 posts
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    @wobbly_Bob hi Wobbly. I've always been a fingerpicker myself. Maybe the plectrum just isn't for you? There's nothing to say you have to use a plectrum. I use a plectrum for bass and fingers for guitar. But then I'm not much of a rock guitarist. Whatever feels right for you I say.

    I'd also recommend getting a selection of picks and finding what works for you. I really hate flimsy thin picks myself. It's worth remembering that they come in many different shapes and sizes too.

    FCUTA!

  • RobTheBuilder 17 Dec 2012 20:19:53 6,521 posts
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    Different picks give you a different sound. I'd experiment to find one you like. But be wary of using thick picks on thin strings.

    I've snapped many a string by going crazy at gigs!
  • jonsaan 17 Dec 2012 20:20:49 25,326 posts
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    And picks. Snapped many of those too!

    FCUTA!

  • Rusty_M 17 Dec 2012 21:33:58 4,579 posts
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    I love thin tortoiseshell picks, but they break like a motherfucker. When I was a regular at open mics, I'd break at least one most weeks. The worst was when it half-snapped, caught the break on the strings, and flew across the room.

    I'm so shit at guitar it's unbelievable. I can barely play anything I used to. It makes it really hard to play at all, because I find myself unable to do things that used to be second nature.

    Never get ok-ish, then let yourself lapse!

    The world is going mad. Me? I'm doing fine.

  • wobbly_Bob 18 Dec 2012 13:09:23 1,626 posts
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    Ok, thanks for the advice guys :-)
  • Mr_Sleep 18 Dec 2012 13:49:00 16,850 posts
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    One of the best pieces of advice is just to start slow and repeat over and over again. As long as you're teaching your brain the correct technique then it is just all practice past that. The way I used to do it is always give myself an extra beat for a chord change. So, say you're playing something in 4/4 and it's all the same note in a bar, play three beats of the bar and use the last beat to change the chord. It means you keep the feeling and timing of the piece of music. Adapt that idea to whatever you're playing and it may help.

    Understanding music theory is slightly different. If you want some stuff about that then I will wibble on that subject for a while.

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • Beetroot_Bertie 19 Dec 2012 12:08:58 291 posts
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    I'd certainly appreciate some insight into theory if you have the time to wibble :)
  • wobbly_Bob 19 Dec 2012 13:25:07 1,626 posts
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    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    One of the best pieces of advice is just to start slow and repeat over and over again. As long as you're teaching your brain the correct technique then it is just all practice past that. The way I used to do it is always give myself an extra beat for a chord change. So, say you're playing something in 4/4 and it's all the same note in a bar, play three beats of the bar and use the last beat to change the chord. It means you keep the feeling and timing of the piece of music. Adapt that idea to whatever you're playing and it may help.

    Understanding music theory is slightly different. If you want some stuff about that then I will wibble on that subject for a while.
    Cheers for the advice!! Chord changes? 4/4 beats? I whao that's way ahead of me lol

    At the moment I'm still learning jingle bells. I spend time learning where the strings are playing rocksmith a little trying to unlock the lessons/arcade practice thingies. Basically I'm im simply getting to know my way around the guitar.

    I would certainly like to hear something on musical theory but I fear its going to be over my head at the moment :-)
  • Progguitarist 19 Dec 2012 13:37:46 10,401 posts
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    At the moment, the guitar feels like an alien object in my hands.
  • Mr_Sleep 19 Dec 2012 13:59:19 16,850 posts
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    Beetroot_Bertie wrote:
    I'd certainly appreciate some insight into theory if you have the time to wibble :)
    Hah, as I'm unemployed I have all the time in the world ;-)

    There's a few things to understand initially, the western scale is based upon a piano and having a piano to tinkle on helps understanding music theory a lot more intuitive. The guitar is a wonderful instrument in many ways but it simplifies chords, so that makes it easy to play but not necessarily useful for understanding theory.

    Another thing is about tones and semi tones but I'm going to assume you're familiar with this concept, if not, basically it's the gap between notes, a tone is a whole note, a semi tone is half that (think of it as C to C#). In relation to this, in the western scale there are no sharps between E and F and B and C. Well, not at a basic level anyway.

    The next is the following sequence: T T S T T T S . The 'T' refers to tone and the 'S' refers to semitone. Consider also that the T refers to the gap between the notes, as illustrated below. We'll use C for the moment.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    C D E F G A B C
    T T S T T T S

    So from there you can work out what D would be by following the sequence (bearing in mind that E and B have no sharps):

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    D E F# G A B C# D
    -T-T--S-T-T-T--S

    It takes some time but learning this for each key note (key note basically means starting note) ensures you wont go out of key so much. Although, as I say, it doesn't matter so much on guitar as scales are modular anyway, ergo a pentatonic scale will be right for whichever key you're in as long as you start from the correct position using the key note. If you need clarification on this then let me know, basically on a piano you have to keep altering fingering positions depending on key whereas for guitar it's just moving the starting position. It's why it's such a great instrument for simple jamming.

    Obviously, at a more complex level you may want to use the key of C but start on the E (this is known as a mode, the C and E one is specifically a phrygian mode), this is much more complicated and it's not something I fully understand but the phrygian sounds 'Spanish' for want of a better word, it's used by Jefferson Airplane and all kinds of musicians throughout the years.

    I'm getting way way ahead of myself. I should probably just write some things on minors, majors and sevenths and be done for the moment. A major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of the scale, so in the case of C it's C, E and G. This is where knowing your TTSTTTS comes in, so for a D major you need D, F# and A. The TTSTTTS teaches you that there's a sharp in the scale.

    As for sevenths, that's pretty simple, it's just adding a seventh note of the scale. in the case of the C scale it's adding a B.

    Next time I'll try to write some more on natural, melodic and harmonic minors but for a guitarists purposes the key things to understand are that a minor chord is a major chord with a flattened third note. See the D scale above for reference, so D minor would have a flattened F#, thus it's sequence would be D, F and A.

    Hope that's some help.

    Edit: Stupid parsing doesn't work properly

    Edited by Mr_Sleep at 14:21:47 19-12-2012

    Edited by Mr_Sleep at 14:22:13 19-12-2012

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • Mr_Sleep 19 Dec 2012 14:04:38 16,850 posts
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    wobbly_Bob wrote:
    Cheers for the advice!! Chord changes? 4/4 beats? I whao that's way ahead of me lol

    At the moment I'm still learning jingle bells. I spend time learning where the strings are playing rocksmith a little trying to unlock the lessons/arcade practice thingies. Basically I'm im simply getting to know my way around the guitar.

    I would certainly like to hear something on musical theory but I fear its going to be over my head at the moment :-)
    Heh, the 4/4 beats was more of a reference to sheet music tbh. If you're trying to just learn some songs then it's all a bit different! :-) I'd say the advice about just doing everything really slow is the key. Oh and once you advance a bit and you've learned some chords then it's time to perfect your right hand, not your left. Chords are just notes, the feeling on guitar comes from the strum/finger pick/shred :-)

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • Beetroot_Bertie 30 Dec 2012 00:45:43 291 posts
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    I'm a bit late in saying this but thanks for the introduction to theory Mr_Sleep.

    I have to admit it hasn't quite sunk in and I need to re-read it all slowly (and probably multiple times) to get my head around it, and to avoid seeing TTSTTTS and thinking 'tits, tits' but it's appreciated so cheers.
  • Mr_Sleep 14 Jun 2014 12:11:38 16,850 posts
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    Does anyone have a recommendation for relatively cheap looping pedals? I am going to muck about in a rehearsal room next week but it's just me and the funky drummer so having a looping pedal might be a good idea to fill things out a bit.

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • Zomoniac 14 Jun 2014 12:36:51 7,802 posts
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    If you already have a delay it's worth checking for a loop function as lots of them have one. You won't get layers but if you just want a single 20 second loop you might already have the facility.
  • Mr_Sleep 14 Jun 2014 12:40:01 16,850 posts
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    Thanks for the advice, all I have is a wah pedal though. I have never really invested in pedals much as I tend towards acoustics most of the time.

    You are a factory of sadness.

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