Anyone learning to play the guitar?

I was wondering if anyone else is teaching themselves how to play. So far its been a month and I can make bar chords actually sound like something but not a whole lot more. Ive been resorting to youtube tutorials mostly and jump from song to song before mastering one. Any other guitar players here?
 
I cannot recommend cyberfret.com highly enough. I haven't played guitar in a very long time but I learnt from that website. It's particularly useful in that it will give you a sufficient understanding of musical theory to improvise and compose.
 

nogamenick

Sparrow
Yes. Download guitar pro and start learning by tabs. Take the tabs from ultimate guitar. You could also join the forum there. There's a thread in which you can ask people to recommend a song based on your current skill level. You should start playing things like stairway to heaven and smoke on the water. Make sure you practice your scales as well. It's very important to warm up properly. I use scales for this. As you get better and faster, you can experiment with the scales and techniques. Make sure you plan your practice sessions as well. I would typically spend half an hour on practicing old stuff and an hour on learninf new stuff. It's important to understand the difference between playing and learning. I suppose your goal here is learning but if you never just play, the whole proces will start to become really boring. The same goes for music theory. I learned a lot about it by just playing and learning how to play. I've taken guitar lessons in the past and the amount of theory overshadowed the pleasure of playing the guitar. But that's just personal.
 

SteveCR

Robin
Gold Member
Ethan Amarante said:
I cannot recommend cyberfret.com highly enough. I haven't played guitar in a very long time but I learnt from that website. It's particularly useful in that it will give you a sufficient understanding of musical theory to improvise and compose.

Thanks for the resource! I have a guitar that's just gathering dust, I've tried to learn several times now, but keep getting frustrated from not having a good starting point.
 

Sombro

Ostrich
Learn your scales and chords. And constantly, constantly play along with songs on your stereo, radio, etc. Even the songs you don't like.
Listen to musical genres you wouldn't normally listen to.
Play along with songs that don't even have a guitar.

Not only are you training your hands, but just as importantly, your ear.
 
nogamenick said:
Good advice but it takes getting used to the guitar and knowing which sounds are where before you can play songs by ear.

Yeah. This is one of the reasons I recommend cyberfret.com or any similar programmes which give you at least a moderate understanding of musical theory.

If you can play the pentatonic, pentatonic blues, minor, harmonic minor and major scale in any position, along with bar chords and tri-chords on the highest three strings, you'll be able to figure out more or less anything.

Another great thing about knowing the above is that you can work out alternative chords if you come across a tab you struggle with. Everyone has slightly different hands and finds various finger positions easier than others and a working understanding of theory will be able to use which ever positions are best for you.
 

nogamenick

Sparrow
Yeah, good idea. I just learned by using tabs and finding a cover of the song on youtube whenever I got stuck. Just experimenting also helps a lot.
 
nogamenick said:
Yeah, good idea. I just learned by using tabs and finding a cover of the song on youtube whenever I got stuck. Just experimenting also helps a lot.

Yeah, absolutely. Learning from tabs is great because you're always incentivised to keep playing because you're able to build up a selection of your favourite songs you can play along to.

Some people learn with the aid of a dusty old book of musical notation and a bunch of tunes they've never heard of. I could never do that.

I was always interested in how much more of a song I'd hear when I learnt to play it, too. Sometimes I'd pick up on little riffs here and there which I wouldn't otherwise have picked up on. That's pretty cool.
 

Veloce

Crow
Gold Member
If you're just learning how to jam on a guitar, tab is fine. It is really nice knowing how to read music though, it opens up your options immensely.

To echo what's been said; if you're serious about learning guitar, play every single day. Even if you just pick it up and jam some chords for 15 minutes. You need to keep that muscle memory active.

Start by learning all major and minor chords, and their various positions on the fretboard.

Then learn 7th chords.

Then learn diminished and augmented chords.

This will give you a good foundation for playing different chords in different keys.

If you want to solo, then it's time to learn scales. Learn your circle of 5ths. Learn minor, melodic minor, and harmonic minor. Learn how to play in each of the 7 modes.

It's a long journey. Enjoy it.
 
thedude3737 said:
If you're just learning how to jam on a guitar, tab is fine. It is really nice knowing how to read music though, it opens up your options immensely.

To echo what's been said; if you're serious about learning guitar, play every single day. Even if you just pick it up and jam some chords for 15 minutes. You need to keep that muscle memory active.

Start by learning all major and minor chords, and their various positions on the fretboard.

Then learn 7th chords.

Then learn diminished and augmented chords.

This will give you a good foundation for playing different chords in different keys.

If you want to solo, then it's time to learn scales. Learn your circle of 5ths. Learn minor, melodic minor, and harmonic minor. Learn how to play in each of the 7 modes.

It's a long journey. Enjoy it.

I second all of this. But, if you're approach musical theory in as rational and systematic way as possible, you might be surprised at how simple a lot of it is once you've got a grasp of some fundamental concepts.

I regard musical theory as one of those things which appears incredibly technical and complex so puts a lot of people off who underestimate their abilities, but actually only takes a few weeks (or months if you're busy) to get your head around - at least to understand all of what's in this post.
 

Veloce

Crow
Gold Member
Ethan Amarante said:
thedude3737 said:
If you're just learning how to jam on a guitar, tab is fine. It is really nice knowing how to read music though, it opens up your options immensely.

To echo what's been said; if you're serious about learning guitar, play every single day. Even if you just pick it up and jam some chords for 15 minutes. You need to keep that muscle memory active.

Start by learning all major and minor chords, and their various positions on the fretboard.

Then learn 7th chords.

Then learn diminished and augmented chords.

This will give you a good foundation for playing different chords in different keys.

If you want to solo, then it's time to learn scales. Learn your circle of 5ths. Learn minor, melodic minor, and harmonic minor. Learn how to play in each of the 7 modes.

It's a long journey. Enjoy it.

I second all of this. But, if you're approach musical theory in as rational and systematic way as possible, you might be surprised at how simple a lot of it is once you've got a grasp of some fundamental concepts.

I regard musical theory as one of those things which appears incredibly technical and complex so puts a lot of people off who underestimate their abilities, but actually only takes a few weeks (or months if you're busy) to get your head around - at least to understand all of what's in this post.

Agree with this completely. If you understand how to construct a major or minor chord instead of rote memorization it's a much greater tool and gives you more of a fundamental understanding.
 

Switch

Kingfisher
Learn Stairway to Heaven. Really simple finger picking and the fingering on the fretboard isn't hard at all. Once you learn it (or just the main parts) it'll be a huge confidence boost and something easy to break out at parties.

One resource that is absolutely amazing is songsterr.com. I've never used the paid version but even the free version is awesome.
 

HawkWrites

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I wound up teaching myself many years ago. I remember my dad telling me (he was a guitar instructor way back when): "Start on acoustic. Get good on it. When you're confident, move to electric." The advice really holds true since the distance your fingers need to travel decreases significantly from acoustic to electric; get the muscle memory down and you can switch between mediums at your heart's content.

I usually go for http://www.ultimate-guitar.com if I need a tab for something. I've been doing more chord-based playing lately, though.
 
HawkWrites said:
I wound up teaching myself many years ago. I remember my dad telling me (he was a guitar instructor way back when): "Start on acoustic. Get good on it. When you're confident, move to electric." The advice really holds true since the distance your fingers need to travel decreases significantly from acoustic to electric; get the muscle memory down and you can switch between mediums at your heart's content.

I usually go for http://www.ultimate-guitar.com if I need a tab for something. I've been doing more chord-based playing lately, though.

Similarly, I'd suggest that, when you do practice with an electric, set your amplifier to clean (i.e. no distortion) - otherwise you're likely to not pick up on little errors you're making.

And another tip, particularly for electric guitars with low gauge strings - change them frequently, even if they aren't breaking. Fresh strings tend to sound a lot nicer to me and I find them much more pleasant to play with.
 

Vaun

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Sombro said:
Learn your scales and chords. And constantly, constantly play along with songs on your stereo, radio, etc. Even the songs you don't like.
Listen to musical genres you wouldn't normally listen to.
Play along with songs that don't even have a guitar.

Not only are you training your hands, but just as importantly, your ear.

I concur, this is how I learned. You don't need apps, sheet music or anything but a radio.

Not to begrudge anyone selling a guitar learning system, but anything after Mel Bay is overkill. The reason I think so many people try and fail at learning guitar is they dont have any fun when they learn, and the progress they make is boring and uninspiring. Apps, books and tablature is complicated and cumbersome without a teacher.

There are thousands of methods out there to learn how, and it seems too daunting. Of course I learned around the age of 5 on my parents guitars, but I am sure there is an easier way. I think its by seeing immediate success by playing what you enjoy.

1) Daily - Play along with your favorite songs, with single notes

Turn on your favorite songs and just play along with them. Even if its just single note plucking, follow along with the bass line or melody, or even the vocals. Just try to play along with single notes, as simple as it may seem, its more useful than any app. Even if you play a popular song with single notes, people will be impressed!

A good example of this was Stevie Ray Vaughn, who would sing all of his solos before he played them. So just try to play all of the vocals you hear of your favorite songs, with single notes. The most basic beginning guitarist can do this.

2)Chords - Play along with your favorite songs, with chords

As you learn chords, try to play along with your favorite songs with chords as you advance. Fifth chords, or what they call "power chords", are a common easy way to play along with popular music. Also using traditional chords, A,B,C,E,D,G Chords. Once you learn those chords and can finger them, try playing them along with your favorite songs. You will soon learn they are the basis for all popular music.

3) Avoid Sheet Music, Apps, Websites, Tablature

Try playing along with your favorite songs for a month, for several sessions a week, before you even look at Tab, Apps, Sheet Music, Books, etc. You will a) learn more, b) have more fun c) probably become a better guitar player in that short amount of time because you learn timing, and learning your favorite songs inspires you to play more. People think playing guitar is hard. Its not. Reading Tablature is.

4) Get a good teacher. Not a chump. Get the best guitar teacher you can find in your town.

5) Write your own songs.

Once you play along with your favorite songs, write your own early on. This is another great way to not lose motivation, to encourage you to enjoy music and not get bogged down in the gazillion learning methods that are out there. Use easy to use recording software and apps like Garageband, Amplitube and others to record your songs. Do this right away, record them in private if you have to.
 

Windom Earle

Pelican
Gold Member
I started playing when I was 12, lost interest (read: gave up because I thought it was too hard), put it down for 12 months, then picked it up again and haven't put it down since (I'm now 36).

Apart from a few months of proper lessons, I'm mainly self taught. Like most, I learnt by playing along to songs by ear. If there was something that was a bit more complex, I'd refer to tab (the comment above about tab being hard to follow is incorrect - in isolation maybe, but not when you're playing along).

Once my chops were up to speed, I started playing in original bands from the age of 17. Vocals for me came later, once I realised I had the ability and could actually coordinate the two. When I got the confidence up, I started fronting my own projects and haven't looked back.

This is my latest project:

https://www.facebook.com/twowayradio/app_2405167945
 
Top