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  #1  
Old 11-13-2017, 08:30 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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So I picked up a guitar the other day

Any tips for a beginner?

I was surfing YouTube and saw this dude playing Angel of Harlem on the acoustic guitar: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vsysBxTSTUI

It didnít seem that hard, and I think I could sing it better so went to the guitar store and bought a brand new Yamaha.

Iíve looked online for tips, but am still learning the strings and frets numbering system. I still havenít tuned it yet. The guitar has an auto-tuner. Are these precise? I saw a guide on how to use the 5th fret system for tuning. Any magic to why it switches to the 4th fret for the 3rd string?

Is that song really simple, or should I start with something easier? Also, the guitar didnít come with the clip that is on the 4th fret in the video. Do I need that?
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2017, 08:58 PM
Archeonomist Archeonomist is offline
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Happy new guitar day!

That song you linked to seems pretty simple to me (I didn't watch the whole thing). Three chords in basic G, C and D chord shapes. It should be within reach for a beginner pretty quickly.

The clip on the fretboard is a capo. It makes it easier to change the songs key to fit your voice without having to change the fingering of the chords. This also allows you to use open chords more. I'd say a capo is one of the essential tools.

There shouldn't be any problems with the built in tuner on a Yamaha guitar, but you are right to learn how to do it by ear as well.

As well as dipping into youtube for lessons, I'd suggest that you get a chord book as well. Learn chords, and learn how to switch between chords.

Good luck
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:29 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Check out Justin's free beginners course. It takes you all the way from novice to intermediate. He has songs lessons that go with the lessons.

His course is on YouTube and it's on his web site. The web site has the videos better organized.

He also has a full intermediate course.

All free, but I'd suggest buying a songbook or something in his store. Give something back for the amazing content you get.

https://www.justinguitar.com

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-13-2017 at 09:33 PM.
  #4  
Old 11-13-2017, 10:42 PM
Arrendajo Arrendajo is offline
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Just curious... do you have any desire to play guitar besides having seen a video and thinking it didn't look too hard? Because making the chord shapes and changing quickly from one to another is not natural and takes quite a bit of practice to build muscle memory. If you don't enjoy the actual practice of it, you won't stick with it. I play ukulele, quite well, and I practice probably an average of an hour a day. I might play 3 hours on my day off. I skip playing only a few days a month. Why? Because I love to play, and challenge myself, and get better and better. It's what I do with myself rather than watch TV or movies. If you just want to learn some easy covers to strum along with your singing, you'll need to practice a couple hours a week.
The "magic" of the 4th fret for the B string tuning is that the guitar is traditionally set up in those intervals. There are many alternative tunings, but start with the standard tuning. Turn on your tuner (I love electronic tuners -- I use a Snark) and starting with the lowest (pitch) string, tune it to E, A, D, G, B, and E. The low and high E strings will be a musical octave apart. Can you hear how they are the same note? Then learn some basic chords. If you just want to chord along with your songs, I wouldn't bother to learn reading music. Start with A, C, D, E, and G chords until you can make those reliably without dead or sour notes or string buzz and change easily and quickly between them. Try that for a few days and see if the guitar is a good fit for you. I'll check back.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:05 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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I think I finally tuned it right. That took a while. Will start practicing tomorrow. Thanks for the tips to get me started, and keep Ďme coming. Iíll report back here with questions.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2017, 11:54 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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It's not always as easy as it looks. It usually hurts at the beginning. Unless you work with your hands, you're very likely to use muscles you didn't know your hands had for awhile. That fatigue is pretty normal, and goes away if you keep playing every day. Same thing with the pain in your fingertips.

But on the other hand, it's pretty easy if you're willing to put in a little work. I can do it, so it can't be that hard*. The fact your guitar has a tuner will go a long way to taking the frustration out of being a new player. Thank you, Yamaha. I think you've picked a pretty do-able three chord song. The capo in the video is on the fifth fret, btw. I hate using capos, except when you're trying to reproduce a solo that was played using one, then I find it essential.

The magic of the highest-pitched strings tuned to a major third rather than a fourth is that the tuning allows you to play more full-voiced minor and major chords easily. It really is. I use a lot of different tunings, but that one is a good utilitarian tuning that allows you to do a lot of things with the guitar.

*Drums are hard. I can't reliably play drums. Two of the wrong limbs get wired together at some point and it all just falls apart before I can save it. Brass instruments are right out. I don't have the lips for it. Nuttin but fart noises. If it's got strings, I can usually kind of play it in an hour or so. So I think stringed instruments are something any well-trained monkey like me can play.

Last edited by scabpicker; 11-13-2017 at 11:59 PM.
  #7  
Old 11-14-2017, 12:23 AM
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Angel of Harlem is easy enough, although switching between chords once you've learned the chord shapes is a bit of a challenge when you're just starting. Be patient—it gets easier with practice.


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  #8  
Old 11-14-2017, 06:05 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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From this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=744114

Quote:
First - the basic mindset - talk with her and make it clear she understands a few basic points:

1) Anything (reasonably affordable) that keeps you playing guitar is better. So if you like lessons, a deadline to learn a song (because deadlines help you), a red guitar, a guitar like X plays, or whatever - make the decision based on what will keep you playing. So - if a person does NOT want lessons, or WANTS to hold the pick with two fingers+ thumb instead of the proper 1 finger+thumb, or doesn't want to do scales - let them for now. Let her come to that need.

2) The Groove comes first: Scales, chords, navigating the fingerboard, songs - DO NOT MATTER at first. Playing the Smoke on the Water groove on one string, or playing Muddy's Hoochie Coochie Man riff, or the Peter Gunn theme, or Good Love. Get her playing one-string (or one note each on a few strings - oooo, progress!) and FEELING the groove. Make sure she makes her own crowd noises while she is doing this - it helps . Until she gets a feel for a groove, she won't know why she is trying to learn chords or scales - the feel she will be looking to have when she uses them, too.

3) Be okay with Practice - know that there is muscle memory involved. People get discouraged and think they have no musical talent when they really just don't have enough practice in yet.

4) Know that you spend 50% working on making the right sounds happen and 50% of your time keeping the other noises you DON'T want from happening - random strings, squeaks - argh! Own it and make sure she knows it's okay that the other noises happen at first - they are as hard to control as the ones she wants to happen. IT'S OKAY - we all face this!

5) USE A TUNER! Every goddam time - a poorly tuned guitar is discouraging. And her fingers are going to mess up chords, stretching strings out of tune, etc. - Don't make it worse with an out of tune guitar. The basics, people.

Within those rules, here are three basic exercises:

1) Single Note grooves - see above. Show her the Peter Gunn theme on the Low E string (if the open e string = the 0 fret, then the riff is played by 0, 0, 2-0, 3-0, 5-4 - easy to find on YouTube). Also show her That's What I Like About You by playing the open strings E, A, D D, A A. Play along with with the song. NOTE: She is playing each open string, AND THEN MUTING them by quickly laying her fret fingers on the open string to damp it. In effect, she is playing a simple bass line groove, and practicing some of my Rules - bopping the single note and controlling how long it sustains so that it fits in the groove and she is stopping the noise when she needs to.

2) Dry strumming - lay her fret fingers across all the strings so they make no notes, only a cool, dry percussive strummy sound. Practice strumming - UP and DOWN - to set up a percussive, strum groove with NO music. I give my folks a stoopid word to remember like Booka-taka, Booka-taka - can they dry strum a rhythm like that? When they are by themselves, a stupid word helps them re-find the strum groove.

3) Circular Chord Riffs - teach her chord forms for E, A, D and G. Show her That's What I Like as a simple circular riff E, A, D, A. Or do it for La Bamba D, G, A, G. They always come back to the last chord ready to pick up the first chord and loop around again. This is the hardest of the three - and should come a bit AFTER she gets the single-note groove down and has done some dry strumming without her pick getting hung up.

Final two notes:
- For the three practice routines I describe above: get in front of a TV with something on that she can watch with half-attention: a sports event, an old show or movie. Work on these exercises - only paying half attention. The goal is to build up muscle memory, NOT to sound perfect. Slop is more than fine - especially for the groove; missing the note is a LOT less important than sticking with the groove. Sitting in front of a TV, watching an old episode of South Park, dry strumming out a Booka-Taka groove - that's what got my son started.

- Have fun! If they want to play for 5 minutes - cool! Don't overly structure their time. The only rule is that for anything fun that they do - e.g., finding the groove for Peter Gunn (they will enjoy it), they also need to do 1 practice thing - e.g., work on D to G transitions.

That's all for now - she has to want this, so give her space. But these basics set up good habits and a good mindset that make it easier to keep going.

Hope this helps!
  #9  
Old 11-14-2017, 10:05 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
*Drums are hard. I can't reliably play drums. Two of the wrong limbs get wired together at some point and it all just falls apart before I can save it. Brass instruments are right out. I don't have the lips for it. Nuttin but fart noises. If it's got strings, I can usually kind of play it in an hour or so. So I think stringed instruments are something any well-trained monkey like me can play.
The problem with the violin is that you have to practice for eight years before you can even stand to listen to yourself.
  #10  
Old 11-14-2017, 10:16 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Check out Justin's free beginners course. It takes you all the way from novice to intermediate. He has songs lessons that go with the lessons.

His course is on YouTube and it's on his web site. The web site has the videos better organized.

He also has a full intermediate course.

All free, but I'd suggest buying a songbook or something in his store. Give something back for the amazing content you get.

https://www.justinguitar.com
Seconded Justinguitar.com. I really like the guy.

I am also new to guitar (done a little banjo). My wife bought me a nice Martin acoustic for Christmas. Justin's lessons may be a little boring at first. It's learning chords. But I start practicing, and end up going for at least an hour. I'd go longer if life didn't get in the way.
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Last edited by enipla; 11-14-2017 at 10:16 AM.
  #11  
Old 11-14-2017, 10:24 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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A note for the future: strings wear out. When you start to notice that a plucked string no longer sounds bright and you notice a lot of wear on the wound strings, it's time to change them all out. New strings stretch and get out of tune. You can alleviate this a bit when you first put the new strings on. After tuning them to the proper pitch, slide four fingers under the strings, palm up, and gently lift them away from the body, stretching them a bit. Re-tune and repeat. Do it a third time. By then you should notice much less problem.
  #12  
Old 11-14-2017, 10:29 AM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
I think I finally tuned it right. That took a while. Will start practicing tomorrow. Thanks for the tips to get me started, and keep Ďme coming. Iíll report back here with questions.
Tuning is simple with a free app. I use this one: https://cleartune-chromatic-tuner.soft112.com

For a beginner it's more than adequate.
  #13  
Old 11-14-2017, 10:55 AM
wguy123 wguy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas Jackson View Post
Tuning is simple with a free app. I use this one: https://cleartune-chromatic-tuner.soft112.com

For a beginner it's more than adequate.
Yep - plenty of free tuner apps (I like Fender's).

I also recommend Justin for learning guitar. When I picked up guitar after a 15 year hiatus, I used his lessons to get back into the swing of things. It was nice to have "structured" learning rather than my normal "noodling" or watching of random videos and learning one song and then move on. I need structure or I never really improve.
  #14  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:25 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Other thoughts from another newbie...

My guitar had quite a high action. That is the strings far from the frets, making it a bit hard on my fingers. I took it into a 'Guitar Center' and they where able to adjust it (not sure how many guitars are adjustable).

Anyway, the lower action has made it significantly easier for me.

Also, I use an emery board to get my finger nails down on my fretting hand.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:43 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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It's very important to set very modest goals.

Focus on each of Justin's lessons and don't get discouraged.

Your fingers will feel clumsy at first. The strings will buzz. Spend 15 mins twice a day making the chords. Adjust your fingers until the chord works.

Do it again the next day. Maybe a week or so later those chords will play cleanly. It just take patience and time.

It takes most people 8 to 12 months to get through Justin's beginner course. Depends on how frequently you practice. Literally tens of thousands have successfully taken his course and learned guitar. You'll know well over 20 songs and will have a solid foundation. You can build from there getting better and better.

Short practice sessions are better for beginners. 15 to 20 mins in the morning and each evening is enough.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-14-2017 at 01:46 PM.
  #16  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:05 PM
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Find a teacher you like. One who likes the same kind of songs as you.

IMHO, the best teachers are those who will help you play the songs you like, and simultaneously teaching you some music theory along the way. I.e., helping you to understand why certain cord changes sound good, while others don't.

Practicing scales and modes are okay, and your practice time should have some of that. It helps with music theory and moving from strumming into soloing -- which you do by learning which notes are available to use in a solo, which depends on the key, major or minor, specific modes, etc.

But the old way of teaching sucked: You can't play a song until you spend three years mastering every major and minor scale and mode on every string up and down the fret board!

Again, I'll repeat my advice that I started with: Find a good teacher who will help you play the songs you like. It's worth paying for, because he or she will keep you from forming bad habits and will make your practicing more efficient.

I've been playing guitar for 17 years now, and bass guitar for 7 years ... and I just re-upped with my favorite teacher for another round of lessons.

Oh, and get into a position where you play with others ASAP. It intensifies your desire to learn and helps you with your rhythm ... and is hella fun!
  #17  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:33 PM
Plumpudding Plumpudding is online now
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I'd also recommend to take breaks now and then if things get frustrating. Noodle around a bit, reset and try again. YMMV.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:30 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
Find a teacher you like. One who likes the same kind of songs as you.
I'll second this advice.

I'd played guitar as a kid, and taken lessons, but got bored with it, and gave it up when I was 11. However, there was always a twinge of regret about it, as I grew to love music over the years.

About 10 years ago, after watching me play the Guitar Hero video game to excess, my wife bought me an electric guitar starter set as a Valentine's Day present. I tried to go the self-taught route, using videos, but realized I wasn't doing much with it. I called the local music school about lessons, and the owner asked me, "what sort of music are you interested in playing?" When I replied with "classic rock," he said, "Perfect -- I'm going to set you up with Keith." I've been taking lessons with Keith ever since -- not only is he an excellent instructor, but he loves the same bands and songs that I do.
  #19  
Old 11-14-2017, 03:41 PM
Biffster Biffster is online now
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I figured out how to play Day Tripper in grade 7 and that buzz has lasted for years.


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  #20  
Old 11-14-2017, 08:29 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Everyone has a different way to learn. I've tried lessons, but that means a 100 mile drive for me (each way). Um. no.

That's one of the reasons that I've gone on line for instruction.

In learning chords, I found -

http://chordguide.com/guitar

Instead of trying to build chord sheets to practice with, you can build the practice sheets online and print them out.

I'm a ways away from putting a song together, but (for myself) I'm ok with practice, practice, practice (chords at this point) before I move on. I'm having fun. Trying to move on with out having the basics down would frustrate me.
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  #21  
Old 11-14-2017, 10:21 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
The problem with the violin is that you have to practice for eight years before you can even stand to listen to yourself.
And it's Right. There. In. Your. Ear. Believe me, as a recovering violinist, I know of what you speak. When I pick it up again, I can still kill off the whole bag of cats in an hour or so and make it sound like an instrument. But that's a hard hour to listen to, especially at such close range.

In retrospect, cello was the way to go.


I agree that you need to find the teacher and/or method that fits your style of learning and fits into your lifestyle. Different folks learn things in different ways. You've got a manageable goal, and I think you can potentially do it without instruction. If you find it confounds you, get a teacher.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:13 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
Any tips for a beginner?
Persistence is the key. It's gonna be hard and your fingers are gonna hurt like hell. And then will come that day when a song comes together. And then another and another. And it's all worth it.

Wanna set your sights high? Mike Dawes is incredible. One of these days, I will be able to play this arrangement.
  #23  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:25 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Thanks for all the good advice. Now the pressureís on!
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:37 AM
Biffster Biffster is online now
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
Thanks for all the good advice. Now the pressure’s on!


No pressure, amigo. Take it at your own pace. I've always wanted to be able to play like Chet Atkins, but that's a long term project. Take as much time as you need.
  #25  
Old 11-15-2017, 05:37 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Only the best kind of pressure

You know the rule: whatever keeps you playing. In the beginning, I gave myself plenty of time to play songs using one note, maybe even one string. Just feeling the groove and making crowd noises in the background. It turned out that feeling the groove is more central than I realized - at least as important as getting muscle memory for chords and strums.

I could never abide by lessons. I have always just noticed licks or techniques I wanted to play, found or made up a groove that featured it, and then tried to get smooth with it. Oh man, SRV's Pride and Joy Texas Shuffle groove - that's like juggling two tennis balls and a chain saw. Lots of reps to get the mechanics ingrained.

Long nights playing an unplugged electric mindlessly in front of a baseball game or comfy sitcom rerun. Doing the exercises I describe above that way was the only way I could build up the muscle memory.

And I took my electric apart a few times - just because, and to do mods. Lots of mods. I wouldn't recommend unless you have plenty of time to spare But somehow it helped me be a better player. Know your tools and shit.

Last edited by WordMan; 11-15-2017 at 05:40 AM.
  #26  
Old 11-15-2017, 08:27 AM
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Anyone else flash the image of enipla donning granny glasses and channeling John Denver while warbling "Rocky Mountain Hi --igh..."?

Haven't checked the guitar instruction sites offered above, but some, such as ArtistWorks have interactive elements, where you can record yourself and get feedback from the instructor. I went through their bluegrass bass series a couple of years back and found it worthwhile.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:36 PM
ethelbert ethelbert is offline
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You might seriously consider taking your guitar back to the store and ask them to do a "set up" (they will charge you for this - maybe $50). You might think that when you buy a brand new guitar that it should be completely ready to play. You might think that and you would be wrong. The action on a new guitar can often be adjusted downwards (by "action" I mean how far the strings are above the fretboard). Making your guitar as easy as possible to play is a good thing to do when you are starting out.
  #28  
Old 11-15-2017, 03:49 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Originally Posted by ethelbert View Post
You might seriously consider taking your guitar back to the store and ask them to do a "set up" (they will charge you for this - maybe $50). You might think that when you buy a brand new guitar that it should be completely ready to play. You might think that and you would be wrong. The action on a new guitar can often be adjusted downwards (by "action" I mean how far the strings are above the fretboard). Making your guitar as easy as possible to play is a good thing to do when you are starting out.
I mentioned that in a post above. Yes, it helps a LOT to lower the action.
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:16 PM
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You need a setup if they didn't do it when they sold it to you. But they ought to have done it in the normal course of business if you are a beginner taking a guitar home. "It needs a set up to play, costing $50. OK?"

Last edited by drad dog; 11-15-2017 at 04:18 PM.
  #30  
Old 11-15-2017, 09:25 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Well, the sales guy told me that it would already be ready to play, with some minor tuning. I have to say, it certainly looks easier than it is. I canít seem to sit comfortably yet. And I will definitely call Guitar Center about setting it up. They were very busy when I bought it.
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  #31  
Old 11-16-2017, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
Well, the sales guy told me that it would already be ready to play, with some minor tuning. I have to say, it certainly looks easier than it is. I can’t seem to sit comfortably yet. And I will definitely call Guitar Center about setting it up. They were very busy when I bought it.


The main thing is just keep plucking at it, a little bit at a time. It gets easier.
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:53 AM
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40+ years of guitar playing talking here. And lots of teaching, both formally and informally. This may not be the most encouraging as I'm in a bit of a mood right now. Sorry.

1. Umpteen years ago I had a Mel Bay Chord Dictionary. I put it in my guitar case and could lay my guitar on top of it. It showed 3 or 4 chords on each page with a diagram and photo of a hand making the chord. You need a chord dictionary.

2. Yes, get a capo. "Here Comes The Sun" is in G, but if you play it in G it'll be a mess. Put your capo on the 5th fret and play it in D. You'll sound JUST like George Harrison.

3. Barre chords (F, Fm, F#, F#m and others) are VERY difficult for beginners to master. F is the first one you'll come across. I believe it is the chord most responsible for new guitar players to go from "someone who is learning to play the guitar" to "someone who used to take some guitar lessons and has a guitar with a half inch of dust on it leaning in the corner of his room." Work your way up to an F. Learn A Bb B C D E G of the major and 7th chords. Learn A Bb B C D E minor chords. Once you're good at most of those AND can change chords easily and even without looking much, then start on an F major. That way, you'll have so much work invested in learning to play and made so much progress that the rough spots you have learning the F won't be so discouraging that you give up the guitar.

4. You'll find yourself straining your neck to put your fingers on the right place on the fretboard. This is not a great thing. Neither is rolling the guitar so the treble side is away from your body to make it easier to look at your fingers. Practice in front of a mirror holding the guitar flat against you. Sure, use a strap/ Watch the mirror image of your fingers to place them. This will be easier on your neck and your wrist. Also the sooner you learn to recognise what chords look like in the mirror, the sooner you'll be able to play with other guitarists by watching the chords they're playing.

5. It's great that you have a song you want to learn. I spent hours and hours in front of a mirror learning "I Should Have Known Better". I learned the song. I already felt where the chord changes were, it was just a matter of learning to play the chords and to change them. Unfortunately, my songbook taught me the song in C. The Beatles played it in G. So much for playing along with them, but it worked fine on bus rides and sing alongs.

Good luck. Yamahas were good guitars back then. Have fun. I hope I didn't discourage you much. I'll try to stop by here again. Let us know how your're doing, m'kay?

Last edited by Ranger Jeff; 11-16-2017 at 02:55 AM.
  #33  
Old 11-16-2017, 10:42 AM
swampspruce swampspruce is online now
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Enipla, there are plenty of online live lessons you could look at. This eliminates the drive, and forces you to commit to a schedule since you're paying for someone's time. I know it's worked for the people I know who have tried it.

OP A chord dictionary is very handy ( I have my dad's Mel Bay book from 1963), and a capo is something you should invest in at some point.
Some excellent advice here and I only have three things to add:
1) Tune the guitar every time before you play. Try doing it by ear and see how close you are while using the onboard tuner. It's good practice and sometimes tuners don't have batteries...
2) Give your guitar a quick wipe down on the strings and body after you're done. Oils from your body will dull the finish and strings over time. If you bought a cleaning kit, use it, but a good clean microfiber cloth will do the job. No Furniture wax or polish EVER!
3) Humidify your guitar (especially in the winter months) and put it back in the case when you are done. Oasis and Humidipak are both good. I've done repair work on cracked necks from guitars falling off couches and crack repairs on others that have been left to dry out. Before I knew better, I bought my first "high end" guitar and didn't do any of the above. It cost me several hundred dollars to repair the cracks to the top and sides due to it drying out in Alberta's brutally dry winters.

I truly hope you enjoy playing and learning! Just remember it's addictive...
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Last edited by swampspruce; 11-16-2017 at 10:42 AM.
  #34  
Old 11-16-2017, 11:06 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampspruce View Post
Enipla, there are plenty of online live lessons you could look at. This eliminates the drive, and forces you to commit to a schedule since you're paying for someone's time. I know it's worked for the people I know who have tried it.
Interesting to know, but I really don't need to force myself to a schedule. Really, that would cause problems. As it is, I'm having fun and look forward to practice. I've got about 11 chords down pretty well.

Justinguitar.com works very well for me.
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  #35  
Old 11-16-2017, 11:14 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
Well, the sales guy told me that it would already be ready to play, with some minor tuning. I have to say, it certainly looks easier than it is. I canít seem to sit comfortably yet. And I will definitely call Guitar Center about setting it up. They were very busy when I bought it.
And then, humility set in.
  #36  
Old 11-16-2017, 11:37 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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One tip that took me awhile to figure out.

The headstock needs to be angled away from your body. Not a lot. Maybe 10 degrees? It should also point upwards a little. Don't hold the guitar completely level.

It puts your hand in a better position and makes it much easier fretting chords. Especially if you play further up the neck with a capo.

Give it a try. I found it made a significant difference for me.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-16-2017 at 11:39 AM.
  #37  
Old 11-16-2017, 02:40 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
Well, the sales guy told me that it would already be ready to play, with some minor tuning. I have to say, it certainly looks easier than it is. I canít seem to sit comfortably yet. And I will definitely call Guitar Center about setting it up. They were very busy when I bought it.
If I had to guess I'd say it had already been set up. It's such a basic thing he wouldn't have sent you on your way without it, and said that to you.

Don't worry about holding your body in position. Just learn chords of the songs you have to know because you love them that much. The repetition you need to get facility can be stultifying unless you are in a real motivating place.

Also get your hands in shape to make barre chords up the neck. Basically it means your index finger changes the key and the other fingers make the chord. All that F chord is is an E chord moved up one half step. If you move your A chord up 6 half steps it's D sharp. Try to get used to those calculations.

This is handy because you can play chuck berry songs with barre chords and get a feel for the spatial relationships of the rock and roll chords, which you don't up at the cowboy chords. (Music is all spatial relationships.) Chuck Berry will be a great resource for hours of pratice.
  #38  
Old 11-16-2017, 03:30 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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I find that it really helps to do finger/wrist stretches prior to practicing/playing. Press all four fingers of one hand against the palm of the other hand, making the wrist bend backwards. Then bend the wrist forward and gently press down on the back of the hand. Also, rotate your wrists both directions. I also move my fingers rapidly as if I'm playing a piano really fast. This all helps in playing, especially for those chords requiring a long reach (like barring the second fret for an A7 and using your pinkie to hit the 5th fret).
  #39  
Old 11-16-2017, 05:04 PM
jaycat jaycat is offline
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So I picked up a guitar the other day

So... any chicks yet?
  #40  
Old 11-16-2017, 10:43 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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Originally Posted by drad dog View Post
If I had to guess I'd say it had already been set up. It's such a basic thing he wouldn't have sent you on your way without it, and said that to you.
This is true at a decent guitar store, but at Guitar Center? You're lucky if the salespeople there know how to string a guitar, let alone set one up. And they'll tell you anything.
  #41  
Old 11-17-2017, 01:59 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
This is true at a decent guitar store, but at Guitar Center? You're lucky if the salespeople there know how to string a guitar, let alone set one up. And they'll tell you anything.
Ehhh, the same is true at a lot of guitar stores. Guitarists believe a lot of fucking woo, in general. I'd say we were worse than the rest of the population, to be honest. Anyone involved in sales is doubly suspect.

On the other hand, if you can find a guitar tech or shop that you trust, use them. The more focused they are on setup/repair, the better. I live in a large metropolitan area, but there's only one place that I trust to set up an instrument better than I can*. Even if I was unclear in my needs in the setup, they will take me in the back if I'm unsatisfied when I pickup the instrument, and even shave/dress frets while we talk to make sure it is to my liking. The same shop has performed a complete re-wire, re-nut and re-fret of a crazy Italian guitar for less than you'd pay to buy a decent guitar from the far east. Seriously, if you like guitars, find a good repair shop to do work that you can't figure out. If they're good, they can turn a pile of crap into a playable instrument.



But drad dog and Ranger Jeff hammered home one thing I agree with hardcore: learn your E/Em A/Am barre chord forms as soon as you can after learning your first song; and understand what makes them an E, or a G or an A depending on where you put them (hint: root note). Work to understand why they're different, and why you would choose one over the other in context. You can play a phenomenal amount of songs only understanding what a I-IV-V change is, and that's with only major chords. Once you know how to throw a minor in, and where, then you have the beginnings of fun.

OTOH, I don't agree with a chord dictionary. I think access to one stunted my musical growth. If you can figure out why a major, minor, 7th, 9th, etc. chord are constructed the way they are, you can figure out how to construct any chord under the sun, plus learn other fun tricks such as inversions and substitutions.

But, that's all nonsense ahead of you. Get those fingers toughened up with the chord changes to "Angel of Harlem"! Then learn to play it with all barre chords! I learned with the strings a half inch off the fretboard, and so should you!

Ok, I'm jealous that your Yamaha kicks the crap out of the Global I learned to play "Amazing Grace" on. Ignore me.




*Lambs Music, Fort Worth, Texas. If you're interested and in the neighborhood.

Last edited by scabpicker; 11-17-2017 at 02:01 AM.
  #42  
Old 11-17-2017, 01:21 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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One milestone to maybe shoot for some day is figuring out beatles songs using barre chords. I start on the fifth fret, in the key of A, for each song and go as far as I can without looking at the book. (You can play a song in any key using barre chords. Using the same key of A all the time reinforces my memory of what the chords do) When I was a beginner I used to play beatles songs with cowboy chords and say "Christ how the fuck do they do that!" You don't learn anything that way.

The things you have to look up will stick in your memory, and that's your progress right there.

Last edited by drad dog; 11-17-2017 at 01:22 PM.
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