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Old 09-01-2004, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Learning Guitar

I'm thinking about learning to play electric guitar but i wanted some imput first. I'd be willing to dedicate a whatever amount of time its needed, but i'm cureous as to how long it takes to get good.

any advice is welcome

thanks!
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Depends on what you want to accomplish(i.e. style of music you wish to play), and what you would consider "good". I played for a couple years before I became what I considered to be "good". Actually with a little hard work and maybe some tutoring, most anyone can pick up the basics in a few weeks, and be able to strum a song or pick a melody in such a way that they would probably be recognizeable.

I would recommend a guitar teacher if you can swing it. I am, for the most part, self taught, but always learned the most when playing with someone else.
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The first step toward getting good is getting callouses on your fingertips. No matter what the TV commercials say, there is no "fast and easy" way to learn guitar, because those callouses take time. You have to play every day, and your fingertips will HURT LIKE HELL until those callouses get fat. Therefore, before you commit, make sure you're willing to do what it takes for as long as it takes to build up callouses.

If you play every day, I'd guess that your callouses will be in top form (thick) in three weeks.

Next, you have to develop your chord fingering and be able to change chords without slowing or stopping the steady beat. Again, this is something that takes time as your fingers develop their own "memory" as to the fingerings of different chords. As you learn to strum chords and sing along, play as SLOW as you need to in order to change chords without stopping the beat. This is extremely critical and is the ultimate downfall of most beginning guitar players. KEEP THAT STEADY BEAT GOING!

This part probably takes a couple more weeks, too (assuming you play every day).
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You need to have the time before even starting. I've had a guitar for over a year now. Started off pretty good playing everyday but then life intruded (work, kids, etc.) and once I started missing a day here and there it just sort of ended altogether. I have been trying to get started again and hopefully once the cold weather sets in and I have less to do outside I can really get into it.

Basically, all I'm trying to say is make sure you have the time available before investing any serious money.
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Personally, Id suggest starting on acoustic and then moving to electric. Ive yet to meet a player who started on electric who can play well on acoustic, but everyone I know that started acoustic has no problem playing electric.

Seriously, even though you may not think you would ever want to play acoustic, at some point you will, and its much different than electric.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i agree with sailor. acoustic builds your finger muscles quicker as well - the strings are harder to hold down. cost effective for starting out, too.......don't have to worry about an amp!
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Firstly, thanks for the imput. The type of music I want to be able to play is varied but I was thinking along the lines of Zepplin, Hendrix, Cream (though I know I won't be nearly good enough to play that type of stuff starting out). Time commitment won't be an issue for me, neither will the extra cost thats associated with electric. The reason I'm more egar to learn electric than acoustic is that the type of music I love to listen to is more electric than acoustic. However, if you guys are really recomending that I start on acoustic I'll consider it.

Thanks again,
Triad
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Montana
What every asspiring guitar player needs to learn to do is to spend as much time as you can in front of your mirror practicing all your cool rock faces and poses, this is important!!
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Old 09-01-2004, 02:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well obviously, toecutter, not to mention playing a burning guitar with your teeth....
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Old 09-01-2004, 02:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There is a certain amount of natural talent involved. If you have it, you should pick it up in no time. If you don't, you may just have to work a little longer at it. Just keep in mind that you are not going to be a rock god overnight. Practice long and often. If you're not great at first, don't let it discourage you. Be patient and try not to get frustrated. Playing guitar can be a lot of fun but it will take some time for you to get to that point. Key to becoming a good guitarist: Practice, practice, practice! Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2004, 03:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I wanna learn how to play too. Cept I'm gonna start on accoustic. I eventually wanna get an electric and learn how to play the blues, slide, and of course Pink Floyd songs. I may be 45 before I am finally able to. I also wanna learn to play the piano and the harmonica so I'm pretty much a lost cause.

Asta!!
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Old 09-01-2004, 05:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I can't be a rock god overnite? Damn, there goes that idea.... haha

I think I'm gonna go with acoustic, mostly due to the imput I've gotten from you guys, thanks a lot! It also kinda helped my decision that some girls I'm friends with say that guys who play acoustic are much sexier... haha
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Old 09-01-2004, 05:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well it's like my friend Scott said that I think he was quoting from someone else. Whenever you see a guy carrying around an acoustic guitar....he's just tryin to get laid.

Asta!!
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The best thing for a beginner, especially if you can't read music like me, are guitar tabs. Download a program called Powertab (www.power-tab.net). It's free to download, then you can subscribe to the powertab forum (which is also free). You'll have access to just about any Zeppelin, Hendrix, or Cream song you want. I downloaded it a few months ago, and I have gotten so much better since then.

Start our playing on acoustic, like everyone else said. Some of the songs you probably want to learn may not sound perfect on an acoustic guitar, but it is so much easier to transition from acoustic to electric
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Old 09-01-2004, 07:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Remember This My Friend~

Never sell your guitar out of frustration.

I bought a nice Celebrity Ovation (acoustic/electric) many many years ago and dutifully learned all my chords and had fun for a while.
Then...my progress stopped due to my goddamn Fat Fucking Fingers!!!! or so I said.
I had gone through some pretty lean times, each time fighting the urge to let my six-string baby go. I'm glad good sense ruled, because after all these years I've picked her up again in earnest and am enjoying her like never before.
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Old 09-01-2004, 08:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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ok, thanks mamasan, i'll check out that site.

so now that i've decided to get an acoustic, is there any kinda research I should do first or should I just go to my local music store and pick out a basic model?
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Old 09-02-2004, 10:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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buy the one that feels and sounds right to you. also, dont think of playing as practicing. never continue to you play when you dont feel like it. playing any instrument should never seem like a chore.
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Old 09-02-2004, 08:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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k, so all that being said. What is the best way to learn? I've got the guitar, I just need input on experiences with classes at stores, or individual lessons, or just bangin' away by myself. Whatd'ya think?
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Old 09-03-2004, 04:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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ok, i got an acoustic! The squire by fender, to be precise, and i've been playing it all afternoon. I'm kinda tought myself a couple cords and then went on to guitartabs.com and have been strumming/picking (w/e its called) random songs and having a lot of fun! I'd love some recomendations on good beginer songs though. So far I've learned "Damnit" by blink 182 and the opening to "Daytripper" by the beatles as well as random parts to a few other songs. Oh also, should I limit my playing time to prevent blisters and stuff (my fingers hurt a bit though I know I should expect that).
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Old 09-03-2004, 06:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I hear House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals used to be one of the first songs people would learn whenever they got a guitar. They say that ones a good one. These days I always hear people playing Nirvana songs though...like Smells Like Teen Spirit n shit.

Asta!!
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Old 09-04-2004, 05:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The most important thing imho, is do you have a natural ear for music? I have had many buddys who have seen me play and they're like, teach me how to play. But a couple have no ear for music, so I teach them and they learn finger positioning, chords ect., but can't tell if the guitar is even in tune.

Its like trying to teach someone who has zero rythym (sp)?, to dance or play drums.
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Old 09-04-2004, 07:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: Tucson
kk just to add onto what people have been saying...

glad you went with an acoustic. when you make the transition you will find that you can make your electric sound better because it is harder to get a good sound out of the acoustic. when you use those skills on an electric, your sound will be crisper and cleaner and you can show people you can actually play without using distortion and sound nice :P.

second, please dont look up guitar tabs unless you KNOW you will be dedicated enough to learn music without getting frustrated and leaning on tabs. they dont really teach you anything except how to play the song. you dont understand where the structure of the song comes from, what has influenced it, etc. anyway, thats my tab rant.

lastly, if you dont have the means to have a teacher, try www.cyberfret.com. free online guitar lessons and it covers a lot. great for learning the basics. have fun with it and dont get too frustrated with it. it takes time
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Old 09-04-2004, 08:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Yeah, try to stay away from tabs until you know every note name on the fretboard beneath the twelveth fret. Honestly, tabs are like steroids. They can give you a great boost in the beginning, but they prove detrimental in the long run. Most tabs don't show note names, rhythm, chord relationships, dynamics, and all of this knowledge comes in useful when you begin to write your own songs and also begin to play with other people. (Could you imagine walking into a room with your band "Ok guys, we're going to start off with a 022 on the low e, then progress to a squealing 894 on the b..." they'd think you're speaking a different language, which is the case with tablature).
A good exercise is to change tablature to notation, so you get the easy access to songs through tablature, but the advanced learning through notation.
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Old 09-04-2004, 08:51 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 09-06-2004, 04:37 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm learning guitar, the lessons consist of me playing the teacher a song (through CD) i'd like to learn (e.g Metallica - Seek & Destroy) and him writing down correct power chords/fingering to play it bit by bit.

It's a lot different to when i learnt piano 4-6 years ago, more fun since I'm learning the songs I'd like to play. I'm learning on acoustic, so It's quite hard doing all the slides on songs like Master of Puppets
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Old 09-10-2004, 05:50 AM   #26 (permalink)
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well bars always need cover bands. i have been playing for almost 3 years now and know only a few songs, 1 completely through(stair way of course). Im much more concerned with spending hours writing my own riffs, licks, phrases, etc than spending it learning someone else's song. Atleast learn the major scale. You should be able to recognize how much it is used in music. No matter how indie a band thinks they are by using "weird shaped chords", if it sounds pleasing to the ear, its most likely a slight variation of a major chord if not a major chord.
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