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Learning the GEE-tar. Give me your advice.


Dead Crow
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Ok, simple deal. I'm learning the guitar, and practically am teaching myself here. But if anyone has advice for one young sprout who just about knows what the strings are, whether tips or money to buy a tutor, or any good teaching sites or ANYTHING, let me know.

 

And just know that I am left handed, now using my right hand to play just a normal cheapy black Fender until I get better and can afford a better guitar (of my own).

 

Thanks in advance.

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My only advice would be if youre playin a right handed guitar now, keep playin a right handed guitar......regardless of how much money you have, im left handed but play right handed, an i picked up a left handed guitar a few months ago an its just weird, it takes you back loads of steps, plus left handed guitars are steep if you want anythin good

 

other than that it depends on what music you wanna play, if you wanna become an all round talented guitarist then you're best (IMO) just hammering through chords to get a good grounding and a wideish knowledge of classic chords, then look at power chords coz theyre easy so you can learn some songs an it dont get boring, then start hammering your scales and your theory till you know what youre doin, theres loads of sites online that are good for any of these things

 

Alternatively drop it to D, stick a finger over the lowest three strings on one of your frets, bang on some distortion an play some nice easy metal!

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Learning music theory cold bring on your understanding a lot more quickly, but that's like learning grammar when you're trying to learn foreign languages, sure it's practically useful, but it can be very boring and tedious and it's not fun, since having fun is the point, I would say avoid it for now until you want to be challenged more by learning how to write your own songs, how other songs are written when you want to work out how to play them by ear, that sort of thing.

 

For now I would say stick to chords that are easy and focus on playing easier songs that you like that have those chords. Workings out of songs on the internet can be wrong, but you might get some pointers as to how some simpler songs you like can be played. Try to stick with things that have chords like C, A, G, E, D, Am, Dm, Em and possibly F and Bm in them at first. Get some chords on the board so that you can play stuff, that way it can be fun sooner and you can develop from there. Concentrate on being able to change between those chords and getting used to how they sound.

 

There was a thread a while ago where Mr Mistoffeles asked about learning and there were some suggestions there. Here it is. There's some theory stuff there but it might help you. Also you'd love drop D and probably be able to play most Korn songs pretty much instantly but I wouldn't recommend it at first since you will after all have to learn to play the thing properly. If yuo look at the power chord shapes I gave in the other thread, those fifth chods (so E5 for example) are the same as drop D chords except because you haven't dropped your lowest string to D you need to play them the way they are in those diagrams instead of with just one finger.

 

Any other questions for any of us then give us a shout. :)

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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I don't know why I'm about to give advice cos my guitar playing is still pretty awful but I have a few tips.

 

1: Don't even think about teasing yourself by looking at the tabs for Steve Vai songs, Metallica solos, etc, for a starter they're way out of bounds and it's pointless even looking at them until you can play anything.

2: Learn as many entire songs as you can! For about 2 years I've been playing bits and bobs, like the main riff of a song, or the start of an easy solo or just some random part, learn the whole thing and practise it so much you'll never mess it up.

3: GET GUITAR PRO!!!! I don't have it but my friend does and it's so unfairly good, it'd be hard to fail with that program I'm sure.

4: Get tabs from mxtabs.net. It has pretty much everything you'd want, try and use only the five-star rated tabs though.

4: Practise daily. Even if it's only for 10 minutes or something, recapping on whatever you've been playing recently is never a bad thing to do.

5: Play as much as you can as soon as you can so you get your hardened finger-tips early!

6: Thrashing the strings as hard and fast as you can without any care of what you're playing is not clever, nor is setting the two highest strings alight and attempting a flaming rock n roll show, just don't do it.

7: Buy spare packs of strings and plenty of plectrums (they're cheap!), going without these things is not the way to go.

8: Fairly obvious, but take care of the guitar, the more you smash it around the more ****ed up and shitty-sounding it's gonna get.

9: Do a lot of 0-0-0-0-0-0-7-0-0-0-0-0-0-8 stuff. Metallica/Slayer type stuff that's really easy.

 

And remember, you won't understand a ****ing thing for a long-ass time, but it just comes to you with a social-life-reducing amount of practise, don't give up, just dedicate a lot of time to it, it will be worth it.

 

Yeah I know I really should know more about chord-progression and stuff by now :P

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I really didnt have a clue when I started, but I looked up a couple of chords on the net and got used to playing them. Then I learnt a few more, then I moved onto changing chords. Oh, and I always found, If I stopped looking at the guitar while doing it, you become way more familiar with it quickly. If you want a really easy tab to use, Get Muse-Unintended. Was way easy for me to learn at first.
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Pete! :)

 

Chord progressions? I thought you were busy nailing your pinch harmonics! What sort of stuff are you playing these days?

 

Dra, the bit about practising every day is true even if it's just for a while. Sure, there'll be spells where you might miss a day or two, but try not to let it go for long periods obviously. The thing is, sometimes you'll try to leanr something new for an hour on the first day and you'll think it sounds awful, but when you sleep on it and try again the next day, often you're just somehow suddenly better. That's from training your reflex and muscle memory, because if you practise something more, it won't seem so hard or you'll know your way around it better, thus enabling you to concentrate on nailing the technique rather than having to think consciously about where the heck the next note is. I've just had this experience with Little Wing by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, which I was terrible at yesterday when I just looked at learning it, but today I seem to be able to play a passable, if not note-for-note or amazingly brilliant, version of it.

 

This month's Total Guitar magazine has a DVD with some guitar care essentials on it, mainly about changing strings and tuning up, so that might help, I think from having watched it they mention about cleaning it as well. Of course my guitars look like crap and the strings are literally about a year and a bit old, but you might want to take better care of yours like that if you still want it to sound as good as it ought to have sounded when you first picked it out of the shop.

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well when i started with the guitar (well i still suck ;) ) I went with some DAMN easy songs to learn first... and btw, try to get used to powerchords as most cool songs use them anyways...

 

here is a list of a easy songs for ya bro...

 

Nirvana - Come As You Are (easy riff)

Nirvana - Lithium (power chords)

White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (DAMN easy riff)

Guns n' Roses - Used to Love Her (easy chords)

Green Day - Time Of Your Life (easy chords)

Green Day - Basket Case (power chords)

 

hope it helps :)

here's a site where you can find the tabs for this songs

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com

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See this is why I stuck to bass playing... four stings equal less of a hard time...

 

But I can safetly say that if you can bear it then Punk is the easiest thing to learn on guitar or bass first as its minimal chords usually and quite easy ones...

 

Start them slow and the build up your changing and progression when you feel confident with the layout of your fingers and the order of the chords... NOT UNTIL THEN!

 

Never ever attempt to ask a teacher how to play a System Of A Down song either, my mate Chris did and his teacher told him to play Smoke On The Water instead (also an easy start).

 

My final advice? Don't break your wrist... screws with your style, time for practise and drive to do it... it leads to sold instruments as well.

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Im officially p*ssed off. My guitar has been placed on the shelf for the near future. Basically, the cog that holds the strings in place at the neck of the guitar for the E string and lets you tune it looks like it got in a fight with Wolverine and lost, so I can't tune it properly, it keeps getting stuck. Anyway, I unwisely went for the DIY approach, and have now lost the screw that held it there anyway. So the string is entirely f**ked. My question is, can you buy these parts seperately? Its an acoustic in case your wondering. Its really annoying as I was just starting to practice again.
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I don't really know what you mean by the cog. If you mean the bit you twist to put the string in tune, then yes, but if you can't be bothered just use a pair of pliars to turn the bare bit that's left - it also sounds like you should restring it. Acoustic guitars often come with really heavy gauge strings on them for some reason, then when you go to put the same ones on or mess about with the ones on it, they're ridiculously tight and won't tune. It sounds like you should get a new set of strings, the lightest gauge possible to be on the safe side might help. You can get parts separately usually, but you'll need a tech guy to fix a serious problem, so best go to your local music store and ask them anyway.
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plus in fairness you should be re-stringing an acoustic as often as possible, acoustic strings attract shite! they have a tendency to turn green, an noone wants that

 

If you are talkin bout your machine head then as millionliraman said pliars do the trick, if not get your arse to ebay and just buy one, you can get em for pennies 2nd hand an theyre easily fitted if done during restringing

 

failing that music shops will service your guitar for 20-30 quid, any minor problems like that will all be part of the service

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I can do pinches now! Not amazingly well, but with some good distortion they're quite satisfying! :D At the moment I like playing About A Girl by Nirvana because it's so easy and I can sing and play it at the same time! Erm, I can play most of the stuff off Bleach now aswell, just really easy stuff. Aside from that I'm constantly attempting to play Jimmy Page or Tony Iommi style blues, but I can't get beyond the same hammer ons and 5-7 7-5 9-7 stuff (I still don't know the technical terms for these techniques)... I'm pretty fast and could play a lot of stuff if shown how to, but I just don't seem to be able to do much, it's hard to explain :S

 

By the way I LOVE Surfing With The Alien (I think it's called that), and For The Love Of God by Steve Vai. I have this old video of an event I think is called Expo 92, it has Vai, Satrianni, Brian May, Joe Walsh and quite a few others, they all just jam on their favourite songs and Steve Vai's performance is sickeningly good! He does this tapping thing and his fingers are going up and down all the strings like 100mph, woh!

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I can do pinches now! Not amazingly well, but with some good distortion they're quite satisfying! :D At the moment I like playing About A Girl by Nirvana because it's so easy and I can sing and play it at the same time! Erm, I can play most of the stuff off Bleach now aswell, just really easy stuff. Aside from that I'm constantly attempting to play Jimmy Page or Tony Iommi style blues, but I can't get beyond the same hammer ons and 5-7 7-5 9-7 stuff (I still don't know the technical terms for these techniques)... I'm pretty fast and could play a lot of stuff if shown how to, but I just don't seem to be able to do much, it's hard to explain :S

 

By the way I LOVE Surfing With The Alien (I think it's called that), and For The Love Of God by Steve Vai. I have this old video of an event I think is called Expo 92, it has Vai, Satriani, Brian May, Joe Walsh and quite a few others, they all just jam on their favourite songs and Steve Vai's performance is sickeningly good! He does this tapping thing and his fingers are going up and down all the strings like 100mph, woh!

 

Excuse me while I go into 'PM to Pete but too long for a PM' mode. :)

 

Ah, indeedy! I assume the Iommi stuff you mean with the numbers could be the Iron Man riff. If you imagine power chord shapes, starting on the E string where I put an E in brackets and starting on the A string where I put an A in brackets, then I think you must be playing:

 

7(E)-5(A)-5(A)-7(A)-7(A)

10(A)-9(A)-10(A)-9(A)-10(A)-9(A)

5(A)-5(A)-7(A)-7(A)

 

That being the verse riff for Iron Man. I could put the end bit on as well but I can't be bothered, but I assume that's what you're playing. :xyx

 

I met a guy while meeting Joe Satriani who does bootlegs of performances that aren't commercially available and that Expo 92 performance is one of them. I plan to get a multi-region DVD soon and sort out Paypal so that I can get it myself along with Van Halen in 1983, David Lee Roth with Vai in 1988 (with the triple heart guitar, oh yes!), Vai in 1997 playing the guitar duel music from Crossroads with Mike Keneally, and possibly Deep Purple with Satriani instead of Ritchie Blackmore. Knowing you like heavy stuff, if you like Vai you'd probably love 'Bad Horsie' and for bluesy Satriani you might get a kick out of 'Satch Boogie' - try 'War' for a bit of a heavier song by him, that has a pretty catchy main riff.

 

If you're mucking about with blues, the coolest stuff always seems to use the open strings, so do it in E if you're just finding your way with it and having a bit of fun. Try this introduction lick:

 

|---------------------------------------------------------

|----------------9----------8----------7------------------

|---------------------------------------------------------

|---(9)------9------9---8------8---7------7---6---7-8-9--

|---------------------------------------------------------

|---------------------------------------------------------

 

Then if you want chords to lead into another E chord you could go E-A-G (or just play open strings briefly instead of the G)-E (start of next bit)

 

Instead of the end 9 (a B on the D string) you could play a low open E to make it a finishing lick rather than one leading into more chords. Nicked from Yngwie Malmsteen, here's a tapping variation of the same lick which I personally try to find an excuse to use as often as possible when playing bluesy stuff:

 

|---(12)------------------------------------------

|----------17--12--15--17--12--15--17--12--15--

|-------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------

 

|-------------------------------------------------

|--17--11--14--17--11--14--17--11--14----------

|-------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------

 

|-------------------------------------------------------------

|----17--10--13--17--10--13--17--10--13--(17)--9-----------

|-------------------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------------------

|---------------------------------------------------0--1--2--

|-------------------------------------------------------------

 

It looks hard but just right hand tap the 17s, pull off to the lower of the other two noes and hammer on to the next before tapping another 17, so you're just tapping 17s on and releasing them to your left hand which then does a hammer on up three frets and your left hand descends by a fret after three repeats. The whole thing follows a triplet pattern, like the earlier thing I showed you, except it looks flashier but is actually just as easy. Again, you could replace the end B note (2nd fret on the A string right at the end) with a low open E for a finish, or just an E chord instead to finish. I also like to stick in a few trills from D to E, usually on the D string going from an open D to E on the second fret of that string, so you can play the chord first, then throw in the trill for a bit, something like:

 

|-------------------------------------------------

|-------------------------------------------------

|-----2-------------------------------------------

|--2--2-----2--0--2--0--2--0--2--0--2--0--2-----

|--2--0--2--2------------------------------------

|--0-----3--0------------------------------------

 

You can do those trills fast or just hammer on and pull off at whatever speed you like, you can repeat that kind of thing in E blues pretty much as much as you like, it's standard fare I would say.

 

So are you back now Pete? If not for good, are you on other music forums? Give me a PM or whatever to let me know if you like, you've been missed around here mate!

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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