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Guitar help


theeohiostate
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It has been my life long dream to learn to play the guitar. I would like to learn to play music like Clapton, Chris Issac, Dave Matthews Band .

 

I'm looking for some advice on what type of guitar I need to get ( mind you I am clueless musically ) . Books or lessons ?

 

How long should one expect to take to learn to play ?

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When I first started, I just went to the local music shop and bought a cheap acoustic guitar that could stay in tune. I think with tuner, capo, and picks, it was under $100. Took me about 6 months of daily playing using online tabs/videos to nail down Dave Matthews and all the cliche songs guys break out at parties.

 

After I got bored with that, I got a mid-range Epiphone Les Paul and started getting into Beatles, Neil Young, SRV, Led Zep. Acoustics are great, but electric is more fun and allows for more creativity.

 

I never took lessons, but I would highly recommend them for learning the proper technique. If you really want to get serious about playing, you should probably get beginner books on music theory to learn the notes, chords, progressions, scales, modes.

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i'd go electric to start. they are easier to fret vs. an acoustic, so you won't put your fingers through as much hell. plus, electric sounds more freakin' cool, which will motivate you to play and practice more.

 

any basic rock guitar book should show you power chords and the pentatonic scale. learn these, and the open chords, and you are well on your way to a wide range of rock and blues ...

 

oh, and practice to music, with others, or at least with a metronome as much as possible.

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I started on the Stratocaster Starter Kit, and for the price you pay - it's a pretty good deal. Most local music shops will carry it.

 

As far as learning goes, the most important thing is sit down every night for at least fifteen minutes and play. Building the calises on your fingers and the muscle memory is so important for making it enjoyable.

Go to a site like Ultimate-Guitar.com and find the tabs for songs you want to learn. Make sure it's stuff you want to learn, otherwise you'll never stay interested. After you learn some basic tab songs (I started with Dammit by Blink 182 - look for things as simple as that for starters) and you feel like your fingers are able to press pretty well, and you're getting a feel for the guitar - start learning chords. Start with: Em, D, G, E, C, A and Am and you'll be able to play a huge selection of songs.

 

I've learned from a lot of great guitar players (Including Eric Clapton's cousin Dave, who owns a local shop here), as well as given lessons. I've found the best book out there when you're done messing around and ready to learn some deeper theory and technique is Modern Method For Guitars. So if after a few months you get bored and are looking for more - I highly recommend that.

 

Around that point, you can start looking for a nicer guitar too and many of us would be happy to help you spend money :wacko:

Edited by kpholmes
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Going acoustic first will ultimatley make you a better guitar player IMO. You hands will be stronger and when you do switch to electric you will do so with ease. If you do start electric you will also need an amp. The amp will have settings that will give you a clean sound and a dirty distorted sound depending on what type of music you are playing and the sound you want to achive. Play as clean as possible in the begiining. It might now sound pretty but distortion and echo and all those effects wont give you a true reading of how well you are doing.

 

I took lessons and it was very helpful. Others will swear by no lessons. Personally having a live person there to ask questions and throw ideas off of was helpful to me. Make sure you get an accomplished teacher if you go that route. Good luck. Practice a lot. Once you get the hang on if and start being able to play some tunes and siwtch for chord to chord easily and get some theory under your belt your motivation will skyrocket. Good luck bro.

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Going acoustic first will ultimatley make you a better guitar player IMO. You hands will be stronger and when you do switch to electric you will do so with ease. If you do start electric you will also need an amp. The amp will have settings that will give you a clean sound and a dirty distorted sound depending on what type of music you are playing and the sound you want to achive. Play as clean as possible in the begiining. It might now sound pretty but distortion and echo and all those effects wont give you a true reading of how well you are doing.

 

these are great points. going acoustic to start will be rougher at first, but you will come out better on the other side as whomp states. just beware that it will be easier to get discouraged as it is harder to fret and you don't get the rush that comes from loud distortion. i started electric and then when i tried acoustic, i realized that i had to take my game up a notch for it to sound decent.

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I'll +1 to the acoustic first suggestions. It really will make you better in the long run. The starter kit KP linked to is a pretty dang good deal if you have the coin, but I'd take $200 into a local music store and come out with a decent accoustic, strap, tuner, picks and a book. This will eventually become your camping/party guitar. Good enough, but not so nice that you care about it getting banged around. And if you find it isn't for you then you can turn around and get 50%+ back on it. If you're truly a newb musically, once you get into it you'll really appreciate what you can do with the flat top and then you'll have learned enough that your questions won't be "What should I get", but more like "I really like the Les Paul for this type of music but the Strat does better with that type. Is there a good compromise?

 

Of course we'll tell you to go get your balls out of your wife's purse and buy both... :wacko:

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Much like others have stated, learn to play acoustic first, especially based on the stuff you want to learn to play. A couple of years ago I traded guitar lessons for golf lessons with my buddy. He dropped $120 on a cheapo acoustic in a store. He now has 3 and an Epiphony Les Paul. :wacko:

 

The point is that if you can play it on an acoustic, you can play it on an electric but not necessarily vice versa. The frets tend to be closer and the neck not as wide on an electric making it faster and easier to play, but that doesn't always translate well to the acoustic. So this is what I told my buddy to do. First, set yourself a budget for the guitar. Like anything else, when faced with a plethora of choices it is easy to become enthralled by things and blow money you didn't intend to. Next, go to a music store, the bigger the better, and play every acoustic guitar that is within you budget. Some will have bigger bodies, some smaller bodies, some will have cut aways near the upper frets, some will have wide necks, some will have narrow necks. It doesn't matter if by touching them they sound like crap and they don't have to be in tune. What you're looking for is a guitar that you feel comfortable with. Something that fits your body well.

 

What you want to walk out of the store with is a guitar, a case for the guitar (even if it just a gig bag) and a chromatic tuner. You will learn to tune the guitar by ear eventually, but for right now, trust me, you want a tuner. Then next thing is looking for someone to take lessons from.

 

Basically what you want is someone that is going to do three things for you during your lessons, 1) teach you the mechanics of playing the guitar. This means reading music and not just tab. 2) Teach you the underlying music theory to the stuff that you're learning to play. Learning the theory makes understanding what is happening on the fretboard SO much easier it isn't even funny. When someone says that a tune is slow blues in the key of A minor with a I-IV-V chord progression, that's all I need to know to play that song with them and play it well. 3) Will teach you the styles that you want to learn. This doesn't mean that they are going to teach you Clapton or Dave Mathews in the first couple of lessons, but they are willing to take you in that direction.

 

That last thing you need to have is dedication. You need to play that thing AT LEAST 1 hour a day. I'm serious. Even if it isn't practicing what you have a homework for your next lesson, you need to be playing the guitar. Maybe it's just a "what happens if I do this?" sort of thing, but you need to be playing it to strengthen your fingers and build up the caluses. The more comfortable you are with the guitar, the easier it will be to play and comfot comes through familiarity. Play it. Play it until your fingers bleed. Remember John Lennon screaming about blisters on his fingers? You want that.

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Much like others have stated, learn to play acoustic first, especially based on the stuff you want to learn to play. A couple of years ago I traded guitar lessons for golf lessons with my buddy. He dropped $120 on a cheapo acoustic in a store. He now has 3 and an Epiphony Les Paul. :D

 

The point is that if you can play it on an acoustic, you can play it on an electric but not necessarily vice versa. The frets tend to be closer and the neck not as wide on an electric making it faster and easier to play, but that doesn't always translate well to the acoustic. So this is what I told my buddy to do. First, set yourself a budget for the guitar. Like anything else, when faced with a plethora of choices it is easy to become enthralled by things and blow money you didn't intend to. Next, go to a music store, the bigger the better, and play every acoustic guitar that is within you budget. Some will have bigger bodies, some smaller bodies, some will have cut aways near the upper frets, some will have wide necks, some will have narrow necks. It doesn't matter if by touching them they sound like crap and they don't have to be in tune. What you're looking for is a guitar that you feel comfortable with. Something that fits your body well.

 

What you want to walk out of the store with is a guitar, a case for the guitar (even if it just a gig bag) and a chromatic tuner. You will learn to tune the guitar by ear eventually, but for right now, trust me, you want a tuner. Then next thing is looking for someone to take lessons from.

 

Basically what you want is someone that is going to do three things for you during your lessons, 1) teach you the mechanics of playing the guitar. This means reading music and not just tab. 2) Teach you the underlying music theory to the stuff that you're learning to play. Learning the theory makes understanding what is happening on the fretboard SO much easier it isn't even funny. When someone says that a tune is slow blues in the key of A minor with a I-IV-V chord progression, that's all I need to know to play that song with them and play it well. 3) Will teach you the styles that you want to learn. This doesn't mean that they are going to teach you Clapton or Dave Mathews in the first couple of lessons, but they are willing to take you in that direction.

 

That last thing you need to have is dedication. You need to play that thing AT LEAST 1 hour a day. I'm serious. Even if it isn't practicing what you have a homework for your next lesson, you need to be playing the guitar. Maybe it's just a "what happens if I do this?" sort of thing, but you need to be playing it to strengthen your fingers and build up the caluses. The more comfortable you are with the guitar, the easier it will be to play and comfot comes through familiarity. Play it. Play it until your fingers bleed. Remember John Lennon screaming about blisters on his fingers? You want that.

 

If you have to listen to one person's suggestion here, I'd listen to KC. Not that the others didn't have good points, they all did. I started on my buddy's acoustic. You really have to press hard to get a clean sound, but in the long run it helps when you do make the switch to electric. I wish I had an acoustic right now. They are nice to have and don't require an amp to plug in.

 

I took lessons way back when I was 14-15 years old. My only regret was that I didn't have the attention span I do now and I got really tired of playing silly songs like "On Top Of Old Smokey". My buddy taught me the basic rock bar chord and I would break off my lessons and start goofing around with what little I knew. In hind sight, I wish I'd have kept up with the lessons and I'm actually thinking about taking them again. I never let the reading music part sink in, therefore I have forgotten everything. What a dumbass kid I was. :wacko:

 

Listen to Kid Cid! He is wise.

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Okay, I ended up buying this one here

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...e=STRK:MEWNX:IT

 

Have no idea if I got a deal or ripped, but It's done. Acoustic Electric Guitar ? I guess that's combining the thoughts here ? lol.

 

 

So, I assume I will need an amp, correct? If so, what kind is recommended ? I'd rather buy something I can use for a long time and not go cheap and scrap it in 4-6 months. What else do I need to start my band ? :wacko:

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Okay, I ended up buying this one here

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...e=STRK:MEWNX:IT

 

Have no idea if I got a deal or ripped, but It's done. Acoustic Electric Guitar ? I guess that's combining the thoughts here ? lol.

 

 

So, I assume I will need an amp, correct? If so, what kind is recommended ? I'd rather buy something I can use for a long time and not go cheap and scrap it in 4-6 months. What else do I need to start my band ? :wacko:

Ok, please slow down. You bought a cheapo guitar, great. You do not need an amp for this. But please, please, if you want your enjoyment of this hobby to last longer than your caffeine driven ADD allows, please go buy a tuner, and line up someone to take some lessons from. I guarantee, that the first time you break a string and don't know how to replace it, the money spent on lessons will be well worth it. Oh and just in case you're wondering, I would NOT have bought a classical style guitar to learn to play rock and blues on, but that's just me.

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Ok, please slow down. You bought a cheapo guitar, great. You do not need an amp for this. But please, please, if you want your enjoyment of this hobby to last longer than your caffeine driven ADD allows, please go buy a tuner, and line up someone to take some lessons from. I guarantee, that the first time you break a string and don't know how to replace it, the money spent on lessons will be well worth it. Oh and just in case you're wondering, I would NOT have bought a classical style guitar to learn to play rock and blues on, but that's just me.

 

 

 

I'm in no rush :wacko: . So no need for an amp, check! Thanks.

 

I am doing some google searches now for local lessons. Tuner? Have no idea what that is............well, back to googling I guess.

 

This guitar was cheap, I really just need to see if I can learn to play any instrument, if I enjoy it, then I can buy a really nice one over the winter.

 

I really do appreciate of the tidbits of info. here. I won't forget about any of you when I'm famous.

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I'm in no rush :wacko: . So no need for an amp, check! Thanks.

 

I am doing some google searches now for local lessons. Tuner? Have no idea what that is............well, back to googling I guess.

 

This guitar was cheap, I really just need to see if I can learn to play any instrument, if I enjoy it, then I can buy a really nice one over the winter.

 

I really do appreciate of the tidbits of info. here. I won't forget about any of you when I'm famous.

It's not about buying a nice one, it was about buying one that fits you. Much like a car, I would never buy a guitar without taking it for a test drive. S'ok though. I would try your local music store rather than googling for info though. You're going to want to get to know them.

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I would NOT have bought a classical style guitar to learn to play rock and blues on, but that's just me.

 

 

It is a good start TOS but what kid is referring to is while this is an acoustic it is geared towards classical guitar playing. As you progress the nylon strings on this guitar will make it harder to achieve that edgy sound and bend good notes etc but nonetheless it is a nice start and It is good to see you are enthusiastic.

 

 

Lessons is a great idea and a tuner is as well. You will eventually be able to tune your guitar by ear but until then it is a gadget that is very usefull because if you arent in tune you will not hear the chords correctly even if your fingers are in the right place.

 

TOS did you get a henweigh ?

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Going acoustic first will ultimatley make you a better guitar player IMO. You hands will be stronger and when you do switch to electric you will do so with ease. If you do start electric you will also need an amp. The amp will have settings that will give you a clean sound and a dirty distorted sound depending on what type of music you are playing and the sound you want to achive. Play as clean as possible in the begiining. It might now sound pretty but distortion and echo and all those effects wont give you a true reading of how well you are doing.

 

I took lessons and it was very helpful. Others will swear by no lessons. Personally having a live person there to ask questions and throw ideas off of was helpful to me. Make sure you get an accomplished teacher if you go that route. Good luck. Practice a lot. Once you get the hang on if and start being able to play some tunes and siwtch for chord to chord easily and get some theory under your belt your motivation will skyrocket. Good luck bro.

The first sentence is the correct answer on what type of guitar to get. Maybe I'm biased because that's how I learned, but what Whomper says is truth. Acoustic is harder to play (physically), which means you will be over-training your hands, hence making them stronger in the process. Put it this way, it's going to be hard in the beginning no matter what you start with, might as well unkowingly over-train in the process - you will be a much better player because of it. IF you can play acoustic, you can easily transition to electric but NOT vice versa. Plus, acoustic is cheaper and lower maintenance because you don't need an amp and cables etc... Get a cheap used acoustic and thank me later.

 

Regarding lessons - to each his own. I didn't do lessons and I think I'm more creative because of it. My other rationale is that music is an 'aural' art, you do not need to read music to play guitar. Learn some chords either via a chord chart or by someone you know, then learn all songs by ear - try to avoid tab at all costs. Sometimes if you're really stuck, you may neeed to resort to tab, but really, if you just gut it out and learn by ear, you will be a much better player because of it.

 

One last tip - make sure your strumming hand keeps going even if you're missing the chords with your fretting hand. You will eventually get the chords down but the rhythm is what you can't lack in if you want to be a competent guitarist. If you find yourself having problems with rhythm after a few months of giving a good effort, the guitar may not be your friend. Usually the people who succeed have natural rhythm. Rhythm is the one thing you can't teach, IMO. Of course like anything in life, you will get out of it what you put in - if you only play a few hours a week, don't expect to be good anytime soon.

 

Good luck :wacko:

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kid cid's advice here is right on the money. you want to buy a guitar on ebay or craigslist? fine. might have helped to do a little research beforehand, but whatever. honestly, the best way I think you could approach this in steps:

1) find a good teacher you like. might want to try more than one.

2) get his advice on what kind of stuff you should buy. he'll talk to you and tell you what kind of instrument you should be looking for to suit you. he'll also tell you what else you need, and probably point you to a good music store.

3) go to the music store and get, if not the instrument, then at least a tuner, bag, strings, books, etc.

4) take weekly lessons, and practice every day for at least half an hour, but preferably more. but the every day part is probably more important than the how much time you practice for part. if you just wait until the day before your lesson and practice for an hour and a half, you'll make progress but it won't be as fast.

 

now, there are certainly other ways of learning to play an instrument. but this is the most effective.

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