Advice for a newbie

What are guitar strings made of? For technical questions about music and gear.

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Rob
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Postby Rob » Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:42 pm

Check out my blog--

http://www.heartwoodguitar.com/WordPressBlog/

"Strumming 101" and "Gifts From the Guitar Gods" are two articles that might be really useful.

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Fi
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Postby Fi » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:41 am

The first song i learnt to play & sing on guitar was About a Girl by Nirvana. It's not too fast, & has some bar chords. changes to & from C major took me the longest to get. Find someone who will let you play for them. this puts the pressure on & gets things going (unless you're doing it for relaxation)

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No You Are
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Postby No You Are » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:35 am

Funny. About a Girl is one of the songs I am working on, and I am having the same problem with changing to and from C.

I just keep telling myself that one day I will be able to make faces melt. Oh one day...

h4ck
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Postby h4ck » Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:55 am

as a somewhat newb myself, here's what i did:

got a cheap guitar (150ish fender acoustic/electric) and had it around for a year. it doesn't really sound as good as i think it should, the action is really high, and its just not comfortable.

however, using this crummy thing i managed to learn some chords, and play some simple songs (it'll be a breeze, angels and angles, etc.) and do a little picking.

monday (a year+ later) i decided to get a better guitar, so i bought a nice breedlove acoustic electric, it sounds great, and looks pretty, and is very comfortable to play.. much lower action, i can actually play barre chords with ease.. i couldn't at all with the other.. i keep it on a stand in the living room (when not tucked away with the humi..gotta keep it fresh) and i play it a LOT more than i did the fender. a nice sounding instrument is a lot more inspiring than a shitty sounding one. You're less likely to blame yourself for terrible sounding guitar if the guitar itself sounds good.

im taking a class right now, which really sucks. too many people, bad instruction.. so im teaching myself at home w/ a book i got.. its fun.

at any rate, thats my take on it..

i agree, it's extremely boring to learn 2 note songs that don't challenge you. i'd quickly lose interest.. go for something a bit more complex..im not talking like, johnny marr complex, but like..something fun and confidence building.

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sour29
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Postby sour29 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:46 pm

I actually like my action a bit high. I always get my guitars re-setup.

Patr!ck
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Postby Patr!ck » Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:10 pm

Learn chords! Chords are the most important thing in guitar playing, you can always sit down with a more experienced guitar player and play a couple of chords and they can do all the leads!

Start with easy major ones: C, G, D, E, A

Then learn easy minor ones: Am, Dm, Em,

Then get the barre chords down: B, F, Bm, Cm, Fm, Gm

With those few you can play almost any song you've heard, and it's tremendously easy to write a song with 4 lines of chorus, 8 lines of verse and 4 chords. Don't be bothered by the simplicity of it, many songs sound great because they are simple, usually the more stuff you try and cram into a song the worse it starts to sound.

What was I talking about... oh yeah. Learn chords!

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nwheather
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Postby nwheather » Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:26 am

Heh, I've had my baby since 8th grade, and I feel rather in the same boat as...erm, what's your name, man?

I haven't had the time to play, nor the money to keep it in shape, in so long...*sigh*

On some points I found particularly interesting:

Learning songs you dig is a must! R.E.M.'s 'Pretty Persuasion' damn near killed me, but I've never been so ridiculously proud as the day I finally got through that whole intro without missing. Even the shouting match with the twat next door afterward (dorms!) wasn't enough to quash that buzz.

Singing...I sing all the time...when I'm certain no one can hear! This is a big stumbling block for me, dunno about you. When I say I don't have time (above), I mean 'alone time'. Right impossible around here.

Barre chords...ack! I loathe them! Does anyone have any special tips for these?

Sleeping with the guitar...I think the person normally occupying that spot might take issue.

Tabs should always, always be taken with salt. Multiple grains. When you get to a point where you try playing according to a tab, hear what's wrong with it, and fix it, that's pretty cool as well.

Have you moved on to four-chorders yet? I know tons of those!

Could someone explain this high/low action thing to me, preferably as though I were a six-year-old?

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sour29
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Postby sour29 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:31 am

A trick I have used to play barre chords for many years -- and still do sometimes -- is to play them like an open F.

Code: Select all

e|-3-|
B|-3-|
G|-4-|
D|-5-|
A|-5-|
E|-3-|    becomes

e|-x-|
B|-3-|
G|-4-|
D|-5-|
A|-5-|
E|-x-|
etc. The real trick to wrapping your head around them when it comes to chord changes is that you're playing an E-shape with your middle-through-pinky fingers, and then using your index finger to act as a sort of capo, covering all the strings on one fret (The E-shape changes to an Am when you're playing minor barre chords on the A string, but same principle applies). A good exercise to play an E chord with said fingers, and then simply sliding up a fret and barring the first fret with your index. Then lift the index and slide back down to the E. Repeat ad noseum. It takes a while to get your index finger strong enough to actually pull off the barre chord completely, so don't be discouraged if it takes weeks or even months. Feel free to use that open-chord shape in the meantime, it does the trick nicely.

From Collopy Guitars
The term "action" refers to how playable a guitar is, relative to the style of music that is being played. Is it comfortable and fairly easy to move from one end of the fingerboard to the other, without any serious problems in tuning? If it isn't, the action may be set too high. Action that is too high is hard on your hands and will cause the guitar to play sharp. Sometimes it may be too easy to play, causing the strings to rattle and buzz against the frets. This would be because the action is too low. Action that is too low will adversely affect playing technique and will seriously limit your dynamic range. [...]

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No You Are
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Postby No You Are » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:55 am

sour29 wrote: It takes a while to get your index finger strong enough to actually pull off the barre chord completely, so don't be discouraged if it takes weeks or even months.


Yes it does!! For the longest time I thought I would never be able to play barre chords because I just couldn't get the strings down with my index finger. I tried and tried and couldn't do it.

Then, one day, it happened.

I just noticed that I am basically responding to my two-years-ago-self here. Whoa.

But I can kinda play now, and it feels good to give myself advice.

h4ck
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Postby h4ck » Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:21 pm

for me, switching guitars was all i needed. on my fender, i can't play barres at all... i have to use two fingers and i still buzz on G and B. on my breedlove, i can -easily- play barres with no problem, no buzzing, and no strain. i was thinking "well, maybe my fingers just got stronger..." so i grabbed the fender and it was the same again, no luck.

so today i brought the Fender in to work, and it'll sit there as the "official tekserve powerbook bench kick-around guitar" for when people are tired of fighting with apple and want to play a few notes..and that way, i'll have a guitar at work, and home to play with :)

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nwheather
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Postby nwheather » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:06 am

I've had the same acoustic since the 8th grade. I've played other people's, and ones in stores, and I've noticed the sort of differences you describe. But what I've always figured is this: if I can play that thing, I can play anything. (Plus, I don't have the money to expand my stupid horizons. Damnit.)

mikelangelo11
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Re: Advice for a newbie

Postby mikelangelo11 » Fri May 28, 2010 4:26 am

I think the most hard instrument of music is guitar. Because if you have a knowledge how to play guitar then you can play almost all the instruments with the best tunes. So basically the guitar is the best according to me and I like the sound also.

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grant
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Re: Advice for a newbie

Postby grant » Fri May 28, 2010 6:44 am

I don't know about "most hard." I've been wondering about learning the kora for a couple of years now....


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