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The Surly Beginner Guitar Thread

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Technique is very important but don't neglect theory if you want to write your own stuff.  Fretboard Logic, recommended upstream in this thread somewhere, or something else based on the CAGED structure is worth looking into. 

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I'm sure it's been mentioned somewhere here, but don't overlook the importance of a metronome or drum machine to practice timing. Everybody learning focuses on the left hand* because that's where the technical difficulty is, but the magic is in you're right hand. It took me years to realize that.

Play it like a percussion instrument. Seriously, you can get away with soooooo many chord hand mistakes if you're hitting the strings on the beat.

*assuming a right handed player.

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Checking in to say Im still plugging away every day.  Not a lot of time but time is spent on the guitar every day.  The stretching drills are helping as the span on my left hand is now longer than the span of my right hand.

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13 hours ago, AnotherUTFan said:

I'm sure it's been mentioned somewhere here, but don't overlook the importance of a metronome or drum machine to practice timing. Everybody learning focuses on the left hand* because that's where the technical difficulty is, but the magic is in you're right hand. It took me years to realize that.

Play it like a percussion instrument. Seriously, you can get away with soooooo many chord hand mistakes if you're hitting the strings on the beat.

*assuming a right handed player.

That is some of the best advice I was given when I decided to get serious about guitar in my mid 20s. My dad plays guitar and I played drums in bands growing up, so I was able to play cowboy chords and had learned some basic theory, CAGED, Nashville numbering, a few basic scales.  A friend and former bandmate who was, and still is, a great rhythm and lead player was helping me one day when I complimented him on how great of a player he was,  and he told me me this: “Learning to play guitar well is learning how to dance with your right hand, that’s where the magic happens. You already know the chords and scales. Spend most of your time practicing your strumming and picking patterns and you’ll see faster progression.” It was true. I realized that much of what was happening with my left hand (fret hand) was largely muscle memory and when I put more focus on what my right hand was doing, my playing became much more musical and didn’t sound stiff or forced. It’s a great way to get your playing smooth and fluent. So much great advice on this thread that I wish I had when I started. 

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So this used book in “Very Good” condition just arrived today. 

8451-F9-C2-CCD6-4504-B936-2-AC8-D48024-E

 

I think it was about $20 including shipping. Chose not to go through Amazon, because they do enough damage to booksellers as it is. 

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So 2.5 months into my unused 3 months subscription to Fender Play, Chad Jr. has found his guitar and wants to learn. We’ve been going through the lessons every evening as good bonding time.

It’s good enough and he’s engaged enough that I’ll probably start the pay version.

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I've been going through the Fender Play stuff.  It's very simple at the beginning but I understand that it is laying a foundation.

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7 hours ago, Chad Fuck said:

So 2.5 months into my unused 3 months subscription to Fender Play, Chad Jr. has found his guitar and wants to learn. We’ve been going through the lessons every evening as good bonding time.

It’s good enough and he’s engaged enough that I’ll probably start the pay version.

I signed up, but still haven’t looked at it. 

I had planned to give Justin Guitar a solid effort, but his verbal diarrhea that wouldn’t stop have me skipping past that open tab on my browser several times per week. 

If there were a version where he just shut the fuck up and said-

“Practice this. If that is difficult, then start by trying this for a few days and then add this. Once you can do the whole thing 50 times in one minute, click on the next lesson.”

...but that would take 30 seconds and he needs to talk for 45 minutes and break it into 8 to 10 sections that you don’t know if you can skim through. 

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Try Fender Play.  Get through the really simple stuff.  I can see that it's beginning to help me.  My span is bigger.  I can fret faster.  Things are improving.

 

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On 6/5/2020 at 7:38 PM, AnotherUTFan said:

I'm sure it's been mentioned somewhere here, but don't overlook the importance of a metronome or drum machine to practice timing.

Timing is important, but playing along with an album or a backing track is a much funner way to practice timing. 

I agree with all the advice about focusing on your right hand, with the caveat that pick work is Guitar 201. When you’re very first learning, getting your fingers on the correct frets is the key. Get that down first and then, once you’re comfortable strumming chords, start thinking about your right hand. 

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6 hours ago, BrickHorn said:

Timing is important, but playing along with an album or a backing track is a much funner way to practice timing. 

I agree with all the advice about focusing on your right hand, with the caveat that pick work is Guitar 201. When you’re very first learning, getting your fingers on the correct frets is the key. Get that down first and then, once you’re comfortable strumming chords, start thinking about your right hand. 

That's why this thing would be so awesome if they could just fulfill orders.

Screen-Shot-2020-06-11-at-12-01-21-AM.pn

 

https://www.positivegrid.com/spark

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On 5/19/2020 at 2:46 PM, Chad Fuck said:

I wish someone had told me this about 25 years ago.  

35+

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On 6/10/2020 at 11:05 PM, Napoleon said:

That's why this thing would be so awesome if they could just fulfill orders.

Screen-Shot-2020-06-11-at-12-01-21-AM.pn

 

https://www.positivegrid.com/spark

Lots of alternatives to Spark for this.  Fender Mustang amps allow you to connect via Bluetooth with your phone and play songs from Spotify, YouTube or iTunes through your guitar amp, though they don’t have loop or slow down features.

Since I’ve gone full digitard, my computer workstation is my hub.  Line 6 Helix is my audio interface in between guitar & computer and out from computer to speakers.  So if I want to learn a song on Spotify or practice with a backing track on YouTube, I just play it in the computer and the song is output through my studio monitors along with my guitar.

So many tools for learning guitar now compared to the 80s when I first picked one up.  The only limitations on becoming proficient are time and self-commitment.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Goredho said:

So many tools for learning guitar now compared to the 80s when I first picked one up.  The only limitations on becoming proficient are time and self-commitment.

I thought it was just buying more expensive gear. Now you tell me. 

Edited by topochico

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16 hours ago, Goredho said:

Lots of alternatives to Spark for this.  Fender Mustang amps allow you to connect via Bluetooth with your phone and play songs from Spotify, YouTube or iTunes through your guitar amp, though they don’t have loop or slow down features.

Since I’ve gone full digitard, my computer workstation is my hub.  Line 6 Helix is my audio interface in between guitar & computer and out from computer to speakers.  So if I want to learn a song on Spotify or practice with a backing track on YouTube, I just play it in the computer and the song is output through my studio monitors along with my guitar.

So many tools for learning guitar now compared to the 80s when I first picked one up.  The only limitations on becoming proficient are time and self-commitment.

I have a Fender Mustang 1 v. 2 and I don’t like it because since Fender took down Muse (which happened before I bought the amp), it is not easy to fiddle with tones and get the same one you had last time. Perhaps I will get a Katana 50 or 100), but for the near term I got a Monoprice 5W rube amp that is arriving tomorrow. 

Also, my main computer has been in Storage in Pasadena, CA for about a year now. Have to rescue it before I can consider all that other shit. 

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For those who took advantage of the three free months of Fender Play, my trial just ran out and they offered a year's subscription for $22.50. I went ahead and took it. I spend more than that a month on strings. 

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Been doing the Fender Play and it's been good so far.  Haven't spent any time on the guitar this weekend.  I need to fix that after the kids leave today.

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I've mainly been using the bass lesson path. 

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For those who took advantage of the three free months of Fender Play, my trial just ran out and they offered a year's subscription for $22.50. I went ahead and took it. I spend more than that a month on strings. 

Good to know. Mine ran out and I was considering renewing.

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I thought it was just buying more expensive gear. Now you tell me. 


That’s only if you want to get good faster.

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I thought it was just buying more expensive gear. Now you tell me. 


That’s only if you want to get good faster.

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My Dad's family are all musicians, the easiest and quickest way for me to learn was to pull up a chair and grab a guitar at one of their jam sessions. Learn to play rhythm, and watch the leads. After about 20 years, I started taking finger picking lessons, reading sheet music, practiced finger style patterns, and that changed things forever. You are never too old to learn. 

CHIEF

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