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Brother Adam

Experience With Guitar?

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Brother Adam
So does anyone here play guitar that could tell me their experience learning how to play? I was working the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive for Special Olympics today and I was standing outside in an intersection next to a guitar shop. I got to talking to one of the instructors who was outside his shop and he decided to take me under his wing about the same time I decided I wanted to try to learn to play. He gave me a $300 guitar for $50 (my musically inclined wife is jealous, she's already tried to steal it from me once :P ) and he is going to start teaching me next week. Here is his website: seanbarrett.net

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jeffpugh
Callouses will have to set in... practice your scales and chords daily if you can, even for five minutes... you'll get the hang of it in no time. But it will require some work.

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CatherineM
I was given a cheap guitar when I was 11, bought an intro book, and tried to teach myself. I don't recommend that. I eventually got a nice guitar and some lessons from a nun at school. A good quality instrument, adjusted to your needs, is a Godsend. I would also recommend until you develop a nice set of calluses on your fingertips, try using silk wrapped steel strings. Practicing a lot is helpful, obviously, and if you choose music that you like/know well, that will make practicing easier, and you're more likely to want to do the practice. In trying to rehab my damaged hand so I can play again, I've been using one of those finger/hand exerciser. It makes the forearm stronger too.

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Brother Adam
The funny thing is I know nothing about music, which this guy Sean actually liked, because apparently he doesn't have to "uneducate" me before teaching me and thinks he can have me playing nearly anything I want if I practice 30 minutes a day, meet with him 1 hour a week after a year. I couldn't tell you the difference between a chord and a scale. The only thing I have learned so far reading online are the different parts of a guitar and that I think the strings need to be switched, I am left handed and the E string (largest) is away from me when it is apparently suppose to be closest.

I am going into this though realizing that it will take a long, long time before I start feeling like I am getting anywhere. I think that will keep me from discouragement.

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jeffpugh
I'm left handed. I don't recommend learning left handed unless it really really really feels dumb to play it standardly... and yeah, you'll get that feeling of "dang it's taking forever", but it's worth it. i remember when i started guitar in grade 10. i had to learn on my own basically. was hard, but i got through

Chords: the thing where you put a bunch of fingers down and strike more than one string at once

Scales: a run of pitches (notes) in a line. Learn a basic pattern, helps for soloing and embellishing and stuff :mellow: (some blues players, even if they chord, slide up to hit a few notes in between for some decoration).

Your teacher has a goal... I think that's good. Follow him carefully, I 'spose. Don't be afraid to make requests or something... like if you wanna learn a certain style at one point or a certain tune. A good teacher can somehow maybe fit that sorta thing into the lesson plan. Edited by Sacred Music Man

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cmotherofpirl
Take it slowly at first because blood on the frets can be annoying until you get a good set of callusses. :)
Practice. Practice . Practice.

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Brother Adam
:scream:

Actually the blood and pain of learning doesn't really scare me. Oooh. I know what a fret is! I just learned. Our 6 month old loves listening to it as I just strum my fingers along the strings. I'm trying to get used to the feel of the guitar and how it works.

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jeffpugh
Take note of the tuning :) Sooner you start, the better. heck, play in the same room as your child when you get proficient enough. the sooner the better!

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rkwright
I will add this...

Chords and Scales are certainly the most important, but at the same time have fun with it.

I started just by learning chords and scales, and theory... and then some kid other than my instructor started to show me some easy songs; songs that I actually liked (not Mary had a little land... I think it was 'What I like about you'). It was so much more fun.

I found myself playing a lot more often, and then practicing these new chords, and the scales to fit with them.

I was going to my lessons learning scales, but now and then I would take a song and my teacher would help me figure it out.

I guess my point is this: Learn some basic chords and scales, then put them to work quickly. Find a song you like that doesn't sound too terribly hard. Learning to play that song will drive you even further, and at the same time give you something to be proud of. Then you'll learn some new chords and repeat all over.

I've been playing fairly actively for 8 years now, and still find enjoyment in it.

One last thing. I think the hardest thing in playing guitar for beginners is moving between chords. Sure you can play an E and an A and a D - but can you move between them fluidly enough to make it sound good. Thats where songs really come into play - you have something to play along with.

Good luck!

Edit: I just realized you posted this today... might want to wait a week or 2 before a song! But I dunno, be adventurous!

PS what kind of guitar is it?? Edited by rkwright

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Brother Adam
It's a Johnson 6-string acoustic guitar. I have no idea about guitar brand names and such. I know my program I learn basics for 8-9 weeks and then start simple songs. He wants me to bring in a tape of whatever I want to learn and he will teach it all to me by the time we are done.

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jeffpugh
[quote name='rkwright' post='1675453' date='Oct 12 2008, 12:35 AM']I will add this...

Chords and Scales are certainly the most important, but at the same time have fun with it.

I started just by learning chords and scales, and theory... and then some kid other than my instructor started to show me some easy songs; songs that I actually liked (not Mary had a little land... I think it was 'What I like about you'). It was so much more fun.

I found myself playing a lot more often, and then practicing these new chords, and the scales to fit with them.

I was going to my lessons learning scales, but now and then I would take a song and my teacher would help me figure it out.

I guess my point is this: Learn some basic chords and scales, then put them to work quickly. Find a song you like that doesn't sound too terribly hard. Learning to play that song will drive you even further, and at the same time give you something to be proud of. Then you'll learn some new chords and repeat all over.

I've been playing fairly actively for 8 years now, and still find enjoyment in it.
[b]
One last thing. I think the hardest thing in playing guitar for beginners is moving between chords. Sure you can play an E and an A and a D - but can you move between them fluidly enough to make it sound good. Thats where songs really come into play - you have something to play along with. [/b]

Good luck!

Edit: I just realized you posted this today... might want to wait a week or 2 before a song! But I dunno, be adventurous!

PS what kind of guitar is it??[/quote]
Emphasis mine. I totally agree. My first tune was "House of the Rising Sun". Took me forever to get the chord changes smoothly. Eventually stop thinking about how to do them and it's easy.

[quote name='Brother Adam' post='1675514' date='Oct 12 2008, 08:46 AM']It's a Johnson 6-string acoustic guitar. I have no idea about guitar brand names and such. I know my program I learn basics for 8-9 weeks and then start simple songs. He wants me to bring in a tape of whatever I want to learn and he will teach it all to me by the time we are done.[/quote]
That's good. Listen to the stuff you wanna play. Even I as a music major have to do that. You learn to develop an ear of what sounds good so you know how to make yourself sound good in the future. Never stop listening as a musician :P Sounds obvious, but people forget to listen.

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Brother Adam
I've spent some time looking at a music theory book. My head hurts :( I think I know what you mean about 'not thinking' though. I just have to make sure I hide the guitar from Father or he might involuntarily induct me in his band.

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CatherineM
I used to only use a pitch pipe, but have gotten lazy as I've gotten older (or have lost some of my hearing) and now I use an electronic tuner. It just takes a 9V battery, and gives you red and green lights to let you know when you're getting closer.

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Noel's angel
I use [url="http://www.westfieldguitar.co.uk/westfield/products.asp?ID=340"]this [/url] tuner. It's got pretty much everything you need and it's really simple to use.

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