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adept_ninja adept_ninja is offline
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 11:22 PM        question for guitarist
I started playing the guitar and I have a question. What is the best way to improve your skills? I know you must practice many many hours but what should you practice first? Should you learn scales or somthing else when your just starting? The biggest problem I have is switching from chord to chord my hand fingering is slow. Also what are some good first songs to learn?
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huond huond is offline
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 12:35 AM       
learn chords first
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Rongi Rongi is offline
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 02:24 AM       
pfft dont listien to huond he doesnt know WHAT he's talking about

what you do is you go down south to where everything is still kinda primitive. you go to a dirt crossroad and wait for the devil. and you sell your soul to him and wham you are a guitar god and all the girls will talk about your penis and clikc here now
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MetalMilitia MetalMilitia is offline
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 09:39 AM       
First practise power chords (the beginners best friend) then mabey move to bar chords and open chords.
Most songs which have been tabbed on mxtabs or whereever are in power chords so thats usually a good way to practise.

Once you have a pretty firm grasp on playing chords and keeping in time with yourself. You could move to to leaning a few scales, more specifically the good olde pentatonic scale. Its probably the most simple and useful. Also it gives you a slight intro to the way the same notes occour up the fret board.

If you wanted to be fancy you could learn all the places you can play it up the fret board but thats kind of advanced if you are only just starting to learn.

umm thats all i can think of. Once you get quite good its fun to play along with songs to practise your elite solo skills.
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 12:38 PM       
I suggest a completely different way. Forget more that three-finger chords. Powerchords are ok for a start, but quickly move away from that. Learn alternate picking very very soon. I mean, select a string, and a note and learn to go up down on the pick on it until you're very fast and you can go from string to string. Then do this up an down thing while going through chromatic scales (chromatic meaning, go from every fret to the next fret to the next, etc) up and down. Then stard doing chromatics by skipping every other string. You should learn scales later on, when your hands are pretty used to being coordinated with each other and your fingers 'know' how to voice fret runs.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 12:40 PM       
The thing you need above all, is to get your runs to be as clean as possible. Don't get excited 'cause whoa that 'almost' sounded clean. Play play play until every note is crystal clear.
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MetalMilitia MetalMilitia is offline
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 01:52 PM       
But i think it is good to have a base knowlege of open chords and how the fret board is layed out, note wise before learning how to be mr fancy pants fast picker.
IMO, its running before walking. For instance when you very first started learning you must have just played around with power chords and tabs getting used to actually playing in time and gaining strength and stamina in your fingers and wrists?
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 02:07 PM       
No I actually come from a non-metal background (I played classical for 4 years before even listening to my first metal record) so I learnt guitar in a completely different way to most "I wanna be James Hetfield" guitarists. I don't think I know more than 3 songs by other artists anyhow. I never cared for tabs and being a huge metal jerkoff guitarist. I care to be able to quickly and accurately play what's in my head at any given time.

It's not about running before walking. Chromatic practise comes before ANYTHING else. Making people struggle with chords is silly when they can't play eights of a meter properly, fret by fret, string by string. And yeah picking up music theory even before picking up an instrument is a generally good idea, but he didn't ask about that.

Adept, do you want to be a musician/composer or just play covers? That's the question I should have asked before my other reply.

And Militia, just so we're clear I'm not giving attitude as this amazing shredfest guitarist that solos his ass off at parties. I'm not terribly good, generally. But my approach works if you want to approach the guitar as an extension to one's compositional ability.
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MetalMilitia MetalMilitia is offline
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 02:26 PM       
hmm, I was first introduced to guitar by my dad teaching me a few very simple songs like wild thing and some other random old songs by cream. Most of those where played in open chords and so i leaned those first. Then i got proper guitar lessons and learned alot of theory and i did a GCSE in music (biggest waste of time ever) which taught be scales and whatnot.
From this i feel i have a much better understanding of how to play a guitar than the people who i know that are self taught and only ever try and play songs from tabs. which i guess makes my previous advice a bit crappy but what i was trying to say was learn the theory and how a guitar actually works, i.e. how notes are set out and how octaves of the notes can be linked etc
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adept_ninja adept_ninja is offline
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 05:52 PM       
I want to be a musician/composer but I realized it would take a lot of time and practice
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Bobo Adobo Bobo Adobo is offline
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 06:39 PM       
Have you ever played any other instuments before?

If you want to get into composing or songwriting i would suggest taking up Piano. Im not saying you shouldn't play quitar, but it seem s alot of people who have a sudden urge to be a musician think they need to pick up a guitar.
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Perndog Perndog is offline
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 10:14 PM       
Speaking of walking before running and learning chords and stuff. Here's my take.

Learn to play a note before you learn to play a chord. Get so you can play any fret on any string with any finger and make it sound great with no buzzing. Teach your fingers how to make this wonderful sound every time they touch the fretboard. Learn to play a bunch of notes in a row in rhythm (any notes, not necessarily scales, as long as you hit the frets you're aiming for and not just random ones) and make sure each one sounds as good as when you play one by itself.

THEN learn some open chords. Look at the chord chart, put your fingers in the right place, and make all the strings ring at the same time. Keep your fingers down and make sure you can hear each note of the chord. Does the high E string ring? No? Are you brushing against it with another finger? Fix it. Then does the B string ring? Etc. If you make sure that all your chords actually sound like they're supposed to without any buzzing or (unintentionally) muted strings, you'll be way ahead of the average self-taught hack. Once you can make all of the chords in your repertoire at least sound good, then just hammer away at chord progressions and you'll get better at switching between chords.

Learn to read music, especially on the guitar, and on other instruments if they're available. Learn harmonic theory (how chords are constructed and how they relate to each other). Reading tablature is good for lots of things but if you're at all serious about being a musician make sure you don't *rely* on tabs to play.

If you want to stand out from the crowd of the aforementioned hacks even more, don't learn pentatonic scales first. Play major and minor scales like you would on a piano.

As for what to play to develop technique...I play NES music, primarily because it wasn't written for guitar which means you rarely get to use easy fingerings (and because I got extra credit in Theory 4 for transcribing dozens of pages of it).
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Mockery Mockery is offline
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 10:33 PM       
Personally, I think what you need to do is as follows:

a) Yes, practice a lot, and I do mean a lot.

b) Get used to having your wrist bent in an unusual position.

c) If possible, practice on an acoustic guitar (not with nylon strings though) because that'll help toughen up your fingers and get you used to the feeling. Electric guitar will come much easier that way as well.

d) And finally, yes, work on fingering individual notes rather than chords. Chords are good to learn, but start with the basics. Scales may not be exciting, but they will help a lot.


And just so you know, I've been playing for over 10 years now, and I've learned everything I do by ear. I can't read music and I'm sure there's better guitarists on this board than me, but I'm just telling you what's worked for me so far.
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sspadowsky sspadowsky is offline
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 12:43 PM       
Drugs. Shitloads of drugs.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 04:46 PM       
Jump on your bed and swing your arm like Pete Towsend! before he got accused of fondling little boy's
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dreaddi dreaddi is offline
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 06:11 AM       
I just realized my guitar teacher has stolen my money for his crappy lessons for 6 years
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  #17  
Helm Helm is offline
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 09:47 AM       
Quote:
a) Yes, practice a lot, and I do mean a lot.
Aimless practiuse is the worst thing you can do. Probably you'll learn stuff wrong and won't be able to fix them or worse, fuck up your arm or something. Consult a teacher about proper playing position. You'd be really suprised how many people play completely wrong and risk tendon injuries all the time. Warm up before you play. Warm up right, practise right, and practise STUFF, not just aimlessly playing sixteenths against a metronome. Although a metronome would be good.

Perndog's about right on everything else. Understanding HOW chords work is much more important than actually knowing a fuckload of them.
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Serith Serith is offline
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 01:22 PM       
The answer to this questions should not be so heavily debated. The inquiry can be answered in multiple ways, as it depends on what style he is interested in playing. For me, regardless of my taste in music, I have a very bluesy style about me.

If you're just interested in guitar as a hobby, I'd suggest taking anyone's advice that you see fit. Simply learn how to construct simple triad chords and how to strum basically.

If you are planning on taking it serious, I would do the above, as well as learn some of the better known scales (such as major and minor pentatonic), then practice them daily to gain speed. Also, I would suggest learning the anatomy of the guitar, as well as the terms you'll need in the future (ex: octaves). This, as well as familiarizing yourself with the fret board (as in, learning where all different octaves can be located), can help you in the beginning more than intense practice of bar chords and whatnot.
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Ronnie Raygun Ronnie Raygun is offline
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 08:34 AM       
.....just practice..
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 10:48 PM       
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Drugs. Shitloads of drugs.
...and booze....boatloads of booze.
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Bobo Adobo Bobo Adobo is offline
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 11:45 PM       
And don't forget cheese. Truckloads of cheese...
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Old Jan 18th, 2005, 01:33 AM       
Curry. Curry does it.
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Old Jan 18th, 2005, 11:27 AM       
wash your hands before you play
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Cosmo Electrolux Cosmo Electrolux is offline
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Old Jan 18th, 2005, 11:40 AM       
stop having sex...it kills the creative process....
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