Guitar lessons

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Hawkmon

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Can someone help point me into the right direction?
I don't know where to start playing guitar.
I've been playing on and off for 3 years. I play for a short while and don't get back to playing for a while.
I am good with chords but I only know the first 3 to 4 frets after that I am clueless.
I can play smoke on the water,heart of gold,wish you were here, cat scratch fever,cocaine, and mess around with some other stuff. I AM NO EXPERT BELIEVE ME. I don't want to learn notes I prefer tabs (easier than notes). I want to play by ear like my dad but that's hard. What are other easy to play songs?
 

Mysterious

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Well always some of the things to do are learn some basic scales (major, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor) and chord progressions. ( I - IV - V - I, I - IV - ii - V, the infamous I - V - vi - IV, and their minor variants) Also if you want to learn things by ear I have a solution, give up tabs. Tabs can be neat and a fast way to learn things, but if you want to do ear training they'll only continue to hold you back. Some basic music theory can be really handy as well, doesn't mean you have to know all the terms and rules, but knowing the basics does let you know some guidelines to work with and where you can have some wiggle room. One of the biggest things is don't get lazy and cut corners, it'll show later and you down.
 
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Cygnus

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Here's a website that offers free ear training: Good Ear - Online Ear Training Site

That's all I can really give you, as I am a bassist and I don't do chords. Just keep at it and remember to take time to have fun once in a while as well.

Oh, and Google is an amazing resource. There's a whole bunch of free programs for you to use out there to learn various guitar skills.
 

oceansmackdl

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I've been playing music (Bass, guitar, vocals, drums, keyboards, sequencing, trombone) for 10+ years. I took four classes during year one where I learnt metal/rock songs and after that I learned on my own. There's no easy way to sharpen your ear other than play, play, play. After a while, you'll see that you can predict where to go to next without really thinking about it. Practice, practice and practice. Learn a song that you like until you can play it with your eyes closed.

Playing original songs with a band is what got me really good as you learn to master music that you wrote. Playing bass in bands is what got be to develop my skills since we jammed often and whether or not I felt comfortable with the songs, I had to learn them.

Also, play a bunch of different styles of music, since it gets you outside of your comfort zone. I started off by playing punk and metal, but also learned country and americana songs. Like I said, I never had any formal training, but now I'm quite proud of my skills.
 

Bigbabybret

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Well,

Like said...play, play, play.

I took some lessons back in the day...say the 80's....

But I just liked playing...I learned piano after learning 6string and it really helped with the progressions and how music theory works...

But lately I've been going back to some basics on the bass...witch is what I like...and playing funk r&b and well the Minneapolis sound...

I used to be better with my ear but lost some hearing from an accident a couple of years ag and some foot, leg, spine issues....so I'm trying to get the grove back.

Some of my friends are verrrrry accomplished musicians and just jamming with them is better than tons of lessons...

Ive been in the music scene on and off over the last 20 years...played for empty houses through overflowing venues...

After everything...just jammin out for me at least brings my skill back or up a notch every time...

I still play guitar...and bass...and keys...but can't stand too long so that is an issue I'm working on too...

But if you like playing...and I assume you do...you'll get an ear for it sooner or later...

It's weird..when I'm on my game...I don't even look like I'm doing anything...my sound man stopped by one day unannounced and came in the theater and said what's ya doing listening to Coldplay...then he mutted the board and it wasn't coming through there...it was me and a band I work with a lot...funk group...just having fun...

So even professional musicians like to get out of thier zone to learn something different...and then take that information and bring it to thier music style and step it up a notch on thier own work.

So....to boil down this long rambling...

My advice is find some people that you can get along with and jam out...try new things...mix it up...play way over your head...no one but you and your jam partners will ever hear it so don't worry about things...experiment...above all have fun!

That's my two cents...
B

P.S.
Another big piece of advice...Don't buy a cheap guitar...save up for a nice guitar...

Cheap guitars do not play as easily or sound as nice as a good guitar.

I'm mostly a fender head...mostly custom guitars...but I have really nice Japanese tele that is awesome and it was only like a 900... So there are exceptions...

But spend some time at a good guitar shop and play everything there...don't even look at the price and see what feels nice and sounds nice...then find the money to buy it...

Once you buy that nice guitar you'll have it for a very long time...

I still have my custom charvelle electric/acoustic and play it quite often...

Buy my mainstays are my fender p bass and jazz...

Oh and amps...don't skimp out...but line6 is nice and reasonably priced...

Usually for my guitars we run a bunch of stomps then into a di and run through the pa...

Anyhow, I see your 21...your young and should pick up easily on playing by ear...

Btw: of all the musicians that have been to my place over the last decade...including national acts...

Only a handful can really read and play off written music...more so on tab...so if you can play off tab...at least for rock, country, funk, r&b, hip hop, etc...your good to go...

I'm really surprised at how many keyboard players can't even read sheet music...I had to learn that in like grade school for piano and keep it up for jazz band later in school...

Well it's 3am and I haven't played a note of music here or held a guitar in like 2 days...and last week I just put new strings on all the bass guitars and bought a new tuner...had two the last time I needed one...but just couldn't find them...thier not where they are supposed to be...so I'm suspecting my gf or our 8yo has them somewhere...

Anyhow keep playing...
Also if you want any info or just a question ... Pm me.

B
 

skunk053

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Well I recommend practicing scales and chords in tablature form for now. And be consistent since "on and off" never helps when trying to learn an instrument, it only makes things that much harder.
 

Axiom

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How you should practice and what sort of teacher you should look for depend rather critically on what sort of music you're going to be playing.

However, some general, all-purpose advice:

1) Avoid guitar tabs like the plague, except where absolutely necessary. If you can transcribe something by ear, do so. Ear training is just as important as (if not more than) technique if you want to be a competent musician. If you don't understand what you're playing, you'll find it very hard to learn to play new things, and you'll be unable to improvise or write at all.

2) Practice slowly. Technique is important. Make sure you're playing as cleanly as possible with as little movement as possible. If you can't play something slowly, you can't play it quickly - speeding up a passage before you're truly ready to do so is a great way to become a sloppy player and will hurt you in the long run.

3) Practice a lot. A half-hour per day should be considered the bare minimum if you truly want to learn an instrument, and ideally you should aim for more than an hour (how much more depends on your schedule and your love for the instrument).
 
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Marka

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Allot of good info has been given...for me, I would use my piano-keyboard, and set up an auto-accompaniment...where it would cycle (the usual) 3-chords, with percussion, and 'fill-ins' (you can also do this with music on your PC/LT...if you can slow down the music, with-out loosing the pitch)...then find notes that correspond, or harmonize with what you are hearing.

Take the chords you do know...from any song, and change them up...roll, slide, attenuate...strum, pluck, pick...change the order...

Recognize the patterns (visual, and audio)...

Find the same note, such as a "C", on every string...like if you go from 'big-E' down {Standard tuning}
E: 8th-Fret
a: 3rd-Fret
d: 10th-Fret (I believe Piano middle-C)
g: 5th-Fret (I believe Piano middle-C)
b: 1st-Fret (I believe Piano middle-C)
e: 8th-Fret

Now make 3-note chords, from all those C's
Also try alternate tunings...

If you're like me...it needs to be fun, or inspiring... so, if you are too tired, or in a bad mood...don't make it a 'chore'...
-Marka
 
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PullupKid

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Well, at least you have the money frets down.

Most of the common chords are there.

Try searching YouTube, you'll find so many guitar lessons.

Also, look for the CAGED system. I hear it's effective.

-PuK
 

Hawkmon

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I was inspired by Slash to play guitar. I was told before that many great musicians(like Slash)can't read music. I am good with all the MAJOR chords and that's it for now. What would anyone say is the best learning from a book, the internet (which the internet you have to pay for), or personal one on one lessons?

Note:
If I had my own band I would play the music that I and the band would wanna play not what the people want to hear. I am making this a point because there's a lot of bands in my area that play ONLY OLDIES there seems to be no bands that cover hair metal. I would have a cover band playing 80's and 90's hair metal. Hair metal is NOT scream o!!!It is bands like GNR Van Halen Winger ECT
 

Bigbabybret

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I was inspired by Slash to play guitar. I was told before that many great musicians(like Slash)can't read music. I am good with all the MAJOR chords and that's it for now. What would anyone say is the best learning from a book, the internet (which the internet you have to pay for), or personal one on one lessons?

Note:
If I had my own band I would play the music that I and the band would wanna play not what the people want to hear. I am making this a point because there's a lot of bands in my area that play ONLY OLDIES there seems to be no bands that cover hair metal. I would have a cover band playing 80's and 90's hair metal. Hair metal is NOT scream o!!!It is bands like GNR Van Halen Winger ECT

It's great to be inspired and have ambition in learning anything...

So far I see you read tab...ok...not my fav but I know plenty of people that use tab for many reasons...

Now you need to ask yourself a couple of questions...

Do you want to just play what others have written...rote learning as it is...

Or do you want to be able to play an improvised piece of music or jam with fellow musicians or write as well...

Most people given enough time will be able to play music from paper...wether it be tab or sheet music...this is just practice...

The real art is being able to gel with others and create new renditions or completely new work...

Learning the basics of chords and music theory is great...it helps...

But if you spend time with your instrument and feel the music that is when pure joyfull harmony is created...

It's not easy to train your ear...it's painfully slow...it's a mater of first getting over worrying about hitting the wrong note...then being able to pick up the grove of the song or lick...then picking up the subtle changes in the groups playing and finally being able to see the road ahead...and see the bumps and the curves ahead...lastly...you'll feel one with your instrument...it's finally not an instrument but an extension of yourself...you start to actually miss not having it with you all the time.

I'm nowhere near the later stages of this process...I've been sidetracked and taken far too many days off over the last 30 years to be in the league with true players...

But, I can improvise rock, blues, and some country...take a solo once and awhile...and over the last few years I've been able to play with people that are sooooo much a musician than I that I've been learning a whole new respect and look on playing anything...

I've been on stage playing 5string bass and lost string 3...ouch...wired string to loose on a bass as well...but finished the song and another band member watching while I was still playing placed his guitar at my feet ready to rock...nodded to the sound man with a simple eye wag he got what I was doing and mutted my Chanel just as I unplugged and started up again...only missed about 3 bars of transition between songs...

Now I've never before had someone do that for me...but prior to the last 5-8 years wasn't respected that well...never played above my head...didn't like people that were way above my skill playing a same venue if I had the opportunity.

Now what I learned was and still is called humility...I'm 40 now and I have bands playing at my place at least weekly...in addition to myself...

So the best lesson that I could have learned back when I was 21 and loaded for bear...would be...don't worry about playing something a bit off...or screwing up a lick...everyone does it...everyone...every single musician I know that is respected has had an off day...malfunction...start playing a bar ahead of time...dropped mic...bad batteries...effects gone awry...you name it...

So if you like playing...and I think you do from your post...play...don't worry about mistakes...every mistake you hear is a lesson for your ear...

Also if you can get involved with some bigger bands or musicians do it...even get on as a guitar tech for local bands and such is invaluable...

Watch listen and learn...the best musicians don't play from music...they play from thier heart...an when you can do that there is no better feeling at all...

I had a huge bash at my new house a few months back...it started out as a private session for a reforming group from the 80's...it soon became a full live concert...with several national acts and a few hundred people over...record industry people flew in and it ended up being the most fun and work I've had in many years...BET showed up for it and filmed about 9-10 hours one day and I don't know how many hours they filmed on the final day...my cook was surprised when 50lbs of chicken was eaten for lunch...an I only had one kitchen done at that time...

But back off my ramblings...listen...learn...don't be afraid to mess up either.

In a band setting with decent musicians on hand just about any mistake will be absorbed into the mix and most likely will only be heard by musicians that have an ear...and they have been there too...they won't give you a hard time if you don't...

Just try to put the mistake out of your mind...it's when you give up it becomes a train wreck...as long as you keep going and plugging away it will be fine.

Look at some of the best musicians in the world...they've all have some unorthodox method that works for them...

Stevie wonder...blind...bet he doesn't read sheet music...
Mozart...deaf as he wrote his best symphony's
Elton John...can't write lyrics...Bernie topin does that for him...and he can't write music...but it works...
The only place you seem to see the play it exactly as written...not missing a note...music nazis...is symphony's and some studio musicians...and most of them I know treat it like a job...not fun!

So you have a few cover tunes you know...shop around for a style you'd like to focus on and dive in...find a band to play with...form a new band...whatever...but play and play and play...then throw in some new stuff...some new renditions of others...even medleys...

If you can dedicate the time and you have fun...why not...

When I was living in Chicago durring collage...I played in a band...we played small clubs and it covered expenses and not much else...but it was fun...

Insted of spending money at the clubs...we were still out clubbing but we didnt spend our money...we played a set...then hung out when the "good" bands were there...even after knowing them...get to do a song or two here and there with them...they like to mix things up too...playing the same set after awhile gets old...

So, on a side note...are you working or collage right now...you might look around for the collage band scene in your area and start getting known.

Trust me...it's more about being reliable and able to get along with others that will get you farther than your playing...

Bands are like a family...and like families have a dynamic between each person...that dynamic quite often goes awry...and someone is replaced...even endless amounts of money and resources can keep it from happening sometimes...so there is always a band in the area looking for a rhythm guitar player...or a bass player...or a drummer...it's just how it works...

So get out there and start playing...if you started a new band listen to sme music and see what you all agree on then play them all...pick the best for a set list...work the set for a bit...then play a bar mitzvah or a local club for the opening act...

Largest stage I was ever on...freaked out our drummer totally...we were the opening act to the opening act to the opening act at sturgis one year...I think we got paid like $200 for each ban member that would be $1000 for the show...but come on to hang out with top notch musicians for a week...awesome!...one caveat don't bug them for like autographs and take lots of pics and such...then they don't take you serious and you get treated sorta like a back stage pass type...at least sometimes...

Well enough of my 1 am ramblings
TTFN
B
P.S. played today for a few hours...just plugged my jazz bass into the mixing board fired the pa up and threw on general music playlist for me on random...that's what I like to do sometimes...but I had to skip yellow (too boring on bass) and poker face (for some reason I don't really like that song) but some odd ones like the byrds eight miles high...And my nemesis yyz...I have yet to master that song...i play a passable dumbed down version that sounds ok...but can never keep up with geddy...in fact I can't keep up with quite a bit of his stuff...and he sings and runs moog's and swaps out for keyboard sometimes...the guy is amazing...never met him...oddly I have met Neil Pert...and he is usually a recluse...met him on an international bike ride actually a very humble nice regular guy...he wouldn't even let me buy him lunch...

Well off to read some emails and might jam in the theater for a bit...the little one (real little one) is snoring away...bets time to get no interuptions is when everyone else is sleeping...and I'm a night owl anyway.
 
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Axiom

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If you're looking to play any sort of 80's metal, basic chords won't get you the whole way: you're going to need to work on your power chord/palm mute riff technique and you're going to have to nail your alternate picking. Legato work will also help. Best way to get better is to just play lots of songs - playing exercises in isolation gets boring, and when you learn covers you additionally gain insight into how songs are constructed so that if/when you start writing your own music you'll have something to start with.

Here are some songs that'll help you with the techniques - I highly recommend you try to learn them by ear rather than from tabs.

Queensryche - Prophecy: Midpaced alternate-picking and power chords essentially the whole way through, great for tightening your rhythm playing and getting your sense of timing down.

Riot - Thundersteel: Sounds a *lot* harder than it is. The main riff here is hands-down some of the best legato practice you'll ever come across, and the verse riff is typical 80's metal brisk palm-mute fare, which pops up everywhere.

Scanner - Warp 7: This'll get your rhythm playing in shape in no time. Simple palm-mute/power chord riffs at a brisk pace, and it's exceedingly easy to learn by ear (all of the power chords are your usual fifths, and the melodies are simple and straightforward).
 

Hawkmon

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If you're looking to play any sort of 80's metal, basic chords won't get you the whole way: you're going to need to work on your power chord/palm mute riff technique and you're going to have to nail your alternate picking. Legato work will also help. Best way to get better is to just play lots of songs - playing exercises in isolation gets boring, and when you learn covers you additionally gain insight into how songs are constructed so that if/when you start writing your own music you'll have something to start with.

Here are some songs that'll help you with the techniques - I highly recommend you try to learn them by ear rather than from tabs.

Queensryche - Prophecy: Midpaced alternate-picking and power chords essentially the whole way through, great for tightening your rhythm playing and getting your sense of timing down.

Riot - Thundersteel: Sounds a *lot* harder than it is. The main riff here is hands-down some of the best legato practice you'll ever come across, and the verse riff is typical 80's metal brisk palm-mute fare, which pops up everywhere.

Scanner - Warp 7: This'll get your rhythm playing in shape in no time. Simple palm-mute/power chord riffs at a brisk pace, and it's exceedingly easy to learn by ear (all of the power chords are your usual fifths, and the melodies are simple and straightforward).

These are more heavy metal bands. I'm not interested in playing that much into heavier metal like that. I only go as heavy as Rob Zombie as to what I listen to but I wouldn't play Rob Zombie either.

Original Music isn't really my thing as everything has been thought of as to riffs, chord progressions, solos, ect. I like to play music that I hear that has an interesting aspect to it. For example sweet child O mine is interesting as it has that AMAZING intro riff one other example is Poison by Alice Cooper that song ALSO has an AMAZING intro riff and one more I remember you by Skid Row has an AMAZING SOLO.
 

Mysterious

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These are more heavy metal bands. I'm not interested in playing that much into heavier metal like that. I only go as heavy as Rob Zombie as to what I listen to but I wouldn't play Rob Zombie either.

Original Music isn't really my thing as everything has been thought of as to riffs, chord progressions, solos, ect. I like to play music that I hear that has an interesting aspect to it. For example sweet child O mine is interesting as it has that AMAZING intro riff one other example is Poison by Alice Cooper that song ALSO has an AMAZING intro riff and one more I remember you by Skid Row has an AMAZING SOLO.
I'd have to say still give it a shot, even if it's not your style it's still good to push your comfort zones and expand horizons. There's always something that could be taken from it. Also if you go deeper into the rabbit hole of music theory you can find ways to make your chord progressions more unique and you, though that takes a fair bit of learning.
 

Axiom

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Even if you're not interested in playing the heavier songs, I picked those because they're superb exercises of various rhythm techniques which you'll need for the style of music you'd like to play. Strumming chords is good and all, but is hardly enough to play most hard rock or hair metal riffs.

I'd also urge you to strongly reconsider your stance of writing your own music - the idea that there's no innovation to be had in writing new things, or even value in writing things in styles already well-established and explored is simply incorrect. I suspect that if you truly love guitar and music you'll find that limiting yourself to being purely a cover musician simply isn't a satisfying outlet. Knowing how to play an instrument gives you whole new avenues through which to direct your creative energy. While playing songs you know and love can certainly increase your enjoyment of them, you'll find that there's so much more to be had by expressing your own passion through your playing rather than simply capturing that of others.
 
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