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Old 01-18-2009, 02:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Learning music

I am not really sure where to put this so if it needs to be moved, please go ahead.

This year I really want to learn how to play a musical instrument(I am learning towards guitar) but I have absolutely no musical backround in regards to reading music, understanding scales and frets and the theory behing music.

So my question is how should I go about this? Should I try find a general music teacher in the area and learn the theory behind music before going onto an actual guitar teacher or would that aspect be covered by the guitar teacher? Obviously I will be doing alot of reading on the internet and try to learn as much as I can by myself but I feel it would be the right and better way to learn by also having a teacher.

I appreciate anyone chiming in.

Thanks in advance

Guy
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure most guitar teachers have some intrinsic knowledge of music theory. They may not give you a two-hour sermon on the birth of modern music but they have to understand it a bit just to be able to teach you how to play.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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it depends a lot on the person really. some people can just pick up an instrument and play others take lessons. personally, i taught myself to play guitar. i got some guitar tabs(sheet music for guitar tab) and by them and playing by ear i've learned to play fairly well. since then i have learned to play drums, bass guitar(if you know how to play guitar you can play a bass), and i've even tried a little piano.

i know a little bit about reading music mind you, but guitar tabs are the way to go if you are going to teach yourself guitar. they are printed just like the fretboard and you just have to read up on what's a slide, hammer-on, and such.

i can play by ear so i don't find it too hard to figure most things out. i may not be able to tell you exactly what i'm doing mind you (that's where lessons come in handy). if you have access to a good music teacher i'd say go for the lessons, if not well check out some tabs and see what you can do.

good luck
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you want to learn more than just how to play a few songs, definetly get lessons from a teacher. The teacher will teach you so many things that you would never pick up teaching yourself. And you don't need to know anything about playing music going into your lessons, that's what the teacher's there for.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifer_sam View Post
I'm pretty sure most guitar teachers have some intrinsic knowledge of music theory. They may not give you a two-hour sermon on the birth of modern music but they have to understand it a bit just to be able to teach you how to play.
Yeah that is all I need I guess, just the basics to be able to play and actually understand what I am doing.

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Originally Posted by punkrawker07 View Post
it depends a lot on the person really. some people can just pick up an instrument and play others take lessons. personally, i taught myself to play guitar. i got some guitar tabs(sheet music for guitar tab) and by them and playing by ear i've learned to play fairly well. since then i have learned to play drums, bass guitar(if you know how to play guitar you can play a bass), and i've even tried a little piano.

i know a little bit about reading music mind you, but guitar tabs are the way to go if you are going to teach yourself guitar. they are printed just like the fretboard and you just have to read up on what's a slide, hammer-on, and such.

i can play by ear so i don't find it too hard to figure most things out. i may not be able to tell you exactly what i'm doing mind you (that's where lessons come in handy). if you have access to a good music teacher i'd say go for the lessons, if not well check out some tabs and see what you can do.

good luck
I always try to teach myself stuff as most of the time there has been no facilities to learn something new where I live(farm) so most of the time I just bust it out myself. Obviously I will try my up most to teach myself some of the stuff but the teacher should add an element that I can not bring to the table. Off to find these guitar tabs you speak of

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Originally Posted by mannny View Post
If you want to learn more than just how to play a few songs, definetly get lessons from a teacher. The teacher will teach you so many things that you would never pick up teaching yourself. And you don't need to know anything about playing music going into your lessons, that's what the teacher's there for.
Ok lovely, I am getting a clear picture of where to go from here on in.

Thank you to those who replied.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you want to learn guitar I think the best approach would be to sorta teach yourself and get comfortable with it. Take lessons on the side. It definitely helps to have some sort of mentor/teacher. Or even a friend that you can jam with. I've seen people get really good in 1 to 2 years - it all depends in how dedicated you are.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeppy111 View Post
I always try to teach myself stuff as most of the time there has been no facilities to learn something new where I live(farm) so most of the time I just bust it out myself. Obviously I will try my up most to teach myself some of the stuff but the teacher should add an element that I can not bring to the table. Off to find these guitar tabs you speak of
This is exactly what you should do. Be enthusiastic about playing and learning new things on your own, but also have the guide of the teacher to help you learn things you can't teach yourself.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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if you already know how to teach yourself new things then i don't think you really 'need' a teacher until you start questioning the theory behind the instrument.

there are 3 basic elements every guitar player should learn:

5 major chord shapes (A,C,D,E,G)
3 minor chord shapes (Am,Dm,Em)
bar / power chord theory (A shape and E shape)

once you have those down you're pretty much good to go. there's a LOT more theory available out there, but overall those 3 elements will provide you with enough to get started. scales can easily be learned from tabs, especially if you go for old school classic rock like led zep.

here are the 3 elements i mention above and how to read tab


e--0--0--2--0--3--------0--1--0-----
B--2--1--3--0--3--------1--3--0-----
G--2--0--2--1--0--------2--2--0-----
D--2--2--0--2--0--------2--0--2-----
A--0--3-----2--2--------0-----2-----
E.-----------0--3--------------0-----

it's not the prettiest but it works, on the left you have the 5 major shapes, on the right you have the 3 minors, both in the same order as listed above. each line of dashes represents a string (as noted on the far left). a 0 means an open (unfretted) note while the numbers represent what frets to finger.

to start off concentrate on getting each note to sound clearly and cleanly for each shape, strum it a few times then pick each string individually to make sure you're still applying the right amount of pressure.

you might be wonder why there's no B or F shape which leads directly into barre chord theory. what ends up happening in order to play those chords is that one of the shapes is played higher up on the neck which then increases its pitch. so the A shape moved up 2 frets becomes B, and the E shape moved up 1 fret becomes F.

e------1-------
B--4---1--------
G--4---2--------
D--4---3--------
A--2---3--------
E------1-------

at this point you need to learn about the B & E rule. simply stated B and E have no sharps within the twelve tones that form an octave.

A - A#/Bb - B - C - C#/Db - D - D#/Eb - E - F - F#/Gb - G - G#/Ab

the '#' symbol represents a sharp version of a chord while 'b' represents the flat. generally speaking they're the same chord but some people prefer using one term over the other. each increment in that progression is a fret on the neck so moving a chord shape 12 frets will loop over and begin the sequence again but at a full octave higher.

ultimately bar chord theory is pretty simple, you can use it with any of the shapes i listed above, the only difference is you need change the way you finger the chords so that you can use your index finger to replace the open strings and form a bar (hence the term bar chords) to act as the nut from the end of the neck.

power chords are simplified bar chords that generally use the A and E shapes since you can fret them using only your index and ring finger. a lot of people who use power chords also rest their ring finger on the unlisted strings to mute them which adds a little more oomph to the chord.

e-------------
B-------------
G--4----------
D--4---3------
A--2---3------
E------1------


posture is also important especially when first learning bar chords, make sure you keep your thumb perpendicular to the neck otherwise you run the risk of messing up your wrist. if you start experiencing pains or discomfort (anywhere besides your fingertips) change your position or take a break. you will not get better by forcing yourself to practice through wrist pain.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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^^^^ if you don't know what any of that means. Learn tabs.
theres a ton of tutorials online. Google it.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeppy111 View Post
I am not really sure where to put this so if it needs to be moved, please go ahead.

This year I really want to learn how to play a musical instrument(I am learning towards guitar) but I have absolutely no musical backround in regards to reading music, understanding scales and frets and the theory behing music.

So my question is how should I go about this? Should I try find a general music teacher in the area and learn the theory behind music before going onto an actual guitar teacher or would that aspect be covered by the guitar teacher? Obviously I will be doing alot of reading on the internet and try to learn as much as I can by myself but I feel it would be the right and better way to learn by also having a teacher.

I appreciate anyone chiming in.

Thanks in advance

Guy
Just enroll in a theory or harmony class at your local community college. Its very cheap and youll even get a discount for being a non credit student. This way you will have a professional teacher, people around you to help, and be able to meet new people to play with.

edit: And sorry but this is bugging me. You dont just "learn music" you slowly attempt to make sense of the theory and notation, in hopes that one day you may know even a fraction of what is out there.
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