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Old 01-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Learning to Play a Guitar, Best Ways to Learn?

I recently picked up an electric guitar cause I wanted to get into music, and I'm thinking about a professional career in music. Is there anything I should learn as early as possible, and is there any effective ways to learn it that anyone know of?

Currently I'm just doing chromatic exercises with my guitar, getting used to the instrument as I've not touched a guitar much since elementary school, and I barely played then.

In the future I'm thinking to pick up a drum set as I used to play the drums in middle school, and I did rather well considering that I did not try much, anyone got any tips for drum practice?
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My first advice is to be patient, and play because you enjoy it, not because you want to be famous. But surely there have been plenty of famous musicians who started because they wanted to be a rock star.

I would say continue your chromatic exercises. Go up and down the neck, hitting every fret. Then after some time doing that start working on your alternate picking (if you use a pick). This exercise will do great things for your finger strength and coordination. I still do it sometimes and I know guitarists who are much more experienced than I am that still do it.

My next step would be to learn your basic major and minor triads. G major, D major, C major, A minor, etc... Work on forming those chords and changing from chord to chord. That can be a bit tricky at first. If you're ready to jump into lead guitar already, the obvious starting point would be to learn your basic pentatonic scale "boxes". YouTube will easily be able to assist you with this.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I generally find that placing your hand in the correct positions on the neck of the guitar whilst having your fingers positioned correctly on each string tends to help. Then the strumming hand timing down the strums or fingerpicking with impeccable timing and rhythm should get ya well on your way.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I teach guitar for a living. The first things you should be learning are chords and right hand strum and picking techniques.

(If you're right handed)

Your right hand is your "kick" and "snare" drum. The guitar is a percussive instrument almost as much as it is melodic.

Learn all of your base chords and study up on the CAGE system. You should be able to form chords instantly without even thinking about them. The way I teach is 3 chords at a time and you spend at least half an hour per day just switching between those 3. You need to develop muscle memory.

The lead guitar stuff...such as going through chromatic, pentatonic, and arpeggiated sequences shouldn't even be on your list yet.

Most of all, have fun! But also realize that guitar can be frustrating at times. You might hear the coolest solo you've ever heard and you instantly think, "I can do that!"...then you get home and quickly find out that you're not even close to that level. Inspiration is a two-headed dog. Learn to control it.

Lastly, if you don't have a metronome...get one.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think learning the most simple songs you can even single plucked note songs and learning to play them slow as possible is important. It teaches you that playing things slowly gives your brain a chance process the physical position with the sound created by plucking because not all of your brain is being used up trying to play faster and more complex then you are capable of. Most importantly approaching guitar like this will increase the total net time that you are playing musically and not being frustrated which has countless benefits.This stuff to me is the essential part of learning guitar. You don't want to be struggling for too long or you will get demotivated, so start off as simply and slowly as possible. Its amazing how quickly you can pick stuff up when you approach guitar with the right mentality. When you start off from 0 you can only go up but if you think you are 5 when you are a 0 you have to go back down to 0 and then back up which wastes time and is painful. Socrates said he was wise because he didnt know anything and it drove him towards curiosity and knowledge.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Choose your favourite song and learn it, that way you can get closer to that song and it will push you aswell as seem like less of a chore
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I took music lessons for 7+ months and didn't learn ****. I stopped and suddenly began playing every single day. Teach yourself.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't really find it that hard. First I learnt chords, practised connecting them. Then I learnt a few scales, practised combining both chords and scales together. That gave me a basic understanding about the formation of guitar playing. You have to really listen to what you're playing. Not just following a step by step book. I picked up a few techniques after that, pull-offs, bends, slides etc. then started learning songs. Do not overload yourself with chords and scales in the first go, just get the feel of it and learn the best way for you.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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With the guitar Id suggest to try and get bar chords down once you get a feel for open chords. Once you learn the shapes for bar chords and get them to fully ring out you can play a whole lot of songs pretty easily.

But it also depends on the style you'd prefer to play. I play mostly reggae stuff so bar chords are an absolute must.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My first advice is to be patient, and play because you enjoy it
Blastingas makes a great point here, this is probably the most important step in learning the guitar and any other instrument for that matter. There are gonna be times when you are just about ready to pack your guitar away and give up, but if after those times you still can't resist playing then there's no doubt you'll be rocking out your favourite songs in no time.

I'm pretty much just seconding the advice already posted here but I'm self taught as well and this is how I learned. It's absolutely essential to learn your chords first, start with the open chords. Sometimes it can get monotonous just switching between chords over and over so think about learning some 3 chord songs (there's plenty of well known ones out there) doing it this way not only helps you get your chords down but helps build your repertoire for those nights around the campfire!

Once you feel comfortable with open chords you can move on to learning barre chords and scales. There are plenty of sources online where you can learn your scales. From here on it's just practice practice practice. Good luck and happy playin'
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