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Old 08-03-2013, 02:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I assume both of you are coming at it from experience, but its not a good way to teach (imo). Sure, if a parent is forcing their child to learn it will work, but Rosetta Stone has taught more people to speak a language than traditional high school classes.

Done is better than perfect. Once a person enjoys doing something, they'll naturally want to improve. No one enjoys scale practice.
But how do you know it's the wrong way to teach? You don't teach instruments right? There are a lot of wrong ways to teach an instrument and I've had some bad teachers myself - the kind who throw a challenging piece of music up on the stand and then expect me to play it perfectly, even though they never coached me through the proper technical exercises to get there. Or the ones who stand there and say to improvise in some ridiculous key for that instrument without reviewing the scale in question. Guitar and other stringed instruments do not have this problem with wacky keys, as all the scale patterns are the same for every key.

I want all my students to excel but I don't expect them to be perfect. Some are better than others. There's nothing wrong with constructing a lesson plan that includes learning theory and then tweaking it based on the individual student's needs, abilities, and what they'd like to learn.

At the very least I'd recommend getting someone to show you proper posture and playing technique. It's really easy to injure yourself overtime when an instrument is played wrong, especially guitar because there is a lot of strain on the fretting hand and the wrist.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree with Big3. I am classically trained and therefore can sight-read music and have a sound knowledge of music theory. But for a 17 year old just wanted to pick up guitar first, I wouldn't start putting my head in the books and trying to learn all the theory, learning to read music, before even touching a guitar or having a go. Yes, many great musicians we know are probably able to sight-read music and have a huge knowledge bank of music theory. But the OP is a young guy just wanting to have a go at guitar at this stage...

OP, I would learn some basic guitar chords first. You can look up tabs and probably find a tutorial somewhere about how to read tabs, or you can look up YouTube tutorials to see how to play some basic chords. Like Big3 said, you could also look up some tabs to one of your favourite songs and then have a crack at it. Once you've actually picked up a guitar, had a good go, gotten a feel for the instrument, learnt some basic practices, THEN if you want to pursue it you can start looking into the whole music theory side to it and reading music etc

I find it extremely pretentious when musicians bang on about having to know all the theory, and having to know how to sight-read music, and having to know how to do scales etc. Ultimately for many, that is not what music is about and I think it's important to find enjoyment in experimenting with music and musical instruments. Then if the musician feels they need to or would like to, then they can start looking into all the theory side of things. (Because yes, it will help you become a better musician but for someone just starting out I wouldn't insist that it is a downright necessity that you MUST begin with before even trying anything else.)
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default "The Scientist" Coldplay (guitar) w/ a bit of theory

guys,

If you want a pretty simple guitar song to learn, AND to learn to play it in any key, "The Scientist" by Coldplay is four simple chords, and sounds glorious.

YouTube: "How to play the scientist by coldplay in any key"

ridiculously simple tutorial; guy with the neon shirt!

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Old 08-07-2013, 04:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've started with folk guitar. I remember one of my teacher's favourite phrases: an acoustic guitar alone can make a concert. An electric guitar cannot.

Ok, but then I decided to change teacher and study electric guitar styles too

You have to get from your teachers the discipline in learning the basics.

After you have the basics it's time to find the secrets, I suggest Troy Stetina books, he really tells you a lot about them.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't recommend lessons right off. First of all, if you have any talent for the guitar whatsoever, you shouldn't need to be taught how to be a beginner. You should just be able to start playing. I watched my brother and a friend make chords and started to imitate it and I was off and running. Learn your major and minor barre chords and your open chords and you will be able to play 75% of the stuff you hear. What happens, though, to most people is that they plateau out. Once you hit that plateau (and you'll know it) is when you start taking lessons. Now you KNOW what your limits are and what you need to work on and the direction you want to go. Then, yes, you will need to learn to read and you will need to know ALL your chords and scales. But you also know what to do with them rather than just learning them and playing the exercises and not really understanding the value. You know you have to learn this stuff to get over that plateau. So learn to play by ear first and you should have enough talent to be able to do it completely on your own. If you can't, find another instrument.

One other thing: find someone to play with.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't recommend lessons right off. First of all, if you have any talent for the guitar whatsoever, you shouldn't need to be taught how to be a beginner. You should just be able to start playing. I watched my brother and a friend make chords and started to imitate it and I was off and running. Learn your major and minor barre chords and your open chords and you will be able to play 75% of the stuff you hear. What happens, though, to most people is that they plateau out. Once you hit that plateau (and you'll know it) is when you start taking lessons. Now you KNOW what your limits are and what you need to work on and the direction you want to go. Then, yes, you will need to learn to read and you will need to know ALL your chords and scales. But you also know what to do with them rather than just learning them and playing the exercises and not really understanding the value. You know you have to learn this stuff to get over than plateau. So learn to play by ear first and you should have enough talent to be able to do it completely on your own. If you can't, find another instrument.
eeeeeeh, maybe. Sometimes thats not how people learn though. A lot of folks, myself included, prefer a communal way of learning.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'd suggest you go to bed with your headphones on; listen to music intently all the time and try to imitate your favourite musicians. Learn some stuff, and as soon as you've learnt some scales and chords try to play songs that you like; riffs, solos that you like, etc. Of course, don't pick out a Guthrie Govan solo; the process takes time! But it's highly enjoyable! By the way, his "Creative Guitar" book is sublime. Good luck! And some of the advice here is great! Reading music and getting in touch with its theory is paramount!
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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My recommendation to get started is:
1. Get a cheap guitar. 99% of the times you don't even know what you want when you get started. Even if you think you do. Later on you can invest in your dream guitar.
2. Find a good online course. This way you can learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home, and at a fraction of the price of a personal teacher.
3. Practice as much as you can. Daily if possible. Even if it is 10 minutes. Another advantage of online lessons is that if you are able to review your lessons as many times as you want to perfect your finger positions, strumming, etc.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Smile Here's what I think

I know many people will disagree, but try to NOT read tabs as much as possible. Music is mainly about your ears, not your eyes. Try to pick up songs by ear and tune your guitar using your ear (if you get a tuner, then only use it to tune to the bass E). Yes, it won't be perfect and you'll make lots of mistakes but unless you're in a race (like you have to perform a concert in 4 months), you should take your time and form solid basics.

Learn some chords and learn to play in beat. Proper timing is essential in being a great musician. My teacher made me strum my chords in proper timing for 3 months just so I can get it done perfectly.

Decide what type of guitarist you want to be. If you want to be a blues or rock guitarist, then you don't necessarily need to learn to read music or know music theory (though it will help you). If you want to be classical/jazz then knowing theory and how to read music is a good idea.

It'll be best if you have someone to guide you or to tutor you or else you may ignore your mistakes or not learn the proper way. Find a person who teaches guitar and go to him.

I made a mistake of going to a guitar shop and buying my guitar without having someone who knows about guitars with me. If you don't have such a person, then ask the store people for help in choosing and if you aren't a very rich person, then a relatively cheap guitar will suffice. Ask someone to play all the frets to see if they make a proper noise and make sure there's no buzzing. Be careful about the action (distance from fretboard to strings). Too high will be hard to play and too low may make buzzing sounds.

I suggest you learn to play with your fingers first as there are more things you can do with your fingers than with a plectrum. Get a good tutorial on youtube or buy a book. First I suggest you learn the A minor, E major and D minor chords and practice playing with these. Fool around and experiment with your guitar and see what note 'sound right' when played together. Remember, everyone sucks at the beginning.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I know many people will disagree, but try to NOT read tabs as much as possible. Music is mainly about your ears, not your eyes. Try to pick up songs by ear and tune your guitar using your ear (if you get a tuner, then only use it to tune to the bass E). Yes, it won't be perfect and you'll make lots of mistakes but unless you're in a race (like you have to perform a concert in 4 months), you should take your time and form solid basics.
Eh. Honestly, learning by ear shouldn't be a priority when you're first starting out. Sure, it's a good thing to do eventually, but learning and practicing something you like is a lot less frustrating than "****, as that an A? That makes the first three notes B,C,A..." Besides, if you play guitar long enough, you should be able to recognize what some notes are because you've heard them so much that you're familiar with them.

Also, being able to play steady isn't really as important for a guitarist than, say, a bassist or drummer.

Also, learn how to play the pentatonic scale. Then you can say that you can solo.
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