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(@lostone)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3
28/06/2010 3:16 am  

Hi everyone, I'm new to playing guitar and know very little about it.
I had a few questions that I was hoping could be answered through other players on this forum. So here they go:

1. What should I learn first?
2. Do I have to know how to read music in order to be good at guitar or will tabs suffice?
3. How can I make sure my guitar is tuned? Is there a way without buying a tuner?

I have a lead guitar that I will try to play with. It needs to be restrung which I'm sure for that I can easily find a tutorial online somewhere to do.

I appreciate any help with this because I would really love to start playing guitar and music in general.
Thanks


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(@liontable)
Estimable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 146
28/06/2010 11:22 am  

Hi there, welcome to the cool kids' hobby!

I was in the exact same spot as you a few months ago, but having a teacher quickly solved that for me. I'd recommend taking one, and if you're somewhat lucky you'll find a great one.

1. Chords, a lot of songs are made up of 3 or even less chords. This means that once you master a few you can already play a lot of songs. There are tons of good youtube videos explaining it, lessons on this site or books (ask some of the local dinosaurs still familiar with these papery things!). It gets you a bit more familiar with the guitar. It's also good to try and learn some licks so you can have a bit of change between learning chords. It might get a bit boring to always try the same thing, so you look for things like the "Smells Like Teen Spirit"-solo or probably the most-used for beginners "Smoke On The Water" (0-3-5--0-3-6-5--0-3-5-3-0 on your D-string). Learn the G, C, D chords first, then pick up E and A, and them Em and Am will come easily. With these you can probably play half your ipod/CD collection of pop songs.

2. Short answer: no. Long answer: it depends. You can become an awesome guitar player, even if you wouldn't be able to read tabs. The thing is that it severely limits you. The non-tab reading musician would be able to play by ear for example, but it's a lot harder, especially for songs you don't know, than if you would be able to read tabs. Tabs have a lot of disadvantages compared to standard notation (see sight reading thread), but it makes up for it in simplicity. Tinkering a bit with the timing and preparing should make them suffice for whatever needs you have. If you want to be professional musician it seems to be recommended you're able to read standard notation because it removes yet another barrier, just like hearing to tab did. The more things you know the better. I'm not saying you can't make it big if you don't (Paul Mccartney is often mentioned), it just makes it harder.

3. I'd just buy a tuner, for 20$ you can get one and it makes it a lot easier. Experienced musicians can do it by hearing, but especially as a beginner I'd recommend just getting a tuner.

As for stringing the guitar, I went to the store and asked the guy who sold it to me to teach it. Was quite a hassle at first but I'm quite bad with things like that so maybe you have more luck. I'd get a real person to help you, but it's doable without one. The guy in the store sent me this link to explain it, but you can probably find others for different types of guitars:

http://www.daddario.com/DADMediaDetail.Page?MediaId=30

Good luck!


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 3998
28/06/2010 12:02 pm  

For changing the strings, a couple of videos:

- Electric guitars
- Acoustic guitars

Although I am a dinosaur (I mean, I prefer the books), Justin Sandercoe (the guy in the videos) has a web site with tons of lessons.

You also could be interested in the Guitar Noise Podcasts.


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2419
28/06/2010 12:30 pm  

Hi there, welcome to the cool kids' hobby!

LOL, that's funny.

Nothing to add to anyone else, just good luck and stick with it!!

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1500
28/06/2010 1:18 pm  

<...>
1. What should I learn first?
2. Do I have to know how to read music in order to be good at guitar or will tabs suffice?
3. How can I make sure my guitar is tuned? Is there a way without buying a tuner?<...>

1) Split your time between learning what you like and the fundamentals (music theory, scales, and reading)

2) You don't have to know how to read music, but I highly recommend it. It seems hard at first, but in the long run it makes things a lot easier. While TAB seems easy at first, and is still a worthy tool, it's actually harder than reading music. Once you learn it, reading regular music is easier, faster and less frustrating than reading TAB

3) Buy an inexpensive tuner. Tune your guitar up every time you pick it up. This will train your ears to hear the music in tune.

There is a way to tune your guitar "by ear" and if you want to learn that, I would highly recommend testing your ear with a tuner and that will develop your hearing.

The best advice I can give you is to split the time between work and fun. Fun is important, that's why they call it playing music. And working on the fundamentals will enable you to have more fun down the road.

Some days you are going to make slow progress, other days you will leap ahead. Don't get discouraged if you are having a bad day or even a bad week. Most of the time having a bad period is your body's way of recoiling for a giant leap forward.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" NortonOwner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmithThe Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@lostone)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3
09/07/2010 3:42 am  

I know I posted this a while ago, and I deeply appreciate all the helpful hints everyone has given me.
I do want to learn chords specifically so I can at least come up with a few songs musically myself at one point in time. Does anyone know of a free tutorial site or good site that can teach me what chords really are and how to play them?
I'd appreciate it.
Thanks everyone :)


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(@inths)
Eminent Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 20
09/07/2010 12:26 pm  

...Does anyone know of a free tutorial site or good site that can teach me what chords really are and how to play them? ...

You are looking at one .... :)

I started using this site some months ago as a "false beginner" (meaning I knew a couple of things but not much). Back then, there were excellent song-based lessons on this site which were fun and easy to use. Unfortunately some lawyers put a stop to that :evil:

Nuno recommended using the Podcasts. I agree with that. They start at a very basic level and quickly get you moving onto groovier stuff. I've been working my way slowly through them. Another member of this site has written a set of notes to complement what David is saying on the podcasts. This too is excellent. I have a copy and would be happy to send them to you. Or you can ask for a copy in the "Podcast notes" thread.

As for other sites:
www.justinguitar.com (you'll see that in on the link above about changing strings). This site is move video-based than Guitar Noise. Which is quite good, at least you get to see whats happening.
Interesting note: this site has also been attacked by the evil lawyers :evil:

www.learnclassicalguitar.com
An excellent site if you want to try your hand at classical guitar. I've been using that site in parellel with this one. Lots of videos and free sheet music there. The evil lawyers can't attack that site as the music about 200 years old!!

I'm old enough have the reflex to turn to books (i.e those papery things) as a source of reference. I have " the complete guitar player" by Russ Shipton. It's a 4 book series with CD. I only have book 1 but it's very well set out and easy to use. You get to learn some songs right from the very start. Do a search on Amazon.com (or your prefered retailer), you'll find that book and plenty of others)

You could also go to your local news agent and get one of the many guitar magazines. Almost all publications are sold with accompanying CD and/or DVDs. They cover all levels from beginner to master with songs and excersizes.

I think the best way to learn would be to have lessons with a real human teacher. Unfortunately, I have to travel alot for work so I can't take lessons (teachers want to see you regularly). By-the-way, if there are any guitar teachers reading this who live near Chambéry (France) and would accept to give me lessons, please contact me.

Whatever option you choose to learn, there are people here who will be happy to help you out if you get stuck.

Be patient, it takes time and practise to learn guitar.

Good Luck


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 3998
09/07/2010 2:03 pm  

Does anyone know of a free tutorial site or good site that can teach me what chords really are and how to play them?
https://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/absolute-beginner-part-1/

I said it several times. When I started to play guitar this time (my first contact was many years ago), I made a list with all the songs I wanted to play. I searched the chords for those songs (internet, books, etc.). Then, I sorted the songs according the chords. For example, if a song uses the G, C and D chords (practically you can play every song with those chords), the next one would be a song with the chords D, G and A (really they are equivalent chords... but that is another issue): I learnt a new chord (A) and a new song.

You will see there are chords that are more used than other. It depends on the key but also it depends on the type of chord. At the beginning I tried to avoid the non usual chords and also the complex ones that need a barre (F major, B major, etc.).


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5358
09/07/2010 6:58 pm  

+1 on using the lessons here. If you can't learn something from David's lessons with the forum members as backup we'd be very surprised.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2248
09/07/2010 8:57 pm  

Another +1c for the lessons on this site, and for David's Complete Idiots Guide To Beginning Guitar, as a good way to get started.
1. What should I learn first? I'd do a mixture of things. You probably want to learn some songs. Learn the chords for these, but also learn the main riffs, if the song you're playing has one (e.g. The Rolling Stones' Satisfaction - learn the riff, as well as the chords. From there, you can work up to learning solos and improvising. While learning songs, try to learn a new chord/rhythm/something with each song you learn - it can be easy to learn a lot of songs that use the same chords and then feel frustrated that you haven't learned much. A good balance will help you here.
2. Do I have to know how to read music in order to be good at guitar or will tabs suffice? I read TAB before I could read standard music notation. I have recently been learning to read music notation. If I could go back and redo things, I'd have learned to read music from the beginning. It's like a language, and ten minutes per day over a decade is much better than trying to play catch up in a year or two. Besides, when I practice reading now, I feel like a rank amateur - I make mistakes I'd never make on pieces I know well. I have to find simple stuff to read. But it will pay off in the long run. Just wish I'd started sooner, it isn't as painful as it might seem.
3. How can I make sure my guitar is tuned? Is there a way without buying a tuner? I'd just buy a tuner. Get a good one, and it'll last a long time.

Ra Er Ga.Ninjazz have SuperChops.http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 10340
09/07/2010 10:23 pm  

Learning a few chords would be my starting point. Once you've mastered G, Em, C and D there are literally hundreds of songs that use those chords. From there, maybe learn the rest of the "open position" chords - the A chord next, then all the variations of these....the major chords, the minor chords, 7ths, minor 7ths, sus4ths. With these at your disposal, there's an enormous range of songs you can play!

The whole point of learning guitar is to play songs, right? Those chords'll give you a great start. From there, maybe you can start to work on theory, scales, exercises etc and perhaps structure your practise time. Mr Norton (Notes) talks a lot of sense, and is vastly experienced, so I'd echo what he said a few posts back - remember to split your time between hard work and fun.

Good luck!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 8311
12/07/2010 10:50 am  

if you didn't buy a guitar tuner yet, you can find a bunch of online tuners that will play a note tone that you can match your strings to. just google guitar tuner and the first couple matches are online tuners. it's better to have your own tuner, though. it's quicker and more accurate and more convenient, plus you don't have to tune up in front of a computer every time.


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