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View Full Version : Playing the Guitar (not a euphemism...)



Sc00t
04-22-2007, 06:42 PM
Hey guys.

Apologies if you feel this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move it of course, I just figured it'd get the best response here.

When I was younger I played the guitar like, religiously from a stupid age like 7-10 or 11. Got some College of London music certificates, used to be pretty good like, but I haven't picked a guitar up in almost a decade so I've totally forgotten how to play.

I start lessons again on Tuesday. Anyone here play guitar? If so, what stuff would you recommend looking at on the Internet to learn? At the moment I'm gunna be starting with the acoustic guitar so if you know any decent lessons online then hook me up playas!

To give the thread a bit more credibility, what instrument(s) do you you play, how did you learn, are you in a band/have you been in a band before?

Cheers,
-sc00t

Kentuk
04-22-2007, 08:15 PM
It is like riding a bike. You can't forget.

Sc00t
04-22-2007, 08:27 PM
Aye, I suspect I will pick it back up pretty quickly but we'll see. Just hoped there might be some decent places to pick up basic lessons. Found one or two websites so I've been doing a bit on there but I don't even have any picks at the minute, so all I can do is finger picking haha.

Shall rectify this problem on Tuesday of course.

-sc00t

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-22-2007, 10:03 PM
Play? Hah -- not enough time. But I keep the racks up anyway for those odd moments when I pick up a guitar while I watch TV.

I'll spare you the full kit list; most has been acquired since 1996.

Guitar acoustic dreadnought (2). Guitar electric (2). Guitar bass electric. Bouzouki. Mandolin. Strumstick. Violin. Doumbek (2). Assorted Roland synths. Assorted Casio toy synths.

Never paid for a lesson, though I sometimes teach. Didn't start playing until I was like 14 or 15. I'm sheet-music illiterate & use it mostly like musical phonics, to "sound out" the phrasing & rhythms.

Go train your ears. Seek out underrated guitar geniuses like Kim Mitchell & Bill Nelson & Buck Dharma, or (overrated somewhat) Zappa or Fripp or Malmsteen or Belew. Play what you hear, then learn to play what you don't hear but belongs. Get the book on alternate tunings & experiment (follow the discography in back). Try other instruments, learn to let them (like a fretless 5-string bass, or an oud) be unique & not just substitute guitars, play it long enough to begin speaking uniquely, then pick up a guitar & let your hands tell you what they've learned in the experience.

When you find yourself believing that you need a specific piece of kit, remind yourself that you're an idiot. Some of the best blues I've heard was on a crappy guitar unplayable above fret 5. If you need your LP flametop '56 & your double-stack Hiwatt & your f/x gizmos, then your kit doesn't need you -- you're replaceable, if not expendable.

Unless I'm gigging (nowadays rare!), I buy strings at almost random, so most instruments are medium-heavy, those being easiest to find (especially at discount) because all the wankers want super-uber-ultra-light strings for their delicate little wrists, never mind the .007 strings can slice through skin like a sawblade. Since those are the tensions I resist when I noodle & meander in front of the TV, when I pick up a light-strung axe I amase the yokels with the delicacy of my vibratos (there's at least three on a fretted instrument; know 'em?) & the range & control of my bends.

Fingerpicking? Hah: go forth & listen to the bare-finger assaults by one James Mankey, & count yourself fortunate if you can find video of his thrashing style. On a lesser plane, I often prefer using the outer tip of my thumb, because I can just play without looking for a stack of picks.

Words o' Wizdom: medium strings, medium-heavy picks, train your right hand to mastery.

Serena Casey
04-22-2007, 11:53 PM
I don't play the guitar (yet), but I've got one and learned how to do some chords from a DVD and the Internet. Hoping to take actual lessons soon when there's some extra money (ha). I like the Guitar Noise forums (http://guitarnoise.com/forums) and there are some lessons at Guitar for Beginners and Beyond (http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/index.php).

I'm sure if you played "religiously" for several years, you haven't forgotten how! In any case, you've got a great head start. Have fun! :)

newmod
04-23-2007, 04:42 AM
Donīt know if this is the kind of thing youīre looking for, but may ne worth a look: http://www.guitartips.addr.com/index.htm

Iīm teaching myself at the moment, trying to get barre chords sorted, changes from open to barre are a pig at times. Still, with practice.

Also you may want to check out some of the chord/tab websites (e.g. azchods.com, chordie) to get some of your favourite songs to practice.

As the others said, Iīm sure youīll get back in the swing in no time.

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-23-2007, 07:26 AM
In all truth, I've spent the past decade prying myself loose from the full barre & the obsessive need to have "complete" chords, & the parallel "one-man band" madness -- sure, I'd love to play like Richard Thompson, but he knows when to lay back & stop comping. (For instance, Deep Purple's "Highway Star," where Blackmore spends most of the song playing one damped note.)

Then again, the short barre is helpful just about anywhere, even making an awkward reach on the bass. Playing mandolin greatly improved this ability for me.

Pick up a relatively cheap recorder, like a Zoom. Hearing how I sound, at a slight remove, helped silence my overcritical side.

newmod
04-23-2007, 08:09 AM
Pick up a relatively cheap recorder, like a Zoom. Hearing how I sound, at a slight remove, helped silence my overcritical side.

Funny you should say that I was thinking today that what I need is to have a listen and see how it sounds rather than worrying about where my fingers are all the time. Thanks for the advice.

Sc00t
04-24-2007, 12:42 AM
Thanks for all the useful links guys, they're awesome - looking forward to getting back in to the swing of things and will keep you all posted.

I love AW, no matter what you need like a billion people have some answers for you.

-sc00t

ChunkyC
04-24-2007, 02:09 AM
Heya Sc00t!

Another player here. I started performing in public (just singing) at 8 years old, way back in 1963. Started on guitar at 14 when I joined a band. By the time I was 17, I was playing gigs in bars full time and stayed on the road until I was 33. I've hardly touched my guitars in years, but on the rare occasions when I do, I can tell it would only take some steady practicing to build the callouses up and get the muscle-memory back in shape.

My main guitar is a 1960 Gibson Melody Maker, one of the rare ones with single-coil pickups. It's not worth much because it's heavily customized with a Shift2000 locking whammy bar system, plus the neck pickup was replaced with a Seymour Duncan before I bought the guitar. I still have all my road gear (pedalboard, effects rack) except for my amps. I had two 1960s era Fender Bandmasters, but they finally crapped out for good. Now I have a little Dean Markley open-back amp and I just plug straight in when I feel like futzing around.

Anyway, good onya for wanting to reconnect with your guitar. I'm inspired to do the same.

ModoReese
04-24-2007, 03:10 AM
I did the same thing about a year ago - picked up the guitar after a 15 year absence....

I found this site (http://www.guitarchordsmagic.com/) really handy in "refreshing" the memory. But it's true - most of it came back with little nudging....

Michelle

The Grift
04-24-2007, 04:53 AM
I have been playing for many years, but considerably less so in the last three.

Have you picked up a guitar yet? Or did you just make the appointment for lessons first? Because I would be very surprised if when you picked up the guitar things didn't start flooding back. I'd like to hear how it goes the first time you pick one up.

III
04-24-2007, 10:16 PM
Hi Sc00t,

I've been playing guitar for 20 years and teaching (on the side) for about 15. I always tell my students the most important thing is to spend every free moment with a guitar in your hand. Lessons are no substitute for just playing hour after hour. Keep your acoustic handy and play while you're watching TV or relaxing in the loo.

YouTube is a fantastic source for video lessons online. Just type in the style of music you're wanting to learn and the word "lessons" and you'll find hours of vids.

If you're just wanting to learn chords, I'd say start with open chords and don't try to get fancy until you've really gotten comfortable with your basic fingering and strumming. If you want to learn to solo, I'd say learn the major scale and the blues scale - those'll get you a long way.

I starting writing an instructional guitar book a long time ago but never finished it. Send me a message if you'd like me to email you a copy of it.

God bless,
Jay

Sc00t
04-25-2007, 01:05 AM
I have been playing for many years, but considerably less so in the last three.

Have you picked up a guitar yet? Or did you just make the appointment for lessons first? Because I would be very surprised if when you picked up the guitar things didn't start flooding back. I'd like to hear how it goes the first time you pick one up.

I picked it up a few days before but I had no pick and very little time so I basically did nothing. Had my first lesson tonight and we learned 5 chords and he taught me a good method for switching between the chords which works really well. Came home and did about 30 mins practicing until my fingers hurt too much to play more. Will practice for the rest of the week in the same way.

Does seem to be coming back to me, I feel like I've progressed alot even just in the last 2 hours, lol.


Heya Sc00t!

Another player here. I started performing in public (just singing) at 8 years old, way back in 1963. Started on guitar at 14 when I joined a band. By the time I was 17, I was playing gigs in bars full time and stayed on the road until I was 33. I've hardly touched my guitars in years, but on the rare occasions when I do, I can tell it would only take some steady practicing to build the callouses up and get the muscle-memory back in shape.

My main guitar is a 1960 Gibson Melody Maker, one of the rare ones with single-coil pickups. It's not worth much because it's heavily customized with a Shift2000 locking whammy bar system, plus the neck pickup was replaced with a Seymour Duncan before I bought the guitar. I still have all my road gear (pedalboard, effects rack) except for my amps. I had two 1960s era Fender Bandmasters, but they finally crapped out for good. Now I have a little Dean Markley open-back amp and I just plug straight in when I feel like futzing around.

Anyway, good onya for wanting to reconnect with your guitar. I'm inspired to do the same.That sounds like a great set up. You totally should just pick it up and start learning/playing again man, why not? Sounds like you really loved playing.


Hi Sc00t,

I've been playing guitar for 20 years and teaching (on the side) for about 15. I always tell my students the most important thing is to spend every free moment with a guitar in your hand. Lessons are no substitute for just playing hour after hour. Keep your acoustic handy and play while you're watching TV or relaxing in the loo.

YouTube is a fantastic source for video lessons online. Just type in the style of music you're wanting to learn and the word "lessons" and you'll find hours of vids.

If you're just wanting to learn chords, I'd say start with open chords and don't try to get fancy until you've really gotten comfortable with your basic fingering and strumming. If you want to learn to solo, I'd say learn the major scale and the blues scale - those'll get you a long way.

I starting writing an instructional guitar book a long time ago but never finished it. Send me a message if you'd like me to email you a copy of it.

God bless,
Jay
I'd *really* appreciate that, if you wouldn't mind could you mail that to scottperry835@hotmail.com ? Thanks! Look forward to it :D

Thanks to everyone for your kind words, useful links and general responses as a whole, you guysa re really cool and I'll keep you up to date on stuff.

My tutor is a nice guy, gunna teach me in accordance with the music I like and he'll teach me the theory and everything which I never got taught as a youngster, so that should be cool.

Thanks again everyone.

-sc00t

III
04-25-2007, 07:39 PM
I'd *really* appreciate that, if you wouldn't mind could you mail that to scottperry835@hotmail.com ? Thanks! Look forward to it :D


Just sent it off to you. I hope it's helpful. The world needs more guitar players.

newmod
04-25-2007, 07:48 PM
Hi III, any chance I could jump on the bandwagon and get a copy of your book? If itīs ok, my emailīs johnpq@hotmail.com

Thanks,
newmod

III
04-25-2007, 08:35 PM
Hi III, any chance I could jump on the bandwagon and get a copy of your book? If itīs ok, my emailīs johnpq@hotmail.com

Thanks,
newmod

Just sent it off to you. I hope you enjoy it!