For new guitarists.

tranquillant

New member
Hey!

I just thought it would be nice to make a thread for those people who are just starting to play guitar or have started it awhile ago and want to get better. I would like this chain to be a place, where people who are experienced in playing the instrument, would drop in to give a piece of their experience for those that are younger and maybe struggling with something. Like we al, who've been playing the instrument know, the progression is very fast at start and one might get the image after a year of practise that they are invincible with the instrument.

What I've learned during my years with the instuments are these:

- Know what to play and when to play it (sometimes the most advanced lick you know isn't the best one for the moment)
- Do not constrict yourself to just one style of music (even if you play metal listening to jazz players or pop players and playing their stuff WILL make you a better metal player)
- Practice (even if you think you are good you are never too good for practise)
- Jam with musicians more advanced than you (your playing will improve when playing with people "better" than yourself)
- Use emotion (guitar is extremely dynamic instrument so the amount of force you apply in your playing will make the instument sound different)
- and most importantly enjoy the time spent with your instument (this will be heard in your playing)

These are what I've learned during the years from various sources and from playing, hopefully these are helpful for someone who is starting to play :)
 

Meclazine

New member
There is a book for reading I found very useful when starting the guitar:

William Leavitt - Modern Method for Guitar (Berklee College of Music)

The book start's off in the open neck position and then slowly work's it's way up the neck in different keys. Highly recommended for those who intend to read music and play in a professional environment.

And the other tip is to practice over backing tracks rather than practicing over the actual song. Recognizing how bad you actually sound is the greatest motivator to sounding better. I thought I was Stevie Ray Vaughan for 10 year's before realising by bends were not as good.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
First of all.......no matter what......practice, practice, practice. You can NEVER practice too much. If you're not willing to devote time to your art.......you're kidding yourself. Secondly.......as you sit down to practice......set yourself a goal of some sort for that practice. It can be a very simple goal.....but make it something you need to improve or something new. I tell myself that practice isn't over until I've made strides towards that goal or have reached it. And yes.......it's VERY true......if you practice or play with someone better than you.......no matter how much better......you'll learn something almost every time and you'll get better A LOT FASTER. Oh.......for sure........you'll need a half way decent guitar. Playability of your instrument is key. You don't need the most expensive by any means. You just need one that's set up well and can be played without the instrument getting on your way. Good luck and have fun.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Yep, practice and more practice.
A lot of 'kids' today are learning on electrics. Generally they are easier to play. What I've found, though, is these same folks learning on electrics are unable to play acoustics decently when they try, probably because they have learned sloppy habits and not developed the finger strength needed for the typical acoustic guitar.
I'd always recommend starting on an acoustic and practice until you get good callouses (no sense bleeding over an expensive guitar, either!)
 

DrewPeterson7

Sage of the Order
Well, an acoustic and an electric are also VERY different instruments. For a guy looking to play Soilwork riffs or Jason Becker arpeggios, starting on an acoustic doesn't make much sense. Sloppy technique will hurt you on any guitar, and arguably it's a bit more noticable through a Dual Rectifier with the gain on seven or eight than it is on an acoustic. And if you can do clean, accurate bends on an electric with your choice of strings and you're not particularly interested in playing acoustic, what's the sense in having stronger fingers than you do now?

I think focusing on accurate practice is really where your priority should be, regardless of instrument choice.
 

XploZiveToyz

All American Un-American
Im in agreement with whats already been said, but I'll say it in a different way just to reinforce whats already been said. I always tell young cats that one of the easiest things to do, but the hardest to learn is, "when not to play". Most of the time you will be playing in bands and the guitarist is in a support role to a singer who is in turn in a support role for a song. The song is the most important thing! For the majority of musicians the song is the bread and butter of the music industry. Without songs, singers have nothing to sing and the rest of the musicians in the band have nothing to play. When the singer is singing don't overwhelm the singer by playing lead over the their vocals. Play in between words and phrases, not during them. Just because you can play fast doesn't mean you need to. Play tastefully. Try to feel every note that you play. That's how you develop "soul". Good music and good songs are about emotion. If you don't have "soul" you can't convey emotion. I'd much rather be known as a guy who plays tastefully and soulfully, than a guy that plays a million notes a second, but has no feel! For guys just starting out, remember that the picking hand is just as important, or maybe even more important, than the hand you make chords with! It's where your timing is at and a lot of your tone is created. And as we all know, timing and tone is very important. Try to make your lead break a "mini song" within the song you're playing. Make it something melodic, soulful, and memorable. Make it build, then build some more, then boom!, the release. Kind of like sex. You start it out slow, then it starts getting intense, then more intense, then the climax! LOL! Listen to and appreciate all types of music. Zakk Wylde is a guy who listened to the chicken-picking in some of country music as a child and then used in his rock playing. I like the way the guy plays, and he can play fast as hell doing that chicken picking that he learned from country music. Slash is a good example of soulful playing. He doesn't play a million miles an hour, and everyone loves his playing. If you're a real musician you play music because that's what you do and who you are as a person, not because you want to be rich and famous! It's a life style, not an occupation! John 5 is another excellent player who learned country stuff and then used what he learned from country to play some kick ass rock'n' roll. Listen to horn and saxophone players. For practice and fun I'll play their lines as a way to improve my playing and my ear. As the post above said, play with people better than you. Also, be humble. No one cares for know-it-alls and smart asses! If you're playing with older cats and have a good attitude most of them will be more than happy to show you stuff, or put your name out there if a gig comes up, or if a band is looking for a guitar player. Just common sense stuff. Don't over indulge in drugs or alcohol. It doesn't make your playing any better. And it leads to nothing but heart break and trouble in the long run. Most musicians are good people. You be a good person also! Good luck!
 
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GlassJaw_

New member
Learning that 95% of tone comes from your hands and the way you physically play the instrument got me a long way, worth developing a knowledge of what play styles make your particular instrument sound the best. Cheers guys
 

jimistone

long standing member
Opportunities to learn are vast nowadays compared to when I learned. When I learned you had to put a vinyl record on the turntable and try to figure it out by ear. I learned quick that a 33 speed album could be played at 16 speed and the licks were half as fast and aprox. An octave lower.
That's how I learned. To play a small segment of a record, i was trying to learn, over and over again ...I had to pick the tone arm up and drop it back down in the approximate spot.
All my old rock albums are scratched to hell and back because of that. "Allman brothers at Fillmore east" is totally destroyed and unplayable.
I never will forget the first VCR I got that had pause and slow motion on it...I put on a Stevie ray Vaughn video and learned three songs lick for lick in about 20 minutes and thought "good grief ANYONE can learn to play like this"
Now there are DVD tutorials ...
almost any guitarist video ever shot can be pulled up on YouTube.....
there are discussion forums for guitarists all over the Internet.

There has never been a better time in the history of the world than right now to learn guitar!
Everything is at your fingertips so, USE IT and be all you can be!
Rock on my future guitar heros!
 

joro

The Pie Guy
spend less time on the web and more time practicing.........................




yup............:rolleyes:
 

Armistice

Son of Yoda
Im in agreement with whats already been said, but I'll say it in a different way just to reinforce whats already been said. I always tell young cats that one of the easiest things to do, but the hardest to learn is, "when not to play". Most of the time you will be playing in bands and the guitarist is in a support role to a singer who is in turn in a support role for a song. The song is the most important thing! For the majority of musicians the song is the bread and butter of the music industry. Without songs, singers have nothing to sing and the rest of the musicians in the band have nothing to play. When the singer is singing don't overwhelm the singer by playing lead over the their vocals. Play in between words and phrases, not during them. Just because you can play fast doesn't mean you need to. Play tastefully. Try to feel every note that you play. That's how you develop "soul". Good music and good songs are about emotion. If you don't have "soul" you can't convey emotion. I'd much rather be known as a guy who plays tastefully and soulfully, than a guy that plays a million notes a second, but has no feel! For guys just starting out, remember that the picking hand is just as important, or maybe even more important, than the hand you make chords with! It's where your timing is at and a lot of your tone is created. And as we all know, timing and tone is very important. Try to make your lead break a "mini song" within the song you're playing. Make it something melodic, soulful, and memorable. Make it build, then build some more, then boom!, the release. Kind of like sex. You start it out slow, then it starts getting intense, then more intense, then the climax! LOL! Listen to and appreciate all types of music. Zakk Wylde is a guy who listened to the chicken-picking in some of country music as a child and then used in his rock playing. I like the way the guy plays, and he can play fast as hell doing that chicken picking that he learned from country music. Slash is a good example of soulful playing. He doesn't play a million miles an hour, and everyone loves his playing. If you're a real musician you play music because that's what you do and who you are as a person, not because you want to be rich and famous! It's a life style, not an occupation! John 5 is another excellent player who learned country stuff and then used what he learned from country to play some kick ass rock'n' roll. Listen to horn and saxophone players. For practice and fun I'll play their lines as a way to improve my playing and my ear. As the post above said, play with people better than you. Also, be humble. No one cares for know-it-alls and smart asses! If you're playing with older cats and have a good attitude most of them will be more than happy to show you stuff, or put your name out there if a gig comes up, or if a band is looking for a guitar player. Just common sense stuff. Don't over indulge in drugs or alcohol. It doesn't make your playing any better. And it leads to nothing but heart break and trouble in the long run. Most musicians are good people. You be a good person also! Good luck!

Dude... paragraphs! Making things readable since forever...:D
 
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