Learning the Guitar

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bluemc1, 21 Oct 2019.

  1. Meatbag

    Meatbag

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    it’s all down to personal preference and style (John Williams classical- thumb on the back of the neck).

    I’ve been playing guitar for 26 years and for the most part my thumb rests on the top of the neck. If I want to play a particular stretchy chord, I’ll shift my thumb to the back of the neck.

    Practice is the key. Discuss what sort of music your into with your tutor and once you have the basics down you can start learning a tune you like. Keep it interesting.
     
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  2. Exeter Blue I am here

    Exeter Blue I am here

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    I’m the same. Been playing for 30 years and I’ve long known I’ll never be much more than a strum along Charlie. I can play just about any song that comprises chords, riffs and hooks, and a fair few basic solos, but none of it comes intuitively. To master anything I literally have to sit down with YouTube (“James James” formerly known as “Privettricker” is my guitar guru) and learn it Polly Parrot fashion, note by note. Not complaining, cos I love playing, but my inability to improvise is a real draw back. Guested in a couple of covers bands, but I have to keep it simple and stick rigidly to the script.
    Musical ability sits in tandem with a grasp of maths and languages in the brain apparently. My 15 year old nephew has been playing barely 18 months and he’s frankly awesome. Blasting his way through Carlos Santana solos like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Bastard
     
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  3. twosips

    twosips

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    I reckon most give up at guitar because all they do is learn covers/play on their own. Covers are always a good starting point, cos its not that hard to sound quite nice with a simple chord based strummed song. I started that way too, BUT...I do believe most pack it in because they then just stick to that method. Honestly believe the trick is to just not mind sounding shite and just enjoy making your own personal noise too, or even just jam with some friends. Convinced so many don't get better because they're just trying learn songs they love, and it often becomes a chore, and a frustrating one at that when you're not quite as good at that song as you want to be. It's easy to lose interest then, because they're not getting anything back at it. They're also not exploring the fun creative side of guitars, which is what most of us actually crave.

    All of the above is why I think its important that when you've got a bit of confidence, just play about and actually just enjoy making noise with a guitar. Or find someone to just have a jam with and make a load of noise. It isn't like learning a song that has a strict way of playing, which means technically you can't really be getting anything wrong, and it kinda feels nice to not be limited by anything, and you can't really sound shite either, cos its just your own personal ideas. I mean they may sound a bit shite, but they're not 'wrong' are they? Cos its entirely subjective. Plus there is nothing better than making a load of noise with a mate. It's ten times more gratifying than nailing a perfect cover IMO :)

    Maybe that's just me anyway. Can only speak from my experience there! I'm bang average at guitar, but I was basically the lead guitarist in a few moderately successful bands for years. I just had an ear for a melody. Terrible at covers, mind. If you put me in a room, there's usually no way I could impress someone with a guitar on my own, but if you put me in a band jamming I could write a nice melody that people would usually enjoy listening to. My mind just isn't wired the covers kinda way, and chances are the minds of most aren't, but they just go down the cover route and eventually get bored. I'd rather write something with a friend instead of learn something. If i'd have stuck to just doing covers i'd have got bored very quickly. I reckon most don't realise this.

    Long story short - defo learn some covers, but also defo try writing some things and just enjoy making a fuck load of noise! That's the point of guitars really.
     

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  4. Proy

    Proy

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    Im sorry, but that is bollox.

    I really, really hate this train of thought. As a learner, you do what is best for you. This whole fucking ‘there is only one way to do it’ is so rigid. So black and white. So old school.

    You have already seen the image of Jimmy. There are many, many more. Some of the greatest ever players.
     
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  5. flyer

    flyer

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    Look on any website for guitar advice and you'll hear that a good grounding is essential to being able to play. You can adapt your style later down the line if you want but without the basics, you will be severely limited in your range of music.

    To use the example of the thumb in the middle of the neck. Make a loose fist with your hand making sure that your thumb touches your first or middle finger which is roughly what Hendricks is doing in the picture. Now try to spread your finger without breaking the contact between thumb and the finger you chose. You'll probably find that is difficult to get a wide spread of your fingers in this position.

    Now open your hand and put your thumb roughly in the middle of your palm, something like the John Williams shape, and try to spread your fingers. You should find that you get a bigger spread of your fingers which will be important if you want to play the more complex pieces of music whether that be classical, jazz, or even the higher level of rock music.

    I speak from personal experience here. As a bass player in the 70's, I went with the 'no mate I never had lessons, I'm self taught' . How I wish I had learnt better technique, I'd be so much better than I am now, and I consider myself to be ok standard.

    If you look at my first post (I think) I said right away 'have some fun' and that's fine. But the OP is on day one of learning and I only offered him my advise on the basis that he might not want to be limited further down the line.
     
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  6. flyer

    flyer

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    Sorry they aren't the greatest players, they are the best providers of the music you like and that's a world of difference. My guitar hero is Ritchie Blackmore who I think is a genius player on the basis that he was one of the best ever rock guitarists, if not the best, but for the last 20 years or so has been able to write and play renaissance music with Blackmore's Night. There's no way he could play what he's playing now without huge amounts of technique which came from his lessons as a kid.

    John Williams has the skill and technique of a car driver like Lewis Hamilton. Jimi Hendrix (and many more like him) is the hoodie in the car banging up and down your street. The Hendrix driver will create lots of excitement and cheering, but it's not the expert driving of Hamilton.

    I've no problem with either choice, but the expert players come from proper training as they do in all walks of life
     
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  7. dark 'n stormy

    dark 'n stormy

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    I had my first lessons at 64. This was a ‘one on one’ lesson with a teacher who builds his lessons around your type of musical interest and what you want to achieve. I have relatively small hands and couldn’t wrap my thumb over like ‘Jimmy’ if I wanted to so as well as a good teacher, you need a guitar that is comfortable for you. I’ve improved a lot through having lessons and can really enjoy learning and playing stuff for my own amusement. As well as lessons I also supplemented my learning with some stuff on YouTube and having sifted through loads of videos, I would recommend the following two players.

    1. for lessons and some theory Justin Sandercoe (Justin Guitar) has a number of lesson series available and is one of the most followed guitar teachers on YouTube. He has just completed a new series where he’s teaching a new student, Tammy.





    2. For a no fuss, take it or leave approach to learning some great songs, especially the Beetles, Oasis and some Neil Young and others, I follow this guy.





    Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  8. BimboBob

    BimboBob

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    Listen, Can you smell something?
    A couple of things about the banjo. Your hand "floats" rather than rests on the instrument. Quite hard to do at first.

    Secondly, wearing dungarees and looking good takes a special kind of person.
     
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  9. Proy

    Proy

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    Again, completely disagree.

    You are essentially saying that Jimmi is not an expert player. That Mark Knopfler is not an expert player.

    You need to sit down and have a word with yourself because that is absolutely outrageous.
     
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  10. Proy

    Proy

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    Thanks for the input, but I don't need a lecture/lesson.

    I play with my thumb in all the wrong places. I'm absolutely fine with that and so are many guitarists, some of them amongst the very finest on planet earth.

    I would be your worst student but you'd be my worst teacher because I'd end up chinning you.

    Mark Knopfler didn't have a single formal lesson. He is self taught.

    One of the greatest ever players and don't dare suggest otherwise, the stats and facts back that claim up and he is just one of many examples.

    Cheers.
     

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