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Unread 09-04-2003, 02:40 PM   #1
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Question Does anyone have any tips?

I just started playing the acc. guitar about 2 months ago. By any chance, does anyone know any tips that might help me along? Thank You!

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Unread 09-04-2003, 02:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by popprincess8080
I just started playing the acc. guitar about 2 months ago. By any chance, does anyone know any tips that might help me along? Thank You!
Some tips, eh? Well...

It depends on how often you play, but callouses (sp?) will eventually build up..and yes, they are a good thing. If you don't have them yet, just keep playing! They will come eventually. And also try to minimize the time you have your hands (your fretting hand) in water, or soaking in the bath, because that will eat away at your callouses.

Um...as far as progressing and learning - Just play as much as you can, and play with other people who are better than you. It might be a little awkward at first, but you can learn so much by playing with others. Maybe you could see if your youth pastor, or anyone at your church plays guitar and ask if you can play with them sometime. Have fun!
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Unread 09-04-2003, 05:54 PM   #3
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i only get to practice about 20 min a day, b/c i'm so busy. my youth minister does actually play the guitar, and he helps me. i guess i'm just trying to find something to make it a little bit easier...my girl hands are having a hard time adjusting. lol
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Unread 09-04-2003, 06:28 PM   #4
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uhh keep practice bar chords caz they really annoy u but once u get them they will make u be able to play really well and get u theory stuff (at least thats what happened with me)
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Unread 09-04-2003, 07:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nckcool_11
uhh keep practice bar chords caz they really annoy u but once u get them they will make u be able to play really well and get u theory stuff (at least thats what happened with me)
Yeah - Something I found to help with barre chords are to get one of those little hand exercisers (like a squeezy ball or something that has some resistance to it) - really helps building up hand strength. Here's a link that has some pictures of the exercises (2) you can do with it - http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~d...d/strength.htm ... hope this helps you some. Just keep playing!
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Unread 09-04-2003, 11:12 PM   #6
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here is a page i made a long time ago that will show you the basics of rhythm guitar, chords and such:

http://jg7.tripod.com/guitar.html

it's pretty simple and straightforward..just keep practicing!
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Unread 09-05-2003, 08:13 AM   #7
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what helped me learn guitar was learning my favorite songs and playing them over and over. Find a praise song or something you like that has pretty simple chords and play it every time you practice. You know how the song should sound, so try to imitate that. This'll help w/ switching chords and stuff. Have fun!
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Unread 09-06-2003, 12:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvmeister
what helped me learn guitar was learning my favorite songs and playing them over and over. Find a praise song or something you like that has pretty simple chords and play it every time you practice. You know how the song should sound, so try to imitate that. This'll help w/ switching chords and stuff. Have fun!
Yep that helped me too , i remember one of the first song i played it was a song with 2 chords changing from G to E all the time lol
try to get a website with all the Chords list and then pick a easy song you wanna learn and look for the chords in the list and try it out
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Unread 09-06-2003, 01:30 AM   #9
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Tips? . . .

Here's a biggie! Get Fretboard Logic SE (Special Edition) by Bill Edwards, and read it backwards and forwards, cover to cover.

http://www.billedwards.com

Basically, it explains the mechanics to the guitars unique tuning, and how that allows for a full and maximal optimization of four fretting fingers to create a true "polyphony", or music made with simultanious notes, like chords, harmony, two or more lines (or "voices") played at the same time and what not.

It's an incredibly powerful book, and you will learn almost every scale you need to know, 10 different chord forms, from Major, Minor, Augmented, Diminished, to all the Seventh chords (6 different variations), plus a bunch of other chord forms for after you master those first 10. All this without having to know any theory or read music, or anything else like that (that comes later, after you learn the basics, fundamentals, key distinctions, and governing principles).

Because of the profoundly simple way these principles work, you'll learn all this very quickly. It's pretty "stupid" simple. There's a fair bit of reading on the front end, at least a few pages, which you need to start with to get the principles, but, after that initial introduction, you start picking the information up rapidly. Not that it's hard reading in the least, but the author could have used a few more paragraph breaks. But, otherwise, it is all quite brilliant. (probably why it is the #1 bestselling guitar book on amazon.com)

BTW, a little side note. The information in Fretboard Logic cannot be gotten anywhere else. Seriously. Someone will come along and, upon hearing about some of it, will say, "oh, yeah, I knew that. I read it in a music theory book or something." Not really. The guitar is a totally unique instrument, with it's asymmetrical tuning which is tuned like no other instrument out there. It's not tuned to symmetrical intervals (all fourths, like a bass, or fifths, like a violin, for instance), nor is it tuned to an open chord, like a steel guitar or banjo. Now, yes, technically, E A D G B E makes for some obscure jazz chord no one uses. But I don't think the Great Luthier, who retuned a lute centuries ago and created the guitar, had that obscure jazz chord in mind. That's a whole 'nother post. Suffice it to say, a pianist or violinist will not be able to tell you why it's tuned the way it is and why that is so important. They may theorize, or hypothesize, but they won't be able to tell you because they couldn't possibly know. They have no real world reference or experience of it. Just because I pianist can strum a few chords doesn't mean he understands the tuning. And, to a violinist, the guitar is, essentially, an oversized, overstring violin. Not that either is consciously aware of that.

Whether by accident or intent, when the Great Luthier retuned the guitar, he created a situation where all the materials of music where now immediately and practically available to the musician. Fretboard Logic Vol I is the only book to focus on that, and Vol II expands on it. Fretboard Logic SE is a bound combo of Vols I and II.

Best $20 you'll ever spend, and 90 pages later you'll know about 80% of everything you need to know. Not a bad return on your investment.

The second tip would be to make absolutely sure that your guitar is in top playing condition. Muscles have a memory, and those "first impressions" are important! If your action is too high, or there is too much relief in the neck (too much bow around the middle of the neck) and those strings are too high above the frets, you are going to have to work a lot harder to play well, and you may get heavy handed trying to hammer down those strings to the fretboard.

That's a whole new post.

Third tip. Never cheap out on your sound. Spend the money. What few dollars you save by cheaping out, you lose out a thousand times over in poor performance. Seriously. Most people can't tell quality in a guitar. They just aren't trained in the distinctions. It's more than just owning more than one guitar. I am very good at spotting quality, but only after about 12 years of hanging out in guitar shops, comparing guitars, reading about them in magazines, books, and internet, coming from a carpentry background, researching and building my own guitar, talking to and picking the minds of some of the top luthiers in the country, and so on.

If you don't have access to that kind of education, and most don't, then just focus on your current guitar. Make it your project to totally upgrade your current guitar to optimum playing condition. True, you could use whatever money you spend on a "newer, better" guitar, but I wouldn't. Not unless you know what kind of guitar to get that would be better. Instead, usually it doesn't take too much to maximize any guitar in particular.

The better your gear, the better you play. Simple as that. Not that having a top grade guitar makes you a top grade player, but, rather, substandard equipment will impede your growth and progress, so, having the best gear available will give you the greatest range to expand your talents.

And it really doesn't take that much. For instance, if your tuners are not of good quality, and can't hold a tune, then some Schallers will definitely do the trick. If you strum kind of hard, then some locking tuners will be nice. If the action is too high at the nut (and the nut is cheapo plastic instead of bone or "tusq" - high grade, man-made bone) then you'll never be able to fret those open chords in the first few frets (like the notorious open F chord - probably the reason why more people quite playing guitar than any other reason, apart from mistaking cheap gear for lack of talent).

To give you a mental picture, I was mowing the lawn the other day, and the mower was way sluggish, like it was about to die or something. I'm thinking, "uh oh, need a new mower!?!" Then I checked the owner's manual. "Ah ha!!" Half a pint of engine oil and a new sparkplug later and the mower is as good as new. Same thing for your guitar. Take it in for a "tune-up" at a good guitar tech or luthier.

Fourth tip: Use 8's. The slinkiest you can find. If you have an acoustic, especially so. Right now, we don't care about volume or "projecting". You want to teach your muscles how to make the chords and run your scales. You want the easiest strings to play possible, and with the least tension. After you've trained your muscles, and can muscle things in a little more, then you can increase string tension and string gauge.

Fifth tip: Don't practice your chords in the open position, i.e. first few frets. Practice them at the fifth fret (position). This is for the same reason as Tip 4. There is a lot less tension at the fifth fret than at the first, or open position, right as you are coming off of the nut, especially if you haven't had that nut job yet.

Sixth tip: Get an Earvana Nut. http://www.earvana.com It is a compensated nut that will cause the whole fretboard to play in tune. The difference is truly amazing. Everything plays in tune without any of that weird, atonal overtones that make chords sound kinda off or "funny". They take on a beautiful, shimmery quality. The kit costs $25 and any Guitar Tech worthy of the title can install it as a regular nut job. Very nice!

Hope this helps!
Chesh
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Unread 09-06-2003, 01:35 AM   #10
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PS . . .

This is huge!! Keep this in mind.

Practice does NOT make perfect.

Practice makes PERMANENT.

If you are busy practicing, and you are practicing things which are not productive, you are not going to improve, you will only master those ineffective things.

Sometimes the most important thing to do is to NOT practice, but, instead, to gently and patiently relearn something.

So, alway keep reading and researching. Keep learning.

Chesh
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Unread 09-08-2003, 07:56 AM   #11
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Cheshire, you forgot the last point, which was to buy a Taylor

I agree that Fretboard Logic SE is a great teaching tool.

In the meantime just learn the major chords (A, C, D, E, G)

Then move on to Bar chords (B, F)

And you should be fine. Once you get to strumming and transitions between chords, (and later, scales and fingerpicking) perhaps pick up a metronome, it will help you out.

Oh, and remember - when you feel like quitting because your fingers hurt (or bleed) remember that you are on the home stretch, keep going!

After 17 years of playing, you could lop off the tips of my fingers and I'd hardly notice. I know, because I accidentally did, once! Luckily it was on my strumming hand, I just had to avoid fingerpicking for a week or two...

Keep at it! It's worth the pain!
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Unread 09-08-2003, 10:54 AM   #12
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practice alot, alot, alot, alot, alot.
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Unread 09-08-2003, 12:36 PM   #13
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1. Get some good instruction material. Go to your favorite music store and browse for guitar instruction books (w/ CDs included), buy a couple and work through them.

2. Make time to practice more. Generally, an hour a day is the minimum amount if you want to get better. Bump up practicing guitar a bit higher in your scale of priorities. Have a guitar in your hands whenever you watch TV.

3. Play with other people whenever possible, especially people who have more skill. Ask them lots of questions about what they're playing. Also, take every opportunity to play in front of people. If you bomb, then use that as an incentive to become a better guitarist.
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Unread 09-08-2003, 01:51 PM   #14
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All good tips, but trust me when I say this.

Get Fretboard Logic SE first, and master that. When you read it, you'll see why.

After that, you have a marvelous basis to judge and discern the merits of any other teaching source.

That one 90 page book can easily replace a whole library of Chord Encyclopedias, Scale Encyclopedias, Teaching "Methods", Beginer Introductions, and so on. Seriously. It can replace an entire library of such books. What's more, you could write an entire library of such books yourself after you read it and learn it. No joke.

I'm not saying that as hyperbole or for effect, or to exaggerate. Once you master the material (maybe within six months to a year), you will have literally mastered all the material necessary to play guitar, short of stylistic concerns.

Reason being, it covers the governing principles and formulas for all those scales, chords, modes, and in all their inversions and variations, and so on.

IOW, you could get a chord encyclopedia, and try to learn, literally, up to 100 chords by rote memorization, which would be a headache (but also a necessary evil if you know of no other alternative), or you can learn one or two governing principles, which are profoundly simple and easy to understand, and a few formulas, which are also easy to understand (and you may in fact already know without realizing it) and you get the exact same result!!

BTW, same thing with scales. You could get a scale encyclopedia, or chart or something, and try to learn, literally, up to 12 different, disparate scales by rote memorization, which would be a headache (but also a necessary evil as well if you know of no other alternative), or you can learn one or two governing principles, which are profoundly simple and easy to understand, and a few formulas, which are also easy to understand (and you may in fact already know without realizing it) and you get the exact same result!!

See, Bill Edwards is what I call a Promethean Code-Breaker. Prometheus was a Titan from Greek Mythology who brought fire, and, thus, empowerment thru knowledge, to mankind. (Zeus wasn't too happy about it, btw.) Well basically, there are great inventors and innovators who have "Broken the Code" on different technologies and endevours. Bill broke the code of guitar. Fretboard Logic is the result of those discoveries.

The key thing here is that if you just skim thru the book, not really reading it, you'll probably miss it. All you'll see are some chord forms, scales forms, and text. You might think, "oh, yeah, chords and scales, those are good to learn. I have books like those at home. Oh, I see, I just need to study and memorize these specific chords and scales and forget the rest. Okay." No, not really.

You need to actually read thru it, several times perhaps, and then you'll get it. It will be like a huge epiphany. Once you get the principles, it will be like looking at one of those 3-D posters which are a bunch of dots and pixels. You're looking at it, thinking, "I don't get it. I don't get it. This is a joke. This has to be a 'put on'. Everyone's in on it but me. There is nothing there." And then, suddenly, your brain makes the connection, interprets the data the right way, and suddenly, the 3-D image pops out at you! (Which can be quite startling!!)

It's a really huge "A-HA!!!!!" "Wow!!!! Look at that!!! Cool!!" When I first saw that image years ago, I spent an hour showing everyone else gathered outside the poster shop where they first had them. It created quite the sensation back then. Now those posters are on the backs of cereal boxes and in the morning comics. But it was really big back then.

Same thing with Fretboard Logic. If you get it, and read it, and just "forget what you know", or what you think you know, and just follow it, then you'll probably get it on the first go thru, even in the first few pages. After the first few pages, you'll get the concept, then, after the first 40 pages, you'll know all the governing principles and already have plenty of practical tools (and you'll be jacked out of your mind about getting in PART 2), in the next 20 pages you'll learn to add a note here and there in some of the scales, and move a finger or two on a scale formula, and suddenly you sextuple your knowledge!!! (Yes, "sextuple" . . . multiply your knowledge six fold.) In the last 20 pages, you'll learn virtually everything you ever wanted to know about anything else involving chords, scales, modes, and so on and so on. For example, the section modes, near the end, is only a few pages, and after that, you know all your modes! Why? Because you've already learned the key building blocks before in context other subjects. When you get to the Modes section, you just learn a little bit of new info (which you may already know now, and if so, all the better) and how to combine to governing principles in a new way. Then everything else falls into place.

Now, obviously, you need to practice this and encode it into your mind, memory, and muscles. You just can't read it thru once or twice and suddenly you're a virtuoso.

But, with this knowledge, you could turn what is a year's learning curve for most people into a month or two. Not bad for $20 and 90 pages.

Speaking of which, have you seen the prices on some of those encyclopedias? It's unreal. You could end up spending over hundreds of dollars on all those "Last Guitar Book(s) You'll Ever Need". It's crazy!

Fretboard Logic isn't the last guitar book you'll every need. It, quite literally, is the first.

BTW, a little side note. If anyone ever offers you a negative opinion on it, or anything else for that matter, ask them if they have actually 1) purchased a copy, 2) read it cover to cover, 3) actually studied it, 4) made an effort to apply it.

My experience has been, anyone who has not read it, when asked about it, usually responds with a vague, speculative, semi-authoratative look in their eye and says "Well, you know, there are a lot of good books out there, and you just have to use what works for you." Those who have actually read it usually say "Wow!!! Fretboard Logic!?! It's incredible! It totally revolutionized (or similar term) my playing and everything! Definitely get it!"

Chesh

Last edited by CheshireCat; 09-08-2003 at 02:02 PM.
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Unread 09-08-2003, 01:57 PM   #15
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All good tips, but trust me when I say this.

Get Fretboard Logic SE first, and master that. When you read it, you'll see why. [ommitted due to length]
Hmm, seems like I've heard this before....
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