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  1. #1
    Eruption Rebel Yell5's Avatar
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    Default Just Started Learning Guitar!

    Hello fellow linkers and fellow axemen (and axewomen, ).

    I just started playing guitar. I was taking lessons and with work and other obligations I have not gotten to play as much as I would like.

    I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for a good online instructional course or interactive guitart type lessons. I know looking online there are so many, but not sure which are the best in terms of price and quality.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Ask AT for pointers... He's a guitar teacher and from what I hear, a damned good one!!!
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  3. #3
    Eruption Rebel Yell5's Avatar
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    Thanks!
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  4. #4
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are some great online resources. If it will be a side hobby for you, it can obviously be done at your own pace. I'll just throw in my two cents and say there's no school like old school for guitar lessons. I took 2+ years of lessons beginning in '76 with a fantastic guitar teacher, a "big band" style guitarist who could knock off Chet Atkins type things with ease. I was in junior high then and clearly had a lot of free time, but man I wouldn't trade those lessons for anything in the world. If I would have tried to do that at 39, yeah forget about it with everything else going on. Perhaps you could somehow manage a combination of hands-on lessons with a great instructor and online lessons for practice. The key of course is finding the right instructor. The guy I took lessons from was actually my dad's cousin so I was lucky. I used to snicker at him for what he was playing, when of course I wanted to play The Beatles, Boston, Sweet (remember Ballroom Blitz? ha) and things like that- this was pre-VH mind you. Now the joke is on me because I sure as hell still can't play that Chet Atkins stuff and I can appreciate the genius behind it.

    Back then in addition to playing in different rock bands with friends, I also played in a number of school bands including a stage orchestra complete with brass, strings, etc. The school had an early 70's Fender Twin Reverb, man I wish I still had access to that amp! I had to sight read sheet music in that one and could do it because of my formal lessons. They'd plop down Glenn Miller's Take The A Train on my stand and away we go. The most "radical" thing that stage orchestra played was The Beatles Day Tripper, but it was in a completely different key from the original and I couldn't use any open strings! No way I could still sight read presently, but if I brushed up on it I could get back up to speed again.

    My fear with anyone learning guitar now is that things would be accelerated too quickly and certain instructors might tempt students with two-handed tapping and things like that, when there are a lot of fundamentals to be learned first.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    I'm 37 and I've been playing nearly 25 years. If I were to take guitar lessons again, which I would very much like to do, I would love to find someone who can play Chet Atkins style of guitar and teach that type of stuff to me. I think that would take my guitar playing to the next level, for sure!!!
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    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    I'm 37 and I've been playing nearly 25 years. If I were to take guitar lessons again, which I would very much like to do, I would love to find someone who can play Chet Atkins style of guitar and teach that type of stuff to me. I think that would take my guitar playing to the next level, for sure!!!
    Isn't that the truth! When I was a 13 year old punk kid I laughed at that stuff. Not while sitting in the lesson, had way too much respect for that. This guy was cranking out clean, crisp, fast arpeggios over top of my crude rhythm playing during lessons. At the time, since he was playing a Gibson hollowbody F-hole style electric guitar (top of the line, not sure what it was though) and not using any kind of distortion, well you know he just wasn't a guitar hero to me. Chet Atkins, yeah I realized many years later this guy really kicked butt on guitar. Could sound like two guitarists at the same time, as I'm sure you know. I consider him more country but he really crossed over into many genres. You have to be a really good guitarist to play complex passages clean and not hide behind a wall of effects. I still like to use the effects for the most part. I'm being a bit self-depreciating, but I do feel most comfortable with at least a cushion of extra gain/breakup on the signal.

    Sorry for the threadjack, hope the OP gets some additional suggestions. I still think a well-versed instructor is the best way to begin. Too many possibilities for bad habits to develop otherwise.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkost View Post
    I still think a well-versed instructor is the best way to begin. Too many possibilities for bad habits to develop otherwise.
    I totally agree. I taught myself pretty much (over 30yrs ago!) and developed my own way of playing and fingering chords, because I didn't know any better. I didn't learn any scales or theory but I did develop a good ear and am able to play most stuff after just a few listens. that may sound great but I have no clue when it comes structure or composition, I just 'wing it' (Yeah, Ed's old "if it sounds good it is good" line!..lol).
    I decided to get a teacher a few months back and try to lean the basics of theory, scales, modes etc but to be honest I think I've been playing my own way for far too long, I kinda got confused by it all and was more concious of what I was playing and lost my flow. I would suggest taking lessons and learning that stuff early on and getting to grips with it, because learning it later down the line (I found) makes things more difficult.
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  8. #8
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    Try to play every day, if it it's only for a little bit. It's impossible to improve at all if you don't pick up and play all the time. A couple times per week just won't cut it.

  9. #9
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    This guy is great !

    Most of his lessons are Free, just take the time to go through them in an organized manner. Start with the "Beginners Course" on move on from there

    http://www.justinguitar.com/en/AA-000-LessonIndex.php

  10. #10
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 09:23 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    I totally agree. I taught myself pretty much (over 30yrs ago!) and developed my own way of playing and fingering chords, because I didn't know any better. I didn't learn any scales or theory but I did develop a good ear and am able to play most stuff after just a few listens. that may sound great but I have no clue when it comes structure or composition, I just 'wing it' (Yeah, Ed's old "if it sounds good it is good" line!..lol).
    I decided to get a teacher a few months back and try to lean the basics of theory, scales, modes etc but to be honest I think I've been playing my own way for far too long, I kinda got confused by it all and was more concious of what I was playing and lost my flow. I would suggest taking lessons and learning that stuff early on and getting to grips with it, because learning it later down the line (I found) makes things more difficult.
    Everything you say is true as well. This is one of those topics that is like peeling back the layers of an onion. I know we've all read that Ed had classical piano training at a young age- who knows how much. But if he had taken say several years of serious guitar training at an early age I doubt we would have ever heard of the guy. He did what he did by thinking outside of the box. Hell, he didn't even know that there was a box.

    Still, anyone just starting at an older age probably has no preconceptions of being the next EVH, especially in this day and age. In the late 70's / early 80's that actually wasn't too unrealistic of a goal to achieve in some manner if you had some talent. If he can take lessons with an experienced instructor it might help with the enjoyment of the instrument to actually know why certain things are the way they are.

    As far as bad habits, I always think of one funny example. My teacher in the 70's always harped on the correct position of the fretting hand. He was right of course, and he did not want to see your thumb over the edge of the fretboard. Well there are certain times when it is just more comfortable to do that, and heck I have even fretted the odd note here and there using my thumb. Every time I do that however (which isn't often), even 30+ years later, I imagine him looking over my shoulder shaking his head in disapproval. ha

  11. #11
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 09:50 PM
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    I just recently took on my first official student. I taught my nephew...but he took the guitar and ran with it so well that I hardly deserve any credit.

    I don't know if I'm going to be a good teacher or not. I'm trying to give the kid (11 years old) something musical to do right away so he doesn't get bored...but his attention span is pretty short. I gave him a few chords (charts) to learn but also showed him the bass line to "21 Guns" by Green Day so he could play that to break up the boredom.

    On the subject of bad habits, I've had to correct things in my playing over the years so I'm trying to give this kid the right path from the beginning. The problem is, what is "wrong" and what is "personal style". This kid doesn't like using a pick....could he end up like Wes Montgomery, Lindsey Buckingham, or Mark Knopfler? ...Or should I insist he play with one? I'm trying to demonstrate why he would need a pick...like if he wanted to sound a certain way or play really fast notes.

    The good thing is this kid has a good ear. He can hear when he plays something wrong. That's a great thing to have imo. Ideally I would like to give him basics and have a love of playing take him from there.

  12. #12
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    I've been teaching formal lessons for about 15 years, so you can probably understand my bias when I suggest good old fashioned one-on-one guitar lessons in a formal environment. Just this past month I started two new adult students who came to me after frustrating attempts with online lessons (and another teacher, in the case of one). With both of these men I was immediately able to point out several problems relating merely to how they were holding their respective guitars and hands; they had numerous physical issues--easily remedied--working against them. Point being: A good teacher will guide you through all the important early aspects of playing, including some things you might not even realize. And regardless of age I recommend finding an instructor that teaches everything: standard notation, charts, and tablature (preferably in that order). Then have patience, play slow, be deliberate and careful, and practice regularly. Did I mention have patience? Yes, have lots of patience. Chart the small successes and be proud of them. Over the course of several months and then years you'll find yourself being quite happy you exercised all that... patience!

  13. #13
    Good Enough ignorance_is_bliss's Avatar
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    09.07.17 @ 09:37 PM
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    Cool thread going here. Rebel Yell5, best of luck with your new musical endeavour. For what its worth, here are a few of my experiences.

    As a student:

    I started playing guitar in 2001. In early 2002 I did almost a years worth of night school classes with a group of beginner guitarists and one teacher - and that was probably the single most important thing I did in those early formative years as a player. Not only was I learning from my own mistakes, I was learning from everyone elses mistakes too! The tutor (he was a damn good one) was involved with each student, checking technique and listening to how the chords were "ringing out". A class would start with 15 or so students and usually by the end of the semester there would be three or four of us left. The dedicated ones! We all learnt together. And best of all, it was cheap as anything - $50 for a semester, which was between $4 to $5 a lesson. Among other things I took from those lessons were a dozen or so chord charts of various songs, so I never had "nothing" to play/learn. There was always somthing in front of me that I had to learn. Challenging and fun.

    After that, I went on and had two more very good tutors in one on one environment. And this is quite important right here - There is simply no substitute for face-to-face lessons. In fact I would say that online lessons/resources should be used in support of face to face lessons, in order to gain a good breadth and depth of knowledge around playing the guitar. Theres just no substitute for a good tutor in front of you, coaching you and playing along with you, offering both constructive critism and commenting on how good you are getting as time goes by. I also did a six month course in music at a local polytechnic - more valuable experience, but thats another story for another time.


    As a tutor:

    I teach raw beginners. I get a real kick out of seeing people fall in love with the guitar and the music they are creating. Some want to master the insturment, others just want to play a few chords. Either way, its a journey for them as much as it is for anything else in life, and I love helping people along on that journey.

    Some key things that I teach my students right from day one.

    1) A systematic approach to playing the guitar. That includes key concepts like identifying "anchor" fingers in certain chord changes (G to D, or C to D7 for example) and the "one finger at a time" rule. If you learn how to play each chord by fretting one finger a time, every time, eventually "muscle memory" will kick in and the rest of your fingers will fall into place and lo and behold - chord changes become second nature. But that takes time, and paitent, sytematic practice, which brings me to point two...

    2) Play little and often. Here's a scenario I've seen (and done myself!) plenty of times as a beginner - A mammoth three hour practice on monday will not make you a good guitarist by the following Sunday. That's six days to "unlearn" everything you learnt on monday!

    Instead, I tell my students to just focus on one thing for ten minutes - just ten minutes, a day. Thats fifty to seventy minutes of consistent practice on one thing a week. Little and often. One of two things will happen - the hobbyist guitarist will just learn that one thing a week, the more dedicated learner will actually end up putting in more time. As a tutor, I can work with either result.

    Tutors can tell whether a student practiced consistently for a week, and one whos practiced for an hour before the lesson. The results don't lie, and every tutor can attest to this. There's a wonderful saying that goes like this "If you don't practice for a day, you notice. If you don't practice for two days, your tutor notices. If you don't practice for three days, everyone notices!" Theres truth in there. Consistent, paitent systematic practice. The results never lie!

    But most of all, I tell my students to HAVE FUN. That should be the only reason why one plays music - to have fun. Any other reason just makes it a chore.
    Last edited by ignorance_is_bliss; 04.02.12 at 02:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Little Dreamer kiwikotzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignorance_is_bliss View Post
    Cool thread going here. Rebel Yell5, best of luck with your new musical endeavour. For what its worth, here are a few of my experiences.

    As a student:

    I started playing guitar in 2001. In early 2002 I did almost a years worth of night school classes with a group of beginner guitarists and one teacher - and that was probably the single most important thing I did in those early formative years as a player. Not only was I learning from my own mistakes, I was learning from everyone elses mistakes too! The tutor (he was a damn good one) was involved with each student, checking technique and listening to how the chords were "ringing out". A class would start with 15 or so students and usually by the end of the semester there would be three or four of us left. The dedicated ones! We all learnt together. And best of all, it was cheap as anything - $50 for a semester, which was between $4 to $5 a lesson. Among other things I took from those lessons were a dozen or so chord charts of various songs, so I never had "nothing" to play/learn. There was always somthing in front of me that I had to learn. Challenging and fun.

    After that, I went on and had two more very good tutors in one on one environment. And this is quite important right here - There is simply no substitute for face-to-face lessons. In fact I would say that online lessons/resources should be used in support of face to face lessons, in order to gain a good breadth and depth of knowledge around playing the guitar. Theres just no substitute for a good tutor in front of you, coaching you and playing along with you, offering both constructive critism and commenting on how good you are getting as time goes by. I also did a six month course in music at a local polytechnic - more valuable experience, but thats another story for another time.


    As a tutor:

    I teach raw beginners. I get a real kick out of seeing people fall in love with the guitar and the music they are creating. Some want to master the insturment, others just want to play a few chords. Either way, its a journey for them as much as it is for anything else in life, and I love helping people along on that journey.

    Some key things that I teach my students right from day one.

    1) A systematic approach to playing the guitar. That includes key concepts like identifying "anchor" fingers in certain chord changes (G to D, or C to D7 for example) and the "one finger at a time" rule. If you learn how to play each chord by fretting one finger a time, every time, eventually "muscle memory" will kick in and the rest of your fingers will fall into place and lo and behold - chord changes become second nature. But that takes time, and paitent, sytematic practice, which brings me to point two...

    2) Play little and often. Here's a scenario I've seen (and done myself!) plenty of times as a beginner - A mammoth three hour practice on monday will not make you a good guitarist by the following Sunday. That's six days to "unlearn" everything you learnt on monday!

    Instead, I tell my students to just focus on one thing for ten minutes - just ten minutes, a day. Thats fifty to seventy minutes of consistent practice on one thing a week. Little and often. One of two things will happen - the hobbyist guitarist will just learn that one thing a week, the more dedicated learner will actually end up putting in more time. As a tutor, I can work with either result.

    Tutors can tell whether a student practiced consistently for a week, and one whos practiced for an hour before the lesson. The results don't lie, and every tutor can attest to this. There's a wonderful saying that goes like this "If you don't practice for a day, you notice. If you don't practice for two days, your tutor notices. If you don't practice for three days, everyone notices!" Theres truth in there. Consistent, paitent systematic practice. The results never lie!

    But most of all, I tell my students to HAVE FUN. That should be the only reason why one plays music - to have fun. Any other reason just makes it a chore.
    Thank you for this, Ive been mucking around with the guitar for a few years, didnt do much other than a few chords.

    I decided to finally learn 18 months ago and I took some lessons but they didnt suit me. I still stuck at it, got a couple of dvd's and a few books. Don't forget youtube too, lots of good stuff on there.

    The light when on for me when I discovered that I could do bar chords on the fretboard...

    And you are right... Van Halen is the king of Kings (guitar players).

  15. #15
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    I agree with the above. One on one is the best way to go. Some guys are stubborn, and try to learn by themselves, reading books, watching videos etc, but there is no substitute for a good teacher who can watch your progress on the fly, and make corrections as you go. Guitar is one of those instruments where it very easy to get into bad habits, and these habits can really hinder your progress.
    The big one is keeping your fretting hand loose, and your thumb in a good position. I used to know a teacher who said he could spot a self taught player. He called them "stranglers". Their thumb comes around the top of the fretboard. This screws up your reach and causes cramping. It can also lead to tendonitis over time because you're working against yourself trying to force your fingers into chord shapes that come much more naturally by using a proper hand position.

 

 

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