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View Full Version : About to get my first guitar....Help Needed



mbenne
12-29-2003, 06:50 PM
Hi...I just recently ordered a Washburn D10S acoustic guitar. I thought this was the best deal in my price range, seems like a decent beginner guitar. Anyway, I've been trying to play on my bro's Fender acoustic. I just don't really have much of an idea as to what to practice. I've started looking at chords and stuff (someone told me to look at scales, and all those do is confuse me)....as well as trying to play a few songs. I've got the tab-reading down pretty well, only problem is the lack of skill, hehe. Can anyone recommend something to help me develop some strumming skills....I can't strum fast enough to play some of the songs I want to try and play. Also, could anyone recommend some beginner songs from some of the music I listen to: Matchbox 20, Counting Crows, Wallflowers, John Mayer (I dunno if anyone else listens to that or not)...or maybe just some easy songs in general, I'm pretty much open to anything. I also had a question about lessons: are they really worth the time? I don't have alot of time to spare, being in college while working a job and all. But I'm afraid to teach myself because I don't want to develop bad technique....I'm hoping to get good enough one day to maybe write some stuff, but all I want to do right now is learn to play some songs... Any help and guidance anyone can offer is greatly appreciated, thanks!

Bongo Boy
01-03-2004, 03:48 AM
I'm not sure why no one has chosen to reply to your post yet, but it may be because you've posed a big problem (at least for me). I'm also a beginner, but with that in mind, here's is why your post causes such a problem for me.


+ I just don't really have much of an idea as to what to practice.
+ I've started looking at chords and stuff (someone told me to look at scales, and all those do is confuse me)....
+ ...only problem is the lack of skill, hehe
+ Can anyone recommend something to help me develop some strumming skills....
+ I'm afraid to teach myself because I don't want to develop bad technique
+ but all I want to do right now is learn to play some songs...Scales (and chords) are very closely related in a really important way. Knowing them is important. Practicing the basics, such as tuning the guitar, holding the guitar, positioning the fingers, breathing and holding the pick are all important. They are important because they all support stuff such as playing chords and strumming.

You're all over the board, which is also normal. But you will either have to choose a path for your practice, or have someone choose it for you. Do some research on guitar practice (search this site for articles and forum threads on the topic), and ask other folks about guitar lessons they may have taken.

My OPINION is that if you clutter your time with learning how to 'strum fast enough', for example, you will get sloppy real fast and it will soon be hard to improve. I think songs can be used to learn the basic stuff needed to play the instrument, but to some degree, the songs should initially be chosen for that purpose.

I'm probably the slowest learner at this site, though, so you need opnions from folks who have actually learned to play, too. :D :D

Bizarro
01-03-2004, 06:46 AM
Do you have any friends that can show you some stuff? If you don't have time/money for lessons this would be a good alternative.

Try buying a couple issues of Guitar One and Guitar World. They have tabs for a wide variety of songs, including some good strummers.

Eagles songs are usually good strummers to learn. Take it Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, etc.

lirvala
01-03-2004, 09:23 AM
I suggest practcining strummer the uber popular "open" chords like G, A, C, D, E. If that's too hard, work on the power chord. Just work at it. It takes time, but your fingers will stretch eventually!

I think a great beginner song is "about a girl" by Nirvana. Download the unplugged in NY version if you dont have the album already. The main verse of the song is: E G and it goes into power chords.

Gordon
01-11-2004, 02:47 PM
I can help you a little. When I first started playing one of the first scales that I learned was a pentatonic scale, this is a moveable pattern that is very commonly used. I do not know how to tab this out but I will try:

E_____5___________8
A_____5___________7
D_____5___________7
G_____5___________7
B_____5___________8
E_____5___________8

The above represents the strings played and the frets, this would be an "A" penta tonic, the root is the note on the 6th string that is played with your index finger. The fingering is Index, Pinky..Index, Ring ...Index, ring...Index, ring....Index, Pinky...Index, Pinky..


Now for the music, Counting Crows Mr Jones is really pretty simple to play: Intro is Am, F, Dm, G5, Am, F, G5

Verse: Am, F, Dm, G5

Chorus: C, F, G

You can listen to it to get the changes and the feel.

Hope this helps

Jymbo
01-11-2004, 04:34 PM
I also found Guitar Pro (4) very helpful when starting out and there are also many tabs or rather .gp files out to download so you can play along with your songs and lower the tempo if your struggling with your strumming :)

The link to download the trial version of Guitar Pro is >here (http://www.guitar-pro.com)<
Also the website I've found to archive the most files for GP is >here (http://www.mysongbook.com)<

Hope it helps. :)

jackleg
01-18-2004, 09:57 PM
i am also a beginner and have been "noodling" around for about five or six months. there are a whole lot of things to look into when you first start playing and it can be overwhe,ming at times but i think the most important thing to remember is that you need to have a good mix of things you like to do and things that you need to know whether you like it or not. deciding on your goals is an important thing. if you would like to write music eventually, incorporating theory (intervals, scales, etc.) in small doses from the very beginning would be a place to start. Guni has posted a few excellent articles on these topics. also remember that you started on this journey for the joy inherent in making music and if you bog yourself down with too much theaory all at once you may start to wonder what the point is so don't stop having fun either.

a song suggestion i might have would be "why georgia" by john mayer...he has a lot of wonderful little riffs and the chicks love him but for someone just getting started he can be a bit of a challenge to play along with. that song is a part of my regular practice schedule and i am still working the kinks out of it. it is nice however that the guitar in the verses follows nicely with the melody making it easier to sing along as you play because ... as i said before, the joy of making music is the point of all this work and study to begin with right???


p.s. i think the song quoted in your signature is actually by jerry jeff walker