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bilbo__baggins
01-03-2004, 10:43 AM
Thought I'd leave this wide open to suggestions!

Although I bought my first guitar about 9 years ago, I've been regularly practicing and trying to learn for 2 years now.

The strange thing about learning to play the guitar is no matter how much I improve I still feel like a beginner (especially when I listen to my favourite guitarists!).

I know major scale patterns, simple chords, some bar chords, blues scales, I can improvise to backing tracks, play along with music I'm familiar with (provided there aren't too many key changes!) and vaguely copy riffs and tunes by listening to them.

I think my main achievement is getting my fingers moving more fluently around the fretboard.

Back to my original question, I still feel like a begginer and cannot play a single complete song (unfortunately when I start practicing rhythm I get bored and want to play lead guitar over the top!), and was wondering how you move on from being able to improvise and 'accompany' the records you're listening to, to be able to play/write and entire song...

I have worked my way through the Fastfingers Comprehensive Lead Guitar Course (UK Mail Order) which has got me off to a good start I think, but I don't know where to go from here.

I don't have the time/money for lessons, and I think the main thing holding me back is that when I get time to practice I'm too tired to work through exercises and I just mindlessly play along with songs on iTunes.

SeattleRuss
01-03-2004, 11:51 PM
It sounds like the thing that would do you the most good would be just start or join a band. Seriously. Play with other musicians. Jam. and it's really fun!

Russ
http://www.russletson.com

JeffN
01-04-2004, 02:36 AM
I know what you mean by not knowing a single full song. I've tried and tried, but either the song's too long in order for me to keep my interest, or I just stop because I get sick of listening to the same parts over and over trying to fiure out how to play it. It's like once you know how it's done, the magic's gone..:(

bilbo__baggins
01-04-2004, 09:59 AM
Thanks for the replies. I actually didn't realise that there was an 'Artices' section to this web site. I have found it now and I cannot believe such a helpful range of articles can be accessed for free!

It sounds as though working on a repertoire is my next step. My problem is that the songs that I could probably learn to play the whole way through are probably really dull songs. There are bits of songs (such as Echo by Joe Satriani) that I can play and I get enormous pleasure from listening to what I'm playing, but with songs like that there are always too many bits that are way beyond my capabilities.

Also most of the more basic songs (I was thinking of Pretty Girl by Eric Clapton) have vocals, which isn't really something I want to get into.

If anyone could suggest any songs I could learn, and where to get the TAB I'd appreciate it.

Danster
01-04-2004, 02:26 PM
Hey Bilbo, first off, welcome to iBreathe Music, you've found an awesome resource. The way you describe where you are in your playing, and what your plans are are amazingly close to where I am now also. I have been playing two and a half years. I play very few songs all the way through (three I think). One of my new years resolutions as far as guitar playing is concerned is to really focus on learning songs.

One thing I think that is really going to help me in this regard is recording of my songs. I've just recorded my first song recently, and I put it up on this site for public consumption. :D Recording the song forced me to play it until I could get it close to perfect, and it also gives a sort of a tangible milestone such that you can say, "there, I officially learned this song." I really don't know squat about recording (and intend to try to get some help from the folks here as soon as I do a little more reading and collect my thoughts enough to frame a semi-intelligent question), but then again, I'm just using the recording as a learning tool, as opposed to making a platinum album, so the recording method itself doesn't have to be flawless.
Originally posted by bilbo__baggins
It sounds as though working on a repertoire is my next step. My problem is that the songs that I could probably learn to play the whole way through are probably really dull songs. There are bits of songs (such as Echo by Joe Satriani) that I can play and I get enormous pleasure from listening to what I'm playing, but with songs like that there are always too many bits that are way beyond my capabilities.

If anyone could suggest any songs I could learn, and where to get the TAB I'd appreciate it. I do so utterly hear ya. I think at this stage of the game for me, picking the right songs to learn is really important for keeping the interest level high enough and the frustration level low enough. Every time I listen to music, I try to keep my ears perked for songs which would fit the bill as potential learners for me. I dunno if you like the Beatles or not, but I just yesterday, I listened to the entire Beatles One album looking for potential songs to learn. Since ya asked, and since at first glance, it seems we could be close in ability, here are ones I came up with that seemed difficult enough to be interested yet not simple enough to be boring:

-Ticket to Ride
-I Feel Fine
-Something (really like that one for a guitar song)
-Day Tripper
-Paperback Writer

Each of these songs has enough guitar in it that they can be played by a guitarist alone, and the song is still recognizable... and catchy. :p They may be too simple for you (but they're not just strumming), but for me, I've found that where I am now skill-level wise, even simple songs are hard to play perfectly enough to record. (It took me about fifty takes, literally, to lay down a good track of the song I put up on IBreatheMusic recently). Also my intention is to work on relatively easy songs, recording one a week (I may not stick to this, but its something to shoot for), and at the same time, work on one song at a time that is a little more difficult (right now its Guni's "White Christmas" from a recent article here), hoping to record one of those about once a month or so.

As Eric (I think) mentioned, powertabs.net is a GREAT resource. The tab there is consistently superior to tabs I've found on other sites, and the selection is enormous. In addition, you can play the music using the powertab software. I downloaded each of those aformentioned Beatles songs from that site (I also justed started learning Norweigan Wood, from a Guitar One mag).

If you're still reading :D, I wish you good luck with your goals.

bilbo__baggins
01-04-2004, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the replies. I downloaded a file, but discovered that the PowerTab Editor is only available for Windows. I've found some Tab writing software for Mac OS X but none seem to import PowerTab files.

Anyone know of a solution to this?

SeattleRuss
01-04-2004, 07:26 PM
I'm no Mac expert, but isn't there some Windows emulation software available to let you run windows-based software?

Russ
http://www.russletson.com

bilbo__baggins
01-04-2004, 07:51 PM
I used a Shareware emulator for OS 9 a few years ago but was very slow. For OS X there is only Virtual PC (recently bought by Microsoft) but it's too expensive just to view guitar tab...