View Full Version : Starting

01-11-2004, 11:21 PM
I'm still just starting out learning, and at the moment just teaching myself, so I was wondering, how did you guy's start? I'm learing from written music and tab, I learnt the 7 "basic" chords, but now am working through exercises to learn the notes along the fretboard, eg: first 3 frets an strings highE, B & G.
Just trying to see if I'm on the right track.


01-11-2004, 11:49 PM
I started with the basic chords and the pentatonic scale. I didnt really memorize all the notes on the fretboard. I mean I knew where some of them were but for the most part I didnt make a conscious effort to memorize every single fret. For me at least that came over time just by practicing scales. IMO you may want to start learning the pentatonic scale, but I'm sure more qualified people with answer you.

01-12-2004, 12:06 AM
About memorizing notes on the fretboard... I never actually sat down and named each one and memorized them; after about a year of playing I just "knew" them. You play all these different scales and chords that you will learn over the next few months, and I mean ALL kinds. In the begining the theory might become a little overwhelming for someone new to music(I'm not sure if you are), but stick with it, its worth it. After a while you just know where the notes are because you've played so many different things in so many keys. 3 Good scales to get to know are the Major, Minor, and Pentatonic, 3 very common scales in most types of music. And another thing, don't play something if you don't understand it. You can play something at a thousand miles an hour and not know what it means, and its useless. Good luck and Rock on =) \m/(**)\m/

01-12-2004, 12:07 AM

I was about 14 and I remember I just came up to my father and asked him to show me how to play guitar. I must have expected his advice would be the clue to every challenging problem I should ever encounter and think of. But he just wrote down the chords for "Yesterday" by Beatles and showed me the fingering. That was but all he had time for at the moment and that was it. I'd had some experience playing string instruments when I was a kid but that was quite a puzzle, still a provoking one. To be honest I wouldn't learn the song but I discovered a lot of things. What a wise approach by my dad. Since then I would just learn the songs I like and sang along. When I realized I was starting to think about composing I suddenly felt I was lacking the knowledge cos I couldn't express exactly what I heard im my head. This is when I plunged into studying theory. Still studying it which is fr sure a neverending process.

You might read some pulse letters from IBreathe archive to see how the featured folks started their playing.

Welcome to IBreathe!

Good luck,

01-12-2004, 12:37 AM
Thankyou for your replys, I'm pretty new to music, i've had the odd singing lesson a couple of years ago, and learned to read some basic music ages ago, and am re-learning how to read it now. I know some basic terms etc.
Penatonic scales, whereabouts would I find examples of these and some theory behind them? (sure there'll be something on this site :) ) I've heard/read about them a bit, 2 note per string scales, or something?


01-12-2004, 01:34 AM
gday leah. great to see another auzzie on the forum, and possibly another holden fan?! (HSV?)

01-12-2004, 02:07 AM

I'm sure there is a bunch of stuff here on pentatonic but here is one article I found

01-12-2004, 02:22 AM
Thanks Flathead.

correct ash, how'd ya guess that one??


01-12-2004, 05:06 AM
well i am auzzie...plus im a holden man..........as well as a les paul man

01-12-2004, 03:32 PM
Hey Leah! To tell you the truth i dont think theres a better way to start learning that to forget about theory (for the moment guys, now put those weapons down :D) and just learn the chords (and their names) to a couple simple songs and get strumming.
I say this because it sorta breaks the tension with the instrument, it gives you a greater sense of achievement cuz you can actually DO something with the instrument, and it keeps your motivation right up there.

Hope this helps ya out!

01-12-2004, 03:42 PM
When you do feel like diving into theory, the best place to start is definitely Gunis interval article as itll give you all the basic tool you need to understand theory. You can find it here:


Bongo Boy
01-14-2004, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by LHSV
I was wondering, how did you guy's start?...but now am working through exercises to learn the notes along the fretboard, eg: first 3 frets an strings highE, B & G.Great question with a lot of answers. I began by simply trying to coordinate my left and right hands and accurately fret the strings. This is in an effort to make the instrument sound as musical as humanly possible. I actually gave up on chords after months of agony and a total inability to play any of them.

I also use scale practice to learn the scale patterns, to practive left-hand position shifting (when necessary), and alternate picking. I DO actually practice the simplest chords possible, but more for rhythm & strumming practice that for chord practice--that is, I find it isn't all that easy to get my right forearm to 'swing' and to not sound mechanical.

As far as learning the notes on the fretboard, I think you may be way better off learning them on strings 5 and 6, rather than the high strings. Once you know a) the notes on the two low strings and b) chord patterns, you automatically know where to position your fingers to play your chords (so I'm told :D).

Finally, I've practiced learning a complete melody from a jazz standard, as a way to introduce actual music into my practice.

After nearly two years with an average of about 3 hours of practice total per week, I am still unacceptably inconsistent with left-hand right-hand coordination, accurate fretting, and relaxing. I still often find myself 'tensing up', sometimes to the point of irregular or interrupted breathing. I'm a basket-case, really.

01-14-2004, 05:15 AM
Thankyou all for your responses,
Koala I have just had look at that link you put up, and It's great thanks :) thanks should prob go to Guni for writing it too! :)
I will help me understand the chords I play and lots of other things I have encountered.
Off to strum some chords, and understand more.


01-14-2004, 05:25 AM
If you do go into Guni´s article take lotsa time with it and really learn all he tells you to. AFter that just follow his articles, and soon youll understand music more than you ever thought you would. It happened to me .

Glad i could help :D

01-14-2004, 05:30 AM
Yes, I definitely recommend to check out Guni´s articles about intervals and chord scales before you check out the other articles.

I get quite a few emails by people who are saying sumthing like "Liked your article, but I kinda get lost every once in a while because of some of the theory terms you use, and because I lack some knowledge about how to understand a scale, how to harmonize scales, create chords etc."

Well, I´ll try to take a more basic approach in future articles ( sometimes, you tend to forget how many of those terms are not common knowledge among beginners ), but in the meantime, I think Guni´s articles are the best place to start, not only for beginners.
And someday, we need to get this FAQ / Dictionary thing going... :)