View Full Version : New Guy!!

09-27-2002, 12:54 AM

Bongo Boy
09-27-2002, 02:36 AM
Welcome to one of the best-staffed, most active forums on the web, and certainly my personal favorite. I started with guitar in May..and it's been an incredible journey so far.

What sort of guitar are you using (acoustic, electric, classical, etc)? Just curious.

Being a beginner myself, I'll only recommend some things I feel are boring yet critical:

Set aside a place to practice that has:

a) a place to put your guitar (a stand or a case)
b) a place to put your music (a stand)
c) a place to put your butt (a chair or stool)

Then, from the source of your choice, learn how to hold the guitar for practice. Books, online lessons, instructors, this forum will all help with this.

Then, most important of all, decide to practice regularly and frequently (not for hours at a time, probably), that you will make progress at whatever rate you make progress.

I kinda think it's our choice to become frustrated and angry--and our choice not to. If you're serious, you will come up against these beasts eventually--you may want to give some thought now to how you will deal with them when they appear on the scene!!

09-27-2002, 03:16 AM
Recommend you also check out Guitar Principles (http://www.guitarprinciples.com) for a great method of learning guitar.

09-27-2002, 07:55 AM
Do you actually refer to the articles that are available online or are you talking about Jamey's book? I haven't had a chance to check it out up to now. If you are talking book could you give us a quick rundown ....

Anyway, I will ask Jamey if he can send us a copy for our review section. His articles are great and lemme say 'Thank you Jamey' for allowing us to publish them on iBreathe. Still, I'd be interested in having a closer look at his book.



09-27-2002, 10:18 AM

I think itīd be a good idea to start out learning chords, strumming them. Basic chords, bar chords etc.
If you like rock and punk, you might wanna learn how to play powerchords, which might enable you to play some popular songs pretty soon.
Use a metronome when practising.
Donīt avoid music theory. It might look like a really big topic and in the beginning it can be confusing, but it will sure help you to understand what youīre playing, to explore chords and stuff more thoroughly and to improve. I am not talking about hybrid scales and intervallic arps, I am talking about some knowledge about the modal system, stuff like "What makes a minor chord minor ?"

So, try to learn chords and how to play them, try to play your way through some easy songs. After a while youīll kinda "open some doors" for yourself, and then you can decide where you wanna go next.... whether you wanna work on lead guitar and really technical stuff, or whatever...


09-27-2002, 11:11 AM


09-27-2002, 12:29 PM
Learn to read drum rudiments and learn to read guitar music.
Learn music theory; how to construct scales and chords, common chord progressions. Learn the fingerboard, sing solfege or note numbers with the exercises, learn scales de-referenced from any key.

It is consider YELLING when you use all caps!

Bongo Boy
09-27-2002, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Guni
Do you actually refer to the articles that are available online or are you talking about Jamey's book? I haven't had a chance to check it out up to now. If you are talking book could you give us a quick rundown ....

I just received Jamey's book a few days ago and am going through the whole thing quickly just to get an overview first. So far, the major emphasis is on slow, deliberate, repetitive muscle training for both hands. Equally emphasized is learning to become self-aware..I'd say "physiologically" I think, to counter unwanted muscle tension.

It has a very Zen flavor..which has always had a great appeal for me. My interpretation of Zen ideas may run counter to SlikNick's guitar advisor's (the guy who told him to just keep playing). It's very subtle to me...but the more Zen idea is, if you're frustrated and tense, then you're trying--at that point you must stop, relax, and begin again without trying. Kind of a "be the ball" thing.

My personal way of putting it is, 'we don't try to play the guitar or work at playing well, we work at ensuring an environment exists where good playing can happen.'

Sounds kinda fluffy...but Jamey is very specific in what he prescribes for practice lessons, focusing on muscle memory, not any particular music lessons. It will take extreme patience to actually DO the work in his book--I find it takes a lot of patience just to read about it.

NOTE: This state of conciousness can also be achieved by staring at a shiny paint can lid for 4-6 hours after inhaling that dust that comes out of those puff-ball plants you find in the forest :D

09-27-2002, 02:30 PM
I agree, Bongo.

When I work on stuff, i.e. difficult exercises, I try to keep it fun and I try to remember that Iīm improving while working on that part.
So I can play a certain lick over and over, for hours. But usually, I soon get to the point where I have to stop repeating it. I dunno, the focus is gone or whatever. You play actually worst at that point, instead of becoming better.
Then I stop for a few minutes, and do something different ( not playing ! ). Once I pick up the guitar again, I am relaxed and focussed again, and can start improving and repeating it.

So taking small breaks to "clear your mind" is an essential thing

09-27-2002, 09:14 PM
I wonder if there's a driving instructor out there that says 'Just Keep Driving' when his student runs over a pedestrian.....

This is way too easy .... and such attitude might bring loads of problems.

I think that there are some essentials involved in learning music that we are not tought at school or anywhere else. This is why most beginners have problems with getting over the first hurdles. And I'd say that the least problems are fingers and muscles. Some points that just come to my mind:

1) Become aware of your musical abilities and be realistic about what you can/want to do when, where and for how long

2) Learn about yourself on how to learn

3) Learn on how to use the available amount of time effectively

4) Patience

5) Setting realistic goals

6) Handle good and bad times

7) Learn about your motivation

etc, etc .....

hehe, I'm in a philosophical mood tonight :D

Now, the above might not be very helpful for a beginner as there are too many other things he/she is confronted with. But if possible step back from time to time and evaluate the situation you are in.

Most of the time we pick up the guitar because there are some bands we love and we wanna be like 'em. So learning all their tunes is a good and positive way to start. This is point 7 from above: motivation.


Bongo Boy
09-27-2002, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by Guni
I wonder if there's a driving instructor out there that says 'Just Keep Driving' when his student runs over a pedestrian

Okay...THAT'S the most profound analogy I've EVER heard. An analogy to everything that's wrong with the view that 'more testosterone' (or adrenaline) is the solution to everything. Very, very well put Guni. This reminds me of one of my spouse's favorite criticisms of guys (in general):

"That's a guy's solution to everything. If it doesn't fit, just JAM it in!"

Hmmm. Thought provoking, don't you think? Well, it could be that all the instrucotr meant was 'don't give up'. Unfortunately, what we often hear is the 'try harder' theme. The Zen theme would be 'stop trying altogether'. It's a subtle difference really, because "stop trying" does NOT mean give up. It means something more like 'go with the flow'. It's just that it's hard for a beginner to realize that "the flow" might be a slowly trickling stream, not a raging rapids.

Bongo Boy
09-27-2002, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by SLIKNICK22

SlikNick...we love ya man, but you've GOT to turn your CAPS key off!!! All uppercase is just going to drive everyone nuts!!! It's a cyber-cultural thing, you know. Help us...help you. :D

09-28-2002, 01:03 AM
Originally posted by Guni
I wonder if there's a driving instructor out there that says 'Just Keep Driving' when his student runs over a pedestrian.....

Guni, youīre kinda cracking me up here...
But anyway... It might just be me, but I think the guy who said that thing about "Keep Playing" meant something else. I didnīt think he meant "Keep playing and practising that lick even though itīs hard and no fun anymore", as in forcing yourself.
I think he meant "Even though learning how to play might look like a gigantic task, and even though you might get to a point where you think you canīt play a certain thing youīre working on... donīt give up. Cause if you keep playing guitar, youīll always have it as a part of your life, incl. the joy of playing it"...
I think that is what he meant, the "Youīll always have something to do"-part seems to imply that.
Kinda like "Hang in there, donīt give up, itīs worth the effort, cuz it will bring ya a lifetime of fun"...
Well, maybe I am getting it wrong

09-28-2002, 11:04 AM
hehe, yeah there are many ways to interpret 'Just keep playing' .... Yesterday, when I read it I got somehow upset ... I wouldn't react that harsh right now.

Still, I think that as a teacher it is our responsibility to point out the above to students and guide them to their own 'philosophy'.

Isn't the term 'teacher' wrong in such a situation? When I think of a teacher I see somone standing infront of a class preaching what to do - in a one-way direction. Probably, a better term for teaching music is coach ... (Hey, Eric, hope you don't trash your computer now :D Just tell me when to shut up)


Ya dynamic guitar coach

09-28-2002, 11:29 AM
Hey Guni

The only reason why I would smash that dang thing is that it keeps freezing up on me ( We just installed all new hardware, pretty fast processors and stuff, and I have to keep saving whatever I am working on cuz it keeps freezing up for a reason I have not figured out yet ).
And I was at that point about 50 times this week. Have you ever tried to strangle a screen ?

Anyway, you are right, you can interpret the statement in many ways. Thatīs why I said that I am not quite sure whether Iīm getting it right.

And in general, I think when you teach people, your best bet would be to be a mix of a teacher ( i.e. teaching about theory, teaching licks etc. ), a coach ( showing a student how to get the best out of himself, how to develop etc. ) and a mentor ( Obi Wan Valen ? ), helping a student to find his / her own way...

It is indeed a responsibility, and it can be a very tough job... unless you decide to just stick to your curriculum, tell every student the exact same thing, regardless of his / her style, ability, motivation or personality and keep thinking "Another 20 bucks in the sack once this lesson is over"...

Bongo Boy
09-28-2002, 03:25 PM
SlikNick: see also the "It's the where do I start question" thread in this forum.

Since this thread has already diverted and I can't be held responsible, let me note that the one-way, 'telling' type of communication Guni mentioned seems to carry over into the world of work, as well.

Folks at my company had put together an outline of a consulting process--with Phase 1 being 'Discovery'. When asked to review it, I asked, "How can this be a discovery phase when 4 of the 5 steps involved telling the client about us and our products?". Everyone looked at one another in astonishment--no one had even realized the problem until an 'outsider' peeked in.

We all have egos, have pride in what we know and want to show how much we know to others--I just did it myself in the paragraph above ("See how smart I am to discover this problem!"). It's very challenging to find ways to help others discover for themselves, and our egos would really prefer not to give the student the credit for the discovery, anyway!

Heh..this turned out to be one ibreathe's more philosophical, poetic threads.

09-28-2002, 10:54 PM
Hey everyone! sry bout the caps thing. Eric was right obut the guy that said " just keep playing," and he wasn't my music advisor or w/e he was some guy whu i met in the parking lot. He saw my guitar and i told ihm i was just starting and i thought it was cool and i wanted to start my own band and stuff liek that. There are so many guys that when they turn 11, 12, or 13 they want to start the gutar. My dad did and he got one, but he had no musical talent[ lol ] and thats how my grand ma learned how to play. If u look at all the guitarists that r in bands they all started when they were that age. guys such as John Mayer, he started when he was 13. i wanted to play ever since a year ago, but then my very close aunt got cancer and we were with her as muchas we could. so i never had time to practice. And she has been sick since, but she died in June, God Bless her, so more free time. i never reallythought obut playing when she was sick.

so i went out for my birthday and i obut a Hohner. i olove that thing but the problem is i don't know how to read notes. I am trying to teahc my self but i might take lessons. i knwo how to read chords but like i can't read the bar lines. so it is kinda hard to teach myself. If u guys ever have any tips at all p[lease let me know becuz i need all the help i can get 8-).

O and instead of calling me sliknick, just call me Rico. thats my nickname. Rico Swauve. something my g/f came up with. o and once again sry bout the caps!!! when u do try to help me could u use like smaller words?? please?? ia m 14 and kinda stupid. o and if u ever wanna talk to me or email me something my email address is SLIKNICK22@cs.com and my screen name is SLIKNICK22. sry obut the caps but thats how u do it sry!! thankx!!

c ya

Rico Swauve
:cool: :) :eek:

Bongo Boy
09-28-2002, 11:15 PM
Welcome, Rico! I don't get what you mean about being able to read chords but not notes. Can you explain?

As for the caps thing--none of us meant to be harsh!! A capitalized letter every now-and-again certainly won't offend anyone :)

Congrats on getting your Hohner--they sure make some beautiful instruments. It's an acoustic?

If you do a web search for "tablature" or "guitar tabs" or "tabs", you'll find many web sites that provide sheet music that includes "TAB" notation below the notes. This notation shows which strings (and frets) to select for each note of the music. It is often NOT recommended as a way to learn to read music--but it will get you started in picking out tunes on your instrument.

Most beginner guitar books will include an explanation of both tablature ("TAB") notation, and chord diagrams. Hope this helps, and please keep coming back with questions.

Finally...look at how this site is organized and explore it for goodies--there's lots of info here. If you have a specific question, start a New Thread in the Beginner forum for each new topic area--that way, other beginners (such as me) can easily find the topics we're interesting or are having problems with.

Welcome again to the exciting, painful agony of the guitar! :D

09-28-2002, 11:51 PM
Bongo what I bet he means is that he can use the little chord chart that shows where to put his fingers ( little black dots).

the spaces starting from the bottom:
F A C E ( like your face)
The lines starting from the bottom:
E G B D F (Every Good Boy Does Fine)

#'s or Bs to the left of the staff are called the Key signature and men the given note will be modified through the whole piece ( unless modified by an accidental)

When a Sharp or Flat occurs among the notes of the piece it is called anaccidental ( # and b and Natural sign)
(SHARP)#- means raise the note 1 fret (Half Step) higher
(FLAT)b- means lower the note 1 fret (Half Step ) lower
Natural ( there is another sign I can't show in ascii that means natural, so make a sharp or flat note its natural note)
They last for the whole measure ( to the next divder bar).

The Numbers to the left of the staff are the time signature or meter. The top number is how many beats in a measure and the bottom number is what kind of note lasts one beat.
So 4/4 means 4 beats per measure and a quarter note gets 1 beat.