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Thread: learner guitarist

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    learner guitarist


    I started learning the guitar about 15 months, its one of the most enjoyable things I do, but its taking a long time for my playing to sound 'right'

    I had a few lessons and that helped, I practice about 1 to 2 hours per day and I think I'm making progress, I've been doing some fingerpicking and I thought I got Blackbird (Beatles song) nailed until I heard Paul McCartney play it and realised my timing is terrible....

    Any advice?


  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Practice, practice, practice. Did I mention practice?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    London, England
    I always say the following to people, so itís beginning to sound like a cracked record, but -

    1. If you are teaching yourself, then there are dozens of great tutorial books (with demo CDís) and lots of instructional DVDís. There are also loads of really poor and useless ones. But thereís a long thread here in which myself and others have listed what we have personally used and found to be the best and most effective books & DVD's for players at different levels.

    2. You need to learn at least basic music theory, because that will explain to you how to use scales, chords, arpeggios etc. to play in key. Again, see the list of recommended books for that (or ask about it here)

    3. Although almost all beginners seem to rely on free practice material from the net., personally I donít think thatís anywhere near good enough and I donít think that will ever work as a way to improve much. So do it properly by getting a selection of the best books and DVDís, and create your own practice regime from all the material on those.

    Despite everyone in the world seemingly wanting to play guitar, itís not the easiest instrument to learn. Also if you are trying to copy well known celebrated guitarists, then remember that those guys are often playing very difficult stuff at a level of technical expertise which most people would find very difficult if not impossible to achieve. So, aim for the top by all means, but donít expect to play as fast as Paul Gilbert (say) without practicing all day long every day for many years.

    If you persevere and stick at it, then you will eventually learn to play all sorts of stuff that you might have thought to be entirely beyond you ever to achieve. But it does take a huge amount of perseverance, thousands of hours of practice, and a lot of critical self-examination of what you are playing and what your practicing. Ie, you often need to be really honest with yourself in trying to correct faults and work out why things are not sounding right or why you are having problems trying learn certain pieces Ö there are lots of times when you have to examine your technique (eg picking or legato) and be brutally honest with yourself about whether you are playing things in the way you believed, or whether on close examination you are taking all sorts of shortcuts which are leading to sloppy sounding poorly articulated playing.

    If you want a recommendation for just one inexpensive instructional book, then get ďChord Tone SoloingĒ by Barrett Tailgating (link below). That will give you a solid grounding in how to play, basic theory, and lots of smart stuff to practice. If you want to go down the long road of practicing and learning to play ultra high speed alternate picking stuff (ďshredĒ rock), then Speed Mechanics is a well known older but still excellent source of hundreds of great practice pieces (link below).



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