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Old 02-19-2012, 08:48 PM
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Default The Dummy's Guide To Learning Guitar

Hi all,

So I finally got an electric guitar for Christmas - horray! But, I pretty much am the lamest guitar player in the world. So, to all those members on here who are expert players, have you got any tips for me?

I find that whenever I try to learn it seriously, I quickly give up and make my own stuff up.

So far I can play (I use that term loosely) the Breaking The Law and Smoke on the Water riffs.

Any tips and words of advice would be super!

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Old 02-19-2012, 08:55 PM
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Where to start....Jeez, I've been playing almost 20 years now so I can't remember where I began, ha ha. I've got a load of pdf format Guitar for dummies books that I can PM you if you want, there's no cd's with them but they are pretty helpful for new players. What guitar is it that you've got BTW?
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:10 PM
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Work on your rhythm first. The single most important element of guitar playing (well, music generally!).

Work at simple three chord, 12 bar type stuff or even one chord, Bo Diddley type stuff till you don't have to even think about the rhythm.

Rhythm is vital. Even to soloing.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:50 AM
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Hmmmm....where to begin? I've been playing for around 30 years now and along the way also learnt a bit of keyboard and mastered the bass.

As has already been said, work on your rhythm. But I also tell everyone that practise makes perfect. Even after all these years I still play and practise for around 2 hours a day. In my book, we're all learners. You never stop learning. I'm always challenging myself to become better and more accomplished. Don't be lazy - practise, practise, practise! One day soon it will just click and you'll be well on your way to becoming an accomplished musician.

Other tips? Learn your chords, learn your fretboard, and learn where all the notes are - essential for lead work (as well as learning scales). Perseverance is key here. Whatever you do, don't give up on it. Be determined and you WILL master it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice guys! Very much appreciated - getting some tips from pros such as yourself. I've started to notice quite a big improvement in my 'playing' so playing it every day should help too. I'll take a look at some chords, rhythm and Bo Diddly stuff as well

Oh, and Rik, it's an Axl Player Deluxe - looks a bit like this

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:27 AM
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I taught myself how to play around 17 years ago, when my friends' band needed a fill- in for a few months. I've learned everything by ear since and feel that I'm ok. Best band to learn basic rhythm and simple chords (& progression ) is The Ramones, IMO. I suppose you could learn proper technique, chords and theory...but where's the fun in that? At one time I did try to learn real chords and their names, along with notes, but I quickly realized it wasn't needed for my purposes, haha. I never really had anyone available to teach me anything, and the one friend that did I ended up being able to learn and play better than him by ear. I guess I'm fortunate like that. Haven't played in a band or with others in forever, though -- seems none of my friends really would want to play the kind of stuff I'd want to play. So now, I simply entertain myself and learn new tunes when I feel like it. Got a killer amp should I ever want to play in band again at least (Fender Super Reverb from late 60's or very early 70's).
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgart13 View Post
I taught myself how to play around 17 years ago, when my friends' band needed a fill- in for a few months. I've learned everything by ear since and feel that I'm ok. Best band to learn basic rhythm and simple chords (& progression ) is The Ramones, IMO. I suppose you could learn proper technique, chords and theory...but where's the fun in that? At one time I did try to learn real chords and their names, along with notes, but I quickly realized it wasn't needed for my purposes, haha. I never really had anyone available to teach me anything, and the one friend that did I ended up being able to learn and play better than him by ear. I guess I'm fortunate like that. Haven't played in a band or with others in forever, though -- seems none of my friends really would want to play the kind of stuff I'd want to play. So now, I simply entertain myself and learn new tunes when I feel like it. Got a killer amp should I ever want to play in band again at least (Fender Super Reverb from late 60's or very early 70's).
If you're going to play with other musicians though, you will need to learn the chords and notes. I mostly play by ear too, but I also know all the chords (and I mean all of them, augmented, diminished, sus4's, the lot) and all the notes on the fretboard. This is essential if you're going to play with other musicians, as mostly they'll just give you the key and you have to find your way around, particularly in jamming sessions. How can you do a lead break if you don't even know what chords are in the song? You can't play an Am lead break if the song is in G#.

As a good musician friend told me early on: you have to learn the rules first before you can break them.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:14 AM
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Eh, I wouldn't wanna play with musicians. I'll play with others that can play instruments but "musician" is asking too much. After all, Johnny Ramone never practiced and he's one of the all-time best.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgart13 View Post
Eh, I wouldn't wanna play with musicians. I'll play with others that can play instruments but "musician" is asking too much. After all, Johnny Ramone never practiced and he's one of the all-time best.
The musicians that Dae is talking about are other guitar/bass players because we all know drummers aren't musicians, they just hang around with us
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