Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

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the guitar man
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Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by the guitar man » February 7th, 2011, 11:59 pm

Hey everybody,
I've been trying to learn the guitar with only online resources(no tutor in front of me) for approx 8months. Just recently something clicked,everything that I was struggling with fell into place. Now I can play partial major chords(I don't finger the complete chord)easier for me when chord changing. As just mentioned, I can confidentially change chords enough to get through a song passage that i'm learning. Also got my head around "strumming", which made my day and made it all worth while. I know I should continue to practice my chord changing, strumming etc(I try to learn small riffs if I can)but I'm not at all sure what to learn next. This has affected my motivation to pick up the guitar when I should.Please,any feedback would be appreciated as I love playing the guitar.Do I need a new direction or what are your suggestions.

Sean0913
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by Sean0913 » February 8th, 2011, 6:14 am

What songs can you play all the way through?

What chords can you play? List them, please.

You said you can't play full chords. That to me would indicate a crutch. You give the reason as it makes chord changing easier. That may be the case, but you aren't really learning to play chords, and you are not learning to play them better, you're just adopting your own hybrid approach to make it easier for you. No wonder you can confidently change and play, you haven't been learning or committing to learning them properly.

Is there a reason behind it? Maybe its confidence? Maybe its because you're unsure? Maybe its laziness? Which of these would best fit you?

Are you just skipping the parts that challenge you and pose difficulty? Are you trying to learn guitar by shorthand (I can play guitar, but I can't really play guitar, I just make up my own ways)?

My comments may seem harsh, but I'm really being direct here. I'm a teacher, and I know there are many different reasons for why people do what they do, I'm just trying to understand not only what you know, but context of your attitudes about learning, practice, patience etc. Because in the end it may not be what you do, that needs a little fixing, but how you "think" and approach your own musical development.

The thing about being self taught, is no one's there to correct you, and no one has a vested interest in whether or not you ever make it. You're on your own to figure it out. I know, I've been self taught my whole life and lost 12 years of my life trying to put it all together and fully understand it all. Eventually I go there, but what I want to impress upon you, is time is your most important resource in the world. In hindsight I wish I'd learned correctly in 2 years and spent the next 10 exploring these things and developing creatively.

Best,

Sean
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by JoeHempel » February 9th, 2011, 4:32 am

the guitar man wrote: Now I can play partial major chords(I don't finger the complete chord)easier for me when chord changing.
Honestly....you really should practice forming the complete chord instead of just partial chords.....being able to do that will build a foundation for everything else....and learn what notes make those chords.

Then take a song that you enjoy that's say 3-4 chords....there are thousands of them, I bet you'll find one you like....and work from beginning to end, regardless of how hard it gets...stay with it and get those chords down.
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by Sean0913 » February 11th, 2011, 6:21 am

Well no, at the risk of backtracking myself, I would NOT argue against learning partials, because I teach using that philosophy and I think its a solid one. Learn to get strength and stability and clarity in 2 finger chords, learn your songs, but then when it becomes easy, start adding your third finger.

Trust me the learning curve is far less steep. Instead of C I'll start with Am7 or C add9 Instead of G I'll start with G6, instead of D I'l do a Dsus2, etc.

Then as they get comfortable switching I work in 3 finger chord versions of these, and this way when they are working on the 3rd finger, that's the ONLY finger that needs work. Plus they've already gotten a leg up in practicing 2 finger chord transitions.

So no, I would never argue against learning 2 finger chords to start with. I think the books frankly have it wrong, that start out on 3 finger chords, like C D E and G. Its a lot harder to fight stability on 3 fingers than 2. But at some point, when you have done that....don't start skipping around and ask "what can I do?" get out there and start "completing" the chords using that 3rd finger.

That's what I mean.

Sean
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by JoeHempel » February 11th, 2011, 11:34 am

Sean0913 wrote:I would NOT argue against learning partials, because I teach using that philosophy and I think its a solid one. Learn to get strength and stability and clarity in 2 finger chords, learn your songs, but then when it becomes easy, start adding your third finger.

But even with 2 finger chords you are forming Complete chords.....Em, A7, CMaj, etc. It's a good place to start if you are having problems with the 3 finger chords for sure....Horse With No Name is a great song to learn with only 2 fingers!
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by Sean0913 » February 12th, 2011, 7:07 am

Of course, I agree with you that they (2 finger chords) are complete chords, even a strummed open stringed guitar is a E A D G B E - could be called an E m7 add 13 (where EGB is the Emin, D is the b7 and A is the 13) but in terms of function and intent when I teach them, they are step-up chords, to the ultimate what I call the Big 9 - series of beginner chords:

A, Am C, D, Dm, E, Em, F, and G

Good points though.

Sean
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by djsupreme » February 16th, 2011, 6:50 am

Please help,
I have just started learning to play an accoustic guitar and am very passionate about learning to play.
I have a talented friend who is very good on a guitar.
I have learned the chords G, D & C, and although learning the chords is simple enough, im having difficulty positioning my fingers quick enough when changing chords.
Is this something that I just need to keep practicing as im becoming very frustrated and have now started to think that maybe I will never get there ??
I know they say practice makes perfect but im constantly trying this exercise of changing from G to D to C and I just dont seem to be able to crack it.
Can someone please offer some advice as I feel like ive hit a brick wall.

Regards,

DJ

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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by Sean0913 » February 16th, 2011, 10:42 am

djsupreme wrote:Please help,
I have just started learning to play an accoustic guitar and am very passionate about learning to play.
I have a talented friend who is very good on a guitar.
I have learned the chords G, D & C, and although learning the chords is simple enough, im having difficulty positioning my fingers quick enough when changing chords.
Is this something that I just need to keep practicing as im becoming very frustrated and have now started to think that maybe I will never get there ??
I know they say practice makes perfect but im constantly trying this exercise of changing from G to D to C and I just dont seem to be able to crack it.
Can someone please offer some advice as I feel like ive hit a brick wall.

Regards,

DJ
Most likely its a matter of practice. Do you have a set finger order that you are using when playing these chords? Its a good idea that they set the same way everytime as you play them slowly. I am considering making some absolute beginner videos for those struggling with chords, or beginning related issues like yourself. If I do decide to do this, I'll leave a link to them for YouTube, in my signature here. It sounds like a few people run into this challenge, and being self taught, it can be hard to see if you are doing something detrimental or helpful.

Best,

Sean
Guitar Instructor/Mentor
Online Guitar School for Advanced Players
http://rnbacademy.com

boxboy
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by boxboy » February 16th, 2011, 1:01 pm

djsupreme wrote:Please help,
I have learned the chords G, D & C*, and although learning the chords is simple enough, im having difficulty positioning my fingers quick enough when changing chords.
Is this something that I just need to keep practicing as im becoming very frustrated and have now started to think that maybe I will never get there ??
I know they say practice makes perfect but im constantly trying this exercise of changing from G to D to C and I just dont seem to be able to crack it.
Can someone please offer some advice as I feel like ive hit a brick wall.

Regards,

DJ
For me, placing the chords* in the context of a song always helps. Stuff that seems tough, in practice or abstractedly, tends to flow inside a song. You may find you can make (quick) chord changes you never dreamed of when you're focussed on the song's melody.
It may be a little sloppy and It's not a replacement for solid practice, but it gets you over the hurdle you can't do it. And I'll bet it sounds musical!
All the best.
:)


* In G: that's a I V and IV. That would give you a ton of songs to choose from.
Don

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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by NoteBoat » February 16th, 2011, 3:56 pm

Sean0913 wrote:ven a strummed open stringed guitar is a E A D G B E - could be called an E m7 add 13 (where EGB is the Emin, D is the b7 and A is the 13)
Not quite, on two counts:

1. The term "add" in a chord name is only used when there's no 7th - that tells you that the chord isn't a dominant chord

2. A is the 11th of E

The open strings form Em11. Other additions that guitarists seem to think essential (you'll see stuff like Em11(no 9th) aren't required - the job of a chord symbol is to outline the harmony, rather than tell you where your fingers go
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by s1120 » February 17th, 2011, 3:45 am

This has been a HUGE struggling point for me also.... All I can say is keep working at it, and it will come. Im STILL real slow... but getting there. Pick diferent cord progressions and do a slow strum change strum to the clicks on a metronome and you will get it... Take it REAL slow till you can keep time... then speed up bit by bit. It will come to you
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by Staffan » February 17th, 2011, 4:27 am

Yeah, just keep practising changing between different chord-shapes - very slowly at first - and stick with it. You´ll learn eventually and the time it will take to get it down will vary a lot from person to person.

It´s always good to find songs that you enjoy - easy ones to start with - as it makes practising much more fun. And why not try to sing along with the strumming, once you get that down. Singing along might even make it easier to learn some songs as well, as you can relate chord changes and portions of the song to the lyrics. (Not all people seem to be able to learn how to sing and play guitar both at once though - but try it out.)

The key word is - patience. Most of us need a lot of it when learning guitar :wink:
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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by Apache » February 17th, 2011, 2:44 pm

Try just focusing on changing between 2 chords, so if you are looking at G, D & C, just practice C to D etc, and when that one is ok, introduce the G.

It will come...

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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by s1120 » February 18th, 2011, 5:37 am

Apache wrote:Try just focusing on changing between 2 chords, so if you are looking at G, D & C, just practice C to D etc, and when that one is ok, introduce the G.

It will come...

Thats a good tip also.. I know for me changing from C to other cords has always been a toughy... So I always work hard changing between C and other cords
Paul B

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Re: Beginner guitarist - What do I learn now HELP ????????

Post by kayo1111 » April 6th, 2011, 2:16 am

Take your difficult chord changing and for the beginning practice on them only. A lot of player "practice" a lot on what they already have and not on what they worst in and by that they waste a lot of practice time.

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