Lessons to jam not to become a musician

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Mystery
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Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Mystery » April 2nd, 2011, 5:01 pm

A call to all experienced guitarists to help me get on right direction.

Ever since I was small, I always wanted to play guitar when I saw friends jamming.
However, I never wanted to become a singer or a musician.
I bought a guitar 10 years ago and sold it after couple of years only learning few chords. :shock:

Anyways, my interest is back again and now want to at least be able to play few songs.
I don't want to say 'I don't know how to play' anymore when friends ask after seeing guitar in my room. :evil:

My objective is NOT to become a musician nor a professional nor to perform live nor to become a star...
All I want to do is be able to enjoy playing with friends and families during parties or karaoke or campfire etc...
That means, I have to be able to listen song and figure out chords and strum/rhythm.
If I can avoid learning music notes for 6 months, that time can be put for more practice.

Now the million dollar question, is there a different path to take for this purpose?

I was checking few DVD lessons but not sure which one would be good to learn quicker than the others.
1. Hal Leonard Guitar Method with Tom Kolb
http://www.amazon.com/Hal-Leonard-Guita ... B000056VQS
2. Fender Presents: Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar -- A Guide for Beginners (2002)--Keith Wyatt
http://www.amazon.com/Fender-Presents-G ... 236&sr=1-4
3. Gibson's Learn and Master with Steve Krenz
http://www.amazon.com/Gibsons-Learn-Mas ... 287&sr=1-1

Learn and master looks like for future musicians and is a lot of material.
Fender's DVD looks more concise and better for starter IMO.
Or if you could suggest other effective lessons, it'll be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for you time and thoughts. :)

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Snwbrdn'gtrst
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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Snwbrdn'gtrst » April 2nd, 2011, 5:42 pm

I've not used any of those other products so I'll let someone else chime in as far as that is concerned...
I started out using www.GuitarInANutshell.com and it sounds like what you are describing. It will teach you the most commonly used chords, give you exercises to switch between them fluidly, basic strumming patterns and it has a pretty big song list to help you use what you've learned.
The huge downside: it doesn't teach you a thing about timing or rhythm which will make it IMPOSSIBLE to play with others.
It's funny, I think that my first post here was just about verbatim what yours is... the more I learn though, the more I learn that I need to learn more to truly be able to play. If you play around and find that your goal truly is what you've stated then the GuitarInANutshell should work well for you. If nothing else then use it to learn a few popular songs (I thing there are like 80 different songs w/lessons) and see where you want to go from there.
If you ever need help, this truly is the best place to get it! Everyone here is awesome!
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NoteBoat
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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by NoteBoat » April 3rd, 2011, 3:37 am

This is one of those threads where I wish text could show nuance, inflection, and humor the way spoken words do. I have a sense that what I'm reading into your question might not be an accurate relection of what you're asking... and I've got a sense that the same might be true of my reply. But here goes.
I always wanted to play guitar...
I don't want to say 'I don't know how to play' anymore when friends ask after seeing guitar in my room
The only cure for that is to be able to play something. ANYTHING. It doesn't matter how simple the song is; when you can play just one, you'll be able to play guitar, at least a little bit. And that's really all you need to be able to jam with others.

Jamming is a social thing - you show them what you know, they show you what they know, and you share the experience of making music.
My objective is NOT to become a musician


That's at odds with wanting to play the guitar. There are degrees of skill in just about anything. Learning your first chord is a step on the way to jamming... and it's also a step on the way to being a musician. After the first step, you can take a second if you want. Or maybe you'll be satisfied with your progress and stop there. Nobody will force you to take a next step.

But you've learned a couple of chords in the past, and it didn't give you what you wanted. So I'm left thinking that one of two things is going on:

1. Playing guitar is a dream, not a goal. The difference is that people work towards goals, but wish towards dreams. If you're looking for some magic way to develop guitar playing ability, it doesn't exist.

or maybe 2. You see being a musician as something you definitely don't want, and that's getting in your way. If you true goal is to not be a musician, you've already succeeded.
All I want to do is be able to enjoy playing with friends and families during parties or karaoke or campfire etc
All you have to do it is do it. Just jump in and get started. If somebody plays a chord you don't know, ask them to show it to you. Practice what they show you. Next time you'll be better and have more fun. Like playing the guitar vs. being a musician, don't set up a false choice - the level of skill you need to enjoy doing it is very low.
That means, I have to be able to listen song and figure out chords and strum/rhythm.
That's a whole different can of worms. Figuring out chords and rhythms is an ongoing process - I still work on my skills in that area, and I've been a guitar teacher for over 30 years. You'll need to develop the ability to count rhythms and hear when chord changes occur. You'll need to set up some categories in your mind so you can sort out what you hear - either the formal ones (major, minor, augmented, etc) or your own system... but you need to be able to say to yourself "that chord isn't Cm, but it's closer to Cm than C major". Without that, you're trying to match sounds at random - but if you can categorize things, you can narrow down the possibilities, and as you continue to do that your guesses will get better.

But figuring out songs by ear alone is a skill that very few beginners have. You have to really work at this one. And in order to have the material to compare things to, you'll have to learn some chords and rhythms first - I'd advise you to make this a low priority, and not start actively working on it until you know at least a dozen different chords and at least that many songs.
If I can avoid learning music notes for 6 months, that time can be put for more practice.
I'll agree with you on this one - with what you've written, I'd ignore standard notation and focus on learning some chords, strumming patterns, and songs.
Now the million dollar question, is there a different path to take for this purpose?
Yes. There are several. The most effective is to start playing with other people. Most guitarists are happy to help you out by showing you a chord or two, or the changes to a song they know.
I was checking few DVD lessons but not sure which one would be good to learn quicker than the others.
[/quote]

There's no answer to that one. Different people learn in different ways, and what works for one person can confuse another. If you want to use a DVD method, Just pick one and try it. If it doesn't help, try another. But DON'T put off getting started until you find the "best" method!

Reading your question, I'm sensing a real tendency to procrastinate. You've wanted to do this since you were small, but you had a guitar for quite a while and didn't learn much. Now you want to pursue it... but you're waiting to find the best method. Just start playing. You can't learn to do something by not doing it, or by getting ready to do it. Investigating the best way to do it, or asking other people how to do it isn't actually doing it either. Just start. Once you do, you'll be able to figure out for yourself what works for you, and what doesn't.
Or if you could suggest other effective lessons
Yes - any method that gets you playing with other people. Look into group lessons at a park district, community college, or community music school. Get to know other guitarists - especially other beginners. Play often, and play together often.
Last edited by NoteBoat on April 3rd, 2011, 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Minotaur
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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Minotaur » April 3rd, 2011, 5:38 am

Mystery wrote:That means, I have to be able to listen song and figure out chords and strum/rhythm. ...
No, it doesn't.
Now the million dollar question, is there a different path to take for this purpose?
Yes there certainly is. You can find chord sheets on the 'net that are very simple; you can find books in a Strum 'n Sing series. Go to any music store and you will find beginners' song books, and books specificaly for this type of playing. I have a couple and am going to look for more.

There are YT videos that teach very simple campfire playing. Some of these songs may include barre chords, but usually they are Bmaj or Fmaj or Bm. Even the Fmaj and Bm can be done in an abbreviated or "cheat" version.

Look at http://www.guitarinanutshell.com/ that Snwbrdn'gtrst suggested; look at Your Guitar Sage, Martyzsongs (Marty Schwartz), SaskStrum, georgiarose, Justin Sandercoe or Groundhog Music on YT. They all teach basic playing and songs that can be played basic. Justin has a great Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.

I'm in the same position as you. I started out thinking that at some point I'd like to find a couple of guys to form a garage band with. I don't think that's going to happen, but it could. We, you and I, are rhythm players. I don't like soloing or lead; I can't get my head wrapped around the pentatonic scales; modes are totally useless in my playing. We don't all have to be a Slash or Steve Vai, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Rombola, et al. I'm a campfire/living room/backyard bbq player, not even a very good one at that, who plays along with iTunes on my computer. But practice makes perfect.
It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by dogbite » April 3rd, 2011, 6:19 am

noteboat. you are so right on the mark. I sure appreciate your posts on this forum.

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Mystery » April 3rd, 2011, 7:32 am

Thank you Snwbrdn'gtrst, Minotaur, dogbite and a big one to Noteboat for your time and responses.
I have many guitar books downloaded from various online guitar sites and videos from youtube etc. that I'm going through to see strum patterns and styles.
I'm practicing often now since getting the Yammie last week and I find the fingers still remember major triad chords I learned years ago. :)

I do procrastinate in many things but the main reason here is frustration when nothing happens after months of trying and lack of consistency.
I am a programmer and find new programming language easier than learning a new combination of chords switch. :shock:

Even though I had a desire of playing guitar since I was small, never really did it due to studies.
My first guitar was a Washburn acoustic when I was 23 years old college student.
I'm 34 now and this time around, I have a stable career and enough free time to take on the hobby. :idea:
And as you mentioned, if I can play and sing couple of songs nicely, I'll be satisfied.
Of course, there are millions of miles after that.
Thanks for suggestions and tips. This site has tons of information and it's sometimes not easy what is for you.
Will try to keep up the practice. :note2:

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by dogbite » April 3rd, 2011, 7:51 am

once you learn even the simplest of songs you will begin a wonderful journey whether you realize it or not.
there is a parallel in programing. when writing code, you are taking little bits of learned steps to create something; basically from nothing since it did not exist until you created it.
same thing with making music. now the excitement begins. I dabble with http because I use Wordpress. the first time I typed code I had no clue what I was doing. then there was a moment when it worked.
we're talking positive reinforcement. that trivial success got the juices flowing. I began to think questions and sought answers.
could'nt do that until I tried.
same thing with guitar. I have learned so very much as a player by asking my fingers and ears to try things on the fretboard.
I play stuff that I never thought I could do.

I should tell you a story. the second week of marriage my brand new wife brought me to a party of her co workers. nice people. typical party. I saw an electric guitar in the corner and checked it out. the host spotted me and asked if I could play because they were just learning. I said I did play. before I knew it the amp came out; I was plugged in. I thought 'oh lord what should I play?'
next thing I tore into House of the Rising Sun. everyone sang. everyone. across the room I saw my wife beaming at me.
on the ride home she said she never knew I could do that. rock star eyes beaming.

play your guitar.

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Mystery » April 3rd, 2011, 4:27 pm

Will do Dogbite...
bit by bit, chord by chord... let the journey begin. :)
Thanks

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by boxboy » April 4th, 2011, 11:19 am

Great advice from all, Mystery.
Hope you find it fun and rewarding.
A couple more suggestions:

Play as many days/nights as possible, even if just for a short while. It pays bigger dividends than setting the same amount of time aside on just one day.

If possible, record yourself. Doesn't matter how crude the recording...it gives you a frame of reference. You will progress if you keep at it and the proof will be in the recordings. Works wonders when you're convinced you're not getting anywhere.

All the best!
Don

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Mystery » April 4th, 2011, 1:35 pm

Thanks for advice boxboy!
Just for fun I recorded a simple song with few major chords.
It's not good but not terrible except few missed chord switches here and there. :oops:
It'll give point of reference later on.

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by RoundI » April 5th, 2011, 7:17 am

Great advice here. I started guitar 3 years ago with similar aspirations. Other than actually remembering the songs I learn and transcribing by ear (my last great goal) I have learned more than I expected I would. I started at the ripe old age of 38. After my first month of lessons I could not believe I never tried it before (so much time wasted watching TV).

I would advise to get a teacher. A good one will inspire you and challenge you. At least for a couple of months to make sure you are not making any major mistakes right from the start. The various websites and YT channels mentioned here are good too. I use them every day.

I like the Amazing Slow Downer software for learning/playing along with songs. It allows you to slow down and loop the sections you are working on etc etc. I think it is about $50.

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Minotaur » April 5th, 2011, 7:33 am

RoundI wrote:I like the Amazing Slow Downer software for learning/playing along with songs. It allows you to slow down and loop the sections you are working on etc etc. I think it is about $50.
Quicktime will also do it for iTunes. I do a Get Info on the iTunes song, copy the location, open Quicktime and use it to open the iTunes file. You can slow it down or speed it up. And it's all free. I haven't looked to see if it has a looping effect.
It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by s1120 » April 5th, 2011, 8:10 am

Minotaur wrote:
RoundI wrote:I like the Amazing Slow Downer software for learning/playing along with songs. It allows you to slow down and loop the sections you are working on etc etc. I think it is about $50.
Quicktime will also do it for iTunes. I do a Get Info on the iTunes song, copy the location, open Quicktime and use it to open the iTunes file. You can slow it down or speed it up. And it's all free. I haven't looked to see if it has a looping effect.

Realy??? Ill have to check that out. Im starting to work on more songs.... but I just cant hear/prosses the information fast enough... Ill have to check that out.
Paul B

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by Minotaur » April 5th, 2011, 9:42 am

I use it when a song is too fast to play along with. I think iTunes on my computer plays faster than my iPod or a cd. iTunes has a lot of weirdisms.
It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.

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Re: Lessons to jam not to become a musician

Post by size9 » April 5th, 2011, 10:58 am

Guitar In A Nutshell I believe is the best for learning how to play songs quickly. The instructor is very easy to follow. Plus, no where that I've seen online can you keep getting updated lessons for a $50 one time fee.
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