greetings and learning question

Post your question here and an experienced guitar player or teacher will get back to you.
Post Reply
jabba
newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: June 9th, 2014, 4:41 am

greetings and learning question

Post by jabba » June 9th, 2014, 5:14 am

Hi,
I'm new to this fantastic forum.

I'm just learning how to play and I got a yamaha GL1 guitalele as a gift.

This little  guitar/ukulele hybrid is tuned ADGCEa which means that it's tuned like a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret. I'm a totally beginner and this "special" tuning is confusing me, so I tuned it to EADGBe, like a normal guitar, but the strings were floppy and finally I re-tuned it ADGCEa.

As I said I'm learning just now and I'm not strong in music theory, so I'm here to ask some questions:

Can I play this instrument like a normal guitar? I know that if I play an E chord it will actually be an A chord but, will the music "sound" the same, just with a different key? Or I have supposed to transpose all guitar sheets? I'm not going to join a band or playing with other, so it should not be a problem, right?

Finally, can I use a book like "guitar for dummies" to learn how to play with this instrument or I need something specific?

Thanks

User avatar
dhodge
Musically Insane
Posts: 5733
Joined: June 15th, 2002, 8:21 am
Contact:

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by dhodge » June 9th, 2014, 6:15 am

Hello and welcome to the Guitar Noise forums.

And congratulations, too, on your guitalele. While you say you're not strong in music theory, you definitely show that you've got enough to make a go of playing the guitalele.

It's really going to be a matter of thinking that you're always playing with a capo on the fifth fret. Your E chord on the guitalele will indeed be the same as an A chord on the guitar, but it's going to sound different even though it's the same chord because you'll be using higher notes of the chord. It's like playing an E-shaped barre chord at the fifth fret of the regular guitar.

You simply have to learn to think of your chords as "new" on the guitalele even though they are the same shapes. If you've not already broken it down, here's how it goes:

C is now F
C# is now F#
D is now G
Eb is now Ab
E is now A
F is now Bb
F# is now B
G is now C
G# is now C#
A is now D
Bb is now Eb
B is now E

Likewise, all minors, sevenths, other chords will also be transposed. Dm, for instance, is now Gm. Am is now Dm. B7 is now E7.

You can definitely learn from guitar books, DVDs, and websites when it comes to techniques, but you will have to keep the new chords in mind when playing. You can even play regular guitar tablature but you'll again have to keep the new tuning in mind. You want to remember that your "0" is "5" in regular tablature. It will, initially, be confusing, but it's a great way to learn more about your instrument and will help you understand more about music very quickly.

Hope this helps. Do feel free to post here anytime you've a question or you should also feel free to email me directly (dhodgeguitar@aol.com) if you'd like.

Looking forward to seeing you on the Guitar Noise forum.

Peace

jabba
newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: June 9th, 2014, 4:41 am

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by jabba » June 9th, 2014, 7:16 am

Hi,
thank you for your quick and kind reply!

"...While you say you're not strong in music theory,
you definitely show that you've got enough to make
a go of playing the guitalele..."

thank you very much :) but that was really all my best,
as I said I'm a totally beginner and I'm just learning how to play.

I'll try to follow your conversion scheme and, if I'll find it too
confusing, I'll try to re-tune my guitalele back to EADGBe, maybe
changing the string set this time.

Any suggestion about which strings will be the best to tune my
guitalele to a standard guitar tune?

Thank you again.

User avatar
dhodge
Musically Insane
Posts: 5733
Joined: June 15th, 2002, 8:21 am
Contact:

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by dhodge » June 9th, 2014, 9:27 am

Most guitarists actually know quite a bit about music theory - it's more often a case of not knowing what they know or being able to access that knowledge in a meaningful way that tends to be an obstacle. Hang with it because you will get there. It's not all that hard, at least the basics.

Concerning restringing your guitalele like a guitar, you might want to check with Yamaha about that. I don't know for sure as I'm not an expert on construction, but I suspect that the instrument has been designed and built specifically for these strings and sounding the way it does. It may not be able to handle the string tensions required to make it be played in standard tuning.

If you're really set on a guitar, you might as well just get one and work on both instruments at once. It might initially be confusing, but if you keep your head about learning to have one chord shape be two different chords (depending on the instrument), you'll be fine. Plus, when you do make the move to playing with other people (or simply accompany yourself on recordings), you'll be able to add a different voice to the musical mix, which is always a good thing.

Peace

User avatar
KR2
Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 2728
Joined: September 26th, 2007, 5:38 pm
Location: Miami, FL USA
Contact:

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by KR2 » June 10th, 2014, 12:04 am

David, I have a question on this.

If he uses the same fingerings for the guitar chords for a song (as well as arpeggiating the chord if the song calls for it), it will still resemble the original song . . . but just in a different key, yes? Just 5 half notes higher in key?
So, for example, The Sound of Silence is often played with the capo at the fifth fret of a guitar. If a capo is not used on the guitalele, then it will sound the same?

If that's the case (me being Master of the Obvious), it just boils down to whatever he plays on the guitalele (based on how it's played on the guitar) is just going to be higher in key (by five half notes). Easy Peazy.

Peazy
It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

jabba
newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: June 9th, 2014, 4:41 am

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by jabba » June 10th, 2014, 6:05 am

Hi,
thank you again for your reply.
Following your advice I've decided to learn to play my brand new guitalele using its proper chords :)

I found this basic chord chart on internet:

http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/ ... 528l5h.png

it seems to be in accordance with your transposition scheme to me.
Can you please take a look at it and confirm me that it is correct?

I'm also a bit concerned about some of those chords, in particular Bm and Cm.
For Bm, the linked chart, says that I should press 4 different strings on the 2nd fret (A, C, E and A, from string 6th to 1st)
and 2 other strings on the 4th fret (D and G, from string 6th to 1st).
Cm is almost the same, just shifted back of 1 fret.

Is it correct or am I reading this wrong? How can I press all those strings thogheter ?

thank you

Marq-Paul
newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: June 9th, 2014, 9:14 am

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by Marq-Paul » June 10th, 2014, 10:15 am

The thing with fretted instruments is the retuning is not a hindrance but a bonus. All too often guitarists use capos when their playing would be completely revolutionized by leaning more chord voicings instead. And just with the guitar, retuning it gives you worlds more colors and tones by forcing you to learn more voicings.

Mostly, retuning a guitar is done for a specific purpose, like drop-D to play a power chord with 1 finger, or DADGAD tuning to have different intervals between strings than standard. So I would think of this guitele tuning like that, as an opportunity to learn some new fingerings.

I would start by plotting out all the pitches on a grid with all the tones on it, first with just natural notes so you can learn just in the key of C. Then take each position, a 4-6 fret spread, and only focus on whatever pitches are there. Then, start building the C scale, and finally the chords based on that scale. Learn first the different ways you can make the triads (maj, min, dim, aug), then sus2 and sus4 chords, then 7ths and so on. Take each position of frets in turn until you make it up the neck an 8ve, and then change to another key like G. Rinse and repeat. Take basic chord progressions and songs, transpose them to each key, etc.

That's what I would do. I'll probably do that when I start buying those type instruments, like the ukelele, banjoy, and mandolin.

User avatar
dhodge
Musically Insane
Posts: 5733
Joined: June 15th, 2002, 8:21 am
Contact:

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by dhodge » June 10th, 2014, 5:05 pm

Ken (Peazy? Love it!) - you're absolutely right in your assessment but it's probably better to refer to the change of key as "five half-steps" or "five musical half-steps" instead of "five half notes" since half notes are rhythmic values. Playing "Sounds of Silence" on the guitalele will indeed sound just like playing it on the guitar since most guitarists do play it as Paul Simon does, with a capo on the fifth fret. Another great song that would work well on guitalele would be R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion:"

http://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/losing-my-religion/

The guitalele will mimic the mandolin part on this quite well.

Jabba - the chord chart is just fine. The chords you're worrying about are called barre chords. We've got a two-part tutorial on them that you can find here:

http://www.guitarnoise.com/guide/barre-chords-part-1/

http://www.guitarnoise.com/guide/barre-chords-part-2/

Most beginning guitarists struggle initially with barre chords, so don't worry too much about it. Starting out on the guitalele might actually give you a better start on them than most guitar players since the guitalele uses lighter string gauges and will be somewhat easier to fully barre with your index finger.

Hi Marq-Paul and welcome to Guitar Noise. Your advice is spot on - in fact it's very much the same that we posted in our "Quick Guide" tutorials on open tuning:

http://www.guitarnoise.com/guide/open-tuning/

And alternate tuning:

http://www.guitarnoise.com/guide/alternate-tuning/

Be sure to check out the links the links in each quick guide to the old Guitar Noise lessons. Even though they are from 2000, they offer a great many handy tips and musical examples.

Okay, hope I managed to address everyone! Be seeing you about on the forums!

Peace

jabba
newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: June 9th, 2014, 4:41 am

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by jabba » June 12th, 2014, 12:51 am

Thank you to both of you David and Marq-Paul

I'll follow your suggestions

bye

User avatar
KR2
Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 2728
Joined: September 26th, 2007, 5:38 pm
Location: Miami, FL USA
Contact:

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by KR2 » June 14th, 2014, 8:39 am

David, I gave Losing My Religion tutorial a try.
One question, you talk about the Bm chord but don't show it in the intro tab.
It sounds like after the D chord, you're alternating between a C chord and the Bm chord. Is that right?
It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

User avatar
dhodge
Musically Insane
Posts: 5733
Joined: June 15th, 2002, 8:21 am
Contact:

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by dhodge » June 14th, 2014, 8:48 am

Hi again, Ken

The Bm is used in the verses (as shown in the chord sheet or "cheat sheet" close to the end of the tutorial). After the D in the intro, most of the verses are alternating Em and Bm chords until the last line, which is Bm, Am, and D.

Hope this helps.

Peace

zzz
newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: June 20th, 2017, 8:41 am

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by zzz » June 20th, 2017, 8:46 am

Can i ask something please? I am a total beginner and found this thread trying to understand the same thing as the OP.

The chart above of guitalele chords seems to verify that C# is now F#, D is now G, Eb is now Ab, E is now A, F is now Bb etc. It all makes sense to me and is helpful

But the chord F on the guitalele chart doesn't seem to look like C on guitar, I feel like I must be missing something here

User avatar
Alan Green
Guitari Lama
Posts: 7952
Joined: September 23rd, 2002, 1:35 am
Location: Little Cambridge, Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by Alan Green » June 20th, 2017, 12:51 pm

walker wrote:
June 20th, 2017, 8:46 am

But the chord F on the guitalele chart doesn't seem to look like C on guitar, I feel like I must be missing something here
Yes it does; if you play a C chord on the guitar with an extra finger on the 6th string 3rd fret (giving you C/G) then you get the exact same shape as F on the guitalele chord chart I've got here.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk

zzz
newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: June 20th, 2017, 8:41 am

Re: greetings and learning question

Post by zzz » June 20th, 2017, 11:14 pm

thanks for answering, I suppose adding the extra finger is what is confusing me, and C/G is beyond me also. I really know very little I think I'll go back to the books

Post Reply