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A few more questions!

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70chevelle
(@70chevelle)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 35
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First, I've been at this for about 5 weeks now. I have Mel Bays Method book 1, and I have all three of Hal Leonard's Method books. Between both book 1's, Leonards seemed a bit easier. (more accomplishment while learning), but Bay's is making more sense, after a ton of knowledge I've picked up here. I've printed out most of D. Hodges lessons and information for easy reference, plus a ton of tabs of music I enjoy. (Neil Young, CSNY, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Pink Floyd, etc) I've been working on the Heart of Gold lesson, and the Horse with No Name lesson. Horse with no name is pretty simple since it is two chords. HOG is pretty simple also, but it has some transitions from chord to chord. I can find any note on the fretboard, but I am not "automatic", even on the top 5 frets, but I am working on it. I understand the chromatic, major & minor scales & how a chord is made. I have C, D, Dm, G, Gm, E, Em, A, Am, pretty much memorized, and make it a point to be able to know what notes I'm playing, but I'm still working on my transitions from one chord to the other. Now, and finally, to my questions:

1) I'm having some trouble with tabs. I can read music, and feel that sheet music will probably help me develop a little quicker, but the tabs are convenient. Anyway, I can't seem to play the notes in the melody. For instance, Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle, seems to be a pretty easy tab, but I can't seem to play the notes where my brain recognizes the melody. This is a little frustrating right now, because I feel I should be able to at least get the melody, and then practice until it's right.

2) Chord tabs. Similar problem. I can make & strum the chords that are shown, but I can't seem to make it sound anything like the song. I have some of the songs on CD, but not all.

3) I think I'm at the crossroads of a teacher. I feel I can figure a few of these things out on my own & through this board, but it will come a lot faster if I had an instructor. (I already know the answer to this!)

Also, I practice for around 1 hour or more a day. It's been great to be able to relax at night, with nothing else to do. I start out by playing all the whole notes (E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E,etc) forward & backward. Do the Am pentatonic scale. Move around the fretboard a little. Play some lessons from the Bay & Leonard books. Pick some notes of melodys in my head. Then I strum some chords & switch. Play Heart of Gold, & strum Horse with No Name. Look at some new songs, sometimes get frustrated, put everything away & go to bed. Like I said, I'm at a crossroad. By the way, great site & great information.

Sorry - I know this is already long, but I just wanted to add, I am almost 40 and not looking to be a professional guitarist or write music. I would like to be able to sit and play music that I enjoy for myself, friends & family, have a good understanding of theory, and hopefully help my daughter(s) play if she gets the drive.


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

since you read music use Tabs only as a reference.
but that is only my biased opinion. I dislike Tabs.
others find them very useful.

reading will take you so much further.
imagine yourself ten years from now.
awesome.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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margaret
(@margaret)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1675
 

70 chevelle wrote: I'm having some trouble with tabs. I can read music, and feel that sheet music will probably help me develop a little quicker, but the tabs are convenient. Anyway, I can't seem to play the notes in the melody. For instance, Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle, seems to be a pretty easy tab, but I can't seem to play the notes where my brain recognizes the melody. This is a little frustrating right now, because I feel I should be able to at least get the melody, and then practice until it's right.

As another who already reads music due to playing piano, I had a little trouble with tabs at first, because tabs don't indicate rhythm. However, as my guitar teacher pointed out, tabs indicate WHERE on the fretboard to play a particular note, since it can be played in any of a BUNCH of different places. As beginners, most of the tabs we are looking at are written to take advantage of as many open strings as possible, and as we advance, more of them will be written farther up the neck (toward the soundhole/pickups), eliminating many open strings.

I like the guitar books that are written with the five-line staff above and the six-line tab below. That's the best of both worlds, especially when learning a song you aren't already familiar with, or that has more difficult rhythms.

I'm finding that I refer to the traditional notation as I'm learning a song, (back and forth, tab and notes), and then eventually end up using only the tab as I pick up speed and have internalized the rhythm. With Time in a Bottle, maybe you need to look for it written out in traditional notation, or find a recording of it, and look at the tabs while you listen to pick up the pattern.

Another thing to consider, the tabs you have for Time in a Bottle may not even BE the melody. They may be the accompaniment for a voice carrying the melody.

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
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70chevelle
(@70chevelle)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 35
Topic starter  

Dogbite & Margaret - Thanks! The lessons I've printed from D. Hodges are set up with std notation on top & tab below. I agree, that I like looking at it that way. If I get stuck, I can look at the tab as a cheat sheet. There's a lot going on in your head when you are just learning. Read the right note, figure out which finger is best, place it properly on the fret, then find that particular string, and no others, to pick. I've not been looking at either hand when picking single notes in scales, etc. or even closing my eyes. It seems that your brain works better by itself, instead of me trying to guide it with my eyes.


   
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margaret
(@margaret)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1675
 

70 chevelle wrote: It seems that your brain works better by itself, instead of me trying to guide it with my eyes.

Funny, and true!

In switching from a certain major chord to its minor chord, I have to pick up my 2nd (middle) finger. If I look at my fretting hand, I am continually tempted to lift the wrong finger. If I don't look, I can more quickly pick up the correct finger.

Also true for me with piano. I am "wedded" to the page of music. When I look at my hands, I get tangled up.

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
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70chevelle
(@70chevelle)
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Topic starter  

Margaret - maybe we've unlocked some sort of secret!?

I was reading another post on this board, I believe, and it mentioned adult ADD, which I believe I could be a poster child (adult?) for. I have many interests, and have accomplished most of my goals in my other interests. I've been a gear head since childhood. I paint, build engines, completely rebuilt my Chevelle from a frame-off to a completed car, and have a 1970 Mercedes 280 SL in the garage waiting; I do woodworking, also since childhood. I have limited myself to a certain genre of woodworking from the arts & crafts era, which I've added my own touch to. I owe an end table for an auction in April, and my 2 daughters are getting bedroom furniture before spring. I also am an avid hunter, and am in the never ending process of training my female 18 month german shorthair, Mattie, to hunt birds for myself & my hunting partners, with whom I shoot sporting clays a few times a month. I started the guitar, because my youngest (7) had an interest. I thought it would be a great way for us to bond. We've worked a few times, but her interest isn't firm yet. I'm still hopeful. Since I've started with the guitar, in early January, I've also started to play with the harmonica. I used to play a little when I was in high school, and I also have a want to play the piano. (Mom forced me to take lessons when young - thanks Mom!) But I am going to leave the piano for another day, so as not to conflict with the guitar. The guitar has been a great fit for me, because it doesn't take me away from my family, and I can do it after I've finished other things for the evening. It sure beats watching TV. Wow, sorry to go off topic, but since I took the time to write it, I'm going to post it.


   
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margaret
(@margaret)
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Posts: 1675
 

Yes, you sound like me. Think I've got a touch of the ADD thing going on, too. Too many interests and too little time. A more positive term for this personality type is the "Renaissance" personality, as in we're constantly re-inventing ourselves. Lifelong learners, to put another positive slant on it. :lol:

I, too, started guitar shortly after my son (now 11) started lessons. Guitar is so much more portable than piano, and you can more easily play it WHILE watching tv with the family! :lol:

BTW, as those calluses develop, you are going to be SO PROUD of them! They make playing SO less painful. I check mine out all day long, just to be sure they are still there. 8)

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
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