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beginner mistakes to avoid

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flashover146
(@flashover146)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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i was looking for some advice on common beginner mistakes and how to correct and avoid them. since i don't have a teacher i am reliing on the lessons here on the web and the multitude of knowledge and experience of great people like you!
i am playing a Godin Detour and using a Line6 spider II amp if that makes any difference.
thanks in advance.

can't sing or dance, may as well learn to play


   
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kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
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Beginner MIstake to Avoid #1: Don't get a teacher and try to teach yourself.

Very very very few good, let alone great, musicians are entirely self-taught. Having someone who underestands what it takes to be good and who has some skill in helping other people find their way there is worth more than you can possibly imagine.

Beginner Mistake to Avoid #2: Don't learn to read music

Tabs are nice, they're easy, and their really pretty worthless for anything beyond beginners. Musicians communicate in a standard way, not learning to read music is like living in the USA but refusing to learn English. Sure you can get along, but why make it so hard on yourself?

Beginner Mitake to Avoid #3: Don't learn whole songs

Music is more than a phrase or two. It's amazing how many guitarists out there know 70 licks and riffs but not a single song and still think they are musicians.

Beginner Mistake to Avoid #4: Ignore Pain in your joints

Pain in any joint while playing a guitar is almost always a sign of bad technique, it's also a sign of things being damaged. Learn to hold the guitar correctly, learn to hold your hands correctly. Good form in simply holding the guitar goes a long way to avoiding other mistakes in technique.

There's plenty more, but if you avoid those four, you'll be a long way to figuring out how to be a very good guitar player.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Raina
(@raina)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Don't press your fingers too hard on the strings, put only as much pressure on them as needed.


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Do everything by the book....if you learn everything correctly from the word go, you'll avoid forming bad habits which are hard to break...

As previously stated, learn to read music....and don't just concentrate on the playing aspect, spend a little time on theory....

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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lord_ariez
(@lord_ariez)
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I dont think not getting a teacher is that big of a mistake. I've never had a teacher once and I like to think I'm pretty good. U just have to make sure u go about it the right way.

Not learning whole songs is a major mistake, I agree with that 100%, a friend of mine did that for a long time and know when he does try to learn whole songs the changeover's throw him off badly.

Get yourself a couple beginner books and you'll do fine, remember it's allot easier to do it right the first time then to try and break down something and build it back up correctly.

Good Luck!

'You and I in a little toy shop, bought a bag of balloons with the money we got"

feel free to talk with me on msn at [email protected] no icq anymore


   
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MCH
 MCH
(@mch)
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*Beginner MIstake to Avoid #1: Don't get a teacher and try to teach yourself*

This can be taken with a grain of salt. Getting a teacher is not everything. There are good teachers and there are ones you're paying for nothing. I think it really depends upon your goals. If you have aspirations to become a commercially viable musician, yes a good (GOOD) teacher is probably essential. If you only want self edification, the internet is a great source. The biggest thing is PRACTICE and have FUN (FUN)!!! I have taken up the guitar again, after a 30 year hiatus. My first foray was very mediocre; chords and singalong. Now, I'm in heaven as to there is huge resource on the internet (and it's free). I've learned a lot in a matter of 4 months. But my aspirations aren't stardom.


   
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art&lutherie
(@artlutherie)
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*Beginner MIstake to Avoid #1: Don't get a teacher and try to teach yourself*

When and if you do get a tutor with three or four lessons chances are you're going to learn Ten times faster than wading thruogh the massive amount of information yourself. Just having someone show you how to use a metronome or strumming will be a benefit.

Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear!
ChuckNorrisFactsdotCom


   
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MCH
 MCH
(@mch)
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**Just having someone show you how to use a metronome or strumming will be a benefit.**

If you are an instructor, I apologize if I offended you. But your above statement can easily be gleaned from the internet. Internet video etc. Besides as far as I know there, is no race in learning. Like I already stated, it is very dependant upon your goals. I can learn a lot by watching, reading and listening. Personally I don't need direct one on one instructions to achieve my goals.
Again this is only my perspective, by no means does it suit all.


   
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bstguitarist
(@bstguitarist)
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I agree with the fact that you dont always need a teacher. I know pople who got a teacher and guess what? The TEACHER gave them TABS!!!!! never once tought them how to play and read sheetmusic... I tought myself and never had a teacher and purposly learned to read sheetmuic... yes it can be frustrating at times but trust everyone here, it WILL pay off. Also once you learn music and have been playing for a while, get your feet wet in some theory and play around a little bit in it.

Good Luck
Bstguitarist
KB1LQC


No matter what anyone says, these four men were the Innovators! of modern Rock & Roll!

Morse Code... Music on it's own


   
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tfroberg
(@tfroberg)
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Actually, I'm going to have to disagree with # 2. Or rather, I would say it depends on circumstance. If your ambition is to learn classical fingerpicking, or something similar, then yes, you will need to learn to read music. If you're just dying to learn those little fills Randy Rhoads plays during the "Crazy train" chorus, or just want to jam with some friends, then tab will get you all the way. Any popular song can be learned fully from tab. This goes double now that powertab has arrived, enabling you to see and hear how the piece is meant to be played.

Learning to read music is definately a plus, but I wouldn't say it's essential if you want to be in a cover band or something of that nature. A beginner who has ambitions along those lines will be better off learning to play by ear and getting his chops up.

My $ 0.2

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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
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As the first response said, very few great musicians are entirely self-taught.

Mistakes to avoid? Distortion

Distortion covers a lot of sloppy technique, so you should concentrate on being able to play your material well using clean settings. Then ramp up the gain.

Best,

A :-)

"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


   
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NoteBoat
(@noteboat)
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It's a pretty good general list. The common mistakes I see beginners make:

1. Bad posture
2. Bad positioning of the neck (almost always too low)
3. Bad thumb position
4. Impatience. There's no reason to hold back from learning concept #2 before concept #1 is fully mastered... but if you abandon working on concept #1, you'll be compensating - you'll introduce small moves to make up for the fact that you can't do a basic quite right. Those little things are difficult to identify and even harder to correct later on. It's tempting to rush ahead in a quest for 'progress', but new skills build on skills already acquired, so don't neglect getting it right.

As far as the other comments, yeah, there are bad teachers out there, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take lessons. And a teacher giving a student tab isn't really a bad thing in itself... what would be bad is if the teacher makes no corrections to a student's style/posture/picking/finger position, etc. You're paying for expert advice, not the handouts he uses.

For learning to read standard notation, it's true that most guitarists don't read. That doesn't make it a good thing. I recently played a date with another guitarist who had better chops than I did. He was by far the better guitar player - but when the band leader called a tune that neither of us knew, I could read it and play it, and he couldn't. In the eyes of the bandleader I was the better musician - the one capable of giving him what he wanted when he wanted it.

So decide early on if the music you want to make might ever require reading, and if it does, start now. Reading is a skill that takes time to develop, and you'll start with things like 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' - you don't just jump to reading hard stuff simply because you can play hard stuff. Musicians who develop reading skills at the same time as they build their chops become good readers - reading is a natural part of music to them. Folks who build chops early, and then try to add reading to their skills almost never become good readers.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Beginner Mistake to Avoid #2: Don't learn to read music

Tabs are nice, they're easy, and their really pretty worthless for anything beyond beginners. Musicians communicate in a standard way, not learning to read music is like living in the USA but refusing to learn English. Sure you can get along, but why make it so hard on yourself?

Seems like total nonsense to me. I've never ever thought I might need official sheet music, espescially since most GP/PT tabs are pretty much 100% correct. And for the record, I actually can read it, and I do use it for piano, but I really doubt you'll need to know how to read music if you want to play rock/blues...


   
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flashover146
(@flashover146)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

thanks for all the ideas guys, right now i'm learning the notes one string at a time. so by the time i get to the chords understanding what makes them up should come easily. does any one know a site that talks about proper posture?

can't sing or dance, may as well learn to play


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

The website I usually recommend seems to have disapeared. Try these:

The Humane Guitarist

and Jamey Andreas's site

Guitar Principles

Best,

A :-)

"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


   
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