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Beginner needs advise

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Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Hey guys,

I have been following "learn and Master Guitar" by Steve Krenz for a couple weeks now.
But I also have a song that I want to learn and have been picking away at.

My question is as a beginner should I be just concentrating on the course material and leave the song alone till I am further along or is ok to do both.



Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459

There really aren't any rules so if that's what you want to do go for it. Keep it fun and you'll be OK.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 243

Why take up guitar if you're not going to play songs you want to play - so my advice is to give the song a try. Nothing will keep your interest up more than playing things you enjoy and there's no reason it has to interfere with your more formal training approach. If you've ever played a team sport, you probably had a short scrimmage game at the end of practice. Think of this the same way - something fun that makes the repetitive drills worthwhile.

Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down.

Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Thanks guys :D


Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 54

Like others said, there's no rules. Also, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

I'm reading my first book on fretboard theory and it's easy to get caught up with the concepts and feel like I'm not making progress if I'm not doing book exercises. But then I realized that if I couldn't let myself relax and play some fun stuff also, there's no point in learning anyway!

Play away, my friend.

Find Guitar Teachers

Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5342

Method books always seem to do this - they start with the most mind-numbingly boring exploration of little black dots and basic melodies on the first string and leave chords until the end of "Book 1"; and even then it's usually only C, G, G7, Em and D7 without the slightest explanation of chord structure. I hate that approach, although I've taught it, but it's all so different depending on whether you have an adult or child student.

I've heard David Hodge singing Horse With No Name to a student's accompaniment on the student's first lesson, and my own teaching involves getting people to play some kind of material in the first two lessons with Horse With No Name being followed by Brown Eyed Girl. I don't sing, unless I want to lose students. Theory can always be thrown in, but only in bite-sized chunks.

Now, with young students - as young as six - it's melody all the way and the chords can come later, but melody at that level starts with the top three open strings (which gives the teacher an instant Em accompaniment to get the student used to playing ensemble in their first few lessons) and builds from there.

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:

Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5

When I began to get serious about music I discovered a major problem, I am dyslexic. I had a lot of problems with math and spelling and it was discouraging but the worst was trying to learn to read music and seeing notes and chords just flip around like mirrors.

If you are able than continue the course, but just like any other lesson you learn it means nothing unless you can put it into practice. Playing what you like helps you to bridge that gap between the lesson and the execution.

I had to learn to play from the heart and by no means could I ever be a technecian but take a look at two very different guitarists in the same band, Steven Clarke and Phill Collen, Now Phill is a guitar surgeon skillfully extracting notes and chords with a precision as sharp as a razor whereas Steven while not technicaly minded could pull from the center of his heart and make you feel his emotion.

There is room for both technique and heart, learn your lessons and play from your heart and you'll be a much happier and well rounded player.

You are never to old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream

New Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 3

When i first started i also used a teach yourself tutorial. And i would constantly get bored with what it was wanting me to learn. so i found that if i also tryd learning songs that i want from book or now there are brilliant youtube videos, i found it more bearable and it kept everything more exciting as well as making me hungry to learn more if there was a song that i was finding hard to master. it just gave me a push.

so i think the more sources you learn from makes it much more fun than just following a tutorial.

Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2415

When I started, I learned by finding a song that I wanted to play, looking at chord charts and strumming the songs I liked.

From there I started learning technical stuff...but even then I would find songs that I liked that had a certain technique or used chords I wanted to get better at playing.

Oh, that Steve Krentz program, is just okay in my opinion. I took a look at it, and in my opinion you get 1000x more knowledge on this FREE site than spending $250 for his stuff.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!

Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 13

My take is that in learning guitar , the more you put into it the more you get .

When I started 10 years ago at the tender age of 49 I chose for my first song ( music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. ) :

" Somewhere Over The Rainbow ",

it has approximately 24 chords . Some chords seemed impossible to make too at first ...

¿ Why did I chose this monster of a work out song ?

Since I can remember I have always started everything I " have " to do that has an easy and hard phase with the most difficult part and then have a relatively " easy " ending project to tackle after the hardest part was behind me . It applies to other things beside music and for myself is a way of life for the most part too .

Result :

After learning what was at first seemingly " impossible " and through out the years ( yes this song was / is a life long work to re interpret in other arrangements and key signatures ) other songs in the " Blues - CW - Swing - Jazz / Boogie Woogie - Rock - and other styles I play seemed much more easy to learn when comparing them to Somewhere Over The Rainbow .

After developing your hand and arm strength ( that song did do it too for me ) what seemed hard and or impossible becomes routine .

I was going to get one of those " hand " individual spring loaded exercising things @ 20 something $'s to improve my hand strength because my nephew who is a lead electric " Death Metal " guitarist has one , for one reason or another I didn't . I chose to play my acoustic electric steel string since it's slightly higher action gives my hand and arm a good work out ( well at least in the first 9 years ) over all . After the work out it gave me , my electric guitar seemed to play so much more easier .

Last May I got a electric bass guitar and wow , Big Time WOW as far as what it did for my arm and hand / finger strength . No fooling this really made playing my acoustic steel string guitar seem a lot more easier to my hand and fingers .... Shut up about how it made my electric guitar play like !

Yep take time and work out as much as you can and seek out more of the same in what ever form it can be as I mentioned earlier :

The More You Put In The More You Get

And above and beyond this , have ......

¡ FUN !

Easy ...

Hurricane Ramon

It started for me with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a Blues Harp and progressed , then life -some death-Evolving like a small rock in a stream rounding out as I went with the flow as I go through the white waters and waterfalls of life .

Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 25

The vast majority of courses out there will teach you the fundamentals - chords, scales, theory etc which is great, but you need to be playing songs from day one. The songs will motivate you to learn what you need to know (chords, strumming, etc). And music is about playing songs.

I often teach a student smoke on the water using one finger at first so they realize they can make music easily and it's fun. Learn songs with 2 or 3 chords and add new chords and strumming patterns over time.