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Essential Skills

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(@taver)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 63
Topic starter  

I cant find a teacher! So how to plan my progress? My ultimate goal it to play acoustic and sing and be good enough to gig.

What guitar skills would be considered essential to achieve this? and what other skills would be most useful?

Thanks.

One day !!
http://www.soundclick.com/taver
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQhXgRKobGI


   
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(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
 

ehm it is not easy to give you a list but i'll try. If you want to play acoustic you should get

a) ability to play common perfectly in time rhythms like bass and strum, folk strum, a few sixteen notes ones, blues shuffle or blues rhythms, at least one reggae rhythm;
b) ability to play perfectly in time at least a couple of fingerpicking patterns over simple chords;
c) ability to play clean open chords and a few bar ones;
d) ability to recognize song's structure

If you can do so there are hundreds of songs you could learn. So the best thing to do would be to get an instructional acoustic guitar book with cd or dvd and play the suggested exercises

cheers

Matteo


   
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(@adrianjmartin)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 76
 

Have you tried looking a night classes a local college?
There are several in my area, Leeds - Yorkshire. I'm just juggling which night/college to attend....£70 for ten 2hr lessons!
Also I've heard the tutors are Private Tutors as well so it would give you a good lead to arrange private lessons if required.
Check with your council - if there web site is not up to scratch, ring them!


   
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(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

I cant find a teacher! So how to plan my progress? My ultimate goal it to play acoustic and sing and be good enough to gig.

What guitar skills would be considered essential to achieve this? and what other skills would be most useful?

Thanks.

There are lots of free on-line guitar lesson sites. There is one in particular I am thinking of. I'm not sure if other websites are allowed to be posted here, but I'm thinking of Guitar at About.com It starts with very basic beginner subjects and progresses. And don't forget the lessons here, which are short but concise and to the point. They give a lot of bang for the buck.

If you want to play rhythm and use your voice for melody, focus on learning open and barre chords, timing, strumming and rhythm patterns (which I am learning, are often the discretion of the guitarist and don't have to mimic the original recording). You could probably not get involved in scales and theory at this point. Now I'm passing along some of the things the guys here have recently told me. :wink:

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
 

.

strumming and rhythm patterns (which I am learning, are often the discretion of the guitarist and don't have to mimic the original recording).

Hi minotaur

I wish to give you my point of wiew regarding the abused common words that “the strumming pattern is up to you” that in my opininon is quite misleading for beginning guitarists. The assertion is true but to just a certain exent so it should be handled with care: it is not true that you could play everything you like and the result will necessarily be ok!
There are a few rules that you have to follow if you want to play a song how it has to be:

a) Respect chord changes: if chords changes are anticipated (very common in rock music) you should play them anticipated, otherwise it is a different song. The same goes for riffs which should be played exactly like they are on the record (you cannot play i.e. Smoke on the water if you change the rhythm of the riff);
b) Respect the main rhythm of the song. If the song is based on sixteen notes you have to choose a pattern which is based on sixteen notes, otherwise it would be a different song: i.e. if you play Knocking on heaven's door with a quaver patterns instead of a semi-quaver one you would obtain a funeral march! The same goes for triplets or quavers;
c) Respect more or less the original speed of the song: if the original is played at 140 bpm, you could play it at 130 or at 150 but if you plkay it at 75 it is a different song
d) Respect some pattern that are essential for the song. Even if you respect the correct resolution of the song, there are certain patters that are integral to the song and should be played as similar as you can to the original: i.e. almost all rock songs are based on quavers so, in theory, you could choose each quavers pattern you prefer to play them but this is not utterly true. I mean if you play Bon Jovi's “Livin on a prayer”, the main pattern is played with palm muted downstroke quavers: if you play alternate picking or don't mute you will obtain a different song

If you respect all the above rules then you could vary a bit the pattern and this will be ok: I mean if the rhythm is 1,2&,3,4 you could exactly play D/du/d/d but you could vary to d/du/d/du or d/d/du/du or d/du/du/du or also go synco and play d/du/u/du or similar and all patterns would be ok.
If you instead change the basic rhythm or speed then you're re-arranging the song, something that it is also good but it is another kettle of fish.

Hope not have been tedious

Cheers

Matteo


   
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(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

Yes Matteo, you are absolutely right. You can't throw all caution to the wind and claim artistic license. :P Using a couple of my favorites as examples too in additions to yours, you cannot use the strumming pattern of My Sweet Lord for Night Moves, and vice versa, nor the pattern for Sundown for those other two songs. But there are passages in those songs where you may not be able to keep the same pattern as the origional artist, and it will still work.

Thanks, that was all a big help to me too. :)

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@raistx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 78
 

a) Respect chord changes: if chords changes are anticipated (very common in rock music) you should play them anticipated, otherwise it is a different song. The same goes for riffs which should be played exactly like they are on the record (you cannot play i.e. Smoke on the water if you change the rhythm of the riff);

Some great tips in this thread.

I'm not sure what Matteo means by "anticipated", can anyone shed some light please?

Thanks,

Raist.


   
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(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
 

hi mate

i'll try to put it in the simplest way: "anticipation" occurs when you change the chord on the upbeat. Let's do an example: imagine to play a 4/4 song, you will count the beats as 1and, 2 and, 3 and, 4and. The first part of the beat (when you say 1) is the downbeat, the second part of the beat (when you count AND) it the upbeat. Chord changes are anticipated when you change them in any upbeat instead of changing them on the beat.
To understand this principle you can try the following exercise which is very helpful: start playing a simple Down and up pattern on whatever chord you like and tap your foot on the beat (you can play alongside a metronome and tap the foot each time there's a click if it easier).
If you do correctly the exercise, you will play a downstrum each time you tap the foot and an upstrum each time you raise your foot. If you also count regurarly 1and, 2 and, 3 and, 4and ecc. you'll see that you say 1 when you tap the foot and play the downstrum, you say AND when you raise your foot and play the upstrum.
So at the end of the day if you tap your foot when play guitar, to anticipate chord changes it simply means to change a chord when your foot is raised! Also in most rock songs whose rhythm is based on quavers if you play with alternate picking, it means to change the chord with an upstrum!

Matteo

p.s. an excellent complimentary exercise is to set your metronome to a tempo you wish (i.e. start at 100) and to tap your foot each time you hear a click. Do this for a few minutes each day and in a week or so you'll be able to tap your foot regurarly with or without any music in the hall


   
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(@raistx)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 78
 

Thanks for the explanation Matteo, very clear.
I think Mr Jones by counting crows uses anticipation.


   
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(@matteo)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
 

ehm i never heard the song so I don't know:-)! A few examples that strikes me to mind

Cat scatch fever (in the the bridge)
most of Iron Maiden and Ac/dc or Kiss songs
Bomber by Motorhead

a lot of others!!

Matteo


   
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(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
 

Thanks for the explanation Matteo, very clear.
I think Mr Jones by counting crows uses anticipation.

hi mate

i managed to listen to the song and i can say that you're right! chord changes are definitely anticipated in that song!

cheers

Matteo


   
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