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Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 60

I thought id put in my 2 cents, even though ive only being playing about 2 years and just bought my first guitar. (as opposed to using a hand-me-down i found lying around the house)

The first post in this thread stated that pesistence and determination are paramount. It said the world is full of unsuccessful men who are talented, I completely agree but I wanted to add, perhaps the only thing more common is successful men who are unhappy. So enjoy your playing and dont put too much pressure on yourself!

The other thing is to do with songwriting and inspiration. 90% of having an song idea is actually getting something down. When i first started song writing I wouldnt actually write something down until I got the 'perfect' idea. It wasnt until I started writing down all my ideas and trying to make songs regardless that I found that it was often the throwaway ideas that i had on some idle tuesday for whatever reason turned into good songs and the 'really good' ideas that ive had im still battling to turn into something.

I suppose, I could add to all this, its never too early to start writing your own songs. Even if your not that technically profeicient its your song and it will improve as you improve. Think of other peoples songs you play; if you can play it, technically, you could have wrote it! So dont wait until your a 'good' guitarist to start writing. (Keep in mind Ive never met a guitarist, no matter how experienced, who thinks they are 'good') so if you have that attitude you'll never start!

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 518

One of the neat things I've noticed , After years of playing too hard is that when I relax, things are MUCH easier and more fluid! For years I would really let the tension in my hands get really high. After a very short while, my hands would cramp up and the playing would end up like work, NOT fun or conducive to creativity. What I realised is that I spent too many years working the the guitar and not PLAYING the guitar. This, like many easy concepts, can be a little hard to grasp! Sorta vague but if you can grasp this it will probabily end up being one of those concept that have far-reaching effects in just about every aspect of your life, not just your playing! I went to playing power chords for 2 to 3 mins, hand cramping to actually being able to play complete songs in a very short period of time. And enjoying it! Do some warm-up exercises, some thing short but slightly challenging, (scales or chord changes) to loosen up your hand and get it ready to do some work. Pick some thing you CAN'T play and try to do it with a relaxed mind, don't worry about speed, and try to do it comfortantly and accurately, do this every time you play and all of a sudden, in a shorter period of time that you will realise, that you can play "That Impossible Piece". Hmm.... it only took me 30+yrs to figure this out! Look to any kind of music that inspires you, Me being a Blues hack :roll: , found a really cool song called "Take Five", a jazz tune by Dave Brubeck, that is actually a pretty good exercise in picking speed that is pretty easy to figure out but is fun and challenging, it also opened up another world that all the "Expert Players" told me that was way too challenging for an old rock and roller like me. Imagine the looks I got when I walked into the music store, "tryed out" a guitar with this tune, and swept up the jaws off the floor! (The owner of this shop is a local jazz legend! Always gave me dirty looks when I asked him for an amp with a little distortion, he told me to go somewhere else!) Priceless! That alone was worth a little work, aided by just being able to relax and let the music flow out instead of forcing it. I'm not saying that I can play jazz, far from it, I know that it takes a massive amount of dedication to just get competent in that genre, but now I feel that the stuff I want to play just got a lot easier... Enjoy what you do, if you don't, you're probabily doing it wrong, and relax, its supposed to be fun!

Really great thread, should be required reading!

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming......
like the passengers in his car.

Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 63

Man o Man alot of good things already covered in this thread..
what i will suggest is the feet baby.. get that internal metronome goin, your body has rythem always had.. look at steve martin in the jerk.. he just had to find it in the right context... but keep that foot or feet tapping.. it will take a bit to get it goin on time.. but when you do .. the music will come from your being, you will feel the pauses in music flow.. not the dreaded waiting to come back in on time and then fudge it or hit it but lose the confidence because or your mind questioning yourself... timing man... best to find ity in yourself, and play with others can teach you things no teacher can teach.
play with anyone play often and play whilst playing


New Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1

help. I really don't understand this. I got some tab books that require alternative tunings, i.e. drop d tuning, and others where im supposed to tune all strings down half a step. I have 2 electric tuners, 1 dedicated, the other in an effects ped. neither say how to do this in their instructions. can anyone please shed some light on this subject.... thanks

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1157

Are your tuners chromatic? That is do they show all the notes from A to G with flats or sharps? Or just guitar specific notes like EADGBe?

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

Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 24

Playing two months so very much a novice but what i've learned for what its worth is to try and not to let it all overwhelm you (easier said than done I know)


it's all about practise,patience and persistence

And when all is said and done,ENJOY!!

Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 938

Ah yes the three P's.

As long as you keep that in mind throughout your journey you won't go far wrong. It can be tough at times but it's worth the effort in the end.

Enjoy your music.


EDIT: Welcome to GN by the way. Look forward to seeing you round the boards. :)

I've had a lot of sobering thoughts in my time.
It was them that turned me to drink.

Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 24

Cheers Chuckster. The forum has been very helpful since i found it.

Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6

Learn songs by ear: not only does this help develope your ear, your guitar skills, you learn to re-create how someone else has played it. Music is a language learn it from people that can speak it and enguff yourself in it.

Music should be fun; Always remember why you wanted to make music in the first place, because you love it! That will always keep you coming back to your instument and enjoying it! Free Guitar Video Lessons - Just Opened!

Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 103

playing a couple of months--

What I have learned so far is that people who have smaller hands can get really frustrated with bar chords on a big ass acoustic guitar neck, especially after the fourth fret.

this tends to lead to a temporary chronic case of turrets syndrome, where one can be heard blurting absolutely random expletives audible from 1500 yards :shock: :?


Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3636

What I've learned is that you are NEVER done learning.

Everytime I pick up a guitar I learn something new.

What I've treasured the most is the fact that I can actually play music now. (being a drummer, that's huge) :D


"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"

Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 47

Wow what a great thread. I signed up here a long while ago and completely forgot that I had :oops: stumbled back across the place when looking through my favourites the other day and saw this thread. Just finished reading hte whole thing and feel completely inspired.

I've been playing about a year but haven't progressed as far as I should have. I stopped playing for a couple of months and that really set me back, and my practice has been a bit hit and miss. Over the last month or so though I have really started getting back into it and the inspiration is back in force. I hate being at work cos I can't pick up my guitar.

I've learned a few things in the last year, about playing the guitar and also about myself, I think the guitar can teach you almost as much about you as it can about itself. A lot of the key things i've learned though have been covered in this thread so I wont go over to much covered ground.

One thing that really stands out for me though is not to get stagnated playing/practicing the same thing to much. I am teaching myself from a book and have caught myself spending far to much time on one chapeter/lesson. I lose motivation and make little forward progress. It is only when have then said right i'm just going to try something from the next chapter, or from the other book I have lying around, that I take a setp forward, my desire sparkles again and then when I go back to the chapter I had spent so long on it seems that much easier, and more enjoyable.

In contrast to the above though, don't make the other mistake I made, and still have a tendancy to make. Don't try too many different things. I have found myself with 2 books and about 10 different lessons printed from the interent in front of me, and as a result end up not properly learning anything, but just hopping from one to the next.

I think the key is finding the balance of variety, to stop yourself becomming stuck in a rut, and continuity to make sure you actually learn and move forward with direction.

The biggest and most simple tips though are patience and enjoy it. If you rush you will get nowhere, if you don't enjoy then, well what are you doing, you may as well be at work.

Thanks again for an excellent thread. I wont forget about this place again now, i'll be hanging around this time :D

Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184

trust your hands. theyll surprise you.

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3709

OK, for me it's 10,950 days ...... give or take.

1) As Pete Townsend said .... In your hand you hold your only friend never spend your guitar or your pen

2) Tune up to pitch, not down

3) Finger picking is more fun for guitarists than diabetics

4) Don't listen to anyone that tells you you can't do it .... you can

5) Hard wood and brass nuts are good .. Lemmy is god (note the small "g" don't want to be blasphemous)

6) Buy a tuner, it's worth it

7) Looking cool holding your guitar is only cool after you learn how to play it

8 ) Girls can play guitar just as good as guys, many just don't chose to

9) Guitar playing is not a contest. I don't care how fast you are, if I have more fun than you playing I win

10) You can make a guitar out of a toilet seat

11) Brand names are nice, but they don't make equipment sound good

12) Hanging your strap low makes you look cool and gives you carpal tunnel

13) Tone is in your fingers, not your gear

14) The only rule is that there are no rules

15) And what Frank Zappa said ... shut up and play your guitar

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

I only made it through eight pages or so to see if this had been said before:

1. Clapton, Dimeola, Santana, etc etc. What do they all have in common? They all sucked once. They all had trouble forming barre chords.
2. Get a stand or a hanger and leave a guitar out. You'll play more often that way.
3. Think seriously about getting a beater acoustic, even if you want to play electric. They are easier to just pick up and play, they strengthen your fingers, they force you to play cleanly, they can go anywhere.
4. I had a bunch of songs I always wanted to play and never dreamed I ever could. Now I can. You can play any song you want to.
5. The objective isn't to be great, it's to have a great time. If you need to be great to do that, that's okay too.
6. Don't get caught with a $3000 guitar and $300 fingers. The magic isn't in the equipment it's in your fingers.
7. A corollary of #6: $3000 of guitar lessons will make you an infinitely better player than a $3000 guitar. Seriously.
8. Get quality cables.
9. Share your music.
10. Play out, encourage others, never belittle anyone's abilities, teach whenever you can, learn whenever you can.

Life's short, play often

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