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Very Excited Newb

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Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 4
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Hello All,

I wanted to share this with you all:

I decided I wanted to learn to play the guitar two weeks ago and went to a second hand store and bought a $50 Mavis MF-500 (I live in Japan BTW). After about ten days I had progressed learning chords but could not seem to fret them still with out a lot of effort (I went from med guage to light to extra light) and that was greatly affecting switching between chords. After much reading, mostly from GN articles and forms, I realized I maybe should have researched a little first before purchasing my first guitar.

So today me and the wife (she's Japanese) went of to a couple of stores. The first place we went had an OK selection of my price range acoustics; about $500. I test drove a few and immediately noticed the difference in fretting and my wrist did not have the tendency to want to bend as much on the 6th and 5th strings. The only problem was that my wife did not really have a clue on how to translate what questions I may have so we left that store and went to another near by.

We got to #2 and there was a white guy looking at guitars so I took a gamble and assumed he spoke Engish. I asked him for suggestions on begginers guitars and pointed a few out to me within my price range. I was eyeing a few when I caught one of the clerks and asked if I could try out the Seagull S6 Slim. The clerk started talking to my wife about the guitar (I do understand some japanese) and I was able to pick up on a few things. Once I got that guitar in my hands it was all over; I didn't even try out any of the other guitars (I know I committed a sin but hey...).

Needless to say I had a very productive pratice session when I got home. This guitar has increased my motivation by ten-fold. I hope I can focus at work tomorrow.

OK, here's my practice plan I would like to run by you guy and gals to see if I'm structuring this well. I have yet to learn a song; I piddle around with a few single note songs. But I'm rip, roaring, and ready to go.

My plan:

Warm up exercises- 5 mins
Chord Change A>D>A>E>A- 20 mins
Strumming Exercise- 20 mins
Practice "A Horse with No Name"- 30 mins
Learn to fret G chord- 15 mins

I may not be able to get all of that in in one sitting but that's my plan.

Should I do this for a couple of days and then switch to a different plan or stick with it until I've nailed it all? I appreciate the support.


Reputable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 267


I'm not very familiar with Seagull, but from what I hear they make good guitars, and it sounds like you're getting on well with yours which is pretty much the most important thing. Lesson plan wise, I'm not a guitar teacher (there are some very good ones on here though), but I think this sounds pretty sensible to start out. Depends exactly where you are of course, e.g. if you're happy with the A, D and E individually and those changes then mixing them together like that is the next step.
A great resource are David's podcasts, (they're listed in reverse order, so start at the bottom of page 3 and work back). Once you think you're happy with A Horse With No Name maybe give them a go. Some of the early material may even seem a bit basic, the working up tempo and adding in variations are valuable and give you a bit of a challenge (when I started out I often ended up repeating bits of them many times to get things right).
Best of luck for your journey. :)

Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 52

Good job on the Seagull! I Luv Mine!! :D

Honorable Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 484

Oh so many nice guitars to be had in japan on the cheap, especially acoustics. I've got to get back there some time, I miss being the tallest person on the island (I'm only 6'1"). Here's my advice,mind you I've never practiced playing guitar; Play it. Watch some videos, try some chords, strum some weirdo noises while you watch cowboy bebop, listen to Ry Cooder albums and try to mimic his stuff (oh! Japanese Bootleg Albums, I'm getting envious now) Do whatever you feel like doing to keep yourself interested and open. If you start getting all regimental you'll get board and stop or worse... you wont stop and you'll become a boring musician. If you were that regimental you wouldn't have waited this long to pick up the guitar, you don't just hear the Beatles for the first time two weeks ago did you? Worry more about getting your hands to cooperate with each other and getting your mojo rhythm flowing - then worry about making the right noises. Guitar teachers might tell you otherwise. But hey, that's their livelihood. If your appendix could talk it would say that it's an import organ and you should chew your food better. Truth is, appendix's kill tons of people and so do guitar teachers really. Well, not really. But you know what I mean.
So work on preparing your brain to be awesome, visualization is so important, try playing three or four notes over and over different ways, try patterns, anything, do windmills nobody does windmills any more, you'll be surprised and by that I mean possibly horrified. But it should be fun and learning what the notes sound like and learning how to consistently make pleasant noises really is what its all about. Sorry, Hokey Pokey.
I invented every chord I have ever played only to find out some one else beat me to it by an eon, but I constructed them based on what I wanted to hear. There is an advantage to playing what will sound good over playing what is prudent.
By the way, if you could: Please buy all the Boss CE1's, Ibanez Wh10's and Digitech Space stations you can get your hands on and mail them to me. We'll split the profits 20/30.