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Where should I start?

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New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Hi there!
I'm a new member on UG!

I need some help and guideance with my guitar playing.
I play acustic guitar and play folk music. My goal is to learn how to write my own music and play it with inspiration from Tallest man on Earth, Greogory Alan Isakov and Amos Lee among others.

I'm not a beginner I've been playing on and off for a few years but I'm one of those that just know beginings of songs and not complete songs and that has just gone worse to me just picking up the guitarr and start playing something. It usually sounds good and I get cred for it from people I live with and friends visiting and all but I want to learn to play for real, I want to understand what I do and learn how to play proper music.
I know there are tons of information out there and a lot of it about this on this website but I just dont know where to start. My goal is to learn to sing and play my own music. And I want to do i well!

The thing that bugs me the most now is if I should start learn scales, more chords, practice rythems, picking patterns and stuff in DADF#AD (can I use guides for DADGAD and just move my finger when used on the F# up/down? since there are not so much info about DADF#AD as for DADGAD) since I enjoy that sound more than regular tuning. Or is it esier to learn and practice my motor skills for fingermoving, rythems etc in regular tuning and then go over to DADGAD/DADF#AD when I've learnd to write my own music "the right way" and understad how songs and chords are "built"?

It feels like I can do more in regular tuning than in an Open D tuning since I'm not locked to the D chord but that might just be my lack of knowlage.I do however enjoy playing more in a Open D tuning but I feels stupid somehow to learn and Alternate tuning well before the regular.

To sum up things I just dont know where I should put my focus and motivation to learn music. And I'd like to get your help and tips with this, tell me what you think is the best way for me to find my way and home with the guitar. Of course it's stupid to learn regular tuning if I'm going to spend my time in an open D but I dont know what I might need. I just want to be albe to put out the music in my head out from the guitar and I might need both regular and alternate tunings. For now I need to learn how to understand music!

Thanks in Advance!

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1497

Personally, I would think for learning to write music, regular tuning would be a big plus. With open chord tunings, your choices of chords will be somewhat limiting, therefore the composition of your songs will also be limited.

If you don't want to learn regular tuning, I'd recommend piano lessons.

Of course, if you don't mind your songs being limited, that's your choice.

I'd also learn songs from many different artists in many different genres (from blues to folk to rock to country to jazz to classical). The more you have under your fingers, the more will just automatically come from your brain to your hands.

I also recommend that you listen to all genres of music. Each of us has an inborn amount of talent. Listening to things that aren't in your present comfort zone will help develop that talent as you learn to understand different genres of music. And every music that has an audience has something to offer you, from Rap to Symphonic.

I also recommend learning at least basic music theory. While it's better to write songs with the inspiration from your head than it is from a formula, the theory will help you (1) refine the song when you are done to make it better and (2) help you get through a place you might get stuck in.

Of course, the amount of commitment you put into it will depend on how much you want to get out of it. There is more than one right way to play music and to make music.

That's my $0.02 anyway - YMMV

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats >^. .^< >^. .^<

Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 680

1.) Check you strum correctly -I can't tell you how many times I have had students who don't keep their hand moving to the crotchet or quaver beat. You can watch people strumming on youtube to see if you are doing it right.

2.) Learn a whole song - chose something simple with open chords and words that are either easy or you are familiar with.

3.) Learn a set of whole songs - start with a covers set - it will give you more idea how to write a song starting with someone elses.

4.) Experiment learning a song with only open chords.

5.) Learn songs with barre chords

6.) Learn whole songs and cover them

7.) Experimentt using barre chords in your own songs

together we stand, divided we fall..........