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How Did You Learn to Play Guitar? (Research Project)

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Starbucks
(@starbucks)
Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Hi there,

Not sure if your survey only applies to seasoned veterans, or anyone and everyone, but I'm a sucker for surveys so even though I've only had a guitar in my hand since early January I'll throw in my two cents. :)

How did you learn to play?
...When, why, where?

Started in January 2010. I changed around some priorities in my life, and it was at that moment I decided that I would learn to play. I've always wanted to, and at 31 years old I figured there is no time better than right now.

Acoustic or Electric? Why?

Acoustic. May learn electric down the road, but I'm a big fan of acoustic rock. Seemed like a natural fit. Plus I'm looking forward to taking my guitar camping, and strumming some tunes around the fire for my friends and family. Can't really do that with electric.

What were your initial challenges?

My left hand. I can strum and keep a pattern relatively well, but chord changes are REALLY awkward. I'm getting better, but sometimes it feels like my left hand just isn't built for this. ;)

At any point did you give up? Howcome?

Not yet, and I am not the kind of person to give up on things that interest me. Quite the contrary, the harder it is, the stronger my resolve.

Were you intimidated to learn?

A bit, but I'm not on any kind of schedule to learn fast, so that makes it a bit less intimidating. It's just so 'different' from anything I've ever done before. I think the fact it's so unfamiliar makes it a little intimidating.

If you knew one thing now that you wish you did when you first began, what would it be?

I'd convince one of my friends to start at the same time so we could play together.

Any previous musical history (family, other instruments, theory)?

Grandfather played guitar casually, wife's uncle was a drummer, roommate fooled around with guitar, keyboards, and electronic music. I attempted to play clarinet in my public school band, but I hated it. That was pretty short-lived.

What sort've aids have you used along the way or do you wish existed?

Garageband for Mac - music lessons and Magic Garageband jam session simulator. Also, this site. :)

How do you feel about video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band?

Never played them (don't have a console gaming system), but they look like a ton of fun. I'm sure I'll give them a shot one day. A lot of my friends have them.

_____________________________________________________________
And I think I like how the day sounds, through this new song. - Greg Laswell


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

He got a good response from the guys at GF, noobs and vets.

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


   
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notes_norton
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

Unusual method for me.

1) Learned music theory and saxophone in school (sat first in the all-state band every year that I was eligible). I actually started on drums, but got bored with the inability to play melody.

2) Played in guitar bands, and learned to double on guitar (mostly barre chords) on those songs that didn't have or couldn't force a sax part. Taught by various guitar players. Also learned keyboards the same way (mostly one-handed on the keys, the other on the synth joystick or wheels)

3) Learned bass to teach the bass player, although he could play, he couldn't learn the lines by ear

4) Played bass when saxes were out of fashion in the psychedelic era

5) Learned flute and wind synthesizer - self taught but they are related to the sax

6) Self taught lead guitar - used MelBay for technique and brought my music theory knowledge along with me to make self-teaching possible.

I've never taken a formal private lesson on guitar, but I had a lot of help in the beginning by other guitar players, and the formal training on sax and music theory helped immensely, after all, it's my seventh instrument.

I don't know how this is going to help your research project -- I guess the category is "other"

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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Fiske
(@fiske)
New Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1
 

It's all relevant. The more you guys wanna go on and on.. the better for me. The littlest bit of information can change the whole view of the project. I'm not sure where it's headed yet, but, like Minotaur said, I've had a lot of response on the GF forum which is all helpful.

Thanks again.


   
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keithkr
(@keithkr)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 21
 

Bought a course called jamorama, and went through that pretty quickly, then just trawled internet for as much info as i could get.
As for music theory, i got the book, idiot's guide to music theory.


   
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BudaRhythmic
(@budarhythmic)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 15
 

How did you learn to play / When, why, where?
~Well, first off, I have played guitar since August of 2006, so I guess that makes it about 3-1/2 years that I've been playing guitar. I had stopped playing saxophone for my high school concert band after my sophomore year of high school. A week before my junior year started, my friend was playing in my living room and I asked him to teach my something. He taught me Good Riddance by Green Day in maybe 15-20 minutes. I picked it up fairly easily so he said I should look into taking lessons. So, I took guitar 1 and 2 for my junior and senior year of high school, and paid for maybe 7-8 total private lessons since then. Besides those formal lessons, I learned a few covers here and there from friends and tab sites. Honestly though I probably learned the most by forming my band and just experimenting. I've figured out a lot from just winging it and playing largely by feel, but I definitely still need more lessons. Until I can afford to pay for them again, though, I'm going to continue teaching myself using all the nifty lessons here on GN :)

Acoustic or Electric? Why?
I wanted to learn initially on Acoustic because I heard that it's more difficult. I figured if I could master the harder of the two first than it would be better in the long run. Both acoustic and electric guitars have a place in music, and I'd like to be able to utilize them both. My first guitar was a junkyard (literally) acoustic yamaha which was soon replaced with a HSN Esteban Acoustic Electric. After that I needed an electric, and for my b-day I got a Hohner TF1 (might have to check the exact model) which was my first electric. It was sweet for a while, but it feels like that guitar was meant for distortion, and the music we ended up making used that only so often. This is why I ended up going with my Jay Turser semi-hollow. It's my baby :)

What were your initial challenges?
Well, strum patterns have always been generally pretty easy for me to figure out. My first challenge was getting my left hand where it needed to be as I strummed. I'm still perfecting that, really, but rather with coordinated picking and such. I've tried singing and playing at the same time (with songs I wrote) but I've since decided that want to focus on my guitar playing and let somebody else belt it.

At any point did you give up? Howcome?
Well, I don't think I ever really gave up, but there was certainly a time when things didn't look so good as far as my band. My drummer had to move out of state (long, complicated story) and my other guitarist got locked up for some really really dumb stuff. I don't hold it against him though, because that, too, was a long and most complicated story. Though the drummer never made it back to the band, me and my other guitarist couldn't let that be the end of things, so we went out and found some more people to jam with and now we're right back on track and better than ever.

Were you intimidated to learn?
I'm not intimidated by learning. I'm intimidated by the amount of practice I need to do, really. I can sit and learn about theory and stuff liek that all I want but I can't make any sense of it unless I practice, and that's where things can get daunting. I'm not a fan of the mundane, so running scales over and over and over again is highly unappealing. In fact I'm still looking for ways to practice my technique without getting bored.

If you knew one thing now that you wish you did when you first began, what would it be?
I wish I had known how much I'd love the guitar when I put it in my hands. I'm at a disadvantage because there are kids my age who have been playing guitar since they were 3-4 years old. I know it's not a race but I hate seeing someone my age rip a disgustingly awesome solo that I probably won't be able to do for another 3-4 years :evil:

Any previous musical history (family, other instruments, theory)?
Nobody in my family plays music, and I already rambled about first playing the sax. To be specific my sax-period lasted from 4th grade until 10th, all in the school band (2nd seat, not like that matters haha). Oh I did forget to mention the theory class I took my senior year, but that's it.

What sort've aids have you used along the way or do you wish existed?
Pretty much the only aids I've used are tabs. It's funny because I was hoping that a place like GN existed and now that I've found it I guess you could consider it that second aid.

How do you feel about video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band?
I think it's actually a pretty decent way to get the basic concept of hand-eye coordination down, minus the strings. I played guitar before I played guitar hero, and I can destroy a song on expert in guitar hero, but trying to make my guitar hero abilities translate onto a real guitar simply wouldn't work lol. They're made for entertainment and they entertain, so I guess they serve their purpose well unless you think it will actually make you able to play a real guitar.


   
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greybeard
(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

Might I suggest that, if you want emails, skype, etc. you give some hint of e-mail address, skype name, etc.........

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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unimogbert
(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 174
 

Check your PM Mason.

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

How did you learn to play? ...When, why, where?

In 1978 (more or less). At school. Guitar was one of the extra activities that you could perform in my school. I liked music, my friends played guitar, it was a good plan. After several years, perhaps three or four years, I gave up the guitar. I got back in 2006.

Acoustic or Electric? Why?

In 1978, classic. Here it is the most usual guitar.

Now, electric and acoustic guitars. I practically never play the classic. I also play an electric bass.

What were your initial challenges?

I guess they were to play songs.

At any point did you give up? Howcome?

Yes. Girls, football (soccer), computers, university...

Were you intimidated to learn?

No. Why?

If you knew one thing now that you wish you did when you first began, what would it be?

Anything. Perhaps I'd like play all these 30 years but I am also happy with my other activities this time. Therefore, anything.

Any previous musical history (family, other instruments, theory)?

I was playing keyboards some time. A friend was teaching me the basics. He also recommended some theory books.

What sort've aids have you used along the way or do you wish existed?

In my first era, books and records. Now, books, records, GuitarNoise forums and articles, YouTube, tabs, midi files... there are a lot of aids now.

How do you feel about video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band?

They are funny. Sometimes I play with my nephews. Recently I am reading that several new members bought his/her first real guitar because they started with Guitar Hero. I think it is positive. Now they are playing real instruments.

Good luck!


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

How did you learn to play?
On my own for awhile and now I take lessons

...When, why, where?

Always liked the instrument and I had messed around with it for a few months when in jr high school but stopped pretty quickly out of boredom. Started up again in my 40's because I finally had some time to devote and the girl that I had dated was in a band, probably thought I could impress her someday...didn't work though.

Acoustic or Electric? Why?

Pretty much electric only don't have much interest in acoustic guitars.
What were your initial challenges?

pretty much the same as they are now making the fingers do what I want them to do.

At any point did you give up? Howcome?

Only in jr high out of boredom, none of my friend were into musical instruments and I wanted to play sports instead

Were you intimidated to learn?

Not really but I still can be imtimidated playing in front of some peopleIf you knew one thing now that you wish you did when you first began, what would it be?

Not sure
Any previous musical history (family, other instruments, theory)?

Zero
What sort've aids have you used along the way or do you wish existed?

Mostly my instructor gave up on most internet tabs etc.
How do you feel about video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band?

Fun games

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


   
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