The learning to play for real thread

Christian 71

Distinguished Member
Started lessons yesterday with a new local instructor. Seems really good so far.

My last instructor wasn’t interested In grades but this guy says he loves doing them as its so much easier to structure learning. This guy is a local gypsy jazz player and much more into technique reminds me of my first tutor. Instantly took me back to basics and was very polite but pointed out we have a lot of work 😂😂😂

He was impressed with my playing, but wants me to focus on relaxing as he says there is far to much tension in the way I play which is slowing me down and impacting progress. It cracked me up when he said I played a piece faultlessly regardless of the strange fingering and picking technique. He seems to know what he is doing as he gave me some simple exercises which instantly showed me what I was doing wrong. A lot of it seems to be right hand which I kind of knew already, but he said instead of sorting I’ve learned to compensate by using economy picking rather than focusing on the source of the problem. Saying that he was impressed how naturally I was economy picking so not all bad.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Lick Library are currently having a 50% off sale of their video lessons if anyone needs something to do while stuck at home.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
I'm "working from home" from Monday so I may have a look. I've heard of the site, but not checked it out, are they any good?
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
I've never used it either. Saw it advertised on FB, they seem to have plenty of content, a lot of full albums too.

The ones I looked at seemed to run for around two hours, you can stream or get a DVD, so I'm not sure how in depth you can go with say, an album of 10 songs in 2 hours? What's that maybe 10 minutes or so a song?

I watched the trailer for Led Zepelin IV, it should you the guy playing a part, then he showed you the same thing but told you what he was fretting. There wasn't any indication of slowed down versions of what he was showing.

He also said he'd show you how to tackle the multiple guitar parts with one guitar, also how to play mandolin parts on guitar. One of the songs on that album is Stairway, I'm not sure how you could teach that all the way through, including the solo, in around 10 minutes.

That one one was £12.50 (normally £25), I imagine the rest are similarly priced.
 

Christian 71

Distinguished Member
Fender play is also on offer too, free for 3 months. Looked recently and didn’t excite me more aimed at beginners.

YouTube has so much content I just feel these courses don’t have enough to offer in comparison to say Marty Music, especially when you consider JustinGuitar has a whole infrastructure ie vids, books, course, forums....although if YouTube started allowing vids to be moved behind a subscription paywall I wonder if things could change quickly.

Be interesting to see what impact the corona virus will have on guitar as we may see a lot more people picking dusting of their old forgotten guitars out of boredom. God knows there must be enough hidden away in lofts and back rooms. Equally if people are short of cash and there is a recession guitar prices could fall off a cliff people need cash quickly.
 

Saldawop

Distinguished Member
I bought a couple of guitars a few years ago. Why, I don't know, as I can't play 🙄
Any way, did sell one a couple of weeks ago, which I now regret. Have started trying to learn again. Can anyone recommend some exercises I can do to try to improve. I keep looking at YouTube videos, but I'm jumping from one thing to another
I know a few chords, A, Am, C, D, Dm, E, Em, G. Though I struggle to change cleanly between them, even slowly.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Can anyone recommend some exercises I can do to try to improve.
Practice, practice & more practice! But don't overdo it. :)


I strongly suggest you pick one site/channel & stick with it. Can't go wrong with Justin really.

Might sound odd but try practising chord changes in the dark. What you're trying to do is build up muscle memory so you're fingers just go where they're meant to without looking. Depriving yourself of sight might help with that.

@nero0410 put together this list of resources but as I said, it's really best to stick with one rather than keep jumping around. Especially when it's to avoid something you're finding tricky! OK as a distraction but the tricky thing needs to be tackled rather than skipped.

 
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Christian 71

Distinguished Member
Not for everyone but the Rockschool (RSL) graded books are a good way to go if you need focus and want to see some progression. You also get the satisfaction when you pass that is a proper qualification.

A good guitar teacher is the best way to learn, if nothing else just having someone who you see on a regular basis and encourages you makes a real difference
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Easier said than done in the current circumstances though :D

My teacher had started doing online lessons temporarily now. Got my first one on Wednesday. Never used Skype or Zoom before, downloaded them both to my iPad so I’ll see how it goes.
 

Gingerbeard

Active Member
Hey guys, I have always wanted to learn to play an instrument and have a yearning to learn the acoustic guitar and piano. I figured acoustic guitar is more accessible right now so wanted to know what’s the best guitar for a beginner to learn on and where to buy one from online. Is it also worth buying a spare set of strings and would i need anything else for tuning etc. Please bare in mind I have not picked up an instrument since school, some 30 years ago. I have not read much of this thread, because there is much but I have see Justin / Fender and other sites are recommended for tuition etc.

Many thanks

Gingerbeard :)
 

Christian 71

Distinguished Member
Most of us on here are in our more mature years and have learned and honestly there has never been a better time to learn any instrument. Really all you need is access to Youtube to get you started.

If you can sing then I would approach both instruments differently as really all you need to do is learn a few chords and you can start to play along both on guitar and piano. If you can't sing and are not into classical/jazz then I'd go electric guitar as it's just a lot more fun and much easier on the fingers.

Buying a guitar is hard to recommend as everyone is different. There are plenty of great/cheap guitars around and not as many bad guitars as there used to be. Even sub £100 chinese guitars can be pretty playable now and there are some immaculate guitars on Ebay/gumtree that people have played twice and lost interest. My daughter's favourite acoustic guitar cost me 10 quid off gumtree and she plays it more than the 350 quid fender strat she has. Buying new most people will recommend a local guitar shop (pre-lockdown) as there is less chance of buying a lemon than used or online. You can try, hear and see the guitar which counts for a lot, but generally everyone replaces their first sub £200 quid guitar fairly quickly as the sweet spot is £300-700 now. Buying a big brand like fender can be safest for resale and quality, but I've seen so many good reviews for Thomann's own brand guitars now I would certainly check out a few reviews. Youtube and Music Radar have so many reviews it's pretty easy to figure out what is worth buying and what is over priced.

Justin Guitar is an obvious starting place and the fender sites look pretty good when I looked recently. Obviously Rocksmith on a console or PC/Mac is worth getting hold of as it's a great learning tool and you get real time feedback and it's just a lot of fun.
 

Gingerbeard

Active Member
Most of us on here are in our more mature years and have learned and honestly there has never been a better time to learn any instrument. Really all you need is access to Youtube to get you started.

If you can sing then I would approach both instruments differently as really all you need to do is learn a few chords and you can start to play along both on guitar and piano. If you can't sing and are not into classical/jazz then I'd go electric guitar as it's just a lot more fun and much easier on the fingers.

Buying a guitar is hard to recommend as everyone is different. There are plenty of great/cheap guitars around and not as many bad guitars as there used to be. Even sub £100 chinese guitars can be pretty playable now and there are some immaculate guitars on Ebay/gumtree that people have played twice and lost interest. My daughter's favourite acoustic guitar cost me 10 quid off gumtree and she plays it more than the 350 quid fender strat she has. Buying new most people will recommend a local guitar shop (pre-lockdown) as there is less chance of buying a lemon than used or online. You can try, hear and see the guitar which counts for a lot, but generally everyone replaces their first sub £200 quid guitar fairly quickly as the sweet spot is £300-700 now. Buying a big brand like fender can be safest for resale and quality, but I've seen so many good reviews for Thomann's own brand guitars now I would certainly check out a few reviews. Youtube and Music Radar have so many reviews it's pretty easy to figure out what is worth buying and what is over priced.

Justin Guitar is an obvious starting place and the fender sites look pretty good when I looked recently. Obviously Rocksmith on a console or PC/Mac is worth getting hold of as it's a great learning tool and you get real time feedback and it's just a lot of fun.
Thanks for the detailed reply, it’s much appreciated. As I’ll be starting out I don’t want to be spending a lot on a first guitar, somewhere between 100-200 at the most, preferably less! What are the pitfalls to look out for, so I don’t buy a lemon, or is it hard to tell without seeing it first

Singing wise, I’m not sure to be honest as I’ve never really tried, other than a bit of drunken karaoke :D although I don't recall it sounding being great:rotfl:
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Under normal circumstances, best advice is go to a shop, pick up a few and see which one speaks to you or just feels comfortable. Unfortunately, not really possible at the moment.

Best you can do is find a few in your price range and see which one looks best to you, maybe post links here and some of the more knowledgeable people will be able to say yay or nay.

If you’re anything like me, when I started I doubt I’d be able to tell the difference between an Argos special and a £2000 Gibson:laugh:

Whatever you pick, no matter how expensive the guitar, it’s going to hurt and be very frustrating.

These guys on here are a great support group, always somebody on hand to offer encouragement or answer “stupid” questions. There are no stupid questions, we all started somewhere, even after 9 years, I still have things that I don’t understand. Someone here cane usually come up with the answer though.
 

Habanero

Well-known Member
I’d suggest to avoid buying a classical guitar ie nylon strung. I tried to learn on one as a kid and it was so bad I gave up. A few years later I bought a cheap secondhand electric and never looked back.
 

Christian 71

Distinguished Member
If you just want a cheap electric kit to dip your two in, then something like this will do it

You could set some money aside to buy a decent used multifx to board to supplement the cheap amp, something like this.

It would be good enough for getting you started and then you could replace the guitar and Amp with something better down the line.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Not sure if it’s already been mentioned, but until the 20th, you can get three months free Fender Play

 

nero0410

Distinguished Member
If you're looking at an acoustic, the Tanglewood Crossroads series are simply amazing value for the price:

An electric is going to be easier on the fingers with much thinner strings.. but if you know you definitely want an acoustic, grab a tanglewood and some elixir custom lights and pay for a set up to a low action.. they'll fit the strings with the setup and away you go :)

As for who to learn from, @RBZ5416 mentioned my post.. Justin or Andy are both very popular and very good. I chose to stick with Andy as he explained things in a way my dumb ass brain understands, I 'gelled' with him the most, so just kept with him.

Justin is also great, so if you get on with him better go for it!

....Then there's also us, any questions, just ask.

On a side note, Justin has been pumping out an updated Beginners course here:

..whilst it looks like Andy's been pumping out some songs here:

They've both been busy uploading new content in the past couple of months or so.. so plenty to keep you going :D
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Signed up for the Fender Play thing the other day. Don’t ask for payment details or anything, just an email address, so you don’t have to worry about cancelling after 3 months, you just lose access unless you start paying.

Thought I’d start at the beginning, which is obviously very basic, perfect for a beginner. Blasted through the first tier and am carrying on with the second tier. Haven’t tried any songs yet, but there seem to be plenty on there.

All very polished, as you’d expect from Fender.

Well worth signing up, even if you only use it for the 3 free months, which is all I’ll do.
 

Hugh

Distinguished Member
Will give it a shot, then. I always sign up for stuff, don't use, forget and end up paying for a month or two at full price before I realise. Not so much of a bargain when that happens. :rotfl:

Thanks.

Edit: Bugger. Tried to sign up and it says I already have an account. Trial is only for new accounts.

Guess I must have signed up for the free trial at some point in the past and never used it then either. :rotfl:

Maybe I can try again with another email address. ;)
 
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Goooner

Distinguished Member
I did the same with Guitar Tricks, which is actually pretty good. Used it solidly for a month or so, then rarely, but never got around to cancel it for about a year :laugh:
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
I actually signed up for it at the weekend. I haven't tried it yet, but will try and make an effort to.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Broke a string playing my LP just now (first time I ever remember breaking a string while playing).

It’s strung with 9s, typically I’ve got a couple of packs of 10s in reserve, but of course no 9s and all the shops are shut :)

How much of an issue is it likely to be at all, if at all, would it be if I put 10s on it? I know you’re supposed to set up again if you change string gauge aren’t you?

I’ve ordered some more off Amazon, but they’ll take a week to arrive. Should I wait or will 10s be ok without changing anything else?
 

Hugh

Distinguished Member
You've only got one guitar? :rotfl:



I doubt it would make a difference. Surprised the LP isn't shod with 10s as standard. Might be a little tight in the nut if it's cut for 9s. May drop out of tune in an instant as strings slip in the nut. Lube with nut sauce or graphite.

Edit : personally, I'd wait and just use another guitar for now. Wouldn't want to wear the nut groove with a fatter string. A proper guitarist will be along soon with good advice. :D
 

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