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Old 09-09-2010, 04:59 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Originally Posted by uncle_w View Post
I agree. The other most important aspect is practice, practice, practice.
This gets said a lot, and it is true - however...

...the practice, practice, practice would be not very useful (i.e. just putting in the time or going through the motions) unless it was directed with the person's musical goals in mind. Without that direction, there is a lot of floundering that can result in wasted time that can be measured in...YEARS.

To me, the direction starts with the ability to state what it is a person wants to accomplish, such as "I want to learn to accompany myself singing in a style generally along the lines of <insert name of performer here>", or I want to learn to arrange and play tunes like Chet Atkins", or "I want to learn to play chord melody like Joe Pass", or ...

Then, the person can begin to ask directed questions about what various means people have successfully used to achieve the stated goal. Various people learn in various different ways. For some a "live" teacher is best. For others, YouTube videos are enough to get that person going. Others can get their information from books or DVDs. Usually, a combination of approaches will be suitable for a given person, and the "trick" is to experiment to find what will work best for that person's unique needs and learning style, and lifestyle.

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Old 09-09-2010, 09:13 PM
lessonsthatrock lessonsthatrock is offline
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Having a bad experience can easily make you shy away from doing what you love. Try and work on getting past that by getting involved in group music lessons, learning a different instrument, or making really small goals. Unfortunately the world is filled with terrible teachers - some with degrees (My Spanish Professor), but you have to learn to work around someone else's imperfections. It's the same way when you actually get to play music with other people, you have to work with other people's imperfections.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:27 PM
uncle_w uncle_w is offline
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Originally Posted by lessonsthatrock View Post
Having a bad experience can easily make you shy away from doing what you love.
Very true. Ten years ago I took lessons from and bought an electric and acoustic guitar from my neighbor who plays professionally. I wanted to play "Little Wing" even though he suggested I start with more basic songs first so I agreed to practice the basics but stumbled over the first couple of bars of "Little Wing" and within a year gave up playing in frustration.

Five years ago I started to just strum chords again and along with YouTube haven't looked back. I now can't wait to come home and practice classical pieces I'm learning along with a lot of blues that I've always loved listening to. I feel it's key to start with pieces that are within your skill levels that you love listening to as well.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:13 AM
billder99 billder99 is offline
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Here is how I learned to play, without a "live" teacher, and using fun songs that I want to play.

You need a couple of good resources for a variety of songs. Then you need someone to show you how to play them (video!). You definitely need to learn all of the open chords (A-G, major, minor, 7th), and there are lots of You Tube lessons for learning to play chords. Here some some of the best free resources I have found (if you use them, you should donate money for the great service they provide): Some excellent basic video lessons, and he shows you exactly how to play a bunch of great songs. Rob at Heartwood makes learning easy and fun, lots of songs on his Chord Charts page... DEFINITELY subscribe to his strumming pattern videos... this will get you started.

Just these two resources are enough for ANYONE to get started, but these are not any good unless you play, play, play... one hour a day, rain or shine... no excuses. (Notice that I don't say "practice"... this is PLAY time, have fun with it)

CHORDS & STRUMMING: Start with just one song, but don't worry about being perfect (that comes with time... you may have to practice a simple song for 6 months or a year to play it well enough that you will be comfortable playing it in front of people). Once you can play all of the chords SLOWLY, pick another song that adds another one or two chords. Keep doing this with an initial goal of starting one new song every 2 weeks.

GOALS: If you do this for 6 months and play every day, you will be able to get to 15-20 chords reasonably well, and you will be learning some reasonable strumming rhythm. After one year, you will be able to play 30-40 chords and 10 songs in front of people. This is a great beginning goal for Real Year #1.

TECHNIQUE: The most important thing... you will want to play at the real speed of a song... don't do it! You need to first learn to play slowly and in time... focus on accuracy and relaxation, earn your speed through lots of repetition. You have to go slow first in order to ever have a chance of going fast!

If you can discipline yourself to play daily for one year, you will learn 10 songs you can play well, you will have another 10 you are still working on, and you have a chance of becoming reasonably good in a few more years if you keep at it.

Now, no more excuses... play
The Tree: I was alive in the forest, I was cut by the cruel axe. In life I was silent, In death I sweetly sing.

Now back living in Baja Sur where I started my carbon fiber journey... Bend OR was too cold!

Last edited by billder99; 12-28-2010 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:55 AM
srderby srderby is offline
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Im in the same situation. I've been "playing" about three years now. I took lessons at first but had an awful instructor who just didnt connect with me...he just seemed to go through the motions. I bought a one year subscription to Next Level Guitar and have made some great progress. Its great to be able to skip around and go back over lessons. For Christmas my wife bought me their complete set of dvd song lessons and that is really helping. My difficulty now is finding the right songs for my vocal range so I can try to put it all together.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:26 AM
jasperguitar jasperguitar is offline
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I read this once, read it again .. and then started to think I did not get it.

If you can play a C, F, G, to G7 ... You know about a thousand songs.

Am I missing something?

Do you mean you do not know the finger patterns, or special strumming or

I'm going to learn a song today..

Chords are C, Amin to F, then G .. nothing special..

Little memory on the bridge..

Oh.. and I am not very good..

If I take out my sing along book and read the music I could play song after
song all day..

So.. I'm not sure what this posting means
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:14 PM
HojoKing HojoKing is offline
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TC, I feel your pain and I'm in the same boat. Hopefully, things will change for me in 2011 b/c I plan to play it more frequent.
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