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  #1  
Old 05-18-2010, 02:57 AM
daza152 daza152 is offline
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Default What To Do When You Can Play All The Open Chords?

Hi Where did you go from there? start playing some songs using those chords or learn the finger picking style? learn your barre chords? learn different genre songs? or all of the above I am kinda just in limbo and looking for some direction, as you all know I have been asking alot of The Blues questions and am moving towards that way more....is there alot of finger-style playing with the blues? I saw an amazing video clip of old big bill Bronzy playing Hey Hey and it was brilliant.........Thanks guys.

Daza.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2010, 05:13 AM
MisterZeus MisterZeus is offline
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Might I suggest that you find a guitar instructor?
Like you I learned open chords and hit a wall as to where to go with them.

Now that I have an instructor (who has taught various fretted instruments for 30+ years) I have all kinds of direction. Some direction is aimed at where I am at now and other for where I need to stretch to.

An (good) instructor gives structure and motivation to move beyond a comfort zone.

I am light-years beyond where I would have been if I just kept on my own. I have been taking 1/2 hours lessons weekly since January. While it's not cheap @$20 per lesson, it's the price of making progress. Without the money spent on lessons I would still be strumming empty chord patterns, not playing the guitar.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:44 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Play inversions up the neck? Lean same chords barre style in the E and A form?

I'm no expert but learning barre chords in the E and A forms were a boost to my fun when I returned to playing. The Randy's site has a good graphic to save and print.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:42 AM
rhancox rhancox is offline
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I've been playing for over 30 yrs. I learned a bunch of the open chords and a ton of songs in my first year or two. Never took any lessons, just slowly learned new things as I continued to explore the guitar over the years.

I would also suggest to learn to play those same open chords in their various forms up and down the fretboard. You'll be amazed at what else you can play and you haven't really learned any "new" chords.

Check out YouTube for some instructional videos. Sometimes just a little tidbit of information will open up a world of possibilities.

Lessons are good too, but I must say, if you're not motivated enough on your own to play guitar, maybe it's time to take up another activity. Just sayin'.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:12 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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I find it impossible to pursue learning a musical instrument for more than a few days or weeks without being able to play some kind of song. If you can put together something musical from the chords you know, then pick a tune and go for it. If not, then I suppose some rudimentary fingerstyle might be in order but I wouldn't go off and "learn the fingerpicking style" in lieu of learning a couple tunes.

Do whatever you think you can do to start making music.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:03 AM
RevGeo RevGeo is offline
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Okay, now you know how to finger your open chords and change between any of them in beat, right? Great! Now learn a bunch of songs using them to learn how chord progressions work.
I totally agree with Mister Zeus as far as getting an instructor.
If you don't want to go to a teacher I really, really, really recommend you check out Stefan Grossman's stuff if you want to learn how to play acoustic blues. A great place to start is his 'Fingerpicking Guitar Techniques', available as either a DVD or book/CD set. Personally I like the book/CD format because he goes really slowly, one bar or phrase at a time - "Put your index finger on the first string at the 3rd fret, now your middle finger on the second string at the first fret.." etc. He makes it as easy as possible.
Others really like the DVD format since they can see what the instructor is doing.
One thing cool about learning this way is that you can take it at your own pace. You can go back to any part of the lesson a gazillion times if you need to and the instructor never gets pissed.

You've worked really hard to get your skills to where they are today. Now is the time to take advantage of all the really great instruction available on line and in CD and DVD form. Or from a live teacher.

I can only speak for myself, but - after 40+ years of playing guitar - if I could do it all over again I would definitely get all the instruction I could. I spent years and years figuring out how things really worked and wasted a lot of time when I could have had the answers to my questions if I had just known who to ask, or went to the trouble to find someone to show me.
Nowadays beginners and intermediate players have fabulous opportunities to learn from world-class players in whatever style or genre interests them.

Daza, if you really want to learn how to play acoustic blues the right way do yourself a favor and and sashay over to www.guitarvideos.com and spend some time getting familiar with the stuff available. You won't regret it.
And, no, I don't work for Grossman. He sure has worked for me....

Rev George
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:11 AM
BULLSPRIG BULLSPRIG is offline
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In the interim, try lifting certain fingers off the chords you know. If its an A chord, lift off the G string. If its an E chord, lift off the D string. You might discover your passion (the blues) opens up new windows when you try this. A lot of blues chords are constructed in this manner.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:58 PM
daza152 daza152 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imwjl View Post
Play inversions up the neck? Lean same chords barre style in the E and A form?

I'm no expert but learning barre chords in the E and A forms were a boost to my fun when I returned to playing. The Randy's site has a good graphic to save and print.
Thanks will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhancox View Post
I've been playing for over 30 yrs. I learned a bunch of the open chords and a ton of songs in my first year or two. Never took any lessons, just slowly learned new things as I continued to explore the guitar over the years.

I would also suggest to learn to play those same open chords in their various forms up and down the fretboard. You'll be amazed at what else you can play and you haven't really learned any "new" chords.

Check out YouTube for some instructional videos. Sometimes just a little tidbit of information will open up a world of possibilities.

Lessons are good too, but I must say, if you're not motivated enough on your own to play guitar, maybe it's time to take up another activity. Just sayin'.
Good tips will try doing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
I find it impossible to pursue learning a musical instrument for more than a few days or weeks without being able to play some kind of song. If you can put together something musical from the chords you know, then pick a tune and go for it. If not, then I suppose some rudimentary fingerstyle might be in order but I wouldn't go off and "learn the fingerpicking style" in lieu of learning a couple tunes.

Do whatever you think you can do to start making music.
Thanks good advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevGeo View Post
Okay, now you know how to finger your open chords and change between any of them in beat, right? Great! Now learn a bunch of songs using them to learn how chord progressions work.
I totally agree with Mister Zeus as far as getting an instructor.
If you don't want to go to a teacher I really, really, really recommend you check out Stefan Grossman's stuff if you want to learn how to play acoustic blues. A great place to start is his 'Fingerpicking Guitar Techniques', available as either a DVD or book/CD set. Personally I like the book/CD format because he goes really slowly, one bar or phrase at a time - "Put your index finger on the first string at the 3rd fret, now your middle finger on the second string at the first fret.." etc. He makes it as easy as possible.
Others really like the DVD format since they can see what the instructor is doing.
One thing cool about learning this way is that you can take it at your own pace. You can go back to any part of the lesson a gazillion times if you need to and the instructor never gets pissed.

You've worked really hard to get your skills to where they are today. Now is the time to take advantage of all the really great instruction available on line and in CD and DVD form. Or from a live teacher.

I can only speak for myself, but - after 40+ years of playing guitar - if I could do it all over again I would definitely get all the instruction I could. I spent years and years figuring out how things really worked and wasted a lot of time when I could have had the answers to my questions if I had just known who to ask, or went to the trouble to find someone to show me.
Nowadays beginners and intermediate players have fabulous opportunities to learn from world-class players in whatever style or genre interests them.

Daza, if you really want to learn how to play acoustic blues the right way do yourself a favor and and sashay over to www.guitarvideos.com and spend some time getting familiar with the stuff available. You won't regret it.
And, no, I don't work for Grossman. He sure has worked for me....

Rev George
Thank you appreciate all that your've said and I will get some DVD's and check out that web-site too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BULLSPRIG View Post
In the interim, try lifting certain fingers off the chords you know. If its an A chord, lift off the G string. If its an E chord, lift off the D string. You might discover your passion (the blues) opens up new windows when you try this. A lot of blues chords are constructed in this manner.
Yeah true that just like A7 and E7 nice bluesy chords.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2010, 07:38 PM
moon moon is offline
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Now learn the important bit: the right hand. Beginners always think that learning to play guitar is all about chords and scales - the left hand. That's important of course but it's the right hand which actually makes the sound (assuming you're right-handed).

If you think of a human voice, it would sound really emotionless to talk in a flat monotone but when someone's talking animatedly they'll instinctively use rythmn, volume and tone to emphasise certain words and phrases. Sometimes just the sound of a voice can convey more meaning than the actual words. Music is exactly the same - and it's all down to the right hand. For a musician, tone is everything.

When you're strumming, you can vary how hard you hit the strings. Strictly speaking "hardness" is two things: the depth you strike the strings and the speed of your hand across the strings. The harder (ie faster) you hit, the shallower the strike should be. Too deep and the harmony of the chord gets lost in a horrible, crunchy sound. This percussive strike is also part of the sound of the acoustic guitar, up to a point, but you're trying to make the strings sing not break them. You'll feel it when the guitar is ringing out.

You can hit the strings harder near the bridge but you'll dig in much more easily up past the sound hole and have to be a little more gentle here.

If you're arm is swinging from the elbow rather than just from the wrist you should get a fuller, more even sound. All the strings are more likely to be hit equally with a longer swing but there are no rules exactly. You can do all kinds of flicks and whacks. Using your thumb like a hammer near the bridge gives you a distinctive sound. There's that flamenco "burrurrurrumm" when you flick all the fingers (ie fingernails) across the strings quickly one after another. Muting the strings with the heel of the hand at the bridge gives you another distinctive sound.

Tone is pretty obvious: sparkly, trebly sounds near the bridge and "honey tones" up past the sound hole. Note that if you're fretting high up the fingerboard the honey tone spot will move down towards the bridge a bit. Sometimes the right hand has to move up and down with the left (but nothing like as much) if you want to pick out a particular tone.

And then there's harmonics... the main ones being at the 5th, 7th and 12th frets. You'll already know about them though.

Stringed instruments are incredibly sensitive with a huge range of sounds. Now go find them all
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2010, 09:56 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Cool Hey Daza!

Nice to hear you've got the open chords down... lots of great replies; I especially like moon's about all the right hand dynamics... for years I have told poeple that the right hand is the "engine" of the guitar machine, but I believe this says it much, much better:

Your left hand shows what you KNOW - but your right hand shows who you ARE...

When I first started playing, I just learned a little bit at a time... I'd meet someone who played and have them show me something, then I'd go off and practise that... when I started writing songs, I would look for some new chord, something I hadn't heard before or a way to play it that I hadn't tried. Often, when I would play that "new" chord, I'd hear a melody and go from there!

If you have the $$$, dvds are a great way to learn - Stefan Grossman is wonderful, btw, quite a student of "authentic" acoustic blues styles... but you can always learn new stuff, right there, right now!

Check out moving open position chords up the neck, letting strings ring along as you go... you'll find that an Emajor chord (from open position) can get you a lot of neat sounds as you go higher up the fretboard, for instance.

I still remember when someone showed me this chord... for a long time, I called it "the magic chord", and I guess it still is, for me. I have always loved letting open strings ring out on an acoustic guitar, like in different open tunings - this is one you can do in standard tuning.

Make an Eminor chord, open position, but with yourring and pinky fingers. Move your fretted notes up the fretboard 2 frets worth (one whole step) and add your first finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret (the A note on the G string)... et voila! Strum THAT baby for a while! Let all the strings ring, or just some of 'em... move the whole arrangement up another 2 frets and... THERE'S ANOTHER GREAT CHORD! LOL! It's that kind of stuff that kept me coming back, day after day, year after year... oh, the chord is an F#minor7 (add 11), if you're keeping score.

If you can, get a comprehensive chord book - I had one that had "OVER 2000" chords (the title screamed...). It is always a good thing to expand your chord vocabulary.

Another fun thing: just add notes to the open chords you already know. As one reply stated, you can take 'em away, too... adding notes will create some very interesting sounds to play with...

I know this hasn't been about "the blues", per se, just about this wonderful thing we call the guitar... I loved it and was fascinated by it when I first picked it up - and I still love it and am fascinated by it!

play on................................................ ..>

John Seth Sherman

ps. You need to stop whinging about playing or you're gonna get "then give it up" replies! LOL! I KNOW you are not gonna give it up...

"Some folks say that bears go 'round smelling bad;
others say that a bear is honey sweet.
Some folks say 'this bear's the best I ever had',
some folks got a bear beneath their feet..."

Stephen Fromholtz - "Bears"
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2010, 09:59 PM
mr.meeogy mr.meeogy is offline
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After Open chords, I went to barre chords. After getting the gist of it down (still cant get those darned A shaped barre chords...) I am now just fingerpicking. Like you I didnt know what to do for a little, but I just put my head down and chose a song that was probably way too hard for me, kept working at it, and eventually (eventually....) got it down!
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2010, 11:59 PM
daza152 daza152 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
Nice to hear you've got the open chords down... lots of great replies; I especially like moon's about all the right hand dynamics... for years I have told poeple that the right hand is the "engine" of the guitar machine, but I believe this says it much, much better:

Your left hand shows what you KNOW - but your right hand shows who you ARE...

When I first started playing, I just learned a little bit at a time... I'd meet someone who played and have them show me something, then I'd go off and practise that... when I started writing songs, I would look for some new chord, something I hadn't heard before or a way to play it that I hadn't tried. Often, when I would play that "new" chord, I'd hear a melody and go from there!

If you have the $$$, dvds are a great way to learn - Stefan Grossman is wonderful, btw, quite a student of "authentic" acoustic blues styles... but you can always learn new stuff, right there, right now!

Check out moving open position chords up the neck, letting strings ring along as you go... you'll find that an Emajor chord (from open position) can get you a lot of neat sounds as you go higher up the fretboard, for instance.

I still remember when someone showed me this chord... for a long time, I called it "the magic chord", and I guess it still is, for me. I have always loved letting open strings ring out on an acoustic guitar, like in different open tunings - this is one you can do in standard tuning.

Make an Eminor chord, open position, but with yourring and pinky fingers. Move your fretted notes up the fretboard 2 frets worth (one whole step) and add your first finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret (the A note on the G string)... et voila! Strum THAT baby for a while! Let all the strings ring, or just some of 'em... move the whole arrangement up another 2 frets and... THERE'S ANOTHER GREAT CHORD! LOL! It's that kind of stuff that kept me coming back, day after day, year after year... oh, the chord is an F#minor7 (add 11), if you're keeping score.

If you can, get a comprehensive chord book - I had one that had "OVER 2000" chords (the title screamed...). It is always a good thing to expand your chord vocabulary.

Another fun thing: just add notes to the open chords you already know. As one reply stated, you can take 'em away, too... adding notes will create some very interesting sounds to play with...

I know this hasn't been about "the blues", per se, just about this wonderful thing we call the guitar... I loved it and was fascinated by it when I first picked it up - and I still love it and am fascinated by it!

play on................................................ ..>

John Seth Sherman

ps. You need to stop whinging about playing or you're gonna get "then give it up" replies! LOL! I KNOW you are not gonna give it up...

"Some folks say that bears go 'round smelling bad;
others say that a bear is honey sweet.
Some folks say 'this bear's the best I ever had',
some folks got a bear beneath their feet..."

Stephen Fromholtz - "Bears"

I love all your advice and will put that staright into practice tonight, thanks if you come up with anymore useful tips please don't hesitate to send me a PM. Thanks appreciate it, will look into that guy you mentioned and is he good for the blues beginner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.meeogy View Post
After Open chords, I went to barre chords. After getting the gist of it down (still cant get those darned A shaped barre chords...) I am now just fingerpicking. Like you I didnt know what to do for a little, but I just put my head down and chose a song that was probably way too hard for me, kept working at it, and eventually (eventually....) got it down!
I'll start doing my barre chords more and what is a good fingerpicking style lesson or whatever, like lick or song you could recommend? Is there tons of fingerpicking in blues? Thanks for great advice too.

Daza.
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2010, 12:02 AM
daza152 daza152 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
ps. You need to stop whinging about playing or you're gonna get "then give it up" replies! LOL! I KNOW you are not gonna give it up...
Your right about that I not gonna quit!!!!!!!! just keep on keeping on....

Daza.
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2010, 01:01 AM
mr.meeogy mr.meeogy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daza152 View Post
I love all your advice and will put that staright into practice tonight, thanks if you come up with anymore useful tips please don't hesitate to send me a PM. Thanks appreciate it, will look into that guy you mentioned and is he good for the blues beginner?



I'll start doing my barre chords more and what is a good fingerpicking style lesson or whatever, like lick or song you could recommend? Is there tons of fingerpicking in blues? Thanks for great advice too.

Daza.
Well, Dust in the Wind is one that I learned as one of my first songs, maybe you can try that one out! pretty simple
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:15 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Hi daza…
Best thing for my music was connecting with a proficient playing partner. We push each other to new things all the time.

We have explored new styles and written arrangements beyond what either of us could accomplish alone. We've been gigging together for 6 years now...and boy has our musicality grown!


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