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Old 06-19-2019, 06:54 AM
Rez Rez is offline
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Default Roadmap for learning the guitar?

So I picked up the guitar a few months ago as an adult. My first teacher used Hal's book but I found sight reading for the guitar too difficult (even though I do it for the piano) so I found another teacher who uses tabs.

The new teacher is going to teach me 10 songs and then I'll start playing scales. I like different genres of music (classical, rock, pop, Latin American) and we've done a few songs already (Aranjuez, Minuet in C, Nonsuch, the beginnings of Wish You were here and Stairway to Heaven) and I still practice them all.

However it seems to me if I want to get good at it, and also to make it more exciting, I need to have a repertoire of riffs, chords and simple songs at my disposal and go through them as much as I can. This way practice will be more exciting and less boring
and I'll learn more too.

What do you think? If you agree then what book or other resource do you recommend?
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:51 PM
Riverwolf Riverwolf is offline
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You will probably get a different answer from everybody.
I have a spreadsheet on my computer of 50 songs where a few rotate in and out.
Some just disappear.
Starting at the top and working to the end, at least 2-3 get practiced each day.
I type in the date and move on.
This has nothing to do with my daily practice or current song wish list.
Most of them have at least a good campfire version under my belt.
Mostly this is so I don't forget them.
I never practice scales.
Hope I explained it so you understand.

Try justinguitar.com, many here including myself have completed his beginner courses.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:01 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Well, unless you are planning on learning classical style or finger style, scales will be sort of a waste of time. If you learn any kind of scales you'd want to learn some of the pentatonic scales. Pick a bunch of easy tunes and just learn to play them and eventually do the chord changes at the right speed to keep up with the lyrics. It takes time. Learning to be patient with yourself is a skill every guitarist has to learn as well as how to play.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:03 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez View Post
So I picked up the guitar a few months ago as an adult. My first teacher used Hal's book but I found sight reading for the guitar too difficult (even though I do it for the piano) so I found another teacher who uses tabs.

The new teacher is going to teach me 10 songs and then I'll start playing scales. I like different genres of music (classical, rock, pop, Latin American) and we've done a few songs already (Aranjuez, Minuet in C, Nonsuch, the beginnings of Wish You were here and Stairway to Heaven) and I still practice them all.

However it seems to me if I want to get good at it, and also to make it more exciting, I need to have a repertoire of riffs, chords and simple songs at my disposal and go through them as much as I can. This way practice will be more exciting and less boring
and I'll learn more too.

What do you think? If you agree then what book or other resource do you recommend?
Well, it depends on what you find "exciting". For me personally, that rules out scales.
And your proposed "repertoire of riffs, chords and simple songs" is a good idea, but obviously depends on your personal tastes.

Why not choose some favourites and suggest them to your teacher? Otherwise, you can search for info online (tabs, chords, lessons) for any tune you want to learn. You could start that way, and then ask your teacher about them. Obviously he/she will have a good idea about how easy (or not) those tunes are for your current skills, and will give you the best guidance on how to approach them.

What we might be able to help with here is opening your ears to other artists. E.g., if you like player (a), we could suggest players (b) or (c) that might have influenced (a) but that you might not have heard of. I.e., it's about starting from where you are (skills and taste-wise) and beginning to open out from there.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:11 AM
dhalbert dhalbert is offline
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If you are still at all interested in sight-reading I would suggest some William Leavitt books. The first is very common and you could probably find it at the library.

I also have piano skills, but found tab easier. I use both. However, by practicing the exercises in these books, I did pick up a lot of first-position sight-reading.

https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Method...dp/0876390130/

similar, but slower paced:
https://www.amazon.com/Berklee-Basic...dp/0634013335/
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:17 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez View Post
So I picked up the guitar a few months ago as an adult. My first teacher used Hal's book but I found sight reading for the guitar too difficult (even though I do it for the piano) so I found another teacher who uses tabs.

The new teacher is going to teach me 10 songs and then I'll start playing scales. I like different genres of music (classical, rock, pop, Latin American) and we've done a few songs already (Aranjuez, Minuet in C, Nonsuch, the beginnings of Wish You were here and Stairway to Heaven) and I still practice them all.

However it seems to me if I want to get good at it, and also to make it more exciting, I need to have a repertoire of riffs, chords and simple songs at my disposal and go through them as much as I can. This way practice will be more exciting and less boring
and I'll learn more too.

What do you think? If you agree then what book or other resource do you recommend?
Find yourself a very specific goal. I tried to learn guitar 25 years ago. Went to teachers, got told to learn scales, etc, found it hard to practice and stick to it. Got to where I could play a bit of a song sort of and then stopped playing.

Just over 7 years ago a friend made huge progress in learning over a couple of months so I decided to try again. This time my goal was more specific. Instead of "learning to play guitar", it was "learn to play songs that people will sing along to around a campfire".

Focused just on a simple version of blowin in the wind with A E and D (thanks JustinGuitar). Once I got to where I could do that, things really started to change and improve.

Daily practice stopped being a chore and became a way of life. I went from playing 15 minutes a day to playing an hour or more and enjoying it.

Now I'm learning scales and other such things including theory. In my experience too many teachers try too soon to teach things that will make you a better player "in the long run". You need to get the passion going in the short run first before you worry about the long run.

It's well worth the effort, find your specific goal and make it happen. My wife has commented many times how thankful she is for that day 7 years ago when I decided to pick up the guitar again.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:54 PM
Rez Rez is offline
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Good point on having a specific goal. I'm not sure though. It can be Under the Bridge.
The Concierto de Aranjuez that I've been practicing is not too easy either. It involves 3 chords and going down to the frets 1-3-5 on the first string.

Or maybe I should do like a couple of you suggested and finish Justin Guitar's beginner's course.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:49 AM
JBCROTTY JBCROTTY is offline
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Rez -

My two cents. I am 49 - I played guitar as a kid for a few years and then stopped for 35 years and picked it back up about 4 years ago to re-learn. Here's what I have done and what helped me. People might say this is bad advice - I am only expressing what has worked for me - does not mean it is right for you.

I agree - you need to stay interested and having fun. These are the two most critical objectives in learning to play guitar. People give up if they are not interested and having fun.

I am mostly acoustic and mostly rhythm. I strongly feel that while riffs and song segments are fun to learn and play, it is important to be able to work on songs that you like and be able to play complete songs - this will keep you interested, progressing, and having fun.

Some will tell you to focus on no more than 10 songs, or work on a song at a time, etc, but I get bored by limiting the number of songs I am working on. I have a catalog of about 50-75 songs - perhaps 25 that I can play end-to-end and the rest that I am working on constantly and staying interested and having fun. Some I give up on and replace, others I hammer away at until I have them down. I don't limit the number of songs that I am sorting out at any given time and it gives me plenty to work on and plenty of progress to be had - and most importantly keeps me highly interested, learning and having fun.

For me, I did Justin's beginner course to re-orient myself to guitar. I also used his Music Theory basics - I learned the Circle of Fifths, some pentatonic scales (these were really to learn the fretboard and the relation of notes to each other and octaves and such), and spent time learning the fretboard and the notes on each string. Forget sight-reading - not necessary for hobbyists or casual players. Learn tab and focus on that. I can read music but tab is so much easier and more efficient. Beyond that, learning songs that you enjoy is the best way to stay engaged, having fun, and progressing. I feel great when I finally nail a song and can play along with the recording and do it end-to-end.

An instructor is also a good idea as long as they adapt to how you want to learn and what you are interested in. I have used a couple of folks on and off, but have not found one that I felt was really organized and focused on how I wanted to learn, so the search continues. Jam groups or groups to play with are also very helpful from what I have heard but I have been unsuccessful finding one near me.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:39 PM
JerrysGuitarBar JerrysGuitarBar is offline
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"The Concierto de Aranjuez that I've been practicing is not too easy either"

Please don't take this to be in any way disparaging - it's not meant to be.
It's just that this is the best post ever
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:36 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez View Post
However it seems to me if I want to get good at it, and also to make it more exciting, I need to have a repertoire of riffs, chords and simple songs at my disposal and go through them as much as I can. This way practice will be more exciting and less boring
and I'll learn more too.

What do you think? If you agree then what book or other resource do you recommend?
I commend you for thinking ahead and even considering the concept of a roadmap. However, I don't think it's the right time - yet.

Before trying to figure out your roadmap, you need to know where you want to end up. Do you want to play chord-based songs? Then you will have little use for scales, and learning that which you have no clear use for usually results in a waste of your time. On the other hand if you are aiming to be a lead guitar player, then scales and arpeggios and fretboard knowledge are precisely what you need.

I would bring this up with your teacher. While it's not critical to have a roadmap quite yet, a year from now you will benefit from this, and they can help pave the way now so that you are prepared.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:16 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez View Post
So I picked up the guitar a few months ago as an adult. My first teacher used Hal's book but I found sight reading for the guitar too difficult (even though I do it for the piano) so I found another teacher who uses tabs.

The new teacher is going to teach me 10 songs and then I'll start playing scales. I like different genres of music (classical, rock, pop, Latin American) and we've done a few songs already (Aranjuez, Minuet in C, Nonsuch, the beginnings of Wish You were here and Stairway to Heaven) and I still practice them all.

However it seems to me if I want to get good at it, and also to make it more exciting, I need to have a repertoire of riffs, chords and simple songs at my disposal and go through them as much as I can. This way practice will be more exciting and less boring
and I'll learn more too.

What do you think? If you agree then what book or other resource do you recommend?
Rez,
I think that playing the guitar, even as a beginner, should be exciting without a teacher.

You play piano already, so you possess a modicum of musicality. You must picture yourself playing guitar or you wouldn’t have gotten one.

I would ditch the lessons, but find bits and pieces on your own on the fingerboard. It will pay big dividends in the long run.

If you can find a ‘teacher’ who’s willing to show you stuff that YOU find exciting when you hear it, THAT will scratch your itch.

My guess is that the ‘adult’ in you wants organization, but the kid in you wants to rock & roll.

Just do it.

For what it’s worth, I’m self taught, dyslexic and ADD, and a pretty fair player & composer.

Best,
Howard Emerson
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2019, 03:16 PM
Rez Rez is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Rez,
I think that playing the guitar, even as a beginner, should be exciting without a teacher.

You play piano already, so you possess a modicum of musicality. You must picture yourself playing guitar or you wouldn’t have gotten one.

I would ditch the lessons, but find bits and pieces on your own on the fingerboard. It will pay big dividends in the long run.

If you can find a ‘teacher’ who’s willing to show you stuff that YOU find exciting when you hear it, THAT will scratch your itch.

My guess is that the ‘adult’ in you wants organization, but the kid in you wants to rock & roll.

Just do it.

For what it’s worth, I’m self taught, dyslexic and ADD, and a pretty fair player & composer.

Best,
Howard Emerson
I've been thinking about this myself but I'm afraid I'd develop "bad habits". I've learned a few useful things from my teacher such as forming the chords from the "top" or practicing one piece at a time instead of going through the whole song at once.

But I think I may stop seeing him soon. That would test my commitment. I can then meet with an instructor from time to time to know better how I'm doing.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:47 AM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez View Post
I've been thinking about this myself but I'm afraid I'd develop "bad habits". I've learned a few useful things from my teacher such as forming the chords from the "top" or practicing one piece at a time instead of going through the whole song at once.

But I think I may stop seeing him soon. That would test my commitment. I can then meet with an instructor from time to time to know better how I'm doing.
Rez, you and I are on a similar path, and so I get your dilemma. Sixty-three and bought my first guitar in February. Like you, I am no stranger to music, though in my case, I am a jazz woodwinds player - sax and clarinet. Last year, I started writing some tunes after playing with a bunch of local musicians - they on strings, and me on the misery stick (aka clarinet). I figured that learning the guitar was a way to enhance my song writing, and it has been.
Like you, I naturally embraced the idea of getting a teacher. I have been working with a well-regarded instructor for two months now. But I am a bit ambivalent about our work together. Also like you, I was looking for a "roadmap," a progression of skill sets that would give me the technical and artistic introduction to the guitar. But it has not turned out that way. The instructor immediately got into theory/chord structure, before even discussing how to hold the guitar or a pick or how to learn the fret board. It all left me a bit hollow, frustrated and uninspired. So I figured I had to take over the direction of the lessons so that I could learn to play in the context of songs I have written and am working on. This has proved much more successful and satisfying. I bring a tune in, play it, and we work on chord or fingering alternatives, or progressions. Last week, I asked him for a lesson on strumming technique, all in the context of working on one of my songs.
So, I am going to continue with the lessons, for the time being. But I am also supplementing them with online instruction of which there is no shortage, for the more mechanical stuff. Perhaps this will prove to be the best combination. Learn what you can online, and do more customized work with the instructor.
The best lesson I have learned over the past two months is to take charge of the process to get the most out of it. Find that direction for you, and you may find the experience with the instructor more fulfilling. He (or she) may be waiting to have that very conversation with you.
Happy trails, mate.
David
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