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Things to do in this life: learn guitar

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ethics, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    No, not even the plan. I want to master (in Leon's world master) the acoustics first. Not really all that gung ho on the electric. :)
  2. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Leon, acoustic is the shiznet. Lots of Pink Floyd lends itself well to acoustic. Wish You Were Here is easy to learn to play, but to play it well...that's another matter at your level. I'd highly suggest it. First learn to chord it and then learn to pick it. Master that and you are well on your way to being a very good guitarist.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Thanks. Shall try.
  4. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    It IS a start, that's how you do it! Keep learning chords, tempos, lots of practice. After a while, maybe in a few months, ask a friend who lives close and knows how to play over, and play some guitar together. It's fun to have two people jamming together, sounds so much better. And you will learn more from people like that than you can imagine. It's like taking guitar lessons, only free!
  5. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    I was a very good guitarist back in the day. I can still play, at least I think so. The connection between the hands and the brain still seems to be there, though it's been years since I played serious;y, if at all. Back in the early to mid 70's, I had a Martin I damn near wore the fret work out on. I ponied up $500 for a used Fender Shenandoah, which I think was the sweetest sounding 12 string ever made. I swear, you could make music with that axe that would make angels cum.

    Carol and I were cruising through Costco in Simi Valley a couple of years after we hooked up and there was this Yamaha guitar on display. I picked it up, tuned it up and played Stairway To Heaven. After she got done pissing herself and got her eyes back to normal size, I had a very good night. Never told her that I played before that. A couple of weeks later, we were in there and perusing electronics. Came across a Casio electronic keyboard and I started fucking around with it and pounded out a Billy Joel tune for her and voila, another great night and a Christmas present.

    Like I said, I haven't played in years, but you've piqued my interest again and I'm thinking mandolin. It's what gets you that high lonesome sound and I think I'd like to go look for it.
  6. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I too believe it's best to start out on an acoustic. The strings are usually softer than electrics and also farther away from each other, so they're easier on beginner's hands. When you get more advanced you can add an electric and then play either depending on what music you're playing and what effects you're after.

    I learned guitar as a teenager although I was never very advanced. I've played since then but not very often, and not in quite some time. I have a Yamaha acoustic stored away somewhere and have sometimes considered picking it up again.

    I am totally convinced that all children should learn some kind of musical instrument even if they never get very good. The training has IMO enhanced my appreciation and understanding of music (particularly technical details) and I believe in later life I've enjoyed music more as a consequence of my early music training.
  7. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    Sorry man but that is just plain backwards.

    Acoustics have much heavier gauge strings and higher action than electrics.

    For the beginner, the easiest guitar to play is an electric with low action and slinky light gauge strings.

    The caveat... is that if you start on an acoustic and get good at it, you will be a MUCH better electric player when you make the switch you will be a much better electric player.

    The acoustic makes you strong... and GOOD. You cant muffle mistakes with an acoustic because you have to be strong and accurate.

  8. m1taylo

    m1taylo Full Member

    dust in the wind is pretty easy once you understand the chord proogression around the C , Am, and Asus
  9. m1taylo

    m1taylo Full Member

    one last item... Chordie.com is the place to print off music. You can transpose the music using the section on the right, and the print function puts all the chords for the song on the printout. I have about 500 pages printed from the site. I own a Martin D1 and and Alvarez AF60s. That Alvarez is awesome and sounds great for the cost. Folk size guitars are great for the comfort factor where the big dred guitar is not so cozy.

    Alvarez AF60S: Harmony Central User Reviews
  10. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Nonsense: cat gut strings (probably some synthetic material now). I've played both. Acoustic strings are bigger (gauge) but much softer than wire strings. Acoustic is much easier, not only because of the softer strings but because of the wider spacing between strings, easier for beginners hands to finger the strings separately rather than unintentionally mashing two strings with one finger (unless you intend to do that of course).

    Just get both. :)
  11. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Only on the cheap guitars. The top of the line acoustic guitars are much more difficult to nail down, for the very reasons Domh stated.
  12. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    So get a friggin cheap guitar. :)
  13. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I'm sorry. You have your opinions based upon your personal experience and I have my opinions based upon my own personal experience. Perhaps there is no single correct answer. I hope we can agree to disagree. :)

    It will be interesting to see which one Leon picks. (That might even be a pun!)
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Already picked acoustics. And will probably stay with one for a while.

    One thing that is surprising to me is that before I got one, I was like, "tune the guitar? I am sure I won't be able to tell the difference".

    Now? I pick it up and start playing and it's off by just a smidgen I immediately tell it's way off.

    Btw, my goal is to play full Hero song before wife comes back from Ukraine. :)
  15. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Get an A-440 tuning fork and learn how to bring your guitar into tune. Or probably they've got an electronic widget to do it now. They didn't have widgets when I learned the guitar.

    It's good to have a goal. Just make sure you play plenty of scales first. I expect that guitar is particularly boring for beginners but more interesting when you learn some interesting tunes. I really never passed the beginner stage. I do remember playing lots of scales though.
  16. m1taylo

    m1taylo Full Member

  17. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Guys, already have an electric tuner (about 10 bucks) and it works great. I was just saying that I never thought I'd know a difference between tuned and untuned guitar. It was a pleasant surprise. :)
  18. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I've got a slide rule to go with it! :)

    The solution is the same. Tune the guitar. It's not much trouble and you won't get used to playing out of key, not a good practice.

    ETA: OIC! I guess I misunderstood you. Yeah, don't underestimate the accuracy of human ears. I expect most people can hear dissonance except for the few who are apparently tone deaf. You don't need an expert to do that, although it takes practice to learn how to tune it accurately.
  19. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    Probably not... because you are just so totally dead wrong!


    You are confusing guitar terminology, Hound.

    Acoustic guitars are also called steel string guitars. They use steel wound and unwound strings. They are much harder to play than a properly set up electric for the reasons stated earlier.

    Classical or nylong strong guitars are they beasts you are talking about as "acoustics". While they are indeed acoustic guitars, technically, they are almost as far away from the acoustic as the electric is. Actually, the steel string acoustic and the electric have more in common than the steel string has with the classical nylon string.

    Classical guitars have no truss rod, while acoustics and electrics do. It is for this reason that one can not use traditional steel strings on a classical. The neck will break. This is why the nylong strings are used. The truss rod on an acoustic steel string or electric guitar allows the strings to be tuned tightly enough to resonate at A Natural 440 Hertz thus producing the standard modern western modality structure of the guitar. The truss rod further acts to keep the strings close or far away from the neck, as demanded by playing style of the musician, tonality and most important of all, intonation.

    Regarding ease of play for the beginner, it is true that a classical or nylong string guitar is easier to finger and play than a steel string acoustic. The spacing between the strings (from low E to high E) does facilitate easier fingering for playing melodic structures, but this is hardly what the beginning guitarist needs to or wants to focus on. Such practice allows the beginner to learn important major and minor melodic scales, but this fails to provide significant impetus to continue playing. No man has ever gotten laid by picking up a guitar and plunking out the melody to "Mary Had A Little Lamb". Learning the chords G, C and A and how to strum an even rhythym allows the beginner to sing and play literally thousands of songs. This has resulted in more funny looking insecure men getting laid than anything else in the history of the universe.

    The beginner needs to learn the basic chordal forms in the first position (fingering the strings in the space of the first 3 frets) as soon as possible so that they can play complete songs and quickly learn to enjoy the instrument as this will best facilitate further practice. Learning barre chords is also critical because it is the use of barre chords that teaches the way in which chordal structures are mobile over the course of the neck. This is often the first big breakthrough for the beginner guitarist, when the realize that the fingering position in first position for the E chord can be moved up and down the neck in barre chord position to make any of the other major chords both in sharp and flat.

    Because the classical or nylong string guitar is wider both top to bottom and front to back, making barre chords is more difficult than it is on the much smaller neck of an electric.

    The best neck to learn to play chords and barre chords on is an electric steel string solid-body guitar such as a traditional stratocaster or copy of the same.

    Now, Hound, if you want to argue this further we can. I will go through the trouble of figuring out how to make movies with the crappy camera on this crappy laptop and record some of me playing the acoustic. You will notice that I am really pretty damn good (after all these years) and probably know what I am talking about. I could also fire up the electric and play some jazz... maybe a bit of technical shit. That is always fun and may further demonstrate that I am a pretty experienced guitarist and probably know what I am talking about.

    Dont make me do this. Please. I beg of you, kind sir.

  20. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    I've seen someone try this and seen it break. It's freaking hilarious. It warped really bad first, like a bow bring drawn back. The travel on it was probably an inch, and the dude was still trying to play it. POING!

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