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Poseidon
Fudgepack DeQueef
+3,253|4041|Long Island, New York
Been something I've wanted to do for a very, very long time. I know we have plenty of guitar players here.

Any suggestions on whether to start with acoustic/electric? If so, which guitars? Budget of around $250.

Methods for absolute beginners?

Lessons worth it for the beginning or should I self teach?

Any other tips would be appreciated. Really dedicated in getting this going. Music was always the one thing I excelled at as a kid and I kind of just dropped it for no reason, so I'm looking to pick a (new) instrument up and start playing again.
FatherTed
xD
+3,936|4003|so randum
start with acoustic imo, and probably something cheap because plenty of people want to learn guitar, very few actually bother after a month. nothing wrong with sitting and home with a chordbook and grabbing musiclists or tabsheets from the internet, although its handy having a friend you know who plays guitar you can bounce off

personally i'd start with a nylon acoustic, but a steelstring is ok too (get used to having sore fingers to begin with though). acoustics generally wide necks make it easier to see what you're doing to begin with also, and then when you go to an electric you'll be able to form your chords quicker.
Small hourglass island
Always raining and foggy
Use an umbrella
Ilocano
buuuurrrrrrppppp.......
+341|4170

Start with youtube how to's.  Pick simple songs that you like first.  These will get you through the monotonous "beginning" training.
Eagle
Togs8896 is my evil alter ego
+566|4134|New Hampshire, USA
Definitely start with a cheap acoustic.  I learned by repetition tbh.  My friends would show me how to play a very easy song and I played it over and over again until I was good at it.  Then theyd show me a slightly harder song and so on.  Playing it over and over and over built up the muscle patterns and I could find that over time I would suddenly be able to play things that were impossible for me before.


Oh and learn how to read tabs, easiest way to read guitar music
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Ty
Mass Media Casualty
+2,398|4278|Noizyland

For the ultimate beginner a cheap nylon string acoustic would be the best. They have quite a wide neck so it can be quite uncomfortable but this will make it easier when you move to an electric or more expensive acoustic. Learn the songs that can use basic ABCDEFG chords, (and there are quite a few.) Five/"power" chords also feature in a lot of well-known riffs and are simple. It's always good to have something to work towards, it stops you just giving up.

Lessons can be useful too, I had lessons early on and even just being suggested a few easy songs that offered a couple of chord variations. Learning these are invaluable for when you want to learn stuff on your own and just general jamming. Lessons aren't essential but it's always good to work from a solid base of knowledge - lessons give you that.

Out of curiosity - what style of guitar do you see yourself getting into?

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[Blinking eyes thing]
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pirana6
Go Cougs!
+625|3794|Washington St.
a side not on beginning guitar:

have on in your hands whenever possible. It's weird but when you think about it it makes sense. It's the same with a ball (football/soccer, basket, etc.) When it's constantly there you get comfortable with it much quicker and when you're watching tv and you're fidgeting with it in your hands you get used to the placement of the strings, your hands, the length of the neck and all that.

I took a guitar class way back in middle school but it was with a bunch of my friends and it was the end of the day so we didn't take it that seriously and kinda just fucked off most of the time. The thing is, for the teacher not to yell at us, we always had guitars in our hands and were fake strumming/playing the while shooting the shit and it actually helped quite a bit. I haven't played a single song in 12 years but I can still pick up a guitar and play G, C, D over and over again without even looking when I place my fingers because of that class. Granted those are the 3 easiest chords but still...
FatherTed
xD
+3,936|4003|so randum
^ but knowing the basic chords lets you quickly pick up the major/minors, helps you figure stuff out when playing by ear etc. i've never heard of holding a guitar all the time, but it sounds good
Small hourglass island
Always raining and foggy
Use an umbrella
Poseidon
Fudgepack DeQueef
+3,253|4041|Long Island, New York

Ty wrote:

For the ultimate beginner a cheap nylon string acoustic would be the best. They have quite a wide neck so it can be quite uncomfortable but this will make it easier when you move to an electric or more expensive acoustic. Learn the songs that can use basic ABCDEFG chords, (and there are quite a few.) Five/"power" chords also feature in a lot of well-known riffs and are simple. It's always good to have something to work towards, it stops you just giving up.

Lessons can be useful too, I had lessons early on and even just being suggested a few easy songs that offered a couple of chord variations. Learning these are invaluable for when you want to learn stuff on your own and just general jamming. Lessons aren't essential but it's always good to work from a solid base of knowledge - lessons give you that.

Out of curiosity - what style of guitar do you see yourself getting into?

TODO: FIX GAL IMAGES
I'd really like to get into electric, but I figured starting with acoustic is better just so I can get a feel for the instrument itself.

My roommate plays a bit. He's gonna help me pick out one next month.
FatherTed
xD
+3,936|4003|so randum
electrics are cool and make your pee pee hard and so on, but to learn on they really are difficult. if you just want a guitar to have around the house (most people i know that gave up learning really just wanted this) sure, buy a nice strat or classic gibson. but yeah, tight neck + steel strings are not fun to learn with.
Small hourglass island
Always raining and foggy
Use an umbrella
Poseidon
Fudgepack DeQueef
+3,253|4041|Long Island, New York
i can believe it... i tried learning electric guitar in 9th grade and my little dainty fingertips couldn't take it

Last edited by Poseidon (2012-02-29 12:30:33)

Ty
Mass Media Casualty
+2,398|4278|Noizyland

Actually I found that picking up an electric for the first time really helped me. I only knew a few things on ye olde nylon string box and for some reason me and a friend convinced each other we were good enough to start a band. I bought my sister's old Peavy Predator electric off her and the first time I played it I just found is so easy and just played for hours on end until my fingertips were raw. Probably felt easier given the lower height of the action and the width of the fret-board compared to the nylon string as well as not having to use as much strength when it was plugged in, (and even when it wasn't.)

I'm biased towards acoustic though. I played electric for a long time after being impressed by the speed and agility of a lot of players. But since the aforementioned band failed spectacularly and I had no-one to play with, (and playing electric alone gets dull,) I went back to acoustic to concentrate on finger-style and percussive stuff. And while I don't have the speed of electric players and can't do the tweedly-dee bits I can do stuff like this. So fuck them.
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Ryan
Member
+1,230|4346|Alberta, Canada

I can only really provide information based on how I started and learned.

I started off with a $250 Epiphone Les Paul Special II and a cheap little Crate Amp. I bought a beginners book, but never really used it much.
I chose easy songs that I enjoyed listening to and printed off the tabs for them (as tab is easier for me to understand and follow).

I also watched other guys on YouTube and learned from them.
Try not to learn any bad habits though, like your picking style, posture, etc.

Self-teaching is the way to go because if you get lessons from a business, you end up getting stuck with other players who may or may not be better than you, and you have to learn songs that you don't even want to learn (like twinkle twinkle, lol).
Jaekus
I'm the matchstick that you'll never lose
+957|2681|Sydney
I'm finishing up teaching guitar this week after doing it for nine years.

I haven't read all the thread but the few posts I've read hit the target.

Get a cheap acoustic. Nylon strings are easier but the neck is wider. Steel string acoustics have a narrower neck but a cheap one can be a bitch on your fingers. That said, it will toughen your fingers and strengthen your hands the most.

If you want to be self taught (I was for my first year) get a book. Some youtube stuff can be hit and miss, whereas books are generally better IMO as they are more comprehensive and the lessons are set out in a way that build basic skills and expand upon those into the later lessons. Books these days almost always come with CDs so you can play along to the backing tracks (very useful for listening how the song is meant to sound and making sure you're playing in time - I can't stress enough how important learning to play in time is) and many also come with DVDs so you have the backing tracks and video examples to follow so you can see how to use correct technique. Books are also cheaper than lessons but you need to be committed and practice daily (minimum is half an hour) to constantly improce.

If you take lessons try to either seek out a music school, ask at a music store (like where you would buy your guitar) or ask a friend who has had lessons if their teacher was good. The advantage with lessons is a good teacher can really pick up and hone in on correct technique and troubleshoot any tough parts you come to that you can't seem to figure out. Having a teacher can also be a bit of a motivator as you have someone there to help keep you in check, and the added financial cost is an incentive to some.

Learning guitar can sometimes be a frustrating experience, but a rewarding one. It does take years of consistent playing to get to a level where you can pick one up and play stuff by ear off the top of your head (ie. improvising or just figuring shit out without much effort), but to play most songs you would hear on the radio involves learning all your open chords and the four primary bar chord shapes (E and A formation bar chords and their minor counterparts) and won't take you years to get that much down, maybe 6-12 months to learn those chords to a point they aren't a struggle and you can make the song sound decent.

You don't need to know a lot of music theory but learning the basics is almost essential IMO, and not really that hard.

Last edited by Jaekus (2012-03-26 06:22:59)

Jaekus
I'm the matchstick that you'll never lose
+957|2681|Sydney
It does all depend on your goals though. If you just want to be able to play a few songs when you're drunk camping with your mates around a campfire, you really only need to learn most open chords - A, Am, C, D, Dm, E, Em, F (though technically not an open chord... anyway...) and G, and the four main bar chords (which is really like learning three shapes, and one is a very similar to another), and get a few different strumming patterns and feels down (two main feels that come to mind here would be 4/4 - think Good Riddance (Time of Your Life by Green Day - and 6/8 - think House of the Rising Sun by The Animals).

If you want to be able to improvise and play some technically harder music you will need to invest more time and effort to reach those goals.

Last edited by Jaekus (2012-03-26 06:30:17)

Jaekus
I'm the matchstick that you'll never lose
+957|2681|Sydney
Oh, and electrics are the easiest on your fingers as the require the least amount of pressure to fret the string effectively, but also tend to have the narrowest necks. But they are the coolest IMO.

If it were me I'd get a steel string acoustic that doesn't hurt your fingers too much (though it will for the first week or so until your fingertips get callusses) and after three months if things are going well then you can "reward" yourself with an electric and practice amp. Or get a cheap nylon string if you aren't sure if you'll stick at it.
FatherTed
xD
+3,936|4003|so randum
oh also try out a few plecs. they're dirt cheap but very different (size, weight, flex etc), and a capo. if you do decide to keep playing a good hardcase is really really important
Small hourglass island
Always raining and foggy
Use an umbrella
Jaekus
I'm the matchstick that you'll never lose
+957|2681|Sydney
Try the Dunlop plectrum in grey nylon, it's .73mm in thickness. It's a good balance between flexibility and firmness (and also my fave)
bugz
Fission Mailed
+3,308|3815

Dammit I want an electric guitar so bad.
El Beardo
steel woolly mammoth
+150|3223|Gulf Coast

plecs..
El Beardo
steel woolly mammoth
+150|3223|Gulf Coast

bugz wrote:

Dammit I want an electric guitar so bad.
Buy a decent used guitar and practice 15-20 minutes a day. Guitar is a relatively easy instrument to pick up. You can be playing simple songs within an hour. Not like violin where you will make nothing but the most horrid sound known to man for weeks before it sounds even remotely good.
bugz
Fission Mailed
+3,308|3815

Yeah I've got an acoustic right now but it just doesn't have the range for the songs I'd like to be able to play.
Ryan
Member
+1,230|4346|Alberta, Canada

Jaekus wrote:

Try the Dunlop plectrum in grey nylon, it's .73mm in thickness. It's a good balance between flexibility and firmness (and also my fave)
Have you tried the Jazz III picks? I keep hearing good things about them, but I've never tried one.
Jaekus
I'm the matchstick that you'll never lose
+957|2681|Sydney
Nah I haven't from memory. I'm primarily a bass player though, but was teaching guitar until I quit last week (there are only so many times you can teach Smoke on the Water before you get really over it).
Poseidon
Fudgepack DeQueef
+3,253|4041|Long Island, New York
So I have an official budget of $250. Any recommendations on how to spend it? More on the guitar, or a cheaper guitar/specific books/etc?
Mutantbear
Semi Constructive Criticism
+1,430|3468|London, England

Poseidon wrote:

So I have an official budget of $250. Any recommendations on how to spend it? More on the guitar, or a cheaper guitar/specific books/etc?
pirated books are free bro

you cant download a car
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