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Old 01-20-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Learning the Guitar.

I've bought a guitar with the intent of having a dabble.
I'm not musically talented and can not read music.

Are there any short cuts or easy learning resources you can recommend?
Or is it a long hard slog?

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Old 01-20-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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If you dont read music, play using tab. It basically shows you where to put your fingers.
I was self taught, but wish I had taken lessons, if you are just dabbling, then get some song books that have tabbed music, and teach yourself, great fun while drinking.
Josh

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Old 01-20-2008, 08:40 PM   #3
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Well, a lot depends on what kind of music you want to play - for example, for the classic rock stuff, you can get by with a simple bar chord for a ton of it, but for jazz, get ready for a lot of work. A good chord reference book will go a long way - learn the basic chords and you'll be able to play a lot of stuff pretty quickly.

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Old 01-20-2008, 08:42 PM   #4
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And good luck! You'll love it! I bought my first guitar when a leg injury killed an entire season of skiing and I was looking for something else to do, and I am so glad I learned to play!

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Old 01-20-2008, 09:16 PM   #5
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A good starting point for those less musically talented would be to learn the basic open chords for guitar, and practice strumming to a metronome.

If youre looking to dabble I think that would probably be your best starting point, once you learn those chords maybe look up some of your favorite songs tabs and give them a whirl.

Good luck!

What kind of axe did you get?

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:03 PM   #6
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Check out 911tabs.com. They have guitar tablatures that help you figure out where to postion your fingers on the fret board. You can pick most songs to try and play.

When I started I playing, I played alot of ACDC songs. There fairly easy to learn..

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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I started taking lessons last August after procrastinating for years; I will never turn back, it is so much fun. I am also in the same boat as you. I cannot read music very well whatsoever and am not very musically inclined, but i'm getting there!

That being said, if you are a determined, focused and strict individual you shouldn't have any issues. This website is a great start; however, there are tons of other tab / lessons sites out there.

I would start off learning scales as it has helped me tremendously. Pentatonic / Diatonic scales and go on from there and start trying to learn some of your favorite songs.

Just realize that it isn't going to be a tremendously easy task, but it is fun and rewarding.

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:10 PM   #8
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+1 on the open chords. I've played guitar for 17 years now and taught myself. A chord chart like the one stimey posted is great. The only sloggy part about it is getting through the frustration of knowing the chords in your mind and getting your fingers to do what your mind is telling them to do. That was the hardest part to get through early on for me. Once you get through that, it really becomes a lot of fun. Some of the more commonly used chords are A, Am, B, Bm, C, D, E, Em, F, G.

One way to do it, would be to pick a relatively easy song you like and learn those chords. My first one was "Free Falling" and when I could play that song, I thought I was the greatest.

Playing simple rock songs by ear can be easy... just listen to the bass line. The bass notes usually reflect what the chords are or can at least guide you in the right direction. Also, to figure out what key a song is in... it's usually the first chord. E.g., if the first chord is a D, then the song is most likely in the key of D. Knowing that can help you with the lead solo stuff.

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine
Some of the more commonly used chords are A, Am, B, Bm, C, D, E, Em, F, G.

One way to do it, would be to pick a relatively easy song you like and learn those chords. My first one was "Free Falling" and when I could play that song, I thought I was the greatest.
I've been playing various musical instruments since grade school. I never REALLY mastered any of them, but I've got a solid enough musical background to grab nearly any instrument and at least become an average hack at it within a few weeks. For the last few years I've been focusing on the guitar. It's been very rewarding, but I haven't committed enough time to really get good at it.

Regarding the open chords, mensch is exactly right...except that I would try to learn them in the following order:
G, C, D, Am, Em, E, A, F (not barred), F (barred), Bm, B

When learning Free Falling, learn to play it in the key of D using the simple chords:
D, Dsus4, Dsus2

It will sound TERRIBLE if you play along with the CD since you're learning it in a slightly higher key, but it's quite simple, and it's a great strumming exercise. Since playing it this way is pretty easy, it makes for a good first song to learn to play and sing at the same time.

When you're ready to step up the difficulty, learn to play it in the key of E (tab is available on the Internet). IIRC, the CD version is in Eb, played on a guitar that's detuned a half step.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:41 PM   #10
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I knew how to read music going in, but found tabs were much easier. I got a book with tabs about classic theme songs or something and ecah time I'd perfect a song another would be there for me to learn. After I got the hang of those I got an easy classic rock book, and now I'm downloading and playing clapton and mayer a little less than a year into it

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