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 Could I learn to play the guitar??
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bedrock_barney
= Cult of Ray =

United Kingdom
871 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  04:51:11  Show Profile
Looks like Cheeseman's and benji's ageist insults have moved me into an early mid life crisis (and remember that's an early crisis, goddammit!!)

I seriously enjoy listening to music but have never shown any inclination musically. I was useless at school (way back in the early 20th C) and actually elected for additional maths at one point instead of music lessons!

Quite a few of the Fb.net regulars are musicians so I'm looking for some informed advice. Basically am I kidding myself that I could teach myself to play the guitar? How many hours a week would I realistically need to put in? How long would it take to reach a point where I could produce recognisable tunes? Should I start with an acoustic guitar? How much should I spend on a guitar? Best book on the subject?

or should I sober up and forget the whole thing?










"The Pixies are reforming?? / I say bring back Abba, ahaaa!!!"

bumblebeeboy2
> Teenager of the Year <

United Kingdom
2638 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  04:57:43  Show Profile  Click to see bumblebeeboy2's MSN Messenger address
well i think i started when i was 18... my dad plays guitar, very well, and he was supposed to be teaching me, but he never did, so i'm self-taught... it's not too hard... i'd recommend starting on an acoustic and a guitar book may be useful. i'd say get a a chord book for an album you like or maybe just download loads of tabs and stuff (fb and pixies stuff from this very site!). i think i got most stuff off the net whilst learning. find a site with some pictures of chord shapes and give it a go. if i recall correctly it didn't take me too long to be able to play a song, concentrate on open chords at first. i hope that's helpful.




"Join the Cult of Orange Cat / the more the better!"
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cvanepps
= Cult of Ray =

USA
442 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  05:02:38  Show Profile
Oh! What a blunder. Music is very mathematical. Sure, you can't do calculus with it but the two share some pretty common elements. I don't know how old you are but I've produced and released 2 CDs, the latter of which gets local college radio play...and I'm 35...way too old to be partying with those damn kids! So I say, fuck it and go for it!

-= It's not easy to kidnap a fat man =-
http://christophervanepps.iuma.com
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benji
> Teenager of the Year <

New Zealand
3322 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  05:03:31  Show Profile  Visit benji's Homepage
jeez, barney, it's lunchtime and you're already pissed?

impressive.

i cannot help you because i am equally unlearned.


go midlife crisis!


"I joined the Cult of Frank / I think that man deserves a DB!"
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mcmikey
= Cult of Ray =

799 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  06:00:47  Show Profile
I say go for it. Playing music is loads of fun (but can be pretty frustrating when you're first starting out), and I think everyone who has any kind of interest in learning should give it a go

************************
a Spike Lee Joint
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PsychicTwin
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:12:35  Show Profile  Visit PsychicTwin's Homepage
Devote a simple hour of practice every day, and you will eventually start picking it up....faster than you think, actually. Learn songs you like to listen to...

and don't get discouraged and quit.

------------------------
The blue pill opens your eyes
Is there a better way?
A new religion prescribed to those without the faith
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The Calistanian
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1342 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:21:22  Show Profile
A book showing what the notes on the fretboard are, and chords would be the best. I think at first it requires more than an hour a day, but it'll be easy 'cause you'll want to do it more. I say go for an electric guitar, since it's the most practical, and you'll need one later anyway. That way you can learn the electric aspect and feel at the same time. You can play recognizable tunes almost immediately. You make a lot of progress right away.
I started when I was 19.. am 27 now, and still loving it...learning it was one of the best things I ever did.
By the way I have a CD, and one in the process...if anyone's interested, e-mail me and I'll send one to you FREE! I wouldn't make anyone pay for anything they haven't listened to first.
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mcmikey
= Cult of Ray =

799 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:33:35  Show Profile
I definitely disagree with Cal about going for an electric first. 1) you won't necessarily need one later on, and 2) I've heard several people say (and I agree) that if you really want to work on your technique, practice on an acoustic because it's harder to disguise shortcomings (through effects and whatnot). I am however, very interested in your cd, Calistanian

************************
a Spike Lee Joint
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bedrock_barney
= Cult of Ray =

United Kingdom
871 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:34:52  Show Profile
Hey guys thanks for the encouragement so far. So is it to be electric or acoustic then??

How about these packages on ebay:


Looks good:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3704685934&category=2384


Looks very cheap (is this the Lada of the guitar world?)
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3705538594&category=2384


How about this one?
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3704947678&category=2384



"The Pixies are reforming?? / I say bring back Abba, ahaaa!!!"
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bumblebeeboy2
> Teenager of the Year <

United Kingdom
2638 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:38:23  Show Profile  Click to see bumblebeeboy2's MSN Messenger address
quote:
Originally posted by The Calistanian

A book showing what the notes on the fretboard are, and chords would be the best. I think at first it requires more than an hour a day, but it'll be easy 'cause you'll want to do it more. I say go for an electric guitar, since it's the most practical, and you'll need one later anyway. That way you can learn the electric aspect and feel at the same time. You can play recognizable tunes almost immediately. You make a lot of progress right away.
I started when I was 19.. am 27 now, and still loving it...learning it was one of the best things I ever did.
By the way I have a CD, and one in the process...if anyone's interested, e-mail me and I'll send one to you FREE! I wouldn't make anyone pay for anything they haven't listened to first.



i'm interested in cd too! are you in the uk? anyway, drop us an email!




"Join the Cult of Orange Cat / the more the better!"
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bumblebeeboy2
> Teenager of the Year <

United Kingdom
2638 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:41:14  Show Profile  Click to see bumblebeeboy2's MSN Messenger address
quote:
Originally posted by bedrock_barney

Hey guys thanks for the encouragement so far. So is it to be electric or acoustic then??




stick with an acoustic first mate! maybe an electric-acoustic would be a nice starting point, be a little easier to play? if you insist on getting an electric there's normally a decent squier or peavey strat kit about, for not much more than 100, amp and guitar with a few other bits you'll want...




"Join the Cult of Orange Cat / the more the better!"
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The Calistanian
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1342 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:42:20  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by mcmikey

I definitely disagree with Cal about going for an electric first. 1) you won't necessarily need one later on, and 2) I've heard several people say (and I agree) that if you really want to work on your technique, practice on an acoustic because it's harder to disguise shortcomings (through effects and whatnot). I am however, very interested in your cd, Calistanian

************************
a Spike Lee Joint



You do have a good point about the acoustic guitar not hiding mistakes. I love acoustic guitar, but at some point you have to learn the machines (amps, whatnot). Both ways are great though.
E-mail me about the CD mcmikey...you have any recordings?
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mcmikey
= Cult of Ray =

799 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  09:47:04  Show Profile
not currently, although I'm in the process of putting stuff together with a new band, so hopefully Ill have something soon

************************
a Spike Lee Joint
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Homers_pet_monkey
= Official forum monkey =

United Kingdom
17122 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  12:27:21  Show Profile
I learnt (am still learning!!!) on an electric 'cos I knew that was what I wanted to play long-term. If you are more interested in acoustic playing then go for one of them. If you are more interested in playing electric guitar then go for that. Mikey makes a good point about an electric disguising your mistakes but I just played it unplugged most of the time to compensate for this. That would make a semi-acoustic a good option but they are a bit bulky and the necks tend to be thick which is a strain for a beginner.

I'd say get a nice cheap Fender Squier, 'cos you might not keep it up very long (most people don't but let that spur you on, not put you off). Electrics are more fun in my opinion so if you are worried that you might not keep it up then they are a good choice.

Stay away from that Encore though, they are supposed to be shite!!!

Check out http://www.harmony-central.com/ for buyer's review on almost every guitar ever made.

Good luck!!!

Lo! I have become death!
Stealer of pie!!!

Edited by - Homers_pet_monkey on 02/20/2004 12:28:28
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Cookie
- FB Fan -

USA
82 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  12:49:40  Show Profile
As far as electric vs. acoustic, depends on the type of music you want to play. If you want to pound out some punk jams at high volume, an acoustic is useless. If your goal is to strum along with Frank Black and entertain for friends, an acoustic would be preferable. I dislike open/Mel Bay/Cowboy Chords and acoustic guitar music as a general rule, so I'll put a plug in for electric. I would NOT start with open/cowboy chords. Someone showed me major/minor/and seventh barre chords (almost the exact same fingering for ALL of these), and with these I could approximate almost any song. You can learn that in a week, practicing an hour or two a day. (By learn I mean build up your hand muscle strength--it takes about 5 minutes to actually memorize the fingereing). And it sounded like the Ramones and not Willie Nelson. Depends what you want to do with your guitar.
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GoddessTheory
= Cult of Ray =

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  13:12:18  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Cookie

As far as electric vs. acoustic, depends on the type of music you want to play. If you want to pound out some punk jams at high volume, an acoustic is useless.



Tell that to the Vilolent Femmes
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GoddessTheory
= Cult of Ray =

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  13:13:05  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Cookie

As far as electric vs. acoustic, depends on the type of music you want to play. If you want to pound out some punk jams at high volume, an acoustic is useless.



Tell that to the Violent Femmes
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Dallas
= Cult of Ray =

USA
725 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  14:12:38  Show Profile
Man, I went through this same thing about 18 months ago.

I had an acoustic that was handed down to me that I started trying to learn a few chords on. I just bought a used "learn to play guitar" book. I learned a few chords but really struggled and made slow progress.

I was interested enough and had the money to buy a Fender Tele so I did. I definitely think I could see progress faster with the Tele and thus ended up playing and practicing more often. Things really took off when I bought a basic distortion pedal. I could finally hear the chords the way I heard them in my mind. Plus you can just thrash around and actually make up riffs and the fun increases more.

I just couldnt get a good sounding chord from the acoustic. It was much harder. One reason may be that I couldnt tune the acoustic well. I dont know.

Then my house burned down a year ago, I lost the Tele and until the last month or so the desire to get back into it.

My advice to you, and what I will do when I pick it back up, is to go ahead and find someone to teach you the basics first. That would have helped me a ton. Even 1 hour with a novice would have saved me a week of not progressing. Someone with some experience could probably tell you/me HOW and WHAT to practice a lot better than a book that is trying to serve all kinds of different styles, levels etc.. I would assume that learning on the acoustic would make you a better player in the long run, but, it was less fun IMO.

Good luck, you have me jonesing for my guitar...

Forgot to mention that I am an OLD man (at least by this boards standards)...


Edited by - Dallas on 02/20/2004 14:17:12
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PixieSteve
> Teenager of the Year <

4698 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2004 :  14:56:41  Show Profile
don't make too much of a big deal about it. don't worry about how long it will take etc. just enjoy it. i started learning on an acoustic about a year and a half ago, around about the same time i first heard the pixies. i started learning barre chords to begin with (my brothers advice)
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Cookie
- FB Fan -

USA
82 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2004 :  06:13:20  Show Profile
Goddess,

Touche
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Newo
~ Abstract Brain ~

Spain
2638 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2004 :  10:26:48  Show Profile  Click to see Newo's MSN Messenger address
I say it's never too late so give it socks.

quote:
GoddessTheory Posted - 02/20/2004 : 13:12:18
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Cookie

As far as electric vs. acoustic, depends on the type of music you want to play. If you want to pound out some punk jams at high volume, an acoustic is useless.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Tell that to the Vilolent Femmes

Dern tootin. I left my electric in the old country and have been walloping the crap out of my acoustic since.

--
"You one of those right wing nut outfits?" inquired the diplomatic Metzger.
Fallopian twinkled. "They accuse us of being paranoids."
"They?" inquired Metzger, twinkling also.
"Us?" asked Oedipa.
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Bryan Shepherd
- FB Fan -

USA
126 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  05:08:43  Show Profile  Visit Bryan Shepherd's Homepage
The most discouraging part of learning guitar is getting used to the feeling of wire on wood. If a beginner can get comfortable with the feel of the instrument, that's half the battle. I usually prefer that a student start on an electric unless they are sure they'll never want to play one. Starting on acoustic makes that initial "feel" issue harder to overcome. Start electric & then work up to an acoustic when you have some comfort with the basics. I also disagree with the "electric hides mistakes" theory. Distortion & volume may even out your dynamics, but are much less forgiving of slop & open strings. "Playing" an amp is another skill set altogether. I would also concentrate on the guitarist's main weakness, rhythm. Learn a few chords that sound good together & then play `em to death faster,slower, punky, ballady, etc. Learning how to rock a steady groove is more useful than knowing 12 ways to play Am9 (both are good, though). Practice with a metronome or drum machine/program to tighten up. Being able to make people feel the rhythm of the song without accompaniment is a good sign that you're on your way. Most importantly, though-HAVE FUN! If you're not enjoying playing, you'll never get very far. Don't sweat the mistakes & keep rockin'!

Wow, that's gotta be my longest post ever.

I'm the guy from wonderland...& you will never understand...
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Homers_pet_monkey
= Official forum monkey =

United Kingdom
17122 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  06:20:18  Show Profile
And as Thom Yorke once sang, anyone can play guitar!!!

Hansel and Gretel have formed a band, .....And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Breadcrumbs!!!
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