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Guitar beginners

bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
edited September 2015 in The cake stop
As i've decided to make better use of my spare time other than riding the bike, i've decided (as millions probably have before me, and fallen by the wayside) to buy a guitar and strum and pick.
My first guitar many many years ago (pre internet) was a waste of time as I couldn't afford lessons as a kid, so wasn't really going anywhere. As there's so much info out there on line lessons, tuning apps etc hopefully the path will be a little easier. Chosen a Yamaha F310 as a beginners guitar, seems to be a decent make with the right characteristics to learn on. Anybody been through the same process then gave up or continued and actually learnt to play some tunes that sounded half decent?
All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
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  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,897
    As i've decided to make better use of my spare time other than riding the bike, i've decided (as millions probably have before me, and fallen by the wayside) to buy a guitar and strum and pick.
    My first guitar many many years ago (pre internet) was a waste of time as I couldn't afford lessons as a kid, so wasn't really going anywhere. As there's so much info out there on line lessons, tuning apps etc hopefully the path will be a little easier. Chosen a Yamaha F310 as a beginners guitar, seems to be a decent make with the right characteristics to learn on. Anybody been through the same process then gave up or continued and actually learnt to play some tunes that sounded half decent?

    It goes without saying that practice, practice, practice is the key to progressing and your choice of guitar looks fine for a beginner. Personally, as strange as it may seem, the acquisition of a guitar stand was key to enabling me to practice effectively. Rather than having the guitar stuck upstairs in "the music room", I had it on the stand right next to "my" chair in the living room. Picking it up for just 10 minutes, 5 times a day is better than two 2 hour stints a week in my experience. Having it to hand makes it so much easier somehow.

    As far as lessons go, I would be tempted to have them two weekly. Life means that it isn't always possible to get in the necessary practice between lessons if they are weekly but two weeks apart and it seems more achievable. Lessons are also a great way to measure your improvement. I had a great teacher which helps.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • As i've decided to make better use of my spare time other than riding the bike, i've decided (as millions probably have before me, and fallen by the wayside) to buy a guitar and strum and pick.
    My first guitar many many years ago (pre internet) was a waste of time as I couldn't afford lessons as a kid, so wasn't really going anywhere. As there's so much info out there on line lessons, tuning apps etc hopefully the path will be a little easier. Chosen a Yamaha F310 as a beginners guitar, seems to be a decent make with the right characteristics to learn on. Anybody been through the same process then gave up or continued and actually learnt to play some tunes that sounded half decent?

    It goes without saying that practice, practice, practice is the key to progressing and your choice of guitar looks fine for a beginner. Personally, as strange as it may seem, the acquisition of a guitar stand was key to enabling me to practice effectively. Rather than having the guitar stuck upstairs in "the music room", I had it on the stand right next to "my" chair in the living room. Picking it up for just 10 minutes, 5 times a day is better than two 2 hour stints a week in my experience. Having it to hand makes it so much easier somehow.

    As far as lessons go, I would be tempted to have them two weekly. Life means that it isn't always possible to get in the necessary practice between lessons if they are weekly but two weeks apart and it seems more achievable. Lessons are also a great way to measure your improvement. I had a great teacher which helps.

    Appreciate your comments, have got a stand with it so will take your advice and keep it handy to annoy the other half ;)
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • It goes without saying that talent talent talent is the key to progressing
    Cannondale Supersix / CAAD9 / Boardman 9.0 / Benotto 3000
  • It goes without saying that talent talent talent is the key to progressing
    Nah, i ride a bike ok without talent shirley a guitar's the same :D
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,216
    Laurentian is right - it's a musical instrument and is as hard to learn to play properly as any other. Something that took me as long as it takes every other student with a metallica* tab book to learn ;)

    *insert band of choice here...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    The two big things are practice and take the time to do things properly even if slowly at first. Some days go well and for others it is an instrument of torture.
  • graham.graham. Posts: 862
    As the others have said, practice is the key. Not because it's particularly difficult but to build muscle memory in your fingers...(and I know there are no muscles in your fingers.)
    Also, like bikes and cameras, its difficult to buy a bad guitar these days.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,897
    The two big things are practice and take the time to do things properly even if slowly at first. Some days go well and for others it is an instrument of torture.

    Actually, that's a very good point. I was once told that, when learning something, you should play so slowly that you never make a mistake and that seems to make a lot of sense. (I was also told to play until your fingers bleed!)
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • The two big things are practice and take the time to do things properly even if slowly at first. Some days go well and for others it is an instrument of torture.

    Actually, that's a very good point. I was once told that, when learning something, you should play so slowly that you never make a mistake and that seems to make a lot of sense. (I was also told to play until your fingers bleed!)

    Not quiet bleeding, but sore as hell after just 15 mins of basic chords, as expected gonna take a lot of work to make a clean chord change.. a chord change at speed will be in another lifetime methinks :)
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • Form a band first then learn, it'll help if it's a punk/new wave type band rather than prog rock otherwise it may be a struggle.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    The two big things are practice and take the time to do things properly even if slowly at first. Some days go well and for others it is an instrument of torture.

    Actually, that's a very good point. I was once told that, when learning something, you should play so slowly that you never make a mistake and that seems to make a lot of sense. (I was also told to play until your fingers bleed!)

    Not quiet bleeding, but sore as hell after just 15 mins of basic chords, as expected gonna take a lot of work to make a clean chord change.. a chord change at speed will be in another lifetime methinks :)

    Just keep going it will come, the pain also goes as your fingers get used to it.
  • The two big things are practice and take the time to do things properly even if slowly at first. Some days go well and for others it is an instrument of torture.

    Actually, that's a very good point. I was once told that, when learning something, you should play so slowly that you never make a mistake and that seems to make a lot of sense. (I was also told to play until your fingers bleed!)

    Not quiet bleeding, but sore as hell after just 15 mins of basic chords, as expected gonna take a lot of work to make a clean chord change.. a chord change at speed will be in another lifetime methinks :)

    Just keep going it will come, the pain also goes as your fingers get used to it.
    Thanks for the encouragement, already feel my fingers are getting used to the pain, lots of both frustrating and pleasurable hours ahead :)
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    It goes without saying that talent talent talent is the key to progressing
    I find that the more you practise practise practise, the more talented you get.

    unfortunately I don't actually practise much.

    Another useful tip - I first taught Bomp Jr the basics when he was about 7, now he's 17 and a grade 8 classical guitarist who can play more or less anything after hearing it a couple of times - but most of what he picked up along the way he got from youtube: there are gazillions of instructional vids there, and lots of actually quite good ones.
  • It goes without saying that talent talent talent is the key to progressing
    I find that the more you practise practise practise, the more talented you get.

    unfortunately I don't actually practise much.

    Another useful tip - I first taught Bomp Jr the basics when he was about 7, now he's 17 and a grade 8 classical guitarist who can play more or less anything after hearing it a couple of times - but most of what he picked up along the way he got from youtube: there are gazillions of instructional vids there, and lots of actually quite good ones.

    yeah, amazing how some of the 'tutors' on youtube you gel with straight away and know you can follow within 30 seconds an amazing free resource i try to make sure i click the links or watch the ads so they get something back
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • I tried guitar for about 6 months, but I wasn't making much progress - I really struggled to contort my fingers to make many of the chords, especially the F chord.

    I switched to piano 4 years ago, and found it a lot easier. I can now play quite a bit, reasonably well - I think you have to find the instrument that suits you.
  • I tried guitar for about 6 months, but I wasn't making much progress - I really struggled to contort my fingers to make many of the chords, especially the F chord.

    I switched to piano 4 years ago, and found it a lot easier. I can now play quite a bit, reasonably well - I think you have to find the instrument that suits you.
    very early days , but finding the finger contortions the same, don't have too high an expectation of my musical abilities, but am enjoying the learning process, certainly takes your mind off other things as concentration levels needed are quiet high
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,216
    It will come, I promise

    The first time you play a song around a campfire and everyone joins in will be your own personal glastonbury and you'll never forget it!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    Here's a tip. Learn to play stuff you love (and if you love wishy washy melancholy acoustic singer-songwriter type censored that most people play when they pick up a guitar then do us all a favour and give up already).
  • Here's a tip. Learn to play stuff you love (and if you love wishy washy melancholy acoustic singer-songwriter type censored that most people play when they pick up a guitar then do us all a favour and give up already).

    Hey, you'll love my mix of wishy washy paul simon, john denver, neil young and David Gilmour, and if you can tell em apart you get a prize. Front row tickets to my first gig on their way to you!! :wink:
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    Here's a tip. Learn to play stuff you love (and if you love wishy washy melancholy acoustic singer-songwriter type censored that most people play when they pick up a guitar then do us all a favour and give up already).

    Hey, you'll love my mix of wishy washy paul simon, john denver, neil young and David Gilmour, and if you can tell em apart you get a prize. Front row tickets to my first gig on their way to you!! :wink:

    :) thanks in advance.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,786
    I bought a Spanish Guitar some 6 years ago with a view to playing Flamenco. What I never envisaged was the problems I have with the larger fret spacings coupled with my left pinkie which has as much strength as a cotton wool bud as I broke it twice - once in a fight and once playing cricket. For example, playing F or A minor in the 7th Fret is possible but it's always a compromise.
    If I didn't live in the middle of no where, I would get lessons so youtube is my tutor but it has it's limitations.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • crispybug2crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    I bought a Spanish Guitar some 6 years ago with a view to playing Flamenco. What I never envisaged was the problems I have with the larger fret spacings coupled with my left pinkie which has as much strength as a cotton wool bud as I broke it twice - once in a fight and once playing cricket. For example, playing F or A minor in the 7th Fret is possible but it's always a compromise.
    If I didn't live in the middle of no where, I would get lessons so youtube is my tutor but it has it's limitations.


    More of a bass player myself but I had the same problem with the left pinkie (legacy of most of my life spent playing rugby!) but I found using a tennis ball to strengthen my fingers a good trick.

    As well as copying tabs from YouTube there is a download guitar tutor called. 'yousician' that I have heard nothing but positive things about.

    Hope that helps.
  • I bought a Spanish Guitar some 6 years ago with a view to playing Flamenco. What I never envisaged was the problems I have with the larger fret spacings coupled with my left pinkie which has as much strength as a cotton wool bud as I broke it twice - once in a fight and once playing cricket. For example, playing F or A minor in the 7th Fret is possible but it's always a compromise.
    If I didn't live in the middle of no where, I would get lessons so youtube is my tutor but it has it's limitations.


    More of a bass player myself but I had the same problem with the left pinkie (legacy of most of my life spent playing rugby!) but I found using a tennis ball to strengthen my fingers a good trick.

    As well as copying tabs from YouTube there is a download guitar tutor called. 'yousician' that I have heard nothing but positive things about.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks for that, have downloaded it and will give it my best shot - cheers
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,626
    Bought a guitar off a workmate who was moving away a few years ago but it was immediately requisitioned by my daughter who has taught herself to play quite well since. Good thing is she's having a new one for her 18th next week so I should get mine back and at some point in the future I might end up with 6 months gardening leave to fill. I do find my soft, office worker fingers struggle though.
  • Bought a guitar off a workmate who was moving away a few years ago but it was immediately requisitioned by my daughter who has taught herself to play quite well since. Good thing is she's having a new one for her 18th next week so I should get mine back and at some point in the future I might end up with 6 months gardening leave to fill. I do find my soft, office worker fingers struggle though.
    Same here, ends of fret fingers are constantly numb, not quiet how I expected them to feel thought they would just toughen up :?
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • crispybug2crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    Bought a guitar off a workmate who was moving away a few years ago but it was immediately requisitioned by my daughter who has taught herself to play quite well since. Good thing is she's having a new one for her 18th next week so I should get mine back and at some point in the future I might end up with 6 months gardening leave to fill. I do find my soft, office worker fingers struggle though.
    Same here, ends of fret fingers are constantly numb, not quiet how I expected them to feel thought they would just toughen up :?


    What you are experiencing here is the guitarists version of rule #10!!

    Stick with it, it does improve.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,786
    I have Nylon strings but for flamenco the right hand has to be loose and the left, strong. It took weeks and weeks before the little hard 'pads' formed at the fingertips and it was only then that I started getting a crisp tone. Much kinder than steel strings and I use 'soft' flamenco strings which don't quite generate as much volume as the harder varieties - only because of my weak pinky.
    At around this time, I picked up a friend's steel strung acoustic. First I noticed the narrow fret spacing. He was able to put one finger across 2 strings in a way that was impossible for me but allowed him to play certain chords a lot easier.
    As an aside, Django Reinhardt had polio as a child and his left hand didn't work very well. You'd think he has 3 hands when you listen to him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQhTpgicdx4

    So anything is possible.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,897
    Django is one of my all time Guitar Heroes . . . just breathtaking at times

    PS (I thought he lost his fingers after falling into a fire when he was a gypsy?)
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,786
    Django is one of my all time Guitar Heroes . . . just breathtaking at times

    PS (I thought he lost his fingers after falling into a fire when he was a gypsy?)

    According to Wiki, he did.
    According to my Django Reinhardt fanatic friend it was Polio. One of them it telling porkies.

    If you are in the Cheltenham area, go visit John Vickers at Vintage Strings, 88 London Road and hear him play Django. He'd be happy to. The shop is more like a stop and have coffee and a chat than a come and buy stuff place.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,897
    Django is one of my all time Guitar Heroes . . . just breathtaking at times

    PS (I thought he lost his fingers after falling into a fire when he was a gypsy?)

    According to Wiki, he did.
    According to my Django Reinhardt fanatic friend it was Polio. One of them it telling porkies.

    If you are in the Cheltenham area, go visit John Vickers at Vintage Strings, 88 London Road and hear him play Django. He'd be happy to. The shop is more like a stop and have coffee and a chat than a come and buy stuff place.

    Rarely in that area but if I am, I'll certainly have a look. Have you heard Django and The Hot Club de Paris do "Georgia on my Mind"? . . . it's like going on holiday!

    This isn't "Georgia" but a good example of Django awesomeness with some interesting footage:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQhTpgicdx4
    Wilier Izoard XP
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