Advice Needed For Advanced Beginner Regarding Online Or Video Learning Systems

Welsh Terrier

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I have been trying to learn how to play guitar for 5-6 years, off and on (due to work, life, etc.). One of the biggest issues I have had is finding decent teachers. Most seem to teach a technique then part of a song that uses it, and the next week they move on even if the previous material hasn’t been learned yet. Or they teach pieces of songs without ever teaching techniques or the entire song (ie. they will teach a riff and nothing more).

I recently found another teacher who seems better, but is actually going in the opposite direction because he is going over the same stuff over and over even though I am only struggling with one out of about half a dozen things. But far more importantly, we are about to have a scheduling issue that is going to make weekly lessons inconvenient if not impossible as our schedules simply will not mesh.

So after a bunch of time and money, I would still consider myself as nothing more than an advanced beginner. In fact, there is only one song that I can play all the way through.

Because of those frustrating experiences as well as the fact that my schedule is about to become difficult, I’ve decided that maybe I should try to learn by myself for a while. I am not lacking in motivation – I am currently completing my doctorate so am certainly able to motivate myself and work independently.

My problem is that I am not sure which system to pick out of the ones that I am considering. Some of it is uncertainty, some is information overload. To that end, I hope that the hive mind here might be able to help me out. I will list the systems that I am thinking of using, and would appreciate thoughts/comments/experiences/suggestions that will help me decide which one to use. I have already subscribed to or ‘obtained’ (ie. downloaded) all of these at some point so have access to them all. In other words, cost is not an issue.

Here are the systems/programs I have or have access to (in no particular order):
Learn & Master Guitar
Doug Marks Metal Method
GuitarTricks
Truefire


Each of these has its pros and cons, so I am hoping to rely on the advice of others as to which would be best for a beginner/advanced beginner. My goal is to become a competent hobbyist guitar player who can play classic rock, '80s metal, blues, country, etc. for fun. Once the basics are learned I can explore those genres so these systems don't need to teach me those genres necessarily, they just need to get me to the point at which I can explore them myself or take lessons/courses that focus on those genres.

Thanks in advance.
 

chaosman12

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Justin Guitar lessons are comprehensive and well organized. You can start at a grade level appropriate for your skill level, or take a course such as ear training or blues. When he teaches he seems to understand what a novice is going though. It’s free, but you can donate what you want.

It also has a good community for general discussion as well as discussions linked to the lessons.

 

Refugee

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Do you already know all pentatonic positions?
Do you know your intervals? (At least one octave.)
Do you know your modes? Very mandatory for 80's metal. George Lynch is about the only one who came up with different ways of going about that stuff. He has great ears!

If you don't, make sure you focus on intervals. That is how everything gets its name. Minor 2nd, major 2nd, minor 3rd, major 3rd, perfect 4th etc. It's all about the distance between two tones. Half step, whole step, step and a half, two steps, etc...

You have to learn to walk before you can run. Best of luck. It gets more and more complicated as you acquire these musical tools. But basics are thee best place to start.

Oh, and don't focus just on minor flavored rock. Out of seven modes, there are more major than minor. you'll discover this when you try to do more country/jazz stylings. It's all about the 3rd and the 7th. Be patient with yourself. If Google existed back when I was learning, I'd be miles ahead of where I am now.
 
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fenderchamp

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Your practice duration and intensity will give you advancement, your teacher has little to do with it.

I'm guessing that your teachers are probably not the issue.

If you are over prepared for every lesson and you can play them well enough you will be able to communicate your needs much better and discuss realistic extensions to your lesson, If you practice too much, you will have time to teach yourself as well. If you aren't playing much more material than is covered in your lessons, you probably aren't playing enough.

Understanding a lesson is a small part of being able to execute it properly, and a very small piece of being able to play a guitar.

Eschew spending money on materials and video lessons and systems and all of that for having consistent practice sessions of sufficient duration.

see if you can get through a lesson book you already have which you haven't mastered but have hopes of mastering, and work on playing everything in it soup to nuts cold

learn some songs (chord structures and riffs and some leads) that are appropriate to your level of playing by ear

learn to tune your guitar without a tuner to the recordings and by relative pitch

change your own strings once a month and don't fiddle with your guitar any more than that

play along with a metronome

do it for 6 months and see where you gets you.

Try 2 hours a day to start with.

You should be able to walk away with 40 memorized songs
another 40+ songs that you can play along with notes
whatever you learned in the book
the ability to tune up a guitar and hear it properly and the ability to play in tune
the ability to play in time.
the ability to fake it and improvise somewhat through songs in tempo and in real time

or of course you can post complaints about your teachers and look for more youtooob lessons to watch on the internets
 
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Welsh Terrier

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Justin Guitar lessons are comprehensive and well organized. You can start at a grade level appropriate for your skill level, or take a course such as ear training or blues. When he teaches he seems to understand what a novice is going though. It’s free, but you can donate what you want.

It also has a good community for general discussion as well as discussions linked to the lessons.



I read somewhere that his site, while really good, is more about getting you strumming along rather than playing both rhythm and lead. Obviously that could have been wrong so I should look through his website properly.
 

Welsh Terrier

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Posts
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Do you already know all pentatonic positions?
Do you know your intervals? (At least one octave.)
Do you know your modes? Very mandatory for 80's metal. George Lynch is about the only one who came up with different ways of going about that stuff. He has great ears!

If you don't, make sure you focus on intervals. That is how everything gets its name. Minor 2nd, major 2nd, minor 3rd, major 3rd, perfect 4th etc. It's all about the distance between two tones. Half step, whole step, step and a half, two steps, etc...

You have to learn to walk before you can run. Best of luck. It gets more and more complicated as you acquire these musical tools. But basics are thee best place to start.

Oh, and don't focus just on minor flavored rock. Out of seven modes, there are more major than minor. you'll discover this when you try to do more country/jazz stylings. It's all about the 3rd and the 7th. Be patient with yourself. If Google existed back when I was learning, I'd be miles ahead of where I am now.


I'd say no to all of your questions - I know absolutely none of it yet.
 

Welsh Terrier

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I cannot speak highly enough of JustinGuitar. Clear, concise lessons with well-organized and specific objectives. He's recently turned his web site into even more of a learning tool.


See my comment above. I will definitely have to look through his webpage.
 

Welsh Terrier

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Joined
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Posts
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Your practice duration and intensity will give you advancement, your teacher has little to do with it.

I'm guessing that your teachers are probably not the issue.

If you are over prepared for every lesson and you can play them well enough you will be able to communicate your needs much better and discuss realistic extensions to your lesson, If you practice too much, you will have time to teach yourself as well. If you aren't playing much more material than is covered in your lessons, you probably aren't playing enough.

Understanding a lesson is a small part of being able to execute it properly, and a very small piece of being able to play a guitar.

Eschew spending money on materials and video lessons and systems and all of that for having consistent practice sessions of sufficient duration.

see if you can get through a lesson book you already have which you haven't mastered but have hopes of mastering, and work on playing everything in it soup to nuts cold

learn some songs (chord structures and riffs and some leads) that are appropriate to your level of playing by ear

learn to tune your guitar without a tuner to the recordings and by relative pitch

change your own strings once a month and don't fiddle with your guitar any more than that

play along with a metronome

do it for 6 months and see where you gets you.

Try 2 hours a day to start with.

You should be able to walk away with 40 memorized songs
another 40+ songs that you can play along with notes
whatever you learned in the book
the ability to tune up a guitar and hear it properly and the ability to play in tune
the ability to play in time.
the ability to fake it and improvise somewhat through songs in tempo and in real time

or of course you can post complaints about your teachers and look for more youtooob lessons to watch on the internets


To some extent the teachers were the issue, something this current teacher agreed with as did a couple of colleagues at work (I work in a college and they are music professors, but not for guitar).

I can commit to daily practice but there is no way I can commit to two hours a day, not with work, family, etc.
 

fenderchamp

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if you want to watch a video lesson, try this one.

 
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The Angle

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When I got back into guitar five or six years ago after 35 years away, I tried several different online courses.

My advice is, first look for an instructor whose videos you find entertaining and engaging, because the easiest thing in the world is NOT going back for the next lesson from an instructor you find tedious. They need to be sufficiently entertaining that you want to watch the next one. Second, make sure the website is well organized and easy to navigate, and the lessons flow clearly from one to the next. Lots of them sort of toss you into a maze and expect you to find your own path through it. GuitarTricks is especially good in this regard; all its courses are very clear and logical tracks.
 

danielreid27

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YouTube is over-flowing with info.
Choose a few songs that you like & are not too complicated.

Learn the chords, lyrics & where to change chords.
Work on rhythms & strumming.
Later you can work on the leads.

It's a long.fun journey.
Don't complicate it to the point of Frustration.
Practice makes Progress.
One Song at a time.
 

danielreid27

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chordddzzzz.jpg
 

teletail

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The problem is not teachers, it’s the teachers you are choosing. How do you find a teacher? Do you get recommendations? Do you discuss what you’re looking for BEFORE you start lessons?

With Skype, you can study with anyone in the world. Get recommendations, make sure the teacher knows what you want and DON’T want before you start.
 

Tarkus60

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As above learn your cords. That only comes from practice and more practice and when you think you are tired more practice.
GCD is a good starting point. Millions of songs are GCD.
 

kctelegas

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There are two PDF books available for free download. Each has embedded links to additional online resources.
Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
The Beginner's Guide to Jazz Guitar
 

Jeremy_Green

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Most seem to teach a technique then part of a song that uses it, and the next week they move on even if the previous material hasn’t been learned yet.

This to me is a bit of a red flag. I taught for years and one of the BIGGEST issues is students not doing the assigned work. You can't really progress someone if they don't do the work. I'm not implying that this is you, maybe the teacher was weak... But how honest are you bing with yourself about doing what was requested? Something to think about first, because this issue will follow you whatever learning system you try.

THE BEST lessons - hands down - is being in a band. Are you doing this? Because usually I could divide students into 2 groups - those who jam and those who don't. There is a big gap between the two. "Band" is the best learning system there is.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Been playing for fifty years. Have taken a few lessons just to get out of ruts, but no formal instruction.

Lessons are handy sometimes, but nothing, nothing, nothing, beats woodshedding.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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. . . THE BEST lessons - hands down - is being in a band. Are you doing this? Because usually I could divide students into 2 groups - those who jam and those who don't. There is a big gap between the two. "Band" is the best learning system there is.
I like what you said, and I agree that playing in bands is a great education, even though woodshedding in the privacy of my own mind has been my best teacher. We're all different.

But it might help Terrier if you clarify your last part. Do you mean be in a band instead of jamming, or do you mean jamming in a band? Are the two groups jammers versus band members, or are you saying to jam in a band?
 
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