Relearning Guitar from the beginning… where to start… good freeish resources

jdl57

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I took lessons for six years, and quit because I wanted to get into finger picking, which my teacher didn't do. I was 15 when I stopped taking lessons. I now, almost 50 years later, I find that what he taught me has enabled me to play the music I play now. I learned how to read music, and yes you should learn how to read music, and how to play a melody on the top of chords. I didn't realize at the time that was important, and I also didn't appreciate how good a teacher he was.

You can do the books if you want, but I say find a good teacher, someone who is older, and can teach you how to play guitar, not rock guitar or metal guitar or even classical or jazz guitar. Someone who can point out mistakes as you make them so you don't have to figure it out on your own later. Someone who can teach you techniques you can carry for a lifetime. Books won't do that.
 
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Cloodie

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Another vote here for JustinGuitar. I took a break from guitar for years and it was the site I went to when I eventually got around to picking it up again. Learnt more in 18 months than I probably had in my previous 10 years of playing.
 

ndcaster

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@giogolf "I want to start over.. I want to learn all the chords, all the notes on the fret board, triads, scales, techniques etc… Where do I start and where do I go?"

Learn all the Cowboy Chords (using all the strings), preferably via songs you like.

C, C7
D, Dm, D7
E, Em, E7
F, Fm, F7
G, Gm, G7
A, Am, A7
B, Bm, B7

Learn the names of all the notes on the top three strings. Pay attention to where the same notes occur in the same octave. Look:

fretboard-octaves.png


Quiz yourself randomly on these notes.

Then learn the three major triad shapes on the top three strings in C. Here's a thread: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/demystifying-the-fretboard.970228/#post-9255587

Practice shifting between these triad shapes in time to a metronome.

Then learn the "nearest-neighbor" chords of those major triads, i.e. G, F, Dm, etc. Practice shifting between them, in time, to a metronome.

Then play those triads as the "chord changes" of songs you know, and try to make the top ("soprano") note of each triad form a kind of melody that is easy to sing.

This is all a way of grounding you firmly in fretboard knowledge and musical changes at the same time.

After a bit, you can start to think of those triad shapes more abstractly as "areas" that ground your fretting hand so its fingers can find more notes than the triad-notes to play with.

Thus: to start over means to start over with fretboard knowledge and music.

Don't bite off more than you can chew. Deal with the top three strings first.

.02
 

bgmacaw

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I would really like to pick up a good old fashion paper book (they still make those right) Something foundational that really breaks things down.

in that case, you might want to check out the Fretboard Roadmaps series by Fred Sokolow (available on Amazon). The content is easy and informative and not so deep that you'll get bogged down.
 

giogolf

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@giogolf "I want to start over.. I want to learn all the chords, all the notes on the fret board, triads, scales, techniques etc… Where do I start and where do I go?"

Learn all the Cowboy Chords (using all the strings), preferably via songs you like.

C, C7
D, Dm, D7
E, Em, E7
F, Fm, F7
G, Gm, G7
A, Am, A7
B, Bm, B7

Learn the names of all the notes on the top three strings. Pay attention to where the same notes occur in the same octave. Look:

View attachment 960104

Quiz yourself randomly on these notes.

Then learn the three major triad shapes on the top three strings in C. Here's a thread: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/demystifying-the-fretboard.970228/#post-9255587

Practice shifting between these triad shapes in time to a metronome.

Then learn the "nearest-neighbor" chords of those major triads, i.e. G, F, Dm, etc. Practice shifting between them, in time, to a metronome.

Then play those triads as the "chord changes" of songs you know, and try to make the top ("soprano") note of each triad form a kind of melody that is easy to sing.

This is all a way of grounding you firmly in fretboard knowledge and musical changes at the same time.

After a bit, you can start to think of those triad shapes more abstractly as "areas" that ground your fretting hand so its fingers can find more notes than the triad-notes to play with.

Thus: to start over means to start over with fretboard knowledge and music.

Don't bite off more than you can chew. Deal with the top three strings first.

.02
Wow this is awesome… much appreciated.. Im working my way through Justin Guitar at the moment.. Ill pause for a bit and go through what you have laid out..

Thank you very much!
 

kbold

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Play songs.
Play along with backing tracks (or a looper, or a drum/rhythm machine), and record your playing.

When you listen back you will hear how good/ bad you really are.
Rinse and repeat until the bad parts sound better/good.
You will also have an idea on what theory/techniques you may need to work on.
 

T Prior

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Interesting subject and question, interesting replies as well

You may find that you actually know more than you think but have not put it together mentally. This is why you need a VERY GOOD teacher, not a very good player, a VERY GOOD teacher who can observe and evaluate you.

A quality teacher can explain to you what you may already know, but don't realize it, by connecting the dots.

You don't need to just run out and start over, you need to understand what you already know. Then you can begin to apply it, in baby steps , across and up /down the fretboard.

Its not magic, the guitar tuning makes total sense, once we actually understand the relationships between the strings and redundant positions, which is redundant root notes, chords and /or scales in multiple fretboard locations. Once the light bulb goes on, and it will, you will see the fretboard in a whole new light. Those basic simple chords that you learned a few years back are a SPRINGBOARD.

Find a quality teacher who can explain to you what you are already doing, start there. Don't go backwards. I guarantee you know quite a bit already but just don't realize it.
 
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OmegaWoods

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Interesting subject and question, interesting replies as well

You may find that you actually know more than you think but have not put it together mentally. This is why you need a VERY GOOD teacher, not a very good player, a VERY GOOD teacher who can observe and evaluate you.

A quality teacher can teach you what you may already know, but don't realize it, by connecting the dots.

You don't need to just run out and start over, you need to understand what you already know. Then you can begin to apply it, in baby steps , across and up /down the fretboard.

Its not magic, the guitar tuning makes total sense, once we actually understand the relationships between the strings and redundant positions, be it redundant chords and /or scales in multiple fretboard locations. Once the light bulb goes on, and it will, you will see the fretboard in a whole new light.

Find a quality teacher who can explain to you what you are already doing, start there. Don't go backwards.
Excellent advice, @T Prior . Well said.
 

MyLittleEye

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I tried and failed to teach myself guitar (from books and slowed records) twice; in my late teens an twenty's.
Stated again 7 years ago using YouTube and the Rocksmith game/trainer

Rocksmith isn't a great teacher by itself but it does get me practicing regularly. seeing myself progress as I nudge up my scores is very motivating. I have 8 or so Radiohead songs on it at about 60-80%

With acoustic guitar I'd recommend learning a simple Travis picking pattern really early - don't put it off!
I was inspired by a friend whose tutor (the late 'Celtic guitarist' Pete Chalmers) got him finger picking right from the start. It's a fairly steep learning curve but not nearly as difficult as it looks. I dedicated a whole weekend to learning Freight train and Dust in the wind. I felt instantly accomplished!

Furthermore once I had that 'simple' foundation in place all the more complex stuff just started falling into place and wasn't nearly so challenging as it looks!

I don't think I have any particular gift for it. It took me about 10 hours of dull repetition before my fingers got to moving by themselves without me thinking. It remains the most rewarding weekend I've invested in my playing and I'm certain it would have taken me the same time whether I'd learned this at the start or waited 5 or 10 years 'til whenever I'd imagined I'd be "ready". Better to get it over with!

I remain grateful to Pete for giving my friend and ultimately myself the confidence to jump in at the deep end with finger-picking.

BTW. I still can't use a plectrum much beyond strumming. I was surprised to see Thom York use a pick on Fade Out; who'd've thought? - I find fingerstyle much less effort!
 
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giogolf

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Interesting subject and question, interesting replies as well

You may find that you actually know more than you think but have not put it together mentally. This is why you need a VERY GOOD teacher, not a very good player, a VERY GOOD teacher who can observe and evaluate you.

A quality teacher can explain to you what you may already know, but don't realize it, by connecting the dots.

You don't need to just run out and start over, you need to understand what you already know. Then you can begin to apply it, in baby steps , across and up /down the fretboard.

Its not magic, the guitar tuning makes total sense, once we actually understand the relationships between the strings and redundant positions, which is redundant root notes, chords and /or scales in multiple fretboard locations. Once the light bulb goes on, and it will, you will see the fretboard in a whole new light. Those basic simple chords that you learned a few years back are a SPRINGBOARD.

Find a quality teacher who can explain to you what you are already doing, start there. Don't go backwards. I guarantee you know quite a bit already but just don't realize it.

Very wise words indeed..
 

sax4blues

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I experience all of the challenges you mentioned, and I’m a mediocre player at best. But… I just love playing, so I never think of motivation because just sitting there playing is fun for me in the moment, even playing that same phrase I’ve been working on for six months.

Maybe for me I don’t have goals and I don’t compare myself to others, so the fun is in the work, not a result.
 

ChicknPickn

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I know you don't want to hear it, but I'm going to say it anyway - find a good teacher. With zoom and Skype you can study with anyone anywhere in the world. If you really want to start over, feedback from a qualified teacher will help you progress exponentially faster than trying to figure out what you are doing wrong from a book or video. The problem with books and videos is that you don't get any feedback. If you are doing something wrong, you just keep doing it wrong. You don't know what you don't know.
Much as I hate to acknowledge it, I believe this to be true.
 

Keithr41

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Triads, Triads, Triads!!!!! Pretty much everything you need to know about the fretboard!!!CAGEDis a good place to start.
 

ASATKat

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So title kinda says it all.. But here it goes.. Picked up the guitar at 16, joined a band at 18 because they liked my hear and we had same musical interests.. I never took a lesson or learned anything foundational. I know basic chord structure and how to play tabbed music of my favorite songs..

In the band, my style could be summed up as: makes melodic noises :).

Ok, I really dont want to take lessons from someone.. Id rather read a book, watch videos or study via websites.. I want to start over.. I want to learn all the chords, all the notes on the fret board, triads, scales, techniques etc…

Where do I start and where do I go?

Thanks as always.. one day I will actually contribute to this forum rather than ask questions all the time.. Bit if you need help with anything Cycling or Golf related (custom builds, repair, technique etc… Im your man!
In my opinion, you don't have to start at the beginning. You just need to get rid of the weeds and excess significance. Clean up and organize what you have. Then move forward..

In music it's essential to not let misunderstood things go by. Every important point will stand out, if you don't let things go by you didn't understand.
And "understanding" and "knowing" are not the same thing. You want to understand, well I do.
 

Kiriyaro2211

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One more vote for learning to read music. From my own experience, I can say that using music notation software can be helpful (I use ScanScore due to its simplicity and good features). And of course, theory and lots of practice play a big role here.
 
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buster poser

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I posted something similar here for someone else, but in my opinion:

Define as best you can what kind of player you want to be, and start learning the "next thing" you don't know that's between you and whatever that definition is for you. As you fill in those blanks, you'll start getting a better sense of new things you didn't even know you needed to learn ('known-unknowns' I've heard it called). Anyway as you do all that, learn to play entire songs, and play along with those records if possible. Work on technique where you are not fast enough or can't nail some move, etc.

A nebulous take on "getting better at guitar," or thinking about all the things I don't know or can't do, is overwhelming for me and drives procrastination/inaction; turns it into something like a job. Like the cliche has it... "how do you eat an elephant? One bite a time." Just begin, keep going, and as trite as it may be... remember it's about making music and enjoying that.

Two specifics I will offer given where you say you are: (1) Rote drilling on technique will have watershed effects on your playing/practice generally. You will need to do it less and less as you improve, but a daily half hour of that for me in late 2020 or so was transformational. The Spider, stuff from Tomo Fujita, scales in thirds, etc. (2) Learn all the notes on the fretboard as soon as you can.
 
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kuch

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So title kinda says it all.. But here it goes.. Picked up the guitar at 16, joined a band at 18 because they liked my hear and we had same musical interests.. I never took a lesson or learned anything foundational. I know basic chord structure and how to play tabbed music of my favorite songs..

In the band, my style could be summed up as: makes melodic noises :).

Ok, I really dont want to take lessons from someone.. Id rather read a book, watch videos or study via websites.. I want to start over.. I want to learn all the chords, all the notes on the fret board, triads, scales, techniques etc…

Where do I start and where do I go?

Thanks as always.. one day I will actually contribute to this forum rather than ask questions all the time.. Bit if you need help with anything Cycling or Golf related (custom builds, repair, technique etc… Im your man!

From the beginning..... reminds me of a song.... hmmm.....

 

Meringue71

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The amount of teaching material online is unmeasurable today. I have really started to improve with Truefire courses, but I also use sources on YT when it comes to trying to understand and apply theory. I also follow guitar teacher's or artist's YT channels. There are sources for every style. At first, you need to identify what you need or want to learn. Rhythm? chords? scales? Blues shuffles? Metal rhythm guitar? At some point, you'll need to understand music theory. I think that starting with the harmonization of the major scale, chord notes, triads and arpeggios is indispensable if you really want to get to the next step, IMHO. Learning music is a very long journey.
 




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