What’s your opinion on how beginners should learn?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by skitched, Mar 24, 2020 at 3:30 PM.

Which method do you see as being better in the long run?

  1. Learn chords and play along with popular songs from the first lesson

    67.1%
  2. Learn to play individual notes and melodies

    9.2%
  3. Other

    23.7%
  1. skitched

    skitched Tele-Meister

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    I have two paid resources available to me: Justin guitar and Guitar Tricks.

    Justin starts off by immediately having ya learn chords and using those chords to learn to play along with songs, each stage adds more chords, and strumming patterns, and eventually adds on some easy scales, power chords and the 12-bar blues.

    Guitar Tricks starts with learning how to use one finger per fret, first on just the high E string then adding a string with subsequent lessons, which you then have a made up song that you play along with. Also scales thrown in the mix to help gain some dexterity, coordination and build up some muscles in the fingers.

    I started on the Justin course and now have a bunch of chords down and beginning to learn some power chords and the minor pentatonic scale. The biggest upside to the Justin course is you get to play along with a very long list of simplified pop/rock/country songs, and you can slow down the speed of the song to help practice the chord changes.

    I’ve started doing the Guitar tricks course, which is not nearly as fun as Justin, but I’m guessing it may be the better method for gaining dexterity and forcing you to gain speed faster (there’s no way to slow down the songs you play along with), it also teaches how to read tab from the very beginning, vs Justin which is more like guitar hero with the notes shown and the time to play them.

    anyways, I’m 3+ months into playing and getting better every day, but I’d love to here your opinions on what method you see as being more valuable in the long run.
     
  2. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Figure out what type of personality the student has and then have them find a teacher that understands it, and/or a course that fits it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020 at 5:56 PM
  3. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    I started with a Mel Bay chord book, 30 years ago. I bought an early 70's Alvarez Yari jumbo acoustic for 100 bucks with case, the book, and simply set down and started learning basic chords. I then started to mimic what I heard on the country music stations and picking out the chords by ear, spending hours and hours a day (since I was a kid and didn't have anything else to do), and sometimes my fingers bled till I got my calus's built up. Never took actual lessons. I went from country, to blues, to classic rock - including lead guitar. I still have the old Alvarez, and she's well banged up from going on the road, but I can't bring myself to get rid of her... lots of memories learning to play on her... Anyway, that was my method and worked well for me.
     
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  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It’s my personal belief that it’s much more important at the beginning to learn solid rhythm chops. Chords, strumming patterns, finger picking, the whole nine yards. Because it’s actually far more useful than being able to play single note lines. Great rhythm guitar players are not easy to find. Some days I feel like it’s kind of a lost art.

    I play with a couple different people form time to time that can spank me pretty good at ripping solos, but they are crap rhythm players. They’re whiter than wonder bread, have bad time, and zero imagination for crafting real rhythm parts.

    I really feel like it’s the most important part of playing guitar, and learning the basics of it early is extremely beneficial. Starting out strumming will get your brain trained much better for time keeping and rhythm styles. Making you a much more valuable player. It leads to valuing rhythm, song structure, use of rhythm patterns and chords to actually move and construct melodies, and a better understanding of time signatures.

    All of this assumes of course, that one wants to be a competent and valuable ensemble player. I realize that’s not always the case. If all one wants to do is play alone for personal pleasure, and impress one’s self with single note rippery, then there’s no reason to learn things that you don’t find interesting or fun.

    I think I played rhythm guitar for probably ten years before I ever even attempted to play a solo. But I started playing as a means to accompany myself singing, and and to help facilitate my songwriting. Soloing wasn’t remotely important to me. It wasn’t until I was forced into it that I started learning it. Now I enjoy it, and I’m pretty good at it. But I still spend 90% of my time on stage playing rhythm. Everybody does if they’re doing it right. So in my opinion, it’s a good idea to get really good at it.
     
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  5. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    I literally had someone say that to me just a few days ago! You're right. You're also right about finger picking etc. I forgot to mention that I was/am a BIG James Taylor fan so... when I started learning, I wanted to play and sing my fav JT songs. Mission accomplished ;) But, it tought me things that later became REAL handy when I started learning to play lead guitar.
     
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  6. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    My mom got me my first guitar when I was 10 and lessons to go with it. I spent a year playing single note melodies like Old McDonald and Camptown Races and learning to read. Never practiced because I wanted to rock, dropped it because I wasn't enjoying it at all. There was no association of what I was playing to what I was listening to on the radio.

    Whenever someone starts out and asks me about it, I tell them to learn cowboy chords and start learning a few fun three chord songs. Gotta enjoy yourself or you're not going to keep playing.
     
  7. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    Do everything I didn't do

    Learn keyboard first

    Acoustic only for minimum of 6 months. Preferably a year

    Take lessons

    Along with lessons get versed in reading and theory

    Keep playing with others. I did that for the first couple of years but life kind of got in the way

    Learn to play bass
     
  8. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I began with Alfred's Guitar Method, with individual notes string by string. It worked but it was a lot of practice with a wooden spoon behind me....:rolleyes:
     
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  9. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Yep. The one thing that I wish I had done was learned theory early on. Took me years to understand it by rote. Would've made things a lot easier down the road if I had studied theory to begin with
     
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  10. skitched

    skitched Tele-Meister

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    I’d say I still don’t even have enough knowledge about all the various guitar styles to know what I hope to be good at...the reason I even wanted to learn was because every intelligent person I know learned how to play some instrument growing up, and since we are adopting a little girl (on hold thanks to a huge issue out of my control :( ) I was hoping to be able to “give her” what I see as a valuable skill, and hopefully give us a way to spend quality time together...I’ve always loved music, but I’m not at all gifted with musicality or creativeness...but maybe she can use it to help learn the value of art and music, and maybe even the benefits of “hard” work...

    I would have to say my timing is getting better thanks to the JustinGuitar app I’m using, it’s still not great though, also my finger coordination is HORIBLE, but I have plenty of time right now to practice.
     
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  11. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    Get a metronome if you dont have one already
     
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  12. skitched

    skitched Tele-Meister

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    I have one...on my iPad...
     
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  13. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    The key is to enjoy the discovery, enjoy the time with your instrument, enjoy the process.

    I feel like beginners are best served by learning parts of songs they love, and getting them to a point where they can play it with a solid groove.

    It's easy to get overloaded with academia. It helps to hone in on what you would like to be able to do with your guitar.

    Are you planning on playing campfire acoustic style to accompany singers? Are you planning on learning how to play the blues to take part in local jam sessions? Are you planning on working your way into the band at your church? Are you planning on getting to a point where you can jam with somebody in your circle?

    In a nutshell, find something on guitar that you can envision yourself playing, something that excites you. Then learn how to play it - really well.

    Problem with a lot of beginners is that they don't work stuff up far enough. They get 70% the way there and then move on. They never get to the point where they can play it with a solid groove, a solid quarter note pulse. They fumble around too much. Thus, no groove, and no groove is just a struggle, not inspiring at all.

    You need to get to a point where you can something simple but with a solid, heavy groove. This is a flow state that will inspire you, make playing way more satisfying to you and anybody listening, and you'll carry this into whatever else you do.

    Another problem is the overload of teaching info out there. I'll see somebody who wants to learn campfire acoustic songs working on learning scales, note names all over the fretboard, and other stuff that is boring and unnecessary for the goal; to play G - Em - C - D with a solid groove and no fumbles.

    So pick something easy that is along the lines of what you want to do with guitar. Then devote all of your effort to learning it to a point you can play with a solid groove. Record yourself playing it. Really master something, even if it's just Smoke on the Water, or Wish You Were Here, or just a 12 bar blues, or whatever else gets your juices flowing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020 at 4:09 PM
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  14. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm self taught and blessed with a good ear.
    I know as a young kid say 9 or 10 in the late 1960's...
    ( with my older brother's toy, barely playable guitar)
    ....there was something that even though I knew I would NEVER learn, I could not help from always just picking up the crappy guitar and just noodling!

    Years later at a boarding HS, borrowing a friends guitar for my entire Sophomore year, I pretty much did the same thing, only with a real guitar, learning the chords from charts in Beatles, Eagles, Cat Stevens Songbooks.

    As I have a good ear I was able to just but those chords and shapes from thise books and associate them with what I heard on the radio.
    I also learned how to play blues/ boogie woogie patterns before I even knew that's what I was playing-

    and just as an example, once you learn those blues rhythm patterns AND all your major/minor chords, a lightbulb goes off when you realize you can teach yourself that pattern in any key, along the fingerboard.

    45 years later I'm doing the exact same thing, just know a lot more :
    Chords+ears+association = music

    Note: then at the same time you learn that a lot of lead lines are coming from or ' inside' those chords you have been playing for years!
     
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  15. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    I will give you the advice that was given to me by a seasoned musician I knew at that time - Buy as high of quality of an instrument as you can afford. I bought my Alvarez Yari used, 30 years ago, for 100 bucks. Best 100 bucks I ever spent, and as a kid I was lucky to be able to buy it. Quality is important for 2 reasons IMO:
    1. Easier to play. It's hard enough to learn and, when you have to fight a lower quality instrument, it makes it even harder. Many people give up trying to learn because "it's too hard on my fingers". Well, it will be hard on your fingers at first anyway, but a cheap guitar it is nearly impossible to overcome this. i.e. action.

    2. Tone quality. When you're learning to play it's important to learn proper finger technique from the start, and you know you're doing it right when you get that beautiful "ringing" sustained chord. Harder to get that "verification" if the guitar sounds like crap to begin with, or constantly goes out of tune. Buy quality MFG and you greatly reduce these issues IMO.
     
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  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    a couple things:

    1 teach basic technique first: position of guitar, hands, fingers, etc

    2 they want to learn a song? teach them that song. motivation is CRUCIAL

    3 most if not all theory should derive from the songs being learned ("hey, notice these are both three chord songs, and they sound kind of the same. that's interesting. let's figure out why that is.)

    4 don't teach barre chords at first: teach major triads on string groups of 3, starting with the treble strings, and then show where their closest neighboring triads are.

    understanding guitar, and understanding music
     
  17. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    When I taught the kid across the street to play, I showed her the chords to her favourite song- 'American idiot' and provided a suitable guitar to practice on -a Les Paul Junior. I did a little research, in other words.

    By the next lesson, she pretty much had it down. You have to find what the student likes and how they like to learn. The object is to keep their attention, long enough for the love of it -and the habit -to take hold.

    The internet is full of great resources and provides anonymity, for those who like to learn at their own pace, or maybe find face to face tuition a bit daunting. I wish that level of choice had existed, when I was looking for books full of chords and playing along with records.
     
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  18. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    Both.
    3 chords and the truth, ingrain the rhythm.
    Single notes for ear training and melody.

    I'm not a teacher but..
    The few people I've gotten started, I showed them a simple I, IV, V song in a major key.
    Then show them the major scale associated with the tune and have them sing the melody and find the notes.

    Rinse and repeat.

    When they can play along with me or the record and play a simple solo based on the melody of several tunes...

    proceed on to I,IV,V with maybe a few dom7s, and the blues scale if that's the direction they want to go.

    If they are more country oriented, then I'll introduce the VI chord and the major pentatonic.

    Then show them the CAGED idea and how a capo works.

    If they get that far, then I'm basically done with what I can offer anybody other than encouragement.
     
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  19. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Where do you want to end up? No point in learning cowboy chords if you want to take over from Bream and Williams.
     
  20. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Meister

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    Get a real live instructor in front of you. Everything else is going to take 10x longer and 10x the frustration.
     
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