What was learning guitar like in the 60s and 70s?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Telephonist, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. GibAnn

    GibAnn TDPRI Member

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    Mate, at 82yrs old, I was there just about from the beginning, Fats Domino, Little Richard, the Shadows, Eric Burden, Buddy Holly, I had a German Hofna great guitar for the times. We used to buy a Long-playing record and Somebody would put their finger on to slow it down or pennies if you were by yourself. Since those days I have been around the world Playing Guitar Hi from New Zealand
     
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  2. GibAnn

    GibAnn TDPRI Member

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    Mate, at 82yrs old, I was there just about from the beginning, Fats Domino, Little Richard, the Shadows, Eric Burden, Buddy Holly, I had a German Hofna great guitar for the times. We used to buy a Long-playing record and Somebody would put their finger on to slow it down or pennies if you were by yourself. Since those days I have been around the world Playing Guitar Hi from New Zealand
     
  3. offsideref

    offsideref TDPRI Member

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    In my reply, I forgot to say that learning guitar in the Seventies was FUN! That’ll be the one thing that hasn’t changed.

    And thanks for asking, Telephonist, it’s been really interesting reading everybody’s experiences.

    It’s now the Twenties and I’m still learning.
     
  4. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The Beatles came in Feb. '64, I was 8.
    Got a Kay acoustic for my 9th birthday that August, started lessons with a high school guy that fall who was in a surf band and played a Jaguar, in the front room of his family's house.
    Each lesson he would play stuff for 20 mins while I just sat there, and for the final 10 mins we'd review the 3 chords he gaveme the week before, and give me 3 more.
    In due time he'd add in also songs he typed up that used the chords to date and we'd go thru those.
    It went like that for 2-3 school years. Also I had a big folk song book, and Mel Bay beginner's book.
    Didn't do much for a while until high school and learned things largely by ear from records and sitting around with friends on acoustics showing each other stuff.
    Despite having music class in 8th grade and then a theory classic in college, I've never really grasped standard notation applicable to guitar or otherwise, and have been an ear player the whole way with occasional utilization of tabs.
     
  5. padreraven

    padreraven TDPRI Member

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    To expand on what I posted earlier: I was six years old when my parents decided I needed piano lessons. For the next ten years I struggled with just playing what was on the sheet music without understanding any of the structures or theory. I played trombone for a while in my teens and was getting fairly good (I remember we used to try to play the Peter Gunn theme song when the teacher wasn't around) but got mocked by my band teacher because of my cheap instrument which was all we could afford. Then came the folk guitar classes. I learned more about music theory in those ten weeks than in all the years of piano and trombone, as the teacher taught transposition and the relationship of different chords to the key chord. Just before I started the guitar classes I got a guy to start teaching me jazz piano, and that might have saved my keyboards except I dropped it all for guitar. I wish now I had kept that up. I can hardly play anything on keyboards now.
     
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  6. SoK66

    SoK66 Tele-Afflicted

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    You got the most out of Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar Book 1. I still have my original copy from 1962 and refer back to it from time to time. Just bought another on so I can preserve the original, which is showing its nearly 60 years.
     
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  7. Aristeas

    Aristeas NEW MEMBER!

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    I start6ed out on bass in 1976. Took half a dozen lessons that gave me: relative minors/majors;Scales for major, minor, 7ths and blues scales. From there I joined a band and learned while playing. My only instruction book was Carol Kaye's beginners bass book.First song I ever learned was David Bowie's cover of 'Sorrow'. still love playing it now..

    For practice I would sit with my brand new Fender Jazz Bass, watch TV and figure out the jingles in the ad-breaks. Good because they repeated every 15 mins or so and gave you lots of chances to figure them out. Played Thin Lizzy covers ( great bass riffs) David Bowie with Tony Visconti on bass in the early years. Played a lot of terrible covers in terrible gigs. First gig was a wedding, doing 60s rock'n'roll, including lots of Elvis Presley.

    When I turned to guitar I taught myself from what I knew on bass. Still learning and teaching myself, age 62.
     
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  8. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Tele-Meister

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    In the 60's during the British invasion I learned the basics from a music store teacher. He showed me the basics of note reading and chords and then introduced me to the needle drop. I brought in what I wanted to learn, he figured it out, and showed me how to play it. Once I discovered you could do that I quit lessons and did it myself. I played along to a lot of albums, Hendrix, Clapton, Bloomfield, and other stuff that was considered "underground" back then. I recently came across my vinyl copy of Albert King's born Under a Bad Sign where the song list on the back had each key written in. I would just put it on and play along. I don't know how my folks put up with it.

    I played in a garage band with some friends and then lucked into a really good a gig. A drummer from a band that had a few national hits left them and was putting together a new band. I went to an audition with a friend and I got the gig. These guys were older, top notch players, friendly but business-like. The original keyboard player came to a rehearsal drunk and the next week we had a new keyboard player. Dances were big back then and we had a manager who kept us busy with one nighters for my last 3 years of high school. It kept me out of trouble and was the best high school job ever. Plus playing at that level was the best schooling I could have had.

    The sixties really were the dark ages compared to the info available today. Then it was like a scavenger hunt: you'd learn something from here and there and never really get the full picture. We kind of figured out the CAGED system before it had a name and pentatonics were just this pattern you can use on the solos and you can move the pattern here for a major sound. It would have been awesome to have youtube videos back then without a doubt. But I have wondered whether learning from records was such good ear training that it was worth the trade off. I don't know.
     
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  9. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Holic

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    Yep, we spent a lot of time 'discovering' things that today are common knowledge, even to beginners. Pretty much everything was done by ear, and I remember being a little p!ssed off when finding out that things/patterns I'd 'discovered' were already known and had names...

    And finding out that folks used different tunings! That explained so much, and made certain players less 'awesome' to me - that 'great but virtually physically impossible' lick or chord suddenly became relatively simple to play.

    The resources available now are incredible, but you can't teach feel or mojo or whatever you want to call it. I see a lot of technically proficient but 'lifeless' players out there.
     
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  10. offsideref

    offsideref TDPRI Member

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    sorry, messed up here...
     
  11. offsideref

    offsideref TDPRI Member

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    Exactly! My first acoustic was identical. The electric guitar I bought a year or so later wasn’t much better. God knows what the action was. Tell you what though, I should have kept the pickups!
     
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  12. billstyler

    billstyler TDPRI Member

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    [QUOTE="Telephonist, post: ...
    Were you just listening to the records again and again and trying to play what the big stars are playing? Do you think that the young people are playing better now than in the old days?
    [/QUOTE]

    Stole my brother's '59 Harmony Archtone H1213 in '63, put on "Wild Weekend" by the Rebels, start plunking away, over, and over, and over, and over...raided his record collection when he went away to college in '65. By then I had learned enough to play with some guys in a surf band called The Ceruleans.

    http://www.rawbw.com/~bobh/ceruleans.html
     
  13. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    You got the best possible training from older musicians who put you through the paces. Back then there were gigs to be had. You might have been a " better " player if you had today's resources, but nowadays there are too many bedroom players as opposed to gigging musicians because there are very few places where young players can gig.
     
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  14. doblander

    doblander TDPRI Member

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    In a
     
  15. offsideref

    offsideref TDPRI Member

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    Testify!
     
  16. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Tele-Meister

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    Yes! I remember seeing a video a couple of years ago of Colin Hay playing Norwegian Wood. Now, I've been playing that since it came out on Rubber Soul. He was playing it with a drop D and capo on the 2nd fret. What? You mean I've been playing it wrong all these years?

    There's a couple of other things that I needed to see on video to get it right. Seeing videos made me realize I had missed a few things with altered tunings and capo use. As I said, t has been an eye opener in a few cases.
     
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  17. NorCoastViking

    NorCoastViking TDPRI Member

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    Growing up in the 60s-70s, it is probably well that I did not have all the modern resources available to me to learn music. Parents couldn’t afford lessons, and I did have a cheap-but-playable guitar and a couple of chord books (“Orchestral Forms”). Having all these internet resources at my disposal, I know I would have joined the fray to make it as a Rock star, and my life would likely have turned out much different, not necessarily successful. No regrets; enjoying learning so much now, knowing that I will not be making it my trade, nor living on the road with a band.
     
  18. Ed Javner

    Ed Javner NEW MEMBER!

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    A drunken crowd helped me through many a gig.
     
  19. JessieEd

    JessieEd TDPRI Member

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    Listen to 45's on 33, 33's on 16.... go see all the old guys(maybe 19yo) and steel their licks...if possible
     
  20. Steelplaying

    Steelplaying TDPRI Member

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    Spending time on the neck of the guitar.Listen.Experiment.Spend more time on the neck.
     
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