Author Topic: Guitarists.. how did you learn?  (Read 1798 times)

deek

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Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« on: April 13, 2018, 01:04:02 PM »
The electric guitar is one thing I want to take up in the next 5 years. Not in a huge hurry, but the sound of a good guitar is SO satisfying. I want to save up for lessons in the future. Did anyone here get taught by a professional?

thd7t

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 01:49:21 PM »
I did some self teaching, then took some lessons briefly (around 20 years ago), then played in bands and for fun for the next couple of decades.  I am usually playing as well as I want to be or need to be, but whenever I'm not (right now, actually), I buckle down and get better.  Time spent practicing (and practicing well) is the best thing you can have.

The lessons were good.  I would recommend learning styles and things that you never planned to.  Also, reading music is a valuable skill, but many people don't apply it to guitar.  I recommend learning it and a teacher is a great resource for this.

Car Jack

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 05:56:13 PM »
I started taking lessons in 1966 and took them for 5 or 6 years, had a few garage bands then pretty much gave it up.  Picked it back up after cruising youtube videos watching Guns n' Roses playing Sweet Child of Mine.  To the right, there was a vid on Sweet Child of Mine solo guitar lesson.  I clicked it....said to myself "I can do that" and got back into it.  The lessons available on youtube for free are so good.  There's everything from absolute beginner and "how to tune your guitar" to playing Eruption start to finish.  I learned a hell of a lot more from youtube than I did taking lessons.

My son was taking lessons and I started going to his studio to keep him interested.  I mainly was interested in all the things I never learned and about music theory, which I never learned.  I ended up in a band for 3 years. 

Get yourself a middle of the road used electric (mexican fender strat or tele, epi les paul, PRS Korean, Godin anything, Ibanez anything) and just get online. 

meghan88

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 06:35:00 PM »
I started taking lessons in 1966 and took them for 5 or 6 years, had a few garage bands then pretty much gave it up.  Picked it back up after cruising youtube videos watching Guns n' Roses playing Sweet Child of Mine.  To the right, there was a vid on Sweet Child of Mine solo guitar lesson.  I clicked it....said to myself "I can do that" and got back into it.  The lessons available on youtube for free are so good.  There's everything from absolute beginner and "how to tune your guitar" to playing Eruption start to finish.  I learned a hell of a lot more from youtube than I did taking lessons.

My son was taking lessons and I started going to his studio to keep him interested.  I mainly was interested in all the things I never learned and about music theory, which I never learned.  I ended up in a band for 3 years. 

Get yourself a middle of the road used electric (mexican fender strat or tele, epi les paul, PRS Korean, Godin anything, Ibanez anything) and just get online.

^This is what I intend to do when I have the time to get back into it.  Also, trying to figure out songs and riffs by ear, once you have the basic chords down.  Then you can check what you came up with against the online tablatures for that song.  This will help you develop your ear.

Start with the songs you love.  The easiest ones first, of course.

Glenstache

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 09:36:19 PM »
Play however it ends up being fun for you... but start in the next 5 days, not the next 5 years. Take lessons, learn to play by ear from youtube, download tabs, whatever. Regardless, start with some books that explain basic chord shapes and progressions (learn what a 1-4-5 song is) and a few simple songs that you like. It is important to have something fun to play soon. You have many lifetimes of room to improve and find directions from there.

Start with a cheap to middling guitar and plan on getting something different after you've been playing for a while. What instrument you are playing feeds back a lot on enjoyment and as a noob you will have no idea what sounds good to YOU at this point. Even if your love is electric guitar, acoustic guitars are incredibly satisfying to play.

Polaria

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 02:40:11 PM »
I am playing bass on Rocksmith. Rocksmith can be used with a bass or a guitar. The game is available through Steam though you will have to order a special cable to be able to connect the guitar to the PC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocksmith

And an example of how the game looks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYqV6FOjm0w

thd7t

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 08:29:58 AM »
I would just add that cheap guitars are not what they once were.  Read up on them, because a number of beginner guitars are really good, now.  Not at all as bad as they were when a lot of us started playing.  However, buy used and try to play the guitar before you buy it!

CptCool

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 10:41:54 AM »
monoprice has some decent beginner electric guitars. I got my cheap amp & guitar for ~$150. Stays in tune pretty well.

For acoustic, you'll probably want to get a mid-range guitar though. Learning is tough on a guitar with strings super far away from the fretboard & is constantly going out of tune. Buy a decent used acoustic rather than a cheap new one

Samuel

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 11:38:49 AM »
I'd self teach the basics, learn some favorite songs from online tabs, and get some callouses on your fingers before jumping in to lessons. The simple stuff would be kind of a waste to pay for. A teacher is most valuable when you have some basic level of skill to build on.

Don't wait on that, though. Get a guitar and find a tab of a song you know and like and start figuring it out.



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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 12:39:38 PM »
I taught myself guitar in high school and played in bands and stuff in college.  While I was in college, I felt like I was stuck in a rut a took some lessons from a guy who was actually a couple years younger than me.  Mind blowing experience.  Completely changed how I viewed the guitar and music in general.  My teacher went onto become a professional musician.  If you could take lessons from that guy, I say take lessons no question.  But all teachers are not created equal (sadly)  and you can learn lots and lots just from youtube videos.  A lot of the instruction out there is surprisingly good. 

I agree with Glenstache, there's no reason to wait.  If you spend just 15 minutes a day, in one year you'll have a pretty good skill set.  In five years, when you would otherwise just be starting, you'll be a competent guitarist by almost anyone'e standards. 

Here are a couple things Youtube videos won't tell you to do, so I will  :)

I disagree slightly with the recommendation to use tabs.  Tabs can be useful, but they are also a crutch.  Learning to read music, even if you are not very good at it, is vastly more useful than tabs. 
Another common failing for guitarists, including some goods ones, is not knowing the names of the notes on the fretboard.  If you learn them it greatly open up your playing/understanding in the future.  Also, practice with a metronome as much as you can stand it.  Developing a strong sense of time will vastly improve your playing. 


GuitarStv

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 06:42:11 PM »
I taught myself guitar mostly from tab in magazines and books from the library.  The best way to start is to come up with a list of songs that you really like (you'll be playing them over and over while trying to figure the guitar out . . . so you better damned well like them) and ask someone who plays guitar to identify the easiest ones (or at least easiest riffs).  Then just jump in.

Once you're comfortable fretting some single notes and getting the picking so that you can time them well while you play along with a recording it's time to start learning chords.  You're going to start with open chords first (E, Am, D, G, C).  If you're most dudes in college, this is where you stop too . . . because you open up a whole world of songs that you can play on an acoustic and sing to.  And chicks dig a guy who can sing while strumming a guitar.  Allegedly.

If you're unlucky enough to be a mediocre singer, after that you're going to work on barre chords and scales.  If you're into punk/metal/hard rock you will learn power chords and lose your shit entirely.  Scale work progresses typically from minor pentatonic (if you're a blues fan you can almost stop here once you've figured out string bending - maybe throw in some mixolydian and dorian licks and you're good) -> major pentatonic -> major/minor scales -> modes -> exotic scales.

If you're still attempting to progress beyond this point you are likely branching into:
- A metal lead guitarist:  Tapping, whammy bar action, pinch harmonics, and maybe some ripping off of classical music.  You either already like, or will develop a strange fascination for the phrygian mode.
- A jazz guitarist:  Chord building, chord inversions, diminshed scales, chord melody.  You enjoy improvising over a steady and unending stream of chord changes.  A pop guitarist plays three chords to a thousand people every night . . . a jazz player plays a thousand chords to three people every night.
- A prog rock guitarist:  You hate 4/4 time and songs that clock in at under 25 minutes. Every other person in your band is a middle aged dude.  Your drummer has a kit with 300 pieces that takes nine hours to set up, so you do most of your band practice at his place.
- A classical guitarist:  You've got freaky long fingernails, a near superhuman ability to site read, decent composition skills, and typically can't improvise for crap.

meghan88

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2018, 12:53:01 PM »
I taught myself guitar mostly from tab in magazines and books from the library.  The best way to start is to come up with a list of songs that you really like (you'll be playing them over and over while trying to figure the guitar out . . . so you better damned well like them) and ask someone who plays guitar to identify the easiest ones (or at least easiest riffs).  Then just jump in.

Once you're comfortable fretting some single notes and getting the picking so that you can time them well while you play along with a recording it's time to start learning chords.  You're going to start with open chords first (E, Am, D, G, C).  If you're most dudes in college, this is where you stop too . . . because you open up a whole world of songs that you can play on an acoustic and sing to.  And chicks dig a guy who can sing while strumming a guitar.  Allegedly.

If you're unlucky enough to be a mediocre singer, after that you're going to work on barre chords and scales.  If you're into punk/metal/hard rock you will learn power chords and lose your shit entirely.  Scale work progresses typically from minor pentatonic (if you're a blues fan you can almost stop here once you've figured out string bending - maybe throw in some mixolydian and dorian licks and you're good) -> major pentatonic -> major/minor scales -> modes -> exotic scales.

If you're still attempting to progress beyond this point you are likely branching into:
- A metal lead guitarist:  Tapping, whammy bar action, pinch harmonics, and maybe some ripping off of classical music.  You either already like, or will develop a strange fascination for the phrygian mode.
- A jazz guitarist:  Chord building, chord inversions, diminshed scales, chord melody.  You enjoy improvising over a steady and unending stream of chord changes.  A pop guitarist plays three chords to a thousand people every night . . . a jazz player plays a thousand chords to three people every night.
- A prog rock guitarist:  You hate 4/4 time and songs that clock in at under 25 minutes. Every other person in your band is a middle aged dude.  Your drummer has a kit with 300 pieces that takes nine hours to set up, so you do most of your band practice at his place.
- A classical guitarist:  You've got freaky long fingernails, a near superhuman ability to site read, decent composition skills, and typically can't improvise for crap.

Love it.  That sums it all up sooo well.

deek

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2018, 02:21:10 PM »
I taught myself guitar mostly from tab in magazines and books from the library.  The best way to start is to come up with a list of songs that you really like (you'll be playing them over and over while trying to figure the guitar out . . . so you better damned well like them) and ask someone who plays guitar to identify the easiest ones (or at least easiest riffs).  Then just jump in.

Once you're comfortable fretting some single notes and getting the picking so that you can time them well while you play along with a recording it's time to start learning chords.  You're going to start with open chords first (E, Am, D, G, C).  If you're most dudes in college, this is where you stop too . . . because you open up a whole world of songs that you can play on an acoustic and sing to.  And chicks dig a guy who can sing while strumming a guitar.  Allegedly.

If you're unlucky enough to be a mediocre singer, after that you're going to work on barre chords and scales.  If you're into punk/metal/hard rock you will learn power chords and lose your shit entirely.  Scale work progresses typically from minor pentatonic (if you're a blues fan you can almost stop here once you've figured out string bending - maybe throw in some mixolydian and dorian licks and you're good) -> major pentatonic -> major/minor scales -> modes -> exotic scales.

If you're still attempting to progress beyond this point you are likely branching into:
- A metal lead guitarist:  Tapping, whammy bar action, pinch harmonics, and maybe some ripping off of classical music.  You either already like, or will develop a strange fascination for the phrygian mode.
- A jazz guitarist:  Chord building, chord inversions, diminshed scales, chord melody.  You enjoy improvising over a steady and unending stream of chord changes.  A pop guitarist plays three chords to a thousand people every night . . . a jazz player plays a thousand chords to three people every night.
- A prog rock guitarist:  You hate 4/4 time and songs that clock in at under 25 minutes. Every other person in your band is a middle aged dude.  Your drummer has a kit with 300 pieces that takes nine hours to set up, so you do most of your band practice at his place.
- A classical guitarist:  You've got freaky long fingernails, a near superhuman ability to site read, decent composition skills, and typically can't improvise for crap.

AWESOME

I freaking love the sound of electric, but would it hurt at all to start on acoustic? Or If I'm going to spend $200 do I just buy electric and skip the acoustic?

If it helps... Blues music is what I want to play more than anything else. The artist that made me obsessed with Blues 6 years ago was Stevie Ray Vaughan. It literally made me feel like no other music ever did. It's amazing. Since then, I have branched out to everything else Blues... Clapton/Buddy Guy/BB/Hendrix/Joe B.

I also want to play Rock, but Blues is first on the list.

thd7t

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2018, 02:55:44 PM »
If you want to play electric guitar, get an electric guitar.  There's value to learning on acoustic, but there's more value to learning on the guitar that you want to play, because you'll want to play more!

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2018, 03:23:07 PM »
If you let us know your local area, it might provide a reason for some of us to "guitar shop" on your local craigslist and provide feedback on options in your price range. If you are in the $200 range, there is a huge gradient in what you get per dollar spent.

deek

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2018, 03:43:04 PM »
If you let us know your local area, it might provide a reason for some of us to "guitar shop" on your local craigslist and provide feedback on options in your price range. If you are in the $200 range, there is a huge gradient in what you get per dollar spent.

Eastern Iowa. Thanks!

meghan88

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2018, 05:09:54 PM »

If it helps... Blues music is what I want to play more than anything else. The artist that made me obsessed with Blues 6 years ago was Stevie Ray Vaughan. It literally made me feel like no other music ever did. It's amazing. Since then, I have branched out to everything else Blues... Clapton/Buddy Guy/BB/Hendrix/Joe B.

I also want to play Rock, but Blues is first on the list.

Well if you want to play the Blues, then you need to know the RULES OF THE BLUES:
http://www.outliermusic.com/jokes_rulesoftheblues.htm.  There are 24 rules and you have already broken Rule # 24  :-)

Seriously, though ... you will need to toughen up your fingertips on your left hand (assuming you're right-handed).  A classical guitar with nylon strings is the easiest on the fingertips.  An electric with a good neck (such that the strings are as close to the frets as possible without buzzing on the next fret when you're playing) is the next easiest on the fingers IMO. 

BUT: the gauge of the strings is also a factor.  Lighter-gauge strings are easier to play, especially if you want to bend the notes in a solo, but they can buzz and also break/snap more easily.  The heavier the gauge, the tougher you'll find it on your fingers and also on the guitar neck itself, but the sound and sustain are way better than light gauge.  Steel-string acoustics can also be tough on the fingers, especially the crappy ones.  So you'll have a lot of fun at the beginning developing a good set of callouses on your fretting hand.  You may get blisters at first if you log lots of playing time.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 05:36:02 PM »
With the help of a few good books, some inspiring tablature, and hours and hours of practice, I taught myself. then once you are good enough, start playing with folks who are BETTER than you, that will help a lot. Riffing with just a drummer and bassist can do wonders for your competency.



Modified to add that after playing for about 5 years, I did take a classical performance course in college, which was very helpful, though it could be done using instructional video available for free.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 05:37:55 PM by Laserjet3051 »

Telecaster

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2018, 06:01:35 PM »
BUT: the gauge of the strings is also a factor.  Lighter-gauge strings are easier to play, especially if you want to bend the notes in a solo, but they can buzz and also break/snap more easily.  The heavier the gauge, the tougher you'll find it on your fingers and also on the guitar neck itself, but the sound and sustain are way better than light gauge

Maybe.  Eddie Van Halen uses 9s (high E string is 0.09"), which are considered light gauge.  Billy Gibbons used to use 8s, which are extremely light.  Now he uses 7s, which are crazy light.  I can't play with strings that light, I need some pushback. 

But that's neither here nor there.  If the OP loves SRV-style blues, he should get a Strat and play the blues and worry about string gauge later.    The Mexican Strats are a good value, IMO.  The other great thing about them is you can mod them to your delight without worrying about ruining their value.




Glenstache

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2018, 06:10:37 PM »
BUT: the gauge of the strings is also a factor.  Lighter-gauge strings are easier to play, especially if you want to bend the notes in a solo, but they can buzz and also break/snap more easily.  The heavier the gauge, the tougher you'll find it on your fingers and also on the guitar neck itself, but the sound and sustain are way better than light gauge

Maybe.  Eddie Van Halen uses 9s (high E string is 0.09"), which are considered light gauge.  Billy Gibbons used to use 8s, which are extremely light.  Now he uses 7s, which are crazy light.  I can't play with strings that light, I need some pushback. 

But that's neither here nor there.  If the OP loves SRV-style blues, he should get a Strat and play the blues and worry about string gauge later.    The Mexican Strats are a good value, IMO.  The other great thing about them is you can mod them to your delight without worrying about ruining their value.

The key thing here is to: 1) not be afraid to try a lot of difference strings and configurations to find what works with what you like to play and, 2) less obvious but just as important, learn how guitar setup changes as you change strings, etc and do something about it. A big part of why a lot of cheap guitars are terrible to play is that they have a poor setup resulting in bad intonation, bad action, and resulting poor tone and playability. Getting setup "close enough" is not rocket science and there is a lot of good information on it, even if it is a bit intimidating to do your first truss rod adjustment. I think this is one of the most over looked skills for guitar players. I personally find that it really helps me know and respect my instrument too.

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2018, 06:03:32 AM »
The big trap many people fall into is that they want to learn to play their favorite song right, and so they start there. What happens is that they will learn to play it somewhat by repetition. Then having played it a 1000 times they are bored with the song. For a second song they have to almost start from scratch and it becomes boring.

The better way is to first learn the basics and push through those first few months growing callus and finger strength, learning chords and techniques. Start with simple songs that teach you the basics and don't try to take sort cuts. Once you know the basics you can pick up any song from the tabs, but you'll learn it with the correct technique. It will sound much better and will not be such an effort to learn.

The main advantage of a teacher is that you can avoid learning bad techniques. Also, bring an experienced player with you when you go to buy a guitar. You will not be able to tell good from bad, and in the cheap segment there is a lot of bad, unplayable guitars. Starting out on a bad guitar will make it much harder and is very demotivating.

GuitarStv

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2018, 07:11:08 AM »
It won't hurt you to play acoustic first.  Much of the knowledge is transferable (chord/scale shapes, note locations, fretting technique).  You will learn similar but different technique playing electric (deep bending - especially on the unwound G, pinch harmonics, lighter pick hand, more palm muting, controlling feedback, effect usage, etc.) than on the acoustic.  If you're interesting in playing electric, you should start with an electric and an amp.  There's certainly no benefit to playing an acoustic first.

As far as genres go, rock draws pretty heavily on blues, so once you've got a solid footing in one you'll be able to transfer over most of what you know to the other.  SRV is a giant in the field and his playing was quite virtuosic.  Hendrix the same, but more so.  Buddy Guy is heavily pentatonic based, but he really wrings the notes out of the guitar and has a tendency towards explosive blasts of notes.  Clapton's stuff might be your best starting point.  'Sunshine of Your Love' from his Cream days is pretty straight forward riff based song to start on.  Clapton/Cray's 'Old Love' is a great tune to learn barre chords to.  'Hey Hey' as well . . . There are plenty of others.

deek

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2018, 08:41:23 AM »
I've known about it all along, but all this guitar talk has me obsessing over the final guitar solo in Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. I've been listening to it on repeat the last couple days haha.

Polaria

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2018, 10:20:57 AM »
I've known about it all along, but all this guitar talk has me obsessing over the final guitar solo in Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. I've been listening to it on repeat the last couple days haha.

Then why the hell have you not started yet?!? if you feel that urge and that drive to play you have to go for it NOW. Maybe there is someone you know who has an unused guitar somewhere.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 10:25:33 AM by Polaria »

GuitarStv

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2018, 10:33:38 AM »
I've known about it all along, but all this guitar talk has me obsessing over the final guitar solo in Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. I've been listening to it on repeat the last couple days haha.

That's not a technically complex solo to play at all - just some pentatonic licks, deep bends, and great note choice/timing.  If you're brand new to playing (and reasonably dedicated) you could probably nail that whole tune in a year or two.

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2018, 12:27:36 PM »
I started taking a free online course from Coursera.org and it has been great!  The videos are instructed by Thaddeus Hogarth (two-time winner of the Independent Music Award for blues/R&B) and the materials are very good at teaching the basics of music theory, not just memorizing songs.  The class is for acoustic or electric guitar, personally I've been using a classical guitar. 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/guitar
https://www.berklee.edu/people/thaddeus-hogarth

thd7t

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2018, 12:42:19 PM »
I've known about it all along, but all this guitar talk has me obsessing over the final guitar solo in Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. I've been listening to it on repeat the last couple days haha.

That's not a technically complex solo to play at all - just some pentatonic licks, deep bends, and great note choice/timing.  If you're brand new to playing (and reasonably dedicated) you could probably nail that whole tune in a year or two.
But, during that time, you'll nail a whole bunch of other stuff, too!  Guitar lets you learn a bunch of stuff at once!

deek

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2018, 03:35:00 PM »
What really irks me is that I got rid of my Yamaha PAC112J. I had it in college and just couldn't dedicate the time to it. But it was a good guitar for the money. I'm going to start doing some research for stuff in the 200-250 range. If anyone has some recommendations, pass them along!

GuitarStv

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2018, 06:19:25 PM »
What really irks me is that I got rid of my Yamaha PAC112J. I had it in college and just couldn't dedicate the time to it. But it was a good guitar for the money. I'm going to start doing some research for stuff in the 200-250 range. If anyone has some recommendations, pass them along!

My recommendation is that every guitar needs to be played before it's judged.

There are excellent instruments out there in just about every price range . . . and there are also duds.  Find one that has a comfortable neck, good frets, and seems to sing when you're strumming it unplugged.  You can radically change the plugged-in sound of an electric by creatively re-wiring it and swapping pickups.

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2018, 06:46:21 PM »
This is a bit higher in your price range, but I think would be worth it. PRS makes outstanding guitars and even their less expensive SE-series guitars are fantastic.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Paul-Reed-Smith-2013-SE-Santana/163005611739?hash=item25f3e43edb:g:4kIAAOSwaaJa11x1

deek

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2018, 07:19:14 PM »
This is a bit higher in your price range, but I think would be worth it. PRS makes outstanding guitars and even their less expensive SE-series guitars are fantastic.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Paul-Reed-Smith-2013-SE-Santana/163005611739?hash=item25f3e43edb:g:4kIAAOSwaaJa11x1

Thanks. Will check them out.

pecunia

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2018, 03:21:15 PM »
Getting back to the guitar is one of my dreams too.

A good used guitar should not be too hard to find.  Some college kid will have a good one to sell for beer money.

I will get some grief from this, but I suggest starting with nylon strings and flatwound strings.  Your hands will learn with less pain.  This will not work with an electric.

Makes me want to hunt for my old fuzz box, wah wah pedal and tube type amp.

Philociraptor

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2018, 03:48:32 PM »
PTF

Telecaster

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2018, 04:21:41 PM »
This is a bit higher in your price range, but I think would be worth it. PRS makes outstanding guitars and even their less expensive SE-series guitars are fantastic.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Paul-Reed-Smith-2013-SE-Santana/163005611739?hash=item25f3e43edb:g:4kIAAOSwaaJa11x1

Word.   I bought an SE last year (actually wife gave it to me for my birthday).  The thing flat out rocks.  Great guitar, and it was only $600 new.    I like to buy stuff from sweetwater.com.   But don't order online.  Call them and ask them if they can help you out on the price, and they'll knock a few bucks off. 

Everyone says you should play a guitar before you buy it, and yes you technically should.  But Sweetwater has a great return policy and these days new guitars have excellent consistency.   Sweetwater will set it up however you like it as well. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Guitarists.. how did you learn?
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2018, 08:39:13 AM »
Getting back to the guitar is one of my dreams too.

A good used guitar should not be too hard to find.  Some college kid will have a good one to sell for beer money.

I will get some grief from this, but I suggest starting with nylon strings and flatwound strings.  Your hands will learn with less pain.  This will not work with an electric.

Makes me want to hunt for my old fuzz box, wah wah pedal and tube type amp.

YMMV.  I find flatwounds much more uncomfortable to play.  They're painful when you're trying to do a deep bend or a wide vibrato.  Light strings are easier on the hands, but also easier to push out of tune by using too much fretting pressure.  Nylon strings are very easy on the hands . . . but they sound like nylon strings.  :P