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> Esotericism, The art of teaching the subjectively obvious
Rooks
post Jun 29 2008, 01:45 PM
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Hello GMC smile.gif

First off, I'd like to start by expressing my gratitude; This is a great website and you guys are great.

I started to play guitar about a month or so ago, but have been briefly introduced to some random chords and tiny bits of theory on a spanish guitar few years back. But now im back and im serious and hungry for the rock.

I got myself a personal guitar instructor whom I pay quite a bit for, He started off with a few chords and got me playing like "campfire style" song.

-But Then i found GMC. I watched Kris' intro video from "Ultimate Guitar" tab page when browsing, and it was simply a stunningly good video and a great way to remote teach, and i checked the site out and soon after joined as member (: ('bout 1-2 days ago tongue.gif )

And then I cut a bit back on the personal instructor because hes costy...

Well enough topic background;
What this topic is about is Esotericism
Esotericism, or being Esoteric, in guitar terms and in general is about; When someone teaches another person, That person does his best to tell you how to do it right and practice what is go and no-go; But there's "details" that fail to be told on because the teacher take these "details" for granted as obvious.
But sometimes it's not very obvious, and sometimes it's not small details that fail to be told on because of that.

For the record. I think you are very good at teaching here at GMC, and i am really grateful that you take your time to teach us guitar padawans laugh.gif

And then I can't stop to wonder on these details that is "lost in translation" to a absolute beginners like myself, and of course I'd like to state some examples on what I am talking about hehe.

Recently, I found out that I was "tipping" the entire guitar to get a better look at the fretboard when I was practicing, and so bending my left wrist in an extreme angle. God I felt like an idiot, when I tipped the guitar to vertical position and my lefty could move with ease on the fretboard again.

Even, what type of pick is best to practice with as a beginner (As in playing slow but insecure rolleyes.gif ) ? I can't find it mentioned anywhere. I've just went with a .88 one because it seemed ok (?)

-When to put your thumb on the neck and when not to. (?)
-When playing down the frets do your hand support at the back at the neck or not (?)

Vibrato too, I know it might not be a beginners first lesson, and yet, it appears in the easiest of lessons. I might just be ignorant but everytime I see it in a video it happens so fast and there is many different approaches to it, so it just confuses me every time (Use only index finger to do it or? shake entire hand or just "bend the finger up and down"? shake the guitar neck itself or whatever? ) heh ..

Is it best to sit when practicing? you only stand when you want to look rad ?

There's definately more small things that puzzles me but I cant think of all of them just now.

All the small obvious things rolleyes.gif

Thanks for reading anyways smile.gif

-Rooks


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Matt23
post Jun 29 2008, 02:01 PM
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Right i'll try and answer some of your questions.

1) You can use whatever kind of pick you like. I use Dunlop Big Stubby picks (1.00mm) because they have a nice sound 1.00mm in lets me use quite a small picking motion, though other people use completeky different picks so it just preference.

2) Your thumb should always be on the neck but the higher a string you are on your thumb will/can come round the neck towards you.

3) I'm nearly definite that your hand does not or hardly touches the back of the fretboard when you are playing but i think some people do this when they play chords.

4) The reason vibrato is in easy video's is even though you might not be able to do vibrato that fast it is a habit and i end up doing vibrato on long notes without even thinking about it. Try and find a vibrato you like i.e. fast and thin, slow and wide etc. then use that in your playing and it will improve and come naturally to you. And do it on all fingers maybe not just your pinky though.

5) Sitting down when you practicing makes playing easier. Standing makes playing more of a challenge and apparently makes it less likely you will get RSI. You choose, i do a mixture.

Hope this helps smile.gif
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jacmoe
post Jun 29 2008, 02:04 PM
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The thumb "should" be behind the neck and follow your second finger. As a rule of thumb. laugh.gif
It should not be glued to one place. It should move around, preferably following your second finger.
It helps your fingers stretch, especially on the thinner strings (bottom side of fretboard).
When doing a lot of bending, you might find it easier to curl your thumb over the upper edge of the fretboard to help your finger muscles.

Vibrato: Use all fingers, all notes and do all kinds of vibratos: wide, narrow, wiggly, twisty. Wiggle the guitar or shake your wrist.
Do it all. smile.gif


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Start by playing something - a bend, a riff, a scale, a song - very slowly; if you make a mistake, start over; do this over and over, until you can play it flawlessly - and I do mean flawlessly - many times in a row. Next, gradually increase the tempo. Eventually you'll be flailing like a madman.
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Rooks
post Jun 29 2008, 02:46 PM
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Thanks guys wink.gif

-Rooks


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Marek Rojewski
post Jun 29 2008, 03:46 PM
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You said that teachers don't tell many things that they regard as obvious. And that is true. BUT -- when You do something wrong, they will see it with their eyes, and than they will tell You how to do it properly. This is one of the few things, that GMC isn't as good as "live lesson". That is why it is a good thing to have someone who knows how to play the guitar without those mistakes, so he would see them and help You. I don't know "professional" guitarists in real life, so I am considering taking few live lessons after practicing bit more, just to be sure that if there are any mistakes that I do, the teacher will see them. But first I will ask my friend that is a drummer, maybe he can contact me with a good guitarist, that could help me instead of a teacher.

This post has been edited by Marek Rojewski: Jun 29 2008, 03:51 PM


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Rooks
post Jun 29 2008, 03:55 PM
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Well yes I agree! thats the only flaw of remote teaching .. As long as we ( the ones being teached ) are not aware of something we do is somehow wrong, it will not be corrected ..


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Marek Rojewski
post Jun 29 2008, 03:59 PM
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Well, it seems that we have to find some friends, that are also good at guitar playing, and use their knowledge for our cause laugh.gif


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Rooks
post Jun 29 2008, 04:03 PM
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Well.. Heh.. Paradox time ..

I have a really good friend who jams from time to time; but he's not good enough a player to instruct me

Then there is a few guys I barely know who are really dope at playing the guitar; But they hardly want to jam with me because I relatively suck laugh.gif


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FrankW
post Jun 29 2008, 04:23 PM
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Hi Rooks, part of being a good teacher is being aware of a beginning students' lack of knowledge on a subject, and instructing accordingly. It is not always easy to remember this fact. I see it in school all the time. Of course, school operates on a timeline, so some subject matter can and will be glossed over.
The beauty of GMC is that you can learn at your own pace. You are obviously an intelligent guy, you will have no trouble learning the basics of guitar playing. You already figured out how to hold your guitar properly. You'll find that what feels most comfortable for you is the proper way in all areas of playing. Your pick choice is fine.
As you progress with your playing, you will find that thumb placement on the neck will vary according to playing requirements. For example, I sometimes wrap my hand around the neck to play a note on the low E string with my thumb. Other times, I will place my thumb parallel to the neck to fascilitate a wide stretch for three-note per-string passages.
Where vibrato is concerned, notice how a good singer 'warbles' a note at the end of a verse. This 'singing' effect adds to the drama of ones' playing. There are fast vibratos, and slow vibratos. There are some where you change the pitch of a note a semitone. There are other times where you will stretch the note a whole step or more, for a more dramatic effect. As your hand strength increases, you will be able to use vibrato with any finger you need at the moment. You will pick all this up as you progress. Hope all this helps...
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jacmoe
post Jun 29 2008, 04:23 PM
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QUOTE (Rooks @ Jun 29 2008, 05:03 PM) *
Then there is a few guys I barely know who are really dope at playing the guitar; But they hardly want to jam with me because I relatively suck laugh.gif

That's where money talks. wink.gif

Look up pro guitar teachers in the yellow pages and check them out.
You don't have to go once a week, just once in a while. smile.gif

This post has been edited by jacmoe: Jun 29 2008, 04:24 PM


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QUOTE ("Steve Vai")
Start by playing something - a bend, a riff, a scale, a song - very slowly; if you make a mistake, start over; do this over and over, until you can play it flawlessly - and I do mean flawlessly - many times in a row. Next, gradually increase the tempo. Eventually you'll be flailing like a madman.
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kjutte
post Jun 29 2008, 04:26 PM
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Thumb position depends on if you're stretching, or playing on high or low strings. also on what vibrato you want to apply.

Basically, when playing newbie stuff, you should try to use it as a guide for your fingering.

As for pick, I'd go with a thick one. it forces you to be precise.

Hope this helped!

Edit:

And about vibrato - Developing a good wide vibrato takes ALOT of strength.

You have to grind practise this. Vib when you're watching TV etc. If you practise this from early on, you will sound like a newb alot shorter!

For a guide on how to vib, check out Marcus Lavendell in specific.

This post has been edited by kjutte: Jun 29 2008, 04:28 PM
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 30 2008, 11:57 AM
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Ok, a couple of things to add here ... some good points made here Rooks smile.gif

Firstly, one thing that we have done before and I would like to see more of is posting of videos by members - a simple "am I doing this right" video is a great way to get feedback on whatever it is you are worried about, whether its holding the guitar, picking technique or anything - you will get lots of useful feedback both from instructors and other students if you do this smile.gif

Secondly, we are planning a new series of absolute beginner lessons to start soon, and be assured that everyone of your points will now be covered in that series wink.gif

So, guys, anything else that is puzzling to beginners? Post it here and we'll put it in a lesson!


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Oxac
post Jul 1 2008, 01:55 AM
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hmm the very motion of vibrato. there isn't any. You can do it in a tremendous amount of ways. When doing vibrato with your indexfinger you fret the string, "open up"your hand and start twisting your wrist back and forth.

If you want a smaller more jazzy vibrato you could do like Al di Meola and just move your arm sideway (almost vibrating) <- -> <- -> <- -> Not changing the fret or letting go of the string. Doing this will increase the preassure on the string, therefore you will alter the pitch.

You can fret the note and tilt the guitar back and forth.

If you're doing a vibrato using the third finger per example, you could bend up then bend down bend up bend down, "rolling" your arm back and forth might produce a similar effect.

I believe this is what you were looking for?


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kaznie_NL
post Jul 1 2008, 03:09 PM
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I agree on most points with Rook, and I just wanted to say that I think he said it in a very good way. Not offensive and straight to the point biggrin.gif


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Rooks
post Jul 4 2008, 02:46 PM
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Andrew: Great smile.gif count me amongst those who will like more intro lessons.

Oxac Thanks! I was looking for a description kind-of like that, it can be really hard to see when it's done fast, and sometimes the small things make a difference wink.gif ,

More stuff that puzzles me hmm.. Well, there is bends. They do occur in the "beginner licks" lesson and they are (In my opinion) pretty hard to do at that stage.. I don't really know if to press the string down against the fretboard and then slide it up on the fret itself, or to "lift" the string up without it touching the fret you're lifting at. And then is it supposed to touch the other strings or should you strive to bend them, but keep them as apart as possible..? And Bend - Release is just total confusion .. its really hard not to "drop" the string back accidently and make it sound horrible played open partially muted before you can put a finger on a fret and drop it ..

Are there any good tips on that blink.gif haven't encountered it in the beginner material anyway.

Thanks again all of your for -Revealing the dark secrets and rituals to please the guitar gods. tongue.gif

If I don't reply fast, it's because i'm at the ROSKILDE festival ! yeah! Listening to Radiohead, BFMV, Slayer and Judas Priest live!

I only come back home to re-pack and get a descent shower and stuff tongue.gif

-Rooks

This post has been edited by Rooks: Jul 4 2008, 05:05 PM


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