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sammy_k
post Aug 1 2006, 10:04 PM
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Hi,

I just started playing guitar.
Bought my first electric guitar (no amp yet) and I'm practicing 'unplugged' along with the DVD Quick-Start Course.

As a complete beginner, I am facing some problems YOU might have overcome by now, so that's why I've made this topic.
I'm sure there are alot of players over here who could give me - and other beginnners - advice.

The problems I'm facing at the moment:
[list]
1. Fingerstyle: Example chord progression
2. Scratching and strumming
[list]

Fingerstyle: As a beginner, I personally have the feeling that the example chord progression is too hard for me. Actually, the DVD quickly starts with fingerpicking. It's not the fingerpicking itself that causes me problems, but the fact that chords are involved as well as different patterns.

As a beginner, I've only just practiced two days on the guitar. I've learned the A, E, C, D, Am, Dm, F, G chords. I still have to train them much harder to be able to immediately grab the correct chord, but now I know the finger positioning for those chords...

What happens is that I launch the DVD with alot of enthousiasm but get stuck quiet fast. For the fingerstyle, the picking with the right hand goes well (not as fast as on the dvd, but that's a matter of training) but the left hand is not good at the moment. The result is that I can't really train the patterns Kris provided in the Fingestyle chapter, because I feel I need more practice on the chords first.

My question for all of you is: Can you give beginners like me advice to break down such an exercise in little bits so I first practice part A, then B, then C to be finally able to play the exercise?

Wouldn't it be better for me to train the most used chords first? And to train fingerstyle eg on a scale, using two fingers at first to train fingerpicking and then three etc? Instead of immediately starting off with AND fingerpicking AND chords AND chord changes AND patterns?

If you're motivated, there's nothing as irritating as being stuck at the start, knowing that there's alot of nice stuff on the DVD you should really train hard.

@ Kris: What's your goal regarding the fingerstyle exercises? What do you want us - beginners - to learn by trying out those patterns etc?

Scratching
:

In the example where you explain what scratching is about, you say you use a A major chord and the tab looks like this:

E| 5 x
B| 5 x
G| 6 x
D| 7 x etc
A| 7 x
E| 5 x

The A major I learnt looks like this:


Now, I think the exercises are to hard for a total beginner. The stretch seems to hurt my wrist. It would be better for me to train the same thing (fingerstyle) with an easier chord. These exercises seem to hard for me at the moment. And not because the picking itself is so hard, but just because there's too much other stuff involved that you have to know or look up yourself to put it together.

I'm one of those guys that wants to play everything perfect. When I would skip the fingerstyle, I would feel bad. It feels like giving up and that's just not me. So I'm looking at the fingerstyle and everytime i try it my fingers, hands and brain says: it's to hard for a beginner. I want to play all the exercises, without skipping any. Just the full DVD, knowing that I've managed to play them all.

To be absolutely honest, for me the Quick-Start Course is still hard. Too hard at the moment. I feel like I'm stuck with Fingerstyle, not really knowing why it's important to really get good at it. It must be important for a reason, or you wouldn't have included it in the DVD. I can see why Chords are important, why strumming is important etc, but with fingerstyle

I just have to feeling that I should let the DVD rest a bit and first train chords, strumming, strumming patterns, changing chords smoothly before actually start with the Quick Start DVD.

Is there anyone who has the same feeling or did the DVD totally get you on track ?

I'm convinced that the DVD covers alot of interesting items for beginners, but as I see it, it's to complex for me.

So that's why I wonder is the Quick-Start Course is a good way to really START just right away. I have the feeling I need more basic skills to be able to play the fingerstyle and scratching. The scratching itself isn't hard (once again) but for ME the chord used causes problems. I'm not sure about correct fingering for the chord etc.

This thread is in no way a negative review for the DVD. On the contrary, I'm really positive about the contents of the DVD. The question is, does it suit me at the stage I'm currently in?

Your thoughts are welcome guys smile.gif
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sammy_k
post Aug 1 2006, 10:16 PM
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Something that could help beginners:

What did you learn first? Did you start off with chords?

Especially people that like to play the licks at freelicks (who doesn't :wink:) could really help me. What did you train to reach a level that allowed you to start thinking about the licks?

As for now, I see a huge adventure in front of me, with alot to learn. So I have to choose what to learn first. Honestly, I feel that there must be more usefull things (at this moment, I'm not saying it't not useful) for me to learn first than fingerstyle. Especially when I feel I miss skills to play what's on the DVD.

My goal is to be able too play the music I like listening to myself. I really like the Billy Gibbons style (ZZTOP) as well as KISS, Slash, Guns N' Roses (= number one favourite) etc. I got other goals like being able to play most chords and creating my own style, integrating the techniques used by my all time favourite artists. But that's a long term goal.

As I see it now, it will take a long time before I can even think about trying out one of the licks at freelicks.net.

So, what do you advice me to learn and practice first? It's about effective learning. I can't train fingerstyle if I constantly feel that I need other skills for it that I currently don't have.

I like guitar play with bends, vibrato, hammers etc. But first, I need to be able to master the very basics. I think it's no use trying to play something with bends if you can't smootly swich chords and controll your pick etc, have good left-and righthand coördination. Ofcourse it's tempting to just start with a solo, but I'm not really convinced that's the way to go.

Wouldn't it be better to learn chords and concentrate on rhythm parts and leave the solo's for later? Being able to play along with a song first, instead of learning a solo and not be able to play rhythm guitar.

Just alot of questions, and probably not one answer.
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ColinMurphy
post Aug 2 2006, 12:31 AM
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My advice would be to slow down. You already know of the major open position chords in 2 days, and that took me 8 months to get down!

People who have just been playing two days are going to have trouble physically doing almost anything on the guitar for various reasons. Right and left hand cordination has not been devolopped and the fingers muscularity is lacking. This will all come in due time.

My advice is do what your basic cordination and finger power capabilities allow you to. This DVD is infact for begginers, but remember "begginer" can ranger anywhere from 1 day to 8 months (and so on). Just try working on getting those open chords down fluently and keep trying to follow what the Quick Start DVD has outlined.

Believe me, there is NO way anyone can play a piece fluently after only 2 days of playing. Guitar takes alot of time and dedication to get good at. But be happy you got off to the right track right away. The majority of guitar players out there spend/spent their first few years completely clueless on how to approach practicing in an effective/efficient manner (including me). The Quick Start DVD explains and demonstrates how to do so, no doubt.
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sammy_k
post Aug 2 2006, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for your reply.
I know 'beginner' is quiet a wide name.
I literally just began a few days ago. This means I'm a beginner. This also means I have a long way ahead of me, and that I have to develop alot of things. I think my problem is that the last months I read alot, I watched alot of video's about techniques etc. But fysically I'm not able to pull those things down. I think that's the frustrating part :wink:

I'm going to practice chords from now on, like A C D E Am Em Dm F G etc
Just trying to learn them well so I can practically grab them automatically and switch fluently. Just practicing different chordchanges.

But apart from the chords, I think I need something else to get a bit of variation. I like playing chords, but once in a while you need something else for a change.

Would it be a good idea to do hammeron and pulloff exercises for a change?
Also scales: I don't know if it's good to start with it so soon. Some say I have to stay away from it, others say 'why not?'

Do you think I would benefit from scale exercises as well as hammers en pullofs? I personally expect that I would because like that I can train my muscles and stretch in my hand. If you do hammerons like 5-8 or 5-7 it won't hurt me I guess smile.gif

My main concern is that I would rush things actually. I want to build up a solid technique. I need good hand coördination and strenght. Also good picking technique and hand position (like chord changes etc) so that I'm ready to try to take on some licks.

But things like vibrato, bends, hammerons, pulloffs, slides etc. Most of the cool licks at freelicks use them. Should I train it soon or just stick with the chords and more basic stuff?
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Liam
post Aug 2 2006, 04:55 PM
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But things like vibrato, bends, hammerons, pulloffs, slides etc. Most of the cool licks at freelicks use them. Should I train it soon or just stick with the chords and more basic stuff?


Belgje ,

Offcourse you can ...

remember , no pain no game.. :sun
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sammy_k
post Aug 3 2006, 06:07 PM
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I know it won't hurt training those techniques, but sometimes it's better to concentrate on one thing seriously and get it working instead of trying 4 things and not getting good at any of the 4.

Anyone knows some good hammeron, pulloff exercises as well as basic vibrato and bend exercises?
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texasamp
post Aug 3 2006, 07:32 PM
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QUOTE (sammy_k)
Anyone knows some good hammeron, pulloff exercises as well as basic vibrato and bend exercises?

Sammy, do you know how to hammeron, bend and vibrato?

If you do why do you need exercises? Just work with what you know. Maybe expand it a bit. Those are exercises.
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sammy_k
post Aug 3 2006, 08:36 PM
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well, I know how one should perform a bend, vibrato and hammerons/pullofs.. only I can't perform it myself. What I mean is that I watched alot of videos that show how to do it.

Knowing how to do it and doing it yourself is not the same :wink:

So I am looking for exercises, like a 5 - 8 hammeron or something. Little exercises for bends, to build it up slowly. First start off easy, then more difficult. Like with one string, two strings etc. Just some variations.

hammerons are quite difficult at the moment without an amp because i have to attack the string real hard to hear any sound smile.gif Bending is not easy too like that.

So any exercises/tips and tricks are welcome. Maybe a little pattern/loop or video link which explains the technique with exercises.

Now what would be helpfull is a song with easy chords. If you look at the following part from 'Wish you were here' (Pink Floyd) there's a 'hard' piece in it (for me!):

1---------------------3-------------------3
2---------------------3-------------------3
3---------------------0-------0-----------0
4-------------0--2----0----2-----2--------0 2x
5------0h2------------2-------------------2
6---3-----------------x-------------------3

Which fingers should I use for the high E string and B string? Are those bar chords? The last one seems hard.
This song should be suitable for beginners (quiet alot beginner chords used) but if you can't get that last one down, it's a pitty smile.gif

At the moment I'll train basis chords and chordchanges + hammerons en pulloffs.
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t knox
post Aug 3 2006, 10:29 PM
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k just a little advice i would way rather be good at 4 thing that just be amzing at 1 thing and suck at the others so practice everything it will help
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sammy_k
post Aug 5 2006, 07:51 PM
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Well, what I meant was practicing four things just with 25 % of your attention instead of training one thing with 100 % atttention. But yeah, sometimes it's better to practice one thing over and over again, while you can also train different things at the same time.

Question for the members: what scales should i start with to learn? Say I want to get into scales (the sooner the better? :wink:) which scale should I start with?

Maybe a 'Get started with scales' thread would be nice, but I'm not sure if it's already there. I think I'm not the only one wondering where to start, searching good exercises and valuable tips.

Maybe a good idea? People with questions about starting with scales could then just read the thread first instead of asking the same questions.

These questions are a bit off topic, so that's why I suggest another thread would be usefull. To keep the forum clean.
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Xuestor
post Aug 5 2006, 10:38 PM
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I would suggest learning the pentatonic, blues and Major/Minor scales. That would hold U busy for quite a while. Don't forget to learn all 5 positions/runs on each scale.

Im strugglin with it as I write, and I get really "tired" after just a few 20 minutes. it's confusing to think and name all the notes as u play them!


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redsoxfan92490
post Aug 6 2006, 03:53 AM
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sammy, just drop the idea of learning bends, vibrato, trills, and whatever else you said about solo guitar. that will come MUCH, MUCH LATER. learn the acoustic open chords and learn them well.

if u want to start playing solo stuff then this is how good you should be:


someone should be able to put a blindfold around your head and u should still be able to change chords and play to the backing


you should be able to create different styles of music based just on your strumming. (major or "happy" sounding tunes" blues, metal, latin, and finger pick)



you should know the notes on the scale and some theory, (this can be put off till later tho, its not a neccesity)


i think someone in a begginer stage advancing to an intermediate stage should what know key there playing in, and what chords sound good in that key.


then for SOLO GUITAR ...


ill tell you when youve got everything ^ there. biggrin.gif



it just blows me away that someone can think that they should be practicing pull off excercises when they have touched a guitar for less than a week. i just learned how to pull of properly in the last two months thanks to kris's site here.


heres my story


i started "playing" guitar when i was 11. i had about a year or more of "practicing" which really was learning the dynamics of the guitar. what strings to play what fingers with, amount of pressure on a string, finger strength, stuff like that. plus the teacher i had probably couldnt have tought me much longer because all she knew were the open chord forms.


so then i stoped for 2 years. BIG MISTAKE


when i was 14 i picked it up again. i got a real teacher. his name was Steve. Steve went over the acoustic chords, and the dynamics for about six months. then, THEN!, he tought me scales. thats a year and a half of "playing" the guitar. i say ive been playing for about a year and a half. i have actually really played music on the guitar for about a six or 7 months.

that guy that tought me scales taought me from January 2005- October-2005. he had to quit because of his band was taking up two much of his time and he was a father. Steve could play really crazy blues stuff on an acoustic guitar. put it this way, he could get as advanced as "curious coincodence" on a Martin. he was real good. He told me that if i wanted to be like that, i had to master the pentatonic, and major scale. he weeded out some bad habbits, holding the pick at an angle, picking with my arm and not my wrist, and my "fretting" fretboard.



then i got another teacher, Brian. thats 1 years, 7 months of owning a guitar, not playing, owning. So from November 05- May 06, Brian goes over the pentatonic , major , mixalodeyn, and minor scales. he also taught me some bar chords.


But then, Brian got married and said he couldt teach me until this september. i was stuck. luckily i was on google one day searching for "crazy guitar solos" and freelicks poped up. there was kristofer doing layla, sweet child of mine, valley of eternity, bohemium rhapsody, and other awsome stuff. so i did the freelicks thing then got the dvds and signed up for masterclass.

so 3 months later, only 3 MONTHS of using kristofers material, i feel like im light years away from when i first started having lessons with steve. now i hear stuff like stairway to heaven and freebird and go, "yeah, jimmy page is a minor pentatonic and goin thru different boxes, and speedpick up and down the fisrt form" "allen collins (i think thats skynyrd's guitarist) is playing hammers and pulles in g minor pent. moved way up high on the neck. i can do that, easy"

so if u add the years up that ive owned a guitar, i have had one and learned for 2 and a half, mabye three.
i have had productive lessons for a year and a half and have actually played music for about 6 months.

basically what im saying here is get comfortable with the guitar. forget about memorizing solos if thats what you want to do. take a solo, find a couple licks you like, slow it down to your speed, copy them and improvise. that comes way later tho after youve been actually playing real music for 2 or 3 months. when i say play music, i mean jamn with good guitarists, improvising solo for at least a minuite on some backing chords, or just with a band.

ive only journeyed with the guitar for 3 years. Colin Murphy, Rob Girard, lespaulkevin and sanders, are some of the other younger guys in this site. they probably have more info for newbie than i do.


if any questions or comments email me at [email protected]

hope it all helps

/josh


ps, im gonna get a video of me and my friend jamn so you can see what you will look like in 2 or 3 years, hopefully sooner. peace
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sammy_k
post Aug 6 2006, 05:17 PM
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Thanks for your tips.

My idea was - before buying my guitar - that I would spend the first year just with chords and getting strenght in my fingers, good picking technique, strumming untill I manage to grab the chords without problems fluently.

I asked about bends, vibrato, etc because some guys told me I should also train them. "Why not?" and "no pain, no gain, just keep practicing those things" is what I heard most.

I actually think chords are the way to go for a beginner. I just thought that playing a scale slowly and memorizing the notes I play wouldn't hurt me :wink: It's not that I completely want to start of with scales. I'm not stupid you know :wink:

It's just that if you train chords for about 2 - 4 hours like I did the first day I got my guitar, it would be nice to have some little exercise that is completely different than chords. Just as an in between.

That's where the scale, bending, vibrato etc pops out smile.gif

So if anyone knows a good in-between-exercise to create a bit of variation in my practice, just tell me.

Right now I'm just going to train the A, C, D, E, G, Am, Em, Dm chords for the next month(s) I think. With different chord changes. Seems like a good challenge to me.

The next step could be finding an easy songs with only beginner-chords in it. Then the challenge will probable be to get the strumming right (down or up) and at speed so it actually sounds a bit like the song.

Suggestions for easy chords and songs are also welcome.

Thanks guys.
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Liam
post Aug 6 2006, 05:56 PM
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sammyke

Alright man .

Come to my home ,Illl teach you some .

Where you from ? Im FRom limburg , opglabbeek GENK
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sammy_k
post Aug 6 2006, 07:07 PM
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QUOTE (Liam)
sammyke  

offer


Thanks for the offer Liam. I'm from Brugge, so that's quiet far. I've never been in Genk, so would be nice to come smile.gif
I'm working in august, I'll pm you for a meeting soon.
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redsoxfan92490
post Aug 7 2006, 03:51 PM
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sammy, i just realized how valuable quickstart is. ive been in a blues rampage the last few monthsand i had thought i maxed out on all the licks i knew. so i went to the solo problems section. it turns out that id been doing what kris was trying to fix, playing the first box up and down, not skipping strings, and not adding enough vibtarto to my playing. i knew the other 4 boxes but never tried to solo in them. now iplaying pentatonic comes so much easier. i can just slide up and dows playing a couple lick in each form and goe to the next one.

i think for you the strumming scratching will be very helpful if u stick ith rhyth, for a while. im kind of learning rhythm on the side as i do more solo sruff. what you should do is take the john frusiante approach.

learn the rythm and lead combined thing where you play a chord, and do a two or 3 note lick then play another chord, then another lick and so on and so on. i htink if you want to eventually learn solo after rhythm than that is the best way to do so because your learning a little solo when you play the licks and it sounds really cool. so cheack out the strumming and scratching and the fingerstyle technigues. those will benefit you the most at you r level. /josh
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sammy_k
post Aug 7 2006, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the tip josh.
I'll definately check out the DVD. What I'll do is practice chords and chordchanges mostly, so I can find chords almost blinded. I think the rhythm is really important to be able to play along with a song, so when learning chords and playing them over and over again, I'll keep checking the DVD and see if I see any progress in my scratching and strumming skills :wink: Also the fingerstyle part.

Think the best thing for me right now is training those chords and improving strumming technique. The fingerstyle part on the DVD will come in handy I think.

I don't know anything about the john frusiante approach, but what you've said seems valuable. For the chord - lick - chord approach, where to find easy but nice sounding licks? I like such little licks, they're short but really rock. Maybe it's a bad example, but guys like Billy Gibbons use a lot of those small (and less small) licks.

If anyone can point me to some of those licks (next to freelicks and the daily lick at gmc), let me know smile.gif
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