help for a new guitarist

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help for a new guitarist

Postby Currtwuzheere » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:02 pm

im new to this forum, but ive been using this site for a while. Im only 15, so i never got the chance to see Jerry play live, and i just got into seriously listening to the dead a few months ago,

Ive been playing acoustic guitar for 10 1/2 months, but im still bad, so any advice
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Postby Shooster » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:21 pm

If you expand on why you think you're bad you might get some advice more specific to you.

A few things that every beginner needs to learn though: all open chords (should be able to quickly transition between them), you should start listening to records and trying to picks up strums patterns/rhythms, and make sure and pay special attention to your fretting hand..... most beginners sound bad because of some mistakes in their fretting.
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Postby Currtwuzheere » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:30 pm

thank you,

i think that my biggest problem is transitioning between chords, i can do it quickly and go from bar to open etc, but alot of the time it sounds dull in between
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Postby fatcat » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:52 pm

two things id suggest. 1. just keep practicing and playing. chords will come in time

2. learn your modes and understand why you are playing a chord when you are. practice your left hand and get it loose. it should be easy and natural to switch between chords and single notes and then switch to chords again. fills will come and a smoother transition becomes easy.
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Postby lostsailor8782 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:26 am

PRACTICE A FUCIKNG LOT !!!!!!!!!!!! First and foremost ... but also understand what you are doing and why ... when you learned to read and write you learned the alphabet first .... when you play a G major chord know where it comes from and what the notes are that make it up for instance a G major scale is as follows G A B C D E F# G your g major chord is made up of three notes from that scale the 1st 3rd and 5th G B D some of them being played more than once depending on which position you are playing in .... play the scale up and down then the chord .... you will start to hear the scale and the notes in the chord much better plus you are working on hand coordination ...
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Postby st. stephen » Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:52 am

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-Homer Simpson-
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Postby hobbsy » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:16 am

Yes, practice a whole fuckin bunch. But I kind of disagree with the whole "learn the modes" and such. I learned by going to tab sights, finding a song, listening to the song (chords, strumming pattern and all) and playing along with. My buddy who is a fabulous player tried to teach me theory and it was lost on me in the beginning. Just jam, work on chord transitions, and use your ears. Your fingers and hands will follow.
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Postby lostsailor8782 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:30 am

see the thing with theory is this ... you learn it and then you kinda forget it ... it becomes as natural to your musical vocabulary as letters of the alphabet become to words you write everyday ... then it just comes to you ... but remember rules are meant to be broken .. if something sounds good to you feels ggod to you play it loud and play it often
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Postby fatcat » Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:21 pm

listening to the dead introduced me to modes and i learned very quickly after that. now use theory every time i pick up the guitar. theory is a great base for writing songs and by changing it just a little you can create something unique every time you write. its like ice cream, you always start with vanilla which is great on its own, but adding chocolate chips or cookie dough to it can make it even better. theory is a guide that will start you off and i highly suggest learning some. but hell, you dont need it. chocolate ice cream is pretty good and you never start with vanilla to make it.
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Postby Currtwuzheere » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:00 pm

thanks

can some1 explain modes to me, im just starting to get into musical thereoy and anything any1 can give me would help alot
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Postby HawaiianDedhed » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:38 pm

Most importantly, as already mentioned, practice your ass off. That really is the bottom line.

As for becoming the guitar nerd we all seek to be --

Start with the major scale (aka Ionian mode). You know, do re mi fa so la ti do.

It is the foundation of Western music theory. Modes, chords, scales, notation, key signature (circle of 5ths), etc. are all based on or related to the major scale.

It really is the first building block to more complicated things.
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Postby IamDocWatson » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:50 am

i would do more work with both hands and fingers instead of studying modes. slowly piece together your knowledge of theory. it will take you longer to be able to play certain chords and note patterns than it will to learn them, there is really no reason to know how to play using modes if u cant play all your chords learn at least all your majors minors and 7ths...be able to change between them quickly without looking at your hand. muscle memorization is key, let your hand learn on its own not by seeing...if u misplay chords try to figure out where you are wrong by listening not looking...
practice practice practice, and i would suggest learning all your major scales before even delving into how to apply them to certain modes
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Postby fatcat » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:37 pm

yea, starting with ionian is very important, then learn to play the same ionian scale in the seven other positions down the neck. those are the modes. that will get you started playing them all
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Postby jjbankhead » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:43 pm

hey currt.

I too started on my own w/out instruction.

It is handy to find people who (are dead heads that) play, and are friendly enough to show you some stuff to help you out when you get stuck.

Like everyone else hear I would say practice is the main key to learning, there are no secrets the more you play the more things will unfold to your consciousness.

i would not get to discouraged if you don't understand the language people are throwing at you, some terms like scale and mode are interchangeable and get tossed around loosely and musicians forget that not everybody is in the know about these things. dont get discouraged just keep at it and these things will become normal to you too...

the tab sites are slowly dissappearing due to copyright laws , i found some like Guitar tab universe, MXtabs (which are both no longer hosting tabs but still have forumns with lots of useful lessons and people who will help you much like here) and looked for songs that i like, I also looked for online chord dictionaries and printed copies of these, i keep them in a binder for reference. i am also using some free online references for scales and modes. all these things are available but dont get to bummed out if they dont make much sense right away, just keep plugging along and when the time is right it will all make sense.

i saved the tabbed songs as text files and printed them and keep them in a binder. They are not always accurate, but it really doesn't matter so long as you are enjoying yourself with what you are playing and you keep playing. eventually you will get better (it will seem like you are getting better than you are at first and you will experience some humbling times but it remains to be fun for me).

i also took a music theory class for non music majors at the local community college, it was not geared for guitar but the information still was pertinent. It debunked a lot of the mystery to music theory and has helped me become a better player, i still have the book and refer to it when i need to, though i am still not very good at sight reading sheet music the class really helped.

i would suggest practicing at least 3 hours a day if you really want to get good, i broke up my practice time as an hour of playing songs i like, an hour of practicing scales, and an hour of playing along with songs and working on my rhythm and timing, now i spend less time practicing and feel the difference as things dont work as well as they used to for me...

do what feels right and you will have fun

dont be afraid to take lessons or take a class or something to help you out along the way.

sorry about such a lengthy post, but i feel the pain of those starting out and struggling with the learning process.
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Postby qiuniu » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:46 am

I started out just about your age with the same complaints.

Learn to read tabulature, it is really not that hard and then try learning to play the songs that you want to play.

All the stuff from the site here should be really helpful. I'd highly recommend sitting down and strumming with versions of songs that you really like and know well.

It may be hard at first to be able to play along with the song but keep trying. You will, at first, probably want to play mostly without the song playing: your brain kinda knows what should come next you just need to memorize all the chords so your brain isn't having to try to remember where all your fingers go all the time.

I also recommend having a goal. For me at your age was to be able to play songs and sing without having any sheet music in front of me so I could be the guy with the guitar around the campfire. That meant mainly learning easy songs like Uncle John's Band, Dark Hollow, Birdsong, Me & My Uncle, Gomorrah, Monkey & Engineer, Sugaree stuff like that.

If your goal is to play lead like Jerry then you might want to start by still learning how to strum all the songs (Jerry did) but also start in with the modes and stuff. If you do want to play lead you can pm me: I've learned to play lead with Jerry as my guide and I've gotten pretty good at it fairly quickly and wouldn't mind sharing what you know.

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