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Old 01-25-2013, 12:42 AM   #1
St John 999
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Advancing Newbies - Next 2 Step suggestions?

Any suggestion for how to proceed.
Myself and 13 year old son, We've been playing electric guitar for a few months now.
He's mostly doing Rocksmith – up to International Support level and has 'mastered' about 5 of the songs.
For a newbie I'm amazed how he has come along. (I'm of similar standard – but more old school – I'll actually go off and do a few scales and things as well)

Rocksmith has kept my son and myself interested and having fun with the guitar.

Any suggestions on songs / music we could do together. We both have separate practice amps. I am keen that he learns how to play in a band. I'm happy to play backing chord that he can do lead over.

We have done multiplayer on Rocksmith – kinda cool but really your more playing (or competing) in parallel rather than playing with someone. Hence the request for suggestions what a couple of advancing beginners can do.

(Eventually I think he wants to be good enough to jam with his mates from school but for now I want to get his confidence and skills up to this.) As for me I just get a buzz out of playing power chords (and staying just ahead of my son on Rocksmith!)

Fav music at present seems to be Muse - Unnatural Selection. “Its just fun to play”

Any suggestions please.

Thank you
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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That's cool that you and your son can do that stuff together. My dad and I hated each other until I learned to play the guitar at 16, then it was like we had something in common for once.

I don't play Rocksmith, but hopefully someone else can suggest some good songs for you.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:13 AM   #3
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If money permits.. I bet you guys could take real lessons together.. help eachother out when getting stumped. That is cool your doing that with him.. mine pretty much never wanted anything to do with me
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:16 AM   #4
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Try playing Black Star by Yngwie Malsteem and that song from muse is my fav to play on RS anyways there is this song its easy it was the first song I ever learned completely its She-Wolf by Megadeth
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroComet
Try playing Black Star by Yngwie Malsteem


Ha! May be a couple of weeks away this one - although some bits aren't too fast - just lots of screaming cats that will drive the neighbours mad!!!

However Megadeth - She Wolf will be fun. - this one will merely annoy the neighbours up to a couple of blocks away (not really, but we can only dream... Its usually my boys telling me to turn the volume down. )

Thank you for the suggestions
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:49 AM   #6
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I'm genuinely intrigued by this, I'm an experienced player and recently picked up Rocksmith. I'm definitely having fun with it but I'm can see a few glaring flaws that leave me unconvinced about it's ability to actually teach you how to play the guitar, as opposed to how to play Rocksmith.

As far as playing without Rocksmith goes how is your son doing? Is he still fine playing or does he find it harder without the screen? That was one thing that concerned me, the fact that it's more focussed on teaching you to react to visual cues rather than really understnading the instrument and helping you develop your ear along with technical ability.

Away from rocksmith some AC/DC stuff is as good a place to start as any if you're looking for straightforward stuff for two guitars, KISS songs are pretty easy too - or go further back and learn a simple blues or rock n roll song like Black Magic Woman or Johnny B Goode
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
That was one thing that concerned me, the fact that it's more focussed on teaching you to react to visual cues rather than really understanding the instrument and helping you develop your ear along with technical ability.


This would also be my concern, although I also feel a similar concern for people who are taught with certain methods that get them to pretty much sightread their way through music.

Both are responding to visual cues, instead of auditory ones. I guess ideally you should have both...
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
I'm genuinely intrigued by this, I'm an experienced player and recently picked up Rocksmith. I'm definitely having fun with it but I'm can see a few glaring flaws that leave me unconvinced about it's ability to actually teach you how to play the guitar, as opposed to how to play Rocksmith.

As far as playing without Rocksmith goes how is your son doing? Is he still fine playing or does he find it harder without the screen? That was one thing that concerned me, the fact that it's more focussed on teaching you to react to visual cues rather than really understnading the instrument and helping you develop your ear along with technical ability.

Away from rocksmith some AC/DC stuff is as good a place to start as any if you're looking for straightforward stuff for two guitars, KISS songs are pretty easy too - or go further back and learn a simple blues or rock n roll song like Black Magic Woman or Johnny B Goode


Rocksmith certainly isn't perfect.
Being a game its very easy to discount it as being frivolous, but:
It teaches you that playing the guitar is about making music and having fun.
It does guide you through all the basic and some intermediate/advanced skills eg harmonics.
If you are working on a certain skill the guitarcade section is great for practising.
It gives immediate feedback on how well you are performing the various skills.
It teaches you to practice bits you can't yet do. Until you can.
It exposes you to lots of musical genres that ordinarily you may not bother with. When playing these I have been surprised by some of the detail in them that I had not appreciated up to now. And why some songs I still don''t like especially after playing them given the dissonance and disconnect with the themes – no names here but then again I'm not into Jazz either)

We had been working through a beginners book together, but Silent Night and Scarborough Fair just weren't his (or my) cup of tea. Give him respect though he did play them all through at least once. (Silent night with the distortion / gain turned up had us both laughing and the neighbours cringing – talk about theme disconnect...)

With regard to visual cues – this is an interesting comment. I have a little classical training and to a certain extent its not much different to looking at a piece of sheet music.
Interesting when he (and I) know a section well we will take our eyes off the screen and just play the notes listening to the rhythm of the song. That's fun in performance mode checking out the avatar crowd.
Also as you play you tend to play the note at the correct rhythm audio moment and not regard the visual cue of when the trigger block hits the staff. The visual cue is more to signal which note to play. And certainly on the faster bits you have to play by ear and rhythm.

Off Rocksmith, my son often has his guitar out just picking riffs. He has worked out by ear Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, and some other songs that are too trendy for me to know.

When we do some improvising he is very patient and is able to lay a riff or two over the top of my 3 chord tricks or 12 bar blues sequence of power chords.

So essentially the Rocksmith has kept him playing and having fun rather than just playing half a dozen simple riffs forever.

Rocksmith does not teach any quality of technique – I notice his style is a little 'loose' when he is playing some of the more challenging stuff, but perhaps this is not too bad. He has good hand and body position (suggested in Rocksmith and our beginner's book) And his tone is pretty good – but then again I'm a proud, biased Dad!

Apart from hanging out with a group of similar standard mates and gradually increasing your repertoire I'm note sure you could advance so quickly in such a fun way.

For me as a re-beginner adult – I am working on basic skills – scales etc, and learning a few simple classical pieces and then I'll play Rocksmith for relaxation – but to be honest it too has improved my overall skills as well. Each day I do about an hour of 'normal' practice and about an hour on Rocksmith. So I never get bored and the variety – acoustic, electric classical mix is cool. I don't think I would bother doing the extra hour if it weren't for Rocksmith.

Woa that was a long reply

and specifically the music suggestions

AC/DC gets lots of street cred in Australia so will pursue that definitely. In fact I think he does a few of their riffs already so that will surprise him if I come out with a couple ACDC songs ready to go.
The KISS glam rock thing does my head in – I understand these guys are great musicians but I never got into their stuff being put off by the stage show. However will give them a second look

Black Magic Woman appeals to me – that should be fun to play.

Thank you for the suggestion.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Good thing about AC/DC and KISS is that you tend to have two fairly distinct guitar parts but they're both pretty simple and also the solos aren't too hard.

Black Magic Woman is lots of fun and it's one that you can just keep going with and trade solos when you're getting more confident.

And when you get really brave try The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy, there's something very satisfying about nailing a harmonised lead line

A lot of it boils down to what you like to listen to though, if you chuck out a few bands we can sugggest some specific tracks.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:38 AM   #10
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Music styles that we both like at present.

Muse, Evanescance, Velvet revolver, Green Day, Fountains of Wayne,
and I just love the song by Seether - Fake it. I aim to work on an acoustic version of this to play at some drunken BBQ to shock the posh buggers that annoy me.

Any suggestion will be very welcome.

Writing this list I realise I am thinking about the entire song/sound and not about two guitars playing together. Your comment about Thin Lizzy made me think about this. Your experience, advice and suggestions are thus much appreciated

Cheers
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:54 AM   #11
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Wink The effect of 2 months of Rocksmith

My son has been playing guitar for 3 months -
2 of those months with Rocksmith.
I am amazed at his progress. I caught him messing about so shot this chance video of him.

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Old 01-26-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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Now try two months with a decent teacher and then see the result.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:17 AM   #13
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That was actually my favorite song to play when I had the game
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tappooh
Now try two months with a decent teacher and then see the result.


The video is just to show that a video game really can have amazing results. As a kid I certainly would not have been able to play like this after just a few months.

He has friends who have done 6 months of guitar lessons at school who are not as good as this. And have not had a much fun. However maybe he would now benefit from some instruction to ensure he has good technique.

The cost is another matter too. Rocksmith $100 or less all up. Guitar teacher $40 - $50 a week maybe... I respect what guitar teachers offer to those who want it, but for a fun hobby it can be expensive.

Thank you for the comment though.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #15
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Just put this short video of my son playing some Muse riffs - give you an idea of how he plays after doing the Rocksmith thing.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...76#post30958176
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:33 AM   #16
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Not bad, and sure if it's just a hobby that's fine.

But stuff like the way he's holding the pick, not using alternate picking, tone, vibrato, string bending... You can't learn that from a game.

Then when you decide you love the guitar and want to take it more seriously, you have a foundation of bad technique and have to relearn a bunch of stuff.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:09 AM   #17
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Ok dude, you're proud of your son, we get it. Please stop posting about him and rocksmith now.

I could criticize your song's playing very heavily... but I'm not going to. I just want you to stop posting about him.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #18
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thats exellent for a couple of months playing i surely could'nt play like that so quick.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:50 AM   #19
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If your son has been playing only 3 months, then that is good.

However, his picking technique is extremely poor (using elbow, not wrist), his fretting hand is still obviously very weak (some of the notes he's playing sound out of tune because he isn't applying enough pressure and may be bending the string up or down accidentally), he isn't using his pinky finger at all, he has no vibrato which makes his playing sound stiff, etc.

Without getting a teacher or at least a solid practice regimen that actually highlights these issues with fundamental technique and tone, your son will end up learning to play guitar badly, and then it will be much harder for him to improve because he will have to un-learn everything he was doing wrong.

This is exactly the point where I would tell him to stop using the game for practice and move on to a teacher, or at least get some lessons online that scrutinize his fundamentals, because otherwise his progress will plateau very quickly.

Last edited by sea` : 01-26-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:58 AM   #20
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I'm going to echo the sentiment of the others - it's great to see your son's progress in such a short amount of time, but it's fairly obvious to anyone who plays guitar and uses the correct technique, that your son is learning a lot of poor technique. Others have already mentioned some of the things he's doing. I also noticed he's not using his pinky. I would seriously recommend you find him a good instructor and pay for some lessons. Caught early enough, you can reverse some of these bad habits. If you don't fix them now, as others have said, he will plateau quickly and wonder why he can't get any better.
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