#1
what was your gradual progress as a beginner like?

i've had an electric guitar for a couple of years now but never really took the time to learn, just fukking around and learned a few riffs here and there but nothing serious or significant...

recently i've really decided i wanna take this seriously, i'm tired of playing along to songs via air guitar...

any advice? suggestions? i'm learning through justin on youtube i'm sure you all know of him..

to make it worse, i have a fukked up ring finger on my fretting hand. that finger basically has very thin flesh on the tip has a pointy tip as supposed to the regular butted finger tips you all have... so not only is it painful to play with that finger, it's even tougher to play a note without touching the lower string... fml

but i really wanna learn so i'll have to figure it out somehow..
#2
My early days were pretty normal. I had a basic understanding of guitar because there were guitar classes in my middle school; that's how I essentially started. I could play few basic things like Pain it Black by the Rolling Stones and the intro riff to Reptilia by The Strokes.
I started practicing 4 hours a day doing pretty much chromatic exercises all day. Eventually learning how to play F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X., I did this as soon as I owned my guitar 2 years ago.

But yeah, if your finger hurts and it's painful I would stop for a while or tone it down a bit. Are your callouses in yet? I think that may be the cause of your pain. When your finger tips harden it'll be a lot less painful. And yes, Justin is a good instructor he is easy to follow and free to watch.

Advice I would give is don't quit when you're having a difficult time learning something. Many people quit playing because they have hard time over coming obstacles,tThis goes for all instruments. Also, practice with a metronome and play slowly and clean, it'll pay off later on. And learn how to alternate pick and learn several strumming patterns.
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#3
halffttime

I'am in some what of the same boat as you. My hands are jacked up ( thanks to the Army )

I can only play power chords. but as they say there is more the one way to skin a cat.

So try other ways to play the song you want to learn it may not sound 100% but do not give up.

Rock on!!!!!!!!!
#4
If the tip of your ring finger on your fretting hand is messed up but you're still a beginner, consider teaching yourself to play lefty instead (assuming you're right handed). You'll have considerably less options for guitars in the future, but if you don't think you can play the other way then you may not have much of a choice.

The best advice I can give for a beginner is be patient. Take your time to make sure that you're learning things properly. Never be too proud or too embarrassed to ask someone more experienced than you for help, especially when you're first starting. The beginning is when the learning curve will be it's sharpest. Most importantly, have fun. Nothing can stop you from learning guitar quite like treating it like a chore instead of a hobby will.

And don't feel bad if you happen to be a relatively slow learner like myself. It was probably about a month from when I started before I was finally able to play my first full song (In League With Satan by Venom). It isn't a sport, and you shouldn't learn it to be an ultimate virtuoso guitar messiah - you should learn it to play music you enjoy.
Last edited by Steyr9001 at Nov 13, 2012,
#5
Quote by Steyr9001
If the tip of your ring finger on your fretting hand is messed up but you're still a beginner, consider teaching yourself to play lefty instead (assuming you're right handed). You'll have considerably less options for guitars in the future, but if you don't think you can play the other way then you may not have much of a choice.

The best advice I can give for a beginner is be patient. Take your time to make sure that you're learning things properly. Never be too proud or too embarrassed to ask someone more experienced than you for help, especially when you're first starting. The beginning is when the learning curve will be it's sharpest. Most importantly, have fun. Nothing can stop you from learning guitar quite like treating it like a chore instead of a hobby will.

And don't feel bad if you happen to be a relatively slow learner like myself. It was probably about a month from when I started before I was finally able to play my first full song (In League With Satan by Venom). It isn't a sport, and you shouldn't learn it to be an ultimate virtuoso guitar messiah - you should learn it to play music you enjoy.



thanks for the replies i read all of them ^....

i don't think i'd be able to play left handed, i tried fretting with my write, pretending the strings were flipped, but it's like trying to read backwards.... it's just too awkward fretting with the right hand for me...

what makes me sad and kinda discourages me, is no matter how good i can get i'd never be able to do things on the guitar others could because of my disadvantage..

just gotta suck it up though... that goes for everything in life right?
#6
Post a picture of your ring finger. It may help us come up with alternatives. Or, if you have to learn left handed - which is very doubtful - all it takes is practice. It'll feel very awkward for a while, but eventually you will get used to it.
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Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#7
My early days were a shambles

I'd had the thing 6 months and could barely manage a few chords
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#8
I remember playing a Kramer that I go for $50 through my stereo turned all the way up for distortion......

I had kind of a head start because I already played Sax and upright bass before I ever touched a guitar.
#9
All I cared about was solos so I just played the same 3-4 solos over and over until I got fast. I've got a video of me playing the solo to Crazy Train 3 months after I started playing and it is terrible but back then I though it was amazing.

I was watching some old videos and I pretty much peaked after about a year and a half in terms of technical ability. I just watched videos online to pick up tips and I avoided a lot of bad habits by watching good players play, I didn't really learn songs I just practiced techniques a lot. I only really started jamming to songs recently because I had nowhere else I wanted to go as far as developing technique.
Last edited by MegadethFan18 at Nov 14, 2012,
#10
I learned a few power chord based songs, moved onto full chords & slow lead riffs after 6months. Started learning the pentatonic scale all over the neck along with a few techniques & just got faster, stronger & better.

Best advise I can give to anyone is to ALWAYS play with the guitar plugged in and at a good volume. I've known guitarists who can knock out a lovely jam on an electric acoustically but know nothing about muting & making it sound good.
#11
I started out around 1975 or so. I was an adult already, in my mid-20s. Virtually everyone I knew played something; I took up the guitar in self-defense...
I actually bought a banjo first, but I wasn't making very good progress. My wife had her guitar lying around, an old Suzuki nylon-string, and I started fooling with that, working out of a basic "folk guitar" book I got from the library.
Found I was making better progress with the guitar than the banjo, so I took the banjo back to the music store and traded it for a little steel-string Yamaha.
Got a bluegrass guitar book and started teaching myself to flatpick. Also started subscribing to Guitar Player magazine, which proved invaluable.
Thought it would take me forever to get that basic "boom-chicka-boom" rythym pattern down reliably, but once it "clicked" I started making good progress.
#12
When I started playing, I had the worst time trying to play the open C chord. As best I remember it took me a good three weeks of solid practicing to finally be able to play it without muting strings. I was steadily asking other people if it was that important of a chord and could I get away with not being able to play it

About the ring finger thing. Don't sweat it, I have a cut tendon in the pinky of my fretting hand so I can only bend the first joint of it, but I've slowly but surely worked my way around it and now can even play chords with stretches in them again. Hell, Django Reinhardt only had two fingers and played some amazing stuff. There's always a way to make things like that work in your favor. To illustrate, when I messed up my pinky I started just stretching my ring finger to play stuff that I would normally play with my pinky so now I've developed some insanely fast legato with those 3 fingers and now that I've gotten back some use with my pinky I'm a much better player for that.

If it's what you really wanna do then persevere. Don't worry about what you can't do and instead focus on what you can, & soon you're bound to discover that you actually can do a lot.
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Last edited by J-Dawg158 at Nov 14, 2012,
#13
I remember a couple weeks before lessons I attempted to teach myself tab... Long story short I thought the 21th fret was the 1st fret for some reason.
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#15
My first year or two was pretty terrible. Wasn't sure I'd ever become a halfway decent guitarist...much less a good one. Then one day something just clicked. I learned to fall in love with the instrument..and discovered progress is made by inches at a time; not miles.
#16
9 years ago I started with an old electric guitar I found in my basement. It had water damage, the pick ups didn't work, and it had rusty strings. I played on that for a few weeks and then got a steel string acoustic. Epiphone Aj-100 or something like that. I still have it today, sounds great still! I learned a lot of Johnny Cash back then... Well strictly Johnny Cash. So I knew my basic chords by heart. Then the next year I got a Les Paul for Christmas and jammed away on that with Randy Rhoads. A year after that I was practicing 8-12 hours a day and made amazing progress. Practiced like that for 3 years, every sleepless night was worth it. From the rest of the time then to now, I've been a freelance musician playing whenever and where ever.

I played Violin for like 6 years before hand though. I wasn't good good at it, decent, but it helped me a lot on guitar and made me realize I'm better at guitar so the violin became neglected. I also have taken a lot of Music Theory classes and been into Jazz over the past year and a half. I still rock out though!
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#17
I blitzed through my first 6 months then I hit the wall and it wasn't till about 2 years that I had another burst of progression.
#19
Do like this guy:

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#21
When i first started i just wanted to play punk rock. I learned to fret the powerchord and jammed hours a day along with songs from the offspring, pennywise, sex pistols, nofx and much more. I rececntly discovered an audio file on my pc where i play the offspring's "the kids arent alright". That was about three years ago. I was so bad. I coudn't downpick and stay on time with the song. Then i discovered thrash metal and started practicing riffs and solo's and all kinds of scale runs. Now i kinda only play instrumental stuff like joe satriani.
#22
I started playing just so I could play a few fun riffs and just screw around. I taught myself off of tabs and online lessons. It wasn't too long and I was past the point of just playing riffs and had an actual interest in truly learning the instrument. I started trying to learn full songs and some theory but the bad habits I picked up just teaching myself off of tabs were an obstacle that was very hard to overcome. Several years later, I can play most things that I want to play but I'm still correcting bad habits so I can take my playing to the next level. Overall though, It's been a ton of fun. I wouldn't have come this far if it weren't
#23
Wow please keep the posts coming or sticky this lol. I actually really like reading how people started, I know I'm not alone in my 9 months of playing... Thought I was the only one who started w/bad equipment or just took a while to get things down.
And it's nice to see I'm not doing all the wrong things to get to know guitar, playing songs, solos, piece by piece... I feel like I really will get good someday reading these .
#24
I failed to mention in my post my biggest influence to keep going. Just a few months into when I started seriously playing, the old hippy that lived across the street from me heard me jamming. He wanted someone to jam with. He was one of the best guitar players I've ever seen in my life (imagine what about 50 years experience does). He inspired me to keep going when I was getting down on my playing and he really got me set strait on barre chords and getting a decent tone. Sadly, he's dead now. I really wish I could show him how far I've come and jam some Hendrix with him like he loved to do
#25
My sister is what I consider "gifted". She started playing when she was 7 and was winning talent shows within a year or two. My dad started playing at about the same time and he can handle himself pretty well also. I always felt left out.

I bought my first guitar from my next-door neighbor when I was 14. It was a 70-something Carvin Strat and he sold it to me for $40. It had a light wood grain finish that was preatty worn, and one of the pickups was cracked, but it sounded decent enough for me through my little Peavey 10 watt amp. Man, do I wish I still had it! I gave up after a few months and sold to a friend...$125 for the package:-(

I gave it another, more serious try in my late 20's. I took some lessons and practiced daily for several months. I found that I was better at collecting guitars and songbooks than I was at playing. It really was a chore for me. I got to the point where it was work to pick it up so I threw in the towel and sold everything.

I just discovered this last year what my big problem was. I put so much pressure on myself to be good like my sister and my dad that I wasn't having fun...I forgot to have fun. Once I realized that I just started letting it all hang out and went for it. I'm still not very good, but I am having a good time with it. The cool thing is, since I started having fun with it, I am playing more and getting better! I may never be Eddie Van Halen, but that's okay...I'm better looking than he is anyway:-)
#26
Quote by stlouisfan37
My sister is what I consider "gifted".


Anybody else just have a Firefly moment there? :P

I'm still in my beginner stages, learning chords and playing them over and over whilst working to keep some basic rhythm. Been playing a few hours each day because i'm really digging it, just hoping I don't burn myself out.

I've been a massive fan of early rock n roll for quite a few years now, so that has become my inspiration.

Hopefully within the next few weeks I can begin to start jamming a bit with my mate who plays some bass.
#28
When I first started I took group guitar lessons for about 3 months, then started to teach myself with a lot of books. Practiced mainly open chord changes and scales over and over and over and over....etc. I would grip the chords way too hard, and the joints in my ring finger got really sore to the point I had to take medication for it. I remember playing riffs that were difficult for me at first and then suddenly it seemed I could play them(like breaking through a wall). I also remember trying to play songs way out of my skill level, it was fun to try and gave me a better appreciation of the hard work it took those musicians to play at that level. In the first couple years sometimes my progress felt fast and sometimes it seemed really slow(plateaued). Now I mainly just practice new songs, I do spend a little bit of time practicing chords and scales, but its easier learning new chords/progressions now. I am not a great player and I just play for fun, but I'm still learning and enjoying the process.
#29
I just picked up my brother's crappy old 3/4 size from when he was 10, and I printed off a chord chart. Within a day of super intense practice, I had a couple of songs down
#30
i asked you guys how you all got started and didn't even bother to share how I got started..

about two years ago i decided to buy an electric guitar that came with an amp, nothing special just a cheap "academy" guitar to fukk around with.. that was the brand of the guitar, the people at the guitar shop told me they've never heard of it lol. i spent maybe a little less than a month just goofing around and actually learned most of slash's godfather... slash was actually my inspiration for trying to learn the guitar. after that month i didn't really do anything much with the guitar..

fast forward to about a month ago.. my work season came to an end and i realize i've got some time on my hands until next september so i bought an epiphone les paul special, again nothing special but it does feel a lot better playing on a "branded" guitar, i feel more motivated.

i've seen a fair amount of justinguitar's lessons on youtube, as well as other ones.. got about 5 or 6 chords memorized. the whole reason i decdided to try it again was because of the john frusciante..

i pretty much got the intro part and the first verse down of under the bridge, as well as a good understanding of the chorus... the second verse is just flying over my head right now, i don't understand where to start. this is really the first real song i've decided to try to learn and i realize it probably isn't the song you'd want to learn as a beginner... i don't know whether to go back to learning the chords, learn an easier song, or just try to push through this and somehow one way or another get this song down...


Quote by HannahAisne
I just picked up my brother's crappy old 3/4 size from when he was 10, and I printed off a chord chart. Within a day of super intense practice, I had a couple of songs down


crazy... your first day and you already had a couple of songs down!?! wow
#31
I decided right before my 18th birthday I wanted to learn to play. I had played sax and trumpet in school in the past but never really got motivated to practice because I was only into rock and country back then. (Granted, if I had discovered songs like Brown Sugar by the Stones back then I may have been much more motivated.) I went out and got an acoustic and picked up chords very quickly. Never had any rhythm though and It is just now developing 3 years later. Of course about 4 months after I got the guitar I started working and doing college full time so I never had time to play. Now I am in law school so I still don't have much time but I did buy an electric about 18 months after I started playing that I play when I can
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#32
I played Guitar Hero a bit and was like "this is nothing like playing a real instrument". So I stole my brother's starter guitar and started learning. I sucked hard and didn't even know how to hold a pick for close to a year. Once I figured out fundamentals like that, I took off.
#33
I got "good" sort of fast and shocked all my friends with slayer and yngwie stuff. But I had a strange habit of starting every string with a downstroke BOTH ways. So after a few years I couldnt figure out why my scales were great goin up the scale and terrible comin back down the scale. And other problems but that was the worst. If you dont want to learn anything about right hand technique at all you should at least learn strict alternate and sweeping.
#34
it was hard. I remember being stuck in an RV in El Centro for 10 days in 110 degree weather in a McDonald's parking lot with not even enough money to buy one double cheesburger to split between two people.
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#35
Quote by amonamarthmetal
it was hard. I remember being stuck in an RV in El Centro for 10 days in 110 degree weather in a McDonald's parking lot with not even enough money to buy one double cheesburger to split between two people.


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#36
It'd been 3 years I started playing, and I still feel like I suck terribly, even though I got the basic down... Eventually I think it just depends on your level of indulgence, I've allways felt that anything I did was never good enough, which is a good and a bad thing at the same time.

If you're anything like me, sometimes you'll be raging and it will push you to actually get better, and play more, some days you'll feel really no motivation because you think you're so bad.

What is important is just to look back, and think where you're coming from. Just try to keep track of you progresses, instead of always thinking about what you want to improve.

For me my goal is still to become what I consider a decent guitar player, and I'm far from that goal, until then I'll keep trying, no matter how long it takes, the frustrations, and the occasional pauses I will take.
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#37
I've been playing for approximately 2 years now, in my first day I remember playing on my mother's classical. Managed to nail the basic open chords, by the first week I got a cheap acoustic and learned how to barre. After that it's been learning inversions and stuff, my friends call me gifted but I think it's just cause I actually practice playing. Learned a little bossa nova plucking late last year but I still can't pluck for my life.

I got an electric at the beginning of this year and so have been trying to play around with it, did mostly riffs and small solos and also those power chords songs. Been learning to improvise lately in different keys, tremolo picking and all that. Still at pretty basic stuff, have way much more to learn. I would say my right hand technique is fine (muting, no tension, relaxed, accurate, little movement) so I've been building up my left hand technique in terms of speed and accuracy while soloing.
#38
I bought a cheap acoustic guitar, I don't exactly remember why but I knew some chords already. Learned some stuff like, Show me the way to go home (I remember thinking it was horrible but someone suggested it), chords to House of the Rising Sun etc. But it wasn't my thing and didn't really like to play

Several years later picked it up again as a friend was learning playing as well. I learned that Good Riddance song quite decently and at the time only knew finger playing. Got bored with it

I started playing Guitar Hero and got relatively good at the game but realized how pointless it was and went ahead and bought an electric guitar and an amp

The first song I started playing was Slipknot's Before I Forget
It's actually hilarious that I can honestly say it's way easier on real guitar and I thought so at the time as well "Huh...so you only have to use 1 finger for these chords?"


Edit: The epic fail here is that I didn't know what palm muting was. It took me about 3 months before I started wondering why my Master of Puppets intro sounded so different from the original. I mean, the notes I played were correct...wtf am I missing?


Played way too much dropped tuning too, that really limited me and made me suck.
Right now I really love rhythm guitar and haven't gotten much into typical lead guitar yet (unlike most others, I think, I suspect that lots of people like to try start soloing right away). I just love to play crazy heavy riffs all day, but hope to get into lead guitar as well because there's a lot to learn. It's a massive, awesome instrument
Last edited by fanapathy at Dec 4, 2012,
#39
I was terrible. I had no rhythm whatsoever, and thought I was the shit because I could do hammer-ons and pull-offs really fast. I recorded some low quality tracks with a radio shack microphone, asked people to critique it, and they tore me a new asshole. I didn't realize that music was more about the feel instead of the technique. I looked at music as a race to see who could play the fastest and most complicated notes, and thought that was what made a musician good. Don't do this. It took me so long to fix up my rhythm problems. I still struggle with it every now and then. Also, I didn't use my pinky. Luckly, I'm awesome with my pinky now, but I should of been using it all along.
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