#1
Ok, I am in college and started playing acoustic guitar in may. I bought an electric on New Years Eve. I am getting much better but can't seem to actually PLAY anything other than just strumming chords to songs on acoustic, and even then im bad with strumming patterns. I can't afford lessons right now. This sucks because all I have done for the past few weeks when i wasn't at work is sit in my room with my guitar and play. Along with browsing this site looking for something to help me.. I need guidance on how to go about playing real songs so I can actually see my improvement in order to motivate myself.
"Music is the only thing that makes sense anymore man, play it loud enough it keeps the demons at bay." - Jojo from ATU
Currently Own:
Ibanez GAX70
Peavey VYPYR 15.
Mitchell Acoustic M0100
Johnson Acoustic JG 100
#2
throw in a cd, open up a tab and just go.

obviously, you would probably want to pick some simpler songs that you like, dont start off with free bird or something lol.
Quote by burrit0
Say your friend was high and doesn't know what he's talking about.
#3
If your asking for songs to start with for acosutic then Wish You Were Here, Time of Your Life, and 45. If your asking how to improve. Learn scales and how to read chords.
#4
do what i did - start with smells like teen spirit. everyone laughs, but 1. its fun to play 2. the solo is easy and you'll feel like a hero after playing it clean for the first time 3. its easy enough to play perfect and it'll give you motivation to play more songs. my problem was i tried to learn yyz as my first song. bad idea
#5
Here's what I did:

1) Find some good exercises/warm-ups that will improve finger dexterity and ability to stretch. Usually a chromatic exercise works here. Use a metronome when you play it as it also will help your rhythm, which is a must for playing with people. Make sure these exercises are things you can do daily for 10 minutes or so.

2) If you're having trouble with a part of a song, make it an exercise and do it with the chromatic every day slowly at first. Then build up, and this should help a lot.

3) Figure out something generic that you have a problem with, such as independence between the third and fourth finger. Get your guitar and watch some tv, while mindlessly fretting the third finger, then removing it and fretting with the fourth, and repeat. After an episode of Heroes or something every Monday night, this will help you a lot. (alternate picking works well here too).

These are the three main things I did besides learning songs and playing with others. They're good because they either take up little time, or they're doable while you do something else (TV for example). This means you're racking up experience and practice hours much quicker than normally, and you're subconsciously making it easier to play.
#6
Quote by cantcme2
do what i did - start with smells like teen spirit. everyone laughs, but 1. its fun to play 2. the solo is easy and you'll feel like a hero after playing it clean for the first time 3. its easy enough to play perfect and it'll give you motivation to play more songs. my problem was i tried to learn yyz as my first song. bad idea


Smells Like Teen Spirit is the probably one of the best beginner songs. Basket Case too. Just try to think of what is an easy song that you've heard and look up the tabs. Learn some scales and then try coming up with stuff on your own. Practice, practice, practice.
#7
+1^

Just keep on practicing. You can't expect to play like a pro after just two weeks, it takes time, but keep at it, and before you know it you'll be shredding.
Petey D

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#8
Quote by Petey D
+1^

Just keep on practicing. You can't expect to play like a pro after just two weeks, it takes time, but keep at it, and before you know it you'll be shredding.

I have been playing since may. But I understand anyway
"Music is the only thing that makes sense anymore man, play it loud enough it keeps the demons at bay." - Jojo from ATU
Currently Own:
Ibanez GAX70
Peavey VYPYR 15.
Mitchell Acoustic M0100
Johnson Acoustic JG 100
#9
A lot of good advice has been given. I've been doing a lot of finger work lately, but I feel I need to go back and work purely on chords and chord transition. Chords are the foundation for everything else really. There are plenty of strumming examples on Youtube, lots of free lessons here on UG and www.justinguitar.com. I would also recommend downloading either Guitar Pro (www.guitar-pro.com) or Tux Guitar (www.tuxguitar.com.ar) and playing along with it. Both programs allow you to slow the pace of a song down and are great for developing a sense of timing and rhythm.
#11
Power tab is another program that's free and is a great help to learn songs