#1
Hey guys, I'm a beginner, got my guitar about two weeks ago and learned basic chords: A-G Major and Minor, power chords, and C7, D7, and G7 chords, a couple of scales and some strum patterns. I'm 14 year old male in high school.

I love music. I've played violin for 5 years and piano for 10 years and I love them both. I know loads of music theory and I listen to Guns n Roses as it is my favorite band (AvA is second). Despite my love for music, I am not majoring in anything close to music. I am going to be a biotechnical engineer.

My high school schedule is pretty hectic already as I take the highest level courses available at my school and easily can rank no.1 in my class of 500 academically. But it takes work, and unfortunately cuts my guitar time alot. But I am trying to squeeze in as much time as possible, because I know college, there will be absolutely NO time.

So what do you think? I am a freshman right now and I am wondering if i can get "good" before college starts. I do not learn songs, I learn guitar; it means that I do not inanely practice cliffs of dover over and over and be able to play it perfectly, but not be able to do anything else. I am self teaching right now, but do you think I should get lessons? It is important that I would be able to play before college starts because my major has nothing to do with music and I will not have time in college. I want to get to the point where I can play Canon Rock, Amadeus Rock, and most Guns n Roses songs fluently. Do you think its possible?

I wrote this all in a rush, so forgive me for errors. Thanks UG community!

PS- Any tips on Barre chords would be appreciated. The B minor, Bmajor, and F major are giving me a little trouble .
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Last edited by Arzon at Feb 4, 2009,
#2
i suppose it is if you put your mind to it. but every moment your not sleeping or studying, you will need to be playing guitar.
#4
Practice, Practice, Practice. You need to get used to chord formations and increase your dexterity. Try playing your chords and scales if you know any ( if you don't learn the major scales to start) without looking, while watching TV for example. In two or three years you should be perfectly capable of playing "Canon Rock" if that's your goal.
#5
A good tip for barre chords is not to squeeze the back of the neck with your thumb. Use the force of your whole arm and shoulder to pull your left arm towards the neck. You can usually get a nice sound even without having your thumb touch the back of the neck.
To check for good technique your barre finger should be slightly on its side. Do not barre with your finger flat on the neck.
Also, make sure your left thumb is supportive on the back of the neck, but not straining.
#6
woah your way above me im 14 and im in the lowest class possible and i major in nothing but music and teach a guitar class Mon-Thu. after school (thats how i get by) but iv been in band for 5 years which taught me music theory basics
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#7
it depends what you want to play. I've been playing a year or so and i can easily play most everything that i want (lamb of god, children of bodom, all that remains, all shall perish, etc.) I play about 7 hours a day on average tho. I don't personally like Guns 'n' Roses stuff after appetite for destruction, but if you want to play more than just chords you should practice more, although 4 years is probably enough to get good unless you skimp on practicing. But if you wanna be one of those people that plays only chords just because they want to look cool...then i don't respect that.

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#8
It takes about 1 year to learn to "shred"

Quote by SPBY
it depends what you want to play. I've been playing a year or so and i can easily play most everything that i want (lamb of god, children of bodom, all that remains, all shall perish, etc.) I play about 7 hours a day on average tho. I don't personally like Guns 'n' Roses stuff after appetite for destruction, but if you want to play more than just chords you should practice more, although 4 years is probably enough to get good unless you skimp on practicing. But if you wanna be one of those people that plays only chords just because they want to look cool...then i don't respect that.


7 hours a day? Don't you have work/school/etc?
#9
Well, learning songs is a very important part of learning guitar. Music isn't something you just get good at. It is so much more than black notes on white paper or scales or knowing chords. It is a language. A language you have to learn before you can speak fluently, and the only way to do that is to pay respect to those who came before you, analyze their work, and put your own twist on what they have done. Speaking from a completely technical standpoint, you should have plenty of time to be "good" at guitar by college if you adhere to a practice schedule. Most G n' R songs aren't that hard, so that should be no problem there. Lessons are a good idea and will help you progress at a consistent rate if you practice, but a lot of people do just fine when they are self taught. Just don't get caught up in the average Joe's view of "good at guitar." It is all about the soul man. Read some interviews with Santana. That man has a better grip on the "soul" end of playing guitar than anyone I've ever seen. Good luck man.
#10
Thanks so far, Yeah...I eventually want to learn lead. What I ment by the upper quote, is I don't want to just practice single songs, I just wanna be able to play a song I want to given tabs...yeah you know what I mean?
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#11
dude im 18 first year engineering and at september i was playing back in blak, hells bells etc

since hten iv played almost 3 hours a day(except when studyin for middies and finals)
and now ive got cliffs of dover half way complete trust me youll be suprised how much free time u have at college/university. and for the song its not ****ty complete like iv got it down very nicely

although im in canada i dont think the hours of class should be too much different
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#12
You should practice being able to connect any chord to any other chord with out having to pause and concentrate on getting your fingers in the right spot. Also, learn the major/minor scale positions.
#13
Quote by Dirty_Civilian
You should practice being able to connect any chord to any other chord with out having to pause and concentrate on getting your fingers in the right spot. Also, learn the major/minor scale positions.



Definintely

bump
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#14
if you practice a lot four years or so should get you pretty good, as was said above, try as best you can to learn the soul of it, that's the hard part, expressing yourself (though technicality will help a lot in achieving that)

i've always learned similarly to what you mentioned, i basically never learn songs, i have learned a bunch over time, but my focus is on playing and expressing myself not other people's work, and in my experience i've learned much faster than most people who started around the same time, or earlier, than me, so i recommend that path, improvise, improvise, improvise.

i also play many instruments, and write my own music, i believe than helps learning faster too
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#15
I will offer a little help on the chord fingerings, but take it with a grain of salt, as I am self taught as well.

For F major, use your indext finger to bar all the strings, on the first string, your ring and pinky for the A and D string, then the ring finger for B string.

For B minor, start with a B power chord (root on the A string) and then finger it exactly like the F major (it will be minor because of the tuning difference on the B string), and for B major, bar starting with the root note with your index, and use your pinky to bar the rest of hte notes, and be careful not to hit the E string, otherwise it will sound wrong.

Hope I could help.
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#16
Lessons helped me a good bit when I was a beginner. It's just nice to have someone there that can correct if your technique is bad. If you can't do lessons go buy the biggest chord book you can find, a music theory book that is focused for guitar, and a technique encyclopedia. The reason I say all of this is simply a reference material. For me it was nice to know where the solo derived from. Also And lastly, have fun with it.

Oh and I guess to answer your question, I was at a decent level of skill when I was 15 so i guess about three years for me. I guess that depends on your definition of good.
#17
im only at a yr and almost a half not quite, and im playin cliffs of dover now.. half complete.. i think it really depends on how much practice you put in and what you practice.. i also played violin as a kid which probly helped quite a bit... but when i finally got down n dirty into guitar i just practiced techniques forever not songs that leave you learning nothing, but i did it while watching tv and just talkin on msn n such.. while thats not efficient its more efficient then putting the guitar down..

just as simple as more practice = better guitarist
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#18
as long as it takes. Take your time and learn. Dont force yourself to learn something your not ready to learn. Im still learning and its been 20 years. But to get decent took me about 3 years. The first 5 years was me learning stuff. Until I sat down and learned the basics, I got nowhere.

I can play probably 400 different songs but only pieces. I didnt spend my time learning any ones music except Metallica but I did learn a bunch pieces of songs. So I really have my own style kind of. I learned the chords and scales. I learned to connect the dots. Most of my learning was spent drawing guitar necks and scales to learn the fretboard and how notes interact with each other.

If you dont take lessons read magazines. They have lessons in them. Though they dont really explain in the terms new players need. At least not the terms I needed. I took 3 months of lessons: once a week for 3 months. The rest I learned on my own.

area5x1: If you learn to "shred" in a year, your one bad ass dude. If you can learn that fast, then you need to be professional. If your that good, let me hear it. Im the kind of guy that believes hearing is believing and Id have to hear it for myself so.... I hope youve been playing for sometime for you to be able to say something as naive as that.
#19
Yup, as long as it takes....you might as well ask how long a piece of string is. The worst thing you can do is start placing a timeframe on things or thinking in terms of what you "should" know...there's nothing you "should" know, you know what you've learned and practiced and you don't know what you didn't.
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#20
so far the concensus is yes with effort and dedication?
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#21
How exactly do you know that you're going to be a biotechnical engineer if you're only 14 years old. Being a freshman you've obviously never been challenged in school, and that's an incredibly tough field.
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#22
Quote by area5x1
It takes about 1 year to learn to "shred"



I would love to hear a kid that has been playing for a year "shred"
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#23
Quote by endless_fight1
I would love to hear a kid that has been playing for a year "shred"


Depends on your definition of shred. In one year he can learn Yngwie's licks and begin "shredding"
#24
Quote by area5x1
Depends on your definition of shred. In one year he can learn Yngwie's licks and begin "shredding"

If you call two string sweeps and slow scale runs shredding then sure.
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#25
Quote by endless_fight1
If you call two string sweeps and slow scale runs shredding then sure.


More like 4-5 string sweeps and fast scale runs.
#26
Quote by area5x1
More like 4-5 string sweeps and fast scale runs.

Great. Once again I'd love to see someone do that after a year of playing.
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#27
Quote by Arzon
My high school schedule is pretty hectic already as I take the highest level courses available at my school and easily can rank no.1 in my class of 500 academically. But it takes work, and unfortunately cuts my guitar time alot. But I am trying to squeeze in as much time as possible, because I know college, there will be absolutely NO time.

I know how that is, except I was only in the top 15 at my high school (seriously).

Personally, I think you have more free time in college, but that's not the point.

It sounds like guitar is important to you, and that's good. If it's important to you, you will make time for it.

Keep at it.
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#28
If you really enjoy playing guitar, and do it for other reasons than just wanting to play another instrument efficiently, then you will find enough time to play. Don't worry about it. Doesn't sound like you will have much of a social life though. Glad I dropped out.
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Last edited by endless_fight1 at Feb 5, 2009,
#29
Yeah Ill say yes but it most definitly will take DEDICATION! I spent three years In Germany playing guitar. Everyday and night. Thats all I had to do. I used to read stories of Slash playing 18 hours a day. I didnt believe it till I did it. I was taking care of my daughter and playing guitar. I progressed so much in that time. That was after I had been playing for 6 years. I was already a Kirk Hammet clone but then I broke away after I was turned down for a band for sounding too much like him. A year or two later the dude that turned me down asked to be a part of the band I had put together. I let him come onboard.

I wouldnt suggest that for you though. It caused me much trouble physically.
#30
Quote by endless_fight1
Great. Once again I'd love to see someone do that after a year of playing.

Dude Im with you here. I noticed he doesnt have any tunes on his profile. So theres no way to disprove him here but from experience, and expreience is important here, its possible to learn learn some Y.J.M. in a years time. That doesnt make the man a shredder though. And if hes leanred to "shred" in ayears time, he needs to be on American Guitar Idol Im starting on national t.v. next February 30th.

Even today I cannot play a lick in Y.J.M. catalog! Of course its not my dream to play like that. I dont want to be fat and wearing the way-to-tight leathers and throwing the guitar around my neck and doing splits that I cant do anymore and acting like Im the best there is. It aint me, It aint me, I aint no fortunate one!