Being completely new to the guitar and having literally just picked it up for the first time i would like to ask all those with some experience..

If you could go back to the point when you were holding a guitar for the first time... what do you think are the most important first things to learn and steps to take to get on the road to where you are now? so far i have... an acoustic giutar starter package with yamaha f3-10, tuner, cd and strings, a stand (which i'm told is important to make you pick it up every time you pass, even for just a couple of chords when not practising)

I'll go through the CD when i get home but some pointers on where best to go would be great.


---Appologies and thanks to the guys that replied to this in the New members area who both advised on music theory. I moved it because i think it was in the wrong area---
Last edited by Slinki at Mar 26, 2009,
The very first things I learned are the basic chords. Em, Am, E, D, F (the hardest one), A, C, G, and power chords. I then learned theory.

I would recommend learning theory first or at the same time, as it would help you understand how these chords are built. Start with learning the basic Major scale theory, and then when you understand everything go on. A good place to start is the Crusade articles on here.

Make sure you're practicing your picking and fingering technique correctly! I can't emphasize that enough. You don't want to be playing, and then get carpel tunnel (or however you spell it...). A good video that shows you good posture is Freepower's (a mod here, in case you didn't know) posture video.

Practice with a metronome. Always, if possible.

EDIT: If at all possible, get a good teacher. They'll help you out alot.
Last edited by DiminishedFifth at Mar 27, 2009,
I always wished I had started learning chords and theory a lot earlier than I did. I actually played for over a year before deciding to learn them, and the amount i learnt in the month afterwards was far greater than the whole year I'd been playing.

Before I could play power chords and lead guitar, including some solos, but I always had problems remembering them, as I didnt know the patterns they followed. Now, since I know the patterns they follow, it's easy to learn the solos, and should I forget it, I can just improvise anyway.
I think you should learn how to play the damned thing before diving headfirst into theory, when you're first playing, you want to PLAY, and theory seems like a turn-off. After you get semi-acquainted, then start thinking why is this like this or something like that.

But for me, I wish I'd taken advantage of the FREE lessons my school was offering much better, 'cause my teacher was the giant shiznit.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
First time I held a guitar was my sisters acoustic when I was 10. If I could go back I'd start learning then, instead of waiting til last year!

But yeah, spend some time practising and some time just playing every day (yes there is a difference), don't worry about playing stuff up to speed - concentrate on playing it accurately, and if you can get a good teacher do it (good being the operative word there).
I'd do exactly what I did - start with a couple of chords, get used to the thing then keep learning old, chordy songs - if there was a new chord then I'd learn that as I was going along.
Actually called Mark!

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When you're first starting you don't want to throw too much on you plate at once. Start with just learing a few chords so you can play a couple songs to get your interest piqued. Once you decide this is what you want to learn move on to theory. I've been playing guitar for years and am just now getting ready to start with the theory end of things. I love to play and sing, but in order for me to move forward and be able to possibly start writing music I really need to get into it and learn my scales. Good luck and God bless.
I honestly wish I started on an Acoustic guitar rather than a electric, so it's would of made my hand stronger. I wish I started with learning chords rather than tabs. I also with I would of learned how to alternate pick right away rather then just pick downward all the time. But, now I learned how to do this all in time...I know more scales than I do Chords! xD
practice slow instead of quick and sloppy. i wish i would have been more patient back then
Thanks so much for all your advice guys, i'm looking forward to the blisters on my fingers going away so I can pick up the thing again :P Only got a couple of hours out of it following the yamaha dvd before I had to stop, but they were fun I take it thats normal as well aye? Or do i have particularly weak skin :S most likely will finish the dvd first which is teaching me some chords and practice those. Then i'll get some lessons. Thanks again.
success is a journey, not a destination. I dont think I would be able to handle it all if I went in with that knowledge. sometimes ill get mad at not being able to play something and it will remind of how hard most everything else i do would be for someone who hadnt played that long. all i really need to do is motivate myself, and thats really what matters. If I knew exactly what to practice to get me to a certain level I would probably be less motivated to do it.
Along the same lines as the last few posters...

Remember every great guitarist started exactly where you are at right now. It isnt easy but it is so rewarding. Practice everyday. It is much better to practice 15 minutes everyday than it is to practice for 3 hours once a week. Muscle memory comes from consistently doing the movements which is why daily practice (even if it is short) is better than the marathon practice session once a week.

I had to chuckle just a bit at your comment about the blisters. They are very much a part of starting to play guitar but I promise they will develop into callouses if you keep at it.

Focus on accuracy and precision...dont worry about how fast you can do something. Speed will come in due time.

Most of all dont get frustrated. The struggle is part of the journey and makes the rewards that much sweeter. Have a great time and welcome to the family.
i wish i took lessons and learned theory and technique. I started straight off by learning songs, I still don't know any scales besides the D-minor scale and thats about it... I can kinda name the notes on the fret board, but i still should've started learning this stuff first.
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If I could go back I'd started at a earlier age, I started at 14 but if I had started playing the guitar as a child I'd know alot more theory by now.

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I would have learnt some chords first, when I got my first guitar (3 years ago, an electric), I didn't even know what a chord was.

I know a lot of chords now, and more importantly, how to construct them for different scales and stuff which is cool, I first wanted a guitar so I could play Time Of Your Life by Green Day and it was insanely hard for me, because I was taught the single note way of doing it, as in, wasn't taught the chords (which would have been infinitely easier), I was taught which fret to press and pick at what time.
Which made it so much more complex than it is. >_<

But I'm only 21 so I got plenty of time to learn.
If I could go back and change one thing, I'd have gotten myself a teacher.
I wish I had spent more time early on practicing my alternate picking. After 8-12 months in, I realized I was doing a lot of economy picking and it was stopping my progression. That's about it. Overall, I wish I had been more diligent about practicing.
One of the most important things is your porure and to RELAX!! although its probably gonna be real hard for you to relax when you play because you 've just started work on it, everytime you sit down to play just focus on relaxing and getting rid of tenson.
Hi there
If i would go back i would have looked around for other guitarists to jam with. This is a good way of learning music.

And has this forum changed its name or something? I've been away for a while.
If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all
My Mom,(beeitch!), bought my sister, (beeitch!) a guitar when I was a kid. She wanted one and never played it! (BEEITCH!) Wouldnt let me play it. (BEEITCH!) If I could change it, Id be able to talk them into letting me take it over and learn. My mother, sister and step father were/ are pieces of **** so....

However since I didnt get a guitar till I was 16 I wanted to learn how to play leads right off the rip. I think I would have put theory in a higher catagory than leads. And rhythm over that. But I dont really use theory in my music. I learned pretty quickly that theory is just that: THEORY. Its not set in stone. Theory is just rules to go by but rules can be broken and often are.