#1
Hey guys.
I'm kinda' worried about something. I play guitar, but I'm currently self taught. I would like to learn theory and scales so I can improvise, but with the few scales I know, I'm pretty bad at improvising at the moment. So my problem is getting a new guitar.

I heard that you should always try a guitar out before you buy, but I wouldn't know exactly how to try it out. I see dudes in guitar shops testing guitars just improvising, and it sounds awesome. But I can't do that. So if I picked up a guitar and started playing, it would be like '=/ what should I play?' Plus, over here in England, the shop workers watch like everything you do, and it's a pretty tense atmosphere. So the worker would probably think I'm not good enough for a new guitar.

So I've thought of some options. I could either get lessons over the summer, and hope I have a basic knowledge of scales so I could kinda' improvise (cos' I would only be getting a new guitar at Christmas).

Or I could go and just play loadsa' things that I already know, but I would soon run out of what to play.

What do you guys think?
Quote by firestarter12
does any1 know where I can get a fender les paul? i always only see 1 or the other but i want one thats both.

#3
Well, you should practise improving, and learn some songs. And when you try out a guitar play some songs.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#4
I'd suggest you learn different sounding songs which will put the guitar to a test ,not your honour. Learn songs from genres you like,no need to show off in front of a shop assistant. No need to play scales or to improvise just go and play what you play home. Try palm muting,pinch harmonics, switching from neck to bridge PUPs etc the tone options ,the guitar on distortion and stuff like that
#6
I've been playing for 18 months now, and I still don't understand how I would even begin to improvise. =[
"When words fail, music speaks"

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#7
most people just play whatever.

the only way you can screw up trying out guitars is by pissing off the owner.
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#8
Quote by PinoyxRockar
I've been playing for 18 months now, and I still don't understand how I would even begin to improvise. =[


Well, if all else fails, just Kerry King it.

TS, don't worry about it, as long as you DON'T PLAY SMOKE ON THE ****ING WATER, IRON MAN, OR BAD TO THE BONE. Like he ^^ said, just see how it sounds w/ and w/out distortion, big chords, power chords, whether you lose volume on the high frets, etc. Good luck, and keep playing
#9
Just play a song on the guitar and if you like it, then get it, isn't that what your supposed to do?
#10
Yeah, just play what you would play at home, but if you want to learn some scales, try this site: http://www.chordbook.com/guitarscales.php Theres a **** load of scales on there. When i improvise, I usually just mix up the order of notes in certain scales.

btw, playing smoke on the water gives the stores employees permission to kill you with a guitar
#11
Quote by aerosmithfan95
Well, you should practise improving, and learn some songs. And when you try out a guitar play some songs.


I can play about 60 songs, but if I played a song the whole way through it would get kinda' repetitive, and the verses and chorus would probably be the same. Did you take lessons? If so, would you recommend them?
Quote by firestarter12
does any1 know where I can get a fender les paul? i always only see 1 or the other but i want one thats both.

#12
Quote by Obder
I can play about 60 songs, but if I played a song the whole way through it would get kinda' repetitive, and the verses and chorus would probably be the same. Did you take lessons? If so, would you recommend them?


Yes. Definately take lessons, provided the teacher's good. They can tell you where you suck.
#13
Dont worry about what you play, just worry about how the guitar sounds.
Quote by 1201ZJ
FoolishFool, you sir, are a genius. A ****ing genius, I tell you.
#14
Don't worry about it. Just play whatever you would at home - the idea is to get the feel of the guitar and see if you like it. Its not a gig, you're just seeing what you want to spend your money on. Play something you know so you can compare it to your current guitar, and if you run out of things to play then just play them all again, til you are happy. The guys in the shop aren't interested in how good you are - they are interested in whether you are going to spend your money.

I've been to a few shops in England to try guitars out - the first when I'd only been playing a couple of months. None of the staff watched me, they just set me up with a guitar and an amp and then walked off and left me to it.
#15
Quote by zhilla
Don't worry about it. Just play whatever you would at home - the idea is to get the feel of the guitar and see if you like it. Its not a gig, you're just seeing what you want to spend your money on. Play something you know so you can compare it to your current guitar, and if you run out of things to play then just play them all again, til you are happy. The guys in the shop aren't interested in how good you are - they are interested in whether you are going to spend your money.

I've been to a few shops in England to try guitars out - the first when I'd only been playing a couple of months. None of the staff watched me, they just set me up with a guitar and an amp and then walked off and left me to it.


Well the shop that I go to is a really small shop, so people can see you, no matter where you are. I'd probably mess up knowing people are watching me.

The thing is with playing what I play at home is that at home I just play songs. I play the song and just play along. So I can't really play what I play at home without turning it into a gig. If I knew how to improvise, I could practice at home and improvise at the store.

I currently know only a few major scales and the first 3 positions of A minor pentatonic. I haven't really mastered any of them and I find it quite hard to play the notes of a scale in a random order.

Sucks.
Quote by firestarter12
does any1 know where I can get a fender les paul? i always only see 1 or the other but i want one thats both.

#16
It doesn't matter if you mess up - you're seeing if you like the guitar, not trying to put on a show. And the staff might be able to see you, but trust me they won't care how good you are. They have plenty of beginners going in to try stuff. The idea is to see if it suits you, and the best way to do that is by playing stuff you normally play. (Edit: that still stands if you normally only play smoke on the water or stairway )

The first time I went to try a guitar out I sould play about 3 songs and a couple of scales, and I couldn't improvise at all. Nobody cared. In fact, they let me play all their Gibsons as well as the Washburn I was trying, although I think that was just so I'd tune them for them
Last edited by zhilla at Jun 29, 2009,
#17
Quote by tukk04
good gear doesn't make you a good guitar player

But it might encourage the person to practice more, since the guitar could be better set up, sounding better and fit the person more.
#18
There is only one thing to play.

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Last edited by Not a Les Paul at Jun 29, 2009,
#19
Quote by Not a Les Paul
There is only one thing to play.

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If you do that someone might just kill you.

TS: It really doesn't matter. Play something you know, just play random chords, do whatever. I think as long as it's nothing you wouldn't do normally then it's all good really.
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#20
Anyone can test out a guitar regardless of their skill level. Remember you aren't going to the store to rock out, you just need to check the guitar and see if it is right for you. Check things like how it balances sitting and standing, is it comfortable? How's the neck? Is it too thick, too think, is it warped, are the frets too big, is there a lot of fret buzz, how does it feel in your hands? Is the cutaway big enough?

Those are just some of the things you can look for, there was a post a while ago that was like the ultimate checklist of things to look for when testing a guitar, but I don't know where it is anymore

Just remember, you are going to the store to test a guitar, not to play around (okay maybe a little playing around )
#21
theres things you can do...if you've been playing for a while, you probably know what kind of music you like, and want to play. and you've prob learned at least bits and pieces of songs in that genre, so you can play those. believe me, the shop owners do not care how good you are, they just want your money in the long run. something you need to do is go through and play every single fret on every single string, it will probably sound retarded, but who cares. you dont want to get home and find out 18th fret on b string is dead.