Hi all,
I'm in need of some help learning how to play. I'm 35 with limited practice time. Like some on here I don't want to be in a band, just want to know how to play for fun and to one day make my guitar sing with emotions. Blues is whats moving me at the moment and what I would like to play first. I believe I have some A.D.D issues so practicing for 15-30 min a day is perfect for me, 30 is pushing it. I have tried to research what to start learning first but the more I search the more confused I get. I tried starting with simple chords..d, a, e from justinguitar.
Then came across guitarplayeru and found the blues shuffle and scale. I've been hooked on the scale and I enjoy playing it but its now getting boring after a week. How do I play this scale up and down the entire fretboard? Then while surfing around, came across threads where others want to learn blues and are told to learn major and minor scales..then pentatonic scales. After reading this then browsing a GW mag I purchased the captain fretboard wheel and book. Now according to this method I should pick a note like c major, learn all the chords, then the scales. Maybe I'm just putting too much thought into this and still think its supposed to happen quickly when I know this is a slow process...or maybe I need a practice routine for what I would like to accomplish? This is why I'm posting this, can someone please help me find that perfect starting point? I love music but I'm not too musical if that makes sense, I'm hoping this too will improve with time. I'm sorry if this is hard to read and or too long, I've been wanting to make this post for the longest and just haven't cause I know all the info needed is out there so I feel dumb asking for help. I just can't seem to sort it out to the point where I'm confident that what I'm doing is the right thing. (hope this all makes sense)

You all have a wonderful site here and maybe one day I can help someone
in my situation. I'll cut this short...if anyone has any questions about what else I have done or know (trust me its not a lot) please ask.

Thanks All.
To play the standard 12 bar blues you basically just play three chords from the particular scale your using. C major would be - C Maj, F Maj,, G Maj. You could always learn some 7th chords and throw those in when your more comfortable. The standard 12 bar blues form is-

I | I(or IV) | I | I
V | IV | I | I
V | IV | I | V

The roman numerals stand for the chord position in the given scale. IE C Major would be, I = C Maj, IV = F Maj, V= G Maj. Pick up your scale and chord books and you should be able to teach yourself to play basic 12 bar blues with this. Its pretty easy.

As for playing a scale up and down the fretboard just learn how to play the scale in every position and just link them together by sliding up or down into other positions. I find the most important positions are the 5th and 12th, and 17th at least for my playing style.

One way to better grasp positions beyond the 12th is that the fretboard essentially starts over an octave higher. What I mean is that the 1st and 12 positions are identical just an octave higher at the 12th. The 2nd and 14th are identical, as are the 17th and 5th. If you learn the 1st through 12th positions you should already know the rest of them.
First thing I would recommend is trying to push your practice time from 15-30 to 30-60.

If you follow the bottom link in my sig I have organized some of the best lessons and threads into a list with descriptions. There is definitely some stuff in there that will help you, although some of it won't pertain to you.
There's no quick & easy way - I have looked at this site for a long time, but just now registered for the purpose of replying to your post.

Guitar playing is work, but it's rewarding. When you start out, just repeating scales etc is boring & wont make you want to play. That wheel you bought is garbage - you're 35 & a hobby guitarist - you don't need all that. It might come in handy later, but for now, it might be a little over your head (no offence).

The way I learned (when I was 12, but still) was to learn a few chords, then use tabs/ear to play some of my favorite songs - this is especially easy with blues, I mean, blues is pretty easy to learn how to play, but takes YEARS to master. Once you figure out a couple songs (the chord changes), you can expand from there.

Do you like the Beatles? Rolling Stones? AC/DC? These bands made GREAT songs off of reasonably simple chord progressions. Clearly, they had complex pieces too, but you don't have to start there.

The thing about learning this way is that it's fun & you'll get results pretty quickly if you keep it to some easy songs at first. Then, once you get that down, it's just building from there. THEN you can look into scales & theory, etc - but first & foremost, have fun, learn a few songs & you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Also, it's ALWAYS a good idea to learn a song that SEEMS tough to play but is pretty easy, like Blackbird by the Beatles - it'll impress your friends and get the girls!

One more thing - don't spend a bunch of money of guitar gear until you decide if this is something you want to stick with - you see my user name, how do you think I got into the poor house???
Thanks for all the quick replies.
@ mh1986 - thanks for explaining, makes a bit more sense.

@jfreyvogel - thanks for posting, I've seen the link. A lot of info but adds to my confusion.

@ the poor house - thanks for joining to reply to my post, I really appreciate it. No offense taken, wifey said the same thing..lol. As for my taste in music.. First would be hiphop, rnb, rock then blues...but blues rock is starting to win the race. I'm definitely going to try to just make it fun and continue on from there. I'm really holding back on buying alot of gear..its kind of addicting...
Last edited by esnapz at Jun 11, 2010,
Another thing you will find is it is good to learn all types of music as it gives you a wider range of experience. You will learn more techniques and also get a better appreciation.

I started off strumming open chords, then power chords and now with enough practice can play pretty much anything except the most complicated or technical music. It took me a few years to get here though.

The key is really regular practice and 30 mins a day is fine. Don't worry if sometimes it seems like you can't play the guitar this teaches you how to recover and get your skills back to normal. Just pick a song and learn it. The first more difficult song I learnt was Sweet Home Alabama and it took me over a month to learn it.

Good luck and have fun
Have you thought about getting a teacher? It really helps a lot, especially when you are starting out.

Other than that:
learn some simple songs.
learn the notes of the neck - then work out what notes are in your blues scale and play it anywhere on the neck you can find those notes
learn your open chords if you haven't already - A, Am, E, Em, C, D and G to start with (not all at once), and find (or write) some simple songs that use them

Have you been using the blues scale to make up your own melodies over a backing track, or have you just been playing it straight up and down? If you're improvising you shouldn't get bored in just a week. Use your imagination, see how many different licks you can come up with
@ jfreyvogel - haven't come across this one. Took a quick glance and this seems like it will definitely help out. Thanks a ton.
@ darkhorizon

The key is really regular practice and 30 mins a day is fine. Don't worry if sometimes it seems like you can't play the guitar this teaches you how to recover and get your skills back to normal.

Thanks for saying this...the other I was practicing the blues scale and it actually sound nice that even wifey said I was sounding better. The next day...wow...I sounded like I did on day 1. Glad to know that these things will happen.

@ zhilla - I wish I had the time to sit with a teacher. At this point in time a teacher is not an option, maybe one day. I'm going to start looking for songs that I like and learn them. This seems like the most enjoyable way to get my guitar on...

thanks for all the responses, you all have been very helpful. It helps to have people you can ask questions to. My wife has started to tell me that I need to go out and make a new guitar playing friend. No one that I know plays the guitar, but everyone has played the clarinet in grammar school.
oh hey, on my post where I said that the 1st position and 12th position where the same except the 12th was an octave higher, I meant open position not 1st. Technically the 1st position would be one octave lower than the 13th, my bad, just the way my brain works. The rest is correct though, good luck.
He's 35 and married, I highly doubt he'll need to play Blackbird to get all the "girls" =P
gotcha mh, thanks.

not officially married, but married..lol.
Another way to think of it is that your practice time is your play time, if you look at practice as being a boring part on the way to learning how to play guitar then you'll give up. guaranteed.

Focus on the things that you enjoy right off the bat, for blues music there's a freaky cool website, I think it's called 12bar.de and Justin from JustinGuitar has some really good videos on YouTube that you should check out, subscribe to his channel and learn everything you can from him