#1
So I have been playing guitar for 2 months and now I am wondering If my practice has been as effective as it can be. Now I am starting to think I should have gone slower or what not in learning things so this is my question to you guys:

In your opinion: What are the top 10 things to learn on guitar for a beginner. Please rate in order of 1 is first 10 is last.

Hopefully I can get some answers as to anything I might have skipped or did half assed..
#2
depends on the style of music you like really. like most of UG I like listening to/playing metal so in no particular order

Tremolo and alternate picking
Palm muting
Learing scales
Fast Downpicking exercises

Heaps of other thing but those are some of the more important basics...

Just remember to start slowly and build up to speed on things, playing cleanly is more important speed will come with time.
#3
Quote by Guitarism12
depends on the style of music you like really. like most of UG I like listening to/playing metal so in no particular order

Tremolo and alternate picking
Palm muting
Learing scales
Fast Downpicking exercises

Heaps of other thing but those are some of the more important basics...

Just remember to start slowly and build up to speed on things, playing cleanly is more important speed will come with time.



OK thanks! Ok I can alternate pick very well I mean as fast as my left hand can keep up! I have no problem with alternate, palm muting if you mean using my rioght hand to mute the strings well im ok at that i cant pick and choose what strings to mute individually but all of them as a whole. I know the major scale, minor pentatonic, and i gotta brush up on minor scale and major pentatonic. fast downpicking, well I don't know how fast or why but ill see about that.

ANd yeah I'm trying to go towards Beatles style, but as of now I'm starting to like metal and stuff like that.
#4
The time to pull out a guitar at a party and start playing wonderwall.

This is a must for all guitar players who feel like being a douche at least once.
#5
Reading Music
Music theory

If you know both of this things, then everything is easier
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#6
Build a strong vibrato
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#8
Barre chords/chords in general (other than power chords)
being able to keep time
being able to come up with a rhythm during a song when knowing only the chords
palm muting
alternate picking
scales
keys
improvisation
trem picking
tapping

Edit: Hammer on/pull off, legato, being able to jam.
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Last edited by smartalec007 at Aug 25, 2010,
#9
Learning to TRULY take things slow has been the biggest help for me in my six months of gittarooin'. Get a metronome and make sure everything is PERFECT at WAY slower than you normally play it at before you increase the speed... my friend has been playing just as long as I have but he doesn't have the patience to stay slow for very long and he simply can't play songs cleanly about 80% of the time. Not a very good record.

Other than that I would recommend REALLY playing around with the major and minor scales. Pentatonic is OK, but you will get a much better feel for the fretboard playing with seven notes per octave. Also learn where the "blues" notes are because they are super useful in keeping solos fresh. Learn arpeggios, those will improve dexterity and add flavor to your solos as well.

Start working on knowing notes on the fretboard, too. It seems daunting but there's an easy strategy. Start with C and find that note on every string before the 12th fret. Practice jumping between the Cs on each string. Move to G after a few days, so on and so forth. Pretty soon, combined with exploring the scales, you will notice the patterns on the fretboard and be able to hear a note before you play it. This is IMMENSELY helpful. Figure out where octaves are (for the lowest 4 strings, two strings and two frets up) and learn how to use them. Find a solo you really like that's just out of your league and drill the hell out of it. Learn the nuances, don't leave out anything because it seems too tough. Finally, learn a few finger exercises (Justinguitar.com's The Spider and Finger Gym are both spectacular).

These are the things that have given me the most noticeable improvement. Good luck and have fun!
Last edited by pbskl at Aug 25, 2010,
#10
Quote by pbskl
Learning to TRULY take things slow has been the biggest help for me in my six months of gittarooin'. Get a metronome and make sure everything is PERFECT at WAY slower than you normally play it at before you increase the speed... my friend has been playing just as long as I have but he doesn't have the patience to stay slow for very long and he simply can't play songs cleanly about 80% of the time. Not a very good record.

Other than that I would recommend REALLY playing around with the major and minor scales. Pentatonic is OK, but you will get a much better feel for the fretboard playing with seven notes per octave. Also learn where the "blues" notes are because they are super useful in keeping solos fresh. Learn arpeggios, those will improve dexterity and add flavor to your solos as well.

Start working on knowing notes on the fretboard, too. It seems daunting but there's an easy strategy. Start with C and find that note on every string before the 12th fret. Practice jumping between the Cs on each string. Move to G after a few days, so on and so forth. Pretty soon, combined with exploring the scales, you will notice the patterns on the fretboard and be able to hear a note before you play it. This is IMMENSELY helpful. Figure out where octaves are (for the lowest 4 strings, two strings and two frets up) and learn how to use them. Find a solo you really like that's just out of your league and drill the hell out of it. Learn the nuances, don't leave out anything because it seems too tough. Finally, learn a few finger exercises (Justinguitar.com's The Spider and Finger Gym are both spectacular).

These are the things that have given me the most noticeable improvement. Good luck and have fun!



THANKKKKK YOU for putting so much time into writing this for me! THis is very helpful! Yeah I guess I just need to slow down , shutup, practice, learn theory, learn the notes on the board, and so on. Thanks for the help!
#11
The amount of people suggesting scales and techniques as a must for a beginner guitarist boggles my mind. I will support the Wonderwall suggestion, because that's one of the easiest ways to get laid, and that's why many people (including myself) picked up a guitar in the first place.

Open chords, barre chordes and playing full songs which use them are what you should learn. Why learn guitar if you cannot play a song?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#12
What pbskl said about learning to play things perfect and slow before you speed up is bang on. The use of a metronome to learn new licks, is invaluable. Be sure to always relax your fingers and wrists. If they at any point start to cramp up, stop! Relax your hand completely. Then start again. This teaches your fingers to relax during playing which is fundamental to being able to play fast stuff.

Another thing I would recommend is to start training your ear. Listen to songs simple enough so that you feel confident you can figure out the chords. Listening to what the bass is playing is invaluable in this.

For more detailed information on the above two, I have two articles that discuss speed/relaxation and playing songs by ear over on my blog -- if you're interested.

Hope this helps,
Willem
http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com
#13
Quote by AlanHB
Why learn guitar if you cannot play a song?

Some people just like to write their own stuff man...not trying to be rude. Sure I've played in many cover bands but I never sit down and try to learn songs anymore...if I get a call from ozzy or axl rose wanting me to come tryout I guess I'd start doing agin but some people start to play to create ...just my 2 cents
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#14
Quote by rdobson2
Some people just like to write their own stuff man...


I'm not talking about covers - just the ability to play a full song. Surely with your own material you'll employ chords at some point.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#16
Quote by the spiker
I think it's important to have fun.

You would be wrong that's the last thing you want to do.
#17
Quote by pbskl
You would be wrong that's the last thing you want to do.


Either your being sarcastic or your saying that after practice and work comes the fun which is true too!
#18
I am just as experienced as you. I have been trying to play parts of Master of Puppets, Orion, and Madhouse. Haven't learned any scales or anything, just looking up tabs and learning from there.

I made a video for my Mommy last night to show her my progress, haha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QBdw4AZ7Bk
#19
Quote by farmosh203
I am just as experienced as you. I have been trying to play parts of Master of Puppets, Orion, and Madhouse. Haven't learned any scales or anything, just looking up tabs and learning from there.

I made a video for my Mommy last night to show her my progress, haha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QBdw4AZ7Bk


Not bad

One technique which helped my playing a LOT was alternate picking, if you havnt already learnt that then do so, Dig_a_Pony.
#20
Patience,tremolo and 'the upstroke'* to master alternate picking (personal favourite,couldnt resist,sorry :p)
Also you should learn to WATCH and understand what youre doing on the guitar.I've wasted alot of time because I was just rushing for speed (also 'kinda' works,you will EVENTUALLY get it) but its a huge waste of time and you wont really play it the way it sounds best.
Also choose a goal,think why are you playing guitar and then try to achieve it instead of for example learning stairway to heaven 'because everyone do that'
so...
-practice slow
-watch your technique and look what you might be doing wrong
-remember to have your hands (especially picking hand) relaxed all the time
-choose and achieve your goals,dont follow something you dont like.
-DONT force speed.practice slow and you will achieve it with time.

I know this is bit different answer than the above ones and maybe not a one you would expect but I am sure this will help you alot.

*the upstroke-while alternate picking triplets each time you change the string you start from a downstroke or an upstroke-the majority of people who practice alternate picking screws up at the upstroke part,its worth to pay attention to it.
#21
Quote by UnseenBucket
Not bad

One technique which helped my playing a LOT was alternate picking, if you havnt already learnt that then do so, Dig_a_Pony.



Done it , mastered it as far as my left hand speed goes!
#22
Quote by Dig_a_Pony
Quote by pbskl
You would be wrong that's the last thing you want to do.

Either your being sarcastic or your saying that after practice and work comes the fun which is true too!


It's sarcasm.

I practice for 30 min. learning chords, scales, and working on timing. My goal is to play cleanly and effectively. Speed comes later. The remaining thirty minutes in my one-hour session is devoted to learning a song and having some fun. I've gone back to the basics since I've been so inconsistent with my guitar playing over the years.
#23
Quote by Dig_a_Pony
Done it , mastered it as far as my left hand speed goes!

Are you sure? Alternate picking is probably the single hardest technique to "master," so I'd recommend never claiming to have done so, particularly after playing for two months. I've been playing guitar for 7 or so years and I'm hardly at a level that I would consider "competent" when it comes to alternate picking.

That's my biggest lesson to impart: humility. Always recognize that you have more to learn and improve.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#24
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Are you sure? Alternate picking is probably the single hardest technique to "master," so I'd recommend never claiming to have done so, particularly after playing for two months. I've been playing guitar for 7 or so years and I'm hardly at a level that I would consider "competent" when it comes to alternate picking.

That's my biggest lesson to impart: humility. Always recognize that you have more to learn and improve.


To me, humility is key. When I first picked up guitar and started looking at theory my mind reeled at the immensity of the knowledge I lacked. Then I realized that no one can ever truly be a master of the six-string, or any instrument for that matter. If you spent your whole lifetime playing guitar, there would still be ways to improve. That recognition has made my learning process much less frustrating and ultimately, much more rewarding.
#25
Quote by pbskl
To me, humility is key. When I first picked up guitar and started looking at theory my mind reeled at the immensity of the knowledge I lacked. Then I realized that no one can ever truly be a master of the six-string, or any instrument for that matter. If you spent your whole lifetime playing guitar, there would still be ways to improve. That recognition has made my learning process much less frustrating and ultimately, much more rewarding.

^ That's the general attitude of a great player.

edit: anyone who's been playing 2 months total hasn't mastered anything.
Last edited by cringer at Aug 26, 2010,
#26
I'll try and give you 10, but there's not gonna be any order, haha.

Proper practice princples
Left hand muting
Right hand muting
Fretboard notes (this is the foundation one should have down, before learning any further Advanced theory principles. it makes it so much easier.)
How to get a good tone from the Instrument.
Self-criticism
Being humble/The Beginner's Mind
EDIT: How to apply the theory you learn.
How to musically apply Technique.
To play for the Music, not to show off.

There ya' go.
Last edited by Faded Grey at Aug 27, 2010,
#27
Keeping time and keep good rhythm are weaknesses I've just realized I had. After playing in your room alone by yourself, you think you are playing a song right, but you are probably playing it too fast, you changing the rhythm up. I found this out after teaching myself for a year or two, then I took lessons. My teacher pointed it out. Using a metronome is imperative.