#1
Hello all. I'm a beginner guitar "player" and got my electric a few weeks ago, along with a DVD.
My problem : I was learning about the guitar as normal, learning the notes on the strings, metronome and some simple excercises like going from the 5th to the 8th string on each string. Basically, after that the tutori on the DVD seemed to not even want to teach. It was a pretty terrible DVD infact. It didn't even show the fretboard close up most of the time.

So I recently bought Fender Presents Getting Started On Electric Guitar. A much better purchase. Keith Wyatt actually has enthuisiasm.

The thing is, well, the first thing he teaches is power chords and I'm wondering if that is even something a beginner, who has only played some warm up excercises, can do.

It's been about 5 weeks since I've got guitar and I can only really explain some music method, explain a metronome, play along with it and all the really basic stuff.

Where should I really start? I mean is chords okay to learn for a very beginner?
#2
Chords are great to learn !

You can throw three power chords together and record that for a few minutes and then play a bit of lead over it

You can learn to switch between three open chords and impress girls by saying you wrote them a song!
#4
my first song that i learned back years ago was brain stew by green day. after that was holiday, followed by a system of a down song called hypnotize.
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#5
Yeah...thanks but instead of saying what songs you played what did you first learn on guitar?
#6
Yeah don't be intimidated, one of the first thing's my guitar teacher got me doing was switching between a few chords, it's a good way to work on a bit of finger strength and finger positioning early on

Can seem intimidating but once you get them down they're a really important and powerful thing to know


Pretty sure the first chord I got taught was E !
http://www.academyofguitar.com/1-NEW%20COOP%20IMAGES/Open-E-Chord.jpg get your first finger on the G# second on the E and third on the B and strum all the strings, if it sounds nice you got it right, chances are if it sounds a bit crappy you need to make sure your fingers aren't touching other strings, now get back to the dvd :p
#7
Chords are good to learn first. dont go straight to power chords. learn open chords, barre chords first. if u get used to just power chords all the time it you're gonna tend to play everything using power chords and you'll look awful.

EDIT: and sound awful as well. (on some songs.)
#8
Thanks guys. Just as reassurance... chords are generally one of the first things you can learn? Is that like a universal thing?

Also, on the DVD there is actually an introduction thing. Power chords aren't the first thing he teaches.

So again, just to make sure, are power chords one of the first things teachers taught you? Sounds weird asking that but I'm all about the officiality of stuff
#9
Quote by jm911
Chords are good to learn first. dont go straight to power chords. learn open chords, barre chords first. if u get used to just power chords all the time it you're gonna tend to play everything using power chords and you'll look awful.

EDIT: and sound awful as well. (on some songs.)


This. I started off by learning a bunch of riffs without learning chords, so I was running before I could walk. I can do chords and everything now, but it was my stupid 15 y/o self that I have to blame for it.

Also, take your time. Don't expect to be playing anything majorly complicated any time soon
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#10
Indeed. I don't. I actually want to learn the most basic stuff possible and go over it a million times.

So I should work on chords then?
On my other DVD the guy talked about chromatic scale and stuff and never once talked about chords.
#11
Quote by MetalKnight17
So again, just to make sure, are power chords one of the first things teachers taught you? Sounds weird asking that but I'm all about the officiality of stuff


NOT power chords but 'open' chords, power chords are useful some of the time, open chords are fundamental to most music

If you feel that way you might get more out of going to a real teacher where you can ask questions! Actually the sooner you get a good teacher the better you will learn in short and long term
#12
just to reassure you: yes, chords are generally the first things to learn. and it is a universal thing not just in guitar but music in general. :P
#13
Chords
Songs (easy ones with the chords you just learned)
Riffs
Licks
Solos
Complete songs
Theory

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#14
Okay, cool. So what's the deal with like chromatic scale and stuff? Before I got this new DVD I was as far as chromatic scale, warm up excercises, ect. And he didn't even mention the word Chord. Just went onto a warm up excerise : 5th to 8th on all strings and then chromatic scale right after.
Last edited by MetalKnight17 at Apr 27, 2011,
#15
Quote by MetalKnight17
Thanks guys. Just as reassurance... chords are generally one of the first things you can learn? Is that like a universal thing?


Yeah, it's pretty much universal.
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#16
Quote by MetalKnight17
Okay, cool. So what's the deal with like chromatic scale and stuff? Before I got this new DVD I was as far as chromatic scale, warm up excercises, ect. And he didn't even mention the word Chord. Just went onto a warm up excerise : 5th to 8th on all strings and then chromatic scale right after.

I guess he's starting with chromatic to get your fingers training up and because its as simple as counting up in 1's :P
I suppose you can make some heavy sounding riffs with a chromatic scale if you want (pantera, lamb of god do this), but I wouldn't want it to the be only scale available to me

Same with power chords, they are pretty easy to throw together quickly but they are not as versatile as normal open chords (and barre chords but barring takes a bit of time to get right at first, move on to barre chords after you feel a bit comfortable with some open chords)

That said a lot of my favourite songs use power chords for backing, eg in this song theres the lead playing a scale over some power chords

also loads of classic heavy metal bands relied on them too (judas priest, accept, anvil) so don't get the idea that they are BAD, but don't only learn them :p

Maybe watch the whole dvd through once and see what he's teaching if he doesn't move on to open chords and other scales... find something else and use this as a supplement

Are you hoping to play a particular style? :P
You still want to learn about chords and scales but it does make a bit of a difference, for say Jazz guitar you typically want a lot of chords, for black metal you might be ok learning mainly scales and fast picking techniques
#17
Oh crap. He actually doesn't teach open chords first :S
He teaches power chords. What can I do now??
#18
as I said, check the whole dvd out

learn what he's teaching you but just look for other sources too

if you are coming to others for reassurance about it, you really will benefit from seeing a teacher much more than watching a dvd!
#19
The best advice I can give you is to find a music teacher. Take lessons, and DO NOT QUIT.

I started playing when I was like 16. Took lessons for about 3 weeks, and quit because my teacher was a douche. I didn't start playing again until I was like 21. Tought myself to play using tabs and learning songs. Now I'm in my 30's, and I've been taking lessons for about a year. I already knew how to play, but my skills had kinda plateu'd so I decided to find a good teacher. A year later I'm WAY better than I was when I started lessons. My teacher has shown me so many things that I was doing the hard way. I just didn't know any better.

Also like others said, I wouldn't really start with power chords. If you start with that you'll tend to "power chordize" everything you play, because it's easier. Learn proper chords first. Once you know them it makes soooo many things easier. Try to learn as much theory as you can as well. It will make things easier later when you're trying to write songs, or improv a solo or something.
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#20
Well this sort of sucks because I think the DVD only teaches power chords and then goes on to "Major" and "triad" stuff. Don't tell me I wasted more money on a DVD that can't even teach, apparently, the most basic thing.
#21
you're being quite defeatist you can still use the dvd

you can find lots of stuff online for free although some of it is crap ;s

http://www.fretjam.com/beginner-guitar-chord-chart.html play some chords

then play a few in a row

some will sound good together some won't, that's a point where you need to start thinking about looking at some music theory and finding out about 'keys'
#22
if you're playing rock, punk or metal, power chords would be one of the first things to learn, yeah.

There are an inordinate number of rock, punk and metal songs which can be played in their entirety using only power chords. Then there are a heap more songs which are mainly made up of power chords- where you can play most of the song using power chords.
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#23
Start with your open chords and some very simple songs. Chances are those songs aren't going to be ones your interested in (lord knows, I didn't want to play Katy Perry's Firework for my first song) but they're extremely good practice. Also, take a very small amount of your practice time every day and use it to look over some basic musical theory.
#25
What I did was just sitting down in front of my computer with my guitar and playing chords. I did this for a couple weeks, over christmas break, maybe for few hours a day, and it was absolutely worth it. Just chords over and over again. Its not the most fun thing to do, but IMO its very foundational to other parts of playing, mainly arpeggios.

...But I've only been playing for 2 years. Don't take my word for it.
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#26
I personally started with chords and simple songs where you only need to strum chords. It's good for finger coordination. It's also musical, and therefore more rewarding and fun than arbitrary finger exercises.

Power chords are simple but really engaging. It's essentially just one shape that you slide around to different positions on the fretboard. You've learned one shape, but suddenly you can play a whole bunch of rock songs. I thought that was pretty awesome when I first learned it. Just don't get carried away with power chords: as great as they are, there's more to guitar than just that. But they are, nonetheless, a good place to start.
Last edited by sashki at Apr 27, 2011,
#27
Hmm well I would recommend looking into some of the free online lessons too. Check out justinguitar.com and Marty Shwartz's lessons on youtube.

Also, I know one roadblock I ran into early on was actually private lessons being extremely expensive, but I found it extremely helpful to take a lesson even just once a month, just to get some outside input on weather or not I'm on the right track. Again though, these lessons can be pricy, so an alternative can be friends who know how to play and such.

As far as general technique goes, the open chords and the pentatonic scales are a good starting point. That said, I think power chords get kind of a bad rap. One thing you'll notice is that just starting out you're going to suck. A lot. It's inevitable as a beginner, but it can also get really discouraging. That's why I'm in the "learn power chords early" camp. Obviously you shouldn't let one item completely dominate your practice time, I think it's very encouraging to be able to take a break from sucking and pump out every pop song ever. That's just me though.

Hope that helps. The first six months is the hardest - never stop practicing!
#29
your obviously looking for structure so just do the beginner course in the order it is on Justins website. It starts off with chords anyway and shows you how to use them.
#30
Powerchords AND open chords
You'll learn you can some of the notes from the open chords, in the powerchord.
Powerchords and open chords are definitely things beginners should learn.
You'll also be hard pressed to find a metal band that does not use powerchords :p

And learn the theory behind these things - you want to know what you're doing, right?
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#32
yeah as long as it's tuned the same it'll be the same.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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