#1
I spent the last 6 months ignoring my guitar because of how discouraging my beginner guitar books have made me felt. Reading music is a great skill and all but it makes me HATE playing guitar. I want to develop my EARS, not my eyes (sorry if this sounds ignorant but I'm sick of reading music).

I understand playing songs through reading music can help teach the lesson (chords, notes, etc.) but there has got to be another way. I want to be able to play by ears.

With that said, what should I learn first? Where do I start? And how did you? Also, what things did you learn next if you decided reading music for a year wasn't your thing?
#2
start by learning songs and playing then you can move on to scales, and reading music ect. remember the whole point of playing guitar is to have fun if your not having fun and enjoying than your not learning right so just play for a year or two until your feel ready to take on the other challenges
#3
i would start by finding your style, do you want to play rock,blues,metal,jazz?
guitar lessons are normally the best option, a tutor can help you develop playing by ear.
#4
I want to play a little bit of everything. I'm particularly fond of rock, metal and jazz soloing.

I can't afford a tutor at the moment, which is why I'm asking here if I was going to learn on my own and wanted to skip the reading part, exactly what should I be doing first?

I've already learned some chords and songs, and while they're fun, I feel like it's not helping me improve technically.

If the answer is "scales" then my question would be once I learn a scale how can I practice it? Do I just google up songs that use that scale or something? Is the general answer to go straight to learning theory?
Last edited by NickMeads at May 16, 2011,
#5
Have you tried improvising yet? A great skill for any musician, and if you are looking for jazz soloing, it's right up your alley.

Edit: to your post above - Use the scales in improvising. Also learn some licks from artists you like, and then get creative and make your own. These licks and scales will give you a good start to improvising.
Last edited by Vitor_vdp at May 16, 2011,
#6
you take the notes you play in the scales and just arange them into little melodys just play what sounds good dont wrroy so much about the acctualy scales its self it just gives your the notes you can play with it doesnt give you the solos that comes from the heart
#7
Ok this may sound arrogant, but here's how I learned to play guitar .. and how I had tonnes of fun at the same time:

1) listen to music
2) find song you like which you want to play and which you think isn't insanely hard. Enter Sandman is a great beginner's example for a metal guitarist.
3) download tab from UG .. Guitar Pro / TuxGuitar / Power tab are VERY recommended programs. Lets you learn a song WAY faster.
4) play along
5) ?????
6) Profit!


The gratification in the achievement of having a new song under your belt should me more than enough to keep going. If not, buy more gear. Simply by playing and learning new songs you develop your ear and your technique. You also start getting the feel of the instrument and what notes go well together in specific orders.

Theory comes second (at least for me). Knowledge of different chord types are great though. Like Sus2 chords for black metal = epic.
Ibanez RGT6EXFX -> Ibanez TS9 -> Korg Pitchblack -> Peavey 5150 II head -> Mesa Rectifier 2x12 cab
Last edited by Eskil Rask at May 16, 2011,
#8
I should note here before going any further that I wish to compose my own original music. Learning songs is fun but it's not teaching my ear/fingers how to cooperate and compose.
#9
Quote by NickMeads
I should note here before going any further that I wish to compose my own original music. Learning songs is fun but it's not teaching my ear/fingers how to cooperate and compose.


Why don't you do that then? There are no prerequisites for composing your own music, though you may want to read up on some music theory as it's certainly very helpful.
#10
Quote by NickMeads
I spent the last 6 months ignoring my guitar because of how discouraging my beginner guitar books have made me felt. Reading music is a great skill and all but it makes me HATE playing guitar. I want to develop my EARS, not my eyes (sorry if this sounds ignorant but I'm sick of reading music).

I understand playing songs through reading music can help teach the lesson (chords, notes, etc.) but there has got to be another way. I want to be able to play by ears.

With that said, what should I learn first? Where do I start? And how did you? Also, what things did you learn next if you decided reading music for a year wasn't your thing?

You can't just learn to play by ear. That's a skill you develop as you learn songs and techniques and fundamental things like intervals and chords. You don't need to learn traditional notation to do that but you will need to use tabs and chord boxes.

Learning things is what attunes your ear to identifying what you need to be listening for to enable you to learn things by ear.

For example, you've got next to no chance of simply "knowing" to play an A7 chord unless you've already been introduced to that chord and know what it sounds like and how to play. it.
Actually called Mark!

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#11
Quote by Eskil Rask
Ok this may sound arrogant, but here's how I learned to play guitar .. and how I had tonnes of fun at the same time:

1) listen to music
2) find song you like which you want to play and which you think isn't insanely hard. Enter Sandman is a great beginner's example for a metal guitarist.
3) download tab from UG .. Guitar Pro / TuxGuitar / Power tab are VERY recommended programs. Lets you learn a song WAY faster.
4) play along
5) ?????
6) Profit!


The gratification in the achievement of having a new song under your belt should me more than enough to keep going. If not, buy more gear. Simply by playing and learning new songs you develop your ear and your technique. You also start getting the feel of the instrument and what notes go well together in specific orders.

Theory comes second (at least for me). Knowledge of different chord types are great though. Like Sus2 chords for black metal = epic.


How does that sound arrogant? That is pretty good advice in my eyes about learning a song.

But for me this is how it went I learned part of a song I really liked (I had a teacher but not necessary). It was Fade to Black except solos.

I learned miscellaneous parts to songs I really liked, even songs I found to be extremely hard I tried to play because the satisfaction of nailing it when thought you would never is much greater than playing White Stripes.

Then I got a teacher that knew what he was talking about so here is what I would do...

I would learn the notes of the fret board so you can apply the theory. Learn the major and minor scale, chord formulas, how chords work together like which are major minor, which chords sound good substituted with one another in progressions. When you do learn songs try to analyse what is happening in them try to figure out the key chord progression so on. How to harmonize things. Work on your ear training as well having a good ear is close just about as important as technique. Which brings me to this work on your technique whatever you are doing start slow and gradually build up the speed. It sucks and I'm gonna start doing this and revamp my whole playing. So always play with a metronome without timing playing is pointless, doesn't matter how fast you play if you aren't keeping time.

So quick review
Get Metronome
Learn some riffs
Learn Open Chords (CAGED system as well)
Learn Notes on fretboard
learn some theory
Learn Scales
Practice ear training
Practice writing short songs with different chord progressions in different keys
always play with good technique and timing
#12
@BrokenSymphony: this is exactly the process I had in mind but needed someone to confirm it. I'm not COMPLETELY new but my I wish to start over and refresh which is why I asked how can I go about learning the sounds on the guitar (not just notes) and where they are, and how to work with each other, etc. Thank you for the help, I will do just that, and I have always practiced with a metronome. It's fun for me as weird as it sounds.
#13
Do you use a pick? If so, maybe you'd be interested in checking out fingerpicking. Personally I couldn't imagine playing guitar without it anymore, I haven't used a pick in like a year. After a while it becomes much more comfortable (for classical as well as other styles like jazz and rock). You lose the speed but you have much more control over dynamics and playing arpeggios is much simpler. However that isn't to say you can't play fast with only your fingers (I think Paco de Lucía and Agustín Barrios among many others have pretty much disproven that) it just takes much more practice, so your goal shouldn't be speed.
#14
Quote by NickMeads
Learning songs is fun but it's not teaching my ear/fingers how to cooperate and compose.


Wrong. By learning songs you learn how to play. And you can't write music if you can't play. It's all part of the same process. Seriously, try it.

When playing a cover song you absorb the music in your fingers and your mind. you learn:
a) how the chords and scales work
b) how song structure works
c) to play better
d) and tonnes more. and it's all subconscious most of it.

If you can't play for shit, what are you going to use all your theory for? And learning scales doesn't teach you how to compose a song. Listening and playing, absorbing, receiving inspiration from different genres and musicians is what gives you your musical feel. Theory is ****ing awesome, and I love using the bit I know, but in the end it's just a way of describing music. It's not the other way around.
Ibanez RGT6EXFX -> Ibanez TS9 -> Korg Pitchblack -> Peavey 5150 II head -> Mesa Rectifier 2x12 cab
Last edited by Eskil Rask at May 16, 2011,
#15
Quote by Sóknardalr
Do you use a pick? If so, maybe you'd be interested in checking out fingerpicking. Personally I couldn't imagine playing guitar without it anymore, I haven't used a pick in like a year. After a while it becomes much more comfortable (for classical as well as other styles like jazz and rock). You lose the speed but you have much more control over dynamics and playing arpeggios is much simpler. However that isn't to say you can't play fast with only your fingers (I think Paco de Lucía and Agustín Barrios among many others have pretty much disproven that) it just takes much more practice, so your goal shouldn't be speed.


It all depends on the genre really. You can't play metal without a pick, it's just impossible.
Ibanez RGT6EXFX -> Ibanez TS9 -> Korg Pitchblack -> Peavey 5150 II head -> Mesa Rectifier 2x12 cab
#16
Quote by Eskil Rask
Wrong. By learning songs you learn how to play. And you can't write music if you can't play. It's all part of the same process. Seriously, try it.

When playing a cover song you absorb the music in your fingers and your mind. you learn:
a) how the chords and scales work
b) how song structure works
c) to play better
d) and tonnes more. and it's all subconscious most of it.

If you can't play for shit, what are you going to use all your theory for? And learning scales doesn't teach you how to compose a song. Listening and playing, absorbing, receiving inspiration from different genres and musicians is what gives you your musical feel. Theory is ****ing awesome, and I love using the bit I know, but in the end it's just a way of describing music. It's not the other way around.
I'm sorry but when I'm reading a tab online I have no clue what I'm actually doing besides pressing a fret number on a string number. It's not teaching me anything you listed, but it is helping me play better (of course, all song playing is a form of decent practice).
#17
You're welcome for the tips...

Quote by NickMeads
I'm sorry but when I'm reading a tab online I have no clue what I'm actually doing besides pressing a fret number on a string number. It's not teaching me anything you listed, but it is helping me play better (of course, all song playing is a form of decent practice).


But when you learn the notes on the fret board and learn the scales mainly major, natural minor and harmonic minor you can analyze what you are playing. So you will figure out how chords and scales work together, you will learn song structures... That's just for example intro verse course verse course bridge course outro, so you do kinda learn that stuff just by learning songs. But don't just blindly learn songs not knowing what you are doing all the time try to figure out what it is you are playing.
#18
Quote by BrokenSymphony
But when you learn the notes on the fret board and learn the scales mainly major, natural minor and harmonic minor you can analyze what you are playing. So you will figure out how chords and scales work together, you will learn song structures... That's just for example intro verse course verse course bridge course outro, so you do kinda learn that stuff just by learning songs. But don't just blindly learn songs not knowing what you are doing all the time try to figure out what it is you are playing.
100% agreed. I will DEFINITELY always learn songs as long as I live but as I said I've done that before and this time I want to know what I'm doing. I want to do what I have to do so I can do what I want to do. Learning songs won't be the FIRST thing on my to-do list, learning songs will be on every part of every technique period.
#19
Quote by Eskil Rask
It all depends on the genre really. You can't play metal without a pick, it's just impossible.


Crap, I was almost certain I said something about that there. I guess that kind of relates to my comment about speed anyway. I think that at least having a rudimentary understanding of fingerpicking and just being able to play some simple stuff will be beneficial.
#20
Quote by NickMeads
I spent the last 6 months ignoring my guitar because of how discouraging my beginner guitar books have made me felt. Reading music is a great skill and all but it makes me HATE playing guitar. I want to develop my EARS, not my eyes (sorry if this sounds ignorant but I'm sick of reading music).

I understand playing songs through reading music can help teach the lesson (chords, notes, etc.) but there has got to be another way. I want to be able to play by ears.

With that said, what should I learn first? Where do I start? And how did you? Also, what things did you learn next if you decided reading music for a year wasn't your thing?


This was my way of thinking when I was starting to play guitar,

http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-000-BeginnersCourse.php

^this site really helped with my playing, if you don't like the songs in the beginners course, try finding some others that you like at your level

Learn tabs first, its part of the basics.
Last edited by meteor685 at May 16, 2011,
#21
Quote by NickMeads
I should note here before going any further that I wish to compose my own original music. Learning songs is fun but it's not teaching my ear/fingers how to cooperate and compose.


actually it does. Well it'll train your fingers to cooperate. The composing is done with your mind. If you're listening to what you play you'll be giving yourself plenty to work with.

Put it this way.

if your unwilling to work on reading music AND you have a problem with learning songs..... you're pretty much screwed. Given that and the fact that you said you don't want to pay for lessons, the only option you have left is to learn from random bits of theoretical advice online. Not an ideal approach.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 16, 2011,
#22
Ah you're missing the point, read the other posts. No one said I'm not gonna learn songs, the point is it won't be the first and only thing I do. That's like a fisherman not fishing...

I got my answer anyway, thanks.