#1
Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am new here, and need to ask, how does one self-teach guitar? I know guys who have done it, and are great, never taken any lessons. But I don't understand, they just say "practice a lot", which I do, and still get nowhere. I cannot figure out the correct technique for a lot of things, regardless how much research I do. I do not really have time or money to go to formal lessons, so this is really my only option. after three years of practicing semi-daily with minimal improvement I am beginning to get frustrated and very confused. Any advice is welcome!
#2
Get a book or dvd or something like that which is geared towards self-teaching. That's probably the best idea. Something with at least some structure to it, which would probably be helpful if you've never had lessons. It's alright saying, as the guys you're talking about are, "practise a lot", but you have to know what to practise
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#4
The reason not many people know how to play music is the same reason not many people have six packs or know second languages. You can't go to the gym five times and get ripped or listen to Rammstein twice and know German. It takes practice and dedication. It's also not a destination. If you get ripped then sit on your ass eating ice cream, you'll lose it, just like you'll forget a language if you never speak it. There will always be more to learn, just like when you open a dictionary, there will always be words you've never seen.

Youtube is cram packed with free information about guitar and theory. There are also multiple websites with information for n00bs. I'm internet-taught, never had a teacher, and it just comes very gradually.
#5
Maybe you need to be more organized. Try making up a schedule and sticking to it.
#7
Take every single note you're playing and analyse whether you could be playing it better than you are. This goes both for technique (is the note clear enough? am I tensing up when I play it? am I breathing normally?) and for theory. This is what practice is for, making every note as good as you can, then working to make it better.
As far as technique goes, two of the biggest problems are tension and precision. The aim is to be able to play anything and everything you want with as much effort as you would lying on the sofa.
Let your arms go limp by your side and keep a note of that feeling of 'zero' tension. Then while you're practising try to get as close to that feeling when you're picking and fretting - this will require you to stop and correct yourself constantly. Stretch and massage your fingers and arms (Petrucci's Rock Discipline covers that part quite well).
In terms of precision it's just a question of being critical about how each note sounds and how it feels when you play it. If you think it could sound better, or if you could be playing it with less tension or strain, work on it (there's positive strain, such as stretching, which you develop until it becomes natural and easy-but it should never hurt).
The theoretical part of things is a similar story: play what's in your head. If the note you're playing doesn't correspond to the tune in your head then you need to find the one that does. Soon enough you'll be able to know exactly where you want to go on the fretboard at whatever speed, so that it sounds the way you think it should.
When I say "every note" I mean that literally. It's a question of taking small steps while you dissect and analyse every single aspect of your playing. Working on correcting those aspects one at a time is what constitutes a practice routine.

Sorry for the wall of text but I think I covered everything so I hope it helps
Last edited by Basti95 at Oct 26, 2013,
#8
If you're not gonna get a teacher, you have to be extremely rigorous. Get a practice routine going and stick to it. Track your progress, set goals, etc. Try to challenge yourself every day.
#9
Quote by StarOfTheWest
Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am new here, and need to ask, how does one self-teach guitar? I know guys who have done it, and are great, never taken any lessons. But I don't understand, they just say "practice a lot", which I do, and still get nowhere. I cannot figure out the correct technique for a lot of things, regardless how much research I do. I do not really have time or money to go to formal lessons, so this is really my only option. after three years of practicing semi-daily with minimal improvement I am beginning to get frustrated and very confused. Any advice is welcome!


One CANT selfteach guitar.You cant self teach something you dont know.If you are using a DVD then the dvd is your teacher,if you are using a book then the book is your teacher or the advices from a fellow band member or youtube or or....

So in a sense you need someone to teach you,whether the teacher is in....3D or 2D.Now if you want to save yourself time,trouble and frustration get a good 3D teacher.An actual teacher gives you instant feedback about your mistakes progress and a clear consise plan to follow.

Apart from the good teacher,you need to do extra work yourself.Learn songs,play and improvise with other musicians and record yourself and be very critical about the way you sound and what you can do to improve.

So instead of floating aimlessly listening advice from left and right and losing time or spending your money on piles and piles of gear,spend your money on a good teacher instead and add your hard work to seal the deal....no quick fixes here .
Last edited by Dreamdancer11 at Oct 27, 2013,
#10
well if you use a dvd or book you still have self analyze your own technique and decipher what you're doing right or wrong. So essentially that is "self teaching".

You state you practice "semi-daily".. what does that mean? half an hour? an hour? if you want to get good you're going to have to go through periods where you spend alot of time practicing daily and pushing yourself to learn new songs and techniques.
#11
Quote by kingking22
well if you use a dvd or book you still have self analyze your own technique and decipher what you're doing right or wrong. So essentially that is "self teaching".



Its not, cause you cant analyze what you dont know....you still have to learn from somewhere else what is right and what is wrong(maybe another book or another player etc etc etc).You simply dont have the data and even when you do, lets face it,you got them from some other source so there was never any...."selfteaching" involved .
#12
Quote by Dreamdancer11
Its not, cause you cant analyze what you dont know....you still have to learn from somewhere else what is right and what is wrong(maybe another book or another player etc etc etc).You simply dont have the data and even when you do, lets face it,you got them from some other source so there was never any...."selfteaching" involved .



Human beings aren't really computers that need data to create or learn something. It's a bit more complicated than that.

Anyway my point of view is if someone doesn't have a teacher who is teaching them the optimum ways of achieving everything they want to achieve. Then they're having to figure out a lot of stuff on their own. This includes finding the motivation to play, analytical thinking on in-depth technique and the structure involved to reaching a high level of play. I would call this self teaching. A video can show someone how to sweep pick but it doesn't teach them how to sweep pick.

Someone who is being taught and who has a teacher sitting across from them telling them every single aspect of their playing which isn't optimum. Doesn't really have to think and reason anywhere near as much. They don't have to structure out the correct path to what they should and shouldn't be practicing, and the motivation comes from having an overseer critiquing their progress. They're really being told how to play.
Last edited by kingking22 at Oct 28, 2013,
#13
Quote by kingking22
Human beings aren't really computers that need data to create or learn something. It's a bit more complicated than that.

Anyway my point of view is if someone doesn't have a teacher who is teaching them the optimum ways of achieving everything they want to achieve. Then they're having to figure out a lot of stuff on their own. This includes finding the motivation to play, analytical thinking on in-depth technique and the structure involved to reaching a high level of play. I would call this self teaching. A video can show someone how to sweep pick but it doesn't teach them how to sweep pick.

Someone who is being taught and who has a teacher sitting across from them telling them every single aspect of their playing which isn't optimum. Doesn't really have to think and reason anywhere near as much. They don't have to structure out the correct path to what they should and shouldn't be practicing, and the motivation comes from having an overseer critiquing their progress. They're really being told how to play.


Whether you call it data or information or intel or knowledge we need it...and we always have to get it from somewhere(without it you cant do anything).The source of this info can be a dvd,a book library,youtube,a live teacher or our neighboor it doesnt matter.What matters is that they ALL teach you the needed info they tell you what to do.

The thing that is diff between a 2D and a 3D teacher is immediate and correct feedback.A good live teacher gives it to you instantly saving you so much time while when taugh from other sources you still need even more sources for feedback.So if you are taugh to sweep from a video you ll still want to find another video or book that answers the questions you may have or find a fellow guitar player to give you tips etc etc etc..So in the end you may think you are self taugh but in reality the info and the feedback came from someone else not you.

Give a kid on a deserted island cut out from the world a guitar.He wont be able to "selftaught" himself shit.Cause there is no info or feedback.Not only he wont be able to figure out technique issues but he wont even figure out how to hold it right and ll probably bang the damn thing on a rock.The end.

So someone always teaching you..the only question is ..do you want to go from point A to point B following a straight line or going aimlessly in circles until someday somehow you reach point B?

As for motivation if that doesnt come from a deep place inside and not from external sources you wont go very far regardless.If you dont love it but try to learn for other reasons(parents,school curriculum etc etc) Live teacher or no live teacher you would be always lacking.

So someone or something ALWAYS teaches you how to play every step of the way.Always.
#14
Quote by Dreamdancer11
....



self-taught (slftôt)
adj.
Having taught oneself without formal instruction or the help of others.

Formal instruction means being taught formally by a teacher. Not by a book or video.


Where the information comes from, whether it's from outer space and the universe, or bob next door or a book or a dvd or a monkeys ass really doesn't matter. What matters in regards to being taught or self teaching is how the information is delivered. Being taught is gaining information with the aid of human being who has a lifetime of experience. Self teaching is when someone doesn't have that aid.
#15
Quote by kingking22
self-taught (slftôt)
adj.
Having taught oneself without formal instruction or the help of others.

Formal instruction means being taught formally by a teacher. Not by a book or video.


Where the information comes from, whether it's from outer space and the universe, or bob next door or a book or a dvd or a monkeys ass really doesn't matter. What matters in regards to being taught or self teaching is how the information is delivered. Being taught is gaining information with the aid of human being who has a lifetime of experience. Self teaching is when someone doesn't have that aid.


Formal instruction and training just implies a degree of some sort.Cause you can be taugh by a gigging musician that never had formal training or that knows only fragments of what you need to know(for example Bob next door taught you your first chords...no formal training not even a musician but nothing self taught about it...) but still the material was spoonfed to you one way or the other.

So not only you get help from others but from millions of different sources that you claim they dont matter.Weird guy bob next door taught you the chords...doesnt have a lifetime of experience and maybe doesnt even play decent guitar all that well either but he knew his open chords.So formally or not formally you were taught the info by someone.Maybe Bob made a youtube video or wrote a few pages explaining it to you.....in either case the was no "self" involved anywhere...in either case YOU WERE TOLD WHAT TO DO.

I asked you something:A kid in a desert island oblivious of everything why cant he self teach himself to play guitar ?
Last edited by Dreamdancer11 at Oct 29, 2013,
#16
Quote by Dreamdancer11


I asked you something:A kid in a desert island oblivious of everything why cant he self teach himself to play guitar ?


He can self teach himself to play the guitar. It's just more than likely that the music he creates will not be conventional and won't be familiar with people in western civilization. because people in western civilization are copying each other and playing conventional music. The idea that people can't teach themselves is completely wrong because people have the power of reason. But anyway this discussion has become a waste of time.
#17
Quote by kingking22
He can self teach himself to play the guitar. It's just more than likely that the music he creates will not be conventional and won't be familiar with people in western civilization. because people in western civilization are copying each other and playing conventional music. The idea that people can't teach themselves is completely wrong because people have the power of reason. But anyway this discussion has become a waste of time.


He wouldnt even be able to figure out how to hold it mate let alone create music with it and he better have a stash of the them somewhere cause most of them would be used as a..bat and not as a musical instrument.His descendants, after some generations of accumulating knowledge they would, but not him.

If you could switch places with him and lived in his era you wouldnt even be able to have a nice speaking voice mate.Only earie screams and grunts like an animal...on the contrary he would be like a regular person since he would be taught everything.

Milleniums of accumulative knowledge that was spoonfed to you made you who you are today, without it you would be like a wild animal and to reinvent the wheel it would be impossible.
#18
its best to come up with something original and when you do please write it down. you can make up some pretty hardcore exercises on your own. start with theory because you need a good ground to stand on instead of digging in the dirt and making idols out of clay.
Last edited by Polydox at Oct 29, 2013,