#1
Hey guys, my name is Amanda, and yes, I'm a "newbie." I just recently purchased the Epiphone Player pack about a week or so ago because it seemed like a pretty sweet deal and I've always dreamed of being able to rock the guitar. I guess you could say that I come from a musical background (my dad is a musician) but unfortunately, I have yet to allocate any sort of musical talent, perhaps due to the fact that I always gave up too easily. This is where you come in. My biggest concern is...how long is it gonna take to master the chords? I try to dedicate at least an hour a day to learning my new instrument, but I'm already getting frustrated. Any advice for a newcomer?
#2
Its natural for anyone to get frustrated when they first start playing guitar so no worries! Just dont let the frustrations get ya down and keep at it. An hour a day is great practice, work on bar chords and open chords and you should be good! also don't forget to practice some basic scales like pentatonic minor or major scales!
I realize. That I hate the sound of guitars
#3
Hi Amanda,

It takes a normal person 10,000 hours to master the guitar.

(don't worry this is the same as it takes to master any real worthwhile skill - like karate or being a motor mechanic.)

If you can do a hour a day then in about 8 weeks you should get the basic open chords and basic strumming.

The F chord might take a year or so.
#4
Depends on what you mean by "master" and the chords you choose to use. Those used in contemporary modern music- by themselves, are not hard to master, however, since you're a complete beginner, you must understand that you're effectively learning how to play chords WHILE you're learning to handle the guitar in general, the latter I will argue to be more relevant, but a specific goal might be preferable to some individuals.

Frustration can be subverted by motivation, and if all you have is "I want to master chords", I don't think that's a motivation in itself- rather a goal, furthermore it does not communicate the degree of how much you are willing to contribute towards achieving it.

Find something you already enjoy doing with the guitar, because that'll be what prevents you from quitting.
#5
I'm a firm believer in finding a teacher. At least, just to get started. If I didn't have a teacher 20 years ago, I wouldn't have made it through a year of guitar, let alone 20. Most local guitar shops have one on one teaching programs that don't cost an arm and a leg. Try one for a few months.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#6
You should really spend the first year playing acoustic more than electric, namely because it is more difficult do depress the strings, and it will probably hurt your fingers for close to a year.

It will take patience while you feel like you suck at guitar, stick with it, because by about year 3 it will get extremely satisfying, and by year 5 you will be kicking some ass.

The most difficult time is when you begin learning. My advice is to learn the major and minor chords, ones that aren't too difficult for you to play, and get comfortable playing them, changing between them, work on your timing, and then when you feel like you've got a handle on it, branch out into more challenging chords.

Personally I would recommend against getting a teacher at the beginning, because you'll waste a lot of money and they won't really be helping you until you've mastered the absolute basics.

The other thing is, learn your scales and whatnot, but don't get trapped into being over-educated and under-creative. Too many rules = too many constraints. Everyone is different of course but if you get trapped into thinking you can only do things a certain way, it will become more daunting, more frustrating, and less enjoyable.

So basically, bottom line, plan on spending a year pretty much sucking at guitar, but hang in there, you'll start getting better faster the better you get, and then it will become your best friend.
#7
Everyone goes through that early phase of frustration where chord changes seem impossible. Keep up the hour a day and you'll probably be able to do it fluidly within 3 months.
It's frustrating, your fingers hurt but the good news is that you'll move past that phase easily enough. The bad news is that this is just the beginning enjoy
#8
Hey, I'd like to chip in with the amount of time you devote to practice. You said you get frustrated quickly and tend to give up easily. Now I hope you know guitar isn't a quick get good thing, but it takes tiiiime. It's great you try to practice every day, that is definitely going to help you out a lot. But when beginning guitar, I find it easier to have shorter practice sessions (about half an hour or so), because watching yourself trying to make your fingers do something that is unnatural to them for an entire hour at a time can be quite a big blast to one's perserverance. You'll feel more frustration per day, and dense amounts of frustration can make it harder.

Another reason that I say this is because when you're a beginner, you learn chords and maybe some basic scale shape(s). The most complicated thing is chord changes, for that time. There's not as much different material as there is when you become more skilled and eventually get near the intermediate level. And when you're a beginner, attention spans tend to be shorter, so after some time, every effort you put won't be properly put to use because you are starting to deconcentrate. Better put the guitar away for the day.
Of course, if you have already practiced for, let's say, half an hour, and still want to, then by all means do! While you have the desire, nothing is wrong. But after you catch yourself feeling frustrated after 20 minutes, try the exercise a couple more times, and then stop! It will only hurt you if you force yourself through the remaining 40 minutes while frustrated. You won't nail the parts and you won't have gained any skill from that 'frustration' time.

It is in these first few months of learning guitar that a person realizes whether guitar is or is not for them, after taking in the first pains of pressing the strings down and going through finger boot camp with the chords. Most people seem to quit, or want to quit, before this first period is over for them. When you get through that, you'll be much more capable of dealing with any future guitar-related frustration you'll have.
#9
Hang in there! I've been playing acoustic a minimum of 2 hours EVERY day and sometimes 4 hours on weekends for the last 8 months and it's coming together….quickly!! I also have a Fender Strat Electric that I play maybe once a week mainly because it's so much easier to play. Stick with acoustic you won't regret it. I also joined MeetUp.com and met all kinds of musicians. It's great!! We meet up a couple times a month and I learned a TON of things from them. They are more than happy to help the newbie's. Stick with it and stick acoustic. Once you master that….Electric is cake. Good Luck!
#10
Quote by missamortem
Hey guys, my name is Amanda, and yes, I'm a "newbie." I just recently purchased the Epiphone Player pack about a week or so ago because it seemed like a pretty sweet deal and I've always dreamed of being able to rock the guitar. I guess you could say that I come from a musical background (my dad is a musician) but unfortunately, I have yet to allocate any sort of musical talent, perhaps due to the fact that I always gave up too easily. This is where you come in. My biggest concern is...how long is it gonna take to master the chords? I try to dedicate at least an hour a day to learning my new instrument, but I'm already getting frustrated. Any advice for a newcomer?


No one can tell you how long it will take you to master chords but here is some advice to speed up the process.

When you're practicing a chord press down the strings and slowly strum down to make sure every note is ringing clearly. It will be easier to start with power chords before moving onto full 6 string chords or barre chords.

If you're not having any fun practicing maybe it's time to change it up. I have a lot of fun playing along with stuff on my ipod. Find the chords to a song (or try just listening and figuring it out) and play along.

If you cant change chords fast enough to play with the song try playing fewer strings. Try playing just the root note along with the song. When you can play that add the 5th to make it a power chord. Then add the octave of the root (whatever that's called). Etc.
#11
Quote by Nitnatsnok
No one can tell you how long it will take you to master chords but here is some advice to speed up the process.

When you're practicing a chord press down the strings and slowly strum down to make sure every note is ringing clearly. It will be easier to start with power chords before moving onto full 6 string chords or barre chords.

If you're not having any fun practicing maybe it's time to change it up. I have a lot of fun playing along with stuff on my ipod. Find the chords to a song (or try just listening and figuring it out) and play along.

If you cant change chords fast enough to play with the song try playing fewer strings. Try playing just the root note along with the song. When you can play that add the 5th to make it a power chord. Then add the octave of the root (whatever that's called). Etc.


This is great advice. Find some easy to play songs that you like. UG is a great source for this stuff. Maybe even some easy riffing songs.
It's cliche, but Enter Sandman from Metallica is a great place to start. It starts with an easy riff, and then a simple power chord progression. (Just an example) Some of the first songs I learned were "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana, just in case you don't know), "Plush" (STP) and the afore mentioned "Enter Sandman". These are just suggestions. Not saying you should dig them or anything.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#12
Hey Amanda, welcome to U.G. I have found this site to be a great resource. Some advice I have is that your guitar playing can go in many different directions. If your goals are to learn some songs to play for your own enjoyment or jamming with friends, then you should spend much of your practice time on that. Playing guitar is fun and you should always keep that in mind. I used to struggle with thinking that I had to learn theory and scales and all that. Learning that is very important if you would like to write your own music or to further understand what you are playing. I found that I wanted to learn songs that I liked so I looked up the tabs here, learned the chords in them. I found it to be much more fun doing this. Remember to have fun. I am a 45 year old metalhead, and I enjoy cranking up my amp and letting it rip. doesn't really matter to me what anyone else thinks of it. As long as the cops don't get called.
#13
Wow, thank you all for the prompt responses. You've given me some excellent advice and I feel quite honored to be a member of such a contributive group.
#14
I would sit and go back and forth between 2 chords until it hurt. Find a really easy 3 or 4 chord song and work like hell to get those chords and transfers down. I found the closer I got and could start recognizing the song I was playing would motivate the hell out of me because I could hear how close I was getting. Another thing that helped me is I didn't tell anyone I was playing and would hide the guitar when people came over. That made me want to learn faster because I wasn't going to tell anyone I played until I actually could and REALLY wanted to tell people

Keep at it, it's one thing I guarantee you will never regret...
Uncle aciD

&

The deadbeatS


Do What Your Love Tells You
#15
My biggest recommendation for a beginner is to learn an easy song you actually like. Once I had "Smoke on the Water" and "Enter Sandman" under my belt. I found it alot easier to practice the stuff that wasn't as fun.

If you give us some Idea of what kind of music you like, I'm sure we could find something cool for you to learn that isn't stupid hard.
#16
Quote by theTYTAN
My biggest recommendation for a beginner is to learn an easy song you actually like. Once I had "Smoke on the Water" and "Enter Sandman" under my belt. I found it alot easier to practice the stuff that wasn't as fun.

If you give us some Idea of what kind of music you like, I'm sure we could find something cool for you to learn that isn't stupid hard.


I enjoy all genres of music. I've been attempting to play John Denver's "Annie's Song" as well as Clapton's "Layla-Unplugged." I'm not sure what it is about those two songs in particular, but I'm just anxious to learn them. No progress thus far.
"If you drop a hammer on your foot, it's hardly useful to get mad at the hammer."
--Commander William Riker
#17
Quote by PSimonR
Hi Amanda,

It takes a normal person 10,000 hours to master the guitar.

(don't worry this is the same as it takes to master any real worthwhile skill - like karate or being a motor mechanic.)

If you can do a hour a day then in about 8 weeks you should get the basic open chords and basic strumming.

The F chord might take a year or so.

lol
ayy lmao
#18
Well there's this guy if you hadn't already heard of him hes got about a bajilion how to's on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMYKyt_sUc8

I'm also going to recommend learning this song it's an awesome song for beginners just because of all the different ways you can play it start out the easy way and gradually work your way up. It's also alot easier place to start than something like Layla.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc6QQy17zzI&t=1m54s
Side note: If you get to the power chord part you can also add an octave to the power chords. You do that by putting your pinky on the D string directly below where you put your ring finger. It basically just makes the chord sound bigger and more badass and is another way to stretch your fingers and get better.
Last edited by theTYTAN at Dec 18, 2013,
#19
Welcome!
Just another Sheep in the design of the Almighty Machine.


-GEAR-
Gibson 60s Les Paul Tribute (Sunburst)
1999 Ibanez RG470 (TitaniumIce-MIJ)
Jackson RR3 (Trans-Red)
Peavey 6505+
Podx3
#20
Quote by theTYTAN
Well there's this guy if you hadn't already heard of him hes got about a bajilion how to's on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMYKyt_sUc8

I'm also going to recommend learning this song it's an awesome song for beginners just because of all the different ways you can play it start out the easy way and gradually work your way up. It's also alot easier place to start than something like Layla.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc6QQy17zzI&t=1m54s
Side note: If you get to the power chord part you can also add an octave to the power chords. You do that by putting your pinky on the D string directly below where you put your ring finger. It basically just makes the chord sound bigger and more badass and is another way to stretch your fingers and get better.



Thank you for posting this!
"If you drop a hammer on your foot, it's hardly useful to get mad at the hammer."
--Commander William Riker
#21
Here are my sage words of advice, get a teacher if you feel like he or she is wasting your time get annother. The big reason I advocate for a teacher is your physical well being, using improper technique has serious conciquences such as carpal tunnel you are much better safe then sorry. Not to be all doom and gloom here learn some songs you actually like its far more enjoyable then endless excercises. I'm not saying the exercises are not important but you should have some fun at it.
Quote by joshua garcia
I was incredibly drunk and only really remember writing a fanfic where ESP was getting porked by a pony.

Quote by guitar0player
I'd honestly fap to anything with a set of genitals as long as I find it aesthetically appealing.
#22
So I'm going to bring this thread back from the dead for a second and give you a few tips.
1. Keep your movements efficient if your swinging your arm back and forth and your hitting to many strings slow it down and streamline your movements. One of the biggest things any good guitarist (or musician) will tell you is to keep your movements efficient.

2. If your doing something that involves more than just strumming try to do it using just your wrist. If it's just strumming don't get to fussed about that.

3.Keep calm. Don't tense up. If you do slow it down, find the source of the tension and eliminate it. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your not holding your breath while you play. I've just started applying this myself and it has drastically improved my playing.

4. Practice really really slow if you don't get something right away practicing it slow will get you to where you can play it, and if you do get it right away practice it slow until you can play it better than you need to. If you get overwhelmed by all the stuff I've listed above just practice really slow and keep at it and you WILL get it.

5. Practice with a metronome to keep rhythm. Don't do this all the time, but it's nice to do every once in a while.

6. The Internet is your best friend. For example I just typed in easy Avenged sevenfold songs on google: found this http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080712170201AAilpVA Then googled "Almost Easy" by Avenged sevenfold and got this http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/a/avenged_sevenfold/almost_easy_tab.htm

If you don't know how to read tabs google it, if you don't know have a metronome you can find one online by googling it. If you don't know how to deal with tension google it, If you don't know how to do something it's probably hidden somewhere on the internet, so google it.

7. Practice slow.

8. Don't let yourself get bored. Keep finding new stuff to practice. Don't switch subjects to fast, but don't get bored.

9.Practice slow.

These are all things a good teacher is going to tell you to do and I'd recommend getting one. A teacher will certainly help you, but if it's out of your budget. You should just keep practicing.
If you do all these things and practice a little bit everyday you'll be awesome in no time.
Last edited by theTYTAN at Dec 20, 2013,