#1
If someone is starting guitar from scratch, what do you suggest that person start learning?

Is there an agreed list among most of maybe the first 5 areas that is good to start learning? Chords, Theory, etc?

Thank you!
Last edited by DominoK at Mar 18, 2014,
#2
Everyone is different, there's no agreed list/method that works for all students. Generally people will teach in the same order they personally learnt.
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#3
You face an immediate and steep learning curve just with getting the finger stretching, strength, dexterity, independence in your fretting hand for chord shapes, as well as needing to build some fingertip callouses / toughness. So expect pain and inability to successfully fret stuff at first, and things may sound crappy even when you try your best. But everyone goes through that, and your fingers adapt and improve.

I would practice the following:
1. Open chords
2. Major scale in C major
3. Minor pentatonic scale in A minor
4. What chords are in key of C major or key of A minor (same chords in both of these keys)
5. How the determination is made what chords are in key of C major (this is derived from scale pattern, learning this will teach you what a chord is, what a key is, what a scale is, how they inter-relate.
6. Learn some songs with simple chord progressions in C major and/or A minor.
7. Learn at least one basic blues chord progression in C major.
8. Practice "noodling," or making up, chord progressions using the chords in key of C major.
9. Practice noodling notes in the C major scale over a C major chord progression backing track (which you can find on YouTube or elsewhere, and notes in the A minor pentatonic scale also over a C major chord progression (or A minor chord progression, it works on both).

That's enough for 6 months I'd think. Well, after a couple months, you ought to start looking at barre chords.

Ken
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#4
Most students aren't interested in theory, they only want to learn how to play. Seems like those who are interested in teaching do show more of an interest in theory.

AlanHB is right - most instructors teach in a format similar to how they learned. They'll make adaptations to their teaching method depending on the student, but for the most part, it's how they learned.
#5
1.) Chromatic scale (A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# back to A start all over again. It's an alphabet, now quickly look at your EADGBE tuning and recite the notes that come after each fret. This also comes in handy after you learn how to bar chord. Then you can slide chords all over the neck.)

2.) Major Scale (Also known as Doe, ray, me, fa, so, la, de, doe... After you learn the Chromatic scale, when you plug this into any key, you are left with 7 notes, the 8th is the 1st note repeated at a higher octave.)

3.) 1 - Major, 2 - Minor, 3 - Minor, 4 - Major, 5 - Major or 7th both, 6 - Minor, 7 - Diminished. (Now after you do the major scale in every key you know what major, minor and 7th chords you can play)

4.) Parallel Minor - Shows you how to borrow chords outside of the diatonic 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 , 7.

5.) Bar chords, enables you to play all over the neck of the guitar.

6.) Practicing scales... I almost never do this, hence, I'm bad at soloing. I'm the type of guy who plays simple chord progressions and sings along while I strum guitar.

7.) The CAGE system is pretty cool too, when you're first starting out, you should play all your chords open tuning, but once you get sick of that and you want to round out your sound more, look up the CAGE system. In short, it pretty much teaches you to play your chord progressions using different chord shapes and all over the neck. This is why it's important to learn bar chords so you can do this.
Last edited by NewDayHappy at Mar 18, 2014,
#6
Quote by DominoK
If someone is starting guitar from scratch, what do you suggest that person start learning?

Is there an agreed list among most of maybe the first 5 areas that is good to start learning? Chords, Theory, etc?

Thank you!



In my practice, when I am presented with someone who is new to the guitar, I start with learning chords, and applied into songs. I'm looking towards creative development, of their hand and finger strength (calluses etc) as well as giving them songs which facilitate not only that, but chord changes, and basic rhythm strumming. I have 9 chords, that I progressively work through after which I consider that player a beginning-intermediate level player, and possibly ready for other things.

So, chords and changes. Songs (not Mary Had a Little Lamb, either) and Strumming/rhythm playing/reading (simple 8th notes, ties, etc) are the first areas I focus upon.

Best,

Sean
#7
Quote by AlanHB
Everyone is different, there's no agreed list/method that works for all students. Generally people will teach in the same order they personally learnt.


Agreed. I'd also say it depends on the type(s) of music you want to play, too.

Personally I'd try to get playing real songs as quickly as possible. You can get a lot of mileage out of even simple power chords (assuming you want to play rock/metal or similar). But that's just me.

EDIT: ^ yeah +1 on no Mary Had A Little Lamb No twinkle twinkle little star, either.
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#8
The 12 notes of music and where they appear across a standard tuned guitar. Music intervals. Major/minor scale(s), start with C major and work towards understanding why A minor is termed the relative minor of C major. Chord construction by basis of interval understanding. Harmonic function. Accidentals.

Buy a loop pedal at some point during your learning process. If electric guitar is what you're looking at the Digitech RP355 is an inexpensive (not great) multi-effects pedal with a built in looper. This will provide you with an arsenal of sounds to have fun with and maintain interest as well as fulfill the looper function which I highly recommend in your practice of guitar. The looper will allow you to put together your own harmonies. The pedal also contains a crappy drum machine and a metronome which is something every musician should own. Tuner as well for what it's worth.

FYI I tried to type this with multiple "googleable" terms for you to pull up in research. Musictheory.net and teoria.com are great resources as well.
Last edited by wafflesyrup at Mar 19, 2014,
#9
Quote by DominoK
If someone is starting guitar from scratch, what do you suggest that person start learning?

Is there an agreed list among most of maybe the first 5 areas that is good to start learning? Chords, Theory, etc?

Thank you!

Songs.

EDIT: It really depends on what kind of music you want to play, but if I had to list five things I would say...
Rhythm / Timing
-Strumming
-Picking
-Fingerpicking (basic patterns)
Chords
Simple Melodies / Bass lines

(All these things would be attained via learning songs, if you have a specific difficulty with one or more of them you might work on some exercises to improve a specific technique but the goal is to be able to play the song.)
Si
#10
I wonder how many people that propose their list, actually have experience teaching, and have had beginning students that they have successfully taught using their suggested approach?

If I used most of your suggestions, I'd be out of business as a beginning teacher, if that's what I depended upon. I make a living teaching music.

20T nailed it IMO, and my experience backs it. Many say it depends upon their goals, but I suggest that, most won't get far if they cant hold a chord. I really don't care about your goals, if you cant even hold a string down and make the most basic of moves, like holding one note and allowing a string underneath to ring free.

And what is the first thing that people ask a student when they hear they are a new student to the guitar and taking lessons?

Answer: "Cool. What songs have you learned?"

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Mar 19, 2014,
#11
I wouldn't argue anything Sean has to say. But I'd say that chord fingerings and such are something that's developed alongside building other fundamental understandings of the neck.