#1
I have been playing for only a few months, but I have been working on (customizing) guitars for years. Despite the name of the thread I'm an electromechanical engineer and a powder coater, but the guitar is starting to make me feel quite dumb. I do have a "learning disability" but I have always been able to overcome it and adapt to my needs, all of this aside I am generally known as a "quick study". This is my fourth attempt to learn to play. And I feel like I can say I am really getting it this time. I discovered drop d and that really started to develop my right hand. I have watched a lot of youtube videos and picked up a bunch of odds and ends skills until I could play a few of my own riff's, I know all the chords minus the f`s (well I know them, debatable if I could "play them"). I finally feel like I am ready to learn a song. From the advice from other threads I chose simple man from shinedown. And it where it all falls apart. I keep banging my head against tab and it's been 30 years since I've read sheet music, I was a drummer when I was younger, but I just can't make my brain translate tab to real life. That junk is upside down!!!!! Yes I know it's common knowledge. I just can't help the feeling that I don't know something important. I just don't know enough to know what I don't know, you know?

question #2

How do you know what notes to play together? Or sound good together? Is this where scales come in? This is my assumption anyway. Is there a good explanation of how to read scales, the dots on the fretboard don't mean much to me and the ones with numbers are confusing because there is more than 1 "#2" and so on. How do you tell the right sequence? Wow there are alot of scales out there, is there a "starting place"?

Question #3

I have been having some major strap issues, to the point I just chucked it on the floor. I usually play sitting cross legged "indian style". I am an injured vet and that's just about the only position I feel comfortable playing. Or in a tall chair with my feet up. Is this limiting me? I saw Mr. Beebelbrocks mention position and speed in the same threads a few times. The reason I ask is because I feel like I have neck control issues.

If it matters I like hard rock and metal, I have a Les and a vox adv50vt, been playing with .73 picks
#2
You'll definitely get some help from some of the guys here. But just calm your nerves, the answer to at least question 2 and 3 is time. Time and practice are the only things that will really help you understand any and every guitar concept. This definitely won't be the last time you question your own skill and capability with a million questions, but like every time, it will end with time and practice.

That's not all to be said for your questions, so I hope at the very least that someone will teach you to read tablature. I don't have time to run through it right now but if someone else doesn't, I'll check back later on.


And even though Memorial Day was yesterday, thank you for your service!
#3
At the moment, I am buckling down to learn to play the guitar more seriously than in the previous years of noodling and screwing around. I used to watch a lot of YT videos as well, but I've noticed that I gain alot from structure. For that reason, I strongly recommend justinguitar.com. THere's a chance you've encountered one of his videos before, but dropping in to his structured course wherever you feel comfortable will help you with providing you the tools to build your talent as a guitarist. Hopefully I'll be as helpful to you as it was to me!
Please let me keep this memory, just this one ..
#4
1. Yes, it's upside-down - you just have to invert it in your head and get used to it. BUT it is the same way up as sheet music - higher pitch notes at the top, so what is the problem. (actually sometimes you see tab written the other way up to normal)
2. You need to learn about keys and key signatures and what chords belong to what key and then only play the notes in the key the song is in with most of the notes from the chord you are playing over and other such tricks
3. I'm just like you - can't wear a strap and play standing up because the strap hits a nerve and and causes pain - so play sitting down or classical style. I can't play a Les Paul either for similar reasons - although I like the tone - they just slip off my knee. Try a Strat style guitar might suit you better.
#5
Quote by nomoreusmc
I have been playing for only a few months, but I have been working on (customizing) guitars for years. Despite the name of the thread I'm an electromechanical engineer and a powder coater, but the guitar is starting to make me feel quite dumb. I do have a "learning disability" but I have always been able to overcome it and adapt to my needs, all of this aside I am generally known as a "quick study". This is my fourth attempt to learn to play. And I feel like I can say I am really getting it this time. I discovered drop d and that really started to develop my right hand. I have watched a lot of youtube videos and picked up a bunch of odds and ends skills until I could play a few of my own riff's, I know all the chords minus the f`s (well I know them, debatable if I could "play them"). I finally feel like I am ready to learn a song. From the advice from other threads I chose simple man from shinedown. And it where it all falls apart. I keep banging my head against tab and it's been 30 years since I've read sheet music, I was a drummer when I was younger, but I just can't make my brain translate tab to real life. That junk is upside down!!!!! Yes I know it's common knowledge. I just can't help the feeling that I don't know something important. I just don't know enough to know what I don't know, you know?


It's only upside down from a certain perspective. If you think about the tab as the strings in the orientation they are when you're actually playing then it's the right way up.

Like tab is

E
B
G
D
A
E

And if you look down at your guitar that's the order the strings are in going away from your face, the low E is closest to you. It's meant for you to use while playing so the strings are in the orientation they are when you're doing that, not when you're looking at your guitar from across the room or whatever.

Also as PSimonR mentioned it does hold to the musical notation convention of higher notes generally being higher on the notation but that's not always the case, it's just a decent general rule.

Quote by nomoreusmc
question #2

How do you know what notes to play together? Or sound good together? Is this where scales come in? This is my assumption anyway. Is there a good explanation of how to read scales, the dots on the fretboard don't mean much to me and the ones with numbers are confusing because there is more than 1 "#2" and so on. How do you tell the right sequence? Wow there are alot of scales out there, is there a "starting place"?


The secret is this:

Play two notes on after another. Did that sound good? If yes then add another note. If not then try again.

Scales are a way of grouping notes in to sets that sound all right together over certain backings and can be used to make all the most common chords, progressions and resolutions but they don't tell you what to play at all. If you think two notes sound all right together or next to each other in a piece then that's right and no one can tell you otherwise. They may prefer other notes but it's your music so it's your choice.

Really all the practice we do is aimed at getting the music from your head to the instrument so it should all be geared towards finding the sounds you like, on the guitar. Again, theory can help with that, once you know some theory and you've worked on your ear a bit you can start to recognise sounds and map them to theory concepts which makes playing them on guitar as simple as reading a book but there's a lot of work in the space between now and then. Ear training has a learning curve like a brick wall.

Quote by nomoreusmc
Question #3

I have been having some major strap issues, to the point I just chucked it on the floor. I usually play sitting cross legged "indian style". I am an injured vet and that's just about the only position I feel comfortable playing. Or in a tall chair with my feet up. Is this limiting me? I saw Mr. Beebelbrocks mention position and speed in the same threads a few times. The reason I ask is because I feel like I have neck control issues.

If it matters I like hard rock and metal, I have a Les and a vox adv50vt, been playing with .73 picks


It'll make things harder if you can't get to the proper posture but more important than anything else is the angle of your wrists.

You should be aiming to keep your wrists at as close an angle to neutral as possible; no harsh bends or anything like that. Beyond that as long as your form is decently close to what you see people like Paul Gilbert and Guthrie Govan doing on youtube you should be all right.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#6
Quote by PSimonR
1. Yes, it's upside-down - you just have to invert it in your head and get used to it. BUT it is the same way up as sheet music - higher pitch notes at the top, so what is the problem. (actually sometimes you see tab written the other way up to normal)
2. You need to learn about keys and key signatures and what chords belong to what key and then only play the notes in the key the song is in with most of the notes from the chord you are playing over and other such tricks
3. I'm just like you - can't wear a strap and play standing up because the strap hits a nerve and and causes pain - so play sitting down or classical style. I can't play a Les Paul either for similar reasons - although I like the tone - they just slip off my knee. Try a Strat style guitar might suit you better.

1- converting it IS the problem. I spend more time staring at the computer screen with my guitar in my lap confused. Wouldn't it be easier to restring it like a lefty does? So when you say up a string it really IS up a string not up a tone, or am I just over complicating it? I guess what I am asking in short, do I just force myself into it even if it doesn't feel right? If I ever want to read music notation I'm gonna have to "get over it" right?
2- i hope I don't sound dumb but I don't plan on playing rhythm until I am backing myself up, does this still apply?
#7
Zap - I am kinda confused. my fat E (Low e) is the closest to my face, the way you described it is the way I want to understand it but seems upside down would you mind putting that in different words? Thank you to everyone that replied
#8
Quote by nomoreusmc
Zap - I am kinda confused. my fat E (Low e) is the closest to my face, the way you described it is the way I want to understand it but seems upside down would you mind putting that in different words? Thank you to everyone that replied



Here's the way I came to understand tablature...

Step 1: Take your guitar and hold it like you're playing it

Step 2: Turn it up so the strings are facing the ceiling.

Step 3: Look at the strings

From that position, you're looking at the strings in the exact order in which tablature is written. The strings in tablature are upside down because from the perspective of a guitar player, above or on top, the strings ARE upside down.
Last edited by BoStros at May 28, 2014,