#1
Hi all -

Just getting started (I'm at week 3 right now) with the guitar and I was wondering if there was a progression of skills that is recommended for people trying to learn on their own. I'm following a mix of Guitar for Dummies and Justinguitar right now, but is there a generally accepted skill path I should be going for? Any guidance is appreciated
#2
Ah, and as a follow up, is there any sort of benchmark I should be aiming for to track progress? Like, "by 1 month you should have a solid command of C, G, F, A, E, Em, Am, and D chords" or something? Sweep picking by 1 year? Etc, etc...
#3
Everyone progresses at different levels of speed. My advice would be not to worry about it.
#5
Quote by Indrid_Cold
What about an order of things to learn?


No.

The only reason you see people commonly recommend chords etc first is because understanding how these fundamentals work will provide you with significant knowledge and better understanding for all things you learn in the future.
Having these strong fundamentals help you from avoiding a lot of issues you will definitely face further down the line.
When you build a house you don't start with the walls and roof first because you're going to have some serious problems further down the line and have to go back and build a solid foundation before you can continue.
Similar to a math test.. It's easy if you cheated and knew all the answers, but what happens when you have to explain how you got there? You can't and you look like an idiot.
When the time comes for playing with other musicians it's pretty much going to be that exact scenario.

EDIT: It might sound like I'm preaching to learn chords and theory, which I only half am. Having played 6 years now I wish I had someone drill in to me at the beginning that I need to learn basic guitar theory because I only realized a few years ago just how valuable a tool it is and how much it would have helped me had I learned it earlier.
That being said, the most important thing when playing is still to have fun and enjoy what you're doing. So whilst it's definitely better to just "bite the bullet" and deal with all the boring stuff initially, at the end of the day everyone ends up playing what they enjoy even if it might not seem the smartest thing to do, and there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that.'

Good luck
Last edited by vayne92 at Feb 2, 2015,
#6
Quote by vayne92
No.

The only reason you see people commonly recommend chords etc first is because understanding how these fundamentals work will provide you with significant knowledge and better understanding for all things you learn in the future.
Having these strong fundamentals help you from avoiding a lot of issues you will definitely face further down the line.
When you build a house you don't start with the walls and roof first because you're going to have some serious problems further down the line and have to go back and build a solid foundation before you can continue.
Similar to a math test.. It's easy if you cheated and knew all the answers, but what happens when you have to explain how you got there? You can't and you look like an idiot.
When the time comes for playing with other musicians it's pretty much going to be that exact scenario.


So you're basically saying, chords and basics, and then from there it's choose-your-own-adventure (but practice, practice, practice)?
#7
Quote by Indrid_Cold
So you're basically saying, chords and basics, and then from there it's choose-your-own-adventure (but practice, practice, practice)?


Having a true understanding of the simple CAGED system is a massive benefit. The key word is UNDERSTANDING. The more music theory you can force yourself to learn the better off you will be. If you can bring yourself to learn even more theory than that, then that's even better, but I wouldn't expect many people to do that.
I edited my post a bit which you might want to re-read.
I would try to force yourself to really understand just the CAGED system. It really isn't all that complicated. You'll thank me one day for doing so. If not though, then it's understandable. I sure didn't do it when I started learning.
Last edited by vayne92 at Feb 2, 2015,
#8
Quote by vayne92
Having a true understanding of the simple CAGED system is a massive benefit. The key word is UNDERSTANDING. The more music theory you can force yourself to learn the better off you will be. If you can bring yourself to learn even more theory than that, then that's even better, but I wouldn't expect many people to do that.
I edited my post a bit which you might want to re-read.
I would try to force yourself to really understand just the CAGED system. It really isn't all that complicated. You'll thank me one day for doing so. If not though, then it's understandable. I sure didn't do it when I started learning.


Awesome - ok. Music Theory was very high on my list of things to learn (I've got three books on the basics in my shopping cart right now) so I'm glad to hear some reinforcement there.
#9
Quote by Indrid_Cold
Awesome - ok. Music Theory was very high on my list of things to learn (I've got three books on the basics in my shopping cart right now) so I'm glad to hear some reinforcement there.



The basics are the most important things when it comes to learning the guitar. People tend to skip the basics because it seems "mundane" or "boring. Skipping the basics just ends up hurting them in the long run honestly. Doing the advance techniques is just doing the basic things really well. A good example of this is shred music it sounds, and looks advanced because of the techniques involved in it. If you look really deep into it is basic.. You can't really expect to get anywhere if you don't have the basic techniques down.
#10
Learn theory, but most importantly, apply it to your playing so you get a good ear for music. Learn something in theory, then try it out on your instrument.

Also, set yourself goals and avoid being distracted, I'd say a good thing to work on as a beginner over your first year techniquewise (aside from learning songs you want to apply, and especially songs that utilise techniques you are practicing). Understand what notes are in the chords you play, and why they work together.

Learn notes on fretboard
Learn C A G E D chord shapes, so you can move chords around
Learn at least 2 different moveable (so the same position can by slid up or down the fretboard) positions for the major, minor, diminished, dominant 7th, major 7th, minor 7th , half diminished 7th chords (half diminished is also written as 7b5 sometimes), so that would for example, be learning C major, C minor, C7 (that is how dominant 7 is written), Cmaj7 etc.

Learn to pick the notes of the chords separately too. Don't bother with sweep picking just yet, even if you can do it, the chances are that if you can do it that early, you will have neglected so many other areas of musicianship due to the amount of time it takes to learn.

Learn major scale, and all the modes of it.
Learn all five pentatonic boxes

Like CAGED shapes, these scale shapes should be moveable for different keys too.

Practice feel and rhythm. Try to copy vibrato and bends of guitarists you like, blues guitarists are great at this. Learn funk strumming as well as standard strumming, focus on sounding good. It will really encourage you too. Practice to a metronome, practice to backing tracks, if you want to play with other people, this is the best way to be able to practice to be able to do so.

Focus on one thing at a time, and most importantly, enjoy playing!
Last edited by nargoth at Feb 3, 2015,
#11
I would like to share my experience.

I was deeply interested in music and wanted to know how it works. I started to read one book on music theory which was written way long back. At this point of time I didn't own a guitar, just was reading this music theory book. I came across Staff Notations, Note Shapes, (Treble,Bass,Rhythm) Clef, Ledger Lines...etc many things that constitutes music theory. Soon I came across chords and scales, Guitar Tabs. Then soon I had my guitar and it was then awesome journey.....

Experimented with many chords and it was quite interesting to know how each of them sounds and their essence. Later came across scales and played and practice them. There are different music genres and each of them is played differently, My suggestion is that you get acquainted with them.

The whole musical experience & journey is about discovery.

@Black_devils
"The basics are the most important things when it comes to learning the guitar" - Agree.

@nargoth
"Focus on one thing at a time, and most importantly, enjoy playing!" - It's so damn true.

Finally I would suggest you to spent time with guitar as much as possible because people once they buy guitar become lazy and don't pick it up later. Don't worry too much about following a path or process, you will steer yourself to correct path as the time passes by, provided you take interest.

And lastly enjoy!
#12
Quote by Indrid_Cold
Hi all -

Just getting started (I'm at week 3 right now) with the guitar and I was wondering if there was a progression of skills that is recommended for people trying to learn on their own. I'm following a mix of Guitar for Dummies and Justinguitar right now, but is there a generally accepted skill path I should be going for? Any guidance is appreciated


Start learning simple melodies and songs by ear - now! Trial and error - take a 4 bar section of a song and try to figure out how it's played on guitar. It's one of the most important skills to work on as a musician but so many people skip it because it's difficult and time consuming. If you want be a real musician who can write songs, improvise and jam with people, then you need to start learning stuff by ear. The sooner the better. I started in my first few weeks - it eventually becomes second nature.

It doesn't have to be your sole focus, obviously, but it should be a priority if you want to be a good player.
#13
Quote by reverb66
Start learning simple melodies and songs by ear - now! Trial and error - take a 4 bar section of a song and try to figure out how it's played on guitar. It's one of the most important skills to work on as a musician but so many people skip it because it's difficult and time consuming. If you want be a real musician who can write songs, improvise and jam with people, then you need to start learning stuff by ear. The sooner the better. I started in my first few weeks - it eventually becomes second nature.

It doesn't have to be your sole focus, obviously, but it should be a priority if you want to be a good player.


Ah, this I've already done! Led to my first tab submission!
#14
I think you'd have to make a practice/learning regimen and stick to it. I'd say 25% of these:
muscle memory (practice scales up/down)
theory (learn the theory behind scales, proper scale chords)
metronome/timing work
have fun (let loose, do some fun stuff, try to pick a song, write something)
#15
Justin guitar will help u lots of great lessons and easy songs
#16
Either of those are fine routes. In the beginning stages it is most important that you simply keep it fun. Pick out little melodies and generally mess around finding things. Pick it up at least 10 minutes a day without fail for a bit. Short time - but every day. Fun fun put it down.

I started by figuring out Black Sabbath songs. They were great because the chord movement was so clear and it was only mostly power chords. Like this (Ironman):

------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------
---4--7--7-9-9--12-11--12-11-12-7-7-9-9--
---2--5--5-7-7--10--9--10--9--10-5-5-7-7--
-------------------------------------------------

Then Zeppelin, then AC/DC on and on. It was fun doing my stupid little renditions. It can get you a long way too!

Best of luck

#17
Divide the songs you're learning, so you don't have to do it all over again when you make a mistake. And don't go too fast, start slow. Otherwise you might take errors for granted and before you know it adapted those errors in your playing.
#18
Stick with Justin his lessons and songs are well planed out, u should start trying to play beginner songs like 3 little birds and stuff. I been playing over 2 months and iam a little bit better it will take years