#1
First things first, hello! I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm 16 years old I've been learning the guitar for just over a week (I've been using Frederick Noad's book so far, but I don't have a teacher or anything). My dad retired recently and said he'd start playing the guitar again, he never really did so I picked it up instead and found it much easier than the violin (which I'm also learning) and instantly fell in love with the guitar.

As for as my progress up to now goes, I can play this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fKAco7EBaY&spfreload=1

Not quite as gracefully as the person in the video, but I can play it and I even accidentally written my own extra bit which fits in rather nicely.
In the same book, I'm working my way through Malaguena (I can play the first two lines).
In terms of chords, I can play A major, G major, and A minor, that's about it.

Anyway, I have a few questions:

How long does it take to get good? - I'm sure people my age ask this annoying question all the time and I know that "good" is purely subjective. Still, hear me out. My musical aspirations range from wanting to be able to sit down and play a tune on an acoustic on my own to playing in a band one day or even writing songs (I would love to do this, as do a great deal of people my age, but it's probably unrealistic given I'm starting so late). Right now I spend about an hour a day practising (I have exams at the moment but I should get to increase this in the next few months), if I do this consistently, how long will it take for me to gain the ability and knowledge to reach the levels that I am considering?

Bearing the above in mind, what pointers would people have in terms of learning? - So, obviously, I need a decent guitar, my dad is in the process of replacing the strings on his but I'm planning on getting an acoustic for my birthday later this month which will hopefully be less dusty and out of tune ALL OF THE TIME. I don't know any guitar scales yet, I only know a couple of chords through imitating them and youtube tutorials and my general musical theory is still shaky as I'm only up to grade 4 on violin and haven't touched a piano or any other instrument. What direction should I go in for the time being so that I can learn as efficiently and effectively as I can?


PS. Sorry if this is not the right place to be asking this, like I said, I'm new
Last edited by Serotonite at May 27, 2015,
#2
First of all, Welcome!

second, interesting choice in learning Spanish Classical music, I like it.

anyway, to your questions...

How long does it take to get good?
This is really dependant on what styles you want to play, writing more popular music (pop, rock, metal) probably won't require as much thought as writing solo guitar music. to reiterate, you need to work out what you're going to play before you try to make your own stuff.

unless you intend to implement theory and scale concepts into what you write, don't bother learning anything beyond reading sheet music (I'm assuming you can do this because of graded exams?) and maybe the pentatonic scale shapes and fretboard notes.

also, when getting a guitar, decide whether you want a steel string acoustic or a nylon string classical acoustic
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

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#3
Quote by Pastafarian96
First of all, Welcome!

second, interesting choice in learning Spanish Classical music, I like it.

anyway, to your questions...

How long does it take to get good?
This is really dependant on what styles you want to play, writing more popular music (pop, rock, metal) probably won't require as much thought as writing solo guitar music. to reiterate, you need to work out what you're going to play before you try to make your own stuff.

unless you intend to implement theory and scale concepts into what you write, don't bother learning anything beyond reading sheet music (I'm assuming you can do this because of graded exams?) and maybe the pentatonic scale shapes and fretboard notes.

also, when getting a guitar, decide whether you want a steel string acoustic or a nylon string classical acoustic


Thank you!

And yes, classical Spanish is wonderful (I would love to be able to play Asturias). It's what my dad used to play so it seemed natural. That said, I would like to learn more genres, one of the reasons that I decided to learn the guitar was that I was becoming bored of classical violin, and I feel that classical spanish is, to a lesser degree, similar to baroque violin in that it tends to have a very repetitive structure.

I think in terms of solo playing, I'd stick to the Spanish stuff, but if I ever wanted to write anything I would avoid solo and see if I could write stuff with others (less work for me ). In terms of playing as a group, I'm currently in love with soft rock and indie folk and the like, which is hopefully easier to than solo spanish to write.

So I don't need to learn many scales for guitar? This is relieving to hear (they are the bane of my life for violin). And yes, I can read sheet music, though it is confusing to go from one instrument to another as my instinctive finger placement does not apply here, though I'm sure that will come with practice.

What exactly is the difference between steel an nylon? What is each more suited to? The one I'm currently using is steel for the E, A and D strings and nylon for the G, B and E. Should I stick with this or get something else?
#4
Yes, I can completely relate to being sick of an instrument and learning another, but I kept up with both and now I can play 7 or so. Also Asturias is originally a piano piece and you'll have to learn the finger flair to do the sforzando well.

Those styles are much easier to perform and write for than Spanish Classical certainly, but you're going to need to learn a few chords. If you do want to learn to write for classical guitar, you actually should learn your scales and even some modes.

Scales are really just for hand and finger positioning, something I've found is more intuitive on plucked string instruments, fretted or not. I did 8 years of piano lessons and can tell you that scales were only really useful to me for finger positioning and movement, even then, you need to know what key you were in and the relevant scale to make it work properly, actually saying that, they might be a good idea for you.

A steel string acoustic guitar has a brighter sound and is more often (but not always) played with a plectrum/pick. The strings are harder to play and are closer together but it's for a different style.

Nylon stringed acoustics tend to look a little like this:


Steel strings tend to look like this:


the strings on your guitar are probably all from a nylon set but with wrapped E, A and D strings.

Steel stringed acoustics are usually used for strumming chords and nylon strings are almost exclusively made for classical music. If you want to play your soft rock and indie folk, I'd suggest a steel string, but if you want to keep up with the classical, get a better nylon string, it can serve as both if needed.
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#5
Welcome!

Good luck! =)
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#6
Quote by Pastafarian96
Those styles are much easier to perform and write for than Spanish Classical certainly, but you're going to need to learn a few chords. If you do want to learn to write for classical guitar, you actually should learn your scales and even some modes.


I think I'll focus on learning to write for the easier styles then, for now at least, rather than trying to write for solo classical. What chords do you think I should learn? Open chords are simple enough but I so far can't abide barre chords. In terms of scales, I presume I can get by just knowing the sound and structure of major/minor?


Quote by Pastafarian96
the strings on your guitar are probably all from a nylon set but with wrapped E, A and D strings.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that they are half-wrapped, I might stick with this just because of familiarity or possibly go for full steel, anyway I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
#7
Quote by Serotonite
I think I'll focus on learning to write for the easier styles then, for now at least, rather than trying to write for solo classical. What chords do you think I should learn? Open chords are simple enough but I so far can't abide barre chords. In terms of scales, I presume I can get by just knowing the sound and structure of major/minor?

all of the basic open shapes (C, D, Dm, E, Em, F*, Fm*, G, A, Am)
*4 string versions, not the barre ones

And the 7th chords that aren't hard (C7, D7, Dm7, E7, Em7, G7, A7, Am7, B7) especially the ones that can be moved around the neck (C7, E7, Em7, A7, Am7)

Then you can give barre chords a go.
Quote by Serotonite
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that they are half-wrapped, I might stick with this just because of familiarity or possibly go for full steel, anyway I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

have a go at both types if you go to buy, make sure of what you want.
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day