#1
Hi, I am a beginner guitarist [been playing for 6 months, can play and transition between open chords easily, can play barre chords of E-shape, Em-shape, Am minor shape (but not yet A shape barre chords) can transition between barre chords at a moderate pace although sometimes when transitioning to an Em-shape, my G string doesn't ring, can play rhythm guitar decently, can mute strings using fretting hand]. Just to also add I usually play acoustic guitar and I find that barre chords on the electric guitar are much easier to play.

I want to attempt Jimi Hendrix All Along the Watchtower although I know that that's a relatively hard solo to play but I do think the rhythmic sections are good practice for switching through barre chords especially since they are all down strokes and there are no A shaped barre chords that needs to be played..

What do you guys think? Bad idea or good idea? I do really think I can try to play this beautiful song ....
If not this song, what other recommendations do you guys have?

Thanks!
#2
Thread was moved to forum: Guitar Techniques
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#3
ejazz.gaznavi Just stick to electric guitar for now and make sure you sit correctly (or preferably stand) and make sure your posture etc are in good place. Split the song into small manageable chunks and learn them one by one - once you get the idea of one chunk learn next and so on. This also applies to solo as well.

If the barre chords are still an issue I would suggest finding a good youtube video to double check your technique on that. There are literally thousands of them but simple google search should give you couple of ideas. Learning them just needs lot of repetition but make sure you don't hurt your wrist or anything else by applying too much force, or pressing the fret from wrong place etc.

At some point after you can play the rhythm mostly correctly, it is a good idea to use computer to record your playing to see how it actually sounds and can you keep it in rhythm. I assume you can just plug your guitar in and use something cheap like Reaper to record - I think it has 30+ day free trial, it is pretty simple and robust for simple recording/editing. Or use Guitar Pro 6 maybe as well, it's a great learning tool.

Key to anything with guitar (or any instrument for that matter) is that it's not a race so take your time. There's whole life time to learn it.
Last edited by swampjesus at May 16, 2017,
#4
if you've only been playing for 6 months then AATW seems far to advanced for you to start with. like Hendrix well then try playing Fire as that will be far easier and less frustrating. 
#5
It's good to aim high and try - so take a shot at it.  It may be too hard, but there's only one way to find out. The basic rhythm is definitely doable. the fills are a bit trickier but see what you can do.  

One of my favorite recordings ever - amazing layering of guitars by Jimi and the parts are insanely creative. 

The toughest parts of the solos will be nailing those wide bends - otherwise they're not too fast so they should be attainable with a lot of practice .

If you want a good beginner Hendrix solo/tune - "Hey Joe" is a good place to start as well.  I agree that "Fire" would be approachable as well. 
#6
Thank you people, you'll are right Jimi Hendrix AATW is too difficult as a first solo although the rhythm guitar parts are good training to play through barre chords -- I have been playing the rhythm parts getting faster but faster although I'm currently stuck at 85% speed of the song -- just have to practice i guesss... thanks guys !
#7
You could learn a few of the parts from it. The difficulty is going to be, aw man, you are right it's difficult. The difficulty is in the techniques such as bending and sliding. Maybe choose a different first solo (holiday by green day is a great first solo), and make AATW a 1-3 month project or something like that.  And the way to learn it is: practise all of the techniques in the solo. So there is bending, sliding, (in the first solo), then there is this weird hammer on pull off lick at the end with a barre. That is going to be difficult. Just break it down into the component parts, and keep a couple of them in rotation of what you play, and eventually you will be able to play it. Probably a few months if you really want it to sound good.
#8
Hi guys, back after a long time. I was busy practicing..... anyways Uni has started and I’m getting busier so I only have 1-2 hours of spare time to spend on the electric guitar (sometimes, I drag it out though to 5-6 hours...)Anyways my rhythm is solid, I can play a few basic solos (Californication, Wonderful Tonight, Hotel California (at 40% only though) and am in the middle of learning Black Magic Woman by Carlos Santana... and I managed to complete Layla by Eric Clapton on the acoustic guitar). So far going good. Am now starting to learn scales. My question is where should I start ? Learning the minor pentatonic seems so confusing to me... I have tried learning the positions... managed to slowly work my way up and memorise till position 3. I play it by position 1, position 2, position 3. I realised however that you can kinda go backwards from where you start so when I tried to play through position 4 I got confused cause you can go forward and you can kinda go backward. I dunno if I am making much sense here.... Am I doing it right ? Should I memorise the notes instead ?
#9
Have you tried practicing your scales by improvising to a backing track? Personally I didn't get to far into scales until I had played for a few years but I am mostly a rhythm player.. Knowing how keys of songs work and where to play your scale on the neck will be important on that.

This is how I learned my scales mainly.. Learn the first position.. Then learn the next one on each side of it.. Once you have those 3 down well, learn where you can go on each side of that.. Then you know the whole fretboard..

Its more important to know where your root note, 3rd, 4th etc.. is in the scale than to actually learn all the note names all over the fretboard.. Of course you can figure out the note names easily if you know the interval.. Practise playing in different keys and moving the scale around the fretboard. And last thing you will want to work on your phrasing, making your solos mesh and work with the rest of music.7
Last edited by babysmasher at Oct 26, 2017,
#10
If you want to learn scales then you have to familiarise yourself with the notes on the fretboard first - otherwise you're trying to learn seemingly abstract shapes with no frame of reference.
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#11
Thanks to the both of you for answering my questions. I guess what I intend to do is to learn the A minor pentatonic scale and have memorised it till position 4. I know where the root notes are ( As an excercise, I play up and down the scale and add a vibrato every time I touch a root note, burning it into my memory). I guess what I am trying to ask is this:

1. Do I need to know all the notes of the A minor pentatonic (A,C,D,E,G) or rather do I need to know what notes I am playing or do I just need to know the root notes?
2. Currently, I am playing by positions and 'expanding' to the right.. if you realize however, this is very limited for a key like D minor, I kinda need to know how to expand to the 'left' so to speak (i.e expanding closer to the tuning knobs). How do I do this?

Thank you.
Last edited by ejazz.gaznavi at Oct 26, 2017,
#12
Again it’s just about the knowing the notes. As you already know the Am pentatonic scale is the notes A C D E G, so anywhere you can find those notes on the fretboard you can use Am pentatonic. Also remember when it comes to actually playing music people don’t just play through a scale shape, they’ll move around the fretboard depending on what sound they want - those 5 notes appear in multiple places on your fretboard.
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#13
Learning the A minor position is a great way to start.. Moving left is no different from going to the right.. Just keep at it and you will have it memorized soon.. You'll want to get into improvising so you are moving around in all directions on the fretboard and making things sound 'musical'.

Learning the shapes really well is great because you can just slide the scale to whatever fret, and play in any key you like.

But as you experiment with the scale and improvise, listen closely to what you are playing and you'll soon recognize particular notes and intervals that sound particularly good to you and keep track of what they are. Soon you'll know where all your roots, thirds, fourths, are etc.. Which ones sound good when you bend them, maybe some wrong notes like a 2nd or 6th that work..

Obviously this is going to take a lot of time but once you get your shapes down you can have a lot of fun practicing your scales
Last edited by babysmasher at Oct 27, 2017,
#14
Thanks for the help guys...

babysmasher

I have indeed found something in what you said. I have played over alot of D minor pentanonic scale and tried to improvise over it. I have found that some notes that are not in the key of D minor pentanoic scale sounds real good. For instance, Ab and E notes sometimes works very well. (But of course, they are still in the key of D minor). What I have found most interesting is that I am particularly drawn to use C# in D minor even though it’s not at all in the scale. But I find it very pleasant(creating a sad-ish tone)to me at least. I have tried rationalising it from the point of musical theory but I just don’t see why C# would sound ‘good’ over a D minor key. Do you have any ideas ?

Thanks again