#1
I'm curious how the all- or mostly self-taught players out there learned and got good on their own before the days of the Internet. The Internet just seems like such an incredible learning resource for guitar that I can hardly imagine how guys did it before. But I've heard some great players were self-taught (Frank Zappa comes to mind) so it must be possible lol. The first thing that comes to mind is books of course, must there must have been other resources. Anyone?
#2
my guitar teacher didn't have a teacher. he said he learned all he could from friends or other players he knew...
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#3
Alot of "self-taughters" probably got training in another instrument first.
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#4
Quote by PieceOfMind666
my guitar teacher didn't have a teacher. he said he learned all he could from friends or other players he knew...



i guess thats basically what guys are doing nowadays, except with the internet video lessons are more easily accessible

i think satriani was self taught, so too james hetfield
#6
Or listen to a song and work it out, eventually you'll learn how things are put together
#8
Books, Magazines, watching the actual guitarists do it and lots of trial and error to the songs. You could still get tabs!

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#9
Yeah back before the internet I had to use magazines and tab books for my learning. It was very hard in comparison.
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#10
Quote by CORT noob
Alot of "self-taughters" probably got training in another instrument first.


Yeah, I had lots of violin lessons and piano lessons, and I could apply all my knowledge to guitar. After playing violin for a while, I had finger strength and speed, and callouses, so I was pretty much good to go. The only thing I needed the internet for was barre chords.
#11
My uncle caught me playing with his guitar at age 5 (1960), told me to play it right. I told him I didn't know how so he said he'd teach me. I knew 3 chords (G, C and D) an hour later, and the song "Little Brown Jug". He and his brother showed me the basic A-G, I took it from there. In the 60's when Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Johnny Winter and so on were making hit records, I was listening to them on the radio and trying to learn more chords and eventually leads.

Usually I had to try and learn them straight off the radio, records were extremely hard to come by and when I did manage to get one my father HATED rock and refused to let me play my 2 or 3 records when he was in the house. I thought he was going to give birth to a cat when someone gave me a copy of Tommy for christmas...Never knew anybody who could play guitar except the 2 uncles, so most of my guitar ability was picked up listening to radio and trying to retune to a song in time to catch a couple of chords.

Magazines like Hit Parader existed for lyrics, usually no chords or tabs, and again I was rarely able to get my hands on one, and would be subjected to a screaming tirade about what useless crap rock was and what useless low life drunk/drug addicts musicians were if my father ever found it. The only formal training I got was in high school band playing sax (tenor and baritone). I had to fight to get into the band, parents again, but I didn't let up and finally got my way. Never was good at reading music, I'd memorize my parts for sax after gradually learning them by playing it every day and making lots of mistakes. I still have hell trying to read, I play mostly by ear.

So I'm not sure if the Internet would have made much difference in my case, I learned by listening to a palm sized transistor radio with an earphone so I wouldn't get screamed at for playing it too loud, and was not good at reading music in any form, I'm still not. A lot of the time I would just listen, then try to pick my way through it later from memory. Too loud was if he could hear it at all. My first lead was Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", learned on an old Silvertone acoustic, one or two notes at a time when I could catch it on the radio, and often figuring out where it went from those one or two notes by trial and error. I learned a bunch of songs that way though, and played them at school during lunch for classmates. Stairway, of course, Two Hangmen by Mason Proffitt, Taxi and Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin, Where do the Children Play by Cat Stevens and Wild World, and a few other things like that, whatever was possible on an acoustic without sounding too crappy.

I did take 2 guitar lessons in 1966, the guy wanted to start me off from scratch - this is the E string, this is A - and repeated requests to teach me some lead, showing the guy I already could play, resulted in him going back to -this is the E string, this is A - I quit after day 2. Piano lessons got pulled basically for the same reason, I knew what the notes were and could play a little, I wanted to learn to PLAY the thing, she wanted to teach me what the notes were...I think that lasted 3 lessons. She wouldn't teach me a song, just which keys played which notes, I already knew that, figured it out myself.

So, some resources were out there, chord books have been around for ages but I never had one, I'm sure tablature was available in some form but I never knew it existed until I had been playing about 20 years, I taught myself a chord at a time. I'm learning flute now, or re-learning it, I learned to play every instrument in the high school band room in the early 70's. I play mainly guitar, some sax (I'm not very good at it), bass, drums and a little keyboards and still learn songs by ear, but a good CD player makes it a lot better, and since I always had lots of trouble trying to read music in any form, I'm not sure if tabs would do me much good, except for eliminating the 'figure out the chords' stage. From there I still have to put it together by ear.

The short answer to the original question, how did I learn and get good on my own? One chord, one note at a time and LOTS of practice. 2-4 hours a day every day for years, that's why I never had any friends. Who has time to play outside when there's a guitar sitting there?

We also moved around a lot, being new kid in town was no fun in clannish central Louisiana so I tended to be a loner and read or play guitar. And tried to ignore the constant screaming tirades..."You'll never amount to nothin' playin' that crap you listen to" (as loud as he could scream) was what I heard instead of support and encouragement, not a good learning atmosphere. I'm still amazed I managed to keep it up and not drop music altogether just to get some peace and quiet.
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#12
Before the internet there were books - before that, people would just learn as they went along.

For the record, almost every top guitar players you care to name is self-taught, well before the age of there even being extensive books available. I find it amusing that now, there are more resources for learning than ever before, yet there hasn't been a true 'guitar legend' churned out in years, and the guys who had sod-all help when they were learning are still the best there is.
#13
i did. i didnt have money or lessons growing up. played on an old broken bass. then eventually moved over to guitar.

i used books, and watched how my older brother and his friends held their guitars.

i made a ton of mistakes, bought the wrong gear and took twice as long to figure out how the board works.

that's why i think i now spend so much time helping guys just starting out.
Jenneh

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#14
I was another that learned via that obscure technology knows as books, they were useful for as lot of things before the internet

It does amaze me how much things have changed. I remember one of the first useful things I found on the internet was the guitar tab news groups. It was brilliant to suddenly have access to loads of songs. Now I just stick everything in Guitar Pro and play along. That's what I call progress.
#15
I am self taught...I learned as much as I could where I could...I mostly bought guitar magazines...I had hundreds of them...I also had over 1000 songs in tab...best thing is 99% of the tab in those books were tabbed correctly.

I also bought guitar books for learning songs with accurate transcribers like Wolf Marshall.

For learning theory you could buy books...mostly everything on the internet was in a book first...you could buy chord books and books on scales.

It was all there...it just cost money to get it.
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#16
I know its hard to believe but there was learning before the internet. We went and bought a book or magazine at the store. And yea they were usually alot better done than some of the tabs on the net. Just like when I started playing everybody was going digital. People were saying get rid of that analog junk, now whats that old junk worth. And solid state was the way to go, why you want a tube amp. I wasnt so easy to go buy tubes in 1992. Many stores didnt even have tube amps to sell. But we didnt have it as bad as long ago when you needed to spin a record with your finger to get that lick right. Yea records remember those. I remember when cds come out and we said cassettes would never die. Some things change somethings dont. You just had to have a little more dedication in the past. Not to knock new guys or anything. It just cost more money. If you look a guitar book costs the same now as it did then. Same with equipment. A pedal you can buy now for 30 bucks was 90 then. And amps and guitars are cheaper now. But as we said in the marines "being hard core isnt a part time job"
#18
i learned on my own, without the internet. i started back in 1992, but never got anywhere with it. took me a year before someone told me it had to be in tune. after that, it just kinda took off.
#19
Quote by beau05
i think satriani was self taught, so too james hetfield


no, steve vai taught satriani. not sure about hetfield though.
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#20
Wait... what? Someone's going to have to explain that one to me.
Tube amps are an older invention than IC and have been popular much longer. What did you amplify your guitar with, a phonograph?

Also, money is relative. Money != dedication.
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#21
Quote by aequitasveritas
no, steve vai taught satriani.


Um, no. It's the other way around.
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#22
Quote by aequitasveritas
no, steve vai taught satriani. not sure about hetfield though.


i always thought it was satriani that taught steve vai
#23
Quote by aequitasveritas
no, steve vai taught satriani. not sure about hetfield though.


no, satriani taught steve vai

beaten to it
#24
I had a book that was similar to "Guitar for Dummies", helped me immnesely. I also had a chord book full of old songs, and I also bought a few tab books and shedloads of guitar magazines. Later on i used the internet, but all there was were tabs that your could FTP from OLGA
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#25
Quote by steven seagull
I had a book that was similar to "Guitar for Dummies", helped me immnesely. I also had a chord book full of old songs, and I also bought a few tab books and shedloads of guitar magazines. Later on i used the internet, but all there was were tabs that your could FTP from OLGA

I used to love OLGA!
Just the the idea of all those free tabs readily available was mind-boggling at the time. I was used to saving up money to get tab books.
#26
i'm self taught and i never had the internet whilst learning. i sort of just learnt by ear. Learning a musical instrument should come to you naturally.
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#27
Quote by kyrreca
I used to love OLGA!
Just the the idea of all those free tabs readily available was mind-boggling at the time. I was used to saving up money to get tab books.



yep yep.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011
#28
Quote by aequitasveritas
no, steve vai taught satriani. not sure about hetfield though.

satriani taught hetfield :P

if someone like satriani teaches you guitar of course yur going to be great at it..lol
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#29
Quote by electricsnake
satriani taught hetfield :P

if someone like satriani teaches you guitar of course yur going to be great at it..lol

nah, he taught hammett...
#30
Quote by kyrreca
nah, he taught hammett...

gah..i'm tired lol
my gear:
Jackson DKMG(the one with EMG 81/85's)
b-52 AT 212 100 watt amp
old gear i'll probably sell eventually:
yamaha beginners guitar
gunmetal grey Fender squire strat
Fender 65R amp
#31
Quote by Paleo Pete
My uncle caught me playing with his guitar at age 5 (1960), told me to play it right. I told him I didn't know how so he said he'd teach me. I knew 3 chords (G, C and D) an hour later, and the song "Little Brown Jug". He and his brother showed me the basic A-G, I took it from there. In the 60's when Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Johnny Winter and so on were making hit records, I was listening to them on the radio and trying to learn more chords and eventually leads.

Usually I had to try and learn them straight off the radio, records were extremely hard to come by and when I did manage to get one my father HATED rock and refused to let me play my 2 or 3 records when he was in the house. I thought he was going to give birth to a cat when someone gave me a copy of Tommy for christmas...Never knew anybody who could play guitar except the 2 uncles, so most of my guitar ability was picked up listening to radio and trying to retune to a song in time to catch a couple of chords.

Magazines like Hit Parader existed for lyrics, usually no chords or tabs, and again I was rarely able to get my hands on one, and would be subjected to a screaming tirade about what useless crap rock was and what useless low life drunk/drug addicts musicians were if my father ever found it. The only formal training I got was in high school band playing sax (tenor and baritone). I had to fight to get into the band, parents again, but I didn't let up and finally got my way. Never was good at reading music, I'd memorize my parts for sax after gradually learning them by playing it every day and making lots of mistakes. I still have hell trying to read, I play mostly by ear.

So I'm not sure if the Internet would have made much difference in my case, I learned by listening to a palm sized transistor radio with an earphone so I wouldn't get screamed at for playing it too loud, and was not good at reading music in any form, I'm still not. A lot of the time I would just listen, then try to pick my way through it later from memory. Too loud was if he could hear it at all. My first lead was Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", learned on an old Silvertone acoustic, one or two notes at a time when I could catch it on the radio, and often figuring out where it went from those one or two notes by trial and error. I learned a bunch of songs that way though, and played them at school during lunch for classmates. Stairway, of course, Two Hangmen by Mason Proffitt, Taxi and Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin, Where do the Children Play by Cat Stevens and Wild World, and a few other things like that, whatever was possible on an acoustic without sounding too crappy.

I did take 2 guitar lessons in 1966, the guy wanted to start me off from scratch - this is the E string, this is A - and repeated requests to teach me some lead, showing the guy I already could play, resulted in him going back to -this is the E string, this is A - I quit after day 2. Piano lessons got pulled basically for the same reason, I knew what the notes were and could play a little, I wanted to learn to PLAY the thing, she wanted to teach me what the notes were...I think that lasted 3 lessons. She wouldn't teach me a song, just which keys played which notes, I already knew that, figured it out myself.

So, some resources were out there, chord books have been around for ages but I never had one, I'm sure tablature was available in some form but I never knew it existed until I had been playing about 20 years, I taught myself a chord at a time. I'm learning flute now, or re-learning it, I learned to play every instrument in the high school band room in the early 70's. I play mainly guitar, some sax (I'm not very good at it), bass, drums and a little keyboards and still learn songs by ear, but a good CD player makes it a lot better, and since I always had lots of trouble trying to read music in any form, I'm not sure if tabs would do me much good, except for eliminating the 'figure out the chords' stage. From there I still have to put it together by ear.

The short answer to the original question, how did I learn and get good on my own? One chord, one note at a time and LOTS of practice. 2-4 hours a day every day for years, that's why I never had any friends. Who has time to play outside when there's a guitar sitting there?

We also moved around a lot, being new kid in town was no fun in clannish central Louisiana so I tended to be a loner and read or play guitar. And tried to ignore the constant screaming tirades..."You'll never amount to nothin' playin' that crap you listen to" (as loud as he could scream) was what I heard instead of support and encouragement, not a good learning atmosphere. I'm still amazed I managed to keep it up and not drop music altogether just to get some peace and quiet.


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#32
Quote by jj1565
yep yep.

careful now....don't want to be dating yourself

unless you're a hermaphrodite i suppose, in which case you might as well play the hand dealt to ya.
Actually called Mark!

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