#1
First of all, great site. Lots of helpful tips for beginning guitarists. I'm seeing any progress since I started playing 2 months ago. My hands aren't very big so its very hard to put my hands in the right position to play the chords. Is there an easier way to play them?
#2
get a smaller necked guitar. it might take a year to really get goin but meanwhile practice.
"Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven."
-John Bunyan
#5
Quote by matteo cubano
get a smaller necked guitar. it might take a year to really get goin but meanwhile practice.


You mean like a Les Paul junior?
#6
Continue playing and practicing. That is all you can do, really. Too many beginners want to play too fast or they think that they'll immediately see improvement, or whatever. One teenager I know bought a stratocaster because he heard Yngwie Malmsteen. The minute he sat down with it and discovered that he couldn't play those Harmonic Minor scales at 230 BPM, he decided to take it back!

Take the advice from the person who has played since he was eight.
#7
Quote by NickSK
Continue playing and practicing. That is all you can do, really. Too many beginners want to play too fast or they think that they'll immediately see improvement, or whatever. One teenager I know bought a stratocaster because he heard Yngwie Malmsteen. The minute he sat down with it and discovered that he couldn't play those Harmonic Minor scales at 230 BPM, he decided to take it back!

Take the advice from the person who has played since he was eight.


If you started when you were eight then I'm guessing you probably had family members that play instruments right? Unfortunetly for me nobody in my family plays any instruments. So I basically have nobody supporting me or to ask for advice or anything. I mean my dad did buy the guitar for me but he doesn't know jack**** about guitars.
#8
Speaking as a self-taught guitarist, just be paitent. It takes a long time to get your hands to do with the guitar what you want them to. The guitar as an instrument isn't in any way ergonomic; the positions are ackward, the strings hurt your fingers, and the motions aren't intuitive.

2 months is a very short time in the realm of guitar. Patience and practice are the 2 key words. Learn some basic songs in your chosen style, and practice them constantly. I've played about 4 - 5 hours a day for the past year and a half and I'm still only what would probably be considered a beginner-to-intermediate guitarist.

Don't rush it. You may not feel you're progressing, but you really are. Progress in our chosen instrument happens in plateaus. You gain a lot in a short period of time, then you "level out" for a while, until the next 'incline'. It's frustrating, granted, but when you feel flustered just put the guitar down for a while. Sometimes it actually helps your skill to take a short break every so often.

The best advice I can give is just play what you like and practice often. The skill will come with time. Your hands aren't designed to move in the way guitar demands, so you're training muscles you seldom, if ever, use outside of guitar. Stick with it

Hope that helps
Last edited by Garou1911 at Sep 8, 2007,
#9
What chords are you trying? How about starting out with some basic power chord riffs then moveing onto bigger chords?
Quote by cakemonster91

*chuckle* A peanut. With a face.



Go to your staff paper and re-write this song a half step down so on the paper it'll be like you have a "C" just move it down to a "B#"




Know your theory, then play like you don't.

#10
Quote by Garou1911
Speaking as a self-taught guitarist, just be paitent. It takes a long time to get your hands to do with the guitar what you want them to. The guitar as an instriument isn't in any way ergonomic; the positions are ackward, the strings hurt your fingers, and the motions aren't intuitive.

2 months is a very short time in the realm of guitar. Paitentce and pratice are the 2 key words. Learn some basic songs in your chosen style, and practice them constantly. I've played about 4 - 5 hours a day for the past year and a half and I'm still only what would probably be considered a beginner-to-intermediate guitarist.

Don't rush it. You may not feel you're progressing, but you really are. Progress in our chosen instrument happens in plateaus. You gain a lot in a short period of time, then you "level out" for a while, until the next 'incline'. It's frustrating, granted, but when you feel flustered just put the guitar down for a while. Sometimes it actually helps your skill to take a short break every so often.

The best advice I can give is just play what you like and practice often. The skill will come with time. Your hands aren't designed to move in the way guitar demands, so you're training muscles you seldom, if ever, use outside of guitar. Stick with it

Hope that helps


Thanks for all the helpful advice. Whenever I try to play the stuff I like its too hard to do because the music I listen to is just too difficult for me to play right now. Hell the song that inspired me to start playing was Canon Rock by funtwo. The only song I can play is Hey there Delilah and that's a far cry from Canon Rock but I guess its a start.
#11
Maybe try some Greenday then? they ahve some simple chordy riffs. What kind of music do you like? I wouldnt suggest getting a smaller necked gutiar really, unless your hands are ridiculously small compared to yours you shuld be ine after soem practice!
Quote by cakemonster91

*chuckle* A peanut. With a face.



Go to your staff paper and re-write this song a half step down so on the paper it'll be like you have a "C" just move it down to a "B#"




Know your theory, then play like you don't.

#12
Quote by Peanut1614
Maybe try some Greenday then? they ahve some simple chordy riffs. What kind of music do you like? I wouldnt suggest getting a smaller necked gutiar really, unless your hands are ridiculously small compared to yours you shuld be ine after soem practice!


Well I listen to Mainly Metal and Classic Rock. IE Metallica, Pantera, Black Sabbath, AC/DC etc. Sure I guess I could try and play some green day songs even though I don't really care for their music, I just want to play a real song, not this Twinkle Twinkle Little Star crap.
#13
Quote by guitarnoobie
Thanks for all the helpful advice. Whenever I try to play the stuff I like its too hard to do because the music I listen to is just too difficult for me to play right now. Hell the song that inspired me to start playing was Canon Rock by funtwo. The only song I can play is Hey there Delilah and that's a far cry from Canon Rock but I guess its a start.


Exactly right
Just bear in mind that you're still starting. Don't get frustrated because you can't play what you want yet, just keep it in mind as a goal and get to work on learning the techniques and chords you'll need to play it.

-Edit-
If you're into metal and classic rock, I'd suggest Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) and Nothing Else Matters (Metallica). Those are some basic songs that sound great and will teach you some fundamental techniques and chords.

Good luck
Last edited by Garou1911 at Sep 8, 2007,
#14
if you learned anything at all and i mean anything, then you progressed. if you learned how to hold a pick, you progressed. if you learn how to fret a note or finger a chord, then you progressed. progress is very slow for everyone, even yngwie malmsteen and paul gilbert and vai and all those gods. they didnt sat down with the guitar for a day and then became a god. it took them 10 to 20 years with a lot of practice. Efficient practice.
#16
Quote by Garou1911
While I think of it, I wrote a 'rant' on this topic not too long ago in the acoustic forum. I hate to sound self-promoting, but I feel it addresses a lot of what you're talking about.

Link: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=658476


Thanks, lots of useful advice in that post. Does Guitar Center offer lessons? If not they could probably reccomend me some good instructors. Thank you very much.
#17
Quote by guitarnoobie
If you started when you were eight then I'm guessing you probably had family members that play instruments right? Unfortunetly for me nobody in my family plays any instruments. So I basically have nobody supporting me or to ask for advice or anything. I mean my dad did buy the guitar for me but he doesn't know jack**** about guitars.


Actually, none of my family plays an instrument. It was a classical guitar that a friend of the family gave my parents. They hung it on the wall as eye candy and I eventually picked it up and grew attached to it. So I suppose I didn't really start playing until I was 10 or 11 when I obtained a song book.

So, my advice is to just keep practicing and like the others have said, learn the basics. Patience, grass hopper.
#18
You mentioned you liked AC/DC, and they have pretty simple songs, probably no harder than Green Day if you skip the solos.
#19
You gain a lot in a short period of time, then you "level out" for a while, until the next 'incline'. It's frustrating, granted, but when you feel flustered just put the guitar down for a while.


Very true. I get really frustrated when I level out for a while, sometimes I don't touch a guitar for a couple of months. That's not often though, I rarely go two days without playing at least an hour or two.

Hang in there, it takes time, patience and practice. I had to learn twice. Once when I was 5 and again when I was 12 and cut a tendon in my left hand. That hand doesn't work right to this day and still gives me trouble. I had to learn again with a different left hand that didn't want to cooperate, and learn to adjust chord fingerings to make up for things my fingers just won't do any more that yours should be able to handle. I'm 51 now, been playing just over 45 years and I'm pretty sure I'll have a guitar in my hands the day I take my last breath. My first 2 or 3 years I could see little progress at all, but I stuck with it.

That's the key, keep at it, don't let yourself get frustrated because you don't think you've made any progress. Someone mentioned above that if you learned how to hold a pick, finger a chord etc that's progress. That is very true. If you practice some today and tomorrow a chord or two is a bit easier to play, that's progress. Angus Young didn't play Hell's Bells or Whole Lotta Rosie after playing a week or three. It takes years to get really good at it. I've been playing 45 years and I'm still not what I consider really good, above average for sure, but not in Eric Johnson's league...no way...

Also look around at music stores and pawn shops for a guitar with a slimmer neck that you might be more comfortable with. Stratocaster style guitars usually have much slimmer necks than Les Pauls. I can't play Les Pauls at all, the necks are way too fat, my left hand hurts in about 15 minutes. Same for a lot of Gibsons but several SG's and 335's I've played were pretty nice. The Washburn BT2 (Billy Thorpe) series has really nice slim necks, I like mine really well and play it a lot. A lot of Peaveys do too, including some of the EVH models. A friend has an Oscar Schmidt ES 335 clone that has a nice neck that I like quite well, Musician's Friend had it for $100 and he grabbed one. I love my Cort CL 1500, I also have a 1985 Peavey Patriot with a fabulous neck but it's an older guitar, not easy to find. Quite a few others are out there, go try some of them out and find one you can handle more comfortably than the one you're fighting now.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#20
Quote by guitarnoobie
First of all, great site. Lots of helpful tips for beginning guitarists. I'm seeing any progress since I started playing 2 months ago. My hands aren't very big so its very hard to put my hands in the right position to play the chords. Is there an easier way to play them?


guitarnoobie,

It's cool to see another small fingered friend like you around here. It was really hard for me to play at first because of my hands because they are below average size. The thing is that I never quit. I can play just about anything now. Don't give up man. As far as playing chords goes, there's no "easy" way around them except for barre chords. Then again, guys like us with small fingers its hard to play anyway. As you play you'll develop hand strength like I did. Work out those finger muscles! Get you a practice regiment going. Good luck with your practicing and don't give it up.
#21
2 months is nothing - it can take that long just for your hands to get used to the feel of the guitar. Just start with simple songs that use open chords, and I mean SIMPLE...like twinkle twinkle little star simple. Learning takes a long time, as far as Canon goes I seriously wouldn't even look at that for at least a year. Long term goals are good, but there's a whole load of short-term goals you need to achieve to get there.

Start with open chords to build a bit of dexterity and finger strength and simply to get your hands used to the guitar and take it from there. Trying to play stuff that's too hard will just frustrate you as you don't have the necessary techniques at your disposal to actually play them...compare it to trying to drive a car without knowing how to change gear. If you try to drive at the same time as trying to learn to change gear you'll have a hell of a time, you'll stutter, stall and quite possibly give up because you won't manage to do anything that feels even close to "driving". However, if you take time to familiarise yourself with the gears and how they work you're much better prepared to do the actual task.

There's loads of songs out there, some are really hard, some are easy, some are excellent introductions to certain techniques. You can ask for advice here as to which songs need certain techniques, and likewise the songs that are helpful for learning those techniques (often they won't be the same). It's also helpful to practice certain techniques as exercises before attempting for the first time in a song.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Sep 9, 2007,
#22
Okay thanks for all the advice you guys. Oh, and I do own a Stratocaster. I'm only 14 so there's still time for me to grow.
#24
Quote by guitarnoobie
Well I listen to Mainly Metal and Classic Rock. IE Metallica, Pantera, Black Sabbath, AC/DC etc. Sure I guess I could try and play some green day songs even though I don't really care for their music, I just want to play a real song, not this Twinkle Twinkle Little Star crap.


Well check out paranoid, iron man, walk, back in black after a while, hells bells, enter sandman, nothing else matters, for whom the bell tolls maybe. There, at least one song for each band Try learning the intros to each song first, then learn teh rest of the songs you like.
Quote by cakemonster91

*chuckle* A peanut. With a face.



Go to your staff paper and re-write this song a half step down so on the paper it'll be like you have a "C" just move it down to a "B#"




Know your theory, then play like you don't.

#25
Quote by Garou1911
Speaking as a self-taught guitarist, just be paitent. It takes a long time to get your hands to do with the guitar what you want them to. The guitar as an instrument isn't in any way ergonomic; the positions are ackward, the strings hurt your fingers, and the motions aren't intuitive.

2 months is a very short time in the realm of guitar. Patience and practice are the 2 key words. Learn some basic songs in your chosen style, and practice them constantly. I've played about 4 - 5 hours a day for the past year and a half and I'm still only what would probably be considered a beginner-to-intermediate guitarist.

Don't rush it. You may not feel you're progressing, but you really are. Progress in our chosen instrument happens in plateaus. You gain a lot in a short period of time, then you "level out" for a while, until the next 'incline'. It's frustrating, granted, but when you feel flustered just put the guitar down for a while. Sometimes it actually helps your skill to take a short break every so often.

The best advice I can give is just play what you like and practice often. The skill will come with time. Your hands aren't designed to move in the way guitar demands, so you're training muscles you seldom, if ever, use outside of guitar. Stick with it

Hope that helps


i agree. im also self-taught and i have also been playing for a similar amount of time. The only advise i can give is practice...and dont have too high expectations...it all takes time
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