#1
Music Theory is the first thing that I'm going to start working on but what else? I have a lot of time to devote to this and want to make sure that I get everything down. I've been practicing scales (Ascending and Descending) and have started chords and moving from one chord to another. Doing all these things in practice for about a week now has made me notice some great improvement. But I keep hearing about all these techniques on this site that I'm not exactly knowledgeable of and wonder whether or not I should add these to my routine. But I don't want to start trying advanced stuff at my level.

So can anyone tell me or even make a small list of all the things that a beginner guitarist should be learning? Any help is appreciated as I want to do my best to learn the right way and not be playing for like a year or two and find out I skipped over some techniques that are crucial.
#2
I personally find alternate picking to be HUGELY beneficial wether you are a player who uses it in all playing or rarely uses it. it really coordinates the hands.
#4
Alternate meaning up and down strokes combined correct? I do that on chords but haven't tried it on scales or anything like that yet. Should I?
#5
Learning to read music is cruciel, I would learn that first

not it's not not for beginner anyways. if you decide you want to study music in college then it is. Unless your playing classical, it's not very important for a beginner.
#7
Quote by that1l)ude
not it's not not for beginner anyways. if you decide you want to study music in college then it is. Unless your playing classical, it's not very important for a beginner.


its pretty important because if you do it early, youll be on easy street for the rest of your life guitar-wise. technique, speed, accuracy, and all that junk comes in time, but it takes concentration and focus to learn to read music. its especially a bitch to learn later on because you already have so many other ways to read music such as tabs. so what you wanna do is learn to read music and train your ear. thank me later.
#8
Picking in general (alternative, up and down, chickenpicking,whatever). When you get to the point where you can pick songs without looking at your picking hand (after learning the pattern and fretting of course) that's when you probably know.
Picking is cruical
#9
Here are some things that I have yet to research so tell me if I need to at this level.


1. Bare Chords (Or Barre Chords)

2. Power Chords (I know what they are but haven't started them yet.)

3. Sweeping

4. Harmonics
#10
Quote by slayer1516
Learning to read music is cruciel, I would learn that first

Amen. at least someone else knows that.


Quote by that1l)ude
not it's not not for beginner anyways. if you decide you want to study music in college then it is. Unless your playing classical, it's not very important for a beginner.



How can you play music unless you can read music? How can you be an author, and not know the language? Sure, a child may be able to come up with a couple rhymes, but to truly be a musician, you must almost always be able to read the music.
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Last edited by cashewchaching at Oct 25, 2007,
#11
Can you learn to read music online or should I stop by Barnes N Nobles and pick up some books?
#12
OK, some people have suggested hammer-ons and pull-offs, but I think summarizing that up as left-hand techniques would be much better. You can learn here, but one book I recommend is The Complete Guitarist by Richard Chapman because it covers everything.

Here's my list
Learn to read tab
Alternate picking
basic chords
chord changes
rhythm
basic hand strength/versatility
left-hand techniques
Coordination between picking and playing hand
timing

Coordination between hands, alternate picking, and basic hand strength/versatility are practiced using finger exercises. You can find plenty of them by searching "finger exercises". Chords and chord changes are important because they help you play rhythm guitar and help you with playing chords (duh ). Rhythm and timing are just some basic essentials of music. These will build themselves up with experience along with the finger exercises you will be working on. Timing is also closely associated with hand to hand coordination. An example is tapping. You need basic timing and to be able to tap, which will require both hands (duh again ).

These are pretty much the basics. They will build up and help you in different areas. For example, chords, chord changes, and hand/finger strength are essentials for playing barre chords.

EDIT: Basic left-hand techniques are: hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, slides, release bends, vibratos, trail-offs, etc. You can find them on the internet. They are pretty straight forward, but you can never stop improving on these basic skills.
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Last edited by philipp122 at Oct 25, 2007,
#13
E
B
G
D
A
G

=

Every
Acid
Dealer
Gets
Busted
Eventually

You'll notice the order of the strings are switched in the examples.

The top is how you'll see it in tab form, bottom how it shows up on the guitar
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#14
Left hand techniques are vital, granted, but you shoulden't downplay the importance of good right hand techniques. What good is it to be able to fly through scales and do advanced fretting techniques if you can't hit the strings to make em' ring? It HAS to be a balance between the two, as it is with everything guitar. Being especially talented/well versed in a particular technique or style is great, granted, but being well-rounded in both music styles and in general techniques will make you a far more versitile player, which is pretty hard to come by.

As far as what a beginner should know, I'd say scales (Major and minor pentatonic, chromatic scale, a few modes of the major scale [Ionian, Dorian, Myxilidian(sp)]), all your basic open chords (G, D, C, A, Am, E, Em, B, Bm), some major/dominate 7ths and 9ths, A few barre chord shapes that you can move around the fretboard, and some techniques like vibrato, arpeggios, alternate picking, finger picking (you may not use it depending on your style, but it's good to expose yourself to as many styles as possible), hammer-ons/pull-offs, sliding, and tapping.

Also, famillierize yourself with the notes on the fretboard. It's easy for someone to tell you "play a note on the 3rd fret of the A string", but you need to know what to do when someone says "play a D note" or "play a solo/chord progression that roots in A" etc. Knowing your fretboard and how it works is invaluable. Knowing how it works will lead to a better understanding of WHY it works, which will help greatly in future playing.

Hope that helps, and good luck

-Edit- +1 to learning to read music. Even if you spend the rest of your life reading tab, knowing how to read sheet music will require you to learn basic note structures and song times, which is pretty invaluable in itself. I guess what I'm essentially saying is the more you learn, the better off you'll be in the long run.
Last edited by Garou1911 at Oct 25, 2007,
#16
Quote by Bruce Got Dro
1. Bare Chords (Or Barre Chords)
2. Power Chords (I know what they are but haven't started them yet.)
3. Sweeping
4. Harmonics

You should start learning barre chords right after you are comfortable with basic open chords. Barre chords are conceptually very simple they just take a while to build up the hand strength. There is no reason not to start working on these right away, and they open up pretty much any chord you could ever need once you can do them.

Power chords as well. They are extremely easy conceptually as one basic form can be moved all over the fret board for a huge array of chords. I think these are good to learn right off the bat because it will open up a huge list of songs you'll be able to play along to, which makes practicing way more fun.

Sweeping and Harmonics are not important for beginner guitar.
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#17
Harmonics are easy enough for beginners to attempt, but sweeping is an advanced technique. Many guitarists who have been playing for 20 years (even professionally), don't know (or care to bother to learn) how to sweep pick. It's a technique primarily used in neo-classical and related genres.

By all means, give it a shot later on, but if you haven't studied barre chords, sweeping is going to be far, far too difficult.
#18
Quote by jaypooner
its pretty important because if you do it early, youll be on easy street for the rest of your life guitar-wise. technique, speed, accuracy, and all that junk comes in time, but it takes concentration and focus to learn to read music. its especially a bitch to learn later on because you already have so many other ways to read music such as tabs. so what you wanna do is learn to read music and train your ear. thank me later.



i agree. there are two major aspects to learning music. Studying music and practicing your instrument. may as well do both at once, and as hard as music heory may be to some people, you will learn it ALOT quicker than you will master your instrument. I have learned a ****load of theory, i can make any chord tell you almost most anything, which i didnt know last year and my friends still dont know, but some of them are still way better than me just by playing friggin metallica over and over again.

So STUDY and PRACTICE.

sight playing will probably be the hardest but like with practice it takes time and experience. also try playing blindfolder or with your eyes closed, to help you better listen to what your playing instead of watching what your playing. this comes from my personal experience, i pay way to much attention to see what im playign rather than actually hearing it, which is why my ear training and pitch recognition is so terrible.
#19
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E
B
G
D
A
G


E
B
G
D
A
E
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#20
Quote by Bruce Got Dro
Here are some things that I have yet to research so tell me if I need to at this level.


1. Bare Chords (Or Barre Chords)

2. Power Chords (I know what they are but haven't started them yet.)

3. Sweeping

4. Harmonics


Sweeping???
WTF?
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#21
Quote by cashewchaching
Amen. at least someone else knows that.


How can you play music unless you can read music? How can you be an author, and not know the language? Sure, a child may be able to come up with a couple rhymes, but to truly be a musician, you must almost always be able to read the music.



stevie wonder didnt read music.
#23
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
stevie wonder didnt read music.

I don't think Stevie Wonder reads anything...

In all honesty I don't think reading music is essential for a guitarist, you can learn theory perfectly well without ever knowing notation.
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#24
Quote by philipp122
OK, some people have suggested hammer-ons and pull-offs, but I think summarizing that up as left-hand techniques would be much better. You can learn here, but one book I recommend is The Complete Guitarist by Richard Chapman because it covers everything.


Here's the thing... I got that book... BIGGEST WAIST OF MONEY, EVER!

It does cover a ton of stuff, but it lacks in getting the fretboard organized! It's one of those books that, in not so many words, that the only way to learn the guitar is through rote memorization. BIG mistake .

IF you do get that book, MAKE SURE to get Fretboard Logic SE. It'll get you the fretboard organization you'll need .
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#25
The ability to read standard notation as a guitarist is, in my opinion, not essential to a beginner. Yes, if you start learning how to read sheet music from the very beginning you have a leg up, but it is my no means crucial.

However, it is highly likely that at some point in your years of playing guitar that you will either have the desire to learn how to read music or be required to learn how to read music (whether it be for school, or a studio job, etc.)
#26
learn your pattern exercises, how to tune, and how to really listen to what your playing. The execises get your fingers limber, tuning makes it so what your playing has the possibilty of sounding good and listening helps you recognize when what your playing sucks/is out of tune or whatever.

The most important things to learn are patience and determination.

All the other stuff that is "essential knowledge" is based around your goals as a musician. You don't need to know theory to be a rock musician, but you do if you want to be a studio musician. You don't need to know a lot of scales if you wanna play Nickleback songs, but you'll need to know a few if ya wanna do some shredding metal solos.

Another important thing to learn is how to relax your muscles so you're not straining. If you look at any great guitarist they usually look relaxed even when playing something really difficult.

And finally, it's not always just about the notes, but the rhythm of the notes too. Think about it...
#27
Quote by Bruce Got Dro
Alternate meaning up and down strokes combined correct? I do that on chords but haven't tried it on scales or anything like that yet. Should I?



when i learn scales, i play them three ways:
all downstrokes, all upstrokes and alternate picking, you'd be suprised how these little exercises help out later on.
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#28
OutsideOctaves, they key to that bok is to read every word in order. It may look jumbled up and stock full of information all over the place, but it is fairly organized once you get going. I use it for reference and to help me understand a concept that I may not find on the internet, or where there is misleading information on the internet.
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#29
The Utmost Super Uber Important thing is to learn how to pick and strum in time as you learn. It's not something you can learn in a day.. its just important to play everything in time.

Sweeping...good to learn after about 3 or 4 years even if your not into metal or neo-classical.

Another important fact that i dont think was covered is to listen to every variety of guitar .everything from RnB backing tracks to Punk rock. Try learning a bit from each genre..Pick what you like and focus on it.
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