ok so here is my problem, I have been playing guitar for a few years now, can play a good number of songs off of tabs, but feel like an idiot when i try to figure out things for myself. I am trying to learn the CAGED system and keys and **** like that but i have no idea how to put them into good use or practice them right. I have no idea how to jam with other guitar players and no idea how to make my own songs. Can somebody please help me?
Ya just lost your right to sell Miller Highlife is what'cha did.
If it is an option, at this point i feel that a teacher would be perfect for you, he/she will be able to instruct you on what to learn, how to learn it, answer questions and show you how to put it all into a musical context. Also, you have to make sure it's a good teacher that you get, not someone who doesn't know what he/she is doing. You may have to switch teachers 3 - 4 times before finding the correct one. Good luck.


'07 Ibanez RG1570MRB Prestige
'97 Ibanez RGR570 - V7/Dimarzio Fast Track/ Dimarzio PAF Pro
Westfield SG Copy
Westfield Strat Copy
Falcon Acoustic
Peavey Valveking 212
Roland Microcube
Unbranded 15W Starter Amp
Here's my approach to your problem, when I'm not too lazy. Take a song you've learned, and try to understand where it comes from theoretically. Figure out the notes in the chords, partial chords and melodies you're playing, and then figure out why they exist like that, and what makes them sound good. I find if you understand the way things fit together musically--not just on the guitar--you will ultimately be a better player. But I'm sort of in the same boat as you, so this may not be great advice
Learnlisten, and practise. Listen to music, and try find the right key, and start from there maybe you should use pentatonic scale, usually great to start with. But nothing too hard, and listen the progression in the song while you play, so you know what notes can be played there and sound good.

How to make a song. Find a melody that goes around your head, or just some humming that you did another day. Then find the notes, the first one should be the most important, since usually it tells you what key is on at a particular moment.

If the note is E... You can choose Eminor chord to start with. From there you can find many chords that fits with the Em. Add coupple, start jamming with the melody, and find the rhytm (it should come quite easy). Write some lyrics about your girl/boyfriend, how much you love him/her, or how much she/he pisses you off at this god saken moment .

And there you go. Nothing more to it to compose a song. You can variate aswell. You can do the chords first and go from there, but I like it another way around, since I think I get more versatile melodies that way.

Remember practise is everything in these kind of things too, but you can start composing with very little knowledge, and as you do it, the better you get. Just don`t go to too hard too soon. It does nogood to anyone.

I Hope this helps you in some ways, atleast.

- Fox
Ok so how do i figure out what key a song is in? Do i just look at the chords and figure it out that way or by the scales?
Ya just lost your right to sell Miller Highlife is what'cha did.
Do you go to high school? If so, does said school have a Jazz Combo course?
If so, take it.
Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it Take it.
instead of jamming with other people i recommend some backing tracks, pick 4 random chords and play over them.
CAGED is definately not a good starting point.

Learn how to form the major scale. Then, learn how to form the natural minor scale. Then, learn how they relate / the modes of the major. Then step off into the other more "useful" things for guitar playing, like the blues scale and the minor pentatonic and CAGED and such.
Quote by casualty01
the RIAA can't shut us down, interpol can't shut us down. the U.S. gov't can't shut us down and CERTAINLY not YOU can shut us down.

BA in Music theory
MusicMan Bongo, SUB -> Orange Terror 1000 stack

Quote by waterproofpie
it's a UtBDan sandwich. Awwww yeah!
^I'd say learning the pentatonics and blues scales before delving into modes would be a better option. Modes are one of the most difficult concepts to understand musically, and the pentatonics and blues scales would be easier to learn and apply before getting too far into theory.
^ I agree with the above poster. I have a great book that takes this same order. It later includes modes and chord scales the caged system. Its well laid out and well written and is great for what your looking to do if you cant afford a teacher like myself. Its called "guitar logic". Its on ebay for like 20$ or so. Just read it while your on the crapper you'll be all set in no time.
Last edited by /-\liceNChains at May 22, 2008,