#1
I`ve been playing guitar for half a year now, but since I have learnt the most common chords, including bar chords as well some months ago, I haven`t been able to come up with any future goals or things that I should learn. The result now is, that I have pretty much stopped and all I do every day is just repeat some of the songs or rifs I have memorised from online tabs, and practice my left finger technique for 10 to 20 minutes. I`ve never had a teacher, and I most likely never will. I just want to know, what is the most common thing to learn and practice after basic chords? I`ve also practiced some very simple strumming patterns, but I`m not sure if that`s that important.
#3
That makes two of us. But i`m pretty sure this is a common question asked by new players.
#4
I'm kinda in the same spot. My strength lies in being able to work pretty well with what I know right now, and working on the variations of what I know. When I learn a new chord, I try to incorporate it into EVERYTHING I know. I'm still having a HUGE difficulty with bar chords and can't really transition whatsoever with them. Just practice, practice, practice. And seriously, while patience is a virtue, I think getting pissed at yourself really pushes you. Recently, and I know this kinda sounds lame, I've been getting into zen and meditation. Personally, I can testify that it helps me be more precise with what I'm going for and I feel that I can focus a lot more on what I'm playing.

The important thing though is to not be discouraged. My best friend is twenty times better than I'll ever dream to be. But I take comfort in knowing that you don't have to be the best, to be content. Just accept where your at right now but push yourself to be better every step of the way, and don't let anyone bring you down.

Edit:

Also, assuming you're learning on an acoustic which I assume you are since this is the acoustic area, then I'd suggest picking up an electric maybe once a week for like an hour. After you spend some time on an acoustic, playing electric is really easy. It's a small confidence boost for new players like myself, and it's a good way to get comfortable with what you know, but haven't perfected to the point that you want.
Last edited by Shawnstoppable at Jun 19, 2008,
#5
start practicing some scales. get familiar with some like the pentatonic scale and since im guessing you cant read music its nice to know what note is what on the fretboard. (example E string 3rd fret is G) this is useful for scales and what not. practice some scales and take it from there. hope that helps
Agile AL-3000 HSBF>
Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz V1>
Danelectro Cool Cat Drive V1>
Hardwire CM-2>
Delta Lab Chorus>
EHX Holy Grail>
Boss DD-7>
BBE Sonic Stomp>
Digitech JamMan>
Blackheart Little Giant
#6
What are your future plans after you master the bar chords? They are not that hard if you practice extremely intensively for a week. If you still can`t get the second string, then you should perhaps check whether your guitar is all right (I don`t know what that part of the guitar is called like, but I had problems with the thingy, that holds the strings and lies on the lower part of the guitar). But the true question I face is - what next?
#7
I can read music (probably takes me more time than you, but still), but I don`t get the theory that lies under the scales. And there are so many of them I really get confused and the whole concept of scales is confusing to me. If only there was a really fool proof scale guide somewhere on the net, I`d actually have a chance.
#8
go to guitar center sam ash or wherever it is you go for musuic supplys and look through some of the instructional books
Agile AL-3000 HSBF>
Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz V1>
Danelectro Cool Cat Drive V1>
Hardwire CM-2>
Delta Lab Chorus>
EHX Holy Grail>
Boss DD-7>
BBE Sonic Stomp>
Digitech JamMan>
Blackheart Little Giant
#9
Quote by Avatarz
What are your future plans after you master the bar chords? They are not that hard if you practice extremely intensively for a week. If you still can`t get the second string, then you should perhaps check whether your guitar is all right (I don`t know what that part of the guitar is called like, but I had problems with the thingy, that holds the strings and lies on the lower part of the guitar). But the true question I face is - what next?


Honestly, I don't really look at my guitar playing as a "What's next", thing. While playing bar chords is obviously a fundamental that I need to get down, it's not something that I see as a "Okay, today I'm going to start playing bar chords." Maybe that's where lies the problem for me.

I originally started playing guitar because I wanted to write songs and play shows and I couldn't get devoted band members to play with me. The only option is to just play yourself. So for me, as a songwriter, it's more like "Okay, how can I make my song better?"

So OBVIOUSLY, I need to get over that hump of not being able to play bar chords perfectly. But my attitude isn't "I'm going to learn this next", it's just "I need to make my sound better, well, I should get this down". I have no fundamental agenda for my lessons or whatever. BUT I wouldn't necessarily suggest that way to be a way for others to adapt. After all, I still struggle with bar chords.
#10
Perhaps that`s me who`s doing it all wrong, because I actually would benefit from shaping up my chords. Perhaps I shouldn`t rush with new things.

go to guitar center sam ash or wherever it is you go for musuic supplys and look through some of the instructional books


Could you please provide me with a link?
#11
I think he was saying that you should go to the actual store and just check out their selection of books.


And yeah, I would learn chord shapes first. Also, I think it kinda depends on what you're playing. Sometimes I'll watch a lot of acoustic videos. Like Jack Johnson, John Mayer, and Jason Mraz. I'll watch their strum patterns and adapt them, and use different chords, and then alter the pattern a bit. This helps me a lot. Good exercise. I also practice transitions a lot without actually strumming. I probably spend half an hour a day right now doing that while just sitting at the computer browsing.
#12
While technical skill is important, I think its also extremely important to enjoy playing the guitar and play it for fun more than as a chore. Slowly developing a personal style of playing and learning to express emotion through your playing is far more important than extreme technical skill in my opinion.

Yeah there are all those "shredders" out there that can sweep up and down the fretboard at 4 million notes per second, it can be pretty impressive, but personally I'd prefer to listen to a guitar player who can put some soul and emotion into their playing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that blindly focusing on only technical practice can make a person's playing almost robotic. All the technical skill in the world can go to waste if no emotion or soul is involved.
#13
Well, I have no trouble playing chords, but they could certainly be better.

I know technique is not everything, but I doubt that simple chords is enough to really express something. At least I`d like to learn just a little more before improving the things I`ve learned already.

Music theory or scale books is not the thing I`d look for, because it is expensive, and I really can not be sure of what is inside there. So far I`ve encountered only information, that is adressed to people already a little familar to music theory.
#14
Perhaps I shouldn`t rush with new things


You should never rush with the guitar. If you do, you'll find that you're developing sloppy/bad technique which may hamper you in the future. Make sure that when you first attempt a task that you sit down and play it slowly (hell, reduce it to 1/8 of its original speed it needs be) until you can play that particular task fluidly without mistakes. It sounds laborious, but when you finally nail that task at full speed and perfectly without mistakes, you suddenly realise that it was well worth it.

Have you considered looking at soloing at a basic level? That is always a good way to progress. Take something simple...'Something' by the Beatles, for example. The solo isn't particularly taxing to play, but may introduce you to several key skills that I believe a guitarist should have in his arsenal. Vibrato and Bends being two such examples.

You briefly mentioned that you 'practice left hand technique' for 10 to 20 minutes. What exactly does this encompass. Are you running 1-2-3-4-esq patterns along the fretboard, up and down, for example?

Someone mentioned scales earlier in the thread. I strongly suggest that you look at them. Believe it or not, but there will be numerous guitarists out there who don't know why or how a particular scale works, but know that the notes within that scale sound right together so just play them anyway. Its great practice as well. There is a plethora of information available on UG about scales and how they work. I suggest you check some of those articles out.
Current Equipment:
Acoustic: Cort SFX6R.
Electric Guitars: Fender American Standard Strat, Epiphone Les Paul.
Effects Pedals: Crybaby Wah, Boss OD-3.

In the Pipe-line...
Fender Blues Jnr.
Tube Screamer TS-808.
Boss BD-2.

#15
I do 5-10 minutes of something like a 1-2; 2-3; 3-4; 1-3; 2-4; 1-4 pattern, and then 5-10 minutes of an exercise called "the spider", which is quite challenging. I`m practicing these with a metronome and I really emphasize on quality before advancing on higher speeds. But as I have already repeated some tims now, I want scales, but I want to learn them in an easy way, for right now, I don`t understand the theory about them.
#16
Play pieces of music a bit above your level and like HiddenMoniker said play it slowly and learn it bar by bar too. Once you've learnt it you would have gained some of the skills which would help you learn another more difficult piece of music.
You'll be surprised when you are in 2 years.
#17
Should I play songs that have only chords (eg. difficult rythm patterns?) or should I play songs that have various riffs as well?
#18
just practice songss, all kinds, technique will improve by itslf as u learn more music.. and ya to me most important is to enjoy ur playing, play wat sounds gd to u, wat makes u feel good, learn some songs to sing along, they make u feel pretty gd .. also other than that, one of the biggest reasons some ppl play sloppy, is finger and hand strength, once that is built, ul be aloott btrr. strength will also come by itslf as u play more n more, but u can also rush things by training ur fingers while not using guitar, i suggest using a stress ball maybe.
and gd luck
DO

THE ACOUSTIC


Dreaming his way to victory
#19
Just turn on the radio/ipod/youtube and listen to some music that you like. Find a guitar part you like and go for it.
#20
yeah me 2.

try to learn a whole cd and play through the whole thing nonstop.

i do that with a lot of metallica albums.
Check out my music, if you please.
#21
Might try learning some triads. That will give you something else in the toolbox of techniques to use.
#22
Try making your own songs with chords you already know. Maybe buy a capo.

And learn some scales.
#23
The real problem could be, that when someone asks me to show off a bit, there is nothing that I can play to impress him except nothing else matters and some fragments of fade to black/stairway to heaven That`s why I`d like to know how to improvise & stuff.
#24
Learn Welcome Home by Coheed & Cambria. That's a very good song to know in a social environment.
#26
I have this thought, that a teacher can really help only if you know in which way you want to progress. For example, for some it might be punk, for others something else, perhaps. But I am a guy, who doesn`t have one way to go through. I really want to impress the society, that`s it.
#28
I've talk to a friend that plays for a band... he says something just clicks after you play for a long time.
What are some books you guys recommend?
Last edited by nearlydead at Jun 20, 2008,
#29
I`m definetely sure, that after I will have become better, I`ll be able to actually feel the music, not just play it from tabs or whatnot, bur right now I`m just too inexperienced to claim, that I really play for myself now.
#30
I recommend that you delve into some music theory. (I'm at the exact place where you are, played for about six months or so.) Learn where chords come from, scales, intervals and steps. Also, try getting into some fingerpicking. At first, I was really against it, but then I conceded and just tried it. It's alot more fun than it seems. (Also a bit challenging) I'm working on Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton.

I know you may not want to be a "shredder", but work on alternate picking, sweep picking, and economy picking, it could never hurt to know.

As for books, I know that "Music Theory for Dummies" is high-praised around here.

Hope that helps,

-Rich