#1
Alright, I have been playing consecutively for the past 20. I have practicied chords, learned a few songs and riffs, started the c major scale. But everytime i go online and look at what i should do, somone says to do something else. A lot always say to learn scales. Well I have been playing them for the past 3 days, and only them, usually hours at a time and well, haven't done a whole lot to help me.I have tried to learn a few songs by ear... turned out horrible. I learned a little theory, enough to understand waht everyone is saying, but i still suck really bad. My fingers still can't move up and down the neck freely, i keep missing notes, and very often my pinky tries to play and, well it slides under the string instead of on it. Now here is what i figured from what everyone tells me. Should i learn a lot of songs through tabs, which is pretty fun, or learn through countless scales. A lot of people said that tabs hurt you in the long run, so thats why im kinda scared of it.

Another thing that really pisses me off is everytime like i said, i always miss the note, pretty often to, just sloppy as hell. if anyone has any advice besides "go learn theory (please im learning scales, i learned the octaves, i learned quite a bit of chords, know how the neck notes work, just not off the back of my head, so i dont play to turn into a theory nerd), it would be appreciated. Also constructive criticism is appreciated.
#2
there's nothing wrong with learning tabs, it is extremely beneficial, especially when you're starting out, when trying to learn different techniques. honestly, i think you said you've been playing for twenty days (you forgot to put days), and regardless you should still suck. and you're going to suck for another year. learn some tabs, learn some scales, learn some chords. do a little bit of everything and practice a lot, and you'll turn out fine.

like you said you can't even play yet, you have to become more accustomed to the actual motions and actions of playing guitar. just keep on playing and it will fall into place.
#3
thanks tona, yeah it was 20 days, forgot to put days . Thanks for saying that tabs are ok. But dont take offense,i want to get a lot of peoples opinions to see what is the general way of playing.
#4
Well, there's a bunch of different ways of starting off. Usually, the more structured ways limit what you do with the guitar and learn just one aspect of it strongly. You can learn the chords (this is kinda what I did), or you can learn the notes in first position (the first 5 notes on every string).

You should balance the two. There's nothing wrong with tabs, but its not the best way to learn by itself. You should definitely look at tabs though, that's what guitar is all about, playing for fun. Mostly you just need practice. The more you play the better you get (guaranteed, it doesn't matter what you do).
#5
For the sloppyness the suggestion would be to practice by recording what you usually play with a clean sound in order to maximize the error (distortion covers a lot of mistakes) then after you listened the recording point out your mistakes and practice them till you got the desired result. As for theory what you need in reality is to know a few basic chords and to have a good knowledge of where the notes are in the fretboard, stuff that is pretty easy to learn. Scales, for me at least, are more of a good practice and warm up regime; since I learned them, and that was a hell of a lot later than when I started, my aproach to lead stuff hasn't changed but I use them regularly to get ready for a gig or when I don't play for a while to keep my hands ready to go. Now on to the tabs, the myth about them being bad is just the usual fear of the new thing I believe. In the end free tabs are a rather new phenomenon since the pre-internet days aren't so far behind, and many guitar players and teachers who learned their craft by ear obviously view this method as a shortcut that turns into guitar players people that would have given up if tabs didn't exist. Part of this might be true but still they are a valuable tool for learning in a fun way. But if you want to train your ear too a bit my suggestion would be to take a really low rated tab from here (1 or 2 stars) and try to fix it by playing along with the song and spotting the error. And one more thing, be critical towards your playing and don't listen too much to others. Surely some constructive criticism helps but I've seen many bands that had more than one flawed element in them throw the blame on the more insecure of the bunch instead of realizing that sometimes the mistake came from someone else.
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#6
Quote by simplekin88
Alright, I have been playing consecutively for the past 20. I have practicied chords, learned a few songs and riffs, started the c major scale. But everytime i go online and look at what i should do, somone says to do something else. A lot always say to learn scales. Well I have been playing them for the past 3 days, and only them, usually hours at a time and well, haven't done a whole lot to help me.I have tried to learn a few songs by ear... turned out horrible. I learned a little theory, enough to understand waht everyone is saying, but i still suck really bad. My fingers still can't move up and down the neck freely, i keep missing notes, and very often my pinky tries to play and, well it slides under the string instead of on it. Now here is what i figured from what everyone tells me. Should i learn a lot of songs through tabs, which is pretty fun, or learn through countless scales. A lot of people said that tabs hurt you in the long run, so thats why im kinda scared of it.

Another thing that really pisses me off is everytime like i said, i always miss the note, pretty often to, just sloppy as hell. if anyone has any advice besides "go learn theory (please im learning scales, i learned the octaves, i learned quite a bit of chords, know how the neck notes work, just not off the back of my head, so i dont play to turn into a theory nerd), it would be appreciated. Also constructive criticism is appreciated.

Playing scales isn't much use to be honest, don't focus on them too much. They're good physical exercises but just playing the patterns up and down teaches you nothing. There's also absolutely nothing to be gained from learning to play a load of arbitrary scale patterns. If you want to learn scales then you need to start at the beginning and learn them properly - the Crusade articles by Josh Urban will point you in the right direction.

As far as missing notes goes, that means one thing and one thing only - you're trying to play too fast, too soon. You have absolutely no chance of playing something quickly until you've first got the hang of it at a slower speed. You need to teach your hands the movements required to play it perfectly and then you can look to build speed gradually over time...a long time. Speed isn't something you worry about, it takes care of itself. Accuracy and control are the things you can work on and need to focus on.

Ultimately, you started playing the guitar to make music so make sure you don't get bogged down in exercises for the sake of them. You need to structure your learning though, start at the beginning and get the basics covered to give you a strong foundation for development. Don't worry about picking individual notes or lead parts yet. You need to build finger strength and get your hands used to the guitar so start learning some open chords and find songs that use them, once you're comfortable with open chords then you can move onto barre chords to get you moving around the neck. You also need to start learning the notes on the fretboard, at the very least you need to know what all the open strings are, where their octaves appear and also which frets corrrespond to other strings.

There's nothing wrong with learning from tabs though, just make sure you don't focus too much on the physical aspects of playing. Remember, the actions are just a means to an end, the sound you're making is what matters so always listen to what you're playing.
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#7
Don't rush yourself into trying to be good, because you'll end up sucking bad. Ya get what I'm saying here young grasshopper?
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#8
Seems like you just need to get comfortable with the guitar. This is going to take A LOT of time.

Everybody's in a rush round here...
#9
What you are discovering is that there are a lot of different approaches to learning guitar, don't let that confuse you or bog you down. Everyone struggles with playing cleanly, it takes practice but it also takes presence of mind. Slow down, think about your fingers hitting the strings, try to push using only your fingertips. When you strike a string correctly, think about how it feels on your hand. What you want is to develope accurate muscle memory. There are plenty of finger exercises like chromatic scales and "spiders" you can do to make your more accurate. Also string skipping and riff patterns etc. That's one aspect of playing a guitar, the other aspect is getting a since of timing and rhythm and clean chord transistion. There are some good free lessions over at www.justinguitar.com that can help you organize a practice routine for yourself.
#10
20 days ain't nothing and you're outdoing yourself. It takes months and years to master the guitar so start with the basic and get an understanding about them.

Chords and their shapes must be learned before you get into scales and craps. Music are chord based and everything comes off 'em. Once you get an understanding of chords and chord progressions the other stuff will make more sense when you get to 'em.

It's better to learn to play rhythm before learning lead and learning bass won't be so bad either. If you can do all that on a guitar there's nothing to stop ya.
#11
Hang in there dude.
It's as simple as this:
Your brain will learn songs very quickly, but your brain has to teach your hands what it's telling them. It's very hard work and takes A LOT of time.

It doesn't matter what you play...just as long as you do play.

Learn stuff you can already sing in your head...then teach your hands what to do.

..then later...learn complete songs and play along with a cd.

..then even later yet...play a song along with a simple Casio drum beat.

Just keep playing...it will come.

Talent does NOT come from ability...it comes from the PASSION and DRIVE to want to learn.
#12
thanks a lot to everyone that has posted, i think im not going to follow scales anymore, i mean sure ill play once i want my fingers warmed up, but i think that i will try to learn by ear so easy songs, learn how to switch between chords faster then i can, and just keep playing. Im trying to play a few songs right now by Sting, and i got the first few notes by ear, so i think im doing alright. I will post a video pretty soon on youtube and ask people for advice on my playing and criticism as well. And i will use it as a way of looking back at how bad i used to play 6 months from now . Thanks again everyone