It's hard to say what you should epect. All teachers are different, and some use a book that you buy and start you on page 1 that day, so you do that.

Others like myself dont use books at all, but we dig into what's most meaningful to you and your goals, and then start teaching you some skill sets, techniques, exercises (also those may be different).

Being 40, no one's going to come down on you, I'm 47 - many here are over 30. 95% of my online students are over the age of 30. Never too late my friend.

But, I have a bit of advice. Keep this thread open, and post like a running journal of what they are teaching you, each week, and that way we could help assure you if they are teaching you well or if it is haphazard and random or if there are any red flags.

I'd advise keep both eyes wide open, listen to your gut, but keep an open mind and give something at least a month and then evaluate it as a whole. Starting from zero takes time, and it's no ones fault, its just familiarity with the instrument, and your hands responding to the point of being comfortably in muscle memory with a change or a strum, etc. Realistically, expect to give it time.

We can chime in and opine on the actual direction of the lessons if you post a chronicle of the lessons as they come.



Quote by cam75
Ok, so go easy on me..

Ive wanted to learn guitar for years.. Im 40 now, but due "life" getting in the way it never happened. I taught myself zome theory yests ago (see my join date).

Anyway. Im going to stsrt. I found a, teacher near me and my first lesson is Tuesday. He ssked what my gosls are, which are to be able ro plsy my favorite rock/metal song for tje enjoyment and love of music.

He asked what, if anything i know. I explained what music theory i know, what i need further help with, etc.

I borrowed a, freinds acoustic guitar years ago and tsught myself a, few, chords, and mary had a, little lamb.

My question, being its, my first lessons... What should i expect the first lesson, and first few weeks, and months.

I do want to learn tje theory, but also have some fun too.

Well be meeting once a week.

I think it would be great as the approach tends to be much stricter to chordal harmony than a diatonic key in nature. When the chord goes to the IV you can hear the melody shades it as opposes to "playing in the neighborhood". Thats something I really think is under rated about this kind of music. You can actually "hear" the changes through the melody, and that's a valuable skill set.

Go for it. I've long held that this style is one of the hardest to do, and do well. Because it's not just scales or carpetbombing a progression with blues licks.


My suggestion is limit the app to the area where your knowledge is the strongest, and evolve it as it grows. You have a gift and vision but it can only be as good as your own understanding of the subject.

Once you establish a Tonal center, and understand the intervals, and their roles, for example, knowing where a bb7 is used or what is a 1,2 3 #4 5 6 b7...things of that nature then you can pretty much determine anything that your app might do. To me that's ultimately a better approach. An app that helps someone learn to fish as opposed to something that gives a person a fish.

But much respect for even trying. Clearly you have put some work into it.


Quote by alexriffs
Hi there,

I've been playing guitar for around 4 years but I have noticed very little progression in the past couple of years and this year I want to start progressing further as a musician and player. I have set a couple of goals that I want to achieve

I want to be able to jam comfortably with other players so I would need a good level of theory

I also want to be able to play tremonti and alter bridge songs well so I think my technical ability would need improvement

Apart from this, can you guys recommend how else I can improve my playing and reach these goals?


How have you learned to play up to this point?

What would you say are the good and bad points of that approach to this point?

Is there anything that's made that approach not as useful now?

I think its an excellent step that you have actually defined and listed your personal goals and places for growth.

Once I get a better overview of these answers I feel I might be able to better give you some advice.


Hey Ronald, Long time.

If you look at music and notes, just in general you have notes that cause tension, and notes that release tension. Many times, it's the tension that I consider unique and interesting. So, to me, its about striking that balance.

So, embellishments is about the story you want to tell. Here's the problem though...

Its as unique to you as your own signature.

So if someone asks me, how can I sign Ronald Poe's signature...I havent the slightest idea. Its yours. And each of these answers while right, underlying harmony and such, its more than that...its a creative choice based upon how it sounds, and everyone has a place where they like or gravitate towards a certain degree or maybe even subtleness of tension/outside stuff, and resolution. And that's as unique as your own handwriting.

So do the things that people advise. Also learn what you can and reverse engineer it by examining the underlying harmony, but also realize that what you are hearing isn't just's his musical voice, his experience and knowledge coming together to inform his choices and approach to the guitar.


PM me and I'll give you free beginning lessons, you'll definitely learn some chords/songs. This sickens me.

Yes, you read right. Free. As everyone on this forum knows, I've never done that before.


Quote by UGMKZ
Where is the best place to start when it comes to music theory if you know absolutely nothing? I've wanted to learn it for a long time but I don't know where to start.

The very first thing I would suggest is, to learn how to correctly spell out, every major scale. Notice, I didn't say "play", but to spell out. And, make sure you know the order of the musical alphabet.

I don't know if you're looking at the self taught or looking for a "program" of guided study, but, hope this helps. It can be a challenge.


I highly recommend Charlie Christian! He wasn't in that band very long, you are right, but that's just it, for such a short amount of time, he was a very influential jazz guitarist of note. I really like Shivers - great tune to learn, and the phrasing is within reach, but has a lot of smart lines.


Quote by boyd98
Anyone ever look into Berklee Online for guitar courses?

Price is a bit much but I didn't get into music until later in life and now that i have a passion for it i want to go to school for it.

This is strictly personal growth, I'll never be a gigging musician or earn a full living through music. (I've been a computer engineer the last 12 years)

With a family, 2x kids and kid activities, I haven't found the right practice routine to see the growth i want.

Looking for something structured -

Any feedback is appreciated,


My good buddy JetPenguin is a Berklee Graduate, and he can advise you on the pro's and cons.

I'd defer to him, as to whether it's worth it or not. In my opinion, it's way over priced, and much of that is around the name. You could buy Berklee's books on Harmony, and the Modern Method for Guitar, if you wanted, and you'd have a lot of what they do, for a lot less

If I may, I run an Online Guitar school, that may have the kind of structure you're looking for. You definitely appear to fit into our present student demographic, but I'd want to talk with you more to see where your present level is.

You're welcome to have a look at our online Course Catalog and let me know if you have any questions.


Learn to Sight read. Get through Berklee Modern Methods.

Buy Carol Kaye's material and study as much as you can.

Read some Tommy Tedesco books, and watch the MI TT Video on YouTube.


Quote by bevans555
I'm 32 and trying to learn to play electric guitar(blues/southern rock) and have a few questions as to if my lessons are going normal. I recently bought a guitar and signed up for 2 months of lessons with the store owner and have completed 4 of my 8 lessons. The owner/teacher has gone to a nice local university and studied music and has been playing for over 30 years, he is also in a few bands. I have total respect for him as a musician.

The problem is I feel like of my 30 minute lesson maybe 5-10 minutes is actually about guitar, and that time is spent pointing to a picture in a book that he wrote and I had to pay $10 for and saying ok go home and learn how to do this. Also this book is all pictures and no text, so there is nothing for me to read or explain to me what I looking at. He is also big into theory which is great, but there is definitely some difficulty with him making me understand(example- he told me to find the root. I asked "what is a root". His answer was "imagine the house is on fire, where would you go?" I replied "out the door". He says " yes, the root will be your door out". I told him "that makes no sense to me" and somehow the conversation changed..I still have no clue what a root is). I know I'm completely new to this and maybe things will start to improve over the next 4 lessons but I need some opinions on if his teaching style is normal, or if my money would be better spent elsewhere.

so heres a breakdown of my lessons so far.

week 1- Didn't even get to hold the guitar... Had to hang it on the wall and identify the strings.

week 2- Was taught where to place fingers on frets, bought a scale book, was told to learn the E minor Sliding Pentatonic scale

week 3- Played the scale for him once, I got nervous and messed up and hit a wrong string while I was descending. Didn't get a second chance to play it. Was told to go home and practice that scale and to also work on improvising. (WTF- improvise?)

week 4- Played the E minor scale just like his book illustrated only to find out that his illustrations are wrong. (been practicing this wrong scale for 2 weeks along with all the other sliding pentatonic scales in the book to try and get ahead.) Also played a little 6 note improv.

I was thinking that after 4 weeks I would have learned a chord or 2, or maybe even how to play twinkle twinkle little star and happy birthday.

Am I wrong in my thinking? Is the the normal for taking lessons? Should I continue after my lessons are up or buy the Hal Leonard books and practice on my own for a while?

Sorry for the long post and Thanks for any replies.

I don't like the way that he's structuring those lessons at all.

I'm okay with week 1 - helping you identify the parts.

Week 2? No way - I'd start you on chords and get you playing your first songs, and building your confidence as well as core fundamentals. It's stupid...yes I will say it, to start a dude with scales on week 2.

Week 3 - You're on a drip feeder. Moss will grow faster than you will develop with that sort of feedback, and involvement.

Week 4 - I'm convinced he's a clock watcher, and $ collector and a book teacher. He's merely a facilitator, and a poor one at that.


For me, teaching via Skype is incredibly impractical. I find it easier to be able to teach anyone 24/7 via recorded class lectures.


Quote by Mike9478
What is the best way for a beginner to learn and practice 7ths? Thank you in advance for any help.

I'd start with Diatonic Harmony. It's a good idea to know how to spell out every note correctly in any major scale, as a basis for it.

Then apply the chord formulae to the scale, I ii iii IV V vi viio

Then, I'd suggest learn the root forms for the 6th string, for I ii iii
Follow that with the chord forms on the 5th for IV V and vi

I wouldn't bother with a viio (min7b5) just yet. You can always fill in that one later, and frankly you'll end up playing bVII more often, for it to be a priority.

After you have that, move the iii chord to the 5th string root.

That's far for an exhaustive approach, but it's a solid starting point and will get you a long ways.

Good luck.


That's a strange voicing, you have a tritone in the beginning. I guess I'd call it an F#7 sus 4 b9. I'm hearing it as a Dominant function.


You know sometimes life happens. Commitments and obligations happen at the speed of life. And sometimes you have to realize that your order of priorities aren't just like theirs. So does that make them wrong for not being in step?

Not necessarily. You're not working their jobs, paying their mortgages, supporting their families, cultivating their meaningful life relationships outside of your circle.

So, as the others have said, have a talk with them if its an issue and they arent as gung ho about it, and see what they say....or else, live with the idea that, "at least having someone to play with is better than having no one to play with", until you have a better situation come up and then move on to that.


Quote by PedalFreak94
Hi there, all!

As the title already says, I'm looking for some good tips and topics to start out with for my new students, this year.
I've teached guitar before and I really like it.
Does some of you teach guitar too - please let me know what you do and what I can do to improve my teaching along the way!


Keep teaching. Part of becoming a good teacher is discover what your style is, how you communicate with your students, and that can only come with more time and exposure to teaching. I've been teaching for so long, I can do it in my sleep, but that's because it's refined to where I've learned what works and what doesn't and what I could explain better and so on. You get better at it by doing it. I'm a different teacher now than I was 10 years ago.

I truly believe you have to go out there and learn your lessons by teaching and sometimes failing, and refining your craft.


Take Jazz studies. That way you can learn this language. Real Books may be a rude awakening for someone that hasn't used them before. I'm not sure that's great advice for a self taught player. Unless, you can get ahold of some really strong Freddie Green Comping material, and learn his way of playing them, because many chords are just finger busting agony, and the speeds in which you have to change them. A more graduated study of Jazz, for example a book by Jody Fisher might be more reasonable.

I unfortunately disagree with Mickey Baker being a good resource. I think he starts way too unrealistically. 26 chords on page 1....An Am7 like this?

x 0 5 2 2 1 0

For a beginner?

Gimme a break.


Quote by Matriani
I can see that my responses are only serving to carry the thread on well past it's usefulness and off the intended subject so I will just say this...

I am wrong and you are all right!

Truthfully, I don't think you are wrong as you think you are, and I can see that you've tried to compose yourself with decorum and respect and we get all that, and further more, you've been pretty patient and mature with your responses as far as how you say things. And, kudos to you for that.

It's not as if you arent intelligent or have any sense to you, but what we are trying to do, is explain that there are times and places for everything. We aren't just latching on to your idea of "gospel" music, but the mindset that we see as revealed through that example that you shared.

I say this in light of what your original question was, and that is, about soloing with a Major Key, and I found myself asking, how did it go from that to THIS.

I'm not sure where you are in your development, but I'm going to assume that you're looking for something that will get you a little further along on the self-teaching way of doing things.

As for lead guitar Pentatonic scales in a Major Key, I think you are absolutely astute in your observation that it doesn't always sound so great. Put on any country song and try to solo in that Major key with a major pentatonic, and I guarantee you it will be a rude awakening if you don't have a laser like instinct of country idioms, or chord tones.

So, what I thought I'd do is, from a "Theory sense" break down the problem, but before I do, I want to challenge you with what I think your real need is, and then if you disagree, then that's okay - I'll list some "other things" you can do instead, to nudge yourself a little further down the road.

I think your number one prescription looks like this:

Learn music theory, learn the notes on the neck and your triads (chords and the three note names that manke up each), and the notes that make up most of the basic ones that you think you'll run into all the time.

The other thing is learn to play with chords, not scales. I have been uncovering more and more evidence (from people that would know), that scale playing as an approach to lead guitar is actually not at all how most people way back in the day learned to solo. They used chord tones, and then connected those intentionally with adjacent notes, which were scalar in nature, or functioned as "runs".

This gave their playing more control and power over their note choices, and the notes weren't just incidental to the scale they were on at the time. I refer to this to my students as "carpetbombing" where you throw a ton of scale notes on one area just so you might hit with 2-3 on the actual target.

So, that's what I think you need.

Now, if that's too elaborate and you just don't think you're cut out for that kind of commitment, right now, ok, the next idea then is:

Go find a diagram of a major scale, and then, go find a backing track of 5-10 minutes in that major key, and start practicing that scale and learning to use it by ear, and just get more informed with how that pitch collection goes.

But using a major pentatonic over a major key, really is harder than your mind might associate it with, and that is because it's less precise.

Take an example A Major Pentationic. Just compare the notes, to the notes of a I IV V in A and see what you notice:

A Maj Pent - A B C# E F#

Notes of an A Major Chord A C# E
Notes of a D Major Chord D F# A
Notes of an E Major Chord - E G# B

As you can see... lots of places where you don't have a clear cut chord tone in that scale to really support the changes to other chords. This is why you might really be noticing, that things aren't working so well, while playing in a major key.


To echo what the others have said and to add my own 2 cents. Being able and willing to play a simple repetitive line, IS an indcator of musical maturity.

One way we used to audition drummers is to see how long and tight they could play a basic backbeat with no fills, no changes, just a straight time back beat, no embellishments, none of their belovied drum lesson licks they were hot over. We measured two things. How long and well they'd keep time, long till they copped an attitude and felt that it was beneath them. The drummers that got the gig never blinked and did what was called for. They didn't need to prove they could drum.

George Benson, could check his ego at the door and play 4 to the floor Freddie Green style if called upon. The Wrecking Crew as hot as they were musically, could play "dumbed down" and people like Tommy Tedesco and Carol Kaye...all of them made their bread doing just that and still came up with iconic parts. But, as Tommy once said:

"Now when you're talking about music in the studio, you're talking money...not dollar, two dollar, three dollar four, gimme more....but if you want to talk to me about's different. We're talking about money, right now, not music."

He knew that, as AW and others have said, there is a time and place for everything. This isn't your time to shine, but to contribute.

Not your time to shine.



Learn your role, learn your part until it's second nature, and then and only then would you conservatively embellish upon something that you're doing IF it doesn step on the music.

I think if you can let go of the notion of adding individualistic flair, or identity to your lines, in this context, you'll grow up 10 years musically in 1 second.


Quote by maxazom
We are your reliable electricians/electrical repair contractors offering 24-hour electrical repair

CALL US TODAY for prompt services!

Cool, I'm going to call you right now and offer you guitar lessons, because...well, you know, it's the appropriate thing to do when calling about electrical repair.


Quote by RonaldPoe
What's wrong with learning new things and extending one's musical style? I'm doing this because I'm a Christian trying to support a local church and it's an opportunity to join a band. I'm asking not just about playing Gospel bass but also supporting/enhancing hyhmns. What would the basics of Gospel bass be?

I heard it's melodic and mixes major and minor. What else.

The basics would be playing the roots of chords. Have you played bass to any gospel songs?

I think you overvalue your role when you say "enhance hymns". You're not doing that. You're adding a simple lower perspective to the harmonic range of what's going on. That's it.


Quote by theogonia777
What if his abilities aren't very good though?

Yeah but look at nearly every Bluegrass musician's never stopped any of them from playing.



Ever think maybe you're starting too far up the hill from where your present abilities lie? What do you expect really? Does this sound like anything you've studied or done previously? Have you grabbed some Steely Dan records and studied Walter Becker and Donald Fagen?

If not, then, maybe you're not ready to graduate to this level of analysis yet. Do you even play piano?

What I'm saying is there ARE going to be things that are outside your pay grade and to "earn" those insights, you're going to have to gradually work your way through less complicated pieces, and gradually add to your repertoire.

How far through Berklee's Harmony books have you made it through so far? What about Mark Levine? Maybe focus on guitar parts, and add piano if you can manage it, but if you can't then maybe either immerse yourself into playing piano, and understanding it from up close rather than a distance, with an elaborate repertoire that moves into jazz, or just really get a lot further advanced with specific ear training, or the like.

You're not doing bad, but, be realistic. Just because you can dribble a basketball doesn't mean you're ready to dunk like Jordan. We want you to be realistic. If you can't do it, you can't do it yet...keep pushing. If you are ready and have put in the work it will be there.

Sometimes piano and strings elude me too depending upon the mix, but I don't epect myself to know the piano chords, if they are played with 10 fingers and all I play with is 4....what am I expecting really, unless I am a piano player? I can get the general idea of most, but at some point, I'm just being unrealistic if I'm expecting to be able to do things that I know are outside anything I've personally been exposed to previously.

I just think you're a little too far away from your present abilities. That said, you've come a long ways, but keep it real.


I'm a pretty corrupt guy, what can I say?

I dunno, JP, I sent a Power Tab file, it's the closest music notation like thing I have. I can screen shot the "score" and I mean that in a very rudimentary way. I don't have Sibelius or anything like that (cough)


It's frustrating, isn't it? I feel your pain.

What impresses me the most, is your attitude though. From my perspective, you hve the mindset and the correct attitude to succeed, you just need the right opportunity and to be given a fair chance to do so.

As far as what I can do, I'd like to talk with you in more detail about what you know and figure that out, as to what resources might be the best. I offer free mentoring here, just shoot me a message here and I'll do my best.

I feel very optimistic about your chances. Let me know if you'd like some mentoring help. Stay strong!



Quote by iSailor
I've been playing guitar for like 4 years. During that time I did numerous attempts at trying to learn at least a bit of musical theory to figure out at least small piece by myself. I studied from many sources, from my teacher to books to YT videos and magazines.

But what it left me with is just a mess in my head. I never succedeed at any of thoese attempts. My teacher, even though he is great at playing many instruments and has educated the greatest local guitarists wasn't very enthusiastic on teaching me that. He says that things take many years to master (even though I could read thouse out of simple article). I don't doubt or blame him, because it could be attitude from the musical school, but I didn't want to be a proffesional musician and things he tried to explain to me were too complex and used too specific language for me to handle. Rest of the sources left me with the same outcome - even tough I could follow them to one point, sooner or later the author usually skipped some things as if he assumed the student would already know it even though he couldn't. It's not me being plain dumb or lazy.

I am not bad guitarist. Of course I am not any kind of a shredder and many locals could overwhelm me, but I can handle most of songs if I decide to do so. I am creative mind and what dragged me to guitar is its creative aspect. Constant covering makes me like guitar less and this process is just increasing over time.

So now I am asking you to some basic guidelines that could let me do my own little bit of music and/or drag me deeper into this. I am the type of person that instead of reading whole book would read pieces of it and try them so those guidelines could let me discover more theory if it would be needed. Although I have some unsorted knowledge in my head, plase write them as if I would be total newbie.

Sorry you had to read through that nonsense and thanks if you decide to help me because I am really desperate.
Quote by Granata
Let me clarify on the notes question

So I can now sight read because I memorized which note on a staff is which string and fret on a guitar, but if you tell me to play a C# note, I won't have a clue where it's on the fretboard unless you give me like ten seconds to go to the B string and figure out which is a C#. Will that affect my learning to learning scales? Is it important to memorize note names on the fretboard or is it just fine that I can sight read without knowing which note it which on the fretboard?

I don't see how you can sight read and not know where the notes are on the fretboard. Can you explain that?

I think if you progress far enough on the reading side, you will know the notes on the fretboard, you will just associate them with certain positions native to sightreading. I sightread as well, but I also just "know" every note on the fretboard.

You may not be at the stage yet where you understand that if you know where your natural notes are, then flat or sharp versions of those same notes are easy to find, but in sightreading, they still take some skill to pull off, at first. For example Bb in 1st position vs B or Eb versus E.

Your speed on the fret board and recognizing the notes, and learning and understanding scales will be affected by how quickly you can recognize the notes on the neck of the guitar or not.

And there are way more than 12 notes in theory, depending upon the context. That's a bit ahead of you at this stage. It's probably a better idea that you sequentially work your way through the basics of theory. Some you will encounter once in a blue moon, but they are there.

You have just as a starting point A Ab A# Bb B C C# D Db D# Eb E F F# G Gb G#

That's 17.


Quote by MaggaraMarine
He first plays the 7th fret harmonic on the G string (picks and touches the string lightly above the 7th fret), then dives on the whammy bar, then touches the string above the 12th fret lightly to make it sound an octave higher, and then releases the whammy bar.

Yeah, pinch harmonics are technically different, but they are really the same thing (I mean, the science behind them is exactly the same). You just touch the string lightly on your picking hand's thumb instead of your fretting hand. I would first suggest learning to play natural harmonics. Once you know how to play them, it's easier to understand how to do pinch harmonics. The easiest natural harmonics to play are on the 12th, 7th and 5th fret. G string is the easiest string to make the harmonics ring out. Use your bridge pickup.

Yep - This. It's not an artificial harmonic at all. It takes a bit of a knack to get that 2nd harmonic to register from a slack string. Just keep at it. I first ran into this with Joe Satriani on Surfing with the Alien.

Consider working your song out to a metronome click, it will help your phrasing and picking progress. Start slowly and give yourself time to learn it so it's natural, and when you do that, the speed will also have come because you will have "memorized" the left and right hand synchronization and developed the specialized hand muscles needed to pull that passage off.


Yeah I've recently been drooling over some high end botique stuff. I'm jonesing for a Headstrong Lil King S or a Glaswerks 25w Zingaro.

At some point you realize that as a musician, your trade is sound, and you can sound like crap or you can honor that sound and get the best gear you can afford, even if it means saving longer for it. At least, now it does. When I was younger, I didn't know better.


Quote by RowanF
I was just asking for a description of what your way was. You don't have to tell me if you don't want though.

Can you elaborate on that?

I'm not being elusive, but I'm just not clear on what you're asking, probably because I don't know what a "description" of the way is without teaching "the way". But here's the best I have:

It's 5 lessons, with very specific skill sets taught in each one, that taken together, allow for near instant recognition and location of the notes on any string and any fret generally in 2 seconds or less, by the time they get to their final exam. Historically (since 2009), many have completed it in as fast as a weekend. That's about as specific a "description" that I can give.

Maybe if you can tell me what "takeaway" or enrichment you're seeking from the description/answer, I can better zero in on if I can or cannot add details.


Quote by RowanF
I did, but I only found a thing advertising payed lessons.

I got you, and that's fine. You mentioned that for you, it might take way longer, and that you might be doing it wrong, and while I wouldn't say that your way is "wrong" per se, I get your point that your "way" cannot get you the results that I get.

And that's okay; everyone has their preferred means of learning. There's no right or wrong way though. Just do what works for you.


I first tried the Trio at a jam session with a couple of my students Saturday night. My verdict....My new Trio arrives on Wednesday.

Overall some good thoughts. I think though my own observations are that practicing technique to get the core motor skills up, is very important, for executing anything. Notice I didn't say "speed licks", because you can practice speed training, and watch it have a complete transformation on every area of the guitar, chord grips, reach, finger strength, control and articulation, which allows you to have more touch on phrasing...IF you look at it that way, and not as a means to an end.

I see practice like I see my weightlifting. If I want to progress, I have to workout regularly and be disciplined and consistent. But like an arm routine, a picking routine, a sightreading routine, and just about anything...learning a hard tune measure by measure or subdivision by subdivision, does require a little presence of mind, so you know what you are learning, how you are learning it, and why.

The number one and two flaws I see in people are

1. They don't start


2. If they start they don't stay at it consistently.


Quote by theogonia777
Generally people that say they can play pretty much anything tend to not be able to play pretty much anything. See, I don't whether you have talent, but you probably don't have much experience.

Sorry, I have to call this out. That's a half-baked statement at best. It really is a subjective call. Generally people that say they can play anything, can play at least some things rather well, or else they risk being exposed as stupid and irrelevant, and usually, only those with a severe lack of self-awareness do that, and more often than not is related to some sort of mental impairment. Oh sure Ive seen non impaired people do this and be embarrassingly bad, but that's been very very few times in the 30 years I've been doing this.

Most of the time those that can do the most, however say the least about it.

But a teacher, for example has to have a certain breadth of knowledge to attract the most students, or depending on the region, they will go hungry, most of the time.

Now, if you are sitting on an ivory tower with a very narrow tolerance for anything but just top shelf talent in all phases, and anything less, is trivialized, then I'm not going to debate your "standards" versus mine, and I'll defer back to your point, that for "you" this is the way you see it.


Quote by RowanF
Really? Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but it feels like to me like it would take a LOT longer to actually get it to the point where a given note can be named without thinking for a second.

Possibly. I'm speaking from personal experience. I teach this, online and for a living. If you do exactly as I say you can learn it very quickly where the outcome is 2 seconds or less.

You're welcome to have a look, and let me know if you have any questions.


Quote by MyOceanToSwim
So I have played 10 years and am finally trying to get this down and stop being blind.

1. For guitar which are the most important keys to learn. Rememver I am a begginner so the easier and the stuff with more guitar music is what I am trying to look at first so I can become enthused I like punk rock, metal, rock etc...I am starting with C major at the moment and looking at D major.

2. If I am in D major and I go


Am I still playing in key? I am playing the chords of the key but the order or progression is wrong can I do anything I want with the 7 chords or they must follow the romanl numerals 'common progressions' thing?

3. Do we not use say A flat major (in general not saying no one uses it) because the chords don't sound as aesthetic as a C,GA thing?:

4. And the one thing that baffled me for so many years if the E chord is in the key of A and the key of E what's going on?

If I bang A and D relentlessly what key am I playing in? Key of A or Key of D?

5. I am not at this stage yet but so I have chords. I have a key. I now use a major/minor/pentatonic scale to create a harmony or 'solo' is that how it's done...Don't give me modes, appregios and all that stuff (goes right over my head) still trying for basics...

6. How do powerchords relate to keys as it seems like anything goes there?


To be honest, you might be a good candidate for learning music theory. 10 years a player, might be time to move things to the next level knowledge wise!

So let's go over your questions, but understand I'm going to innoculate some of them, because they are just bad questions contextually, and you're mixing things up, without understanding that you are doing so. And sometimes, its better to untangle the spaghetti, rather than answer the questions, that tangled spaghetti has brought about.

1. I think the question is a bad one because it suggests that knowing keys is best only if you are limiting yourself to what keys you use When in fact, you cant use any keys without understanding the mechanism so, once you know that, theoretically it applies to all the keys whether you use them or not.

So a better question is "should I learn all the keys, or understand nothing at all about any of them"? That has a more accurate answer.

2. Yes, you are diatonic to the key of D there. Where F#m is the iii chord and Em is the ii chord.

It appears you understand the order of chords in the key of D, and even some Roman numerals. That's good. I am not going to answer the rest of this question and instead suggest that you'd get more mileage from studying Cadences.

3. I'm not sure that we don't use the Key of Ab to be honest. Many bands tune down to Eb because it's vocally more in reach for the singers high range. If you then play a "Blues in A", under that tuning, you are in Ab. A singer may have a lot to do with the keys chosen. Also other instrumentation, such as horns in Jazz.

4. Many chords share different keys. Compare the chords to C and G and see:

C Dm Em F G Am Bo C
G Am Bm C D Em F#o G

What matters isn't the chords, but heres the chief idea of a "Key"...where does the song seem to RESOLVE.

So take A and E....In A the E is a V chord. In E A is the IV chord. If the song is in E then the resolution is in E. If the song's in A, as in...

A - D - E A

A will be the key because of CADENCES. Remember I told you to go study that. I don't want you to ask me what cadences are, I want you to go search them out and learn.

If the song is E A B7 E, then it's in E and resolves to E, that's the Key.

So looking at your next question: Bang on A and D relentlessly, here's my question: Where does it resolve? You started the "banging"....where is it "Home" and final?

5. Sure. You have a Key, a backing track in A, let's say.

A C#m D and E...back to A, medium tempo.

As a beginner, solo in A Pentatonic Major or an A Major Scale, and use your ears and get a feel for the pitches against the chords. That's as fine a starting point as any.

6. Power chords are simply chords without the attending note that tells you for sure if its a major or minor chord. Its just an "anything goes" chord. You can use in place of a major or minor chord as that information isn't there. Where it relates to key, is, do you know what key is being suggested? If I play an A power chord followed by a C one, is that suggesting a Major or Minor Key?

Theory might help, yes? Lets look and compare scales.

A Minor - A B C D E F G A

A Major - A B C# D E F# G# A

So, which one is likely the key if you're playing A power chord to C power chord?

Have you ever considered learning music theory? Book? Online? getting a Teacher? You have lots of questions, but you can answer them all and understand them, if you embark on a study of theory.

Good luck!


Quote by Hail
you don't need to learn the notes if you memorize all the scale shapes

Get the troll!!!!


Quote by carljohnfred
I developed a fretboard training app for android and I just finished the web player version. You can find it here: Fret Master Online

Anyway, there are many reasons for knowing the notes of the fretboard such as:
  • It helps you gain a better understanding of the music you are playing and transcribe that music to different areas of the fretboard
  • It makes it easier to apply standard music notation to the guitar and communicate with other musicians about a piece of music
  • It makes it easier to improvise with new chord voicings or lead parts over a chord progression

What are some other reasons for learning or knowing the notes of the guitar fretboard?

Because it only takes 2-3 days to learn if you spend 10-15 minutes on it a day.

And the dividends of knowing the notes on the neck are quite huge the further you get into guitar.


I know of no one that has lots of experience, that isn't also talented. No one.


I'm going to have to say that the articulation and music didn't move me. It's like the technique was fine but it just felt like you weren't adding to or saying anything more, musically or melodically. I understand why people do not like it.

I'm not intending to be mean at all. I think it's an entirely fair and honest comment that you're getting that kind of feedback. I don't know what you're hearing or what your ears are listening for that feel like you're making a statement, but on someone like me and apparently others it's not being translated. I think it's like a story that uses words. Some stories reach people and others are just words and nobody gets it. They both use words.

I'd be interested in what your headspace is when you listen to
That track, whether you feel everything in a deep way, or you're just thinking "now watch this...wasn't that cool?" Your intent in the solo or where your head is at, doesn't come through. If you are not moved by what you do, expect that we might not be either.


Quote by Serotonite
No, when people give an opinion and then don't explain their point of view, I'm going to probe further and try to learn what is good and bad. When people state an opinion that has already been stated, then don't add anything, it gets boring.

So you want an opinion only if it's unique and has some difference to something another person already stated? You don't want an opinion if it's merely in consensus?

Quote by Serotonite

Well, other people have made a much greater effort to help me out despite my not paying them because what is the point of a forum if nobody gains guitar/songwriting ability from using it? If you don't want to give advice because I didn't pay you for it, then what are you doing on a thread asking for advice for a beginner?

Advice and teaching are not the same thing. I can give you advice. I give advice and guidance and feedback all the time. I've mentored hundreds here, for free. The reason I responded, was this undercurrent of "entitlement" that you demonstrated.

To wit:

"Telling me a melody is like a sentence and then saying that my recording is like a wall of text is about as helpful as a second-rate History teacher telling me that an essay is like a burger. In what way is a melody like a sentence, in what way was this not and what changes need to be made? That is what I am after, not a load of posts saying "it's garbage, won't tell you what's wrong with it, but I will tell you it's garbage."

People teaching you, is their prerogative, not your right or entitlement. Get that, and demonstrate that, and you're going to be fine.

The point of the forum is to gain revenue through the sale of products and services and advertising.

You see, users want content, usable content. People that post usable content that will make others come are great for the people that run this board because they get thousands of content creators to do all the work for free. These are in the form of published lessons,tabs and topics which generate a lot of interest, which in turn builds up the number of visitors which improves the boards popularity, which allows the owners to monetize through advertising.

Quote by Serotonite

You mean like in this very thread when someone said "try putting it to a rhythm." And I went and wrote a rhythmic pattern? Yeah, I see how that could be helpful.

Again, their prerogative.

Quote by Serotonite

Asking for feedback on a melody and possible improvement is not the same thing as asking someone to clean up my mess.

Review the above sections in bold and tell me how that's not asking someone to teach you and clean up your "mess".

Quote by Serotonite

That approach is like saying to someone trying to learn German that they don't know any German, then rather than teaching them German, plonking them into the middle of Berlin and expecting them to pick it all up. It's not "teaching by proxy" it's teaching by example. By giving advice, laying a foundation and then allowing me to build on it myself utilizing the techniques that I have acquired through discussion.

There you go with the teaching analogy again. You at least admitted that you were asking people to teach you. That was my point. Hey, there are people who will feed stray dogs, I get it. You'll find a bleeding heart out here that will take up for you and write you a wall of text all day long. But attacking people who do not, is not cool. That's called acting like you're entitled. That's the sole nuanced point here, that I was speaking up against.

Quote by Serotonite

I can't afford theory books because I'm 17 and don't have a paying job. I have however got a chord book, and have learnt about triads, scales, cadence and various other aspects of theory (with the guidance of people on this forum).

Good - a chord book and learning those things will serve you well. This shows investment on your part, which I respect.

Quote by Serotonite - He's pretty good, just had a lesson now in fact, but I haven't shown him this yet.

So you cant afford a book but you can afford a private teacher? OK well at least you have something. And it would be a great idea to get him to teach you these things, and be that History teacher, and be that German teacher. Great idea.

Quote by Serotonite

In the context of this thread, I share my fledgling ideas as a beginner musician hoping that some people will advise me on how I can improve on what I have do to give me a template for further, independent development. This is so that I can learn guitar as part of a community in hopes that I will be able to improve my work and knowledge enough to become a more productive member of the forum who will be able to provide similar help to beginners in my position in future.

And all that is good. There's nothing wrong with that. But two things:

1. Don't come across like this is an entitlement.

2. Invest in yourself (which by the looks of it you have a teacher and a book, and that's great).

Also, many people here, myself included will watch for how you respond to feedback. We will see if you're actually putting effort into something, teachable, argumentative, defensive, or humble. If we see something there and its legit and we see someone trying and not just willfully being lazy or ignorant (ignorance is a choice when you have options) that will reflect in how we respond to them.

No one's trying to hold you back. If anything we want to see you with skin in the game. Because we know what it takes to get there, and there's nothing we respect more than seeing someone try. I CAN'T personally teach you because I do it for a living. If I give you something that people pay me for, that's a moral and ethical slap in the face to those that pay me. Please understand. But personally I can give advice, and I mentor for free.

I might advise you, "Go learn cadences" but you'll have to go out and put in the footwork to go learn what cadences are, and how they work. I don't want to see you respond "what are cadences". You can come back and say "I went and discovered that a Plagal is a IV to I, so in the key of F does that mean my IV is a Bb?" and we will be happy to inform you that yes, you're definitely on the right track, and congratulate you.

See how that works?


Quote by Darkn3ss99
Im trying to construct my own chords and i was wondering how do i determine where each notes of the chord should be on each string? Like if i wanted to construct C major should the 3rd be on the 4th string or 3rd string or etc... and same for the 5th or 7th or whatever notes that are in the chord that im trying to construct. Is there a set rule or is it just determined by note location and trying to create a chord thats physically possible to play?

Not so much a set rule, but it's not a bad idea to do them in root triad order. Many notes can be doubled or occur more than once. Generally the Root is the bass, and the higher extensions are the higher upper voices. So R 3 5 etc. Start there. Sometimes strings and just physical stretch and reach can determine what fingerings are ideal or even plausible.

Later start looking into inversions and voice leading, once you get the basics down, as far as triads are concerned.