Recently started to play the guitar

Here you can discuss details about instruments, equipment and all those other bits that non-musicians won't understand !

Moderator: GORDON

User avatar
Tom McCauley
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Melton Mowbray
Contact:

Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Tom McCauley » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:40 pm

Hi all,

Just started to learn how to play the guitar, only learnt up to 2 chords though at present!
(The guitar I'm practising is the one in my photo)
Tom McCauley

BRC
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:45 am
Location: Kent, United Kingdom

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby BRC » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:35 am

Welcome to the pleasures and pain of learning guitar.

‘Up to 2 chords’? That’s okay and my first suggestion is to find a good tutorial book or online material. I started over 55years ago with Bert Weedon’s ‘Play In A day’ - took me 6 months! Although that may sound like a twisted joke it really isn’t. Anyone or any promise that you will be able to play in such a short time is pure fantasy. Yes, you may learn a few chords in a day and even be able to play them correctly, but playing is much more than just chords.

Take your time and get used to a sequence of chords that you can play and change smoothly. I seem to remember the first few chords to learn were ‘G’, ‘C’, ‘Am’ and ‘F’. That will cover you to be able to strum along with a quite a few songs for practising and perfecting.

Giver yourself the time for you ‘fingering hand’s’ finger tips to get used to holding down the strings and not holding on too tightly. There will be times when they may hurt, so take a rest. Don’t be tempted to give up just because of that or because it doesn’t all come together instantly. I don’t know any guitarists who were able to play straight away or ‘In A Day’ so lis ten and take advice from other players who may be a little further along the process than you.

Persevere, however long it takes and enjoy the learning and being able to play a wonderful, versatile instrument, even if it is only for your own enjoyment.

Best wishes for your progressing and please update the forum on your progress or seek advice on techniques or any other aspects of playing.

Brad

User avatar
Tom McCauley
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Melton Mowbray
Contact:

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Tom McCauley » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:17 am

BRC wrote:Welcome to the pleasures and pain of learning guitar.

‘Up to 2 chords’? That’s okay and my first suggestion is to find a good tutorial book or online material. I started over 55years ago with Bert Weedon’s ‘Play In A day’ - took me 6 months! Although that may sound like a twisted joke it really isn’t. Anyone or any promise that you will be able to play in such a short time is pure fantasy. Yes, you may learn a few chords in a day and even be able to play them correctly, but playing is much more than just chords.

Take your time and get used to a sequence of chords that you can play and change smoothly. I seem to remember the first few chords to learn were ‘G’, ‘C’, ‘Am’ and ‘F’. That will cover you to be able to strum along with a quite a few songs for practising and perfecting.

Giver yourself the time for you ‘fingering hand’s’ finger tips to get used to holding down the strings and not holding on too tightly. There will be times when they may hurt, so take a rest. Don’t be tempted to give up just because of that or because it doesn’t all come together instantly. I don’t know any guitarists who were able to play straight away or ‘In A Day’ so lis ten and take advice from other players who may be a little further along the process than you.

Persevere, however long it takes and enjoy the learning and being able to play a wonderful, versatile instrument, even if it is only for your own enjoyment.

Best wishes for your progressing and please update the forum on your progress or seek advice on techniques or any other aspects of playing.

Brad


Hi Brad,

Thanks for the reply!
I learnt some more chords since then and just started learning 'Love On The Rocks' which I've kinda mastered the melody part using an app on my phone. I'm even trying to work out the chords for 'Hotel California' by The Eagles. (However, for that I'm having to play along to the tune to work it out.
Only had the guitar since Thursday. I even had a couple of people saying I should apply to go on talent shows - however I think for the time being, I think I'll stick to some more practice.

Tom.
Tom McCauley

BRC
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:45 am
Location: Kent, United Kingdom

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby BRC » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:56 pm

Wow! That is an enormous amount of progress in such a short time - 2 chords on 26th September to learning ‘Love On The Rocks’ and ‘Hotel California’ on 28th September.

It took me many years from starting to learn guitar to learning how to play ‘Hotel California’. Then again that song wasn’t written until many years after I started playing :P. If it helps, you can find a lot of chords and lyrics on ‘Chordie’ - google it and look round. That may save hours/days of figuring it out for yourself and you can then add to that with your own embellishments.

Good luck with progress and, maybe, Gordon will have to look to his laurels with your competition.

Brad

User avatar
Tom McCauley
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Melton Mowbray
Contact:

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Tom McCauley » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:05 pm

BRC wrote:Wow! That is an enormous amount of progress in such a short time - 2 chords on 26th September to learning ‘Love On The Rocks’ and ‘Hotel California’ on 28th September.

It took me many years from starting to learn guitar to learning how to play ‘Hotel California’. Then again that song wasn’t written until many years after I started playing :P. If it helps, you can find a lot of chords and lyrics on ‘Chordie’ - google it and look round. That may save hours/days of figuring it out for yourself and you can then add to that with your own embellishments.

Good luck with progress and, maybe, Gordon will have to look to his laurels with your competition.

Brad


Thank you very much.
Tom McCauley

Nickswitz
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Nickswitz » Sun May 10, 2020 8:46 pm

Hi Tom,
How are things going now?
As was mentioned, just muck about with the
basic shapes of A Am C D E Em and get to know
what they sound like...

Then quickly (Took me ages) you will find them
all over the fretboard, try to learn what is where.

This helped me immensely. Loads of good stuff
on YouTube, even complex stuff broken down
for the beginner to play..
Keep going and let us know..

Happy playing, ATB, Nick..

User avatar
Tom McCauley
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Melton Mowbray
Contact:

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Tom McCauley » Tue May 12, 2020 9:10 pm

Nickswitz wrote:Hi Tom,
How are things going now?
As was mentioned, just muck about with the
basic shapes of A Am C D E Em and get to know
what they sound like...

Then quickly (Took me ages) you will find them
all over the fretboard, try to learn what is where.

This helped me immensely. Loads of good stuff
on YouTube, even complex stuff broken down
for the beginner to play..
Keep going and let us know..

Happy playing, ATB, Nick..


Hi Nick,

Thanks for the reply.

Managing very well at the moment. Working on frets 3-6 at the moment doing 10 minutes a day! Managed to do more than that a few days back - 40 minutes!
Tom McCauley

User avatar
Roger
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:02 pm
Location: Southsea

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Roger » Wed May 13, 2020 11:01 pm

Hello Tom!

Congratulations on taking up the guitar, a wise decision if ever there was one!

There's a lot of help available these days, particularly on Youtube. I think with any type of learning it's finding about what works best for you. There are a lot of good tips from the professionals too - Brian May was saying recently that during his first year of learning he just learned a few chords and songs, and practised playing and singing along to them. I would buy Bert's Play in a Day (£10 on Amazon) and perhaps some sort of chord reference book, although http://www.chordfind.com is pretty good. There are lots of backing tracks on Youtube that you can play along to too as you progress.

I think my main tip would be to keep checking that your guitar is in tune :D this may seem obvious, but it's very important.

I see that you have quite a small guitar, which is great. I've never got on with big acoustic guitars and prefer smaller ones, as does Ed Sheeran so you are in good company (and let's not forget Gordon!).

You may of heard of Rob Armstrong, who has made several guitars for Gordon over the years. When I was chatting to him on one occasion he said that after a serious illness just being able to pluck a string on one of his guitars was a great tonic - such is the power of the guitar!

Well done Tom and good luck with your journey :D

Stay safe,

Roger

PS on the subject of staying safe can I put my scientific hat on, not just for Tom, but for all forum members. I cannot overstate the importance of frequent hand washing, particularly after going outside. Wash you hands as soon as you get in - liquid soap, warm water, 20 plus seconds and dry by air, a clean towel or kitchen towel. This simple procedure will help to protect against the Corona virus, but it is all to easy to forget sometimes. Lecture over!
We all have fears and can feel fragile - that's what makes us human

Nickswitz
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Nickswitz » Thu May 14, 2020 10:57 pm

Tom McCauley wrote:
Nickswitz wrote:Hi Tom,
How are things going now?
As was mentioned, just muck about with the
basic shapes of A Am C D E Em and get to know
what they sound like...

Then quickly (Took me ages) you will find them
all over the fretboard, try to learn what is where.

This helped me immensely. Loads of good stuff
on YouTube, even complex stuff broken down
for the beginner to play..
Keep going and let us know..

Happy playing, ATB, Nick..


Hi Nick,

Thanks for the reply.

Managing very well at the moment. Working on frets 3-6 at the moment doing 10 minutes a day! Managed to do more than that a few days back - 40 minutes!

Hi Tom,

That’s great, playing every day !!

It does get easier though!

All the chord theory must sound like
Chinese at the moment.

Try playing around with these chords,
easy to change, just listen to what you
hear. Just try changing shapes, get yourself
confortable and play ‘em..

E and Em 022100 022000

A and Am X02220 X02210

D and Dm XX0232 XX0231


We never learn in one day, but in one second, we
can learn something for a lifetime, and that is
nylon strings hurt your fingertips!!!
:D :D :D :D

Stay safe,


ATB Tom,
Keep us posted!

User avatar
Tom McCauley
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Melton Mowbray
Contact:

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Tom McCauley » Mon May 18, 2020 5:33 pm

This afternoon's practise got up to the 8th fret for which I have to use my pinky finger....
Tom McCauley

sultan4swing
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:23 am

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby sultan4swing » Sun May 24, 2020 7:56 pm

Hi Tom..... just picked up on your recent guitar playing adventure..... First, I am no professional guitarist. But in terms of improving your playing and technique, and enjoyment, and take it from my 50 years of playing acoustic guitar, you can get a heck of a long way with minimal talent, but a lot of consistent hard work, and some personal ambition.... I started playing back in the late 1960's.... mainly as a result of sibling rivalry - I was not going to let my younger brother get the better of me.... despite him being naturally talented, not only on guitar from age 15, but bass and drums... I started with a book of chords and as a good base, learned all the main major and minor chords in all the main keys... I- everything is done just by ear - I have never read music and using guitar tabulature doesn't mean anything to me. My goal was within 6 months to be leading the developing modern music coming into churches at the time. That achieved I began to get bookings to sing at churches, then colleges, schools and unis… For many years I ran the church informal music and taught youngsters to play, got involved with the local Civil Service Folk Club, and played the pubs.... Did nothing after mid 1990's and then before retiring in 2008, got together with work colleagues to jam.... After retiring and spending much time travelling, managed to find opportunities to play, and on cruises to sing and karaoke... and the odd cabaret... Now I mainly play at home to my wife.... I have recently bought a basic Yamaha classical guitar but my main instrument is the original first solid top Yamaha acoustic 6S - CJ838S - circa 1978... fab instrument even if its owner isnt.. !!! Plus a 15 year old Ovation 12S electro-acoustic… All I can say in recommendation is that you will have amazing experiences, enjoyment and satisfaction playing guitar to any sort of level....It has given me some amazing memories and, for someone with no musical ability, great satisfaction to be able to play anything I like, learn new songs in a few minutes and work out the main chords of any tune on the spot.... What I enjoy is to play 'exercises' - take a chord and progress where it takes you - run a few chords together - see where it goes..... fun fun fun… !!!! Just develop 'the ear'... you wont go far wrong.... And get hold of some karaoke tracks - great fun to sing and play along to.... At 71 to still be able to play a few chords and sing a few notes in tune, is to me a result..... Just make sure .. you enjoy it … and when you don't... stop... Best wishes Sultan4swing …..

User avatar
Tom McCauley
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Melton Mowbray
Contact:

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Tom McCauley » Sun May 24, 2020 8:21 pm

sultan4swing wrote:Hi Tom..... just picked up on your recent guitar playing adventure..... First, I am no professional guitarist. But in terms of improving your playing and technique, and enjoyment, and take it from my 50 years of playing acoustic guitar, you can get a heck of a long way with minimal talent, but a lot of consistent hard work, and some personal ambition.... I started playing back in the late 1960's.... mainly as a result of sibling rivalry - I was not going to let my younger brother get the better of me.... despite him being naturally talented, not only on guitar from age 15, but bass and drums... I started with a book of chords and as a good base, learned all the main major and minor chords in all the main keys... I- everything is done just by ear - I have never read music and using guitar tabulature doesn't mean anything to me. My goal was within 6 months to be leading the developing modern music coming into churches at the time. That achieved I began to get bookings to sing at churches, then colleges, schools and unis… For many years I ran the church informal music and taught youngsters to play, got involved with the local Civil Service Folk Club, and played the pubs.... Did nothing after mid 1990's and then before retiring in 2008, got together with work colleagues to jam.... After retiring and spending much time travelling, managed to find opportunities to play, and on cruises to sing and karaoke... and the odd cabaret... Now I mainly play at home to my wife.... I have recently bought a basic Yamaha classical guitar but my main instrument is the original first solid top Yamaha acoustic 6S - CJ838S - circa 1978... fab instrument even if its owner isnt.. !!! Plus a 15 year old Ovation 12S electro-acoustic… All I can say in recommendation is that you will have amazing experiences, enjoyment and satisfaction playing guitar to any sort of level....It has given me some amazing memories and, for someone with no musical ability, great satisfaction to be able to play anything I like, learn new songs in a few minutes and work out the main chords of any tune on the spot.... What I enjoy is to play 'exercises' - take a chord and progress where it takes you - run a few chords together - see where it goes..... fun fun fun… !!!! Just develop 'the ear'... you wont go far wrong.... And get hold of some karaoke tracks - great fun to sing and play along to.... At 71 to still be able to play a few chords and sing a few notes in tune, is to me a result..... Just make sure .. you enjoy it … and when you don't... stop... Best wishes Sultan4swing …..


Hi!

Thank you very much! I do about 10 minutes a day at least - I did do a bit of practise today but not quite finished the session off!
Tom McCauley

User avatar
Tom McCauley
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Melton Mowbray
Contact:

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby Tom McCauley » Sun May 24, 2020 8:23 pm

Roger wrote:Hello Tom!

Congratulations on taking up the guitar, a wise decision if ever there was one!

There's a lot of help available these days, particularly on Youtube. I think with any type of learning it's finding about what works best for you. There are a lot of good tips from the professionals too - Brian May was saying recently that during his first year of learning he just learned a few chords and songs, and practised playing and singing along to them. I would buy Bert's Play in a Day (£10 on Amazon) and perhaps some sort of chord reference book, although http://www.chordfind.com is pretty good. There are lots of backing tracks on Youtube that you can play along to too as you progress.

I think my main tip would be to keep checking that your guitar is in tune :D this may seem obvious, but it's very important.

I see that you have quite a small guitar, which is great. I've never got on with big acoustic guitars and prefer smaller ones, as does Ed Sheeran so you are in good company (and let's not forget Gordon!).

You may of heard of Rob Armstrong, who has made several guitars for Gordon over the years. When I was chatting to him on one occasion he said that after a serious illness just being able to pluck a string on one of his guitars was a great tonic - such is the power of the guitar!

Well done Tom and good luck with your journey :D

Stay safe,

Roger

PS on the subject of staying safe can I put my scientific hat on, not just for Tom, but for all forum members. I cannot overstate the importance of frequent hand washing, particularly after going outside. Wash you hands as soon as you get in - liquid soap, warm water, 20 plus seconds and dry by air, a clean towel or kitchen towel. This simple procedure will help to protect against the Corona virus, but it is all to easy to forget sometimes. Lecture over!


Many thanks! I'll no doubt probably post updates as I progress on!
Tom McCauley

sultan4swing
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:23 am

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby sultan4swing » Sun May 24, 2020 10:07 pm

Tom... Hi... A PS from Sultan4swing.. What helped me early on was to learn all the main major and minor chords in the main keys : C …. D..... E..... G... and A major (using a cappo covered the 'flats; and any others). Starting for instance playing in sequence : in C Major. The to me main chords are : C F and G, and Amin, Dmin, Emin…. In D major these would be D, G and A major: Bmin, Emin, F#min and so on... If you want to play along with any song, these chord sequences would cover most chords for most songs in any key.... If you want to play along say with a song you don't know - my tip, find the key from the bass note and then from ear most songs will contain the chords above related to any of the natural keys.... Also suggest using a cappo with different keys will produce different sounds... ie C on 4th/5th fret is a lovely sound, D on 5th fret is terrific for 'Here Comes The Sun', G on 3rd/4th again produces a lovely sound - just suggestions to try.... If you listen to classical music you can hear how critical the composer finds the right key to produce the right mood …. A nice exercise - Try intro for Hotel California : Amin - E7th - G - D - F - C - Dmin - E7.... (cappo 2nd fret as per original key)…. Get to it ….. !!!! Happy playing... and yes, lots of good stuff on youtube…. !!!

User avatar
GORDON
Site Admin
Posts: 1325
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:05 pm
Location: SUTTON COLDFIELD

Re: Recently started to play the guitar

Postby GORDON » Mon May 25, 2020 2:50 pm

My advice to players of most standards is to EXPLOIT YOUR LIMITATIONS. Think about these words and it will make perfect sense. I continue to exploit mine sir.

Be Well

G.


Return to “Guitar Anoraks Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests