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Thread: The Guitar Thread

  1. #61
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steulen View Post
    1. On an electric guitar it is far easier to make things sound good, as a bit of overdrive will obscure any imperfections in your finger setting and timing. Needless to say, if you want to become a good guitar player and have the will power, go acoustic first. It can be a put off as it will sound horribly the first few,,,,ahem...decades, in my case.

    2. I am also left-handed but play on right-handed guitars. I feel it helps me a lot with setting the fingers for chords etc., as that is done by my good hand, but I'm ****e at playing without a plectrum because it's my motor-impaired right hand that has to do that.

    3. DVD's are good, you might also want to check out the Guitar for Dummies book, as it has a really good explanation of the system behind finger settings and what kind of lick is often used in different kinds of music. It basically is a great textbook for all the cliche riffs you'd ever want to use without sounding like you're just playing a really bad cover song. Other than that, you can find easy-to-understand tablature for almost any song you can think of on the Internet. They're good for quickly picking up skills as well.

    Go for it, it's the coolest thing.
    I'm the same, but a mirror version. Very right handed, but play (or played, haven't picked up a guitar for well over ten years) guitar left handed. Always thought it made for more sense to have one's more dexterous hand doing the hard work on the fret.
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  2. #62
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Days of Grace View Post
    1. Better to start with acoustic or electric. I think the former.
    What Stuelen said does apply, electric will cover up your mistakes more, easier to press down on the strings, etc. Acoustic guitars are the hardest on the fingertips in my experience and classical guitars have a wider neck so you need to stretch more to play chords but the softness of the nylon is nicer to learn on.

    Myself, I started on classical but that meant it took me a while to transition to an electric guitar because you need a lighter touch and the strength you develop on classical works against that. Once you get the hang of that, though, the physicality of playing electric is far easier having come from a classical or acoustic than moving the other way around. That said, some awesome guitarists have started on electric and never played anything else, it's pretty damn flexible.

    Classical guitar will challenge you more in terms of learning chords and playing cleanly but, really, the idea is more to try them all and see which one feels more like home. That's the approach when I first start teaching people, I bring along all three to the first couple of lessons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Days of Grace View Post
    2. I'm naturally left-handed, so do I have to buy a left-handed guitar, or can I force myself to learn right-handed? Just thinking about it, learning right-handed from the beginning would be very difficult.
    If you feel leftie, play leftie. Just be aware there's far fewer options for leftie guitarists. There's no middle range for leftie guitars, usually only cheapies or boutique gear around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Days of Grace View Post
    3. I'm living in Japan, so any guitar books will be in Japanese. Would you recommend getting a beginner's DVD?
    Initially, I would advocate a teacher to pick up on habits which might hurt you later. AFter your first year, if you're really motivated, you can teach yourself most other stuff. If you play jazz, you probably need a teacher for longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Days of Grace View Post
    One more question: do you have any recommendations for an actual make of guitar that would be good for a novice?
    You're in Japan, man; Ibanez! Get a fixed or Strat-style bridge, though. For the love of God, don't start on a guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge.
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  3. #63
    cpr
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    Re Left or Right Handed guitar.

    I can definately see Brumby's approach, and In a way thats the same for me. I write left handed, but i throw right handed. However went for the left handed guitar as I feel the fingers on my right are more dextrous, whilst my left, well, to put it in a certain way, is more used to flowing up/down movement in general (ie writing people, writing), naturally feels more comfortable to play left.


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  4. #64
    International Vice-Captain Days of Grace's Avatar
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    So my mate brought his guitar along to the beer garden on Saturday night.

    Managed to learn the A and D chords but of course it was a right-handed guitar.

    I reckon I should just buy a left-handed guitar and if it doesn't work, then buy a right-handed one. I won't know if the leftie guitar is the one for me until I learn how it feels like to change quickly between chords.

    I just know that when I play nerdy air guitar, I play left-handed.

    Just wondering with the DVDs and books and stuff, is it a pain in the arse to follow playing left-handed, because I assume that all the DVDs and books focus on right-handed playing.

    Also, any good books or DVDs on amazon I can order?

    Cheers.


  5. #65
    International Regular Steulen's Avatar
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    Actually, those DVD's are excellent for lefties as it is as if you're looking in the mirror.
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  6. #66
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Yeah I don't think you'll have many problems with a DVD re: leftie/rightie. TBH, the best ones show a left and right-hand form for chord shapes anyway. Couple of decent pointers here, especially slow practice;

    The Seven Secrets to Six-String Success - Guitar Noise

    Anyway, interms of my guitar playing, been doing a lot of thinking about it of late. Somehow, I've morphed into a fusion-shred player from starting as a classical player and going through metal on the way. I did learn plenty of jazz but I don't consciously try to do a lot of modal playing. For some reason, my fingers just end up going that way now, especially around mixolydian and phrygian modes. And, recently, been playing a lot of out-of-scale soloing, especially since we have a couple of sax players in the band now. It's just weird how your music can evolve like that and it probably depends on the style of band you're playing in (we do a lot of jamming). Certainly does open up your musical vocabulary a lot when you can solo in a modal style live.

    Also I've noticed something interesting in my right-hand picking. To play really quick stuff, your fret hand needs to be very, very relaxed but I was always under the impression that the right hand needed to be quite rigid. Recently, I've been able to play a much quicker/smoother by relaxing my grip on the pick. It feels 'sloppy' but what comes out of the amp is very fast, very slick and very even picking of each note on fast passages. Floored me, tbh, feels counter-intuitive but, well, the results speak for themselves. Makes string-skipping runs a lot easier too.

    Still need quite a rigid right hand grip for funk playing, though. Have to combine that with a loose wrist to get the slap and pop you need to play funk which is another skill in and of itself as decent funk/rhythm playing is tougher than you'd think. A lot of guys just sort of scrape the pick over the strings and call it funky when you have to combine the above + knowing which strings to mute (both left and right hands), etc. Good funk rhythm lines can be lead lines in and of themselves if you do them right. That's why there are a lot of funk-inspired lines done by guitarists but very few actual funk guitarists.

    Reckon this guy qualifies;

    YouTube - Eddie Hazel- Houston 1979

    It's an interesting vid for many reasons, actually. Even though Hazel treads all over the rhythmic line, if you have a listen to the percussionists and bass player in the background, they are absolutely locked into the groove and playing pretty much perfectly in time. Just shows even if you want to play music which has a more casual feel to it, you have to have your rhythm chops down and tight or, with so many instruments in the ensemble, it'll all fall to bits.

  7. #67
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Just picked up one of these monsters;



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    Heard it and went. Clean up on aisle 5.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 31-05-2010 at 07:29 AM.

  8. #68
    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    I finally bought an acoustic guitar, and started learning. I learnt the A and E major-minor chords and the smoke on the water riff. The first two strings absolutely kill my fingers. I hope the pain doesn't last long.

  9. #69
    International Coach Shri's Avatar
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    Harden up.

    Bought an acoustic about a year back. Still haven't learned to play it. Collecting dust safely hanging from the window.

  10. #70
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    I finally bought an acoustic guitar, and started learning. I learnt the A and E major-minor chords and the smoke on the water riff. The first two strings absolutely kill my fingers. I hope the pain doesn't last long.
    Couple of weeks of regular practice and it should go away.

    For anyone looking for a top electric guitar, a brand which used to be huge and is firmly under the radar these days is Fernandes. The Sustainer guitars and other Japanese models used to be worth a couple of grand but now, because they're not Fender, go for bugger-all. Witness, the one I'm about to grab off a mate;

    Rare Lawsuit Fernandes Revival Strat - eBay, Guitars Electric, Instruments, Musical Instruments. (end time 21-May-10 15:29:48 AEST)

    Trust me, they play as well as $4000 Strats and if you throw a couple of Tonerider pick-ups in (< $200), they sound magnificant, as good if not better than the Strats. Believe it or not, they used to be even cheaper but the market has cottoned-on a bit so people are asking higher prices. You can still easily get them for <$900. Seriously, if you're looking around, stomp on this. Do a search Harmony Central if you don't believe me, they are highly rated guitars.

    Quick search on Ebay turns up one of these babies (check the price!);

    Fernandes 'The Revival' Guitar Black MIJ 80's - eBay Tokai, Electric, Guitars, Musical Instruments. (end time 24-Jun-10 22:24:20 AEST)

    Ohhhhh YEAH!!

    guitarfrenzi - Fernandes Vintage -w-Rail Pickups - eBay, Guitars Electric, Instruments, Musical Instruments. (end time 24-Jul-10 12:12:16 AEST)

    Still seeing others fairly regularly too. I've seriously never played a bad one of these and the best of them save you thousands Fenders aren't worth $5k+, it's all the name. I've played heaps of crap, $3000+ ones too.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 23-06-2010 at 10:37 PM.

  11. #71
    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Couple of weeks of regular practice and it should go away.

    For anyone looking for a top electric guitar, a brand which used to be huge and is firmly under the radar these days is Fernandes. The Sustainer guitars and other Japanese models used to be worth a couple of grand but now, because they're not Fender, go for bugger-all. Witness, the one I'm about to grab off a mate;

    Rare Lawsuit Fernandes Revival Strat - eBay, Guitars Electric, Instruments, Musical Instruments. (end time 21-May-10 15:29:48 AEST)

    Trust me, they play as well as $4000 Strats and if you throw a couple of Tonerider pick-ups in (< $200), they sound magnificant, as good if not better than the Strats. Believe it or not, they used to be even cheaper but the market has cottoned-on a bit so people are asking higher prices. You can still easily get them for <$900. Seriously, if you're looking around, stomp on this. Do a search Harmony Central if you don't believe me, they are highly rated guitars.

    Quick search on Ebay turns up one of these babies (check the price!);

    Fernandes 'The Revival' Guitar Black MIJ 80's - eBay Tokai, Electric, Guitars, Musical Instruments. (end time 24-Jun-10 22:24:20 AEST)

    Ohhhhh YEAH!!

    guitarfrenzi - Fernandes Vintage -w-Rail Pickups - eBay, Guitars Electric, Instruments, Musical Instruments. (end time 24-Jul-10 12:12:16 AEST)

    Still seeing others fairly regularly too. I've seriously never played a bad one of these and the best of them save you thousands Fenders aren't worth $5k+, it's all the name. I've played heaps of crap, $3000+ ones too.
    Thanks, atm I don't have time for classes, so I'm learning on my own. My plan is to first learn all the general chords and then learn pentatonic notes, I reckon this'll take me about three months. What do you think T_C?

  12. #72
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    I'm always on the lookout for weird brands of stuff so I'll keep sharing stuff here. Value for money and all that and, tbh, neither Fender nor Gibson provide that any more. There's actually not a lot wrong with Mexi Strats/Teles from a playability perspective but if you're wanting a pro instrument, there really is something wrong with paying so many thousands for a stick of wood with magnets strapped to it. Hand-made, slightly different story (even then I reckon there's some mythology there) but I can promise you the <$6000 Fenders are as machine-built as $500 Squiers. Realistically, if you can locate a guitar with a decent 1 or 2-piece body (alder, ash, basswood) you're most of the way there.

    On tone, you can spend a little to maximise what you get out of a guitar with a few smart purchases. You could, say, buy a $400 Fernandes, spend $200 (at absolute worst, more likely $150) on a set of Toneriders, $100 (maybe a bit more) on a set of Gotoh locking tuners, buy a heavy bridge ($50 at worst) and a new input (few bucks) and you'll have a spanking, near-pro guitar. If you want to go the extra mile and don't mind a bit of a project, get a tusk or bone nut ($20), tapered pots (a few bucks each) and line the inside cavities under the pickups/pots with aluminium tape (expensive, maybe $90/metre) and you will have a noiseless, tone monster of a guitar. The last step can be very fiddly, though.

    Basically, what you're looking for in a cheap project guitar is the following;

    - Nitrocellulose lacquer. That's a massive part of the vintage tone. Because it's a thinner lacquer, over time it's more vulnerable to wear and shows up dents more but it just sounds better than polyurethane. You can compromise, though; if you get a guitar with a nitro neck but poly body, that's okay (poly necks suck to play) because the other improvements you do will compensate. But, aim for nitro first. They are getting rarer over time, though.

    - Two-piece body. The fewer joins in the wood, the better the tone. Even vibration of the body when playing and all that. Look for a joins and if you see more than one, it's probably a 3-piece body. Some guitar companies put another layer of wood on top of the body to hide the joins so watch out there.

    Find those (which isn't that hard) and make the improvements above and for < $1000, you can have a damn fine guitar.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    Thanks, atm I don't have time for classes, so I'm learning on my own. My plan is to first learn all the general chords and then learn pentatonic notes, I reckon this'll take me about three months. What do you think T_C?
    Will always be an advocate of teachers, tbh. Not just for the theory stuff but to pick up on a few key bad habits which can hurt you down the track. More advanced techniques are sorta loose on guitar and there are heaps of self-taught guys but a few key tips can shorten the time it takes to pick up new stuff so, so much and avoid injury (tendonitis, etc.)

    Starting with chords is more about confidence. It's far easier to teach/learn some chords to play 90% of pop songs than to teach scales/soloing. Unless you have ambitions of learning how to shred, I'd say learn in three stages; open chords;



    Type I/II barre chords;



    and then look at more complex voicings if you want to. But a combo of open chords and barre chords will give you the ability to play many, many pop songs. The key bits to learning chords are to get the fingering down pat, yes, but to learn to quickly move between them.

    Best way, after a while get a metronome and play a sequence of chords in time with a slow metronome beat. Gradually increase the speed. It a) teaches you to play in time and b) teaches you to avoid stopping when you don't quite get the fingers down in time. That's the biggest leap for most new guitarists.

    Learning to solo is an entirely different process.

  14. #74
    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Will always be an advocate of teachers, tbh. Not just for the theory stuff but to pick up on a few key bad habits which can hurt you down the track. More advanced techniques are sorta loose on guitar and there are heaps of self-taught guys but a few key tips can shorten the time it takes to pick up new stuff so, so much and avoid injury (tendonitis, etc.)

    Starting with chords is more about confidence. It's far easier to teach/learn some chords to play 90% of pop songs than to teach scales/soloing. Unless you have ambitions of learning how to shred, I'd say learn in three stages; open chords;



    Type I/II barre chords;



    and then look at more complex voicings if you want to. But a combo of open chords and barre chords will give you the ability to play many, many pop songs. The key bits to learning chords are to get the fingering down pat, yes, but to learn to quickly move between them.

    Best way, after a while get a metronome and play a sequence of chords in time with a slow metronome beat. Gradually increase the speed. It a) teaches you to play in time and b) teaches you to avoid stopping when you don't quite get the fingers down in time. That's the biggest leap for most new guitarists.

    Learning to solo is an entirely different process.
    Thanks a heap Will keep you posted about any progress. I think I will learn to solo after learning the basics first.

  15. #75
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    Good on ya. The word needs more shredders.

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