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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.
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.
Shame its sat in a corner gathering dust
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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?
Actually, those DVD's are excellent for lefties as it is as if you're looking in the mirror.
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Originally Posted by Pedro DelgadoOriginally Posted by Matt79
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.
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 08:29 AM.
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.
Bought an acoustic about a year back. Still haven't learned to play it. Collecting dust safely hanging from the window.
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)
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 11:37 PM.
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.
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.
Good on ya. The word needs more shredders.
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