VeggieBoards banner
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recently began taking guitar lessons and wondered for anyone here who plays, how long it takes to get comfortable playing? I am finding it somewhat difficult and frustrating but will persevere because I really want to learn.

So how many people here are musically inclined? Any singers? Professional musicians?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,612 Posts
It took me about a month of very half-assed practicing before I stopped being SO bad that it wasn't fun. As long as you really want to learn, you will be fine.

I used to play every instrument under the sun. I am not into it as much, but not for lack of love for music. I'm working on some lo-fi electronic stuff now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,664 Posts
First , what are you playing. A steel string acoustic, a nylon string classical or an electric?

It's always hard to start something.

I play guitar and bass (bass as an offshoot of guitar for recording) and record onto the computer (use software or keyboard for other parts).

It depends how much you play I suppose and what you want to play (and other factors). I started in 1990 and just used a book back then showing some scale patterns and some chords (also some basic movable chords ... which can be moved up the neck anywhere). After some time , I began to see that these scale patterns were connected all the way up the neck which is the start of getting comfortable with the whole fretboard for improvizing and stuff (depends on what you want to do ....so I'm speaking from my point of view ... maybe what I want to do is not what you want to do)

I never learned any real music theory and it depends on what you want to play whether you want to or not. It's up to you if you want to get into theory deep or not ....you should do what's comfortable (ie, too much theory may turn you off and make it an intellectual thing) but at first learning some basic chord fingerings and some scale patterns is useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,339 Posts
How recently is recently for you?

I started taking lessons in April (I think), and things are going along nicely. I like music theory, so I'm getting some of that. My instructor went the instant gratification route -- he taught me a few basic chords so I could play some easy things, and the next week started getting into the scales, finger picking, chord voicings, and music theory. It helps that I can already read music. He has me reading tabs, too, though, and I find them annoying. I guess I'll get used to them. The action on my guitar is a little high, and I'm going to have that fixed when I change the strings, but otherwise it's fine.

How often do you practice? Just remember, it takes a while to learn something entirely new. Have you ever played a string instrument before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Strings are going to make a world of difference on the ease of learning. Remember to stretch your fingers while you are not playing too. Stretch them as far apart as you can. Also excercise your wrist prior to playing.

Do the scale up and down on every string and back again until you can't stand it anymore. Watch for correct placement and work all of your fingers. And then do it again. Do it everyday until you can do it with your eyes closed. Work your thumb in on the E string. Being comforable with this helps down the road. After all of that, you will then be ready to start learning chords.

Also, you may find it easy to use your fingers to pluck instead of a pick. Try both ways. Initially, I found finger picking easier than using an actual pick.

And don't forget to have fun! If it's not fun you won't stay interested.

Give it a good 3 months effort. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been taking lessons for about a month and a half now. I am trying to play a steel string acoustic and never played an instrument before. Mskedi-- my instructor is starting similar to yours with basic chords, scales and theory which is all new to me.

I've only been at it a little over a month but am looking forward to getting out of my so bad stage. I do practice every day but find it especially difficult changing chords quickly. Thanks MsRuthieB for the stretching tips! And I know, I have to be patient as well. Thanks everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
I'm attempting to learn the violin now, and as of this time, about all I can do is coax some rather cat-in-heat type sounds from it.

But I'll keep on keepin' on. ^^

Good luck with your guitar playing! My dad plays and really enjoys it. He has a really spiffy Martin. He told me that if I said what kind it was, y'all would be really impressed, but I can't remember. ^^;;
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Nylon strings are fragile and they don't produce as rich a sound as the nickle strings (or steel strings). Make sure you get the lightest gauge possible. As you learn and grow more comfortable, you'll be able to gradually increase your string gauge (which will allow you to beat up on a chord or two if you feel like it). I can't stress to you how important it is that you work your fingers up and down the neck on the chord every single day. This serves a number of purposes and will make chording so much easier.

I've been playing for 8 years and am for the most part self taught. My dad taught me a few things as well as a friend here and there. The most treasured bit of advice I received was the scale practice on the neck.

Here's my babies


http://www.veggieboards.com/pics/sho...cat=998&page=1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
I may qualify as a professional musician. I mean - I have two degrees in music and I have played professional gigs before. I even got paid for some of them!! I don't support myself playing, it is more of something I do on the side. I play: clarinet, flute, piano, recorder, fife, and sing. I have a guitar and once I move, I would really like to teach myself how to play it. I always thought playing guitar looked really fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your babies are beauties MsRuthieB--how does that backpacker sound? (I think that's what it's called)...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
I taught myself to play guitar on a steel string acoustic...now I play one of my electrics almost exclusively. It's just easier on my hands. I play my electric unplugged 90% of the time to cut down on the noise (don't want the neighbors complaining).

Scales are really important, particularly if you want to progress past what I call "the power chord stage." I play a lot of improvisational stuff, so learning scale patterns was a necessary evil. It can get repetitive, so try changing things up...do some scales, then practice chord changes, then do some different scales, etc.

Music theory will help you, I was a classically trained flutist and found that knowledge of chord theory and scales helped immensely. I've never had a formal guitar lesson, I basically used a good instructional book and the Internet. My fiance started playing 3 years before I did, and I got to his level of playing within a few months.

Consistency is important - I recently went a couple weeks without playing at all, and cut the heck out of my fingers when I started up again. Even if it's only 10 minutes a day, you've gotta keep those fingers practicing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Thanks. The Martin Backpacker sounds better than you would expect. I take it camping. I'm impressed that you knew the name of it. Everyone that see's it is like, what's that? Anyhow, the sound isn't as full, but it is still beautiful. The sound reminds me of a mandolin for some reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Mandolins are neat. I got my dad one for Father's Day. ^^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Yes.. Music theory helps A LOT! I was first introduced to it about 8 years ago on the Violin. I have played it ever since. And I love the violin.


Now with that theory learned... The music reading came in handy when I became a singer. I knew WAY more than my peers, I sight read better, and had a musical approach when singing. Better sense of phrasing, intonnation, etc.. I have found out that I am a better singer than a violinist.
IMO anyway. I sing many many styles (blues, jazz, gospel, rock, classical). I found something that is as versatile as I am, and something I'm passionate about it.

Someday I hope to learn the piano. Soon enough I will.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,339 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Tarzana

I do practice every day but find it especially difficult changing chords quickly.
A friend of mine started playing the same week as I did, so that week we got together and played around. It took us so long to change chords, we decided to have appetizers and drinks between each one... pretty pathetic. We're beyond that now.

I try to play with people who are actually good at least once a week; that way I'm pressured to try my hardest. I've gotten past the it-sounds-painful stage, but I'm still far from the it-sounds-like-good-music stage.
I'm pretty patient, though. I'm a much better singer and tap dancer.
At least the guitar isn't my only musical outlet -- it'd be pretty sad if it were.

I played violin for about 10 years. That may have helped. (?) I know my background in music theory has helped.

Keep at it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
559 Posts
pah i wish i was musically inclined. i played the piano for ten years and i'm sure after some lessons could pick it up again reasonably well. i wish i could play really well. or sing really well. or something.

my boyfriend sings opera (but also was in a heavy metal band so..he can sing whatever the hellhe wants) and learned the piano, guitar, violin, drums, etc on his own. lucky lucky ******* can just hear things in his head and write them down and play them. i envy and respect that. wish i could do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,622 Posts
I sing...I try to sing opera. been doing it for years. I also have some instruments on hand and have to learn. Mainly piano. My father plays trumpet and my mom plays the violin. It runs in the family I think...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
559 Posts
i think it runs in the family too (although not my family, ha). like him, one of my bf's brothers can play the piano amazingly well and has never learned a note of music in his life. it's crazy. rather impressive.
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top