Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

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primitive
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Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by primitive » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:22 am

I'm going to be taking lessons for it in a few days. I got my guitar yesterday. It's black. I can only play a few simple melodies so far. I'll have to wait until properly instructed. However, I have been taking piano for 10 years so i'll have the advantage of being able to read music. Any tips for this beginner?
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William
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Post by William » Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:22 am

Hi Primitive,

Get a fake book by your favorite band (the Cure perhaps?). They usually give you chords in the form of tablature, which shows you the fretboard and where to put your fingers in order to form the chords. I learned basic rhythm years ago using a fake book and got into leads and reading music later.

I think I know every Zeppelin tune as a result!

The problem with reading music for guitar is that the same notes are found on several strings so it may be difficult at first to learn how to play by just looking at music notation. Although you're an advanced student of piano so you may not have a problem.

Good luck!
WB

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Re: Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by Deses » Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:28 am

primitive wrote:I'm going to be taking lessons for it in a few days. I got my guitar yesterday. It's black. I can only play a few simple melodies so far. I'll have to wait until properly instructed. However, I have been taking piano for 10 years so i'll have the advantage of being able to read music. Any tips for this beginner?
Can't help. My guitar is yellow, not black.

Seriously, if you want to get really good do not overdo it. You can get the posture and the finger techiques all wrong. Same as with piano, I am sure. The big difference is that piano will not make the tips of your fingers bleed. Try to develop those calluses (calla) s l o w l y.

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Re: Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by klewlis » Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:55 pm

Deses wrote:The big difference is that piano will not make the tips of your fingers bleed. Try to develop those calluses (calla) s l o w l y.
I used to work in a music store, and their advice to beginners was to burn their finger tips. Seriously. But only if you can stomach it. Burning them makes the callouses develop right away and then you can avoid the weeks of bleeding and pain.

But um... most people don't do it that way cuz it seems rather masochistic.

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Re: Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by MyIlium » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:06 am

klewlis wrote:
Deses wrote:The big difference is that piano will not make the tips of your fingers bleed. Try to develop those calluses (calla) s l o w l y.
I used to work in a music store, and their advice to beginners was to burn their finger tips. Seriously. But only if you can stomach it. Burning them makes the callouses develop right away and then you can avoid the weeks of bleeding and pain.

But um... most people don't do it that way cuz it seems rather masochistic.
Is guitar really that hard on your fingers? I've played violin for years now and I've never come even close to bleeding from it, and violin strings are thinner too.
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Re: Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by klewlis » Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:20 am

MyIlium wrote:Is guitar really that hard on your fingers? I've played violin for years now and I've never come even close to bleeding from it, and violin strings are thinner too.
The strings are quite thick but also ridged and rough. Plus you have to press down quite hard on them in order to make it work. And then of course you're moving sideways along the strings too. Lots of beginners end up with blisters and bleeding, until the callouses develop. :)

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Post by William » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:25 pm

What's all of this talk about calluses? You have to suffer for your art. Are you going to let a little fingertip pain stop you? C'mon already.

WB

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Re: Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by annis » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:33 pm

klewlis wrote:The strings are quite thick but also ridged and rough. Plus you have to press down quite hard on them in order to make it work.
Piffle. The high-E course on a mandolin is like playing a cheese-cutter.
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Re: Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by klewlis » Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:23 pm

annis wrote:Piffle. The high-E course on a mandolin is like playing a cheese-cutter.
Maybe, but who plays the mandolin anyway??

;)

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Post by primitive » Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:18 am

I just had my lesson. The guy was kinda...weird. Well it was like taking lessons from a reitred rock star and I have an acoustic guitar. Well he showed me posture and stuff like that. HE showed me an Em chord and some funky F# chord I forget all the facy shmancy stuff after (sus 7 b11 w/e). And thats really all. I'm going to another lesson with someone else in 2 days and then I'll make a decision to who I'm gonna stay with.

Oh NO! Those calluses (calla). Now I'm going to have them not only on my finger joints (golf) but on the tips of my fingers. Ahhh!

The one thing I have trouble with is touching other strings I'm not supposed to. It messes up the chord. So I'll have to work at that. Oh I also found out that my guitar is flawed somehow. The neck is slightly bent in one area and it can't be adjusted without the problem still there. So I'm getting a new guitar tomorrow! Mwahaha! (it's still going to be black :roll: )
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Post by Geoff » Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:40 am

Mandolin - Chris Thile Rocks !

Keep playing, it can hurt, but the callouses aren't that bad.

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Post by William » Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:51 am

primitive wrote:The one thing I have trouble with is touching other strings I'm not supposed to. It messes up the chord. So I'll have to work at that.
You should arch your fingers. If you put the tip of your thumb on the center of the back of the neck you'll find arching your fingers easier to do.

And don't forget to practice those rock star poses in front of a mirror for maximum effect.

WB

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Post by annis » Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:19 pm

Geoff wrote:Mandolin - Chris Thile Rocks !
I second that endorsement. I'm also a big fan of Andy Statman. "Andy's Ramble" is one of my all-time favorite albums.
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Post by William » Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:07 pm

Image

Primitive, if you practice hard this can be you in six months. So keep playing until your fingers bleed.

WB

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Post by Phylax » Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:39 pm

In the days when I tried to learn the guitar I used to harden my left-hand fingertips with methylated spirits (I think in the US you would call this 'denatured alcohol'?) It seemed to make the calluses grow quicker. Hope this helps.
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Post by primitive » Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:42 pm

haha but I'm going more for a
Image
look.

Well my guitar was 'flawed' so I got to go back and get a brand new one that's twice the price for free...hehe.


Good advice William. That helped! :D
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Post by William » Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:13 pm

Hey Primitive...glad to be of service! Once you get your new guitar just keep playing. You'll be surprised at how quickly you gain ability if you strum just an hour or so a day.

WB

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Re: Does Anyone Know the Acoustic Guitar?

Post by Eureka » Wed Jan 19, 2005 5:08 am

annis wrote:Piffle. The high-E course on a mandolin is like playing a cheese-cutter.
Do you have one of those medieval hats with the feather in it to go with that instrument? :)



...And if so, why is it missing from the picture thread? :P

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Post by rfcompte » Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:12 am

I used to work in a music store, and their advice to beginners was to burn their finger tips. Seriously. But only if you can stomach it. Burning them makes the callouses develop right away and then you can avoid the weeks of bleeding and pain.
Hello, my name is Rafael Compte. I'm 24 years old. I'm a classical guitar player. I'm still studying though, I'm still in the conservatory. It really surprises me what you say. Guitar strings are not that painful. You can feel pain of course if you play for hours and hours (as sometimes I do have to :? ). To tell you the truth, if I play guitar for two hours I have to make a pause because I'm tired and my back hurts, not because of my fingers. Also, I've never heard of any bloody incedents and the burning the fingers solution sounds more like an irresponsibility to me. That could be dangerous! :x


R.
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Post by klewlis » Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:32 am

rfcompte wrote:
I used to work in a music store, and their advice to beginners was to burn their finger tips. Seriously. But only if you can stomach it. Burning them makes the callouses develop right away and then you can avoid the weeks of bleeding and pain.
Hello, my name is Rafael Compte. I'm 24 years old. I'm a classical guitar player. I'm still studying though, I'm still in the conservatory. It really surprises me what you say. Guitar strings are not that painful. You can feel pain of course if you play for hours and hours (as sometimes I do have to :? ). To tell you the truth, if I play guitar for two hours I have to make a pause because I'm tired and my back hurts, not because of my fingers. Also, I've never heard of any bloody incedents and the burning the fingers solution sounds more like an irresponsibility to me. That could be dangerous! :x


R.
Well, you could be right. I don't play myself, so I can't speak from experience. But I can say that the people who told me this were qualified and experienced guitarists. That doesn't mean that everyone should do it that way. :)

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Post by tdominus » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:32 am

rfcompte wrote: Hello, my name is Rafael Compte. I'm 24 years old. I'm a classical guitar player. I'm still studying though, I'm still in the conservatory. It really surprises me what you say. Guitar strings are not that painful. You can feel pain of course if you play for hours and hours (as sometimes I do have to :? ). To tell you the truth, if I play guitar for two hours I have to make a pause because I'm tired and my back hurts, not because of my fingers. Also, I've never heard of any bloody incedents and the burning the fingers solution sounds more like an irresponsibility to me. That could be dangerous! :x
R.
If you've got any recordings of yourself playing, I'd like to hear them :)

It goes without saying that classical guitars use nylon strings (wire-wound nylon strings for the bass strings) which are much softer on the fingers than the steel strings on a non-classical acoustic guitar.

One thing that can help with this is lowering the action, by lowering the thing at the bridge. This means your fingers have to press less.

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Post by primitive » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:08 am

Hey I haven't been here in a long time I didn't really know where to start or where to post so I guess this thread I made would be fine. Well about guitar, I've gotten a lot better than when I first posted. I've moved onto an electric and I'm saving up for a Gibson Les Paul now from 'mowing the lawn' money. Me and my friends started a band called Valhalla. I might be playing in it as a second guitar, but mostly I'll be working the keyboards. We haven't got a singer yet. We're mostly looking for a sound like Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, and Stevie Ray Vaughn combined. It's mostly jazz and blues at a fast pace. So yea, that's all I can think of posting now.

We'll have recordings up soon - http://www.myspace.com/valhallanh
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Post by Carola » Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:59 am

Good luck to you! I tried learning classical guitar for many years but I was absolutely awful! Then one day someone gave me a clarinet and it was an instant success (and I still play it even though most of my playing these days is on saxophone).
I still have a few guitars including a beautiful Hagstrom acoustic/electric - maybe you'll inspire me to take up playing again. :D

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Post by primitive » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:12 pm

I found this thread on google by chance, I thought I'd reply to it again since my playing has drastically improved. I found a few favorite artists, but my favorite is Bert Jansch. He has many styles that he plays, all of which are styles which I like to listen to and therefore also play. I have a few clips of me playing on a myspace me and my friends made. I'm playing everything but 'Mood For A Day' (another great song by Steve Howe), thats my friend playing. So now I'm really looking for a nylon string / classical guitar. I have a new job at BAE Systems as an intern for the summer (still in highschool) so I'll be saving up money for something in the $400 - $600 dollar range. Recommend any brands? I've taken a liking to Takamine. And in case the user 'William' is still here, I think I know every Zeppelin song now too :D

www.myspace.com/seankyledustin
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Post by William » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:24 am

primitive wrote:And in case the user 'William' is still here, I think I know every Zeppelin song now too :D
Awesome, Primitive! Good find with Bert Jansch, too. You can't go wrong with him. Good luck with your band -- it sounds like you've done quite well.

WB

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Post by travis » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:15 pm

Hey Primitive,

I'd suggest looking at Yamahas as well. They're pretty good quality for the money. Otherwise just try a bunch of guitars in your price range and see which one jumps out at you.

Yours

Travis

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Post by Deudeditus » Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:47 pm

The one thing I have trouble with is touching other strings I'm not supposed to. It messes up the chord.
practice practice practica
Hello, my name is Rafael Compte. I'm 24 years old. I'm a classical guitar player. I'm still studying though, I'm still in the conservatory. It really surprises me what you say. Guitar strings are not that painful. You can feel pain of course if you play for hours and hours (as sometimes I do have to ). To tell you the truth, if I play guitar for two hours I have to make a pause because I'm tired and my back hurts, not because of my fingers. Also, I've never heard of any bloody incedents and the burning the fingers solution sounds more like an irresponsibility to me. That could be dangerous!
i think steel strings are rougher on fingers than nylon. when i first started playing I would play all day. my fingers bled. not a lot, but they did. I was playing on a steelstring acoustic and an electric, though, not a nylonstring.
all that and I still can't shred like yngwie! :lol:

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Post by cdm2003 » Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:06 pm

Well...I don't know 'bout the rest of y'all...but round these parts we play the banjo...Scruggs-style! Never picked up the guitar though...

p.s. Only with the trimmest of nails, run the bare tips of your fingers up and down the neck with heavy pressure upon steel strings every night until it just starts to become uncomfortable...then stop and resume the next night and so on...you'll have callouses without bleeding before a week has passed.

EDIT: By the way, I would like to point out that banjo is 3rd declension...i.e., banio, banionis, banioni, etc.

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A professional replies

Post by cantator » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:26 pm

Greetings:

I've been playing the guitar for more than forty years, I make my living as a musician and author. I teach music and I perform regularly.

First, for goodness sake don't burn your fingers ! That's a dreadful piece of advice that can do serious harm and definitely set you back.

Second, ya gotta practice, a lot. And you should look for a good teacher, even if you have to check out a few. You can teach yourself a lot, but after I had played on my own for about ten years I took lessons for about an equal time. I started out playing rock and blues, then I played nothing but classical music for 15 years (well, I kept my blues chops alive too). I could never have achieved as much without my teachers.

If you're planning to study on your own you'll find a lot of good stuff at http://www.harmony-central.com. You might consider augmenting your guitar studies with some more general music studies, but if you've played piano you may have already encountered some theory.

In my teaching I focus on what the student wants to learn, shaping the lessons around the acquisition of the necessary technique. Chords and scales are better learned with reference to actual music, IMO. If you want to play a certain style, focus on that style, get relevant tabs and books, and practice.

Good luck. As my t'ai chi teachers told me, "Ten years is a good beginning", so be patient and keep your sense of humor.
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.

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Post by Carola » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:48 am

Good luck. As my t'ai chi teachers told me, "Ten years is a good beginning", so be patient and keep your sense of humor.
Yes, I actually stuck to the acoustic guitar (classical) for about 10 years - and I am still a really BAD guitar player! Luckily I took up the saxophone & clarinet, quickly becoming proficient. :D

I have relegated guitar playing to a list of things not to bother with, like skateboard riding, skiing and parachuting. I guess you can't win all the time.
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