View Full Version : Learning to play guitar

4th May 2003, 10:58
I've been left a guitar on the condition that I learn to play (not much point in having it if I don't I suppose).
Anyway what is the best way to learn and how many hours of practice before I'm an axe hero?
Is it really possible to learn from a book/video course?

4th May 2003, 14:50

How many hours practice? Years and years and years, my friend!:ooh:
I've been playing the bass for over 25 years, and I'm still learning - the same principle holds true for the "6-string posing plank".

Books and videos can help you with the basics and, later on, with the finer points of technique. The bad news is that there simply is no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work and practice.

If I were asked to name one thing that will help you above all else, then it's playing with other musicians.

It also improves your social life - after all, that's how I met the lovely Mrs Caslance.:ok:

tony draper
4th May 2003, 17:23
Also many weeks of painfull finger tips.
PS, it helps if you got long fingers, helps even more if you got six fingers on each hand.

Well! Anne Bolynn had six fingers on each hand.


4th May 2003, 17:28
Not a guitarist but as an organ grinder I can tell you that after 8 hours a day of practice for a year I started to get somewhere. In jazz circles they call it woodshedding. I started playing when I was 14 and by the time I was 17 people started to say complimentary things about my playing as opposed to derogatory remarks which you'll have to put up with in the begining.

If you start off playing the simple things you hear by ear on your fave records you will soon pick up on the little licks and chord progressions that constantly crop up in music.

I would recommend buying a book of chords (in tab form) and then buying a book of your fave tunes and just start off trying to master the chord progressions (fiddly stuff on a guitar!) then after a while move on to the twiddly noodly solo bits. The chords will be written as Cm (C minor) and A7 (A 7th) at the top of the tab, just concentrate on this and the diagrams (tablature) underneath for where to stick your pinkys..... it'll be dead slow and stodgy to start off with but you'll soon pick up speed.

Good luck and remember to keep the volume down for the first year! :ouch:


PS: Django Reinhardt only had 3 digits on his fret hand Tony!

tony draper
4th May 2003, 18:05
Only after his accident VFE. ;)

4th May 2003, 18:06
Go for it. My mate Derek, said for his new years resolution, that he wanted to learn to play guitar and sing at the the same time, and to get up in front of people and do both before his birthday.(mid June).
This was discussed over a pint a while ago and I offered my services as a drummer. We got 2 other mates in, one on bass and the other on guitar and decided on a date to play a gig just for about 30 our mates.
So far we have 9 songs on the set-list, all covers, and we have got 5 of them sorted out and sounding just about ok-ish....We practise once a week for 3 hours and by the time June comes around we should have the songs all sorted.
Derek has one half-hour lesson a week just to go over the chords of the songs. He also trys for at least one hour a day at home. Hes picked it up quite easy really. Some people can and some can't. It can be done, go for it...!!! :D

5th May 2003, 05:08
You're about to start on what may well prove to be a lifelong addiction.

First you'll get to grips with standard tuning on the 6-string. Then there's Open G, Open C and Open D. Then there's dropped-D and several others. Then it'll be a 12-string guitar. Soon you'll have a collection of axes of various sorts. Think women are expensive? Wait until you try guitars!

After that it'll be a Dobro, then a pedal steel guitar. It never ends - unless you sell all the instruments and swear off them for life.

(Looks at cheque for sale of Martin D28-12 and Fender Vibrosonic Reverb amp and sighs contentedly.)

Arm out the window
5th May 2003, 07:09
The internet is a great source of guitar tab for any song you care to name - just search for song name plus the word 'tab', and you'll find heaps.
Some of it isn't all that accurate, but a lot is pretty good, and you can learn your favourites as you feel like it - good for motivation.
Get a few lessons too, to make sure your tuning/hand positions/pick technique or whatever are on the right track, and to get some informed direction.
And just pick it up every day, rembember that Murmurs song about 'Dust on my guitar, you (rude word)'!