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aileron
LSU Fan
H-Town
Member since Apr 2018
91 posts
 Online 

Learning Guitar
I've been a wind player (saxophone) for over 30 years but have always wanted to play guitar. As it turns out, playing lullabys for my 2 year old and campfire sing-alongs with a sax are just not a thing. Any advice from you rockers out there?


auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
10202 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Get a good guitar and a great teacher.


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Pvt Hudson
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Jan 2013
894 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Ultimate Guitar app.


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tidalmouse
Whatsamotta U.
Member since Jan 2009
27169 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Do it.One day your "future self" will look back on when you took up the guitar.

I did it 17 years ago.

I don't read music.

I learned Chords.Lots of Chords.I have close to 100 songs in my head.

I rewarded myself last year and bought a Martin D-28 Standard.

You can get a great guitar for $500-$600.

You just have to do it.

Best of luck.Have fun.

There's a nice Seagull S6 Acoustic at the Music Store in town.I've played it.It's got a great neck,and a sweet tone.Ii believe it's around $500.

Image: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71ujjCavp7L._SX569_.jpg
This post was edited on 3/10 at 6:44 am


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20
RockAndRollDetective
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2014
3440 posts

re: Learning Guitar
quote:

advice

You will get frustrated and want to put the guitar away and not pick it up again. That's part of the process; don't let it deter you for a long period of time. Get back on the horse as quickly as possible.

There is a conundrum at work: If you get a cheap, low quality guitar you will be less likely to stick with it because the more expensive a guitar is, the easier it is to play. The pawn shop always has tons of starter guitars because people either give up on it or upgrade. NOBODY ever stays with a 100 dollar guitar for long.

Developing calluses on your left hand fingertips is important. It hurts a little at first but once you get your "eggshells" it gets a lot more comfortable.


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30
RabidTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2009
2293 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Practice with a metronome! It will make you sound so much better so much faster.


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kingbob
LSU Fan
Sorrento, LA
Member since Nov 2010
48047 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Don't get a first act guitar. They are extremely hard to play and usually set up with the action super high, which will be extremely painful to fret when you are first starting out.

I recommend getting something above a student model, but nothing too expensive (something in the $400-500 range). That way you're getting an instrument that is of at least decent quality that should be easier to play without breaking the bank.

IT IS GOING TO HURT!!!!

Learning to play guitar can be VERY painful while you develop your callouses. Don't get discouraged. If you continue to work through the pain by playing consistently daily for a couple weeks, you will develop the necessary callouses, and then it won't hurt anymore.

Definitely get a teacher at first to learn the most basic of basics like hand placement, a few basic chords, and a little music theory (common chord progressions). This will help to make sure you are starting out learning the right technique so you don't develop bad habits. It is much easier to learn it the right way the first time than to learn it wrong, have your skills plateau as a result, and then try to re-learn how to play your instrument the right way in order to get any better.

The fastest way to get better is also the most tedious. You need to practice playing scales to a metronome. You need to learn to play every scale in major, minor, and pentatonic. Then, move on to the different modes of these scales. This will develop finger independence and train your brain to instinctively know where to go to play notes that sound "right".
This post was edited on 3/10 at 5:52 pm


deeprig9
Georgia Fan
Member since Sep 2012
33665 posts

re: Learning Guitar
The only benefit to starting with mid-grade gear is that you can't blame your shittiness on your gear, motivates you to practice more.

Im in the cheap gear camp for a beginner of any age.


kingbob
LSU Fan
Sorrento, LA
Member since Nov 2010
48047 posts

re: Learning Guitar
There's a difference between cheap gear and shite gear.

One of my friends got a first act guitar to learn to play on and gave it up after like a week, citing how much it hurt. I kept telling him he needed to just push through it, but he was emphatic. I went over to his house and he showed me the guitar. I had been playing guitar daily for 3 years at that point, and it was excruciatingly painful to try and fret that POS. Get something that isn't a total piece of junk, and get it set up properly. A lot of people bail on starter level instruments so quickly because they're so painful to play. You don't need a guitar worth $1000 to learn on, but most brands around $100 for an acoustic will be painful enough to deter even the most committed student. If you know where to look, decent guitars can be had in the $300 and up range, but if you don't know anything about guitars, by the time you get closer to the $500 range, your odds of buying a lemon that will be a chore to play is almost zero.

On the flip side, if one is going the electric route, there are many entry-level guitars under $200 that are easy to play and great for beginners under the Fender Squire series and the Ibanez brand in particular. The issue with cheaper electrics typically isn't being difficult to play, but rather a difficulty to keep in tune. Since that doesn't really matter much for someone who is just using it to learn on, those cheaper guitars are perfect for learners. Plus, electrics are extremely customizeable, and cheap tuners can be replaced with better tuners. Cheap pickups on student models can be later replaced with more expensive ones.
This post was edited on 3/10 at 6:04 pm


WonderWartHawg
Arkansas Fan
Member since Dec 2010
8944 posts

re: Learning Guitar
The two big hurdles most aspiring guitar players don't make it over:

Staying with it long enough to build up callouses on the fingertips. Your finger tips WILL be sore for a bit.

Being patient in making your fingers go where they are supposed to to make chords. It's a matter of muscle memory. Just keep at it, making sure you keep your fingers curved and not flattened out, muting other stings. Keep working on it slowly and correctly, it will happen.

Perhaps to get started and alleviate the first problem (sore fingers) you might start on a nylon string 'folk' (not classical with the wider neck) guitar. That would at least let you concentrate on the other things without your fingertips hurting so much. Then when you get the chord shapes down, switch to a steel string with lighter gauge strings.


flvelo12
LSU Fan
Clearwater, Florida
Member since Jan 2012
2053 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Thanks to all for the info. I'm an old fart who just wanted to learn for myself. I've been at it for just under a couple of months, got past the finger pain with proud callouses. Learning chords and strumming. It's a blast, I suck right now, but am getting there slowly. Really enjoy it, keeping it fun & find myself wanting to practice almost every spare minute I get.


awestruck
Auburn Fan
outdoors
Member since Jan 2015
4338 posts
 Online 

re: Learning Guitar
quote:

player (saxophone) for over 30 years
You probably read music, have a good understanding of scales, and move around a circle of fifths pretty good. So you'll probably want to concentrate on chords right off the bat. That will probably be pretty easy with a trained ear. Studying the guitar neck may seem awkward at first but if you spend time you'll soon see all manner of repetitive sequences. Remembering this sequence BEADGCF as you move across the neck might help as well as scale degrees 7362514 as you go across. (Hint: They're all a fifth apart of any note to the left and a fourth to the right of the same note (it's the way a guitar is tuned). That B'string tuning thing can be a real bitch.

If none of that makes sense (seems nonsense) it won't for long and this might help with chords jguitar.
This post was edited on 3/10 at 9:46 pm


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10
deeprig9
Georgia Fan
Member since Sep 2012
33665 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Better gear has the potential to make you sound better, but it won't make you play better. In fact, starting with better gear can make you a lazy player who relies on the tone of the fine instrument instead of his own fingers and soul. This argument can go on forever.




kale
Tulane Fan
Around
Member since Feb 2017
835 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Get you a kit off amazon that comes with an amp usually less than 150 hit up YouTube and the guy Justin guitar has a pretty solid channel. Also check out the guitar reddit page and after a week you should be ready to advance off that


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lsu1919
LSU Fan
Member since May 2017
1718 posts

re: Learning Guitar
I think in the case of the true beginner, people are just saying a $100 guitar isn't worth it. And it's not.

I would find a cheap used fender or gibson for $150-250 before I would advise someone to buy a $100 guitar off of amazon.


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kingbob
LSU Fan
Sorrento, LA
Member since Nov 2010
48047 posts

re: Learning Guitar
The cheapest gear can often be extremely difficult or painful to play which will be a greater deterrent to learning and actually cause a player to develop bad habits and technique even if they do manage to stick with it. You don't have to break the bank as a beginner, but it's best to shell out a little money to avoid the shite tier on acoustics. Having played a shitty acoustic guitar, I can't imagine many people being able to push through that as a hobbyist.

As for electrics, my cheap little Ibanez that I bought on ebay with a Fender Frontman Amp at age 17 was excellent to learn on.
This post was edited on 3/11 at 11:59 am


bamaphan13
Alabama Fan
Member since Jan 2011
590 posts

re: Learning Guitar
I am learning on a $150 Fender acoustic purchased from Amazon. One thing I did notice when I went to Guitar Center and played a few off the wall is how much easier it is to fret a good guitar.


Broke
LSU Fan
AKA Buttercup
Member since Sep 2006
63603 posts

re: Learning Guitar
quote:

Learning to play guitar can be VERY painful while you develop your callouses.


Bass players laugh at this. It took me months before it wasn't painful to play.


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flvelo12
LSU Fan
Clearwater, Florida
Member since Jan 2012
2053 posts

re: Learning Guitar
quote:

One thing I did notice when I went to Guitar Center and played a few off the wall is how much easier it is to fret a good guitar.


^^^ this.


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joshwj93
Member since Feb 2019
452 posts

re: Learning Guitar
Yamaha guitars give you a really good bang for your buck in my opinion. You can get a decent one for $150-$300 new and better used. Just my $.02. I learned to play on a Fender FA100 when I was a kid but the sound wasnt great.


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