Resume guitar

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Resume guitar

Postby MP173 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:04 pm

It has been awhile since I have played guitar and I feel the urge to resume playing.

Background:
Took up the instrument about 12 years ago in middle age with no musical training (nor talent). I had about 2 years of lessons from a professional blues guitarist who was a great teacher. I gradually moved away from it as my life became busier and havent played in probably 12 months or so.

Suggestions are wanted for resuming. I dont necessarily want to go back to the old stuff I was doing. I have both an accoustic and electric.

Thanks,

Ed
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby leonard » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:05 pm

What is your goal in playing guitar? Is it too learn a specific style, to learn a specific guitar players style? Or, are you interested in learning specifc guitar skills (chords, scales, etc.) irrespective of style?

Personally, my approach would differ depending on the goal.
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby lawman3966 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:51 pm

As rhythm instruments, guitars are usually used as accompaniment for a singer. Alternatively, you could learn to play some combination of lead and rhythm than can be used to play instrumentals in which the guitar is the principal instrument - Santana music is a good choice in this area. He composed a number of instrumentals that feature guitar playing above all other contributions, Samba Pa Ti being one example.

It might seem odd, but you might want to consider taking singing lessons if you want to use your guitar mostly to play chords as accompaniment. Personally, I'd quickly lose motivation to play if I were simply playing the portion a song that a guitar chord progression represents.

On this point, it's worth considering whether you want to play by yourself, in jam sessions, or at parties before small audiences.
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby TSR » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:02 am

Yeah, I agree that the question here is "to sing or not to sing." If you like to sing -- or would like to accompany other singers -- I'd say you should go for something less specific than the blues. Find a teacher that responds to your request for "basic singer-songwriter style," with some fingerpicking/Travis-picking, cross-picking, and strumming focus. There's a lot to study under those categories, and lots of cross-over with the blues. It should be a blast.

If you don't sing and prefer strictly musical stuff, you might enjoy some fingerstyle guitar. You could pick up a beginner or intermediate fingerpicking book and work your way up to the Chet Atkins books and other stuff like that. Depending on where you live, there may also be some teachers who could take you a ways down that road. Otherwise, as has been mentioned, you've got a lot of ethnic/international styles that are rewarding (but not easy!). I don't, however, recommend just dropping everything and taking up flamenco (or whatever) on a lark. You should have some connection to the style of music or you'll give it up when the going gets tough (I've seen it happen a lot).
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby MP173 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:17 am

My previous lessons (it has been about 5 years) were based on blues, primarily riff based blues, which I enjoyed. I also took a short series of lessons (6 months) on music theory, laying down foundamentals of "what sounds good and why".

Why am I wanting to play? Great question. I walked into the spare bedroom the other day, picked up my accoustic, and strummed G/C/D progression and it sounded good, even on an untuned instrument.

Travis picking intrigues me (know a bit of it). I will probably never join up with others in playing...I am just not very good. But I have always enjoyed the magazines such as Guitar Techniques which provide detailed lessons along with a CD.

I do not sight read well (it takes quite a long time for me to figure out chords, but do read notes).

I tend to "rent hobbies" and will put them away for awhile, then return. Interests include railroad history, astronomy, biking, guitar, slide rules (yes, slide rules), fishing, and reading.

Musical influences...many of the "classic rock" bands of the 60's/70's. Favorites include Neil Young (both electric and accoustic), Steely Dan (cant play their stuff, too complex), Led Zeppelin, etc. So there is a mixture of folk, rock, jazz, r&b, and riff based blues.

I like to hear something and try to figure out how it is played, then turn to on line tabs to see if I was close.

So, there you have it...suggestions?

If I could do anything well, it would be fingerstyle...really intriguing to me.

Ed
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Stevee » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:00 am

You might want to check out "Live From Daryl's House" by searching on Youtube.

s
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby rec7 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:05 am

Try to copy this guy looks like fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcnaX4OFbS8
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Jay69 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:53 am

I picked up these DVD's to learn some Jim Croce material about a year ago. The DVD's are well done, and well worth it if you like his style.

I happen to think Jim Croce was one of the great ones. Its not easy playing, well at least not for me, I'm an old blues guy as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HKN2Ph7fhk
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Don Christy » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:59 am

Try to find a group lesson opportunity. I had very similar experience to yours, and when I found The Folk School of St. Louis and began paying with others it made a huge difference in motivation and ultimately skill. There are often beginner's level jams associated with these type of organizations too.

Good luck.
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby MP173 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:36 am

Thanks for suggestions...now the tough part is to get my fretting fingers back in shape. Ouch.

Ed
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby leonard » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:20 pm

I would suggest buying the lessons from this guy. You can buy all his lessons for about 45-50 bucks and they are worth every penny. He covers primarily, rock, blues, country, and blue grass guitar. Covers bass, piano, lap steel, banjo and some others also - if you are so inclined.

http://www.youtube.com/user/groovydjs

Warning: Do NOT look at his youtube site or buy his videos if you are easily offended. Some of his commentary is very blue.

However, I found his teaching style to be very, very good. Learned a lot of riffs and techniques from him - as well as music theory for guitar. He really is very good instructor that breaks everything down in to simple steps, then builds on those steps to get you to an intermediate or advanced level. And, with the videos you can stop and really learn the technique. Some of his videos have taken me weeks to get through - by going step by step and learning each new skill before moving on to the next.

You said you were very interested in fingerstyle playing. I took used his lessons on blue grass playing and the banjo roll as a way to specifically learn fingerstyle playing. It worked. And, don't forget to include the pinky.

Anyway, best 50 bucks I have spent on guitar related stuff. Excellent value.

Also, I am in no way affliated with or have any stake whatsoever in the music lessons sales. Just a happy customer.
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Jay69 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:38 am

leonard wrote:I would suggest buying the lessons from this guy. You can buy all his lessons for about 45-50 bucks and they are worth every penny. He covers primarily, rock, blues, country, and blue grass guitar. Covers bass, piano, lap steel, banjo and some others also - if you are so inclined.

http://www.youtube.com/user/groovydjs



Damm, I'm going to pick this up for myself, thanks for the link.

I may get flamed for this one but I love how he hates TAB!
"Out of clutter, find simplicity” Albert Einstein
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby guitarguy » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:29 pm

MP173 wrote:Suggestions are wanted for resuming [guitar].


I know it might not be the advice you're looking for...but just dedicate some time and play!!

You could start with YouTube lessons as others have mentioned, or just start learning some of your favorite easy shuffle along songs. My suggestion would be to do a mix of learning some songs you like and actual structured practice (scales, dexterity, etc). In my experience the best way to learn chords is just to start playing songs...as you pick up the basics (or maybe you already have all the basics from your previous playing) the songs and chords will get more complicated. And better yet learn to play the same songs and alternate voicings for the chords. :wink:

As far as lead vs rhythm playing...you can't be a good lead player without being a good rhythm player. Learn the chord progressions and learn to solo and hit the chord changes. That will propel you above most average guitarists.

Most of all have fun. I'll be on stage tonight and tomorrow playing in a local club and having a blast doing it (as always). Not to mention making a tidy sum for doing it! :beer
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Stevee » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:56 pm

If you take in all the good advice given in the above posts , you'll soon be able to put guitar on your resume! :mrgreen:
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby TSR » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:14 pm

I still advocate taking in-person lessons. For me, there's something about the accountability that makes me more likely to do my homework. It can be tough to find someone who you really like, but between words like "Travis picking" and "Neil Young," you should find somebody on your wavelength. Good luck!
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Jay69 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:15 pm

guitarguy wrote:I'll be on stage tonight and tomorrow playing in a local club and having a blast doing it (as always). Not to mention making a tidy sum for doing it! :beer


I miss those days from another life, enjoy.

I keep saying when my kids get older I'm going to start again but then I think about the setup/teardown :wink:

May need to break out the old Trombone and join the city band, man I'm feeling old!
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby MP173 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:16 pm

It has been a pretty good week. All guitars are tuned and strategically placed thru out the house. The callouses are begining to take hold on the fingers and the on line lesson has been helpful. I have always enjoyed guitarnoise.com. David Hodge is a very good teacher, I met him when he lived in Chicago. His on line lessons (written) are very good.

Working on barre chords, which has always been difficult for me (on my Washburn accoustic). I am playing a Cm - A - E - Gm progression with Fm and B thrown in. Frustrating, but getting much better.

Thanks for all the suggestions and I will check out the lessons on line.

Ed
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby leonard » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:21 pm

Jay69 wrote:
leonard wrote:I would suggest buying the lessons from this guy. You can buy all his lessons for about 45-50 bucks and they are worth every penny. He covers primarily, rock, blues, country, and blue grass guitar. Covers bass, piano, lap steel, banjo and some others also - if you are so inclined.

http://www.youtube.com/user/groovydjs



Damm, I'm going to pick this up for myself, thanks for the link.

I may get flamed for this one but I love how he hates TAB!


Have no idea what experience level you are - so take this suggestion with a grain of salt. If you buy his lessons and are a relative beginner or intermediate, I would suggest priortizing these video lessons first:

Nashville number system video. Has Nashville in the title, but it is really general music theory for the 8 tone, Whole Note, "do ray me" scale. Also covers figuring out the key of songs.
Music Theory for the guitar.
Then, the Basics videos: Blues, country, and rock.

The only other thing I will suggest - even if you really like one style or not like a style - country, blues, rock - whatever - you should still watch his video for the style. A lot of his specific videos for country, rock, or blues are general techniques that will move across styles. Throw distortion on double stops and country bends and you have rock or metal, for example. Finger picking country acoustic or blue grass - can translate to rock or blues technique on electric.

The funk rhythm video is also a great one for practicing rhythm techniques.

Anyway, well worth the money.

As to the comment on rhythm guitar - every guitarist should strive to be a rhythm player. Where would Steve Cropper be without being able to stay with the rhythm section AND play lead fills?
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby JupiterJones » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:35 pm

leonard wrote:As to the comment on rhythm guitar - every guitarist should strive to be a rhythm player.


I also agree. Moreover, I think it's silly to even make the distinction. After all, you never hear anyone say that they play "lead piano" or "rhythm piano". One should simply work on gaining more and more mastery of the instrument, which involves many techniques and styles.

JJ
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Whiggish Boffin » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:12 am

If you're secure with changing chords without stopping, playing while singing, reading music a bit -- these books will stretch you some:
Mickey Baker's Jazz Guitar
Lesson 1 is fingerings for fifty weird altered chords that you can move up and down the neck. Then, chord progressions. Then, arpeggios and solos. Even if jazz guitar isn't your thing, you'll find yourself listening to other stuff and realizing "That's how they did that!"

(Baker was the Mickey of Mickey & Sylvia who had a 1956 hit, "Love Is Strange". He was a prolific session player, and you've heard him hundreds of times without knowing it. He died 27 Nov. 2012, age 87, in Toulouse, France.)

Ted Greene's Modern Chord Progressions
It's fruitful to switch beftween Baker and Greene. Greene covers the same general territory, but assumes a less-advanced student, and explains more theory than Baker. Greene's bibliography of music-theory and sight-reading books will take you as far as you want to go.

These books will teach you a lot about how songs are built:
The Beatles: Complete Scores
Elvis Costello: A Singing Dictionary
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby leonard » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:03 pm

Whiggish Boffin wrote:If you're secure with changing chords without stopping, playing while singing, reading music a bit -- these books will stretch you some:
Mickey Baker's Jazz Guitar
Lesson 1 is fingerings for fifty weird altered chords that you can move up and down the neck. Then, chord progressions. Then, arpeggios and solos. Even if jazz guitar isn't your thing, you'll find yourself listening to other stuff and realizing "That's how they did that!"

(Baker was the Mickey of Mickey & Sylvia who had a 1956 hit, "Love Is Strange". He was a prolific session player, and you've heard him hundreds of times without knowing it. He died 27 Nov. 2012, age 87, in Toulouse, France.)

Ted Greene's Modern Chord Progressions
It's fruitful to switch beftween Baker and Greene. Greene covers the same general territory, but assumes a less-advanced student, and explains more theory than Baker. Greene's bibliography of music-theory and sight-reading books will take you as far as you want to go.

These books will teach you a lot about how songs are built:
The Beatles: Complete Scores
Elvis Costello: A Singing Dictionary


I have been trying to understand chord substitutions better - and Jazz seems to utilize this the most.

Which of these 2 books address that particular issue better? Sounds like I may just need to order them both.
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Re: Resume guitar

Postby Whiggish Boffin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:22 pm

Leonard --

If you limit yourself to just one of Baker or Greene, I'd say get Greene. I got Baker's books in the early '70s, when they were all there was on jazz guitar. Baker is pretty strict with drills and reguar practice, which are good for you. What theory you get from Baker comes largely from hearing and playing lots of exampes and exercises.

Greene came out after I'd digested Baker. Greene explains much more theory, so you don't have to figure it out yourself. But you learn a lot from practicing and hearing how the progressions work. That's why I'd say to get both, and switch between them, if you can.
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