The Self Taught Guitarist's Survival Guide

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by mudfinger, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

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    Looks more like a MudFinger :cool:
     
  2. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories. V.I.P. Member

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    Sorry for the delay, guys, gf is good to go on filming the vid, but I've been consumed with practice and recording. Nothing to keep so far, so we're still at it. I just think some video would save us all alotta time, because it will show exactly what I'm doing in realtime, which is where the magic happens. Pics capture a moment, but it's not enough of "the moment" to demonstrate hammer-ons, pull-offs, and the various types of bends. Bear with me, we'll get ya covered! :thumb:

    Meanwhile:

    Great post; I HATE metronomes, but it's the same principle in play as going along with a song on the radio, or a drum machine; let someone ELSE determine the beat and pulse of the music, and FOLLOW them. :shock: When I play, I literally rely on my rhythm section (metronome/drum machine/etc.) to keep me in line. It's one less thing to think about while you play. Any change to the tempo, whether faster or slower, helps to define your timing and placement of notes, so it's all good!

    Me too, and I'm very, very pleased to read the endorsement of someone else who's already "gone thru the wringer". :dude:

    I know where yer at with yer own playing, and I'm literally thrilled to be of service to a guy in your shoes, workin his way thru the tangle. At the end of the day, its YOUR talent and commitment that makes your playing shine.

    :lol: I smoke cigars, and when I don't have enuff time to finish one, I snuff it out with my fingers; good for callouses, I spose. :laugh2:

    As far apart as you and I are on political and religious perspectives, I'm gratified that you found value in this thread. After bending and vibrato is sorted, I'll be taking a bit of a break, then moving on with "intermediate" techniques, so hopefully there'll be something that's actually useful to ya in there. :thumb:

    Great point. Slowing it all down usually helps the guys looking to understand the space between beats better. But, I do the same as you when I'm working on a strumming pattern, for example; by speeding it up, it helps me to let go of anything extraneous. I think just taking the music outside of the recorded beat is the crucial thing, and if going faster works for you, as it does for me in many cases, then that's how to roll!


    :lol: The nick I chose was pretty random; MLP already had a few "Lefty" nicknames goin, so I went for a mashup of "Muddy Waters" and "Fingerstyle Player"...that said, I still crack a smile whenever someone calls me "Mud" or "Muddy" on the forums; he's prolly the closest thing I have to a guitar hero. :D

    I want you guys to take a very close look at these pics below. The most important thing to take in is the fact that all of my callouses are on the SIDE of my fingerpads. :cool:

    [​IMG]

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    My hands aren't all that big, by the way...but I do have good stretch:

    [​IMG]

    After I get the bending/vibrato things done, we'll roll onto right hand technique and partial chords. "Intermediate" stuff, I spose, but to my way of thinking, self-taught is self-taught, and there's no such thing as "better" or "more accomplished" when it comes to guys who are making THEIR OWN SOUND on guitar. Much respect to all yall, I'll be back soon with sumthin good. :D
     
  3. Caleb

    Caleb Senior Member

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    Jesus Mud, are those callouses or frostbite??? :laugh2:

    Seriously though dude, I've read this thread all the way through and found it very interesting and helpful. :thumb:
     
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  4. CroPunk

    CroPunk Senior Member

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    Yeah, I agree, one heck of an interesting thread.

    I bought my very first guitar almost precisely one year ago. It was, and still is, an acoustic Ibanez guitar. I went to music school some time ago, but back then I played the horn for four years. I really wasn't up for it. So one day my friend got me on the idea for a guitar. Soon enough I got my very own.

    I've been a self thought guitarist ever since.

    At the beginning I went to a few friends to get the basics.

    Don't know why, but I really, REALLY don't get the plain chords over the lyrics. For example:

    A...........B................C
    Blah blah blah blaaaah blah blah

    Well, no problem there, at Blah play chord A, at blah play chord B and at blah play chord C. But the song sound very different because they don't simply strum, but play specific string WHILE holding that chord. Plus, I sometimes can't seem to hear the rhythm in the song, so some blank chords don't help me very much.

    I'm pretty sure some people disagree, so I won't get more into it (guess it was simply a rant :D).

    But, for that reason, I'm very keen on power chords and song books. I'm more of a Rock/Punk/Grunge type a guy, so power chords and screaming are very common. I do like the '70's and '80's very much. Other the the mindless power chords, I play some more difficult(for me at least) things (or at least try to) such as Boston - More then a feeling, Blue Oyster Cult - Don't fear the reaper, etc. Some songs here and there occasionally include a chord or two (not power chord).

    Guess I just wanted to show there all kinds of us self taught guitarists here. :D

    The more the better. Awesome thread; subscribed. :thumb:

    EDIT: I got my first electric guitar 3 months ago. :) Les Paul style guitar by Performer :rolleyes:
     
  5. 3rdstone

    3rdstone Senior Member

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    Friendly Bumpity, even though I know Mud is in the studio, tryin' to get a keeper. Just discovered this gem of a thread. Great. :fingersx:

    Steve
     
  6. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    I posted about that a while ago (hell, it might even have been in this thread but I am too lazy to go looking for my post) as I had trouble with it as well. I was trying I Love Rock N Roll by Joan Jett and the chords above the words just didn't seem to make any sense compared to how the song actually sounds.
     
  7. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories. V.I.P. Member

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    Real sorry for the delay, guys, it really is crazy time around here; I'm posting whenever I'm on breaks between running down the same 3 tunes over and over: Red House, Dixie Chicken, and Muddy Water Blues. Those 3 songs are going to be my world until Sunday, when it looks like all the pieces are gonna be in place to nail the demo. :fingersx:

    I'll say this about the wierdness between chord charts and actual guitar parts on the recordings, tho: the former is just a guide to let ya know what the basic chord is, and where it fits into the structure of the song. Can only get the riff itself, or the actual chord played by the guitarist, by tablature, notation, or best of all, listening.

    Take Back in Black, for example; that first opening riff is Emaj, Dmaj, Amaj, then a lil lick to finish it off. But the chord chart doesn't tell you that it's one strum for the E, and 3 strums each for the D and A, that's something you'll have to listen your way thru. The lick is straight off the pentatonic I posted upthread, by the way, with a lil bend at the end. Plus, there's lil rhythm "clicks" between the chords, which is yet another level of detail.

    Mebbe think of it as 2 ways of playing the song; follow the chord chart to just strum thru the changes while ya sing the lyric; won't sound anything like the version you know, but it will have the soul of the song in it. The other way is to follow the recording, at which point the chord chart is purely for reference. :thumb: Once I get that bending/vibrato video up, we'll roll into this territory, for sure.

    Much respect, as always, guys; it's been inspiring to me to see this thread doing some good for folks I know on the boards that I already respected as people AND as guitarists. It was a very solitary and lonely process for me, but it doesn't have to be like that anymore, and learning to play guitar this way really does have its merits, even if it requires some real nerve and discipline to make it happen. Duly impressed with all yall. :D
     
  8. CroPunk

    CroPunk Senior Member

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    I can go by that. :thumb: Very nicely said. :applause:
     
  9. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    Thanks for the explanation that was posted (I deleted it here to keep this reply from being overly long) and I look forward to you rolling further into this territory as I think your doing that, when combined with the explanation you provided here, will really help some people especially as being able to play even just a couple of simple 3 chord songs will likely make learning more enjoyable and will inspire people to keep at it and to keep learning rather than getting frustrated and maybe giving up.




    Thanks to you for taking the time to make this kind of contribution and to pass along all of the wisdom that was passed on to you through the years.
     
  10. EpiLPCustom

    EpiLPCustom Senior Member

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  11. Roman

    Roman Master Luthier V.I.P. V.I.P. Member

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    Quoted for a bump of the original post. Why? Because it is well written and informative. :thumb:
     
  12. heybulldog

    heybulldog Banned

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    Hi Thank you for the thread first of all This is fantastic, really :thumb:
    I did took a lesson for one month at a local music store from whom, had all kind of credentials (Professor of music and was a Dean of the music department at a local University, played and taught many instruments including vocal coaching), however the lesson sucked so bad I quickly started to loose enthusiasm. He talked too much preaching about Jesus or showing off rather than teaching me a guitar. I mostly sat there with my both hands rested on top of a guitar being Mr. polite. I kindly expressed my concern to him, but he just kept on talking. He just loved to talk. Just a type of person he was... I sensed he did not have a patient to just sit and teach. After all this was an extra income for him. But with me, it was an expensive investment that I wanted to make sure I get a professional quality lesson. So, I stopped going to him.

    But now, I really do not know who/where else to take lessons from since I live in a tiny town. So, I decided to go with the other option...self teach~! I practice everyday try to figure out how I can accomplish this.... Currently, I follow the text book I was using from the class along with Chords book, Tab notes from my favorite band, etc.

    EXACTLY ~! I love acoustic and its the raw sound of what your fingers put into ~! I am indeed practicing with my acoustic, then "play" with my electric right now. I love them both of course. :)

    So far, I think I am on the right track, and doing the right thing. But after I read this threads, I realized that with chords play, you have to be able to sing along or play along a with a background music like a CD? If not, you will be just making sound of chords. This is where my confusion was actually ~!! Where is the rhythm, melody, and solo ? Like Classic guitar music has a musical melody. I love rock and blues solo ... I would like to be able to play a song/tune with instruments only since I can not sing! :laugh2:.

    Like this guy below ~!!

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-mMUplpts8[/ame]

    :applause:
     
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  13. heybulldog

    heybulldog Banned

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    Thank you ~! this is what I was trying to say... where is the melody? I guess that is why I like Tab better in some way even its like a cheat music.

    :D
     
  14. Sloppy Joe

    Sloppy Joe Senior Member

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    Thanks mudfinger for the great posts here in this thread. I've been playing for about 10 years now, but sometimes I still feel like a beginner. I figure it's because the guitar can be such a complicated and challenging instrument and that one can never come close to learning everything about it.
     
  15. Sloppy Joe

    Sloppy Joe Senior Member

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    This is great stuff. Can this be made a 'sticky'?
     
  16. LP Fan

    LP Fan Senior Member

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    Mud - This thread is awesome! Thanks for it. I had some questions about bending. On what fret and note are you placing your index finger? How many frets up from that does the ring finger go, and what note is being hit? From what I can see as an example, it looks like the index finger would be on the high E string and the ring finger would be two frets up on the B. I'm not sure about that, so your assistance would be helpful. Also, with how many fingers do you bend typically? Thanks again for your help.
     
  17. Sloppy Joe

    Sloppy Joe Senior Member

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    Keepin it alive.
     
  18. Sloppy Joe

    Sloppy Joe Senior Member

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    This has some great lessons, so, time for a bump.
     
  19. AnalogHeart

    AnalogHeart Junior Member

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    You've already taught me more then my teacher right now :thumb: He'll be surprised with me for sure next time we get together. I seriously can't thank you enough for this thread. So heres a bump for you, make sure you continue to be awesome like someone else :)slash:) and wish you well!
     
  20. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    There's nothing wrong with teaching yourself. Listen to a lot of things, play everything, no matter what (all genres)...but then play with other people as much as you can. This is always the big test. You will find out what you don't know and can't do really quick especially if the other player is better.

    I was also lucky enough to have friends who played in bands and they would let me come along to watch a lot. I asked questions, did whatever I could do, carried gear, plugged in cables, etc. It helped. I learned how you do the band thing this way and watched the hands of a lot of good players...and then promptly ran home to try out what I saw and heard. When I was a better player, I got to even sit in occasionally. This was the real test. There is no substitute for mentors in this business...especially something like blues. It is an art form that has always been passed on like that.

    All that said, I did take lessons from a jazz guy for a short time. It gave me a needed boost forward. It is worth it IF you know what you want to learn. If not...it can be a waste of time and money.
     
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