Things You Wish You Knew When You Started Playing Guitar

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by Axiomatik, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. LenPaul

    LenPaul Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    3,448
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Really can't think of anything I wished I knew before I started playing.
    oh .. is one thing, my parents cancelled my piano lessons & sold my accordion.
     
  2. Eddie 70

    Eddie 70 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,757
    Likes Received:
    1,421
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    I wish I had taken lessons before the 4 years I have been trying to learn on my own.

    Just never seem to take the time to do it.
     
    DW4LesPaul and Barnaby like this.
  3. bard2dbone

    bard2dbone Junior Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    I started guitar the same year I started double bass. But I got actual teaching on bass and didn't get any official lessons on guitar. This is probably most of the reason that, even now, I say I play bass, but I play AT everything else. My earliest lesson were from my Dad,( a competent folk-rock kind of player) and my Granddad (formerly a professional swing jazz player)

    Somehow with all the informal learning from them, I've never developed a proper guitar vibrato. My vibrato technique is clearly more like a cellist, because that's what my first bass teacher really was. But it reeeeeeally doesn't translate well to guitar.

    I don't have as much of a chord vocabulary as I'd prefer.

    I can't use a pick for squat.

    And apparently my (learned by imitating Mark Knopfler...badly) lead technique is weird...and therefore limited.

    So I guess my list would be: Proper tremolo, propr pick technique, and better chord vocabulary. The lead stuff would probably work itself out with those out of the way.
     
    DarrellV likes this.
  4. Nard

    Nard Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,628
    Likes Received:
    1,824
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    How to listen to the guitar parts when learning a new song and be patient in putting them together. There are so many tunes I’ve played for years that I now realise I can improve how they sound with a few subtle changes. Biggest regret was adopting a defeatist attitude before I even started learning something that would test my ability rather than see it as a challenge.
     
    DarrellV likes this.
  5. Dan Gibbs

    Dan Gibbs Junior Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    "Things You Wish You Knew When You Started Playing Guitar"

    G.A.S. Guitar Acquisition Syndrome...period. I think we've all heard of and snarkily laughed about some women who spend every second-to-last dollar buying every "cute" purse and "to-die-for" pair of shoes that they see (Imelda Marcos....look it up kids hehehe). Good Lord, the guitarist has the same addictions too - two guitars, four guitars, ten guitars is never enough ad infinitum! And then comes the amplifiers, and then the pedals...OY VEY!!! "Pick a couple of favorites and get rid of the rest!" Yeah, right :)

    I updated my Excel gear spreadsheet a few nights ago after stumbling across it and not having updated it since around 2010. OMGL...69 guitars, 20 amps, 12 multi-effects units, and 83 discrete effects pedals. Those are the ones I remembered to put on the spreadsheet over the years. I'm not proud anymore. I need a twelve-step program.

    Just to keep my MLP-forum affiliation, I own five Gibson lefties - '97 LP Custom WR, early '70's LP Deluxe, '95 SG HC, '15 SG 70s-Tribute, and a '15 50's Tribute.

    High-speed interwebs, GAS, and cheap import guitars - a deadly cocktail.

    I suggest to any aspiring guitarist to immediately take their guitar to the local police station, hand it over, and say please take this as I will have no control once this gets into my bloodstream! Then go back to bass or even better buy a tuba and keep your mind right - nobody had T.A.S., right...Oh God NOOOO!

    :)
     
    DarrellV and Axiomatik like this.
  6. Axiomatik

    Axiomatik Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    119
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    I feel like I had a revelation this week. I bought a variety pack of dunlop picks a couple weeks ago and for the first time I tried the white Jazz III pic and it seems to have solved all my issues. I have pretty narrow fingers and it felt like I wasn't able to have enough control of a "full sized" pic as it would move around too much during strumming. Jazz III feels perfect, tight and accurate.
     
    DW4LesPaul and DarrellV like this.
  7. R0Z

    R0Z Junior Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    I wish I knew the right instructor.
     
    Eddie 70 likes this.
  8. lemmy loud

    lemmy loud Senior Member

    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    699
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Alternate picking.
    Play clean, not fast.
    Chords, chords chords--Then turn them into arpeggios, the solo stuff will follow naturally.
    *The biggest one . . . Dont try to copy anyone!!! Right from the start, do whatever you are doing, your own way.
    Don't try to copy a song, write your own!! Be happy where you are, dont focus on where you think you should be.
    :cheers2:
     
    DarrellV likes this.
  9. LeftyF2003

    LeftyF2003 Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,062
    Likes Received:
    7,787
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Take lessons, especially now that you can do it all online. You can troll through the YouTube videos or sign up for something like TrueFire where you can get more focused lessons. There are so many more resources for instruction now than when I was starting out. It will save you a lot of time and hassle and help focus your practice time, and help keep you from developing bad habits.
     
    parts likes this.
  10. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,353
    Likes Received:
    7,005
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    less is more.....Keep things simple,
    my early playing had a habit of being far too busy. an old guy once asked " what the f*ck I was doing" best lesson learned

    also, knowing how to hold back and save the best for later in a song,
     
    DarrellV likes this.
  11. KC Superstar

    KC Superstar Junior Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Good on ya for doing it the hard way. I had an argument with a guitar shop owner once, when I asked why he had no Lefty guitars in stock. He said that if I was left-handed then playing right-handed would enable my left hand to do all the hard work. But it just doesn't feel right, eh? I had to use a re-strung SG for years, but now have several real Lefties. Hurrah! (serious GAS 8=). Regarding starting out, I wish I'd learnt the Blues before anything else!
     
    MooCheng and LeftyF2003 like this.
  12. Guitarhack

    Guitarhack Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,577
    Likes Received:
    15,414
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Different guitars have different neck shapes, radius, and scales. You can actually pick one out that is comfortable for you to play.
     
  13. LeftyF2003

    LeftyF2003 Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,062
    Likes Received:
    7,787
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    OT - I am actually a righty playing left handed. I came from playing piano and it just made more sense to put my right hand on the neck. I think the idea of having your dominant hand going up and down with the pick makes less sense than having your "smart" hand on the neck, given that we're not just strumming cowboy chords :)
     
  14. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,353
    Likes Received:
    7,005
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    another lefty here, have never understood the attitude that a left handed person should somehow force themselves to do something right handed, its worth remembering a right handed guitar feels as strange to me as one of my guitars would feel to a right handed player. Its no big deal, just something that crosses my mind whenever someone pipes up "why did'nt you learn to play righty

    edit...forgot to say welcome
     
  15. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

    Messages:
    479
    Likes Received:
    272
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
    Dunlop Big Stubbies are great too. Especially if you like to scrape pick harmonics off your thumb, Billy Gibbons-style. Only came across them a year ago and haven't used a conventional, flat pick since.


    [​IMG]
     
  16. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

    Messages:
    479
    Likes Received:
    272
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
    Things I wish I'd known years ago:

    There's a middle position on the LP's pickup selector switch for a reason. But you need to learn to use the vol and tone pots to get the magic out of it.
     
    C_Becker likes this.
  17. Filipem

    Filipem Senior Member

    Messages:
    544
    Likes Received:
    338
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    I wish I knew to buy a good amp from the get go. When you start playing even simple chords, its much more rewarding and encouraging hearing it through a decent amp.
     
    C_Becker likes this.
  18. Eddie 70

    Eddie 70 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,757
    Likes Received:
    1,421
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    This would benefit me I am sure greatly.
     
  19. christophervolume

    christophervolume Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,184
    Likes Received:
    2,364
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    i already knew this but here's a nugget for you. when you're onstage entertaining, your shirt is more important than the gear you're playing.
     
    504steve likes this.
  20. 504steve

    504steve Junior Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2017
    1) The spiderwalking exercise for finger independence.

    -Start with one finger per fret, high E string, frets 5-6-7-8
    -Keep your middle finger and pinky pressed down
    -Move your ring and index fingers together up to the B string (DO NOT move your middle and pinky fingers while doing this)
    -Move your middle and pinky fingers to the B string to join the rest of your fingers
    -Repeat all the way up the fretboard
    -Repeat all the way down the fretboard in reverse
    -If you get too fast or it becomes too easy, try sliding around the neck every time you go up and down

    2) Pickups can make your Walmart guitar sound much more badass, but setup, intonation and fretwork will make it feel like a dream compared to its old self.

    3) Learn your basic open chords, then learn basic movable chord patterns, and don’t stop with just the regular barre chords. This will give you many ways to play the same chord without having to think as hard later

    4) A tip to improvising: The rule for this to work in your head and on the fretboard is bring your index to where your pinky is, and keep jamming! To expand, let’s say you are playing the A Pentatonic starting not the 5th fret. You can slide over to the 8th fret with your index finger for some diversity without sounding bad.

    5) What the notes are on the fretboard, particularly on the low e string when starting.
     

Share This Page