So a few years ago I bought a guitar and amp as a friend agreed to give me lessons. Shortly after I got the items, that friend had to move due to work. I tried teaching myself, but learned I am a terrible teacher. I tried buying a computer program to help, but my computer is old and has decided it doesnt want to run it anymore. Money is a little tight now so I cant afford real lessons (or a new computer at the time). I have heard some people say that some of the instructional DVDs and books are pretty good, and I was wondering if anybody knows any good ones, or any other tips that might help me learn to play this instrument.
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Originally posted by Doc_whiskeyI have heard some people say that some of the instructional DVDs and books are pretty good, and I was wondering if anybody knows any good ones, or any other tips that might help me learn to play this instrument.
The real problem with these instructional videos is that there is no one physically there to correct your technique if you're doing something wrong, and that's largely the problem most beginners will encounter. Like with most things, unlearning is twice as hard as learning correctly the first time.
Any beginning guitar book will have the basic chord fingerings and notes that you should know to start you off. I'd probably stay away from the DVDs until you just got comfortable with the basics - transitioning from chord to chord, and picking simple notes.
I'd also check and see there's community college close by that might have a beginners course. I can't stress how valuable it is to have someone im the room with you making sure you're doing things correctly.
The thing I ended up doing because I had little money was self-taught myself chords and scales and progessions. The sucky part was not having someone physically there to correct things. I typically took existing music and played along and it seemed to work out pretty good. The hardest part I found was transitioning from chord to chord effectively and found myself pretty frustrated but just kept at it.
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My dad played guitar, so when I was young I wanted to learn, too. The problem was that all the books he had were really dull. I didn't want to learn to play Yankee Doodle, I wanted to play the music I listened to. So after several years of false starts, I finally learned to play when one of the guitar magazines put out a grunge issue with several Nirvana songs. This hit a magic combination of songs I liked and stuff that wasn't too tough to play with practice.
So I guess my advice is to try to find a magazine or tab book for your favorite band. Make sure it isn't something super tough, so no Clapton or something like that. If you like early Beatles, that should be about perfect. You're not going to learn theory or other important things doing this, but that's ok because it can come later. Right now the important part is feeling comfortable with the guitar and getting your hands working properly. Another benefit is that these beginner tab books will have diagrams of the chords used in the song (most of the time), so you can use them for a reference later.
Then once you've got some chords learned and your ear is used to it, you can start to play along with stuff that you don't have the music for.
Didn't notice you were in St. Louis. Check out the the Music Center of Kirkwood (formerly Mel Bay Music Store), they'll have tons of great books there. Plus they give lessons there (or they used to), so they'll be able to help you pick out some good beginner style books.