Learning to play guitar

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jim Mcc, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,757
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Oconomowoc, WI.
    Real Name:
    Jim
    My 21 year old daughter wants to learn to play the guitar. Does anyone have any recommendations for a DVD or book that is easy to use, and good for a beginner? This is something we want to give her for Christmas. She already knows how to read music because she was in the band in high school. Thanks.
     
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    15,398
    Likes Received:
    271
    Location:
    North Texas
    Real Name:
    Greg
    I didn't quite get the hang of the guitar when I was trying to learn, so I might not have the best advice, but I found this book to be utterly indispensable:


    http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Handbook-Ralph-Denyer/dp/0679742751/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291238188&sr=1-6


    The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer. My copy had a black cover, but I assume this is an updated version. What makes it so valuable is that there are pictures of the fretboard with every note marked. It teaches you how to tune the guitar, and every single chord is shown via fretboard photos. She'll see all the basic chord shapes and how to play them further up the neck as barre chords. You also get scales and exercises. She's already way ahead of me, so she'll probably pick up the guitar pretty easily, coming from other instruments.
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,757
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Oconomowoc, WI.
    Real Name:
    Jim
    Thanks Greg. I was thinking it would be easier using a DVD though(being more visual than a book).
     
  4. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Likes Received:
    58
    My mom attempted guitar but gave it up and gave the thing to me as I am somewhat musically inclined but can't really play anything well.


    The issue I have is it seems you have to press down on the strings harder than I would have expected in order to hit the chord. A loose grip and it doesn't sound right. Am I correct? I have figured out how to tune it.
     
  5. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,757
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Oconomowoc, WI.
    Real Name:
    Jim
    I'm hoping for a DVD recommendation from someone in the know. There's so many on Amazon I'm lost.
     
  6. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    15,398
    Likes Received:
    271
    Location:
    North Texas
    Real Name:
    Greg

    Yes. You have to fret each note firmly, directly behind the fret. Otherwise, it'll buzz and sound horrible. That's why you have to build up calluses if you play regularly. There are exceptions, such as harmonics, where you lightly touch the string in certain spots.


    Sorry, Jim. Not a response you want, but at least it'll keep the thread bumped.
     
  7. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    85
    I started to learn to play guitar around the age of 8. On a beater of an acoustic that had super high action. I remember practicing until my fingertips bled.

    So yeah you do have to press hard. But if you have a decent guitar with nice action, it shouldn't make your fingers bleed. Although it will hurt and if you practice a lot in the beginning you will feel the burn. It will go away after a while once your calluses are built up.
     
  8. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    15,398
    Likes Received:
    271
    Location:
    North Texas
    Real Name:
    Greg
     
  9. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,757
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Oconomowoc, WI.
    Real Name:
    Jim
    Thanks guys.
     
  10. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    85
     
  11. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1998
    Messages:
    7,795
    Likes Received:
    8
    GuitarPro.


    It works by tablature and you can slow down the speeds at which the songs play. I wish I had this 20 years ago. I paly in 2 bands and the speed at which Ive learned songs with it - Ive found it to be a great tool.


    Yes she should learn the proper way, learning scales and chords, notes on the neck, etc, but Guitar Pro is a great tool to learn songs. She can go to GuitarUniverse, pick songs she likes, download them and launch them in GP and play along.


    To tell you the truth, I dont even bother learning by ear anymore, when I can get a song down in no time at all using Guitar Pro.


    Highly recommended.
     
  12. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm...I actually manage a guitar store, so here are a couple of recommendations based on customer feedback:


    Hal Leonard's Play Guitar Today book/CD/DVD combo

    http://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.do?itemid=699544&seriesfeature=PLYTDY&menuid=3019&subsiteid=67&

    This set runs about $20 and seems to be pretty logical and thorough. The corresponding CD and DVD relate directly to the lessons presented in the book, so it's easy to follow.


    Mel Bay's Guitar Chords book

    http://www.melbay.com/product.asp?ProductID=93261&Heading=&category=&catID=&head1=&head2=&sub=&sub1=&author=&mode=related&q=&r=&s=&next=

    This book has been in print since the 60s, and just about every single guitar player I know has owned it. Sure, there are some more complete (and esoteric) guitar chord books out there, but this one is the standard. Plus, it's only five bucks...


    A lot of the local high schools that have guitar classes use the Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method series. If you get this, get the newer expanded edition.
     

Share This Page