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Thread: Learning to play guitar.

  1. #1
    Temporal Mechanic. Array Lexicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    5w6 sp/sx

    Default Learning to play guitar.

    So I have an electric guitar my awesome uncle gave me oh.. 3yrs ago. Finally trying to figure this thing out.
    And moreover, music theory (I really hate that I can't read sheet music when singing- I just do it by ear, which means I need a demo beforehand if the song is unfamiliar).

    I'm not much in the way of a kinesthetic learner; have shit coordination, but I'm willing to keep at it.

    Just wondering, anyone have any tips? Books [I practically live beside the library], [free/online] video tutorials to recommend?
    A few friends in the past have linked me useful things- I'll have to dig through my email for them, but if anyone has any additional info for a beginner, post it here!

    Thanks in advance,

    - Lex
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!

    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  2. #2
    Alma Array five sounds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    729 sx/sp
    IEE Ne


    i taught myself to play guitar by looking up the chords to simple-ish songs that i liked, and then looking up the finger placement of each chord. this site was what i used:

    i thought it was important to learn chords so that i actually was learning how to play the instrument, not just where to put my fingers song by song. there are so many songs that are just a few simple chords, so it's rewarding to learn a song you know and like pretty quickly. i've tried to take lots of music lessons in my day (100% dropout rate), and that method was the best for me.

    even though it's been a while, i can still pick up a guitar and i know most of the standard chords although i would never claim that i was a guitar player. so that's about how well that method worked for me
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  3. #3
    Healer-in-Training Array Morning Star's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    9w1 sx/so
    EII Ne


    I once came across this site while browsing for online guitar lessons for my brother (which turned out to be in vain because he never plays it now ):

    Hope it helps!
    Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible... and then some.

    MY BLOGS:,

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array zago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Learning guitar is easier than ever with youtube lessons and tabs readily available. The important thing is finding the right ones - that makes all the difference in how much you will actually practice and play. It is essential to find versions that are both fun to play and appropriately challenging.

    This is a running word document I keep of my guitar efforts and where to find the lessons I've learned from. It is not complete, but I figure you could find some useful stuff here. I have put 5 stars ***** next to lessons that are particularly well broken down and easy enough for a beginner or intermediate player.

    Just keep in mind, the first time you attempt something you will have to play it very slow and it won't even sound like the song. Over a few days, you'll improve. If you don't improve after a week or two, try an easier song and come back to it when you've improved.


    Songs I Can Play At Least Part Of On The Guitar

    3rd Planet by Modest Mouse
    A Day In The Life by The Beatles (georgiarose16) (cover)
    Band On The Run by Paul McCartney and the Wings
    Barnacles by Ugly Casanova
    Better Man by Pearl Jam (Justin Sandercoe)
    Blackbird by The Beatles (tripfuse04)*****
    Broke by Modest Mouse
    Broken by Seether Ft. Amy Lee (tripfuse04) (cover) (tripfuse04)****
    Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend
    Cast No Shadow by Oasis
    Chop Suey by System Of A Down
    Come As You Are by Nirvana (mahalodotcom) (phacacamas guitar instrumental with tab)
    Communist Daughter by Neutral Milk Hotel
    Crash by Dave Matthews Band (rawtalentguitar)
    Cross Bones Style by Cat Power (cool music video) (tab)
    Custom Concern by Modest Mouse
    Dark Center Of The Universe by Modest Mouse
    Dear Prudence by The Beatles (pete thorn) (Haylee Legg cool version)
    Dec 27 by Talk Demonic
    Don’t Speak by No Doubt (HowToPlayGuitar2) (jaeger28) (solo) (better solo lesson)
    Drive by Incubus
    Dust In The Wind by Kansas (tonedr)***** (awesome cover by Santimonse on 12 string) (solo)
    Everlong by The Foo Fighters
    Everywhere by Michelle Branch (23bos711) (sexy cover)
    Fade To Black by Metallica
    Fire and Rain by James Taylor (Justin sandercoe)***** (garry Bryant) *****
    Float On by Modest Mouse (cover, simple chords: C-A-Fmaj7) (Dan hardin)
    Gallow’s Pole by Led Zeppelin
    Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
    Gravity Rides Everything by Modest Mouse
    Heaven Beside You by Alice In Chains
    Heart Of Gold by Neil Young
    Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles (garry Bryant)*****
    High And Dry by Radiohead (Jenn Morin cover)
    Hotcha Girls by Ugly Casanova
    Hotel California (tripfuse) *****
    Hurt by Nine Inch Nails (Johnny Cash cover version)
    I’m Looking Through You by The Beatles
    In My Life by The Beatles
    In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
    Jigsaw Falling Into Place by Radiohead (warrenmusic)
    Kicked It In The Sun by Built To Spill (babyfennel1000 excellent cover)
    King Of Carrot Flowers by Neutral Milk Hotel
    Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (Jenn Morin) (marty guitar) *****
    Lithium by Nirvana (mahalo)
    Lord Only Knows by Beck
    *Modern Love by Bloc Party
    Name by The Goo Goo Dolls
    Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (Justin sandercoe) *****
    Nutshell by Alice In Chains
    One Hand In My Pocket by Alanis Morisette
    Out Of Gas by Modest Mouse
    Paranoid Android by Radiohead (Pete Thorn)
    Perfect Disguise by Modest Mouse
    Random Rules by The Silver Jews
    Santa Monica by Everclear
    Scar Tissue by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band by The Beatles
    Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana (pachacamacs)
    Something by The Beatles
    Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Justin Sandercoe)*****
    Stay by Lisa Loeb (Jenn Morin)
    Steeples by Dispatch
    Stockholm Syndrome by Yo La Tengo
    Stumbeline by The Smashing Pumpkins
    Styrofoam Boots by Modest Mouse
    Sweet Child Of Mine by Guns And Roses
    Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (tonedr) (marty)
    There, There by Radiohead (bluski01 favorite cover) (warrenmusic cover) (warrenmusic lesson)
    Trailer Trash by Modest Mouse
    Walk With You by Dispatch
    What It’s Like by Everlast
    Which Will by Nick Drake (Jonn Dalton cover, played perfectly)
    Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
    Wonderwall by Oasis
    Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips (my favorite cover)
    You Were Meant For Me by Jewel (mariaguitar) (julianaeveryday) (strummed, alyssia lopez) (strummed, roxy king)
    Zombie by The Cranberries (Jenn Morin cover)

    Songs I Want To Learn:

    Black Water by The Doobie Brothers (tonedr) * (tonedr cover) (yourguitarsage) (more chordy, with some singing) (noodle (tgaacousticlessons)(similar to tonedr’s, good channel) (guitarreference) (slight embellishment on tonedr)
    Change the World by Eric Clapton (aarontomberlin)
    Creep by Radiohead (erinjanus) (jayme dee)
    Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding (Jenn Morin)
    Every Breath You Take by The Police (cifraclub) (wow)
    The General
    God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You by NSYNC (boyceavenue beautiful cover) (0summerbreeze0) (cover) (weksa) (intro lesson)
    Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (Jenn Morin)
    Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog (guitarteachjc)
    Ironic by Alanis Morisette (cifraclub)
    Jumper by Third Eye Blind (boyceavenue cover)
    Layla by Eric Clapton
    Lose Yourself by Eminem (mahalo)
    One by Metallica (tripfuse04) (tripfuse04 part 2) (cifraclub – face melting guitar solo at 7:40)
    Over the Hills and Far Away (Marty, good lesson)
    Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People (mahalo) (jayme dee) (impressive cover)
    Purple Haze (yourguitarsage)
    Redemption Song by Bob Marley (Jenn Morin)
    Some Might Say by Oasis (georgiarose16)
    Snow by The Red Hot Chili Peppers (mahalodotcom)
    Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead (warrenmusic)
    Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
    Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
    Tell Me Why by Neil Young (Neil Young Lesson Channel)
    Until The Day I Die by Story Of The Year (full band cover) (guitar duet)

    Useful Youtube Channels

    Garry Bryant

    Peter Last – Tons of nice Oasis and Beatles covers and tutorials, all strummed and sung.

    Jenn Morin – Covers of some good songs

    Justin Sandercoe – Hundreds of quality guitar lessons, broken down sufficiently to learn note by note

    Songs With 2 Parts

    Dec27 by Talk Demonic (see above)
    Every Breath You Take by The Police (see above)
    Until the Day I Die by Story Of The Year (see above)

  5. #5
    Member Array James W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    9w1 sx/sp


    I recommend getting a tutor if you've got the scratch for it. Not only does it motivate you to practice, but you're more likely to nip bad habits in the bud straight up. Even little things like you way you hold a plectrum makes a world of difference in the long run. Been learning electric guitar for 2 months now myself and as great as online videos are these days, nothing beats face to face interaction with a professional.

    Oh, and I wouldn't too much about sucking on the kinesthetic front, (or else there'd be no such thing as INxx musicians.) A lot of it just muscle memory, like riding a bike etc.

    Best of luck.

  6. #6


    Find an easily accessible reference to basic chords - A, C, D, G, E, and so on. They sell pocket guides, print posters, or you can just read off your computer monitor.

    Now look up common chord progressions (twelve bar blues or something) using your chart to figure out where your fingers go. Some songs you likely know by heart that use simple chords/progressions would be Hotel California, Stray Cat Strut, American Pie, and California Dreaming. Let your mind branch off, don't stick to playing any one song. The point is to get your fingers placed where you want, when you want, while learning the basic structure/sound of each chord. The music is only there for familiarity.

    Then learn scales in different keys (do re mi fa etc). Chords are relative to the rhythm section, scales would be lead - needless to say, this is my favorite area of practice. Again, don't worry about tonality so much, the point is to learn the scales and increase finger dexterity. Play them forward, play them backward, start in the middle of the scale and work your way up, loop back to the bottom and touch the middle again... make up your own little tricks. You'll pick up what does and doesn't work as you practice.

    Soon you'll understand how a song's "feel" comes together, and you'll be able to play anything while soloing literally forever (vs people who can only regurgitate).

    Don't be surprised if it takes three months of regular practice until your fingers aren't raw and you don't sound like shit.

    Basically what @five sounds said in a nutshell. Oops.

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