Friday, January 4th, 2013 at 7:30 am
I spend a lot of time with my in my hands but I’m not always focusing on learning or practicing. Most of the time I’m just playing stuff the pops into my head while I’m watching the TV.
The thing is I learn more in 20 minutes or a half hour of focused practice than I would learn in hours of just playing my guitar. The thing is concentration is needed when you want to really learn something.
Most Newbies Don’t Last Long
I really couldn’t tell you how many people I’ve seen start learning guitar only to give up shortly after and I’ve been playing for more than 10 years now. Most couldn’t handle their fingers hurting long enough to continue but the big killer is the mind. They tell themselves they can’t learn and they are usually right.
The thing is it’s not all learning all the time. It’s more about learning one thing and practicing it until you can do it without thinking about it. I practice while the TV is going, but only once I’ve learned first.
When I started learning guitar I was able to go to some guitar jams where I learned new things I could practice once I was back home again. Today we can use the Internet and specifically Youtube to learn things. I love seeing and hearing so I go for videos over books.
You can also learn through Jamorama and Jamplay.
I will learn a new lick on my guitar and focus on getting it right. Once I have the lick in my mind I then practice it any time I get the chance until it’s automatic. This usually means, like I said, in front of the TV.
Note that the time you spend really focused on learning something new on your guitar will make it easier when you begin practicing with less focus. As time goes on each new thing you learn becomes easier.
Playing Guitar For The Fun Of It
When I started learning guitar the plan wasn’t to spend my life learning, even though I still learn new things all the time. My goal was to be able to entertain myself and playing guitar with friends. So when I am practicing I focus on getting it right before I begin practicing without paying attention.
It’s like so many other things in life. The brain learns and after some time things you learn come together in the brain and actually makes it easier to learn easier in the future.
Find A Quiet Place To Practice Guitar
This is so important to me as I get easily distracted and distractions are what make a 20 minute quality practice time into a frustrating 2 hours. Also I only take on one thing to practice at a time. That’s when I’m actually in practice mode.
So keep in mind that it’s the quality of your practice time and not how long you practice.
Just Let It Go, For A Bit
It might sound strange but it’s a good idea to just stop practicing for a few days. I do this all the time when I’m learning something new. I practice it until I know it and then I might not practice that particular thing for a couple of day.
I have done this countless times in the 10 years I’ve been playing guitar and it always amazes me that I get better when I give myself a break.
Now I don’t mean don’t practice other things, just leave that new lesson you’re learning for a couple of days and come back to it. This really does work so be sure to give yourself the chance to see just how well it works.
Clear Your Might Before Practice
If you can clear your mind before you begin practicing as well as any distraction such as TV or family. It can take just a minute to go clear and put things out of your mind. For me a little meditation does the trick. I think about a great day of fishing actually and it works for me.
Even taking the time to close your eyes and slowly counting to ten can help clear your mind and help you focus. If there are any distraction you may have to start over, so try to find a placed to practice where there are no distractions.
When we were still living in an apartment I had to resort to practicing guitar in our bedroom and even then it was tough to train my son and wife to leave me alone but eventually they got the idea, but not before I had to put a big note on the door saying NOT to come in.
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Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 9:21 am
I didn’t learn how to play acoustic guitar to impress others. Instead I saw guitar as a great way to entertain myself and enjoy my favourite songs, even when the radio wasn’t available. I could head to my bedroom, pick up my and play without bothering others in the family.
Today I play my acoustic guitar right in the living room while we’re watching TV and not really bother anyone. Note that I don’t bang on my guitar like some of my son’s friends do. That would bother anyone trying to do anything, in my opinion of course.
Learning From Tablatures AKA Tabs
When you look at a guitar tab you are looking at the neck of a six string guitar. If you look at the Happy Birthday tab below you’ll see that it’s marked on the left with the names of the six strings, E B G D A E.
If you flip your guitar over so the strings are facing you it’s easier to see how they match.
I don’t read music very well but I do find it pretty easy to read guitar tabs.
Most tabs I find today look very similar to the one I’ve shown above but these don’t give any timing, however I have found many tablatures that are broken into measures so it’s easier to get the timing right. Usually I have the song playing in the background while I’m learning the tabs, just so I have the right timing.
Finding Tablatures For The Songs You Like
When I am looking for song tabs I will do a simple search using Google. If I am looking for Margaritaville tabs by Jimmy Buffett I will type the following:
Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett tabs
Note: You will find that a lot of people will use the word tabs when posting songs lyrics and chords, just to get more traffic but it doesn’t mean that they will all have the tablatures. Most will be likely to have only the chords, so you may have to look through a few of the links in the listings.
Like the tab above it most often gives you that distinctive melody that sticks in your head but isn’t always so easy to figure out. Usually when you play a riff like the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville everyone recognizes it immediately. So it’s nice to know them to give a bit of an intro to the song.
I don’t do so well at learning by ear. I can get some of the chords but then get so frustrated with it. So when I want to learn a new song quickly I look for the guitar chords and to learn the intros or riffs in the song I look for guitar tabs.
There are literally thousands upon thousands of guitar tabs available and I’m still finding them for songs I know that I had forgotten about for years. So much fun learning how to play guitar using tablatures.
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Sunday, August 19th, 2012 at 6:54 am
I know that sense of satisfaction one feels learning how to play a musical instrument. For me it was learning how to play . As a matter of fact I get that feeling a lot, even though I’ve been playing for about a decade now. it’s just so indescribable.
Just this past Friday night I was at a guitar jam with a few friends. There was a new couple there, both learning how to play guitar using a guitar they borrowed from my friend Peggy, the one hosting the jam. I could see that excitement in both of them.
They were asking me what acoustic guitar I think they should buy. My response was for them to check the pawn shops to buy their first acoustic guitar. I have known too many people who when out and spend too much money and gave up after just a few months of trying to learn how to play their guitar.
Do You Need The Best Acoustic Guitar?
It’s funny that I never hear people telling beginners to go to a pawn shop or to buy a used acoustic guitar but both my Yamaha guitars are used and have been great. My second Yamaha has been keeping me happy for a decade now and it only cost me $75.
If you know a good guitar player who has a great sounding acoustic guitar then you should ask them to come with you and help you evaluate used or even new acoustic guitars. Don’t take a friend who has a guitar that doesn’t sound good to you.
My first guitar was a used Yamaha acoustic guitar that sounded good to me and only cost me $40. A year later I bought a second, again a Yamaha acoustic guitar and only paid $75. After 10 years of playing it daily it does need a fret job to replace the top two frets but other than that and the few dings I’ve put in it that guitar is great.
But does one need the best acoustic guitar? Not in my humble opinion and here is why.
Not to mention names but a friend wanted to buy a new guitar. Rather than ask a seasoned player for help finding a quality acoustic she just bought the same one her friend had just bought and sold me her Yamaha for $75.
She paid $800 for her new guitar and I think the one I bought from her is better quality and sound better too. They bought their guitars based on appearance rather than quality of sound.
Personally my feelings about buying an acoustic guitar for beginners is to find a guitar that feels good in your hands and sound good to you because you are the one who will have to live with what you purchase.
Picking The Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners
1. Look For Quality Tone.
If a guitar doesn’t sound good when I strum it why would I want to buy, even if someone tells me it’s the best acoustic guitar. Just doesn’t make sense. Let your ear guide you, although you still want quality construction of course.
I started with a really inexpensive I bought second hand for just $40. Two years later the opportunity presented itself and I upgraded to a better used guitar for just $75 while the owner bought a new $800 acoustic guitar that I think sounds cheap.
Unless you’re made of money I wouldn’t suggest you buy an expensive acoustic guitar as your first guitar. I have known far too many who wanted to learn to play guitar but didn’t last long before giving up and selling their expensive guitar for far less than they paid.
2. Get An Acoustic Guitar That Feels Good.
Both my second hand guitars are Yamaha acoustic guitars and both felt great when I played them. They sounded great and felt good to hold. Those were my first two requirements as I quickly became a bit of a fanatic and would play them up to 4 hours a day.
It’s more than a decade later and I still play my acoustic guitar at least 2 hours every day.
Should You Buy A New Acoustic Guitar
It’s one thing is you’ve been playing for some time and know you won’t be giving it up but if you are just learning to play guitar as a beginner I would think twice about getting a new guitar.
I have two friend who both bought $800 acoustic guitars and I don’t like how they sound at all. They sound cheap and hollow but they look great. One of them sold me her second hand Yamaha acoustic guitar, for just $75 and I feel I got the better deal, by a long shot. As a matter of fact I still have that Yamaha and play it every day.
Don’t look at the price tags of the guitars you try. Give the guitar the chance to impress you before you either accept the price because sometimes you’ll surprise yourself and find the perfect guitar at a really good price.
Personally I would check out the local pawn shops where you just might find a gem. I have a couple of friends who go to the pawn shops all the time and buy up the best guitars for themselves.
If a pawn shop guitar is not what you want then check out all the local guitar shops and take your time playing every guitar until you find the one that sounds great and fits your body.
When I am sitting in a room jammin’ with friends I can quickly pick out the poorest sound quality and they are not always the cheapest guitars in the room.
If you have a friend who has the ear for quality at a good price take them with you to help you make up your mind but ultimately it has to sound good to your ear because you’re the one who has to play it or give it up.
Having a knowledgeable friend with you is good as they will know what to look for in the quality of the guitar.
My first second hand guitar wasn’t setup properly so the strings were a bit high which meant I had to put more pressure on the strings to hold them down. That gave me a few blisters that might have stopped other from continuing and may have caused them to quit.
It also had a few dings that may have turned other off but they didn’t hurt my ego or the sound quality plus I got a really good deal on because of the dings. Works for me.
Guitar buddy Gary was the perfect one to have look at guitars because he would go over them with a fine toothed comb making sure they were no flaws that would affect the quality or sound. These were things I didn’t have a clue about 10 years ago.
The reason you want to check out multiple guitar shops is so you can compare prices for those acoustic guitars you like so you get the best price you can get.
Don’t do what T & D did as they made their guitar choice based on the appearance and colour but didn’t both so much with the sound quality. These two people are far more educated than I am but they really just threw their money away.
Now that you’re ready to get a good sounding guitar to learn to play guitar as a beginner I would suggest you look at Jamorama.com and Jamplay.com to get the best guitar training around at an affordable price.
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Saturday, August 4th, 2012 at 8:48 am
Let me start by saying that anyone learning how to play acoustic guitar for beginners should pace themselves and complete one course before starting the next. I could say that you should give each course you take a week or maybe two but the fact is that not all people learn at the same pace.
Learn At Your Own Pace
For a long time I studied every day but found I was not learning as fast as I thought I should be, then someone told I should try studying every other day as it give the brain time to take in the lessons.
In the back of my mind I thought he was a bit off but tried it, just out of frustration.
I was actually amazed that it really worked. It renewed my energy for learning and even though it took me twice as long to do lessons I was learning faster than before. My learning pace increased in speed without the pressure I was feeling before.
Seeing Helps Me Learn Faster
I have to say I love using Youtube.com, Jamorama.com or Jamplay.com to learn more about playing my Yamaha acoustic guitar. I learn the most from the videos I watch, over and over. Watching someone play helps me learn much faster.
I’m on a limited budget so I can’t just go out and rent video but I can afford a membership at Jamorama and Jamplay. The fact that Youtube is free is just a bonus for my.
I know that when I am at guitar jams I learn to play songs so much faster. I’m pretty sure it’s because I can see finger position, strumming and the timing of each song. The timing is where I have the most stress for some reason and seeing it with my own eyes just makes it work for me.
For the riffs in songs I usually don’t play them unless I can watch someone playing them. Hearing it just doesn’t work for me, although I do better than when I started so maybe over time I will master playing by ear.
With a video tutorial, you would get a systematic instructional on how to read chords, locate the appropriate chords on your guitar, tune your guitar, and play an entire acoustic song. You can definitely learn a lot from these videos and video sharing websites.
Use Guitar Tablature And Chord Sites
Even if you’re a beginner, it’s safe to assume that you have your share of favourite acoustic artists. After all, it’s impossible to embrace a love for the instrument if you didn’t have inspiration.
Try to take advantage of the Internet by searching for a tablature (tabs) that your favourite artist transcribed. Nothing beats the feeling of having to learn the instrument from no less than your favourite artist.
One of the main reasons I like Youtube so much is because of those who cover artist’s songs using an acoustic guitar. Some artists even do acoustic versions of their songs to share with fans.
I have to say that I do find it quite frustrating when anyone plays an acoustic version of a song using a guitar but doesn’t show the hands for strumming and chord changes. I usually give them a thumbs down. Who cares if I can see your face, I want to see your hands.
Learning how to play acoustic guitar should be fun and with not too much stress. I get stressed a bit but that’s just me. When I finally find someone that can show me what I need to know I calm down.
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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 10:06 am
I play a Yamaha acoustic guitar and periodically I need to change strings as they tend to lose sound quality over time. I don’t mind this so much when I’m at home playing and practicing but when I go out to a guitar jam I like to have new strings on the ole guitar. You know, just in case the guitar police show up as they have in the past.
I can play my and have extensively used it to perform live on many different occasions.
Yamaha acoustic electric guitars are been in use for more than twenty years by various musicians all over the world. John Lennon had the best Yamaha guitar made the CJ5S. Yamaha has been well known for generations for their high quality sound instruments and also providing the music lovers a wide range of acoustic and acoustic electric guitars.
Some of the best Yamaha acoustic electric guitars:
- A- Series: The A- Series guitars are designed by an American team of experts and are recognized as the first US designed acoustic electric guitar from Yamaha and hence the name A-Series. The A-Series of guitars features some exceptional pick-up system specifically designed and custom made for the American markets. It comes with some stunning aesthetics and a slick new neck profile. The A-Series is created to deliver high performance, with Yamaha excellence and value for money. Models under the A-series are the A3M, AC3M, A1M, A3R, AC3R, and AC1M to name a few.
- FX Series: The FX series are designed for students who would love to play guitar as well as for any expert guitarist. The FX Series guitars are also very affordable.
- FGX/FJX/FSX Series: These series of guitars are designed to deliver some stunning well defined sound quality, with range features which are very dynamic with very clear and quality response. The FJX series is the most recent series in the Yamaha range of electric guitars made from rosewood at the back and sides. The onboard electronic of this series include chromatic auto tuner and a three band equalizer. It also comes with different color options to choose from.
- APX Series: These series of electric guitars stress more on excellent playability emphasizing on style and performance. It comes with a stylish thin line profile and also a slim neck. Some of the other features include A.R.T system which helps in achieving an optimum and dynamic balance. There are around eight models in the APX series to choose from.
- CPX Series: The CPX series of guitars consists of a full range of guitars which are finely crafted with exceptional tonal woods with beautiful inlays and excellent finish. There are around seven models under the CPX series of guitars with various features to choose.
- LLX/LJX/LSX Series: These are finely handcrafted from select quality materials by some of the best master craftsmen offering one with high quality sound features tone, feel, and experience.
Yamaha offers some of the best and aesthetically appealing acoustic electric guitars for students as well as for a professional guitarist. are well known for their quality, sounds and performance for generations.
This guest post was written by: swapnamanoj