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Learning Guitar From Scratch

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by mansbestfriend, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. mansbestfriend

    mansbestfriend Strat-Talk Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    If a beginner were to ask you the 'best' way to learn guitar, what would you recommend?

    a) regular guitar lessons with a tutor, learning theory and scales;
    b) online lessons;
    c) YouTube videos;
    d) teach yourself, learning your favourite songs; or
    e) other

    I believe a) would be the best way, however, if money and/or time commitment is an issue, what would you recommend?

    I had a hard time making a recommendation other than 'just play.'

  2. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Take what little money you can manage and get even just a few lessons to get started and if you have to drop the lessons, then you have half a chance of being able to follow youtube and books.
    ocean, trapdoor2, rich815 and 4 others like this.

  3. CephasG

    CephasG Strat-Talker

    Dec 13, 2017
    Land of Lincoln
    What Dadocaster said is sound advice. Start with a teacher and learn to read music with a system like Mel Bay's books. Granted, Mel Bay's pieces are not very exciting but they do build a good foundation.
    john lavelle likes this.

  4. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Right on. Dado nailed it.
    john lavelle likes this.

  5. Green Craig

    Green Craig Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 15, 2012
    Real, in-person lessons. Nothing beats real, person to person contact.

  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    (a) leads to (d), which includes (c).
    (b) is optional.
    ocean, Mansonienne, Omar and 2 others like this.

  7. davidKOS

    davidKOS Musician Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012

    Or, d) could lead to c) which should lead to a).

    Or any/all of the above.

    Just learn.
    ocean, Mansonienne, Omar and 2 others like this.

  8. davidKOS

    davidKOS Musician Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    You can teach yourself a lot.

    In fact, you ultimately have to teach yourself everything.


    A good teacher can make this process much easier by showing you what to learn and how to learn it efficiently. A teacher cannot magically "make" you learn - however, they can show you the material and the method and then you have to hit the practice room.

  9. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    They show you the door(s). You have to walk through them.
    davidKOS, Omar, Ebidis and 1 other person like this.

  10. Green Craig

    Green Craig Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 15, 2012
    Yes, all of that is true. But, what I was trying to get at is that you gotta learn to play with, off of, and around other people, who can give you proper feedback and gently nudge you in the right direction. Lessons are a good way to be guaranteed to play with another person, since not all of us have bands to practice with or local jam sessions.
    davidKOS likes this.

  11. lammie200

    lammie200 Strat-O-Master

    Apr 25, 2016
    San Francisco
    I would suggest finding the guitar that they want to learn how to play first. My recommendation is to start with a nylon string classical. Nothing pretentious about one. Then I suggest getting basic books to study first position chords and bar chords. Then I would learn the blues scale. Then I would seek out lessons from others. The first couple of things will likely lead to a better focus and might help someone feel better prepared when dealing with other players/ teachers.

  12. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Duderino Strat-Talk Supporter

    or in my case walk into them o_O;)
    craigh, Groovey, Mansonienne and 2 others like this.

  13. davidKOS

    davidKOS Musician Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    True - assuming the other people know what they are doing.

    Lessons are one thing - playing with people is another. Both are useful!

  14. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Duderino Strat-Talk Supporter

    I feel like I was pushing on a door that said pull but but couldn't read the sign. Somebody had to teach me to read that sign.
    Miller67 and fezz parka like this.

  15. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Captain Crapocaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    out to lunch
    And of course, you can lead a horse to water. A lot of people fall at the first hurdle of having to practice.
    dogletnoir, davidKOS, Omar and 2 others like this.

  16. MrKrabs

    MrKrabs Strat-Talker

    May 15, 2017
    Get real-life lessons at first until you’re able to learn some songs. Then, you should be able to learn anything you want from YouTube, or even from online lessons if you want to take it a step further

  17. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Learning Guitar From Scratch

    I hear that Ol' Scratch hangs out at the crossroads around midnight.

  18. Cesspit

    Cesspit Strat-Talker

    Sep 4, 2016
    Oxford England
    All of the above apply but I've always believed there are three elements to try to master.
    Playing the instrument.
    Playing with other musicians.
    Each must be mastered to become a Jedi.
    Miller67 likes this.

  19. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014
    G'day mate,

    There's no easy way to learn, as any musical instrument demands quite-a-lot-of time to be spent with it - ( read years ). So IMO, spend as much time with your hands-on the guitar as possible, whether struggling with tuning, or your favorite songs, playing along with the TV or Radio, & then follow your own curiosity to asking questions to "musicians" that you may or may not know, or find in the strangest places like the net...

    Eventually however, everyone is confronted with the realization that to understand more, & apply it to your instrument, means learning how to speak the "language" of Music...And that means learning to read music, so that you recognize that a new "teacher" lives within the pages of every new tune...And then you can take this understanding, & make tunes of your own if you like...All you have to do is learn the language.

    Here's where I'd start first..."John Brimhall's Music Theory Notebook, 3-in-1".

    Spending the necessary time for music is the key, & a decent dose of patience.

    It's not that hard at all after a few years. Maintaining a healthy & interested attitude may prove the harder.


    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    davidKOS and The Strat Dude like this.

  20. slash1814

    slash1814 Strat-Talker

    Oct 1, 2017
    Go with a tutor..a good tutor. You may have to change a few ..during this process..because..its not necessary that you tune or connect well with him/her.
    Self-teaching often results in, us learning wrong things..especially basics. Tutor (again..a good tutor) will stop you when ever there is a problem and guide you to correct it.
    However, some self-taught people have become good guitar players ..but if a decent guitar playing is like climbing a mountain..some self-taught and dedicated guys reach upto 90%..last 10% is difficult to climb..because they learned something which was wrong and was a result they must climb down..learn that thing and start again.
    So get a good tutor and go via a disciplined approach :)

    There has to be a master for every Jedi apprentice..
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    Miller67 likes this.