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#1 2010-02-06 14:46:12

njdoxie
Junior Member
From: NJ, USA
Registered: 2010-02-05
Posts: 2

questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

I'm a complete beginner, I'm buying a guitar in 1-2 months, so I've been doing a lot of reading to prepare myself for my first lessons with an instructor.

1. I've noticed that you can play a C note for example in multipe frets on multiple strings.  is there any difference between these C notes? (different pitch??)  If there is no difference, then how do you decide which C note to play?

2.  I'm a pretty good typist as I sit in front of a computer keyboard all day....there is a raised ridge on the F and J keys so I always know my fingers are in the correct position without looking at the keyboard, so I type without ever looking at the keyboard, which greatly improves speed.  Is there any such convention on the guitar so that you always know what fret your fingers are over without staring at the guitar neck constantly?

3.  I'm figuring out how to use the internet for lessons also, I've heard to stay away from Claude Johnson, to look at JamPlay and JustinGuitar.com, Paul Gilbert, among others.  I'd like to pick one on-line source (or DVD) for the first several months at least and stick with it, as jumping around from site to site will confuse me more.  I was just looking at Justinguitar.com and he seems to be into finger picking whereas I'll be playing electric guitar for rock and so I want to use a pick....does he do lessons for electric with a pick?

Thanks in advance for helping me to start the long steep uphill climb to reaching a "decent" level.  I hope I'm up to the climb!

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#2 2010-02-06 16:01:08

Russell_Harding
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From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

njdoxie welcome to Chordie no there really is no "home" position on a guitar but if your starting out its best to learn all the open 1st position chords and tuning is important because many a new players lose interest because they lack the ability to tune there guitar and the chords sound bad even if played right,there is a difference in any note sometimes a note of the same pitch sustains longer if played higher up the fret and knowing the scales makes it easier to play because you can find the notes without having to jump all over the fretboard,notes on a guitar or any instrument have octaves which is part of a musical scales construction but for now I would learn the basic chords and strumming to start and progress at the rate your comfortable with good luck with it smile


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#3 2010-02-06 19:08:28

johncross21
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From: Orpington London
Registered: 2006-10-22
Posts: 390
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

theres no home position   - start with open notes

try to play finger per fret - so first fret uses first finger, second freet notes palyed with second finger  -   mimimises unecessary hand movements and aids coordination

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#4 2010-02-06 20:50:47

arkady
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From: England
Registered: 2006-11-23
Posts: 1936
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

njdoxie wrote:

2.  I'm a pretty good typist as I sit in front of a computer keyboard all day....there is a raised ridge on the F and J keys so I always know my fingers are in the correct position without looking at the keyboard, so I type without ever looking at the keyboard, which greatly improves speed.  Is there any such convention on the guitar so that you always know what fret your fingers are over without staring at the guitar neck constantly?

HI njdoxie
Welcome to Chordie..
Newbies mostly always think they will always have to look at the fretboard to see if their fingers are in the correct position for a given chord. At first you will and it’s normal with anything that’s new and unfamiliar. With practice though your fingers will find the chord shapes without you having to constantly look at the strings and fretboard. You will probably think it won’t be possible at first but believe me it will happen given time and plenty of practice.
As been said there's no "home base" chord that I know of. Just the basic open chords which are usually learned at the start.
Good luck on your guitar journey
ark

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#5 2010-02-07 14:23:30

mekidsmom
The Chick Moderator
From: NY
Registered: 2009-08-26
Posts: 3015
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

Welcome to Chordie njdoxie!  I have been playing for almost 6 months, so I'm still new myself.  As an excellent typist (near 88 wpm - and now everyone knows why I'm always so long winded on the boards, female and can type fast!), I know that I can type faster without thinking about the exact letters I'm typing... my fingers just "know" where to go.  Eventually with the guitar your fingers will do the same thing.  There's no "home base" that I know of for guitar, but on many guitars there is a dot on the 5th, 7th, and 9th frets (there's more, I'm not sure off the top of my head however).  That is a visual marker to keep from having to count down the fret board similar to the physical dots on the keyboard.  Sometimes the dot is on the side of the neck, so when you're holding the guitar the dots are facing up at you to see easily without having to bend around to see the fretboard.  I think that the dots in that location are more likely to be seen on a guitar truly designed for beginners.

As for online training, I personally really like justinguitar.com - Look through his beginner courses.  He tends to use an electric and a pick in those.  Even though I use a classical and my fingers or a thumbpick, I didn't have any problem following along in the beginning with him.  Of course, he's just teaching the open chords there also!  For the VERY beginning, I don't think it much matters what the instructor is using as it's all about fretting the chords and practicing those changes, but yes he does show you how to hold a pick properly and to strum with one!  Of course, if you're going to pay for lessons... you'd better be doing the practice that your teacher suggests too!  smile

Good Luck!

Last edited by mekidsmom (2010-02-07 14:24:51)


Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

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#6 2010-02-07 15:17:09

tubatooter1940
Retired Beach Bar Entertainer
From: Alabama Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-06-24
Posts: 1817
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

I believe that most any chord on the guitar can be made within four frets to save gross hand movement up and down thre neck and increase speed changing chords. This requires learning alternate barre chords that may feature different inversions and fewer strings to make the chord.
This is an efficient technique for an electric guitar player playing rock where two and three string "power chords" work. Added distortion effects can increase sustain from normal to infinite.
Another approach for acoustic guitar is to feature "open string" chords to utilize the max number of open strings played to get the longest sustain of sound from the guitar with a normal natural sound.
toots


We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

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#7 2010-02-08 17:53:36

njdoxie
Junior Member
From: NJ, USA
Registered: 2010-02-05
Posts: 2

Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

Thanks to all for the input!  The more I read, the more difficult it seems....and I never thought it would be easy, at all.  Funny that there's an ad for "guitar god" Claude Johnson  on the right side of this page as I'm typing right now, after all the bad press he's gotten on this website.  I do understand that it's not as easy as just not selling an ad to him, there are intermediaries.

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#8 2010-02-09 11:48:07

mekidsmom
The Chick Moderator
From: NY
Registered: 2009-08-26
Posts: 3015
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

njdoxie, I don't think it's a matter of it being "difficult" ... I just think that it CAN be complex if you want it to be (to me that's a good thing, I get bored easily)... but it can be fairly easy if you want it to be as well.  There's a TON of well known songs that are made with only three or four open chords which you will learn in the beginning.  You don't have to know how to do barre cords, hammer ons, funky slap strumming, or music theory to play those three or four chords and millions of songs... BUT if you WANT TO, then you are in for a TREAT!  smile


Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

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#9 2010-02-09 18:54:36

tubatooter1940
Retired Beach Bar Entertainer
From: Alabama Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-06-24
Posts: 1817
Website

Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

The nice thing about guitar is whatever you play-no matter how simple-if cleanly played, sounds great


We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

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#10 2010-02-10 01:21:12

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3054
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

Mr. Tooter has it just right.   Any chord within 4 frets is entirely true.   I always say there are only 5 things you have to know in order to play guitar.  C  A  G  E  and D.   Learn those shapes anywhere on the neck, and you're golden.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#11 2010-02-14 01:11:45

TheOnlyTaylor
Member
From: Bellevue, Idaho
Registered: 2009-10-31
Posts: 57
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Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

njdoxie, its true that there is no home base for the guitar, but there is always a general relationship between chords.

For instance, if play a rock G chord (or Gsus) and my next chord is a D during my transition between the two chords I can keep my ring finger on the same fret and string, making the movement less of a shot in the dark and more a just a reposition of only a few fingers. These are things that you may begin to notice as you practice.

Other than that the only Home base not I can think of is the position of your index finger.

Eventually movement will become natural and it you won't really need to look at all, it just takes some time.


no audience required.

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#12 2010-02-19 20:18:59

Chulio
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-02-19
Posts: 1

Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

There are many of the same notes(octave) all over the guitar
open g 3rd string, same note on
4th string 5th fret
5th string 10th fret
6th string 15th fret

Most books will not tell you which one to play.
But tabs will tell you which one to play.
Many teacher think tabs are cheating but they have come a long way.
Many books now have the stems on the numbers now for timing.



If I put a song in front of you in Tab form and you do not know the song but play it you are reading music no matter what anyone say's

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#13 2010-03-15 11:23:21

francoize
Junior Member
From: Brisbane Australia
Registered: 2010-03-15
Posts: 3

Re: questions from newbie about chords and is there a "home" on the neck

My suggestion is to initially learn all the major, minor and 7th chords in the first position from any chord book or chart, then learn them in second and third positions up the way up the neck, with with this knowledge alone you can play rhythm to every song ever written except Jazz.  From there scales and modes, penatonic scales are very usefull, also major, minor and blues scales will really get you most places you need to go.
Good luck and good practise


In the words of Keith Richard: "Stuff Happens people"
:cool
(Edited to remove profanity. -Pix)

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