<b>"If you already have an acoustic guitar, Don't get an electric guitar (until you learn acoustic first) thats the best advice I can give you. Playing an electric guitar is easy, therefore if you learn on an electric and want to play an acoustic later, you won't be able to...not well anyways. Playing the acoustic will strengthen your fingers and give you the feel for the frets."</b>
I started playing in 1968 on a pre-CBS Fender Telecaster. In the past three months, I've had people tell me that I'm "better than", let's see...Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Merle Haggard, James Taylor, Waylon Jennings (that's probably because of my voice), et al. Do I believe them for a minute? No! But apparently people think I play well enough, and feel some enthusiasm for my playing, and mostly what I play is acoustic (even on the Wes Montgomery stuff, I'm a heretic, I know). I think you can start with either acoustic or electric, but be prepared for some awkwardness when you switch to the other.
<b>"DVD's are for idiots, remember that. If you tell someone you learned off of a dvd they will laugh in your face! you need to get yourself a chord chart listing all the major chords, get those learned and find your strumming rhythm. Nobody can teach you how to strum, thats something you figure out on your own. Once you have learned all major chords (except b, that is a jazz chord and isn't used very often, but you can learn it if you want) and can switch between chords quickly, you can start learning the minor chords and others, or some of them anyways. I Use Am, Bmaj7, D7, G7, Em, and others on a regular basis so thats important. When you can play a tune blindfolded, with your eyes closed or in the dark, you have learned how to play. Some people think doing that is hard or impossible, but if you can really play, it isn't even the slightest bit difficult."</b>
If you can learn comfortably from a DVD, and learn well, why not? Anyone who would "laugh in your face" for learning from a DVD has got problems I can't help them with. Never concern yourself with what the rest of the world thinks, as long as you know you're doing things right. Play for yourself.
And chord charts? Actually, chords are constructed from scales. Get some scale charts. In the end, there really isn't anything BUT scales. Learn your scales and along the way, you'll figure out things like how to construct chords.
As for the importance of strumming, what if I want to play fingerstyle? Get yourself a metronome, work on your rhythm, regardless of what technique you use.
As for chords, I'd have to debate you on a "B" chord being a jazz chord. You should probably learn it. And what the heck, learn all the derivatives, variations, and inversions while you're at it. And learn the "B" scales, too. And when you're done, work on A, C, D, E, F, and G, too.
<b>"Don't be cheap when buying your guitar, it will probably be with you your whole life, the best guitars in the world are made by Martin, Gretsch, Gallagher, Guild, Rickenbacker, Fender and Gibson. Martin does make some low(er) priced models for beginners, around 700-800 bucks US (I Know thats alot, but it's worth it."</b>
I find Martins consistently average. Since 1968, I've never played one that made me say, "Wow!" They're not bad guitars. Just consistently <i>average</i>. I have no desire for a Gretsch acoustic. I would take one of their big electric rockabilly bombers, though. Gallagher? Hmmm. Nice guitars, but rather brutally priced for beginners or anyone not fanatically committed to steel string guitar for life.
Now Guild I can agree on. The new Guilds, whether USA-built or the cheaper imported GAD series, impress me very much!
Rickenbacher. Do they make acoustics? We are talking about acoustic playing, aren't we? Hmmm. I guess if you're a Beatles fan.
Fender. I like their electrics. For acoustics, I'd rather have their subsidiary, Guild.
Gibson? Nice, but be careful. Quality tends to vary widely. Play lots of them, then pick THE one from the bunch you've played and inspected.
You didn't mention Taylors. Taylors sound like someone throwing the silverware drawer down the basement steps to me. But to each his own. Some people go for that jangly sound I guess.
And let's not forget Larrivee. Genuinely terrific guitars. On par with or exceeding the excellent recent Tacoma-made Guilds.
As for Martin's 700-800 dollar offerings, I'll pass. I'd rather drop that money on an all-solid-wood Guild GAD-series guitar. Or maybe stretch up to a Larrivee at 800-900. Martins in that price range are <i>usually</i> laminate. Note that I italicized "usually". Now and then you can find one in that range that's all solid woods. If you can, try it and see if you like it. In general, try to buy an acoustic guitar of all-solid-woods. At the very least, get a solid top. Don't accept anything that doesn't have a solid top. And try to get bone nut and saddle. Or at least Tusq. Avoid plastic. But you don't have to spend a fortune. I own six guitars right now, and amongst the more expensive beauties, I have a Seagull S6+ Spruce, solid top, laminate back and sides, that I like very much. Bought it as a beater to drag around. It would make a great beginner's guitar.
<b>"When choosing your strings, I reccomend Elxir strings, thats all I use and ever will use. They are coated with some special coating that makes them last for years and years. I have had a set on my guitar for 3 years and they still sound like brand new, with awesome tone and sound quality. They will run you about 38 dollars, which is really worth it, because if you had to buy a regular set of strings every 2 months for 3 years, it would cost you quite a bit at around 10 dollars per pack. If you can't afford these then go with Martin phosphor bronze strings. And for electric go with Fender strings."</b>
There's not much that I dislike more than coated strings. Right up there with broccoli slaw on my list of things I don't like. But some people like broccoli slaw. Try different strings and see what you like. I tend to prefer D'Addario strings myself, but most brands are at least acceptable. Experiment.
The only time I left strings on a guitar for 3-years was when I was wandering around Africa and couldn't get to a music store. I don't care what they're coated with, you need to change your strings! Think about wiping down your fretboard with some lemon oil while you're changing them.
<b>"If you want a cheap, yet great sounding guitar, Yamaha makes some nice guitars."</b>
Yamaha guitars suffer from the horrendously heavy finish with which they insist on coating them. They're OK, but I've played solid-top, laminate-body guitars alongside an all-solid-wood Yamaha, and the solid-topped laminate guitars won.
<b>"Now back to playing...Don't start out trying to play that "heavy metal" crap, just try some easy folk tunes or old country tunes, which mainly consist of 3 chords, most songs consist of 3 major chords."</b>
Hmmm. Most of the metal I've played over the years was pretty simplistic. I think you can start with it if you really want to play that kind of music. Just crank up the gain and hit those power chords. I still play some Black Sabbath tunes on the rare occasions that I pick up an electric guitar.
<b>"Always strum up and down, unless you are playing a waltz which is where you hit the top string and do 2 down strums. This isn't used very often."</b>
This assumes that strumming is the only way to play. Have a look at some of Mark Hanson's books over at Amazon. Try the Travis Picking book. As for the 3/4 time thing, I disagree. Especially in country, it's used VERY often. Get a metronome and work on your timing. Playing along with CDs helps, too. And even (gasp!) DVDs.
<b>"All songs have their own beat, and you need to find it on your own, that can't be taught."</b>
Although you could cheat and use a metronome.
<b>"If you don't have a chord chart just go to Google Image search and type in for example "D major guitar chord" or whatever chord you need. Thats what I do most of the time."</b>
That must wreak havoc with a stage show! Chord charts are fine, but also study scales, and find out why that particular fingering makes that particular chord, and even learn to build chords from scratch yourself. I realize that the standard reaction to telling people in a guitar forum to learn to read music and understand theory is for the person offering such advice to be immediately flame-broiled and told that they don't know what they're talking about, but, learn to read music and understand theory. It's not hard. You don't have to abandon tablature, you can still use that, too. But if you're going to play, do yourself a favor and learn. You'll be glad you did.
<b>"So I hope this helps all you beginners, if you need help with anything at all on the guitar you can send me an email at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank">email@example.com</a> or go to my website at www.bigdjindustriez.tk Peace out"</b>
Your desire to help others is admirable, even if I don't agree with you on <i>some</i> things. I think it's incumbent on those of us who have been around awhile to try to steer newcomers in the right direction. And it's incumbent on you newcomers to learn, explore, and then show us geezers there's a better way. You're never too old to learn, and that even includes me. There's no such thing as "good enough" when it comes to playing guitar. It's a lifelong learning experience.
Oubaas <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_smile.gif" border=0 alt="Smile">