Guitar Resources

Grant

Level 1 Valued Member
I know there are a lot of musicians that are on here, so I thought I would ask for some non-training help (although I think there is probably some distant overlap related to focus, body/mind connection, etc.).

I played classical guitar off/on for several years nearly 15 years ago. Have always wanted to know how to play electric, but was always intimidated by it, then had kids,.....always a reason not to tackle it. Finally decided at the ripe age of 42 to quit putting it off, and bought my first electric this weekend after not really playing much with my classical at all for several years. In short, I am approaching this as a total beginner.

My question.....does anyone know of a site in that area that they would recommend that can provide as much useful, grounded info as this site does for strength training? I am sure there are as many questionable sources are there are good ones, so I could use any good insights anyone might have.

Thanks in advance!
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
I play acoustic guitar recreationally, and have enjoyed Marty Schwartz youtube channel. He also has lessons for electric guitar. Not sure if this is what you are looking for. He has good videos of the style "how to play xxxxx song"
 

Grant

Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks for the suggestion, Oscar.

Carl- I’m intending to try to use the pick. I am assuming that a distant background in finger picking would allow me to pull that back in at a later date. I am really having to relearn many of the chords though. I am truly at raw beginner stage, but it’s pleasant to be able to approach with not putting any expectations on, with respect to fast progress. My intent is to just focus on the basics and let each practice session build upon itself slowly......not worrying about being able to play a specific song or lick for a while.
 
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Zack

Level 5 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Hey Grant,

I too have been playing classical intermittently for years but have always had my hands on an electric for my classic rock and metal passion.

I actually made the first strides to create a "StrongFirst for guitar players" online resource a couple years ago but scrapped the project when I realized I was spreading myself too thin.

You can hear the podcasts at sixstringstrength.com

In any case, there are tons of amazing instructors on YouTube (Rick Graham is a personal favorite), but like the skill of strength, it pays to learn face-to-face.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I am of no help here. I teach guitar privately and have since 1971. I am still a music student and still am learning new instruments, and still taking lessons. The thought of learning from a web site or a book doesn't resonate with me.

FWIW, I play just about every style of guitar imaginable. I grew up learning mostly jazz and a little classical from a teacher, and figured out everything in between on my own. My first major in college was classical guitar performance so I managed to achieve some level on that as well, and I can make my way around on a mandolin, both kinds of banjo, a ukulele, and the like, and also play electric and upright bass. Although I'm on a break for the last six months, I am still an upright bass student - my teacher plays in the orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC.

@Grant, my recommendation is that you pick up several beginning guitar methods and just go through them. I'm partial these days to the Hal Leonard method, which you can buy in Volumes 1, 2 and 3 altogether for about $25.

-S-
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I have played for ~12 years off an on, probably 5-6 years of that being very into it. For free online resources, it's hard to go wrong with www.ultimate-guitar.com , both for tablature and for lessons. They have lessons from basic all the way to beginner.

The only bad thing about buying books is that while they do a great job of combining practical lessons with songs to practice the skills, oftentimes the songs are not they style of music you prefer. This doesn't really promote enthusiasm for learning. That's why it's helpful to learn the basic skills, but find songs you like that have those skills and practice them that way.

Basic recommendation - Learn the basic chords, make sure all the notes ring clearly, practice as much as you can switching between chords, and start to learn "fingering exercises" like this article says 24 Spiders - Warm Up and Dexterity Exercise | Guitar Lesson. This technique is NOT good once you get better and want to do solos or things like that, but I personally found it valuable in the beginner when I was learning how to effectively use all fingers and to learn how much pressure was needed to make all the notes ring clearly.
 

Hasbro

Level 5 Valued Member
Check out the Artistworks site. I’ve played electric guitar for over 40 years (mostly classic rock, southern rock, and blues) but recently decided I wanted to learn bluegrass flatpicking which is a completely different animal. I settled on Artistworks and I’m glad I did. They offer professional instruction from some of the biggest names in the business and cover about every type of instrument and genre out there. The cool thing about them is you can upload a video of you playing the lesson and the instructor will send you one back telling you what you’re doing right/wrong, how to fix it, and what to work on. It’s like getting personal lessons from a big name pro but at a fraction of the price. Covers beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
 

Grant

Level 1 Valued Member
Hey Grant,

I too have been playing classical intermittently for years but have always had my hands on an electric for my classic rock and metal passion.

I actually made the first strides to create a "StrongFirst for guitar players" online resource a couple years ago but scrapped the project when I realized I was spreading myself too thin.

You can hear the podcasts at sixstringstrength.com

In any case, there are tons of amazing instructors on YouTube (Rick Graham is a personal favorite), but like the skill of strength, it pays to learn face-to-face.

I like this idea, a lot. I will check out the podcasts. Thanks, Zack.
 

Grant

Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks, all, for some quick perspective. I’d like to take in-person lessons for the reasons noted. I travel and have a very unpredicatable schedule so that makes it complicated, but I am confident I can make slow/steady progress by finding some amount of time daily(ish).

I will check out all these resources. For now, I’m just working on getting my fingers working again so I can adequately play some basic chords.
 
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Matts

Level 3 Valued Member
Fingers have amazing memories- I'll bet it'll come back quickly! One of my friends who travels a lot recently started playing guitar, and he got a Martin travel guitar to take with him, and found a group lesson held on Sat. that he can go to when his schedule permits.
@Steve Freides your bass lessons must be incredible! What a great opportunity.
 

Groove Greaser

Level 3 Valued Member
I've got two off-the-beaten-path suggestions:

Garage Band and Rocksmith.

Garage Band requires a Mac (of course) - but is free (iirc) and provides lessons and, most importantly, preset tones that let you plug in your electric and with minimal equipment play along. Note - you might need an audio interface.

Rocksmith is similar, but more gamified. It can be played on a computer or game console. The game tracks how well you play automatically and will scale the difficulty as you improve. Once again guitar effects are preset (and you can customize practice sounds too) - and there are several "games" that make the more prosaic parts of guitar practice like running through scales and the like fun. Note - game requires a cable that plugs your guitar into a USB port (effectively a very reasonably priced audio interface).

I've messed with both in the past and enjoyed them.

A friends who plays and/or a teacher would prove helpful too of course. Very similar to practicing strength alone vs. seeking out the help on an SFG! :)
 

Marc

Level 6 Valued Member
I started playing electric recently (also classic sometimes). I just look for the tabs and play along songs I like or practise chords and put together melodies as I like.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
Since I seem to be a contrarian today, I'll mention that I refuse to teach students to use tab on guitar or electric bass. I teach them the read music. For me, tabs are like Smith machines.

I think tablature can be a useful adjunct to standard music notation for guitar. The tab tells you things that the music doesn't, such as position, fingering and chord form. There are often lots of ways to play the same notes on a guitar, but they aren't necessarily interchangeable in the sound they produce (especially with different chord voicings/inversions). Especially if you are trying to learn a part as played on a recording, tab can tell you how to do it. Of course, there is a lot of bad tab out there that isn't an accurate transcription of the original song.

I was taught to read music and that is the way I sight read written parts, but I think tab gets a bit of a bad rap as merely a crutch for the ignorant.

My teacher also inculcated the idea that the notation isn't music -- in a sense all notation is a crutch, albeit a tremendously useful one (unlike the Smith machine).
 
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wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@Steve Freides I agree with you on one level, but at the same time I don't think it's a fair comparison. My sheet reading skills are decent, but I can't sight read anything other than Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to save my life. Unless one intends to really take guitar seriously as a potential career, I think tabs are totally fine. Yes you don't get the proper instruction for rhythm (though some tabs do this well), but the trade-off for easier accessibility is worth it
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I think tablature can be a useful adjunct to standard music notation for guitar. The tab tells you things that the music doesn't, such as position, fingering and chord form. There are often lots of ways to play the same notes on a guitar, but they aren't necessarily interchangeable in the sound they produce (especially with different chord voicings). Especially if you are trying to learn a part as played on a recording, tab can tell you how to do it.
Well, several things.

I don't mind tab as an "adjunct to standard music notation" - it becomes a fingering chart, and I'm OK with that. We should note (pun intended) that it's perfectly possible to indicate all position, fingering, etc., using standard notation - it's what classical guitar music does. Fingerings are numbers, and string numbers are in circles. Even right hand fingers for classical guitarists, using the first letters of the Spanish names for the fingers: pulgar, indice, medio, anular, and I forget the word for pinkie finger but it starts with "e". Y'all can correct my Spanish spelling - that's just off the top of my head.

What I mind is, well, I mind a lot. I mind people who only use tab. I mind people who ask to become my students and tell me they don't want to learn to read music. I mind people want to watch where my fingers go and duplicate it. And I mind the whole idea of just playing what someone else plays, e.g., I can play the chords to a song in a million ways, and I often do different things for different verses, different things depending on who, if anyone, I'm playing with, and the like. The fascination, beyond a few, iconic pieces, with playing something "just like the record" is altogether lost on me. If I'm learning something new, I learn it from the music, and after that, I might listen to a few different recordings.

I think that, at heart, I'm a folkie. I want to look at words and chord symbols and make it my own, or words and music and the same thing. I play standards at the piano from lead sheets, which are just melodies plus chords. The ability to arrange and interpret is a big part of what I love about music, and I'd just as soon listen to the record as I would play it just like the record.

I mind all the short-cuts - the music journey, taken the long way, offers so much more.

-S-
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
(The small finger is called "meñique")

I'm very obsessed with most the things I try to learn, but for some reason I haven't tried to learn to read music. I just stopped at tabs.

Actually, I think that most of us who play by tabs we actually play by ear. I do at least. The tab is just a reminder of what I have to do. For the type of music I play (which is singing with the guitar), I usually don't use nothing. But this is very distant from playing the bass, for which I think it would make sense to learn to read music.
 
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