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Starting out ( again )


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About 25 years ago I bought myself an electric guitar and small amp from the local music shop. Think they both may have been second-hand which wasn't an issue.

I was a thwarted rock star determined to come good and if I did it on second-hand kit then all the better ............. perhaps I still had a bit of punk metality :censored:

Anyway, after what felt like 12 months of hard labour I'd just about mastered Mull of Kintyre ................ and that was it :shock:

For the youngsters out there, Mull of Kintyre was a popular little tune performed by a chap called McCartney who was once big in the band scene :band:

In those days there was no internet/podcasts etc. I don't even remember a DVD to give a few helpful tips.

Instead it was good old paper books. Of course I didn't have/need lessons ( :blush: ) and so when kids came along I retired from the music scene.

Anyway after a 24 year break, I'm thinking it's about time the world had the pleasure of listening to my musical talents once again.

With the advent of the net, I see I can now get "free" lessons either via web pages, podcasts and/or DVD's.

As usual though it's a question of knowing where to start and what to look for. Does anyone have any favourite sites for beginners?

On the equipment front, I'm happy with a beginners kit which seems to include guitar, small amp ( usually 10 or 15 amp ), leads, stand, bag, strap and sometimes tuition books/DVD. And all for about £85 brand new delivered to the door :w00t:

Now I realise that at this price I'm unlikely to trouble Eric Clapton et al, but I'm thinking it's the right sort of cash to splash to see if I can make it to the regional heat of " Britains Got No Talent "

Again if you guys have any opinions on what equipment is best to look out/avoid then please do yell.

Lets rock :band:

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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My mates dad builds him nice Jazz Guitars...and they are built not 7 miles from Hethel....

http://www.bjhguitars.com/index.html

http://www.paulhill.biz/index.html (hes pretty good if you like jazz...Demos under the live projects

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Thanks Buddsy.

I'll check him out although I'm more of a geriatric rock geezer really B-)

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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Graham

I'd say get the best you can comfortably afford. While a cheap guitar amp package may seem like a bargain, if the guitar is horrible to play and the amp sounds bad, you'll get bored / annoyed / fed up very quickly and that cheap stuff will sit in the corner of the room untouched.

You can get very nice guitars for a couple hundred quid, spend a few quid on a half decent multi effects unit and do what I do plug it into your PC with some decent speakers on it.

Edited by lrg_machine

Jez

Mean Green S4s

I think therefore I am - Descartes

I'm pink therefore I'm spam - Eric Idle

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Thanks guys.

Just remembered that up in the loft are a couple of Wharfedale speakers and an Akai or Aiwa amp dating back to the late 70's ( University days :thumbsup: )

Any idea whether they'd be compatible with todays modern guitars ?

I'm intending to set up in the garage although may have to re-think that plan when winter returns :getmecoat:

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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This guys site is very good:

http://www.justinguitar.com/

Free lessons, and it's been visitied and endorsed by Brian May, this guy Justin is very good and i like his style in that he assumes you will have trouble and guesses well at what that will be, even offering cheats...

Am dying on my arse with bar chords myself, makes me feel like i've got sausages for fingers, but i am finally getting some speed on my pinky which i had deemed impossible, so there be hope.

:D

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Graham

Jeremy's advice to spend as much as is comfortable is perfect. I have seen the packages for less than £100, and although some are fine, it won't take long to find their limitations.

To get something that will last forever is not too much more. £250 all in, will make a huge range of guitars and amps available. Do stick to the big brands if possible (Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez, Roland etc). Yes, you have to pay for the name, but as you know, it is for good reason.

With regards to the tuition, see if you can find a good local teacher. If you are local to us here ( Surrey) give me a shout and I will see if we can recommend someone. You do not have to see them for years, but a few lessons to head you in the right direction will be invaluable. Sometimes something as seemingly insignificant as thumb position can make all the difference. Do use whatever you can find of interest on the Internet. It is the most fantastic resource, and one I wish that I had had (I started at about the same time as you - first time round).

The only other advice I can offer (as a music teacher myself) is pick it up as often as possible. Don't be put off by what feels like slow progress, barre chords are not a case of a few weeks practice, but six months to a year to get comfortable, so stick with it (and you Paul, it sounds like you are doing fine).

Apparently surgical spirit toughens up the fingertips.

Good luck.

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Thanks Ben and Paul C

Sadly Ben I'm a fair few miles away from Surrey ( Stafford ) but I'll take on board your advice and act accordingly.

Much appreciated

Graham

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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Sadly, there is no substitute for practise!! Aim to play at least an hour a day...and you will make progress. Play once a week and you're dead in the water. I agree totally with buying the best you can afford; really good instruments hold their value and encourage you to play. As with any musical instrument, it takes about two years of proper effort before you can play credibly in public....I've found the guitar a lifetime's involvement, I'm sure it's been the only thing keeping me on the right side of the sanity line at times. I have no experience of learning guitar along the electric route; like most people I started out with a nasty cheap acoustic and rapidly developed bleeding fingertips and whacking great calluses. You will make much faster progress if you follow a structured course and practise with a view to improving where you need to....me? I just played the thing...not being a very structured soul....and that worked for me,except a lot more slowly....then, it's supposed to be fun, isn't it?

I don't know whether you intend to go the guitar hero lead guitar route or lay down a solid rhythm...but I have found that, for practising solo work, a sequencer is invaluable. I have two old Yamaha QY20's....they are the musician's best toy, with a hundred or so rhythm patterns and the ability to programme chord sequences and add different instruments....you can actually sound like a big band if you try!...and it makes soloing on your own a lot more involving. You can, of course, lay down a recorded backing track on a tape or other recording machine, but the sequencer adds greater depth to the backing. It lets you learn soloing without having to find other musos prepared to let you fumble about...you can do the fumbling in your front room!!

Edited by molemot

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Thanks John.

I'm expecting this venture to be a life long challenge although talk of "sequencers" is another issue.

My late father was a Yamaha electric keyboard player and some of the backing rhythms on that thing were great.

It's now sitting in my house so perhaps I could use that as a sequencer :whistle:

Thanks again folks.

Graham

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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You can indeed use your Dad's keyboard....it's the exact same software and rhythm patterns and available chords as the QY20....have fun, and enjoy it!

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Another vote for buy a better name brand guitar second hand off eBay. Those starter pack guitars are really horrible to play.

Also the way a guitar is set up makes a huge difference to how it plays. I'd go to a local music shop and see if they have any second hand, ex demo gear. It'll be cheaper, normally have some warranty, and be set up correctly.

Regards

Mat

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Also the way a guitar is set up makes a huge difference to how it plays. I'd go to a local music shop and see if they have any second hand, ex demo gear. It'll be cheaper, normally have some warranty, and be set up correctly.

A really good shop might even be able to tweak the setup to work best with your particular hands and level of skill.

The great thing too about local merchants is that you can plonk around with their used selection until you find the one that just feels 'right.'

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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