Can an Old Rocker Learn Guitar?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by SpiritualMadMan, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    I shared this on another thread and wanted to see what, if any, pointers you might have...

    I've got an ear for music. Though, granted, mostly Melody Lines... After all I lead by vocal and don't 'properly' play the piano...

    (It's so easy to revert back to just picking out the melody!)

    I've got to charts on my wall... A Guitar Chord Chart and a Guitar Scales Chart...

    I haven't a clue as to how to use the Scales Chart...

    I like lead riffs...

    But, I really need to learn Chords if I am going to be able to lead worship with a guitar...

    I am having a problem with my left pinkie as when I make a fist it literally folds under the finger next to it...

    Even with the GAX 70 Neck I am having trouble getting my fat stubby fingers on many of the chords...

    Any ideas of how to get a good start?

    Mike Sr.
     
  2. D28guy

    D28guy
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    SpiritualMadMan,

    1st, just keep using the chord chart. Look at them while trying to form and play each chord without looking at the fretboard. Do them in every possible order...horizontally, vertically, diagonally, etc.

    After you have those down pat, work on the scales. All they are is a whole bunch of notes that sound good together during a lead solo. Start with the lowest bass string, and hit them as shown all the way to the last(skinniest) string.

    After you have that down pat just start playing them in whatever order feels good for you. They should all sound good together in any order.

    Learn vibrato...pick a single note, than press firmly and "wobble" your finger in the same direction as the sting.

    Learn string bending...pick a single note and then while its sounding bend the string up to the next note.

    (Some of this you may already know, I'm just throwing some stuff out off the cuff.)

    After you have those chords down to where you know them really well...you just think A minor, and your hand just hits it without thinking...go out and get some song books of praise and worship songs you already know, and start playing them.

    Sometimes you can get the same CD as the song book and play the CD and play along with it.

    Whatever you do DONT get one of those Esteban guitars!

    btw, if you have really fat stubby fingers, you can take the guitar to a guitar shop and they can put a wider nut on it. That will make chords easier to play for you. Its fairly inexpensive. I wouldnt think it would be more than $20 or so for the cost of the nut and labor.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  3. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    Innocently asks... Why?

    Most hollow body (accoustics) fret boards are too wide...

    As for string bending...

    At my learning point it is hard *not* to pitch bend as I let the guy at the store sell me extra thin...

    And, I am not fretting straight down yet...

    Talk about some strange sounding chords! :D

    Mike Sr.
     
  4. James_Newman

    James_Newman
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    Just learn G C and D and your in like Flynn. ;)

    But seriously, as an aspiring amateur guitar strummer, I have found that often the fingerings that the chord charts suggest are not the most comfortable, nor are they always convenient depending on the chord changes that you may need to make. But if your pinky is giving you a lot of trouble that may limit your options. You might be able to strengthen it a bit with some fingering exercises...??
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    <img src =/curtis.gif>

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    Get yerself one of these......


    [​IMG]


    Available in most music stores
     
  6. Pete

    Pete
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    Mate, a guitar is compulsory for old rockers ;)


    Here's 2ยข worth I tell the kids I show guitar tricks to....

    The most important part is Colossians 3:17 [​IMG]

    Then in no particular order:

    Playing a guitar is REALLY going to HURT when you first start.

    Play the songs & styles YOU want to play.

    Pick the guitar up and play the thing. Looking at it doesn't do it.

    If you hear a "buzz" or "clunk" you need to put more pressure on string with left-hand fingers. Try to get fingers to come straight down on string, not at angle so you don't hit or muffle other strings.

    I'm sure there's more but can't think of any of it at the moment.


    One thing I will throw in: pick the middle two strings at the same time, then do it again at 3rd fret, then at 5th. Then open, 3rd, 6th, 5th. Open, 3rd, 5th, 3rd, open.....Congratulations, you can now play the Smoke On The Water riff [​IMG] Rock on ;)
     
  7. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    Thanks Pete,

    The *Music*, especially the Guitar riff, for "Smoke on the Water" has always been a favorite! [​IMG]

    Now I can play it two notes at a time! Woo Hoo! Cooking with gas now! :D

    (Before I could pick it out one note at a time anywhare on the fret board.)

    Mike Sr.
     
  8. Pete

    Pete
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    Looks like he IS an old rocker :D Oh help...we're creating a monster :eek: [​IMG] Well, I guess we may as well continue the introduction to power-chords lesson... ;)

    Here is the rest of Smoke...

    For those chords use:

    Gm = 3 5 5 x x x
    F = 1 3 3 x x x
    C = x 3 5 5 x x
    Ab = 4 6 6 x x x

    (Numbers are frets for chords, first number is top string, don't play strings marked x)


    ........and now I better go dig up the chords for Amazing Grace or something so I don't get excommunicated [​IMG]
     
  9. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    Hey...

    I can't be a monster until I buy an effects pedal! :D

    Little Fuzz, Little Wah-Wah...

    ooh yeah... Smokin! [​IMG]

    Mike Sr.

    Hey, Pete you ever do "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun"?
     
  10. gekko

    gekko
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    doin "nothing but the blood of Jesus" to the tune of "crash" (dave matthews band) is always nice... especially with a piano accompianment to go with the rythym acoustic, and then the solo/lead acoustic...

    beautiful.
     
  11. music4Him

    music4Him
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    Mike I donno about Pete but I play "Amazing Grace" not only to "House of the Rising Sun" ... I play it to Ghost Riders in the Sky, also with a boogie Woogie (Elvis Presley) beat, and now with a little Contemporary beat. (I bet that preacher who was knocking contemporary music would love it!) [​IMG]
     
  12. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    Never Heard it to "Ghost Riders in the Sky"...

    I'll have to five up the ole Midid system and see what I can do with it...

    Speaking of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" I have a piece of Vinyl by a Jimmy Miller who does "Faith Riders in the Sky" on the album "Loving Him"

    I'll have to play it again in the morning...

    Mike Sr.

    BTW: Myself, the guitar player and bass player did Amazing Grace at a little Church of God church one night...

    Pastor loved it...

    Of course he didn't recognise it as a piece of "Rock", either. :D
     
  13. D28guy

    D28guy
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    I said...

    SpiritualMadMan said...

    Well, let me say this 1st....

    Esteban is a very talented guitarist, and I have heard that is instructional videos are good.

    But regarding his guitars, compared to what he says about his guitars...

    He must come from a long line of snake oil salesmen.

    Eveything he says about how they sound as good as his $5000.00 Martin, and how its built as well as his $5000.00 Martin, is 100% HOGWASH!

    I have personally seen several of these guitars, and they truly do run the gamut...from very bad to semi-decent. But none are in the same universe as the guitars that he claims they "are as good as".

    I dont know whether its poor quality control, or just the fact that is has 4 or 5 different models...each a bit more expensive...but the worst Estebans are worthless pieces of trash. The best Estebans are playable starter guitars...nothing more.

    Regarding the really horrid ones, I have heard testimonies of people having fingers sliced open by poorly placed frets, cheap paint all over peoples hands and fingers after 30 seconds of playing, people tuning it up perfectly...only to have it horribly out of tune after 10 seconds of playing, etc etc etc.

    Regarding the better Estebans, they are playable but are no better, and probably a bit worse, than the standard entry level guitar by any of the reputable "economy" brand guitars. Washburn, Yamaha, Epiphone, Alavarez, etc.

    I can guarentee you that anyone can walk into any large guitar store and walk out with an entry level guitar by any of those brands I just mentioned, and there are others, that for the same price will be every bit as good, and probably better than an Esteban...plus you will get some kind of warrantee(many times lifetime)...which you do not get with an Esteban.

    If you want to read actual testimonials, click on...

    www.harmonycentral.com

    ...and find the "reviews" section. This is a place for owners of every type of guitar imaginable to send in their reviews...good or bad.

    When you find the list of brands click on the Esteban link. It wont be pretty reading.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  14. music4Him

    music4Him
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    Mike since you know about the Esteban git fiddles. Do you know anything about Kona brand guitars?
    I just got a Kona (green/blue) thin bodied cutaway electric/acoustic, with a foam/fur lined hard case. I got it for 75.00 under the retail price nd it is new. I don't know much about the Kona brand but the other guys at church that played it say they liked it. I do need to get the factory strings off and probley get some Elixer(sp?) strings on it soon. But even with the factory strings it sounds better than my acoustic Yamaha.
     
  15. D28guy

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    music4Him...

    This is the 1st I've ever heard of them. I dont know anything about them at all. I did a quick search and found their web-site.

    They seem to have 3 levels of acoustics. An entry level, an intermediate level, and most expensive. Although there are no prices, I can tell by looking at the specs and type of woods which is which.

    Is yours in one of these 3 categories?...

    (electric/acoustics seem to be mixed in)

    Entry level...

    Link..."Acoustic" series

    Intermediate...

    Link..."Signature" Series

    Highest level...

    Link..."Gold Series"

    Theres nothing in there that seems problematic to me. Could very well be a new company making good guitars and just havent developed a reputation for it yet. At least not where you or I live.

    I notice that in the 2 highest categories the woods get better. Solid tops...rather than laminated, and woods like Rosewood for backs and sides. Usually that means the company is committed to "doing it right" as they say, rather than selling junk.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  16. Pete

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    Saw that done once and I think it's close to one of the most horrible things I've ever heard (neat trick for a night shift cabbie to say that :eek: ). It was so bad I just sat down (if I had any brains I would have walked out....(if I had any brains I would have never gone to that Church to start off with (and hey, I just read on Wiki that "Overuse of parentheses is usually a sign of a badly structured text." (but what would they know huh? ;) ))))

    Nope, I'm not allergic to rock, or even Amazing Grace done to House Of The Rising Sun, but the one I was "lucky" ( :rolleyes: ) enough to catch that night sounded like it was The Animals themselves playing. If I had a look through hymnal I might come across something in Common Meter that would handle the full-on Animals arrangement, Amazing Grace isn't one of them.

    Mum was always telling me the story of the day my brother got up years ago and sang Alas And Did My Saviour Bleed to tune of House one day for men at down-and-out ministry mum was involved with at the time. Mum says bro got a blasting for it by those in charge, but the men loved it. Fast forward a thousand years or so and mum and I arrange an Easter service between us at old Church. I get the bro there and we do it, just us singing and self on acoustic. The gray-haired saints loved it [​IMG]

    ...and the point of all the rambling...I've got no idea [​IMG] Typing practice I guess [​IMG]
     

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