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Hi all,

I've recently got back into guitar after 4 years without picking it up (I have a four year old daughter, which Is why I stopped).

I'm self taught, and first time around I never practised formally at all, I just picked songs I liked and learnt them using videos/tabs. After a lot of work I could just about do the lead Sultans of Swing (probably the limit of my skill).

This time around I'd really like to develop as a player and actually get better. I'd also like to learn to improvise so I could noodle away amusing myself (along the lines of the guys from That Pedal Show when they are playing random ideas). I'm not interested in shredding at 2876bpm, just classic rock stuff really.

I don't know where to start with music theory though, I'm vaguely aware of the caged system (but not from memory, I'd have to slowly work it out) and could work out the string notes but not quickly.

How did you all get to the level you are at? Any tips or recommendations of books or courses?

I'd really appreciate and all comments.

Thanks.

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Comments

  • BarneyBarney Frets: 401
    I would start with minor pentatonic in all postitions ...finding ways to link them and really trying to work on phrasing 

    I find a good way is to learn the pentatonics as they are then reply break them down....get a backing track and really work on ideas just on 2 strings say B and E..in one position ..really spend a while on it ...you can easily do a good solo on them 2 strings using just 4 notes...just stick with it ....the do same with G and B string ...ect ...then use 3 strings and do the same ECT...this will build good phrasing ...

    Then join 2 positions using just 2 strings..eventually add another position until you cover them all...then 3 ECT...I think a lot of people think it's the notes they play that makes the music ...I think it's more how you phrase them and make good melody ....learning the pentatonics should just be the beginning to locate the notes ..

    Also listen a lot to what you like ..then you know what you are aiming for 


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  • RockerRocker Frets: 3262
    My stuck record suggestion is to find a music teacher and take a series of lessons. Sorts out technique and you will learn more in a month than a year learning from online videos and books. Go for it and welcome back.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 524
    edited February 6
    Agree with Rocker, get a tutor and save time/make progress properly. I should know, I teach! Haha.

    A book only has one way of explaining a concept and there's no one there to demonstrate what it should sound like or in regards to theory, apply it to the guitar so you can hear it in use. A book can't give you feedback either. Plus its always more fun to jam with another guitarist!
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  • BeardyAndyBeardyAndy Frets: 217
    I've played on and off for nearly 30 years and I recently started taking lessons, there's so many gaps in my playing that apparently 1 minute i'm noodling something that a grade 8 student would struggle with and the next minute i'm scratching my head over the major scale!

    If your self taught you'll have missed out on the building blocks that make you a complete player, its no good just picking up a book because there's a good chance half of it's irrelevant and you'll gloss over something important. In short, skip the next bout of GAS and get some lessons instead! 
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  • 19791979 Frets: 69
    It sounds like you’re pretty much in the same boat I was and the guys above are spot on about getting a tutor. Everything you would like to do is what I wanted, filling in gaps where fundamental skills/knowledge was missing. I started fortnightly lessons four months ago after finding a teacher I got on with and it’s probably the best guitar decision I’ve made. The freedom in playing now is so liberating. Go for it man
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  • antonyivantonyiv Frets: 197
    https://truefire.com/guitar-lessons/street-theory-for-guitarists/c1163?utm

    It's a great course.  I'm not affiliated in any way.  Check the free samples and decide for yourself. 
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  • close2uclose2u Frets: 450
    And what I linked you to is all free … there are paid sections / products too of course. But he makes masses of good stuff available for no cost.
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  • Thank you to everyone who replied. Strangely I'd never even considered a teacher before, which is strange seeing as though I'm a teacher (of Science not guitar!)

    Are most people here self taught, or did you all have lessons (and did they make a difference)?

    I think I've got the physical skill to play at a speed I'm happy with, but not the mental agility to have a clue what to play (or the necessary muscle memory or scale knowledge). I've been trying to get into the electric blues in 6 weeks DVDs by Stuart Bull but they are a little dry. I'll take a look at the other links, so thanks to you all.

    Has anyone used any of the Joseph Alexander books? 

    Thanks again.
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 524
    edited February 7
    I was self-taught for about 6 years until I realised how rubbish I was so enrolled at the Academy of Contemporary Music in 2007. I was there for 4 years and grew not only as a guitar player but also as a musician. I learnt to arrange for other instruments. But keeping guitar related I was horribly exposed when it came to rhythm notation/reading, theory and technique. I could play songs obviously but with those weak parts I never progressed. 

    Almost a decade after graduating I see these weak areas as a tutor in many players who can already play a bit that come to me for lessons.

    Studying at ACM made a huge difference to my playing and its more accurate and polished now. Would never have done it without the push of playing with others and good tutors to motivate and inspire me everyday.
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  • blobbblobb Frets: 1148
    I learnt most from playing with other people, not so easy for everyone so my top tip is Trio+
    Feelin' Reelin' & Squeelin'
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  • LordOxygenLordOxygen Frets: 162
    Hi, sorry to sort of thread hijack, im in a similar position as the OP. I can play the guitar but I do not understand it. I tried a couple of tutors 2 or 3 years ago but it didn't work out for several reasons (mainly my work commitments at the time)

    I'd really lile to develop as a player and understand the guitar, scales, keys, playing all over the fretboard.

    So my latest idea is trying 121 skype lessons.

    If you know any good skype tutors that can help someone at my level please let me know here or via pm if that's preferable. 

    Cheers.
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  • DdiggerDdigger Frets: 101
    A great wee sight is...

    www.fretjam.com

    Lots of videos, 10-15min, easy to dip in and out of.  No waffle, no ego etc.

    I think the fella is from around 'ull or thereabouts.  I'm not completely familiar with  Englandshire accents.

    I have made some donations in the past as it is a great, free site.
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