How did you learn to play?

Decadent Dan

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Inspired by Glen Campbell.
Lessons from Mel Bay.
CC93CB98-E61A-40AA-BCED-E141C104B89E.jpeg
 
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Central Scrutinizer

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Mel Bay at first also.

Then listening to records, over and over.

Still can’t play well, but enjoy myself.
 

chilipeppermaniac

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HEY HEY Scrute,,,,,,,,,,,, Great to see you.

Pretty sure I found a nice SG on Reverb, just sayin.
 

NMA

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Watching other performers was a real eye-opener for me. I'd see things and then try them. Some things I saw made no sense, for instance:

I'll always remember when the Aussie band The Church was on MTV Unplugged. Marty Wilson-Piper and Jules Shear did a short version of The Beatles "Rain." I was dumbfounded because one of the two guys was playing chords with just one finger! I could hear he was playing the correct chords for "Rain," but how the heck was he doing it with just one finger. It was from that performance that I learned about tuning one's guitar to a full chord - open E or open G. Never knew that stuff existed.


 

Go Nigel Go

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I learned with a combination of being self taught, plus two semesters of formal instruction at my university music department. The formal instruction was a bit of a slog since since as my piano teacher, band teachers, and other music teachers will attest, I can pick up music much faster by ear to the detriment of my more formal instruction. That said, I did benefit from that formal instruction, especially when it comes to the mechanics of playing an instrument.

The first rock band I was in however played a huge role in making me the guitar player I am today. We had two other guitarists who showed me a lot of "cheater" techniques not covered by my college instruction and dramatically expanded my palette of sounds and techniques. Another thing that experience taught me was how to think on my feet. The frontman was famous (infamous) in the local musical community for springing things on the band at will. I don't know how many times we would be playing a live show and he would utter the words "Let's see if you remember this one boys..." and start to play something we had never rehearsed and we didn't know what he was doing. The rest of us had one or two measures at most to identify the key and time signature, jump on and play the song we thought he was playing. Often we were 15 to 20 seconds in before we knew for sure what he was trying to play and adjust accordingly. Unprofessional? yeah. Pain in the @$$? yeah. did we complain? yeah. After 5 years though we got quite good at it, and while we were often hanging on by our teeth the audience usually responded enthusiastically and often commented that they "liked our version a lot". I would never do that to a group of musicians myself in front of an audience, but it really did make me a better player all things considered.
 
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Decadent Dan

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I learned with a combination of being self taught, plus two semesters of formal instruction at my university music department. The formal instruction was a bit of a slog since since as my piano teacher, band teachers, and other music teachers will attest, I can pick up music much faster by ear to the detriment of my more formal instruction. That said, I did benefit from that formal instruction, especially when it comes to the mechanics of playing an instrument.

The fist rock band I was in however played a huge role in making me the guitar player I am today. We had two other guitarists who showed me a lot of "cheater" techniques not covered by my college instruction and dramatically expanded my palette of sounds and techniques. Another thing that experience taught me was how to think on my feet. The frontman was famous (infamous) in the local musical community for springing things on the band at will. I don't know how many times we would be playing a live show and he would utter the words "Let's see if you remember this one boys..." and start to play something we had never rehearsed and we didn't know what he was doing. The rest of us had one or two measures at most to identify the key and time signature, jump on and play the song we thought he was playing. Often we were 15 to 20 seconds in before we knew for sure what he was trying to play and adjust accordingly. Unprofessional? yeah. Pain in the @$$? yeah. did we complain? yeah. After 5 years though we got quite good at it, and while we were often hanging on by our teeth the audience usually responded enthusiastically and often commented that they "liked our version a lot". I would never do that to a group of musicians myself in front of an audience, but it really did make me a better player all things considered.
That reminds me, I also played percussion in a high school (marching, concert, symphonic and jazz) bands.
Learning how to count was a pretty big deal to me.
Knowing exactly when to play or not can be as important as what to play or not.
Also…
I actually failed a guitar class in high school because I didn’t want to learn the basics.
I wanted to run before I could walk.
That’s another mistake.
 

MR D

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A big breakthrough for me was to figure out how to play BEATLES songs, both guitar parts.......by myself...in time and make the song sound correct ! By myself.....LMT, that was 25 years ago ? FFS......
 

edubfromktown

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Took piano lessons as a kid (my oldest sibling was a voice major and my parents figured I'd develop that level of dedication and talent- didn't happen lol). I mention this because when I was first learning songs on the guitar, I'd figure them out on the piano first because it just seemed "easier" on the fingers and familiarity of note locations in my mind maybe.

Started playing guitar with classmates in elementary school and into junior high then got a couple of books (Hendrix and Led Zeppelin) and sort of took off from there.
 

Igonuts

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Played sousaphone in grade school. Not good at it but learned the basics of sheet music in general. At 12yo (67) my cousin had a band and they practiced in our basement. SG, ES 335, dual showman, sun amps. I watched. Saw a couple of chord configs. Snuck in at night and tried to play. Problem was I'm a lefty. Played them anyway. Then got my first guit at 13th Bday in 68.
From there,
Basically self taught lefty playing rt handed guits listening to 33 rpm LP's on a player set at 16 rpm in my room w lights out smoking whacky. Leaned to roll joints in the dark really quick. Guit paying in the dark took a bit longer. Then i was shown bar chords and discovered two frets below them were maj boxes on the board. Then modified boxes for Minor, and 7th. Later, 9ths and diminished and so on. By high school was playing in bands w classmates.
 
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Igonuts

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A big breakthrough for me was to figure out how to play BEATLES songs, both guitar parts.......by myself...in time and make the song sound correct ! By myself.....LMT, that was 25 years ago ? FFS......
"....by myself..."
At the same time.
Yup! Same for me. But for me it was Tull's "to cry you a song" back in 1970.
 

MR D

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"....by myself..."
At the same time.
Yup! Same for me. But for me it was Tull's "to cry you a song" back in 1970.
WAIT.........'Riding so HIIIGH , tryin to remember...how many cigarettes did I bring along...', thats it ,yes? Took a minute to come back...Damn Alzheimers !
NICE ONE !
 

Igonuts

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WAIT.........'Riding so HIIIGH , tryin to remember...how many cigarettes did I bring along...', thats it ,yes? Took a minute to come back...Damn Alzheimers !
NICE ONE !
Both guit melodies at same time on one tele delux. Using a pick didn't sound right. Two fingernail plucking did it. 2nd & 3rd fingers. Clasical style.
 
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Alanbama

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Took lessons for a few years in the high school years. Got efficient at tabs, learned the chords, and some scales. Got about 2 dozen songs under my belt, maybe more, then kept practicing on my own.

For the amount of years I have been strumming I should be a lot better. Lol.

Sure enjoy it though
That’s exactly what I say about myself! Time played doesn’t always equal skill level!😂
 

MR D

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Both guit melodies at same time on one tele delux. Using a pick didn't sound right. Two fingernail plucking did it. 2nd & 3rd fingers. Clasical style.

gotta try that out...i'm not such a classical type picker....give a go tho....I got the 1st word in that song wrong, I THINK? Mr Andersen SINGS..... 'FLYING' not 'RIDING'....I always thought Martin Barre and Barriemore Barlow were criminally under-rated/appreciated...one of the best performances I've seen was those guys....'Locomotive Breath' into 'Cross-Eyed Mary' to end the show.....Madison Sqaure Garden...the entire building was shaking !
 

Igonuts

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gotta try that out...i'm not such a classical type picker....give a go tho....I got the 1st word in that song wrong, I THINK? Mr Andersen SINGS..... 'FLYING' not 'RIDING'....I always thought Martin Barre and Barriemore Barlow were criminally under-rated/appreciated...one of the best performances I've seen was those guys....'Locomotive Breath' into 'Cross-Eyed Mary' to end the show.....Madison Sqaure Garden...the entire building was shaking !
Saw alice cooper open for Tull at Seattle in 70 er 71 I think. Alice opened w twin gold on white SG Custom playing Halo of Flies. Everyone lit up instantly. Week later, same venue, Stevie Wonder opened for Mahogany Rush. Strange combo, but one of the best shows I've seen to date.

"gotta try that out.."
Wasn't hard to do if one starts out at half speed and an octive down. Record player set at 16 rpm. Getting up to speed took a little time. Was a great tool for figuring out Jimmy Page leads. Never got up to speed on that. He"s a fairly scrappy lead guitarist. live, he's really scrappy and hard to follow sometimes. To the point we all thought he was sloppy and didn't stay in key. Guess if you're lightining fast, it doesn't matter if you make sense playing leads. One of the greatest studio bands ever, live, not so much IMHO.
 
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MR D

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Saw alice cooper open for Tull at Seattle in 70 er 71 I think. Alice opened w twin gold on white SG Custom playing Halo of Flies. Everyone lit up instantly. Week later, same venue, Stevie Wonder opened for Mahogany Rush. Strange combo, but one of the best shows I've seen to date.

"gotta try that out.."
Wasn't hard to do if one starts out at half speed and an octive down. Record player set at 16 rpm. Getting up to speed took a little time. Was a great tool for figuring out Jimmy Page leads. Never got up to speed on that. He"s a fairly scrappy lead guitarist. live, he's really scrappy and hard to follow sometimes. To the point we all thought he was sloppy and didn't stay in key. Guess if you're lightining fast, it doesn't matter if you make sense playing leads. One of the greatest studio bands ever, live, not so much IMHO.
Record player ? I haven't even seen one in 20 years.....i'll try youtube at half speed?
You got a good point there....on a bad night, Zeppelin could be dreadful..I know, the 1975 show in NYC was horrendous, should have been postponed.Plant had the flu and no voice and Page had a broken finger, they were pretty bad, Bonham saved them that night.....BUT, 2 years later....Zeppelin played in NYC again, GREATEST show I ever saw...they played 'HEARTBREAKER' and I'm tellin you, they nailed it....it was so loud and raucous the rafters were I was were actually moving up and down...how the building did not collpase, IDK...the place was going so berserk...at the end of 'Black Dog', the final song......Bonham fuckin ran off the stage ('HOLY ****, I'm gettin outta here !")....and kept running down 7th avenue till the coast was clear...never seen anything like it since, not even close...Roger Waters, 40 years later, in Philly.... as excellent as his band was....they were a very distant 2nd........I did not get to see Hendrix or Keith Moon, but everyone else I saw were 'also rans' compared to that one Zeppelin show @ MSG in NYC...June 1977......just over 45 years ago last week.....CTTOI, IRON MAIDEN WAS PRETTY BAD-A$$, I must say...BRUCE and those guys surprised me....same place in 2004 (?).
 

Igonuts

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Think there's editing software such that one can slow the tempo w/o effecting pitch. Me thinks anyway.
 

MR D

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Think there's editing software such that one can slow the tempo w/o effecting pitch. Me thinks anyway.
I tried to look up the chords to 'To Cry You A Song..', no luck....do you know them ? 'its Been a long t-i-i-ime...'.....
 

Igonuts

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Inspired by Glen Campbell.
Lessons from Mel Bay.
View attachment 48021

Just realized. Kinda ironic cuz Glen Campbell never learned to read music. Arguably one of the best studio musicians in his era. Writers would give him a new sheet, he'd look at it, put it aside, do his own thing, and they'd all go, OK~.
No. I get it. Lessons were inspired by Glen. Still, kinda ironic.
 


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