Sunday, July 26, 2009

Guitar Guides, Videos and Metronome Software for Beginners - I

There are innumerable guides available online for beginners already. All those websites are written by someone who is already proficient with the instrument. This one, however, is written by a noob — a beginner.
The writer is fairly new with the aforementioned stringed instrument, even though he has owned a guitar for over a year.
Now, now...that does not mean you should ignore these suggestions just because of my, err...'noobness' and slow progress. Let the tips speak for themselves.

While I tried to find useful material to learn and more importantly, to practise with, I found a few websites, video tutorials and software that will prove to be quite helpful to you. So here they are...

Stick to Just One Book (as long as you are a beginner, that is)
I surrounded myself with all sorts of books, online guides and video tutorials. I have realised that even though the books were helpful, together they proved to be a little confusing. (What's that saying about too many books spoiling the broth?)
Stick to a book that seems easy to understand and has included some exercises. Do not attribute difficulty to play, right at the outset, to the book. The first few steps can be slow, tiresome, frustrating and at times painful.

Online Guides to Learning the Guitar
But a good book is offline guidance, which may not always come with video tutorials (on CD). One thing I found real difficult to understand was how to strum. I finally understood strumming when I came across some really simple video tutorials. The tips are lucid, contain strum exercises, and even display tabs or finger positions in a picture-in-picture mode. I found that to be incredibly helpful. Most videos I came across were not in this format. In addition to the video tutorial on strumming, there are more guides on chord switching (so very important), note strums and arpeggios (great for practise and limbering up them fingers). Charles Sedlak has made some awesome tutorials for beginners on 5min.com.
The strumming tutorials on FretJam.com and HeartWoodGuitar.com really helped clear doubts too and also include exercises, just so you can get used to the up-down strumming movement and learn different patterns. FretJam has also provided jam tracks and sample audio files too, so you know what the strum should sound like.

These are the guides I intend to stick to, until I improve. (Only God knows how long that is going to take.) Now for the software. On to part 2 of my story — Metronome Software...just for dramatic effect and to restrict the blog post to a respectable length.



FretJam.com seems to be down for some reason. I tell you, this is lousy timing...
You can also visit Guitar.About.com — it is filled with lots of help and valuable things about playing an acoustic guitar.

6 comments:

Droomvla said...

so tell me, what piece/s have you been playing lately? hehehehe

This article about the metronome is very interesting. I didn't know that was even possible! Thanks!

Aristarkhos said...

I tried my hand with "Oh my daRling, oh my daRling, oh my daRRling Clementine..." and i pretty much broke it. :)

I tried 'happy birthday' for my wife. I took way too much time to make it sound like I was wishing her a happy birthday. The expression was priceless, "What R you trying to do?"

So right now, it is just chord switches. My friend says concentrate on this and strumming later. All I can think of is that young guy who played the Ronda alla Turca on a bass guitar. Inspiration is needed during frustrating times...

Glad you found something interesting here. Lol! :)

Mike Beatham said...

Hi, it's Mike from fretjam.com. Sorry my site was down at time of posting. Not sure what caused that. Anyway, it's up now so please go ahead and enjoy the strumming course!

Cheers
Mike

Aristarkhos said...

Hi Mike!
Yes, I noticed the site was up later. But I have been a little tardy in updating the post. Thanks for visiting. :)

Droomvla said...

I could almost picture your wife's facial expression! HAHAHAHAHA

Your friend is right. First, the chords and finger position. Later, the strumming and plucking. lol

Angele Martin said...

Learning to play the guitar using guitar software is an incredible way to speed up your guitar learning experience. The key to learning how to play the guitar quickly is finding the most direct route. The beauty of guitar software is that it has been carefully structured to balance the lessons between scale and chord understanding and finger pattern and development.The lessons are geared toward teaching you the essential information in an easy to learn format including video, audio and text files.

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