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 Calling all guitarists

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Ophiel

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PostSubject: Calling all guitarists   Wed 13 Feb 2008, 6:13 am

Well, I am buying an electric guitar (plus amp and some effects etc). I have never been able to play but have always fancied learning - so its going to be a new hobby, a new challenge.

Any guitarists got any tips, links etc for a beginner?

My set up is:

Ibanez RG370DX
Line 6 15watt amp
Effects = crunch, echo, reverb, distortion, mayhem, (via the amp)


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Ophiel

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Wed 13 Feb 2008, 6:19 am

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Ophiel

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Wed 13 Feb 2008, 6:21 am

Take a look at these.....mine is half-way down in electric blue....

http://www.musicfactoryukltd.com/index.php?cat=RG_Series
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Thu 14 Feb 2008, 4:01 am

Nice axe! I've found Ibanez's to be rather nifty pieces of harware, even the "budget" ones. I picked up a second-hand Ibanez G10 in the local Sound Control- kept detuning (I was planning on customizing it anyways) so I, with the help of a mate and jamming buddy, opened the back and threw in some new springs. The kid that owned it previously was probably "divebombing" just a bit too vigourously.



One thing about my model, though it might not be the same as yours (given mines was originally a "budget" model) is that the whammy bar isn't threaded, so mines' slides out sometimes. If yours is the same, you might want to talk to a music shop about locks or something.


I know it's totally boring, but learn theory and how to read music, else you'll end up like me- completely illiterate and having to rely on guitar tablature Laughing Learn your chords too. There are loads of books and websites out there. Magazines like Total Guitar and Guitarist Magazine are worth looking at too.

Next is to learn the best way to take care of it. Cleaning it and replacing the strings- this is very important as if you pull all the strings off at once you can warp the neck. Music stores will generally be able to help you with all this.

I'm sure your FX pedal will have a tuner. If not, KORG do small, dainty little jobs that do the trick for a reasonable price. A tuner in some respect is vital. You will need this!

Quick tip if you're a metaller, and fancy trying your hand at gallop rythms (from Maiden right up to most thrash and death bands): Don't control the gallop from your elbow. Try and control it from your wrist. While at first this might not seem as natural, and as snappy and tight, you will get a better flow, tighter sound, less fatigue over extened playing and less chance of injury!

Stings are important. Just play around with different types as you change them (should last about 3-6 months, less if you're playing like obscene amounts of hours every single day, more if you're either playing less or being more gentle). I started off using heavy gauge because I thought this would generate a harder, more metal sound, but in truth they were harsh on the fingers and useless to bend and play any solos on (especially with a high action!). I eventually went for lighter gauge. Ernie Ball strings give a very nice sound, but I find can be quite fragile. D'Adario's are good enough, and I find they tend to be a bit hardier. However- this is only my opinion based on how I play (loud, hard and fast lol).


Talking of fingers. building them up is a good idea. Magazines constantly advertise thise ball things you put your fingers into, but the cheapest (and some argue best) way is to get a long, strong elastic band, twine it round your fingers and try and flex them out. Personally i just play to build up strength and dexterity... Also, when you first play your fingertips will get sore, and might start bleeding. just keep going. You don't really need calouses (I don't really have calouses as such), but the skin will firm up pretty quick.

Last of all, have fun! Have a lot of fun! It takes a lot of practice and patience (a quality I am in dire need of getting: I should be much better than I am! I can't remember all of the chords, I can't read sheet, I don't know theory and I really only play by ear and tabs- hardly proffesional conduct lol) but if you have fun with it then it's a blast of a hobby! Don't be afraid to play about, experiment and all that, try musical styles you don't normally listen to. If you try and learn songs you know you like, and know very well, it makes it all the more fun (unless their stupidly complex, but again... that's just me).



Hope some of this helps.
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DJP

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Thu 14 Feb 2008, 3:08 pm

Looks like a fantastic beginners set up, one of my students has the same amp and it's really loud for its wattage + the effects are good. Line 6 are an industry standard in amp modeling and effects. My friend with the amp tried playing it on mayhem setting at volume and the neighbours started banging on the wall.

Ibanez are a fantastic company - Japenese engineering - I have had one ibanez guitar although I have played a few. Mine was an Ibanez AS73 BS Semi-Acoustic, I was after an Ephiphone dot guitar but in the shop the tone of the Ibanez was much better and the neck was easier to play. I have sold it now, but I am a Les Paul Convert and can't see past it's beefy tones + it suits my band which is a Blues Band (think 60's British Blues) www.theseventhsons.net.

Learning wise, as Urisk says, if you have bags of time and patience learn to read music at least the rhythms. But many of the greats didn't and it depends on your goals. If you want to be a session musician and want to play by sight, you will have to learn to read. If you want to noodle in your room and impress at parties there is no need. Guitar learning resources have developed so much over the years. Go into a guitar store and you can buy a DVD with one to one sessions of your favorite guitarists and songs, usually in tab, and most guitar music is available in tab.
But first learn the basics of music, timing is really important get a metronome and play with other people whenever you can, just so you are not relying on your own inner timing, which can be variable to say the least.
Learn the three chord trick in a number of keys as it's a good base: E,A,B. G,C,D. A,D,E. All major then add some minor chords from each key. Learn some simple rock rythms especially in the open position of A,D,E.
And stick to a style that you enjoy. Guitar playing is a vast and varied subject in styles and music: Folk picking, classical, slide, shredding, Acoustic or electric - lead or rythm, rock, blues, Jazz, funk. The list is endless, but if you are learning something you enjoy the learning will come easier as you progress. It may also be worth getting an acoustic if you budget will stretch - its a different game in many ways although there is a cross over - all depends on you singing voice Cool

And probably the best advice: don't get frustrated and stick at it. Everybody learns at a different pace, and we don't all get to practice as much as we can. Many of the top guys practice over 5 hours a day, or, are using their skill professionally every day. There is also the woodshed shed period many guitarists went through. This is a term to denote the hours they put in during their teenage years, locked away somewhere with Mrs Axe. (I may resemble that article) There are other things you can do in a woodshed I will not pass comment. Smile
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matt.h



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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Fri 15 Feb 2008, 4:28 am

Sounds like a pretty solid starter kit. Do Line 6 make the Pod multi-effects units? They're bloody useful for recording, although for me nothing will beat the sound of a telecaster running through my Orange OD-80 and a massive Marshall cab. Big Muff pedal for added chaos, of course!

My advice would be to practice, practice, practice. I've never really bothered getting into theory deeply but I guess it all depends what you want to get out of it.
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Sat 16 Feb 2008, 9:09 am

The Pods are quite nice- I've got a Pod II, but I don't use it nearly to it's capacity. Which is a shame. I prefer to use my old, beat-up Zoom GFX-707. Tis got a Van Halen fuzzbox style effect to die for!
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LeeWat

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Sun 17 Feb 2008, 12:43 pm

I am a crap guitarist as Dan can testify to Embarassed . Last time Dan came to visit i wanted to break all his fingers Twisted Evil

However that aside, equipment.

Guitars.

AXE strat syle piece of %^&* bought off a mate for 15 quid (he got it mail order from Kerrang magazine about 20 years ago, I slightly modified it with a jigsaw, some spare bits of wood and a lot of bodyfiller to attempt the BC Rich Warlock look, still not finished due to buying a real one).

Washburn Acoustic (scrounged off my mum 18 years ago)

BC Rich Warlock, double Humbuckes and a Floyd Rose tremalo, in my opinion the best most vicious looking axe ever made (not, i repeat not with that horrid widow head)

Some cheap Tanglewood copy semi acoustic.

Amps

WEM Dominator Valve amp made in 1975 (verified by Charles Watkins of Watkins Electric Music http://www.wemwatkins.co.uk/ ) i swapped a peavey 12watt practice amp for this house shaker Smile I think I got the better end of the deal).

Marshall MG10cd Practice amp (this is the one I use now, compact and well built with some gizmo in it that makes it sound like a valve amp "alledgedly", cant seem to get the same level of feedback on it like the WEM whilst making a total mockery of any given Slayer track im attempting to play)

FX

DOD FX55-B distortion pedal (probably same age as Warlock)

Cheapo stereo flanger

DOD multi FX programmable 4 pedal mains operated thing, dont use it, may offer for the cost of postage to whomever wants it, power lead/instruction manual/original box not included (but i have to find it first, so you may have a bit of a wait). Offer only available to people that have posted above me, and intend to use it not ebay it.

Extras

I have a korg electronic tuner, but i prefer to use my tuning pipes, ears are better than electrionics in my opinion.

Strings are always D'Adario 10's for the Warlock and D'Adario/Ernies for the acoustic's



Have you heard the saying "All the gear, no idea", thats me. Nearly 20 years of messing and still rubbish but still enjoying playing the bits of songs i know especially The Beatles Day Tripper (probably play it wrong) and Ians/Dans/Lims/Jons/Bouldys and my version "Gay Stripper" have you still got the video Ian ? .... errr not us stripping before you all get worried, but a song and video staring a freind (whom is not gay i may add), and some video footage from a vigil long in the past lol!

Ian, Jon and I also had a pretty good attempt at the Yazzo/Flying Pickets track called Only You (re-written lyrics of course) re titled It Was You.

Original lyrics

Looking from a window above
Is like a story of love
Can you hear me ?
'Came back only yesterday
We're moving further away
'Want you near me

All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew...
Only you


Ours

Looking out the window above
somebody gave me a shove
and i fell out
I landed in a heap on the floor
somebody yelled for encore
i was dying.

All i needed was the shove you gave.
Just hard enough to put me in my grave
but all i ever knew
it was you

I've found you can have a right good laugh with playing the Guitar and messing about with other peoples songs.

Stick with it m8, even if you just play for yourself like me its rewarding.

Lee.

And I would rather be a Rockstar than a Footballer/TV celeb/Movie Star any day of the week/year/century and so on...
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Ophiel

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Mon 18 Feb 2008, 2:40 am

Wow!

Thank you all for your kind advice and support. I now have the guitar and amp and I have to say I am very impressed. Guitars have come on a bit in recent years. I looked at guitars 15 - 20 years ago and the stuff i can now get as standard would have cost at least double back then.

First impressions. The finish and quality are excellent. The action is really low and the neck small and fast (the idea was this should help with me being able to make the chord shapes while learning). The combination and arrangement of pickups gives an amazing range with the 5-way toggle switch. The humbucker-single-humbucker is way more impressive (to me anyway) than the simple three-way single pickup on a strat. The sounds can be incredibly deep or crisp. Really nice blues tone as well. The sustain is way better than I was expecting.

Again - this was what I have hoped for in a learning guitar - as I am not sure what music I will go for I wanted good range and a set up that would last me well into the future.

In the shop the guys said it was a professional guitar in the sense that they knew many recording artists that used them straight off the shelf (for recording and live performances). The only real difference between my model and say the really expensive ones (i.e., The Vai Jems etc) is the quality of the pickups. However, Ibanez recently upgraded their standard pickups bringing their standard guitars right up there with the custom set-ups.

The guitar was supposed to cost 300 (reduced from 360) - but I got it for 280 in the end as part of a package. I have to say - that seems to me to be the most guitar for your money I can find. The whole package cost 450ish including strap, stand, hard case, lead, picks, and amp.

The amp is good. Although only 15 Watt, I dare not move the volume much away from the first setting as the whole street would be complaining! The range of sounds is enough to keep you occupied - though i suppose pedals would give more versatility (and cost a lot more).

I will respond to all your helpful comments above - but for now just let me thank all of you for taking the time to encourage me at this stage. Its very intimidating - but I am going to give it a whirl!!!!!
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Ophiel

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Mon 18 Feb 2008, 6:40 am

Hiya Urisk

Many thanks for all your helpful comments.

Urisk wrote:
Nice axe! I've found Ibanez's to be rather nifty pieces of harware, even the "budget" ones. I picked up a second-hand Ibanez G10 in the local Sound Control- kept detuning (I was planning on customizing it anyways) so I, with the help of a mate and jamming buddy, opened the back and threw in some new springs. The kid that owned it previously was probably "divebombing" just a bit too vigourously.

Indeed. I am truly amazed at the quality of these things. Its a professional electric guitar - for under 300 brand new! A decent USA made strat is at least another 200 - 300 dearer.....and its not as good (IMO).

Quote :

I know it's totally boring, but learn theory and how to read music, else you'll end up like me- completely illiterate and having to rely on guitar tablature Laughing Learn your chords too. There are loads of books and websites out there. Magazines like Total Guitar and Guitarist Magazine are worth looking at too.

Yes - I am realising this. I have had the guitar 3 days. I know some of the major chords in my head (A, D, G, C, E) and can strike them cleanly - but my speed at changing between them is obviously very slow.... Embarassed

I am trying to learn patterns between them (for faster finger positioning) and practicsing different strumming techniques like - strumming all at once or one at a time (upwards and downwards). I am not sure but some familiar sounds appear to be emerging. Some combinations sound suspiciously like "Wild thing" and others like "House of the Rising sun" - though I am really crap and slow at it - i can hear these tunes in my mind. I have no idea if these songs are based around these chords - but they seem pretty close to me!

Quote :

Next is to learn the best way to take care of it. Cleaning it and replacing the strings- this is very important as if you pull all the strings off at once you can warp the neck. Music stores will generally be able to help you with all this.

To be honest the trem system is a complicated one and I would probably take it to a shop to be re-strung every 6 months or so (I would not even attempt it myself). I know of a shop that will give it a good 'tune up' (check the neck, pick up height, action, strings etc) for around 40 (including a new set of fitted strings). For now, thats what i will do.

Quote :

I'm sure your FX pedal will have a tuner. If not, KORG do small, dainty little jobs that do the trick for a reasonable price. A tuner in some respect is vital. You will need this!

Indeed - thansk for the tip - a tuner was included in the package - not very transparent to use at first but i think i have the hang of it now.... Very Happy

Thanks for the playing tips. When i get the principles nailed i would like to try a number of styles. I like blues and rock mainly (I also like the deep sounds from some metal music).


Regards strings - i think most come with gauge 9s on them - which seem fine but i have been told are prone to breaking more easily. Chatting to friends seems to suggest '10s' might be best. Any thoughts?

In terms of make - everyone seems to have a favourite - though i doubt it will make much difference to me at present.

Quote :

Talking of fingers. building them up is a good idea. Magazines constantly advertise thise ball things you put your fingers into, but the cheapest (and some argue best) way is to get a long, strong elastic band, twine it round your fingers and try and flex them out. Personally i just play to build up strength and dexterity... Also, when you first play your fingertips will get sore, and might start bleeding. just keep going. You don't really need calouses (I don't really have calouses as such), but the skin will firm up pretty quick.

Great tips Wink Yes my fingers are sore - but i am going to try to play through it. No blisters or bleeding - though some numbness and small signs of irritation. Can be painful when i first start playing but after the warm up they feel fine. Watch this space.....

Quote :

Last of all, have fun! Have a lot of fun! It takes a lot of practice and patience (a quality I am in dire need of getting: I should be much better than I am! I can't remember all of the chords, I can't read sheet, I don't know theory and I really only play by ear and tabs- hardly proffesional conduct lol) but if you have fun with it then it's a blast of a hobby! Don't be afraid to play about, experiment and all that, try musical styles you don't normally listen to. If you try and learn songs you know you like, and know very well, it makes it all the more fun (unless their stupidly complex, but again... that's just me).

I agree - i need more of this myself. I am going to give it my best shot this time and even plan to take some formal lessons in the coming weeks.

Once again - cheers for the tips!
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Ophiel

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Mon 18 Feb 2008, 6:52 am

Hello Dan Cool

DJP wrote:
Looks like a fantastic beginners set up, one of my students has the same amp and it's really loud for its wattage + the effects are good. Line 6 are an industry standard in amp modeling and effects. My friend with the amp tried playing it on mayhem setting at volume and the neighbours started banging on the wall.

Cheers for that - its nice to know i am learning on an instrument that is more than cpable of producing the results. Whether I am capable is another thing..... affraid

Quote :

Ibanez are a fantastic company - Japenese engineering - I have had one ibanez guitar although I have played a few. Mine was an Ibanez AS73 BS Semi-Acoustic, I was after an Ephiphone dot guitar but in the shop the tone of the Ibanez was much better and the neck was easier to play. I have sold it now, but I am a Les Paul Convert and can't see past it's beefy tones + it suits my band which is a Blues Band (think 60's British Blues) www.theseventhsons.net.

Great tunes man!

Quote :

Learning wise, as Urisk says, if you have bags of time and patience learn to read music at least the rhythms. But many of the greats didn't and it depends on your goals. If you want to be a session musician and want to play by sight, you will have to learn to read. If you want to noodle in your room and impress at parties there is no need.

At the moment - learning music will be beyond me. I should be able to get the basics nailed and learn some principles and a few licks (hopefully). Tab should help me. However, I do intend, in the long run, to learn music. I want to do it as properly as I can - but dont want to dent my progress too much with theory at this stage.

Quote :

But first learn the basics of music, timing is really important get a metronome and play with other people whenever you can, just so you are not relying on your own inner timing, which can be variable to say the least.

Yes - I am really going to spend some time on the basics. Without a solid foundation - i think I would struggle and get bored.....

Quote :

Learn the three chord trick in a number of keys as it's a good base: E,A,B. G,C,D. A,D,E.

Cheers Dan - will give it a whirl tonight.....


Quote :

And probably the best advice: don't get frustrated and stick at it. Everybody learns at a different pace, and we don't all get to practice as much as we can. Many of the top guys practice over 5 hours a day, or, are using their skill professionally every day. There is also the woodshed shed period many guitarists went through. This is a term to denote the hours they put in during their teenage years, locked away somewhere with Mrs Axe. (I may resemble that article) There are other things you can do in a woodshed I will not pass comment. Smile

Indeed! My aim is to practice around 2hours per session three times a week. So about 6 hours per week for now. Does this sound OK? Remember it is a hobby and I do have a demanding job! I know I will get frustrated - but i hope - with the strategic use of formal lessons and hobby-based practise it will get easier sooner rather than later.....
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Ophiel

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Mon 18 Feb 2008, 6:57 am

Hiya Matt

Many thanks for the tips....

matt.h wrote:
Sounds like a pretty solid starter kit. Do Line 6 make the Pod multi-effects units? They're bloody useful for recording, although for me nothing will beat the sound of a telecaster running through my Orange OD-80 and a massive Marshall cab. Big Muff pedal for added chaos, of course!

AAHHH a Telecaster - now they really do give a nice blues-type sound. I have always fancied one. They are quite distinctive - though i have seen them cropping up in modern rock bands more and more. It seems lots of people are moving away from the more typical strat.....I wonder why? Is it the sound? The quality of the build? The price? Hmmmmm..

The telecaster appears to be replacing the strat - at least to me.

Quote :

My advice would be to practice, practice, practice. I've never really bothered getting into theory deeply but I guess it all depends what you want to get out of it.

Thanks for that - I will give it a go. Your helpful comments are much appreciated Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Mon 18 Feb 2008, 7:02 am

Lee

Cheers for the words of encouragement!!! I will give it my best. So far its just the chords and the first 8 notes or so of "Beat it" by Michael Jackson Embarassed

However, watch this space.....

I want to set myself realistic goals really....by the end of the year i should have a few basic and simple songs pinned down and i hope to be able to move around the fret board alot more smoothly.

I want to concentrate on practising technique more than songs at the moment and just learn a few basic licks to reward myself for sticking at chord practice! Well, that's the plan......

Edit - I have the Tab for Day Tripper if you want it......
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Mon 18 Feb 2008, 7:28 am

Ophiel wrote:



Regards strings - i think most come with gauge 9s on them - which seem fine but i have been told are prone to breaking more easily. Chatting to friends seems to suggest '10s' might be best. Any thoughts?

In terms of make - everyone seems to have a favourite - though i doubt it will make much difference to me at present.



Thing about gauge 9 (IIRC the 9 refers to the high E) is that, yest they are very light, but your fingers can glide across them. And bending etc is much easier. I think 10 is the norm; like your all-rounder. Ernie Balls give a good sound but I found them a little easily broken. but I am quite heavy-handed and tend to play a lot of heavy metal, thrash and death style gallops. D'Adarios I've found to be quite good. Never tried Dean Markleys though...
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Mon 18 Feb 2008, 11:10 am

I use 10s, but then I'm not really into the sort of shredding antics that would require a narrower gauge. The only brand of strings I don't break within a week or so tends to be Fender Bullet 10s - perhaps it's as much to do with my type of guitar as playing style. I used to use Ernie Balls as a shop in Stoke used to do a cheap deal on then, but when I started gigging more they just didn't stand up to the task!
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Tue 19 Feb 2008, 3:46 am

What kind of stuff do you play, Matt?
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Tue 19 Feb 2008, 10:04 am

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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Tue 19 Feb 2008, 11:12 am

Blood School is about Ian Shocked

Most excellent, sort of Dead Kennedys esk playing. Love it, get them downloads enabled m8 Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Tue 19 Feb 2008, 1:27 pm

Haha cheers - single's available to buy over at www.welikedanger.com, suppose we should get some downloads sort tho...

What a happy little capitalist I am.
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Wed 20 Feb 2008, 2:11 am

Well, my first lesson is booked for early March. I found a guy who is a professional musician and session player. He says he will teach me the principles and fundamentals but he will also try to customise my lessons so that these principles can be applied to the type of music I am into (which is Rock & Blues).

I am going to have a one off with him - see if we click - and if so, become a regular student.

ps - still takes me a bloody eon to change chords - but I can now do "Braveheart" (or at least what sounds like the intro theme), the first seven notes of......"stairway..." the first chord of "Everbody hurts" and the opening notes to Clapton's "Wonderful tonight".

Not bad for 4 days practice.....(but i do need to practice at my chord changing speed) Any Tips anyone (Dan, Urisk, Matt)? Or is it just the case of stick at it and it will happen? Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Wed 20 Feb 2008, 2:50 am

Cool, Ophiel. Your next task is to play the Terminator theme!






By the way... Can anyone else play the old Knightmare theme tune? Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Tue 06 May 2008, 2:43 am

In tablature when you see something like "B/C" what does it mean? Does it mean a quick change between chords?
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PostSubject: Re: Calling all guitarists   Tue 06 May 2008, 12:40 pm

If its a chord it means a slash chord which is a normal chord with a different bass note i.e. a B chord with a C bass note(bit odd though). A common one is C/G - a C chord with an added G bass note: 3rd fret Top E string.
If it's not a chord I'm not sure.
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Calling all guitarists
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