Archive | Guitar

Learning the Guitar, Pt 5

I fell off the wagon again, for quite a while.

It’s now October, 2015 and I’ve become rather rusty. The only thing I’ve been doing on occasion is Guitar Nick’s fingerstyle progressions. Have not progressed beyond about #15.

On the other hand, I’ve focused on my Arduino creations and now have some very cool effects.

Am starting to progress beyond #15, so we’ll see what the next couple of months bring.

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An Interesting Guitar Site

I received an email today from someone about my guitar blog and almost fell over dead. After all, my site is a backwater. Anyways, it was a cross linking email, and is something I’d normally ignore, however this site looked kind of interesting. What interested me about the site was:

– The site design is responsive (thus very modern)
– It had a great index to different techniques/topics
– It had chords for campfires

Although I’ll never spend the time to be able to play much on the guitar, looks to be a pretty impressive web site offering. I’m looking forward to practicing some of the lessons he offers.

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Learning the Guitar, Pt 4

I fell off the wagon for quite a while, but while I was on it, I quite liked spending time practicing the ‘fingerstyle’ method.

I’ve since found a site that offers 100 easy fingerstyle exercises at, so I’m now focusing on these and have gotten back into it somewhat.

Once I’m more comfortable with fingerstyle, I hope to get back to my justinguitar and other material.

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Learning the Guitar, Pt 3

We’re into mid/late June and I can now play the basic ‘F’ chord pretty consistently and at a more reasonable speed. I took my Yamaha acoustic guitar into Long & McQuade and had them throw on a new set of strings and change the angle of the neck so that the strings are closer to the fretboard. Made it a lot easier to play.
In the meantime, I’m experimenting with different ways to play the ‘A’ chord, so I’m not quite there yet on this chord. I really do have to wonder why Justinguitar used the A chord so early in his course. It’s not a real easy chord. Otherwise things are pretty reasonable with the basic 13 chords. As for strumming, I’m OK with basic strum patterns, simple up strum’s as well as some basic ties. Am trying to get that all in time with a metronome as well, so it’s a work in progress.

My guitar teacher is trying to teach me the strum patterns for “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, but I think that’s a bit advanced for me. I like to see a gradual build up of skill sets. Currently, my practice consists of:

  • Quick chord changes
  • Chord progressions
  • Chord progressions with strumming patterns
  • Fretboard exercises (up and down the fretboard)
  • Different finger picking patterns, with different chords

I’m still really weak on recognizing the notes for the 5th and 6th strings and still pluck the wrong string quite a lot, but at least my confidence level with strumming and basic chord changes has increased significantly in the past few weeks.

Oh, and for picks, I use very lightweight nylon picks when strumming and a slightly thicker pick when plucking notes. Of course, finger style is pick free.

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Learning the Guitar, Pt 2

We’re into June of 2014, and am still continuing with the exercises I’d outlined in part 1. My guitar instructor has encouraged me to focus on a song, although I’d really prefer to get chord changes and a few other techniques down a bit better first. So, while spend some time on that song, which is “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, I’m still doing my other exercises, primarily:

  • strumming patterns with different chord progressions
  • finger style exercises
  • fretboard exercises

I haven’t really continued on with different scales or the 5th/6th strings lately. Neither am I learning additional chords. I have improved significantly on the F chord though.

I think I’ll continue with these exercises, especially the strumming until I’m able to use different strum patterns with a song. Singing along with that will also add another level of complexity which I’m also working on.

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Learning the Guitar, Pt 1

At the young age of 59, I decided it’s about time I started to learn the guitar. I’ve owned a cheap Yamaha classical guitar since the 1970’s, but never got beyond page 18 of the Alfred’s beginner guitar course. After that, things got kind of complicated and I just gave up. This time, I thought I’d try a different approach and see what other learning methods are out there.
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