New Songs

Hey guys I know that picture I posted of new songs was really small and blurry so this video shows me playing them. I like these songs a lot and they’ll really help you later on when you’re switching chords and frets for more difficult songs.

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Progress

Hey guys this is a video showing a little bit of how I have gotten better from when I started way back at the beginning. I hope you all enjoy and have been improving as much as I have!

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More songs!

Hey guys so It’s been a little while since my last post, I haven’t given you much material to work with either but hopefully you have been visiting that site I gave you all to learn more songs you like!

Now I don’t know about the rest of you but it’s been a pretty busy semester for me and I’ll admit I haven’t been able to keep up with practicing everyday.. But I have kept at it! hopefully you guys have too! And I am happy I have because I am so much better than I was when I first started. Here I was thinking it was going to take so much time to learn the guitar and it has already flown by! Now, by no means am I done learning but I have a much better grasp on playing the guitar and I hope you all do too after following msongs guitary blog.

I do have a few more fun tunes for you guys though! These ones have helped me so much to learn how to switch between strings in different frets and I think they’ll be really helpful for all of you too. Some of them aren’t very legible(sorry guys) but I will be posting a video soon to help anyone who needs to see them to play. Hopefully this helps you guys!

The songs in order are:
1. Blues
2. Hillbilly
3. Country
4. Sunshine
5. 7nation army

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Q&A with Colten Oliver

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Colten Oliver has been a guitar teacher for two years at McKnight Guitar in Chandler, Arizona

Hey guys so for this post I was able to get a hold of my friend the guitar teacher and I did a little Q&A with him below. His name is Colten Oliver and he has given me(and you guys I suppose) a lot of tips to be successful. Hope you guys enjoy!

1. How do you recommend someone determine whether to go acoustic or electric for his or her first guitar?

“I usually tell them buy whatever they like to listen to. If you like to listen to Mumford and Sons or country then go acoustic but if you listen to Led Zeppelin or anything hard core rock n’ roll then get an electric guitar.”

2. What would be the first thing you would say to someone who has expressed interest in learning the guitar?

“I would say that it’s not an easy thing to do, longevity is key with the guitar. Some people do it for a month and expect to have all this talent but it takes a lot longer than that. Putting in the effort for the long term and consistently and really committing to it is the most important thing. It’s really hard to pick up if you don’t devote a lot of time to it.”

3. What advice would you give someone who is really struggling to learn how to play?

“Somebody who is struggling, especially my students I tell them to slow down their playing, make sure they have good form. All the stuff you learn in the first two weeks is really crucial to getting better. Basically go back to basics and take the exercises your doing and slow them down. “

4. What’s the biggest problem you see with new guitarists and how can it be fixed?

“The biggest problem is people, especially beginners they don’t have the habit of doing it everyday.  That’s the biggest mistake people make is not practicing everyday.”

5. Any helpful tips or tricks?

“Play and learn what you like to listen to. Practice everyday, I can’t stress how important that is. And take lessons, from me!”

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Well I’ve been doing my ten minutes a day and it has really been paying off for me. The songs and warmups are getting repetitive but I really have noticed them getting a lot easier as my fingers remember the movements more and more. Hopefully you guys have been keeping on the 10 minutes a day or maybe some of you have even gone to 20 like myself! Hopefully all of this stuff hasn’t been too boring for all of you over the last few weeks but I do have some new stuff for everyone.

First off, below is a picture of four different chords, A,C,D and E. These four chords make up tons of different songs that you know and can learn. What I do is practice strumming these different chords. It’s good to memorize the finger placement for each chord because in the future when you are learning the songs that use these chords you will already know where they are.

chords

So to read this chart the circles number your fingers from 1-3 starting with your index finger. A 6 and 1 are drawn in at the top of the A chord to show the string numbers. So the horizontal lines represent the next fret and the rest is pretty much cake! I would pick two chords and practice switching between them. This will help you get better at switching to different frets and strings. Also using a strumming pick will make it much easier to play than a hard pick like you have been using.

I do have another song for you guys but I am not quite that good at it yet. It is Sweet Home Alabama and here is a video showing you guys how to play it using tab. It’s not vocal but I think it’s pretty easy to follow. I hope you all enjoy these new things to practice and I hope you all keep at it with me!

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Ok guys, by now hopefully you have everything you need to start learning with me! Today I’ll go over the basics for playing the guitar and what you need to know as far as strings, finger placement, and frets. I’ll show you different warm-ups that I do before practicing that you can use to help familiarize yourself with moving along the neck of the guitar. But first some tips and tricks to making sure you are getting the most out of your practice sessions.

Whenever you practice make sure to do it in a calm and quiet place. Somewhere you can focus and not worry about outside distractions. Make sure to sit straight up and comfortable, this will help develop a better form for when you are playing. Also make sure your guitar is in a comfortable position and consider getting a strap to make holding the guitar easier. For the rest of the odds and ends around a guitar watch the video below as it is much easier to explain there than in text.

Now that you know your way around the guitar we can finally start learning some music! A friend of mine named Colten Oliver teaches how to play the guitar so I have been taking tips and tricks from him to help us become better guitarists without having to go and find a personal instructor. So of course I asked him how often should I practice as a beginner. He said, “If you really want to learn and be good at playing the guitar then you should practice everyday.” Well that seems like a no brainer, right? But what he also said was to only go for about 10 minutes a day. That seemed a little low to me but his reasoning was, “When you’re a beginner its hard to stay focused if you’re messing up a lot to start.” I followed his advice and it really did help me. At first it is really frustrating to try and play the same three chords for 10 minutes but stick to ten minutes a day and pretty soon you will be bumping that number up. Now that you know how long to practice, here’s a couple of easy songs you can practice with in the video below.

That’s all for this time! I hope this information has been helpful, next time I’ll go over some other warm-ups we can do, another song to learn and maybe a couple of notes for strumming!

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Learn the guitar in 12 short weeks

I am a 20-year-old college student and I have never played an instrument before in my life. Well, that’s not true, I did play the saxophone in 5th grade but I was so bad even my own parents wouldn’t let play it after that year. Needless to say instruments have never been my go to gadget at the talent show. But I’m determined to change all of that. I will learn the guitar, I will master the guitar, I will become so good I will fill the Madison Square Garden with legions of my fans!

OK, ok… so maybe that won’t happen, but a guy can dream right? Every great guitarist started at the beginning just like I am now and while I may never make money regardless of how well I slap the bass, I want to have a good time learning something I’ve wanted to learn for a long time(And maybe my parents wont think I’m a musical failure after all). If you’re like me, a beginner wanting to learn the basics and become a decent guitarist then learn with me the next 12 weeks on this blog and someday we can play at the Garden together!

First, the basics, you need four obvious things to play the guitar

This is my setup, here's the book I use and the three varieties of picks near the top of the guitar which is an electric starcaster.

This is my setup, here’s the book I use and the three varieties of picks near the top of the guitar which is an electric starcaster.

1. A Guitar – There are plenty of inexpensive options out there and any guitar should do for a beginner, but remember just because you’re right handed it doesn’t mean you use a right handed guitar.

2. Picks – There are three basic types of picks, soft, hard and medium. You need different ones for different kinds of music. I recommend getting one of each and probably a few extra as they are pretty easy to lose.

3. Sheet Music – You can memorize a few songs you like off of a Youtube video lesson but if you can read the notes you can teach that lesson yourself. Personally, I have the Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1 by Wil Schmid because my friend(who teaches how to play) says its one of the best books for beginners.

4. Tuner – You can buy an nice tuner from a music store or you can do what I did and download a tuner app. The one I chose is guitartuna but I’m sure there are plenty of other good ones out there.

That’s it for this time, get the equipment and familiarize yourself with the chords on the guitar and next time we’ll start doing exercises and beginner songs on our way to stardom!

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