Cassotto tries to learn to play the guitar

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Cassotto, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    I've taken note of everything you've said. Thanks a lot! I need to pick the guitar and try your suggestions before commenting on them.

    Only one thing: as I said, the second of the two photographs I uploaded looks better, because the fingers are more relaxed and no phalanx is bended the 'wrong' way. But I'm unable to place my fingers like that if I keep my thumb where it usually is, roughly in the middle of the back of the neck. To curl the fingers in that way I need to take my wrist much backwards and upwards and my thumb much more upwards, which takes a lot of time when coming from my 'normal' position. Which is something I shouldn't probably be doing. But it seems to be either that or the first photograph.

    (Thanks for the tip on placing my fingers closer to the frets. I probably didn't do so because I was paying more attention to how to take a photo of myself than to anything else, but I'll make sure I do it as you say).
     
  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Keeping your thumb on the back of the neck gives you better leverage for fretting. Not all of us can manage to do that consistently. It's similar to keeping your wrists flat when playing piano---proper position. Don't fret it (pun intended) too much. Just keep at it. You'll find what works best for you.
     
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  3. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Actually, I'd like to learn to play some chords with my thumb over the fretboard, as I see many people do, even though I've heard it's not nice proper style. I don't really know whether the thumb is used to play notes in the 5th and/or 6th strings (instead or barring the whole fretboard with the index finger), to mute those strings, or for nothing at all, but it must be useful or comfortable when so many people do it. It's only that I found it cumbersome to change between that position and the 'standard' one (thumb in the back of the neck). The latter seems to be more comfortable for me (even though, as the photos above show, the index finger is placed more awkwardly when the thumb is in the 'right' place).
     
  4. Gregor

    Gregor Gretschie

    137
    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Yes, the thumb can be used to play the root notes of chords that would normally be barred using a full first finger.There are some players who can also play a 5th string note with the thumb. I am not one of them although I have been using the thumb on the 6th string since I first learned how to play guitar. Part of the reason was because I was so slow to learn how to play a conventional barre chord. You're right to say it's more awkward when switching the thumb to the back of the neck. I think your time may be better spent learning the conventional barre chord but that's just me. Having said that, I still do both.
    The other reason to use the thumb is for muting the 6th( and possibly 5th) strings. There are various ways to mute strings with other fingers as well as palm muting. Google is your friend here. Hope this helps.
     
    Jena and Cassotto like this.
  5. Wjensen

    Wjensen Electromatic

    79
    May 25, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
    So, Cassotto, there you are in Spain. SPAIN, the home of classical guitar, and flamenco. Find a good teacher who will teach you classically like any other orchestral instrument. Yes, you will have to learn scales. There are a LOT of scales. I have learned to play both the electric organ and the trumpet using classical methods. I have found over time that these methods work best. I really didn't learn anything on the guitar for the first 6 months because I was using teachers who weren't classically trained. I've found a teacher now that teaches correctly. Yes, the first half hour to 45 minutes is scales, and there will no doubt be more. Yes they are sometimes boring, but I am learning guitar. Of course, learning to read music and find the notes on the guitar is important. The other thing is learning to count. That's my advice based on my experience so far.

    BTW, there are a number of 3 chord song books. Usually G, C, and D. These three chords are of course the 1, 4 and 5 chords that make up a lot of popular music. I like country and rockabilly. But my long term goal is to learn to finger pick so I can play anything.

    Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on...
     
    Cassotto likes this.
  6. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Actually, I've had LOTS of classical training on piano (I have a degree on that, though I've never used it to make a living). In fact, one of the things that I think prevented me from learning much when I attended guitar lessons years ago was that a classical training teaches you many, many things, but there's one it doesn't teach you, and that's not to be too dependent on a written score. I do have all the theoretical knowledge I'll always need about how chords and scales are made, but that didn't help me with the guitar. I remember that my teacher played some rhythm guitar that I had to copy, and I found myself thinking "OK, so that's two quavers, a quaver rest, another quaver and a crotchet", instead of just trying to copy what I heard without thinking too much. Much as I appreciate classical training, I'm a bit wary of it for what I want to achieve right now.

    I once met a classical, acoustic and electric guitar teacher who had classical training on guitar, and was able to play very complex things, technically, he had lots of musicality, he was a great musician... He told me the first thing he did after getting his official certificate was get a contract as a session musician. He got there, was told he had ten minutes to discuss a song with the other musicians, after which he'd have to go ahead and play with a singer. His first reaction was 'Well, where is the score?". He told me how he felt completely lost and, confident as he had been about his prowess as a guitarist, he quit, went home and spent several months trying to figure out how to get rid of his dependence on having everything written in front of him. I think this would be the teacher for me, as he understands what (part of) my problem is, something musicians without a classical training don't always do. Unluckily, he lives at about four hours from my place, and doesn't do Skype.

    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar.
    'That's Alright Mama'.


    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun'.

    3) Technique:
    Knowing the CAGED system exists.
    Learning the CAGED system.
     
  7. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Well, here I am, still trying to do the same things, and improving little by little.

    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. Now I can play the first part (up to 0:33) at the right speed, if a bit clumsily still, and the next bit until 0:42 slowly.
    'That's Alright Mama' lead guitar. Still struggling with the same first two chords, but happy to have discovered that I'll be able to use the first one for the rhythm guitar intro of 'Cry for a Shadow' too! Now it doesn't take ages for me to place my fingers in the right position, only a few seconds :cool:.

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun'. Still figuring out the right chords and chord positions, before moving on to learning to make every note sound well, though I haven't spent too much time on this, honestly.

    3) Technique:
    Knowing the CAGED system exists.
    Since my previous "Learning the CAGED system" goal was too general, I've decided to split it up in several steps following an online lesson I've found on PremierGuitar.com, and I'll go step by step. I can play the C, A, G, E and D chords (well, I could before), and now I know where the root is located in each of the five shapes. Now I'm trying to learn the barre chords. I was already able to play the A and E barre chords, and I've started to practise the C, G and D barre chords.
     
    new6659 likes this.
  8. Wjensen

    Wjensen Electromatic

    79
    May 25, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
    Cassotto, so I understand what you are trying to do now. Here in the US, there is a huge amount of music you can find in music stores and on line from places like Hal Leonard. In any case, good luck with your studies.

    Wade
     
    Cassotto likes this.
  9. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Two cents of musing on the difficulties of guitar playing: it's funny how I can play a barre E chord easily, but the first chord in 'That's Alright Mama', which is basically the same, but only playing four strings, is so difficult for me. Maybe I should stick to the full barre chord (except for my little finger, which I need for the #F) and just strum those four strings, but I think learning the new shape will be useful. Besides, while I can play the barre chord all right, I'm not so sure that removing the little finger and placing it on another string wouldn't make the rest of the chord defective (as I would change slightly -and involuntarily- the position of my index finger, and that would probably result in my muting the strings instead of fretting them correctly).
     
  10. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Thanks for your comment. I think most of that music is available anywhere thanks to online shops, so I feel I have plenty of resources if I feel like using them. At present I'd like to restrict myself to what I've already got (some books and DVDs) or what I can find on YouTube. I don't want to run the risk of buying lots and lots of books because that won't teach me to play. I prefer to stick to just a few things, and buy more only when I'm actually prepared to do so. Besides, I want to train my ear. hcsterg said that too many guitarists use their eyes instead of their ears, and although I'd never thought of that before, it's so true!
     
  11. Whatever works . . .

    any apps you have to help as well ?
    As a lefty I have learned to see the chord fretboard diagrams my " mirror"way and yeah with the sheet music and key signature you will know what chords you will play
    for the song you are "pining" to harmonize and resonate through the tonewood of that . . . that . . . "twanger" - Pass the carrots please lol



    I like chordbank as a free app with diagrams of different fingerings up the fretboard (but you have to learn the top frets diagram anyway too) and guitartuna and a piano chordsandscales app . . .

    youtubes to play along with of course . . .

     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
    Cassotto likes this.
  12. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. I can play everything up to 1:19 slightly too slowly. Once I've learnt the bits between 1:20 and 1:33, and after 2:06, I'll have learnt the song! Not perfectly, of course, but that will come with time.
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. Emboldened by what I think a great achievement, I've started learning this, too. So far, just the alternating G/F and G chords, but happy about it.
    'That's Alright Mama' lead guitar. I think I'll be able to say I've learnt the first chord (barre E chord, only four strings, which I'll include in the 'Techcnique' section).

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun'. No further improvement (I haven't tried, actually).

    3) Technique:
    Knowing the CAGED system exists.
    Knowing where the roots are.
    A,, E, Am full barre chords.
    Half barre E chord (is this the right name?)

    C barre chords (I'm going to concentrate in one at a time).
     
  13. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Synchromatic

    506
    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    “Go slowly for a more harmonious outcome.” —Old Sioux saying

    ALso, note my signature line below.
     
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  14. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    That's why I decided to write down here every little progress. Maybe if I hadn't, now I'd be feeling I haven't learnt anything. Whereas I haven't actually learnt much (am I really bragging about having almost learnt one half barre chord?), there are things I can do today which I couldn't do a week ago.
     
    Ricochet and T Bone like this.
  15. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Synchromatic

    951
    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    great song, excellent advice.
     
    Cassotto likes this.
  16. Chris MC

    Chris MC Gretschie

    183
    Oct 27, 2014
    Orange, Aus
    Thanks for making this log. Its great to track other peoples journey and progress. I am probably at a similar stage to you, but working on some buddy holly and chuck berry tunes currently. It sounds like you have a strong musical background, and quite a systematic approach, so I will enjoy seeing how you progress.
     
    Cassotto likes this.
  17. Cassotto

    Cassotto Electromatic

    Age:
    45
    40
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Oh, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry are also at the top of my list. In fact, I've already found a video tutorial of 'Heartbeat' (maybe there are better versions, but this one certainly looks achievable - if you're interested I can post the link here) which I think may come next. If I haven't started yet it is because I'd like to finish learning the lead guitar of 'Cry for a Shadow' first. I don't mind doing several things at the same time, but not too many.

    It'll be great to know how you're doing, too! We can always share ideas.




    I can't really write anything new in green yet... But almost!
     
  18. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Age:
    58
    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    If you already know the 5 basic chords C, A, G, E & D Then take a look at this video on the CAGED System. Kirk Lorange is one of my favorite instructors. His Plane Talk series is one on my foudations, along with Fretboard Logic.


    https://www.guitarforbeginners.com/mov_html/caged.html
     
    Cassotto likes this.
  19. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Age:
    58
    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    Duhhh...... I just noticed above that you have reviewed the CAGED System....
    For anyone else that hasn't, its a great lesson.
     
  20. Chris MC

    Chris MC Gretschie

    183
    Oct 27, 2014
    Orange, Aus
    Heartbeat was the main focus 4-5 weeks ago but is on the backburner for now while I focus on “Carol”. I think I drove the family crazy with the do do da dit dit refrain. I got up to speed with the record, but with frequent mistakes and playing simplified descending chords after “true love thrills me” instead of the descending triplets in the original.


    I love the sound of the descending triplets, so when I get back to it that will be my focus.


    Heartbeat, that’ll be the day, Revolution, Carol, another yet to be determined Chuck Berry is on the list at the moment. I tried Maybalene, might try something else. all right mama I might work on soon.
     
    Cassotto likes this.
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