Cassotto tries to learn to play the guitar

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

  1. Gregor

    Gregor Gretschie

    212
    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Aah, Buddy's "That'll be the Day". Fun little intro and solo part. A shame he left us so soon......he had lots more to give us, I'm sure.
     
    Cassotto likes this.
  2. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    I love those triplets, too. The version I'll try to learn hasn't got it but, as I said, it's simplified, though not completely dull.

    I've always thought Chuck Berry's songs are difficult to play. I've never tried one.
     
  3. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. I've kept on practising the same part I already knew, and though I can say I've improved, today I played it with an amplifier for the fist time (I usually play unplugged so as not to bother anyone around), and it's been awful. All the mistakes are magnified.
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. No progress (no practice).
    'That's Alright Mama' lead guitar. No noticeable progress. I suppose I'm able to move between the first two chords more and more quickly, but not at the right speed yet.

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun'. I think I've identified the right chords all right (Am, C, D, F, Am, E, Am, E), which was pretty straightforward, but I'm still struggling with the details. Most of the arpeggios seem to end with a G, not matter what the chord is, and though I suppose that will be an open third string, I haven't tried playing it yet (so far I've been trying to identify all the notes by just listening to the song, without the guitar - maybe not a good idea, but it looked like a good thing to do after my fingers hurt too much to carry on playing). I'm not completely sure about all the notes, since, for example, the first Am seems to go in a rush between the low E and the high E, and I don't know very well what's going on in between, but I do hope that when I have a go at it, all I'll need to do is play the strings one after the other in the same order. I intend to play the song for the first time tomorrow and see what happens.

    3) Technique:
    Knowing the CAGED system exists. I'll omit this from now on, as it's too obvious and simple a thing.
    Knowing where the roots for each chord are. And maybe this, too.
    A,, E, Am full barre chords.
    Half barre E chords.
    C barre chords.
    Half barre C chords.
    Up to page 16 of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Vol. 1. I don't know whether this is a good book or not, but it's the one I have, and after having studied these pages I'm under the impression that I can easily find any note in the C major scale in the first four strings using the first position. I've gone very quickly at the beginning, since I can already read music fluently, so I suppose my pace will slacken off before long.



     
  4. Gregor

    Gregor Gretschie

    212
    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    This may either help you or discourage you for "House of the Rising Sun". At least it shows you what can be done. Tommy's amazing! I have a couple of his courses.

     
    Cassotto likes this.
  5. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    I'll keep this for later on, hoping it won't discourage me! I'll also check this guy's other stuff. Since I'm working on 'House of the Rising Sun' as training for my ears, I don't want to make use of help from videos (or other sources) until I'm deadlocked.
     
  6. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. Getting better all the time, though I still struggle a bit with the bendings between 0:37 and 0:39 (which involve a gap of two frets -instead of one- between the index and the fingers bending the string).
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. Working on the third chord. Apart from a hammer-on which I can't get quite right, the main problem is that it's one of those chords I can't play well yet. That is, a half-barre E chord so as to make it G. I can play the barre G chord without much problem, but not the half-barre chord involving only four strings.
    'That's Alright Mama' lead guitar. I can see how this is also improving. But the two half-barre chords are still clumsy, and I cannot make up my mind yet whether I should play them with my thumb over the fretboard so as to mute the two lower strings or not. My index feels better when doing it that way, but that's about the only thing that feels good about it all.

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun'. I'm rather happy about how this is going on, considering my little experience on playing by ear. Playing all those G notes at the end of each arpeggio is not as difficult as I thought it'd be. Anyway, I need to work more on this, since I make lots of mistakes when trying to play the root of each arpeggio, often playing the wrong string. And I've still got to figure out some small details.

    3) Technique:
    A, E, Am full barre chords.
    Half barre E chords. Maybe I should concentrate on this chord as, little as I'm doing, I already need it for all three songs I'm working on! (Well, maybe for 'House of the Rising Sun' I might use a full-barre chord, but I think a half-barre chord is played in all videos I've checked).
    C barre chords.
    Half barre C chords
    .
    Up to page 24 of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Vol. 1.
     
  7. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. I hope this is the last, or the last but one, time I write this in blue and not in green. The only thing which wouldn't pass the audition at all is the final chord (x32233), which takes ages for me to play. Besides, the speed is not completly right yet. If I try to play along with the song using YouTube, normal speed is too fast for me, but 75% is too slow. I'll have to figure out whether I can make the mp3 file play at intermediate speeds in some way.
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. I can't play the hammer-on of the third chord yet, though I've gone beyond it and I'm learning the first part of the song. I can already do it with sort of a very 'infantile' rhythm, so I'm trying to figure out how to mute some chords as explained in the tutorial I'm using, to make it more interesting and more like the real thing.
    'That's Alright Mama' lead guitar. Only very, very slighty better (though not because of lack of practice).

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun' (simplified version). Yes! Just for once, I'm being optimistic and I'll say I can play this, though I only get it right about 75% of the times (the other 25% I get it wrong either because I make a mess of the half-barre F chord or because I miss the right string when trying to play the bass note). Maybe I should still write this in blue, but I don't want to be over-perfectionist. With 'simplified version' I mean one in which all the notes in the arpeggios belong to the chords (which is not what I hear in the recording).
    'House of the Rising Sun' (complete version). I can already play this slowly. The details which I have removed in the simplified version are: the highest note of the arpeggio is repeated in the first Am, D and F chords, but not in the others; all chords but the second Am end with a natural G instead of a note belonging to the chord (in the C chord a D is also played at the same time); between the second Am chord and the first E chord, this G natural is replaced with a slide downwards between F# and E.

    3) Technique:
    A, E, Am full barre chords.
    Half barre E chords. Almost there. They're all over the place!
    Half barre C chords.
    Up to page 25 and working on page 26 of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Vol. 1.


    I hadn't realised before what a slow learner I am! :p:confused::mad:
     
  8. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. I can play it at an speed of 85%, including the final chord. I'll try to polish it a bit more before moving on to 90%.
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. Greatly improved, though the #$@&% hammer-on is still awful.
    'That's Alright Mama' lead guitar. I haven't practised this since my last update.
    'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (acoustic version). Don't ask me why I decided to try a new song before finishing something of what I was doing before. But this one seemed simple when I watched it on a tutorial DVD I've got.

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun' (simplified version).
    'House of the Rising Sun' (complete version). Reasonably well, though a bit slow yet.

    3) Technique:
    A, E, Am full barre chords.
    Half barre E chords. Almost there. They're all over the place!
    Half barre C chords.
    Page 26 of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Vol. 1. For some reason, there seems to be a huge leap between the previous pages and this one. I'm learning both songs on it at the same time, and though they still sound a bit awkward, I don't think I'll need much more time to mark this green.
     
  9. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. I can almost play it at an speed of 90%. The only problem are the bendings in which there are two frets between my index finger and the fingers bending the string.
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. I carry on working at it, though I can't say I've noticed any difference.
    'That's Alright Mama' lead guitar. I'm going to give up on this. I'm going to replace this point with something new I've added today to the 'Technique' section, since I think the problem is that I cannot play those four-string chords fuently yet. I'll practise changing between one and another, and will come back to the song when I can do so reasonably well.
    'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (acoustic version). Yep!

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun' (simplified version).
    'House of the Rising Sun' (complete version). Almost there.

    3) Technique:
    Full and half barre chords: I've replaced all of this with the last point in this section.
    Page 26 of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Vol. 1. I haven't practised this too much since my last entry.
    Pages 16-20 of Bert Weedon's 'Play in a Day'. I've been given this book as a gift (it's the original 1957 edition). There's not much I didn't already know before page 16, but pages 16-20 have kept me busy for some days, and I believe they'are turning out to be more useful than most of what I'd done before. These pages contain scales in the first position and the I-vi-V7 chords for all keys (I don't know whether that's the right way to name the chords). Many of them are four-string chords, which are exactly what I want to learn and practise, as I can see they're used all the time. I can already play all the keys, though in some cases I'm still a little slow at placing my fingers in the right frets. But I cannot play many of the chords independently. I mean, for example, once I know how to play F#, I can play D#min and C#7 almost immediately, because I've learnt which fingers I must change between one chord shape and the next. But if I'm told to play a C#7 chord out of the blue, it takes some time for me to figure out how to do it. But this time I do think I'm learning useful things (something I'm not so sure about with Mel Bay's book).
     
  10. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. Almost there, but not yet. I've decided I won't mark this green until I'm able to play along with the recording without problems.
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. Not practised since last update.
    'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (acoustic version).
    'Let It Be' (album version) solo guitar. With help from You Tube, I can already play the main solo quite well, though I haven't tackled the solo guitar at the end of the song yet.

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun' (simplified version).
    'House of the Rising Sun' (complete version). Not practised since last update.
    'Let It Be' (album version) - Guitar solo. On Monday, I heard this song coming out of a passing car, and that was enough to make me listen to it when I arrived home. I listened both to the single and album versions, and since both solos are melodic I though they would be more or less easy to figure out. So what I did it try to figure it out by ear, and when I thought I had nailed it, I went to YouTube and saw everything was correct, except for some small details (like some missing slides, hammer-ons or double stops). But the song is in green in this section because I did manage to come up myself with a good version of the solo.

    3) Technique:
    Page 26 of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Vol. 1. Not practised since last update.
    Page 21 of Bert Weedon's 'Play in a Day'.


    I'm leaving for a ten-day holiday tomorrow, so I won't be playing the guitar in some time. I hope that's not too detrimental to the little playing I can already manage!
     
  11. Sabato

    Sabato Synchromatic

    655
    Mar 22, 2019
    Massachusetts
    David Crosby's advice:
    Any tips for a 64-year-old learning to play guitar? I started lessons 10 months ago and never dreamed it would be so hard. Any advice or avenues of learning would be greatly appreciated!
    —Debbi, via the internet

    First of all, you have to get callouses because it hurts. After you get them, the way to do it if you really want to be good is you have to put in 10,000 hours. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the 10,000 hour thing, but there is no shortcut to learning to play the guitar, not well. If you have hopes of playing the guitar well, you’re going to have to play it a lot for a long time. That’s how you get good. That’s the only way to get good.

    You can’t go to school for it. Nobody can teach it to you. Lessons don’t do it. Practice doesn’t do it. What does it, if you want to know the secret code, you have to smoke a joint. Then you play until your fingers hurt because you get hung up. Then you can do it. But you have to get hung up for a long time. 64 isn’t too old. I learned new stuff in my late 50s and early 60s. You can learn. We aren’t dead. We’re just creepy looking.
     
    Cassotto and JeffreyLeePierre like this.
  12. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Sabato, thanks a lot for David Crosby's sound advice. I hadn't heard about the 10,000 hours, though I am aware that the word is PRACTICE. I'm happy to say that I've already got calluses on my fingers, though I'm sure they can get much harder. I'm still almost twenty years away from 64, so I've got plenty of time!

    I'm back from my holidays, and I can say that I've found myself thinking about the guitar every day but one or two. I'll check a couple of things here on the forum and go back to my Gretsch!
     
  13. Sabato

    Sabato Synchromatic

    655
    Mar 22, 2019
    Massachusetts
    I watched "The Big Interview" with Dan Rather talking to John Fogarty. He said that he practices the guitar every day. He said that other younger guitar players are better than he is now and that if he had been more dedicated to it at their age he himself would be better. Dan said, "but you're one of the world's greatest guitar players". and John Fogarty replied, "No, I'm one of the best known guitar players."
     
    Cassotto likes this.
  14. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    1) Songs:
    'Cry for a Shadow' lead guitar. I've had to make up for lost time during my holidays, and although I've reached the same point I was at, I carry on having trouble playing some parts quickly. By the way, I'm trying to find out what the best way to play the last chord, which is x32233, is. The guy in the video I'm using uses fingers x21134, but since that's very difficult for me, I've also tried xT1133 (where T is the thumb)... Which is almost as difficult.
    'Cry for a Shadow' rhythm guitar. I've noticed improvement here, though it's still very clumsy and slow.
    'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (acoustic version).
    'Let It Be' (album version) solo guitar. I did remember how to play the solo after my holidays, but I haven't devoted any time to the rest.

    2) Ear:
    'House of the Rising Sun' (simplified version).
    'House of the Rising Sun' (complete version). Not practised since last update.
    'Let It Be' (album version) - Guitar solo.

    3) Technique:
    Page 28 of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Vol. 1.
    Page 22 of Bert Weedon's 'Play in a Day'.
     
  15. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    Just some musings now that my holidays are over, and I'll have to slacken off for lack of time. This thread is meant to record my progress, and that includes both objective facts (like being able to play certain song) and what I think and feel about where my playing is taking me.

    Nowadays, there are lots of instructional DVDs and websites and even free YouTube lessons. Learning to play the guitar should be easier than ever, and it probably is.

    But I feel so lazy when it comes to computers... It's often during the day that I feel like grabbing the guitar and playing. But most of those times I don't feel like turning my computer on at all. What I do, then, is practising things I learnt the last time I watched some video. I'd say most of the time I've devoted to the guitar since I started this 'diary' has been spent like that, and that's the reason why I haven't tried too many different things (and even then, my progress has been slow).

    Of course, DVDs and computers aren't necessary to learn to play the guitar. For years, people have learnt by just listening, and watching and discussing things with other people who could play better.

    But I don't seem to be able to learn like that (let's put aside interaction with others, since that's not readily available to me at the moment). Or maybe I'm learning, but my progress is so slow as to make it virtually unnoticeable. That's why I started this 'diary' in the first place, hoping that if in a few months I come back and check my earliest entries, I'll be able to tell the difference.

    As I said, my holidays are over. With my having to commute for over four hours every day, and my having to work at home, too, I won't have much time to practice. Saying that I won't allow a day without playing is not realistic. But I'll try not to allow a week without playing. On top of that, I'll try to squeeze in at least 15 minutes here and there as often as possible (though I cannot promise anything here).

    Anyway, there are two days left till gloom sets in!
     
  16. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    As I expected / feared, playing only during the weekend will allow me to keep up with what I was doing, but not to improve much. At least, that's my impression after these two weeks after my holidays finished. I hope that when daily routine has really become a habit I'll be able to find some time to play on weekdays.
     
  17. Cassotto

    Cassotto Gretschie

    Age:
    45
    159
    Jun 16, 2019
    Spain
    After some weeks of weekend playing, I'm afraid I can say that it's not enough, as I thought almost one month ago, to keep up with what I was doing. I'm slowly going backwards.

    Since my holidays ended, I haven't managed to sleep more than five hours a night (except at the weekend). It takes lots of will to find time to play the guitar when that means you'll sleep even less than that.

    And I'm still almost twenty five years away from retirement age. And by then I'll probably be arthritic. Ugh!
     
  18. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    In the linked thread I wrote about doing an exercise once a day for three months. The challenge is to do it everyday. It only takes a couple of minutes. The real bonus is that it gets you to pick up the guitar every day, and you will almost play for a little while.

    There are a lot of exercises, spider exercises, picking exercises. The particular one I mention has long term benefits.

    http://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/how-does-everyone-practice.161546/page-3#post-943713

    Pick up the guitar every day.
     
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