Guitar topic

This topic contains 19 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  James Brickles 4 years, 8 months ago.

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    Do you play the guitar? I have just started playing it. Does someone suggest some easy songs for the start? :)



    Yep, I play guitar and bass, but annoyingly can’t remember my first song! “Smoke On The Water” seems to be one a lot of people say is a good place to start, can’t think of many others of the top of my head. I taught myself so I just started by messing about till I could make some kind of vaguely pleasant sound, then just started learning songs on my iPod.

    Ultimate Guitar is a good place to look for chords, tabs etc. :)



    Thanks Alex! Does the electric guitar have the same characteristcs with the classic guitar (I mean chords, notes, frets etc)?



    @the_sigman Chords, notes, frets, etc. are all transferable from one guitar to another, as long as they’re all tuned the same.

    I’m sure you know (if not, you’ll find out soon enough) that the standard tuning is EADGBE (from the thickest to thinnest string) and whatever chords you use on that tuning will be the same, regardless of the type of guitar.

    In terms of songs you want to learn… it depends on what your tastes in music are. I was (and still am) a huge classic rock fan, and that’s mostly what I like to play. ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd is a fantastic song, easy to learn, and even better if you can sing, too. Just Google for tabs/chords of your favourite tunes.

    One thing I’ll tell you now: focus on clean technique; what I mean is hitting the string(s) you need to hit, getting a clear sound, etc. It’s not a bad idea to invest in a few lessons just so an experienced teacher can tell you the basics. To be honest, I did take some lessons, but ultimately progressed a lot on my own. Lessons also give you some different perspectives and new ways to look at playing the guitar, so even if you can play reasonably well, it’s still not a bad idea.

    Most importantly, have fun with it!



    @steevkay Thank you very much, important information!



    @the_sigman Another quick tip: if you are starting on classical guitars, it should definitely make your transition to other guitars easier: classical/acoustic guitars are less forgiving than electric guitars (in my opinion) if your technique is sloppy.

    You mentioned you have a classical-style guitar… is it the one with nylon (plastic) strings, as opposed to metal? These guitars tends to have much wider necks and string spacing compared to electric and regular (metal-string) acoustics. If you were to play the two types one after the other, the difference would be immediately apparent. Something to think about, since it can affect how you learn the instrument.



    I have been playing for a few years now and mainly listen to classic rock also. Funnily enough wish you were here was one I was going to suggest also. A couple of easy ones using finger picking are stairway to heaven by led zeppelin and also Brain Damage by pink floyd. Some easy starting tunes off the top of my head – Whole lotta rosie and you shook me all night long by ac/dc, the beatles – yellow submarine, walk this way by aerosmith.



    @sigman1998 Just a bit of my own experience, for what it’s worth.

    I started playing guitar when I was 17, (I’m 29 now, but still not very good), on an electric guitar I bought from a fairly well known department store which shall remain nameless, to avoid the possible wrath of the moderators. Safe to say, it was a rubbish guitar, but I learned everything on it I needed to before graduating to a better model. I’m rambling a bit here, but long story short, I was drawn to rock music as it largely contains the use of “power chords” (root note and fifth note). They are easy to play, sound awesome when distortion is whacked up to eleven, and gave me a lot of confidence when I picked out a well know song, even if by today’s standards, it was really easy to play.

    Again, I may have rambled, but I just said I’d throw some of my insight into the conversation. It’s nice to look back at how far I’ve come too.

    Good luck with it. :)



    Iron Man by Black Sabboth is another one beginners go for.

    And if your going to learn Smoke on the Water, atleast see how the master does it ;)



    The biggest difference between electric and acoustic/classical guitars is how they sound-you can play them the same but what sounds amazing on an electric guitar might not on accoustic and vice versa. Obviously, there’s no distortion on an an accoustic guitar, and power chords sound a little dull. I think I started with lots of johnny cash, bob dylan, rolling stones, and american folk songs-not terribly interesting, but fairly easy. Heartwood guitar has really good chord charts, with all the chords in the right places and every split measure spelled out–that can be confusing to figure out when you’re just starting.



    As others have said, between an acoustic and an electric the big differences are:

    Smaller neck on the electric with closer-spaced strings.
    Sound is different; acoustics tend to be warmer, but it does depend on the guitar and the strings.
    Electrics generally have solid bodies with no soundbox, so will be very quiet when playing without an amplifier (good for practising without upsetting the neighbours!)
    Electrics can be played with distortion and effects. Learn power chords and a few barre chords and you’ll be able to make a lot of awesome noise with little effort)
    Some electrics will have a tremolo (whammy) bar, which lets you bend the pitch while playing. If you have a cheap one these can tend to give more noise across the strings, and can be harder to keep in tune.

    But yeah, aside from that, functionally they’re the same; have the same scale and the same tuning, with the same number of strings. In terms of playing, I like a lot of 90s rock and indie, so for me it’s a lot of Oasis, Radiohead, REM, Feeder, Nirvana, etc etc. The Beatles are good for starters, although some songs are harder than others. Something like Hey Jude you can play with four chords and you’ll learn how to transition between them pretty easily. That said, avoid the ‘four chord songbook’ series of books. They have loads of different songs you can play using the same four chords, but they’re all very basic versions of the songs and don’t tend to sound so great. Bands like Nirvana, ZZ Top, Black Sabbath, Lenny Kravitz, etc, are really good for learning power chords, and are really easy once you have the hand position. Just crank up the volume and the gain, flick on the overdrive and rock out. A song like Stairway to Heaven will be good for learning picking techniques and barre chords, although that is a little advanced if you’re just starting out. Everybody Hurts by REM has a nice picking pattern and is just a few basic chord positions, so easy to learn and it’ll sound good on just about any guitar. If you want a song you can learn super quick, check out Wonderwall, although you’ll want to get yourself a capo for it to sound right. It’s really easy to play and has a satisfying strumming pattern which you can play around with. Something like When the Man Comes Around by Jonny Cash is good for learning palm muting techniques.

    One thing you’ll learn is that some of the most awesome riffs are actually really easy to play. Look at stuff like Smoke on the Water, La Grange, Money for Nothing, all of which have absolutely cracking guitar riffs but you can learn them really quickly. When I was first learning these songs I did find it a bit surprising how easy they were compared to other songs which sound simpler but are far harder thanks to lots of chord variations.

    If you’ve got yourself an electric guitar, and you have either an xbox or playstation, you could also check out the game Rocksmith. You plug your guitar in and it’ll have you playing along with songs as they’re playing, and it’s a good way of learning how to find the right fret quickly and get comfortable with the neck. It also means you’re playing with accompaniment which gives a better sense of you being part of the song. It is a little bit buggy, but it’s good fun once you get used to the interface.

    Anyway, have fun, and as mentioned, Ultimate Guitar is a good place to get tabs and chords. They also do smartphone and tablet apps, and if you pay for the advanced version you’ll be able to see protabs, which you can play along to.



    Thanks everyone, nice information!



    If you’re a bit weak in the hand an electric is the way to go. The string tension and guage on an acoustic is much higher and so is more difficult to play, especially bar chords. Acoustics (steel strings) also usually have a fret board radius of 14 to 16 inches (nylon string classical guitars are usually dead flat) whereas a Telecaster will have a 9.5″ radius. Why do I mention this? Because the lower the radius the easier it will be to make a barre chord, and the barre chord is where you can really do the rhythmic techniques that will make a song sound like a song rather than just a progression of open, ringing chords. Remember that the left hand (fret hand) is where the chords are made, but it’s the right hand where the music comes from.
    And this is the important bit. If you’re going electric you should spend money on a good tube amp. A bad guitar will always sound better through a good amp, any guitar will sound horrible through a bad amp. So don’t spend 3 grand on a Les Paul and put it through an elcheapo digital amp – the Les Paul might look fantastic but it’s going to sound like a dog.
    If you’re looking for easy songs give me a private message and I’ll send you a list. Our band is just working through some now for our first performance. Also, if you’re looking for chords for a particular song go to the Ultimate Guitar website. Some of the arrangements are rubbish but most will get you there.
    Finally, learn to sing – it makes the song much easier and the more you sing the better you get.



    I’ve been playing for 9 years now, I don’t have too much to add, but regardless of the choice between electric and acoustic, make sure you develop (or at least learn) a practice routine. Playing is the fun bit, but practicing is essential to become a better guitarist. There are a bunch of different techniques to be learned, but even things as stamina or left hand strength/speed can be trained.

    When you’ve got some songs down, be sure to play along to the originals or to a metronome. I don’t know if you have any ambition to play with/in a band or to just jam with people, but being able to keep a rhythm as a guitarist works wonders for a group’s sound.

    As for songs, try to find some tablature or instructions for songs you like, either or Ultimate Guitar or YouTube, but be sure that it is within your range. Being able to play songs you genuinely like has helped a lot of guitarists I know with their motivation!

    Finally, don’t give up! Guitar can be frustrating at times, especially in the beginning. Have fun!



    I’ve played guitar on and off for 13 years now. Don’t have much to add here. Green day seems to be a good band to start off with. Oasis has some good basic songs to learn chords. Supersonic, wonderwall, live forever, dont go away

    My favourite songs to start a practice session with is “What’s this Life For” and “higher” by Creed.

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