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Playing the guitar

GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 04:51 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 16 Sep 18 - 05:06 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 18 - 05:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Sep 18 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 05:17 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 18 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Ake 16 Sep 18 - 05:39 AM
The Sandman 16 Sep 18 - 05:40 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 18 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 05:54 AM
GUEST 16 Sep 18 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 06:05 AM
doc.tom 16 Sep 18 - 06:13 AM
GUEST,Bignige 16 Sep 18 - 06:32 AM
KarenH 16 Sep 18 - 06:39 AM
banjoman 16 Sep 18 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 07:41 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 18 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 08:18 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 18 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,AKE 16 Sep 18 - 08:56 AM
GUEST 16 Sep 18 - 08:59 AM
KarenH 16 Sep 18 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 09:11 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 18 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 09:25 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 18 - 09:30 AM
leeneia 16 Sep 18 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Bignige 16 Sep 18 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 09:44 AM
Nick 16 Sep 18 - 10:05 AM
KarenH 16 Sep 18 - 10:14 AM
Nick 16 Sep 18 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Jerry 16 Sep 18 - 11:14 AM
Raedwulf 16 Sep 18 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Sep 18 - 02:15 PM
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The Sandman 17 Sep 18 - 02:20 AM
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GUEST 17 Sep 18 - 10:22 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Sep 18 - 10:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 18 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 17 Sep 18 - 02:10 PM
punkfolkrocker 17 Sep 18 - 03:08 PM
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Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 18 - 03:33 PM
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voyager 17 Sep 18 - 04:48 PM
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punkfolkrocker 17 Sep 18 - 05:25 PM
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punkfolkrocker 18 Sep 18 - 04:18 AM
punkfolkrocker 18 Sep 18 - 05:44 AM
Nick 18 Sep 18 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Sep 18 - 06:38 AM
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GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Sep 18 - 07:03 AM
punkfolkrocker 18 Sep 18 - 07:06 AM
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GUEST,Jerry 18 Sep 18 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Tunesmth 18 Sep 18 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,PFR on his mobile in the bathroom 18 Sep 18 - 07:32 AM
Will Fly 18 Sep 18 - 08:22 AM
Will Fly 18 Sep 18 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Sep 18 - 09:12 AM
Will Fly 18 Sep 18 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Sep 18 - 11:53 AM
Will Fly 18 Sep 18 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Jerry 18 Sep 18 - 12:33 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Sep 18 - 12:54 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Sep 18 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Sep 18 - 01:04 PM
Raedwulf 18 Sep 18 - 01:19 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Sep 18 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Sep 18 - 01:53 PM
Raedwulf 18 Sep 18 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Sep 18 - 02:39 PM
Raedwulf 18 Sep 18 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Jerry 18 Sep 18 - 03:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Sep 18 - 07:38 PM
The Sandman 19 Sep 18 - 02:27 AM
The Sandman 19 Sep 18 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Sep 18 - 03:34 AM
KarenH 19 Sep 18 - 03:41 AM
The Sandman 19 Sep 18 - 03:42 AM
Will Fly 19 Sep 18 - 03:53 AM
Will Fly 19 Sep 18 - 04:01 AM
Will Fly 19 Sep 18 - 04:07 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Sep 18 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Sep 18 - 04:15 AM
Will Fly 19 Sep 18 - 04:23 AM
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Nick 19 Sep 18 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,akenaton 19 Sep 18 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 20 Sep 18 - 09:20 AM
Stanron 20 Sep 18 - 10:18 AM
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punkfolkrocker 20 Sep 18 - 10:45 AM
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GUEST 21 Sep 18 - 04:06 AM
punkfolkrocker 21 Sep 18 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Jerry 21 Sep 18 - 05:01 AM
gillymor 21 Sep 18 - 05:49 AM
Nick 21 Sep 18 - 07:20 AM
punkfolkrocker 21 Sep 18 - 07:32 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 18 - 08:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 18 - 08:25 AM
punkfolkrocker 21 Sep 18 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 21 Sep 18 - 10:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 18 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,akenaton 21 Sep 18 - 11:51 AM
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punkfolkrocker 21 Sep 18 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Jerry 21 Sep 18 - 02:01 PM
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Subject: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 04:51 AM

I play guitar "by ear", started when I was about twenty and although I didn't have much time with work and a large young family, I could produce recognisable tunes......mainly Scottish pipe tunes and well known folk stuff. I cant sing for toffee so I had to fingerpick the melody.
For years I was on a plateau and thought that I had gone as far as I could...got a bit fed up, then about a couple of years ago I picked up the instrument again and found that I had improved quite a bit and continue to do so.....or so my son tells me!
Is this common among guitar players? I met one lately who plays professionally and he told me its all about relaxation and forgetting about technic....."let the music take over" he said.
I would appreciate any comments as I love just being able to produce simple music.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:06 AM

I have found that making progress with one instrument can mean an unexpected improvement on another when you return to it.

Also, quite a few other skills have benefited from time to let the brain work on it by itself. The old idea of sleeping on a problem does seem to work.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:08 AM

Don't know and there is so much I can't do, there have been long periods of not playing and ones of just settling for 3 chord wonder, etc. And even when playing music, practice can be sporadic...

One thing that I did try more with maybe one or two years back in terms of trying most nights does seem to have come on a bit though.

I can't quite explain it but I have become (to me) more fluent in terms of trying to pick out melodies. Still a long way to go to be able to do what I can on tenor banjo or mandolin (nothing spectacular but I'd sit second row in a few say Irish sessions reasonably well) but something, maybe the need for picking accross 3 instead of two strings and/or maybe getting more used to the std guitar tuning or a bit of both seems to have just happened lately.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:13 AM

I do play a number of instruments - badly! With each I have found that a break does seem to do a bit of good but not practising for too long does not seem to help. I guess it's a question of achieving the right balance.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:17 AM

Thanks lads, but I have never played in a session or even with another guitarist, I live in a relatively isolated area, where fiddlers and pipers are more common than guitar players.:0)
I still seem to need to hear what I am playing, I suppose this is related to lack of formal musical training?


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:25 AM

I don't know Ake and outside a term of classical guitar lessons, I'm self taught.

Re the session bit, a pretty near mental block for me is hearing the chords (and there maybe several versions and tunings that work) that would really go with the dance music. I'd get away with some but just say plain G C D chords often sound naff..

I think that's just me but (actually I might get away with this but you'd know the tune). I'd could rate my own chances of getting to pick the melody to Athol Highlanders on guitar as higher than being the accompanist.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Ake
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:39 AM

Sorry Jon.....I don't understand your meaning in your last sentence and my playing is based on four chords C G7 F Am....and my combination of melody and rhythm sounds like Mother Maybelle on speed.
Am I a hopeless case?


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:40 AM

my advice in standard tuning is to either pick melodies with thumb carter style using key of c or g or use finger in style of john hurt again c and g and d are relatively easy.
i adapt carter syle by dropping the brush and repacing it with up finger on string above, by using strings 234, and using thumb melody on 5 string banjo, this will be the same as 5 string banjo in dgbd, you are two thirds of the way to being able. if you have a second guitar try open g tuning dgdgbd thiswill also help with 5 string banjo


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:50 AM

No, your not at all hopeless.

The really good accompanist of the Irish (and other) seem to play sort of "half chords" say a G with something added or taken away and it just seems to flow, sometimes taking up bits of the melody. But I think it's a skill in its own rights and one where DADGAD is favoured by a few...

It's beyond me... There are plenty of songs that will work with your chord pattern (And moving it to other keys) and that's mostly all I do with chords.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:54 AM

Sandman, your adaptation of the Carter style is similar to mine, but I have a problem when playing reels and jigs....don't have enough fingers.....thanks for your post, very helpful...A


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 06:02 AM

YES Jon, I adapt chords to suit the melody and keep the rhythm going and it SOUNDS alright and makes it easier to pick out.
I find relaxation as advised by the professional does help it's as if the instrument is in the hands of some one more competent.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 06:05 AM

These comments are great, but I have to go out to work on a roof, hope you can give some more advice and perhaps it will be helpful to other amateurs.   Ake


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: doc.tom
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 06:13 AM

I think that learning and developing on an instrument is like everything else - you plateau, you progress, you plateau, you progress. Sometimes a break helps, sometimes it doesn't. But, as was said elsewhere, the more you practice, the more 'talented' you become [smiley face]. T


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 06:32 AM

Playing in sessions is a really good way to train your ear and your technique. Chord sequencing can be tricky but just watch what the other guys do and copy it. Its by no means the only way to improve but it does help quite a bit


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: KarenH
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 06:39 AM

Depends on whether the others at the session are happy to have somebody joining in who is there to learn chord sequencing!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: banjoman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 07:24 AM

Its all really about enjoying the instrument and accepting your own limitations but to try and increase them. I have had a long period of not being able to play following hand surgery and even now its painful at times. I just play what I can and am thankful for the long time when I could play all night (and day) if needed. Its still a bit frustrating though.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 07:41 AM

Back again, false alarm!

I think that is the secret, to accept that we (amateurs) are never going to be experts and to enjoy the making of music simple as it may be. I remember the amateur musicians who contributed to our weekly concert long before the second revival was known about: they played fiddles or melodeons and played simple tunes to which all the neighbours danced......then the singing would start, lovely Gaelic airs( a lot of us still had the Gaelic) and those who did not knew the old tunes and how to say the words.... didn't seem to matter if we understood them or not......I suppose THAT was folk music?

Karen, I detect a note of cynicism? As I said, I have never participated in a session.....the old musicians never seemed to practise or even play, except to contribute to the concert/dance.
Their lives were full of work and hardship, but they were held in high esteem by the little community.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 07:53 AM

Sessions can have their own rules for guitars, Ake. Some may even have their single established guitarist and another player would not usually be welcome. You have to take that how you find it per venue.

I'd agree with the accept limitations. I guess if I really wanted to play like anyone on guitar, I'd be playing like Chris Newman but that never would be... Same with banjo really, I love the playing of Barney McKenna (Dubliners) but never would be as good. Still one finds places where one can fit in and enjoy...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 08:18 AM

Jon a while back I discovered Dave Hum the banjo player who is now unfortunately deceased.
He appeared to be mainly a busker, but I thought his playing was magical, he seemed to interpret all the tunes in his own style, while retaining the traditional "soul"
Wish I could find out more about him.

I think i'll give the sessions a miss, but my hands are getting a bit arthritic after so many years cutting and hammering...
Still it's lovely to get so much good advice which can hopefully be picked up by younger players.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 08:32 AM

I'd not give them a miss that easily, Ake. Take a look around and see what is meant by "session".

My own usual understanding would be a tune dominated (if not entirely) event and one where you could be expected to know and play (with the ones you do know - you don't have to play everything) what you do in a way that fits with others and there may be no room for a beginner in that.

OTOH, the only thing I get to these days also calls itself a session and would take 2 or three guitars going, has more songs, tunes are more mixed, eg. English and a few Irish...

I know this drifts a fair way from your OP but best advice to anyone on that line is probably look around and see what might fit you.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,AKE
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 08:56 AM

Good advice Jon.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 08:59 AM

and I don't mind a bit of thread drift, I like to know what people really think. A


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: KarenH
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 08:59 AM

I didn't intend to be cynical, was actually wondering whether going to a session, or some sessions, to practice guitar (or on the same logic any other instrument) might not be a bit anti-social. They might prefer you to wait until you had got yourself sorted out a bit. Like Jon Freeman says.

There is so much free guitar tuition on line nowadays and some of it is very good.

"...the old musicians never seemed to practise or even play, except to contribute to the concert/dance." Not sure what the intended point of this comment is; I'm thinking nobody had got to be a musician without practising at some point.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:11 AM

The point being made was that these musicians did not have or need a huge repertoire, they were performing a function just like I do with my slating....I don't need to practise my craft after seventy years and these old boys knew their limitations just like Jon says, but they made everyone's burden just a little bit lighter by their music making. Their music was not always perfect, but that added to the general enjoyment and hilarity and folks appreciated them, today they would be mocked and insulted.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:15 AM

Sure Karen. I'd guess much would depend on Ake's area (which I've a feeling is somewhere I had a childhood holiday - Campletown/Argyll? and I've no clue what goes on there or most of the UK) but it's not a bad idea to look and if you find one venue, ask too, they might point you to somewhere more suitable.

My own area of Norfolk btw is mostly monthly informal folk clubs/singarounds with the occasional tune except the one I mentioned which had a few more interested in tunes. I'd need to get say 25 miles into the city for the more Irish (my first taste) tune session.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:17 AM

Regarding the "On line stuff", I've watched it, but over the years I have developed my own style and I'm to old to go back and start again.
I was simply asking for a few hints from those among us who are more proficient than I.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:25 AM

Yes Jon, the wild Cowal Peninsula the other side of Loch Fyne.
I think we discussed the Southend area of the Mull of Kintyre a few years ago as I was working there at the time.
As I remarked earlier this area has produced the World champion piper and the World Champion Pipe Band, plenty of fiddle and pipe tuition but the guitar doesn't get a look in.
I think it doesn't go well with the kilt and Prince Charlie Jacket :0)


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:30 AM

(yes, it was around Southend)


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:35 AM

I tried to teach myself guitar using the Mel Bay book about folk guitar, but it didn't go well. I couldn't move three fingers at a time to land on the chord position.

I had had piano lessons and knew basic music theory, so I went back to the music store and bought a classical book by Aaron Shearer. It was fussy and old-fashioned, but it taught me where the individual notes were. I'd put a chord together one note at a time, putting fingers down as needed for a picking pattern. In a few months I could put fingers down all together.

This might help somebody else someday.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:35 AM

I know the Irish sessions can be a bit picky, if try a bluegrass session. First of all you only need to know a few chords G C D etc and there are usually a few guitars so always someone to follow, and if you should make a mistake no one will ever hear it above the Banjos.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 09:44 AM

Thanks Leeneia, but most music books seem to presume that you can read music....I did start off all these years ago with a book and vinyl LP by John Pearse, but I was to impatient at the time to persevere.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Nick
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 10:05 AM

Personally I have always found that the way off a plateau is by playing with other people. My guitar playing has improved various times - since I started accompanying two singers; since I played in a band or two and enjoyed the interaction of working out how to play things 'our way'; writing and recording a backing for a friends unaccompanied song; since going to new and different sessions/singarounds/open mics; and listening to a lot of things and thinking "I'd like to play that" and doing something about it. And I am quite comfortable sitting in sessions and playing along - if there are guitarists already there I'll either find somewhere else to play on the guitar or put it down and listen.

Each of these takes me out of a comfort zone and teaches me something new. Even if it is just that I need to practice something technical or rethink something.

Other people though is the biggest stimulus and catalyst. Watching, listening, copying, adding and interacting are the things.

And there are places I go where I can learn to try and avoid some of the worst excesses of non-sympathetic playing. There is a place I have a few times recently where several people in the room think they are really ace solo guitarists and most of them aren't. Playing a pentatonic lick or two over each song is not good soloing.

And playing with others (especially when I don't know the songs) is great for training my ears (which are fairly good anyway) and transposing stuff on the fly. Even two guitars just played in different registers on the guitar adds something often - if it is in time and in tune.

So I would recommend finding people to share music with. I go up to Arran every other year or three and always find places and people to join in with. You are not a million miles away so I can't believe it is that different. It is just that the make up of a session may have a harp, pipes and other instruments less frequently found in Yorkshire (though I do come across them here - and cellos and a tuba...)


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: KarenH
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 10:14 AM

Ake: I agree with everything you said. Enjoy yourself is the main thing. Manners are definitely not what they used to be.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Nick
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 10:19 AM

And I have found other through Gumtree and various other online resources. And sometimes one thing that may not work) happens to lead to another.

I joined a band some years ago which didn't work out. But out of that I stayed in contact with one of the people who then introduced me to probably one of the best musicians I ever met. That led to a few gigs and when that band went its separate ways we continued and played a few times before he returned to Ireland. I still keep in touch with him and hopefully will play together in December.

And I still keep my eyes open for other opportunities because you never know where it may lead.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 11:14 AM

Pardon the thread creep, but I think there is too much reliance on internet and the like these days, where self styled experts show you where to put your fingers, rather than you having to work out for yourself where the notes are on the fretboard and what note combinations are needed to form particular chords. My favourite cringe was a YouTube video where the ‘expert’ confessed to not knowing the note of the open botttom string, but constantly referred to it as ‘this fat string here’. Whether such people should be allowed to teach others is a matter for another thread no doubt, but there is a lot to be said for the approach of classical musicians. Having mastered the basics on your chosen instrument, then take time out to learn another instrument(properly that is, not in a guitar like chord style), then return to your first instrument, which you should find much easier to play and navigate. Previous’ generations of course learnt their way around the fretboard, how to play scales, etc, before learning about chords and harmonic progressions, now we teach all that in reverse, so it’s no wonder we reach plateaux. Plenty to argue with there, I’m sure.....


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 11:53 AM

My experience (& I used to be good enough that I tried making a living teaching it, and I mean teaching it properly, not random self self-taught bloke passing on a load of bad habits to make a few quid...) is this...

I have, let me see... Two electrics, one classical; 3 lutes, one of them custom made (I was a re-enactor once...), two basses, a 23 string clarsach (wrong, wrong, wrong! It should have had fewer strings & they ought to have been gut...), a BIG rope tensioned side drum, a djembe, a wooden recorder (re-enactor, remember). Oh, and a set of (ancient now) Yamaha keyboards. I think that's everything...

In my experience, not just of musical instruments, the two real sticking points in learning any skill are the first 10% and the last 10%. Going from "I can't do anything" to "I can do something" can be incredibly frustrating. It's very easy to give up (I never have learnt to play that damn harp). The last 10% equally, it takes so much effort & dedication to go from pretty good to mastery...

The 80% in between? With a reasonable amount of dedication & effort, you can progress, but yes, Ake, there are plateaus. There are times when you feel you're not making any progress at all. What I've often found is that if you leave it alone & come back later, suddenly something has clicked, bedded in in the sub-conscious, whatever it might be, and suddenly... Off the plateau & rising again. Speaking from a purely musical p-o-v, since that seems most appropriate, that lick you can't quite get up to speed, that chord change you always seem to fumble... Relax, leave it alone, practise other stuff, enjoy your playing. Two weeks (or whatever) later, think "Oooo, let's have another go at..." And suddenly it's there, and you feel so much more positive. Suddenly it's "I'm so much better than I used to be" instead of "I'm not getting anywhere". Etcetera...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 02:15 PM

Raedwulf... would you consider a 50% discount for cash? :0)

Seriously thanks to all you lovely people for taking the time to help an oldie folkie.
I do practise almost every night but I missed a lot of time since buying my precious guitar for a tenner
It's a sixties Suzuki Nagoya RM classical, light as a feather and beautiful base tone. Wish I could do it justice.
When I pick it up, the fact that I can play a few recognisable tunes fills me with wonder


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 03:12 PM

So, you expect to get away with paying me one bob instead of two??!! :O

You do it justice by playing it & by enjoying your playing & by enjoying it. It doesn't matter whether you're Julian Bream or Frank Fumblefingers. That's also worth remembering... ;-)

As I suggested above, if you find you're getting frustrated with summat, just leave it alone for a bit & practice something else instead. Come back to it later & you never know... And never be loathe to chuckle at yer cock-ups. Good humour is not a bad teacher!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: KarenH
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 05:19 PM

Tablature, which might be worth a try. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but it is useful. It might be worth seeing if the library will get you something by, say Stephan Grossman: there is a book of 'Celtic' guitar by Grossman and John Renbourne which might appeal. Also one by Duck Baker of Irish jigs for fingerpicking guitar style. Just a thought. If got via the library you don't have to lay out lots of money to see if it suits.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 06:28 PM

i think its just nice meeting other guitar players. i certainly owe my love of the instrument to the joy of meeting other people , watching what they do: saying how did you do that: i'd love to play that song - will you show me?; and just the fun of it all.

leaving it, and not playing doesn't work for me - but sometimes giving an individual project a break and playing something else - then coming back refreshed works.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 07:15 PM

Karen, I met and chatted to Duck Baker back in 1969 when he guested at our folk club....a lovely guy and I still have his LP record of jigs and reels, He got me interest in finger picking pipe tunes.

Thanks for the ideas Al.

Raedwulf...you're a real tight-arse......hyphenated...the worst kind.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: KarenH
Date: 16 Sep 18 - 07:49 PM

Duck Baker's stuff is lovely. I could never do anything like it! Ever!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 02:20 AM

ake, a lot of would be guitarists are never told it is not necessary to play all six strings at once.have you tried tuning 1 string high e down to d , you then have four strings of banjo ,dgbd
the next move is to tune high b up to c easier if you have medium light or light strings this gives you banjo sawmil tuning, you arethen good tuning for american tunes and modal tunes ,my approach next would be to play ther tune on 432 strings and use 1 string as a drone , this means you have to go up higher on 2 string for the melody,[ i am going to make a wee over simplification] this is the basis of roscoe holcomb banjo style thumb melody[ not to be confused with thumb melody bluegrass, which useses rolls to fill out harmony sound]


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 02:33 AM

so the above tunings are g major tunings and g modal should be ideal for scots pipe tunes which are often mixolydian which is g major with flateened 7 example gabcde f natural g
or g dorian ga bflat c d e f natural g flat 3 and flat 7 you should be able to ick tunes and use 1 string as drone , the idea is to get away from chords to some extent and use drone, similiar to scots pipes


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 10:22 AM

Thanks Sandman that is fascinating, really interesting and I will try to put you advice into practice, but I am such an idiot regarding proper music that I fear most of the tuning stuff will be over my head. But I'm going to have a go and see what it sounds like...you are a first class guy. Ake.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 10:50 AM

Again Ake. I think, while maybe it could be taught, some things may lie in the range of what we hear? I can for example give some form of "Freight Train" and can for example make Leaving of Liverpool, Hard Times and maybe I've got a lovely bunch of cocounts, I've Got Sixpence, Tenessee Waltz, The Owl and the Pussy Cat, etc, whereby, while not well done, one would hear the tune in some form(s) of melody chord finger way and can (at least if we stay down the bottom), often make other things semi recogisable. You know where the melody is to get the say thumb to oblige is not that difficult.

Having seen a demo on Youtube, Status Quo and the Caroline is not that hard - an aim to play a reel like Trip To Durrow on Guitar melody line would be far harder but some attempts at folk are more natural to me than say rock and so we could go on...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 12:37 PM

a chromatic tuner should sort out tuning.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 02:10 PM

Interestingly, I would say that it's easier to get into learning classical guitar - in the early stages, than folk guitar.
Why? Well, most folk guitar players will begin by learning chords which involves moving a number of fretting hand fingers simultaneously whereas beginning students on classical guitar tend to start by playing simple melodies one note at a time.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 03:08 PM

I'd guess most kids first learn simple blues/rock guitar riffs these days...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 03:22 PM

Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker - PM
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 03:08 PM

I'd guess most kids first learn simple blues/rock guitar riffs these days..."
Sorry, what has kids got to do with this, ake is asking for some help regarding plying melody or scottish pipe tunes not blues or rock guitar,


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 03:33 PM

whatever grabs your interest is easiest.

when you're bored, its hard.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 03:49 PM

Big Al, what would be easier- for a beginner, learning to play the melody of " God Save The Queen"" one note at a time ( possibly only using one finger. and one thumb)) or learning to strum the chords to the same song?


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 03:54 PM

Sanmdman - sorry sir.. I was out of line sir... how high do you want me to jump sir...!!!???


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 04:22 PM

Please don't fall out, this has been a great thread and I appreciate all your comments. I've printed out the thread and can follow the instructions from Sandman and others when time permits.
I only want to improve a little, no one will ever hear me except son no 4 who lives with me at present.
Since my wife's recent death I find making a little music a real comfort......Thank you all once again...Ake


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 04:42 PM

I think its different strokes for different folks.
Some people have a good ear for melody, and find the individual notes easily - some (like me) dont.

Some people (like me) are complete tarts and just love getting the room singing - for that you need the persistence to learn a couple of (or even three) chords. And the resolve to sit through episodes of Inspector Morse, with your fingers holding down the G chord, the D7 and if you're really serious the C chord as well.

Also ( a guilty secret) even on your own - you can fantasise a roomful of singers, or fiddlers and concertina players if you learn tunes in your head.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: voyager
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 04:48 PM

1st recollection of guitar instruction at the age of 16 - a room full of 100 people at UCLA (LA, CA) playing Libba Cotton's Freight Train. 50 years later, the train is still moving (own 4 guitars and play nightly).

Stories and Songs
voyager


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 05:08 PM

playing freight train is melody picking with fingers thumb uses basses basse, its easiest i find in c, yes i know libba cooten played upside down most people find it easiest to use conventionalpicking with index and middle playing melody
.the other way of picking with thumb is also easy in c and g ,
in c the melody falls through the chords, start with c 5 string3 fret then d open4 string, then e 4 string 2nd fret, then little finger let hand on 4 string 4 fret, then open3 string,then 3 string2nd fret then open 2 string,then 2 string first fretthen 2 string3rd fret little finger of left hand then open 1 string then first stringfirst fret then first string 3rd fret you have played an octave and a half of c majorscale cdefgabc defg.dovan talks about this style on you tube it isbased on the playing of maybelle carter, if you dont use a finger pick it is necessary to use hammering on and pulling off to get some half notes.
pfr, feel free to strum but AKE mentioned picking melody. playing in g is same pattern as c but one string lower


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 05:25 PM

Sandman - strum...??? where'd ya get that from...???

I play with a plectrum, mostly single or double note palm muted riffs...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 02:38 AM

fine, enjoy yourself


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 04:18 AM

Sandman - sort yourself out, why are you in such a negative bossy mood...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 05:44 AM

Sandman - and.. you make yourself look a bit of a nit going off on one on your high horse,
when you didn't even read properly in context
my innocuous casual comment which you have taken exception to...

baffling...???


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Nick
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 06:31 AM

"I only want to improve a little,"

This may be too obvious but playing a guitar like anything is an enormously vast thing.

1 Decide what an achievable goal is that would demonstrate your small improvement
2 If you have a digital camera or a recording device record your first effort(s)
3 Work out what it is that you need to achieve your goal. I'm sure if you posted on here "I'm really struggling to work out how to do X' people would help and offer advice (I'm currently doing a similar thing in a new area of photography that I'm struggling to achieve what I want and people are enormously helpful)
4 Practice the bits that are hard rather than the bits that you already know and do well and play them S-L-O-W-L-Y until they are easier and your fingers remember them
5 At some point when you judge you are getting there (if you are really focused you might have put a time limit on it - eg someone asked me yesterday to play a song for them in a weekly session I go to. So I will learn it and play it next Monday and that's good for me to do something measurable and achievable. And I learn a new song) then repeat point #2 above and compare
6 Pat yourself on the back and smile
7 Move onto next project

I record a lot of what I do by myself and with others. Not for others but for me/us to have a benchmark rather than a perceived memory that may not quite reflect reality.

As an aside I once recorded a gig in a rock/covers band I played in. The singer knew that I did and was sure that her performance was brilliant and asked if I could send a copy. It wasn't - she was out of tune most of the night. Difficult decision... So it was the one time that my recorder malfunctioned. I don't mind being critical of me but I reckoned it would not have helped in the particular instance (rightly or wrongly)


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 06:38 AM

The “pattern playing” guitar style - which has been mentioned in this thread -( we used to call it clawhammer back in the 1960s) is a useful and attractive style for playing accompaniments and melodies.

This is the style that is/was used on “Streets of London” , “ Dylan’s “ Don’t Think Twice” and even a young Martin Carthy used it on “Lord Franklin”.

This is not really a pure beginners style and I would suggest that players should be able to move smoothly between basic chords before tackling this style.

Now, I would start learning this style by isolating the picking hand.
Now I refer to this style as the “rocking thumb style” because the picking hand thumb alternates between different lower ( bass ) strings.
I would describe the basic rhythm of this style as One Two and Three and Four where 1,2,3,4, fall on the beat. Of course, when players becomes proficient at the style they can then throw in what they like.

I start teaching this style by isolating the steady “ rocking” thumb movement.

1   ---------------------------------------------
2   ---------------------------------------------
3   ---------------------------------------------
4   ---------------0-------------------0-------
5   ---------------------------------------------
6   ------0-----------------0------------------
count    1       2         3          4


Then I would introduce/add the index finger to the third string on the “and” of two.

1 -------------------------------------------------------
2 ------------------------------------------------------
3 ------------------------0-------------------------------
4   ----------------0-----------------------------0-----------
5 ---------------------------------------------------------
6   ------0---------------------------0----------------------
Count    1         2    and         3          4


Finally, I would add the second string on the and after three. ( using - in my case - my second finger picking hand

1 -----------------------------------------------------------------
2 -----------------------------------------------------------------
3 -----------------------0---------------0--------------------------
4 ---------------0---------------------------------0----------------
5 ---------------------------------------------------------------
6   ----0-------------------------0------------------------------------
Count   1       2       and      3       and       4

.
Tapping your foot on the beat ( i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4), and saying the
rhythm of the notes as you are playing should help.
I would strongly recommend that players make
sure that they are rock solid at each stage before moving on.

I hope all the tab lines up!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Nick
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 06:39 AM

And I still reiterate and wholeheartedly agree with Big Al when he says

"i think its just nice meeting other guitar players. i certainly owe my love of the instrument to the joy of meeting other people , watching what they do: saying how did you do that: i'd love to play that song - will you show me?; and just the fun of it all."

I played with someone much better than me and we would noodle round on tunes and songs. And he would say 'do you know this one?' and launch into things. And I would join in and play things. Sometimes he'd stop and say 'what did you there when I was doing x?' and that is for me what a lot of the fun is.

Reminded that we once played 4 different versions of the Star of the County Down as we were playing and had different ideas (standard version/upbeat version/one with different chord structure/classical tinged version). Happy times.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 06:49 AM

Well, it didn't line up and the note on the "and" of three should be on the second string. Hope anyone interested can sort it out.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 06:52 AM

"And I still reiterate and wholeheartedly agree with Big Al when he says

"i think its just nice meeting other guitar players. i certainly owe my love of the instrument to the joy of meeting other people , watching what they do: saying how did you do that: i'd love to play that song - will you show me?; and just the fun of it all."

I played with someone much better than me and we would noodle round on tunes and songs. And he would say 'do you know this one?' and launch into things. And I would join in and play things. Sometimes he'd stop and say 'what did you there when I was doing x?' and that is for me what a lot of the fun is."


I'm in absolute, 100% Agreement with Al and Nick - I've been playing since I was 14, I'm 71 now, and I've always played frequently with others - even now I still play in a four-piece band and I'm always learning, exactly as Nick describes, from the other members. Absolutely the way for an aspiring guitarist to improve, and far quicker than trying to figure stuff out yourself (although that too has its own rewards).


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 06:52 AM

Ake - my advice... don't get too strung up on the 'mechanics' of guitar playing technique...
More importantly, keep your thoughts full of music, live with a musical soundtrack constantly in your head...

Obviously health and safety dictates you should stay a bit more focused on the immediate job when high up on a roof...

But otherwise keep your thoughts musical..

Then when you pick up a guitar you are primed and inspired for naturally feeling what you want to play...
you can just get into it and enjoy having a go - mistakes and all...

Frustration at not hitting tehnique targets can eventually lead to a kind of mental paralysis that stops folk
wanting to pick up a guitar ever again...

This is no new age Jedi feel the force bollox.. it does help...

For the last few days my head has been full of reggae bass lines,
which actually influences my present demeanour, even how I walk arond the house...
Last night I had a really good enjoyable half hour random work out on an unplugged semi-acoustic guitar..

Btw.. too many unmusical people think they can learn an instrument just by copying technique by rote...

They are usually dull to listen to, and a bore to play with...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 07:03 AM

Well, the basics of "Pattern playing " are best - I would suggest- learned by rote BUT also, and very importantly, listening to good examples of the style is essential for getting a solid feel for the style.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 07:06 AM

To back up what I mean...

20 years ago I trained slavishly in a gym owned by a champion body builder,
afte a few weeks he took me to one side and tried to explain why I was getting nowhere and wasting time and energy.

He told me to just relax, visualise the target I wanted to achieve, and 'feel' each exercise...
I thought he was talking bollox he must have picked up from an airhead Californian muscle magazine...
Until, a short time later, it just clicked, and I realised the genuine value of his advice...

He was afer all a champion,
and I was just an ordinary bloke trying to get a beer belly and office worker's arse back in shape...

Under his mentoring I ended up with a body almost like a middle weight boxer when I was 40...

His approach to being in the right mindset did the trick...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 07:20 AM

Well, look at learning to play " pattern playing" as a problem solving exercise. Faced with that scenario, I would break down the problem in to its component parts...which is exactly the approach I am suggesting.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 07:26 AM

Surely pattern picking is more accompaniment than melody playing. To inject the melody you have to introduce pinching, playing two strings at once, with thumb and finger, since the melody notes normally occur on the beat and in pattern picking the fingers are filling in in between the beats. However, I agree it is a great foundation or springboard for then going on to playing melody, as long as you can regularly break away from the repetitive pattern with the fingers, not thumb, to follow the contours of the tune. Patience is needed though because that can’t be mastered overnight.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmth
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 07:32 AM

As stated, what I have shown is the BASIC style used for accompaniments.
Take the"Street of London". What I have shown could be used to accompany the song ( with appropriate chords and string choice), but to play the melody extra notes - and the use of hammering on - would have to added.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,PFR on his mobile in the bathroom
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 07:32 AM

Tunesmith - a healthy combination of both our approaches is an obvious advantage..

I long ago got fed up with pub blues jams
Where blokes with loadsamoney
posed vainly with brand new top end American guitars
playing endless stiff patterns of the 5 blues licks they had learned off a tutorial dvd...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 08:22 AM

One of the ways I approach playing a tune on the solo guitar is to start by establishing the chord sequence and getting that fixed in my head. Then I work out where the melody line goes on the fretboard, which is followed by playing chords or variations on chords from the sequence which underpin the melody.

Mostly I do this by ear, but sometimes I'll go back to the sheet music, if it exists - just to make sure my memory isn't at fault. (I have a sheet music archive of about 5,000 songs/tunes covering from roughly the 1880s to the late 1950s).

Having got the melody and worked out the appropriate chords or part chords, I then put the two together. This is the key process and can be very complex or very simple, depending on the tune and the approach to playing the tune. One key point I've learned over the years that complex tunes don't necessarily need full, 6-string, complex chords. Sometimes, just a pair of strings, or a moving bass string can provide enough substance to accompany the tune without running your fingers ragged!

The crucial bit - if you want to play in this style, of course - to get your fingers moving up and down freely on the fretboard, is to get to know simple inversions of basic chords. Here's an example from my YouTube videos - and I've included it, not because I recommend playing it, but because it demonstrates how a reasonably chord sequence and melody line can mesh together without too much strain:

Will FLy: The Tennessee Waltz

If anyone should want to try it, there's a free file for it here - music, tab, chords.

All this can work for traditional tunes as well as more popular stuff.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 09:10 AM

At the risk of going on and on about the stuff in my previous post, here's a graphic lesson in fitting melody to chords, which I posted on YouTube in 2011. It uses chord diagrams to demonstrate fingering:

How to Play St. James Informary Blues

Once again, just a demo of the technique, with music available here.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 09:12 AM

Will, that is very nice rendition, but I would say that pattern playing - as I understand the style - only works in 4/4 time because in that time signature players can add stresses - mainly on the off beat - to certain notes which gives the style its characteristic lilt.
BTW, Bert Jansch was the master of this style and just a listen to "The Needle of Death" will demonstrate Bert's beautiful use of unexpected chords (e.g. in the key of A, the way he uses a E added 2nd chord).


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 11:30 AM

I understand - I was really trying to make the point that there might be alternative ways to approach the guitar other than patterns. Nothing wrong with patterns, by the way - just that, if you start with them, then it's sometimes difficult to progress to fitting in a melody. :-)

I've dealt with both sides of that coin with separate instructional videos on fitting chords to melodies and learning basic patterns!

One thing I soon found out when teaching is that, as far as learning/teaching is concerned, one size doesn't fit all - people can learn in very different ways, and it's up to the teacher to find the right way. That's why I always preferred 1-2-1 teaching, rather than group teaching.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 11:53 AM

Will, I once did some night school guitar classes back in the 1980s and the first night was a nightmare with 25 or so out of tune guitars ( and this was in the days before electronic tuners!).
I agree that, when it comes to any teaching, one size doesn't fit all; indeed, when I trained to be a primary school teacher that " one size doesn't fit all" message was almost like a sort of mantra.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 12:04 PM

I share your nightmare! One of the problems with YouTube instructional vidoes is that - as we know - one size doesn't fit all. Which is why I've, over the years, tried to present different aspects of the same theme. Some go well, others not so well.

The oddest comment I ever got was from an American who said he couldn't understand my English accent! Well really... :-)


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 12:33 PM

It probably should also be pointed out that it is a lot easier to combine chords with melody lines when you transcribe the song to a key where the chords are more amenable to that style of picking. In particular, the keys of G, C, D and A, plus Em, Am, Dm, then E and Bm when you get more proficient, are the easiest to find the melody notes with since the first inversion chords tend to have open strings in them, which themselves make up some of the melody notes you need.

It’s not that difficult to adapt to playing songs in 3/4 time, but yes 4/4 songs are best suited to that style. However, some melodies just fit their chord sequences better than others, eg Streets of London compared to (struggling here) say Leaving on a Jet Plane, but you shouldn’t be afraid to try substitute chords or partial ones as mentioned above. Interestingly, rock guitarists and the like tend to belittle this style of playing, possibly because it relies on much use of the beginners’ cowboy chords, but ask them to actually play a recognisable tune, as opposed to a riff, and they often don’t know where to start.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 12:54 PM

"Interestingly, rock guitarists and the like tend to belittle this style of playing, possibly because it relies on much use of the beginners’ cowboy chords, but ask them to actually play a recognisable tune, as opposed to a riff, and they often don’t know where to start."

GUEST,Jerry - why does it yet again have to be a black & white opposition of 'us v them'...???

Me and my mate started off more than 45 years ago teaching ourselves guitar
by learning "Hank Marvin & the Shadows" tunes off old LPs...

That's how we worked out for ourselves that he was better at lead, and I was the better rythm guitarist..

..and how we fell into those well established roles in our school 'proto punk bands',
and later work together playing electro synth new wave, rock n roll, and punky folkie skiffle...


Also, there's no need to be absolutist about enjoying music...
Cowboy chords can have immense dramatic power in rock...

Look at successful pro session guitar players,
even the average ones can cope well with most styles of playing...

Why do folks need to make a conflict out of everything...???


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 01:00 PM

... and... errrmmmm... define 'rock guitarists'...

There's arguably more different styles and genre's than even 'folk' at mudcat...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 01:04 PM

Imteresingly, Mark Knopfler - who served part of his music apprenticeship in UK folk clubs- draws upon the pattern playing approach now and again.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 01:19 PM

Ake - my advice... don't get too strung up on the 'mechanics' of guitar playing technique...

My advice would be rather the opposite.

More importantly, keep your thoughts full of music, live with a musical soundtrack constantly in your head.

My advice would NOT be very opposite! ;-)

On the subject of classical technique... Classical music is not the be all & and end all, nor is good technique. But, to be brief ("Oh yes I can!"), there are many fine players of whatever instrument with poor technique. But better or good technique will always allow you to get closer to reaching your full potential. Again, whatever the skill. Poor technique inhibits what you can do, better technique gives you more freedom. If my memory serves, there was a chap here, a decade or so ago, who had questions about playing & singing guitar at the same time. My first question was about his posture. If you're hunched over your guitar, you're surely restricting your ribcage, and you'll either be singing into the floor, or cricking your neck back to look at / engage with your audience. All will affect your ability to sing.

And here's another more extreme one. One of my handful of teachers (yes I was willing to go & pay for lessons to improve) told me a story of a student (not sure if it was one of his) who kept passing out. It was eventually worked out that when she was concentrating hard, she held her breath... Yes, to THAT extent!

Utterly unaware of it, she'd keel over. Once she knew about it... I'm blessed by way of being VERY self-aware. I know where my arms & legs & fingers are (this is not so daft as it sounds - have a think about it next time you're playing); I know where I'm tense & where I'm not; I can watch someone else doing something & I will automatically attempt to copy them (don't ask me about the Tai Chi classes I briefly attended in my youth! :o ).

If you have the knack of self-awareness & of visual learning, it's a wonderful adjunct to any physical skill (total rubbish when it comes to cerebral skills; can't paint, draw, blah...). It's not that you should get strung up on the 'mechanics', as pfr puts it. But better technique absolutely DOES allow you more freedom to develop.

And, as I've already said, always have fun. Always allow yourself to giggle, or at least roll your eyes, at your latest cock-up. Reduces frustration levels no-end!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 01:49 PM

..and alternate sitting, and standing [with a guitar strap]
just for a change of posture and attitude...

.. as sciatica, arthritis, and piles, permit..

yes even folkies can stand in front of a a mirror in the privacy of their own bedroom
doing a 'Pete Townshend' or a 'Jimi Hendrix'...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 01:53 PM

What's interesting about the tab that I posted above is that I have written it out in three stages and with 90% plus of my pupils they have no trouble with stage one ( I total beginner should be able to do that!)
Stage two ( where the index finger is introduced) usually causes no problems BUT, stage three where the note on the "and" of beat three is added has caused all sorts of problems.
    Counting the rhythm of the notes - away from the guitar - helps. Even playing each half of the bar separately seems to help some i.e.
A) 1 2 and
B) 3 and 4
then joining the two halves together.
And, of course, don't rush! " Nice and easy does it every time" as Dostoevsky once said!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 02:31 PM

I thought that was what the bishop said to the actress, Tunes! Or was it the other way around... :o


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 02:39 PM

I believe that Dostoevsky identified himself as a bishop!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 02:43 PM

:o :o :o Then who said which to whom? I think we should be told!! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 03:58 PM

Sorry if I introduced conflict there, but I too have played in rock bands, as it happens, and long enough to know that they have a different (neither better nor worse) approach to playing. I admire their prowess at soloing, use of killer riffs and use of chord extensions, etc, but as you say cowboy chords can often work just as well. However, I have always been aware of a little condescension by those with the ‘high end American guitars’ (your words) towards those of us who play acoustic instruments (before they became cool again in recent years) and those of us who play fingerstyle, as if both are really only for nerds.

This condescension also comes through in the guitar magazines, where articles regularly claiming to demystify fingerstyle playing, and helping you ‘find your inner folkie self’, are usually penned by experts on electric guitar playing, but who give the wrong impression that it’s no more than playing repetitive picking patterns, and actually not worth bothering with anyway, unless you want to play nursery rhymes and those twee folk songs you were made to sing at school. Ironically, if you work through the two solos in Sultans of Swing, often cited as the best rock solos of all time, you will find that much of it is standard fingerstyle and chord arpeggios anyway.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Sep 18 - 07:38 PM

i love guitar magazines, music magazines, folk music ones occasionally....but they really are the land of the lost.

Once you start believing the shite, or trying to learn even basic facts ....you're on a walking holiday from which few return.

They are STRICTLY for entertainment.


You can always spot the lost ones...they're a bit like those guys who talk about footballers being architects of the modern game.

The reason folk music is called folk music is not because its in some dire museum. Its because its our music - living sentient folks - outside of the education system with all its structures, career opportunities and crap like that. Its one on one. I learned a lot from Stefan Grossman's first tuition album, because I'd seen him and 'got him'. Unfortunately I've got a wall full of his dvds that I've learned sod all from.

Once it gets impersonal - you're pretty much fucked.

Has anyone ever learned about a product from a review in a music paper?

The best guitars you buy are always the ones you've tried out.

The further the real folk recede. THe sooner the problems start.

I'm trying to spice up my blues playing at the moment with more exciting lead stuff. Even with over fifty years experience - its really hard looking for usable information.

So in conclusion Ake - from the sound of it tab is a way down the road. It will give you the notes for your tune. But you will need to learn first the tune from a player, so that you have the rhythm in your head.

I'd say
1) look through what you know. is there a tune that you like.
2) listen to several artists playing it - folk tunes always have differences in the way different folk playing them. sometimes huge differences in tempo - and even in the notes.

3) Get the tab from wherever you can, if you can't find someone to help you - that you are sympatico with. some teachers are arseholes - my way, or no way....

4) before you start check the tab. some have the bass strings on top, some have the bass strings at the bottom.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 02:27 AM

tab is useful but the best way to learn in my opinion is by ear, tab is only a guide beyond that lies interpreation and adjusting of tab., piedmont style is also good but in my opinion more difficult .I xplained the easiest way to pick out tunes.
will fly do you have any videos of playing melody with thumb which i think ake might find useful since he wants to play pipE tunes, YOUR VIDEOS ARE EXCELLENT


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 03:24 AM

Pattern picking was mentioned earlier [ I DO NOT SEE HOW IT HELPS AKE], the alternating bass is only a start and tends to restrict to 4/4 tempo, the next step is to think about putting basses off the beat a little like bill broonzy and using single string bass to provide variety from the predictab ilty of alternate bass, howewver this styleis not the easiest .
thumb melody with thumb pick or flatpicking with plectrum is easier for scots pipe tunes, i suggest looking up carter picking tutorial


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 03:34 AM

Well, if we are not going to confuse people, we need to have pretty clear definitions, and as far as I'm concerned pattern playing is based upon a strict alternating bass. Of course, once that steady bass is established in the listeners mind, variations can be added.
In the UK, "The Streets of London" is probably the best known example of pattern playing.
    T would NOT recommend this style for playing Celtic tunes.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: KarenH
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 03:41 AM

If we're back to tab, then maybe the book by Duck Baker with Stephan Grossman and Renbourne is the way forward. If it has a CD which I think it has, you can listen while looking at the tab. And you know you like his playing. There's quite a lot of celtic Baker material on Grossman's web site. I have found Grossmans' tab books useful in the past.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 03:42 AM

i agree tune smith , ake is asking for help for scots tunes, thumb using jhammer and pulls or thumb pick or plrctrum


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 03:53 AM

The problem with starting to play tunes is knowing how to start - regardless of style or genre. Music dots? Tab? By ear? By sitting in front of someone who shows you what to do?

In the end it comes down to finding the right notes on the fretboard by some means or other. Not everyone can read music, understand tab or have a retentive ear. Once that basic problem has been tackled, progress can be made.

Dick, I can't recall, offhand, if I've done anything with just thumb. I'll have to go back in time and remind myself. Thanks for the kind words about the videos, though I know from experience that you can't please all the people all the time!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 04:01 AM

The problem learning from Duck (whom I got to know quite well when I put on a local concert of his playing some years ago) is that he has very long fingers. So, he tends to anchor his thumb around the fretboard and move it up or down for bass lines. It's an interesting and subtle technique, but almost impossible for poor buggers like me with normal hands to copy! You can see him do this on some YouTube videos.

Having said that, his "Kid On The Mountain" CD from, I think, 1969, was for me the first and most exciting recording of Scottish and Irish tunes to be produced, and very influential. He played "The Blackbird" at the concert, and it was still stunning 40 years after he recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 04:07 AM

And, of course, I should have said the most exciting record of Scottish and Irish tunes on steel string guitar.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 04:08 AM

100


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 04:15 AM

Talking of Celtic tunes, I was really impressed with Davy Graham's approach to playing - particularly Irish tunes - in the early day of Kicking Mules records. Davy would play the melody - with decorations and variations - over a simple monotone bass.
His approach was quite different to fellow Kicking Mule guitarist Duck Baker who favoured busier bass lines.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 04:23 AM

Davy's classic version of "She Moved Thro' The Fair", using DADGAD tuning, is superb.

At the risk of going on and on, I enclose a link to my (free) book on fingerpicking the guitar, which starts off with basics:

Fingerpicking the Guitar: A basic guide


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 05:08 AM

Tony McManus Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar (two volumes with cd/DVD) is good but not easy or for beginners.

Now here's a suggestion if you are a brave soul. You could post an example of your playing. Not so that people can rip it to bits but so that advice given is more geared to you. You might be hyper critical of your own playing and only hear the mistakes or barriers and others might be more objective. It's not a dare or wind up.

Somewhere on Muscat there is a thread about vocal range and to aid practical discussion I put a little mp3 of me singing from the bottom to top of my voice and back. The responses were much more relevant than a more theoretical general discussion as it was based on what I could actually do


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Nick
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 05:09 AM

Whoops wasnt signed in


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 19 Sep 18 - 07:12 AM

Sandman and Will are correct in deducing that I pick the melody with my thumb and use my index and second to either provide a march or 3/4rythm. I rarely use pattern as I always thought it was mainly for accompaniment of voice. I just use the C chords and add and subtract fingers when needs must.
So I'm not even a proper fingerpicker.
As I said earlier the nearest I can find to what I sound like is Maybelle Carter on a very bad day.
I'm always hearing new tunes from the pipe bands, "Sandy's new Chanter" and "Doocot Park"(Dovecote) are my latest challenges.
But I can do "Farewell to the Creeks", Old Rustic Bridge and quite a few more.... Nae bother :0)
I'm amazed that you have all been so kind and taken the time to help.
Mudcat members have just jumped a hundred places in my esteem. Ake


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 20 Sep 18 - 09:20 AM

I’ve been playing since I was 14. I learned musical theory through playing violin up to grade 8 and was in the county youth orchestra etc but with guitar, I soon realised it was the perfect instrument to get a few basics and from then on, develop your own style, don’t worry about others, only refer to tabs or score when you can’t work it out by faffing around on the settee.

Standard tuning for a versatile chromatic instrument that can flow between chords for accompanying vocals and open tunings or modal ones such as DADGAD to pick out melody lines or give a drone quality that goes well with jigs, reels etc.

In all, a guitar is a very diverse instrument that is not rigid in its outlook, it suits all and no matter what floats your boat, it can fit in. If only some people were as tolerant of different styles as the guitar is....


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Stanron
Date: 20 Sep 18 - 10:18 AM

A note on practice which may be helpful. A common practice problem can come from not concentrating on 'tricky bits'.

A 'tricky bit' can be just one or two notes in a bar which require finger movements which are unfamiliar. You have to figure out what the problem actually is, and work out a solution for that problem. You then practice just this bit until you can do it.

If a section registers as tricky, this implies that the rest of the piece is doable. Therefor the main concentration of practice on that piece should be on that tricky bit until it is no longer tricky. This might sound obvious but if I had a student who got stuck I would look for something like this and I would look at how the student approached it.

It's not just getting the tricky bit learned. You then have to practice the resolved tricky bit with the preceding bar or two or four. When you can do this consistently you have to practice this group of bars within the section. When playing the whole piece you have to be able to flag up the approaching ex tricky bit in order to be ready for it or it will still fail.

Identify and solve the problem, learn the solution and then integrate it into the whole piece.

I hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 20 Sep 18 - 10:34 AM

It's very important to really analyse both hands when faced with something you can't get right.
I remember saying that to a pupil who was having a problem and he replied, "but it's my left hand which is the problem".
It wasn't!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Sep 18 - 10:45 AM

Both my hands are the problem, palms like shovels,
and fingers like short thick [.... fill in apropriate short thick things...]

More cut out for wearing boxing gloves, than any fancy guitar pickin' n fingerin'...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 20 Sep 18 - 11:34 AM

And, of course, you must put the time in, or "woodshed" as the jazz masters call it.
I would say that in the early days of learning the guitar a minimum of 30 mins a day is required.
It's important to keep improving to keep the motivation going.
Recording yourself playing is a good way to notice improvements because day-to-day improvements are hard to see but looking back at recorded efforts over a longer time span gives players at better idea of how much progress they are making.
Folk clubs should be good place to get hands on advice. I've always welcomed questions from guitarists who need a bit of help with their playing.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Sep 18 - 12:11 PM

Tunesmith - it should be all about being positive and patient,
helping other guitar players to enjoy learning and improving...

Sadly too many see guitar mastery as an egotistical competitive sport,
with extra points scored for being hostile and standoffish to learners...

..or downright spitefully undermining their confidence...

One of life's mysteries..
why do so many of these arseholes seem to work as sales assistants in big city guitar shops...???


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 04:06 AM

One thing puzzles me, and this will seem stupid to most of you people who are so obviously knowledgeable, but after tuning the guitar to DADGAD do you still use the same chord shapes? C G7 F Am.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 04:22 AM

In any new tuning.. some familiar shapes work in places up and down the neck,
some don't...

The fun of trial and error.. and discovery.. your ears decide...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 05:01 AM

The chord shapes have to change because the notes have changed, but some only change slightly. Using standard tuning chord shapes can produce some interesting chordal sounds a d textures, but also some unwanted dissonance, but it’s a very lazy approach, and once the novelty wears off rather tedious for your audience.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: gillymor
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 05:49 AM

Guest at 4:06 A.M., John Sherman's site has a DADGAD tutorial and a chart of the basic chords near the bottom of the page-

Click here


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Nick
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 07:20 AM

I'm not sure which of the following GUEST meant

1 Why having changed the tuning to DADGAD form 'standard' chords. That is, why look for the same chords with different fingerings to make them sound the similar to chords in 'standard' tuning eg C chord (x32032) Am (x02232) F (303203) G (550450)? What would be the point making it sound the same as what you can do at least as easily in 'standard' tuning?

2 Why do a lot of similar chord shapes work? DADGAD is not really that different to standard tuning. You are dropping the top and bottom and fifth string notes by a tone. So - especially if you don't play every string in every chord (and I know people who do) - so some of your standard chord shapes become familiar sound - eg a C shape (x3201x) turns the chord into C7; an A chord turns into an A with a second which is a nice sound (x0222x - or with a second and fourth on top if you play it x02220 which is not discordant); a D chord (000232) turns into a rather nice sounding chord (played with the addition of one note it becomes a rather nice Dm9sus - 003232). But they don't have horrible discord in them so they work. A G chord is a little stranger as it has a 7th in the root position but becomes a G7 add2 and without the root note sounds less strange.
Now if you picked a tuning like EADGBD# a lot of things don't work! And it is an occasionally used tuning and does have a sense to it before anyone says 'but noone would tune to that'... Most different tunings make playing easier, not harder, and offer different opportunities and sound different.
If something is difficult to play (I have small hands) you can retune a string. I play in EADGCE when I play a Case of You because it works. I play a tune in CGDGAD because I wrote it like that and it doesn't work/I can't play it otherwise. And I sometimes play with a partial capo to give things I can't otherwise reach (eg capo at 2nd fret covering strings 1-5 gives a drop D. With 6th string tuned down to D and 5th tuned to G it gives the option of the fourth as a bass note on the 6th string). They are just solutions to problems sometimes rather than 'tunings'! With me it sometimes goes "I need x note on a string" and it isn't an option at the moment; if I detune or tune up that string can I play the rest of the song/tune? If yes then retune it.

3 There is another possibility. You might be Joni Mitchell. There are various explanations as to why she had so many different tunings. One very plausible one is that her childhood polio left her with a reduced ability to form chord shapes so, being a creative person, she found a different solution. ie She tuned the guitar around the chord shapes she could play. Brilliant! I hope that is a true story as I have read it in more than one source (eg Joni open tunings)


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 07:32 AM

"but it’s a very lazy approach, and once the novelty wears off rather tedious for your audience."

GUEST,Jerry - why would any guitarist with any sense or pride
be stupid enough to have fun experimenting with new unknown tunings in front of an audience...???

..unless that's the kind of people folk clubs attract...?????


btw - Your tone of haughty disdain comes so close after my previous post Date: 20 Sep 18 - 12:11 PM...

gotta laugh...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 08:19 AM

I guess I need to rephrase my posts, because clearly I’m sending out the wrong messages. Do try alternative tunings, because they open up all sorts of interesting sounds and textures, but be sparing with the experimental sounds when performing because it can be turn off for your audience. Does anyone else know what I mean?


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 08:25 AM

haughty disdain! - i love that, must write a song sometime with that phrase

I'm full of haughty disdain
Because in the main
You're all complete arseholes!
Its just me, what's sane!


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 08:43 AM

Big Al - I like fusty old fashioned Trad words - I'll have none of that modern popular Contemporary word rubbish...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 10:24 AM

Well, old time US banjo players use a multitude of different tunings and nobody ever accuses them of being lazy.
AND, Pierre Bensusan uses DADGAD as his standard tuning and a lot of the time you would never guess that he wasn't in regular tuning.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 10:29 AM

They wouldn't dare call a hillbilly anything...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 11:51 AM

Sorry folks, the guest who asked the question about tuning and chord shapes was me....The chord shapes are the basis of my particular picking style, so that is why I asked. Haven't had time to re-tune yet so I will experiment, but it sounds really difficult. :0(


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 12:18 PM

Just to be clear, I didn’t mean using alternative tunings is a lazy approach, but rather sticking to the same chord shapes just because they are familiar to you is lazy, especially when the altered chord shapes in most cases are actually much simpler anyway. What is simpler than fingering 000200 in DADGAD tuning? I know: 000000 in open G tuning.

And just for the record I use a lot of alternative tunings myself, open G and open D for bottleneck pieces, and Gm and Dm occasionally, together with open G, open D, Gm and G modal (gDGCD) on five string banjo, and occasionally AEAE on the fiddle and ADAE on the mandolin and tenor banjo. In each case it’s sounds best, IMHO, to adjust your fingering and chord shapes to fit the altered tuning, sometimes only one finger difference. Sorry if anyone finds this haughtily disdainful, rather than helpful advice to either take or discard as you see fit.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 12:35 PM

Jerry - oh yes, that's better...

see the difference a proper explanation, instead of a hasty written unclear post, makes...

cheers...

Now.. I & others can see you as more of a positive kindred spirit,
than one of the usual negative mudcat moaning miseries...

I used to spend a lot of time putting guitars in new tunings,
and setting the intonation to keep them permanently in those I liked.

Then discovering / working out and writing down chord shapes that sounded good and useful...
Cheap 2nd hand ebay guitars were very handy for that purpose...

Thats, my approach - self taught since I first picked up an instrument in my early teens..

never had a formal lesson in my life...

That's neither a boast nor a plea for help...


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 02:01 PM

Thank you for the blessing. I’ve never had a lesson either, but probably should have done. There were no Internet lessons, YouTube demonstrations or even chord songbooks, and very few tuition books with tablature when I started out. However, the exploration and experimentation was all part of the fun, but as you say, best not done in public.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Nick
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 02:25 PM

Ake - it was probably me making something over-complex by explaining it badly!

If you are wanting to transfer 'known' things then open tunings might not be the thing. (But on most of them an E or A minor shape usually works! Check Joni Mitchell who plays full barre chords a lot and Am7 shapes a lot and the tunings take over. If you look at about 65 seconds in to this video you'll get an example of other slightly non standard things she does!)

I reckon that DADGAD would suit Scottish tunes with the thumb picking out the tune and using the top strings as you described. It would work well. The sound would fit some tunes well.

I go through phases of using different tunings. Sometimes if I get stuck in a rut I experiment. A friend played Guinevere by Crosby Stills and Nash a while back and once I came across the tuning EBDGAD it just works. And it's then quite fun to experiment from there.

Here's a little quick video that i just did on my camera of a tune that starts in C and ends in D but I have never worked out what the chords etc actually are it is just what it is. As it is in an odd tuning pretty much none of the chord shapes that I play did I know before I started noodling so it is all just experiment and what sounded okish to my ears - and I don't recognise the chord shapes as any that I use in pretty much anything else. I haven't played it for years so excuse the mistakes. In fact I was chatting to my son about it the other day and said that I could not consciously remember it at all apart from what the tuning was. But I knew if I could find a part of it that I remembered the rest would come back as I played it. And it did - but it has sat in my head/fingers without being played for quite a few years.

It links in with your original post as to whether NOT doing things makes them better. I think on balance not as it is not very practised or accomplished because of lack of practice or familiarity. But it does demonstrate how amazing brains and muscle memory are and what they store and can recreate. I genuinely could only remember the first four notes and a rough idea of where the bridge/chorus bit was on the guitar before I started letting my fingers and brain find it without my involvement! I believe that when Glenn Campbell was fairly late on in his dementia path he could still remember his music and songs. Weird things brains.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 03:57 PM

Oh! that was absolutely lovely Nick, beautifully played, but far above my level I'm afraid....you make it look so easy, as if you are just fooling about, what about all the tension the stress, the mistakes.....or is it just me.....thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Sep 18 - 04:25 AM

well whats wrong with a lazy approach.

if you minimise the technical difficulties - you can get on with the important things - namely your individual input - it could be an extra twiddly bit - it could be learning the words and giving them expression - finding a quirky but fun rhythm - balancing an egg on your nose (or any other part of your anatomy).

with DADGAD, you can do the three chord trick, with just one finger of the fretting hand.

with a capo - you can do the three chord trick in any key, pretty much.

i think we attach too much value to the value of hard work. it doesn't always produce a profit - in fact for most people, hard work is just an unpleasant fact of life.


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Subject: RE: Playing the guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Sep 18 - 06:27 AM

I think it's what drives you, Al. I'm a fairly lazy old sod, but some things drive me on - one of which is playing the guitar. I can spend a day playing a new piece over and over again jut to "get" it. And I love working on an arrangement for, say, tenor guitar & guitar from sheet music, or from my head.

My instructional videos - the ones with moving chord diagrams in particular - can take hours or even days to produce, but I love doing 'em so much that it's not actually hard work.

But never ask me to clean the car, mow the lawn or paint a room. I don't - but I know men that do! :-)


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Mudcat time: 22 September 5:14 PM EDT

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