T Nation

Picking an Instrument to Learn

Alright

I’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument but never really had the motivation. But for some reason, I now am multitasking and finishing everying up…leaving me bored. I’m ok with piano and don’t really want to pursuit that. At the pouint, drums are out of the question.

I have narrowed it down to guitar or Saxophone…each for different reasons. My parents are big jazz fans and I think it would be cool to play them a song in the future…explains the sax…Guitars are just fuckin’ sexy (bass too mmmm)

eventually, I want to learn both

planning on starting with the guitar

so where should I look online? Can you find a link to a good “beginner” guitar? Does that matter?

All help is appreciated

Yea start with guitar, you can play jazz on guitar if you want

A quick google search will turn up a bunch of shit for you, but heres something

Start by learning scales and chords. A common form of the major scale is:

(the numbers represent your fingers. 1=pointer 2=middle finger 3=ring finger 4=pinky. just let your fingers fall where they do naturally. For example, if it says 1 2 4, play one fret’s note with your pointer, the very next one with your middle, then skip one fret and play the next one with your pinky)

2 4 - low E string
1 2 4 - A
1 3 4 - D
1 3 4 - G
2 4 - B
1 2 4 - high E ( high as in sound, not high as in the top string)

the note which you place your low E string ‘2’ names the scale. If that note is an A, its an A major scale

Any questions feel free to ask…

Learning tabulature or “tabs” is also helpful. The X’s mean to reach around with your thumb and just let it rest on the strings in order to mute them, without holding down hard enough for a note to sound. The O’s mean to let the string play “open”, or without holding it down at all. In tabulature, the numbers represent fret numbers, not fingers

play all of these notes at the same time and you have a D chord

E—X---
A—X---
D—O---
G—2–
B—3–
E—2---

You don’t actually have to mute the A string, you could also let it play open

I play guitar, its got to be the best instrument. They have tons of beginner packages with a fender strat, mini amp and instruction booklet/cd. I def recommend at least 6 months of lessons though. The lessons put you on a path. (Like a workout routine).

What type of music are you looking to play? I’ll assume metal and such, so if thats the case dont get a fender or anything that really cant be downtuned. ALL metal is downtuned (drop C, drop D). Epiphones are good starter guitars for that type of music. They arent expensive and they can rock. ROCK ON!!!

The kind of guitar (and possibly amp) that you get depends on what kind of music you plan on playing. And if you know that it’s something you’re going to stick with, I would bypass the really cheap beginner guitars. They are seldom constructed well. Definitely be sure to check Craigslist, too.

Also! Guitar world stores and similar stores are not only always having sales, buuut you can haggle with them.

musiciansfriend.com brah, its as simple as that.

Going to an actual music store would probably be ideal so that you could try stuff out and see what you like. And remember that you don’t have to get name-brand stuff in order to get a quality instrument. I was in the market for a Les Paul, but found a Michael Kelly knock-off that was way cheaper and really nice quality. Definitely wouldn’t have believed it without playing it.

Started that way, + grabing tabs of the stuff I enjoyed on the side.

Investing in an actual class, just for a few hours to get the basics down would help greatly to get going.

You could be playing with a band (on bass) in as little as 2 months.
Ask Yo Momma.

How you approach this should depend on how good you want to get. If you just want to be able to play a couple of chords and a simple solo you can stick to the basics - learn the scales, chord shapes and some standard progressions, then practice that until it sounds good. If you want to go beyond that I would say you have to have a slightly different approach from the very start and concentrate more on training your ears from day one, among other things.

You’re saying you are ok with the piano. I assume that means you can read sheet music at least a little bit? How good are you at playing by ear? Do you want to be good at playing a variety of styles or just one or two?

It’s easy to learn how to play the guitar, but it takes many years to learn how to play the it well.

B.

[quote]Ty Carlson wrote:
musiciansfriend.com brah, its as simple as that.[/quote]

x2

I’ve bought a few things from them. Learn basic chords and scales, the 7 modes of a major scale, buy a metronome, and then play along with your favorite songs.

If you have the cash take some lessons for awhile to get a good grasp of the fundememtals, not a must but a smart option. Youtube is loaded with lessons as well.

Like someone said earlier, spend a little cash to get a decent guitar, a shitty one will not stay in tune for long and it will drive you nuts.

I picked up this little gem used for $350 a couple years ago from the paper, not a mark on it and hardly used. I’m not too crazy about the paint job but it’s a Dean ML(Dimebag R.I.P.), and comes with pretty good pick-ups right out of the box, looks awkward but is very comfy to play, even sitting down.

Sax would be an excellent choice too. You would definetly have to take lessons for that I think, could be wrong though seeing I’ve never picked one up before.

I am also just learning guitar. Been playing for a year now. Like someone else said, it’s not too hard to be able to play lots of stuff, but it is hard to be able to play that stuff well.

Only advice I can give is take lessons and practice every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

To help you practice every day, leave your instrument in the place that you spend the most time at home. Don’t ever put it away.

Here’s my baby, ESP LTD Viper with EMGs. She’s a squealer.

Wow, all helpful. Thanks for the input.

So

  1. Don’t buy a beginner because theyre poorly made
  2. Classes to get the basics

As far as the typ of music I want to play, um, Blues,Soul…Jazzy type stuff. Craig Chaquiso and Santana come to mind right now…“Spanish Jazz”, I guess.

I’m going to go hang out at a music store next week to get some in person assistance but in the meantime

online vids vs in person classes?

Best type of guitar for the music I want to play? Acoustic or electric? Good model?

MOAR INFO!!!

=)

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
You could be playing with a band (on bass) in as little as 2 months.
Ask Yo Momma.[/quote]

Beat me Daddy, eight to the bar.

I bought one of those Fender bass/amp packages forever ago. It was definitely poorly constructed and always sounded like shit no matter how much I tuned it. I ended up just passing it along to my brother. I could get a couple songs out of it but I guess I was looking to play guitar more in my mind as I felt I could never really “hear” the song I was playing like you can on a guitar. Of course, I was one of those kids expecting to pick up and be a rockstar right out the gate, so take that with a grain of salt.

I also played saxophone back in middle school for 2-3 years. It’s a pretty cool instrument and is not too difficult to learn actually. Of course, I had instruction from school. Pretty much the only reason I did not become very good with it was b/c I was lazy and didn’t put in any effort OR practice at home often.

I don’t know where you live (apartment, house, etc) but it is a lot easier (read: quieter) to play a guitar than it is to play the sax. Perhaps that will affect your decision…?

[quote]coolnatedawg wrote:
I bought one of those Fender bass/amp packages forever ago. It was definitely poorly constructed and always sounded like shit no matter how much I tuned it. I ended up just passing it along to my brother. I could get a couple songs out of it but I guess I was looking to play guitar more in my mind as I felt I could never really “hear” the song I was playing like you can on a guitar. Of course, I was one of those kids expecting to pick up and be a rockstar right out the gate, so take that with a grain of salt.

I also played saxophone back in middle school for 2-3 years. It’s a pretty cool instrument and is not too difficult to learn actually. Of course, I had instruction from school. Pretty much the only reason I did not become very good with it was b/c I was lazy and didn’t put in any effort OR practice at home often.

I don’t know where you live (apartment, house, etc) but it is a lot easier (read: quieter) to play a guitar than it is to play the sax. Perhaps that will affect your decision…?[/quote]

I live in an apartment which is why the drums are a no go. lol

I do plan on learning them both eventually, but like you said the guitar is the “easier” to live with right now…especially since I’ll be bad at it for a while.

Good to know that neither of these instruments are hard to learn. Practice won’t be an issue…I still practice 100 leg attacks daily and havent wrestled in about a year.

http://used.guitarcenter.com/usedgear/index.cfm?location=615

I found this list of used ones from a local store…suggestions?