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  1. #1
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    Guitar Learning Software?

    Does anyone know of any software that helps you learn to play the guitar? I know about GuitarPro, but it's more for people that already know how to play than for noobs...
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  2. #2
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    It's the other way. GP is for noobs, real players are using their ears.

    Learn basic music theory - chords structures, scales etc. It helps a lot. Play with metronome. Play what you like.
    Prepare to beign angry for your shitty playing even after you were practicing whole day/week/month/year. Prepare to defend urge to throw your guitar from 10th floor.

    Playing is hard.

    Beign more serious - what kind of music you want to play? What guitar (electric/acoustic) you have?

  3. #3
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    Acoustic, nylon strings. Ideally i'd like to play classical guitar, "by the fingers" (not sure what it's called), but that's much harder. I've already had some guitar lessons some years ago, but didn't have the opportunity to continue. I know i gotta start simple etc, but i am basically starting from 0 and it's kinda really hard to make any progress without a teacher, and as i ain't got the cash right now to afford one, i was wondering if there isn't some sort of software that does more than just show you tabs... ?
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    I've played the classical guitar for 18 years or so, never seen any software that looked useful but I haven't looked for any either. I have some friends who are music teachers (not guitarists though) so I could ask around a bit. I can see how programs might be handy for practicing theory, reading music and training your ear, but for learning techniques I don't think anything can beat having a teacher there to demonstrate and correct mistakes. Videos might be a good idea if you can't find or afford a teacher but again I'm afraid I can't point you to anything specific.

    Learning basic finger picking techniques isn't necessarily more difficult than learning how to use a pick (properly) so if that's what you want to do then go for it.

    Is it classical music you want to play or do you want to learn how to play songs and accompaniment on a classical guitar? Do you know some basics, like how to pluck individual strings, how to strum, do you know any chords, etc?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    I've used guitar pro and power tab. Both are o.k but personally I really dislike reading music off the screen. I much rather printing them out. Guitar Pro isn't free though, it is pretty impressive and the tabs for it are free.

    In my opinion videos and actual people are much better than currently available software.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  6. #6
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    @Skalpadda : I guess i generally want to have fun, not aiming to be pro or make a living of it. I really love how classical guitar sounds, have a friend who's kinda advanced in guitar playing and every time he came around and played some random stuff i'd stay hypnotized, listening...

    I'd also love to be able to play like that:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N82...i9dNyy034yDrjA

    or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ny5...i9dNyy034yDrjA
    or even https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXqPYte8tvc lolo

    but yeah, that's not even wishful thinking, considering the talent that those people have, and the time they've spent doing this. :P


    Guess i'll have to find a teacher, but damn those bastards charge 20-50 euros per hour o.O
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Try self learn and approach a teacher when you come up against something you can't get your head around. There's tonnes of material available for free online. I started off by just printing out some tabs and pinning them to a wall and playing. Sounded terrible at first but you almost always will.

    Then down the line if there's a style or a technique you just can't manage alone, pay a teacher to help out.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    As Jesus_Phish said, don't get too hung up on having a teacher, especially when you're just starting out. A classical guitar isn't ideal if you want to play blues/rock solos like the first two you videos linked, but there's nothing stopping you from playing blues and rock music. If you like David Gilmour for example why not aim to learn to play something like Wish You Were Here as your first full song?

    Here's how I would do it if I was just starting out on my own.

    Start off ignoring anything fancy they do and learn to strum the basic chords - a quick google gave me this, which looks about right (the intro with the little solo is just the chords at the end, repeated). If you don't know how to fret chords this might be of help, or just look at this picture.

    Use your thumb to strum down once every beat (four beats per measure), then switch chords and strum down four beats again, switch to the next chord and so on. It's going to take time, feel awkward as hell and you'll hate your left hand but once you can reliably switch between chords, congratulations you've just crossed the biggest hurdle in learning how to make a guitar sound good.

    Once you can switch between chords, try to imitate the strumming in the song with your right hand, still ignoring any melody or other fancy stuff - your left hand should still just switch between chords. If you can learn to do this in time with the song you can start thinking about learning the melodic bits. A Youtube search came up with this guide, which seems rather good. I'd start with the second video, where he goes through chords and strumming and then look at the first which deals with the melodic accompaniment.

    If you can learn all of the accompaniment (this will take some time if you're just starting out) you could consider learning to play the guitar solo bits (watch the third video of the guide above). The solo uses different techniques like legato ("slur" or "hammer"), glissando ("slide") and string bends which will take time to learn but are very useful (bending strings on a classical guitar is tricky or impossible so you'll have to use glissandos and/or legatos instead). If you don't use a pick you'll have to figure out how to play melodies with your fingers. This isn't very difficult and I'm sure you can find beginner's videos for classical guitar that go through it in detail.

    Now, you can build on this, for example google "Em pentatonic scale" and play around with that along with the music, figure out different ways to play the chords, different strumming or picking patterns etc. One of the nicer things about learning an instrument is that pretty much anything you learn will be useful elsewhere. Sooner or later you'll probably want to learn some theory but until you want to learn something that requires it don't bury yourself in sheet music and theory books. Whatever you do, don't play scales for hours on end unless you're trying to learn something specific - play music you like. Getting familiar and comfortable with the instrument while having fun should always be top priority when you start out.

    Well, don't know if all that was helpful, but perhaps it's given an idea how to start.
    Last edited by Skalpadda; 25-03-2013 at 12:07 PM.

  9. #9
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    Hey Skalpadda, thanks for the lengthy and useful post! Nice tips, i will give those videos and Wish You Were Here a try. Yes, i am a big Pink Floyd fan. :)

    I do know a couple of chords, maybe 4 or 5, nothing fancy. The teacher i had back in the day insisted on teaching me to play The Beatles, since their music is really super simple. However, i never was a fan of The Beatles more than that, i guess they have 1-2 tunes that are fine but the rest is so meh, and i really never wanted to play their stuff. To be honest, the moment i told myself it would be great to learn to play the guitar is when some 15 or so years ago a friend of the family brought her guitar to dinner and played The House of The Rising Sun. Since then found out there's more to guitar than accompaniment, stuff like that or that for example. I also picked it up more than a couple of times, but hit a wall and dropped it.

    What i find really hard about the guitar is that playing different notes is really not "intuitive" like a piano would. I know that once you really learn the guitar it all makes sense, the position of the fingers to build a chord etc, BUT for a newbie it's really learn-by-heart, who-the-hell-invented-that kinda hard :P. This makes simply improvising and having fun with the guitar hard or impossible, since if you start placing your fingers randomly on the neck you'll definitely end up with some horrible sounds. With the piano you can just press keys and more or less build a melody that will sound nice or atleast not horrible... :P OFC, that's just from a newbies POV, i am pretty sure every complex instrument is more or less equally hard to play.
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    The difficulty curve when you start learning to play the guitar is certainly more of a wall than a curve since it requires manual dexterity and coordination just to make a sound at all and a bit of knowledge on top to make a sound that isn't awful. On the upside once you start to learn a few chords and what notes are where it's fairly intuitive to transpose chords and scales up and down the neck, so there are some advantages as well.

    One easy tip if you have a classical guitar without the little dot markings on the fretboard (like you find on most steel stringed and electric guitars) is to add them yourself. When I started out I used to glue the little round paper bits from a hole punch at the 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12 frets, like so:
    fretboard.jpg
    It'll help give the fretboard some visual structure and make it easier to see geometric shapes, just be sure to use something like a weak paper glue that comes off easily if you do this, so you don't ruin your fretboard.

    Being a fan of a band like Pink Floyd is a good thing. Even if most of their songs are too complex to manage when you're just starting you can certainly try your hands at some of the easier ones like Wish You Were Here, or pick out bits and pieces you like to practice. The main riff of Money for example, is excellent coordination practice and an introduction to uneven time signatures (most of the song is in 7/8 time).
    Code:
         .   .   .   .   .   .   .    
      E|-----------------------------|
      B|-----------------------------|
      G|-----4-----------------------|
      D|--------4--------------------|
      A|-2-------2-----------2---5---|
      E|-------------2---5-----------|
    Try playing that with your right thumb plucking the notes on the E and A strings, your index finger plucking the note on the D string and your middle finger the note on the G string. If you can do that you have the basics of fingerpicking, playing bass lines with your thumb and you've learned a fun little riff.

    The beginning of Brain Damage switches between simple D and a G7 chords - try to figure out the order the strings are played and you've got a nice finger picking pattern you can use to make any chord you learn sound nice.

    And so on. :)
    Last edited by Skalpadda; 26-03-2013 at 01:14 PM.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mrpier's Avatar
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    You could try getinstinct.com, it's a sort of gameification of learning how to play guitar. Hope you like amazing grace though :-)

  12. #12
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    Rockprodigy just released a version for Windows. They have a very well put together lesson plan for beginners, and it comes with free songs, tuner etc...

  13. #13
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    Hey that's exactly the kinda software i was looking for! Do you have any personal experience with that?
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  14. #14
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    I have not any software at the moment for guitar learning but I use the help from YOU TUBE. I think that is good way to learn about guitar and for improving you scills in guitar. So I suggets you to take help from YOU TUBE see some tutorials videos downloads in you laptop and then watch and make in real its really work.
    Last edited by Carver; 06-04-2013 at 07:44 AM.
    Have a wonderful day!

  15. #15
    Activated Node Eric's Avatar
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    A bit of a late reply I suppose, but if you haven't already checked out http://www.justinguitar.com, you definitely should. It's as comprehensive a guitar course as you're going to get online, and for free. If you've played another instrument before, then all the stuff about rhythm and basic music theory will probably not be required, but then course is aimed squarely at someone who has no musical experience, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunchback View Post
    Does anyone know of any software that helps you learn to play the guitar? I know about GuitarPro, but it's more for people that already know how to play than for noobs...
    Hi, I've just started a website with some free online guitar-related software. There you can find a scale generator with sounds, a guitar ear training game, and a tools for improve speed and accuracy. I hope it will be useful. The link is
    www.fachords.com
    enjoy it!
    regards!

  17. #17
    Obscure Node InOrbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    It's the other way. GP is for noobs, real players are using their ears.
    Just wanna start by saying that was brilliant! I can't speak for learning software but if you like gaming there is RockSmith. I personally hated guitar hero when it came out, RockBand was not a lot different. It was kinda funny to watch people play Sweet Child O' Mine on "Expert" while a few others in the room would joke about when they actually learned it. Then South Park immortalized it for us, but I digress. Once you've practiced enough that you can actually play the guitar, which really does just mean transitioning smoothly through chords and melody lines; though that seems impossible to get smooth at first, it can be done. You'll still be a bit awkward for awhile, but if you have something that can play it (unfortunately its console) RockSmith will adapt its difficulty to your playing style. You plug in a real guitar then it gives you the whole RockBand look but you actually have to play on the guitar and it moves around a lot. You will have to play the chords and strum or hold appropriately. Its kinda like sight-reading on LSD. Now that being said its a practice-tool made into a game, but I suppose the theory was that it would bridge the gap between RockBand and the Guitar for the noobs out there.

    In the end its like any skill you wish to acquire, it comes down to practice and repetition. If you boot Ubuntu theres a useful ear-training tool you can download right out of the software centre. It tests you on intervals. Personally I plateaued a long time when I was working off Guitar Pro and OLGA.net it took learning to tune and play by ear to break through that. And it helps to know what your playing style is, which always comes down to what you derive from you're idols.

    This is an online ear-tuner I've been using for a few years: http://www.gieson.com/Library/projects/utilities/tuner/

    Enjoy the journey!
    Last edited by InOrbit; 20-05-2013 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Guitar needed to be Capitalized! Once.

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