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Postby SinisterShadows » April 7th, 2012, 3:58 pm

I am a complete beginner at playing the guitar.

I am using my Dad's old classic acoustic guitar. I am having trouble playing more than one cord. It's like, they never add up. I know what the cords are, but when I try to play more than one, it doesn't sound right. Like, I'm not playing it fast enough or something. What can I do to make it better?

I can play a few songs using a high E and sometimes a B, but am not good at playing the other cords. Is that bad to play a song only using one note?



I'm having trouble holding the neck of the guitar. It really hurts my fingers, and I have trouble getting my whole hand on it. What can I do to make it easier? I have watched quite a few youtube videos of people playing guitars to see how they hold it, but it still isn't working for me.


When I'm trying to play a song, it doesn't make the right sound. like, the strings vibrate. However, if I hold down the strings on the neck, it makes every note sound flat.

When holding the guitar, I am having trouble seeing the strings, but if I slant the guitar, my fingers want to go on E and B. How can I see the strings?


I sincerely apologize for the many questions. I hope that you were able to understand what I was trying to say. I am learning completely on my own. No books or anything, so I obviously have many questions, and am not good at expressing what I'm trying to say. I have asked these questions of other sites, but no one ever answers. Thank you for reading.
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Postby Alan Green » April 8th, 2012, 1:20 am

SinisterShadows wrote:I am using my Dad's old classic acoustic guitar. I am having trouble playing more than one cord. It's like, they never add up. I know what the cords are, but when I try to play more than one, it doesn't sound right. Like, I'm not playing it fast enough or something. What can I do to make it better?


You ARE properly in tune, aren't you?

What can you do to make it better? Keep practising, it'll come

SinisterShadows wrote:I can play a few songs using a high E and sometimes a B, but am not good at playing the other cords. Is that bad to play a song only using one note?


It's ok, but you'll soon get bored with it.

SinisterShadows wrote:I'm having trouble holding the neck of the guitar. It really hurts my fingers, and I have trouble getting my whole hand on it. What can I do to make it easier? I have watched quite a few youtube videos of people playing guitars to see how they hold it, but it still isn't working for me.


Yep, your fingers are going to hurt for a while but they will toughen up. Keep practising.

SinisterShadows wrote:When holding the guitar, I am having trouble seeing the strings, but if I slant the guitar, my fingers want to go on E and B. How can I see the strings?


Put a mirror in front of you so you can see your fretting hand.

SinisterShadows wrote:I sincerely apologize for the many questions. I hope that you were able to understand what I was trying to say. I am learning completely on my own. No books or anything, so I obviously have many questions, and am not good at expressing what I'm trying to say. I have asked these questions of other sites, but no one ever answers. Thank you for reading.


Keep asking - if we don't know the answer between us round here then we're all in trouble.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

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Postby Rocket Dog » April 8th, 2012, 7:38 am

SinisterShadows wrote:I am using my Dad's old classic acoustic guitar. I am having trouble playing more than one cord. It's like, they never add up. I know what the cords are, but when I try to play more than one, it doesn't sound right. Like, I'm not playing it fast enough or something. What can I do to make it better?

Are you able to post a clip of you playing so we could hear or see you?

SinisterShadows wrote:I can play a few songs using a high E and sometimes a B, but am not good at playing the other cords. Is that bad to play a song only using one note?

You want to really get to grips with chords, songs are made up of them.

SinisterShadows wrote:I'm having trouble holding the neck of the guitar. It really hurts my fingers, and I have trouble getting my whole hand on it. What can I do to make it easier? I have watched quite a few youtube videos of people playing guitars to see how they hold it, but it still isn't working for me.

Without knowing how you are holding it at the moment it's difficult to correct it. What hurts? Is it the ends of your fingers, if so these will toughen up the more you play.


SinisterShadows wrote:When I'm trying to play a song, it doesn't make the right sound. like, the strings vibrate. However, if I hold down the strings on the neck, it makes every note sound flat.

I'm wondering if the guitar is out of tune?

SinisterShadows wrote:When holding the guitar, I am having trouble seeing the strings, but if I slant the guitar, my fingers want to go on E and B. How can I see the strings?

Playing in front of a mirror is a brilliant idea. This will improve the more you play.

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Postby Nuno » April 8th, 2012, 7:44 am

Fantastic! If you can play songs using two strings, you can play songs. I'd try to use one string more, the G, also. Then, the fourth and so on. But don't be in a hurry. Take your time.

On chords. Try to play the easiest chords. For me the easiest ones are the A, the D and the E. Try them. Do you know how to play them?

On the fingers. Keep practicing. It is normal. It will change in a while.

And you say you have more questions?
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Postby SinisterShadows » April 8th, 2012, 3:19 pm

When playing with an electric guitar. I was wondering if the notes play more smoothly than they seem to do with an acoustic?

What can I do to stop from rubbing my fingers against the strings?

I am assuming that the guitar is tuned. Would you recommend buying an electric tuner?

I'm having trouble hitting the 19th fret.
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Postby Alan Green » April 8th, 2012, 11:21 pm

SinisterShadows wrote:When playing with an electric guitar. I was wondering if the notes play more smoothly than they seem to do with an acoustic?


No, there's no difference.

SinisterShadows wrote:What can I do to stop from rubbing my fingers against the strings?


Keep practising. It'll come.

SinisterShadows wrote:I am assuming that the guitar is tuned. Would you recommend buying an electric tuner?


Yes. They're not expensive and they're probably the most essential gadget you'll every buy other than strings.

SinisterShadows wrote:I'm having trouble hitting the 19th fret.


Don't we all. You say you're a complete beginner - at this stage hitting anything is going to be complicated. Keep practising, it'll come.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

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Postby MatthiasYoung » April 13th, 2012, 10:11 am

I would suggest finding a guitar teacher - having just a little guidance at your stage can really speed up your progress!
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Postby s1120 » April 13th, 2012, 12:20 pm

SinisterShadows wrote:When playing with an electric guitar. I was wondering if the notes play more smoothly than they seem to do with an acoustic?

What can I do to stop from rubbing my fingers against the strings?

I am assuming that the guitar is tuned. Would you recommend buying an electric tuner?

I'm having trouble hitting the 19th fret.


I never assume the guitar is in tune. Mine holds tune very well, and I still check them every time I play. As a guy on the newer end of the playing time, I havent realy got the tune by ear thing down yet, so a clip on tuner is my friend. :)

Cant hit the 19th? use the 7th, remember after the after the 12th it just repeats. I know on my accustic its tough to get much past the 15th..

On the electrics it is normaly less effort to fret the notes.... but no reason you cant start on a accustic. Maybe get it checked out to make sure its setup correctly.

Rubbing fingers on the strings? Not sure what you mean..

Check out the lessons here. LOT of good lessons that can get you started on the right track, and a lot of guys [that know a LOT more then me!!!!! ] that can help you work through issues.
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Postby imalone » April 14th, 2012, 4:33 am

s1120 wrote:I never assume the guitar is in tune. Mine holds tune very well, and I still check them every time I play. As a guy on the newer end of the playing time, I havent realy got the tune by ear thing down yet, so a clip on tuner is my friend. :)

What I'm doing now is tuning by ear and using the tuner to check I'm right, then don't watch the tuner while I adjust and check again. Takes a bit longer but gives you the practice while ensuring you do end up in the right place. Less often (because it's less often needed e.g. changing strings or tunings) I'll try to do the coarse adjustment by listening to the intervals (4th / major 3rd) before going to 5th fret / 4th fret checking.

Yes, a tuner is essential (headstock/clip on is a good choice). Probably the most important piece of gear after the guitar itself.

SinisterShadows wrote:I can play a few songs using a high E and sometimes a B, but am not good at playing the other cords. Is that bad to play a song only using one note?

Something I don't quite follow here, E and B are notes. Chords are made from three or more notes, major chords get named after their root note, so E and B can also be short for E (major) chord, B (major) chord. But you ask about playing with a single note. So either you're playing E and B chords or you're playing single notes. OR, you mean you can play some tunes on the 1st and 2nd strings (high E and B)? A plain B chord is not one a beginner would find easy to play.

SinisterShadows wrote:When I'm trying to play a song, it doesn't make the right sound. like, the strings vibrate. However, if I hold down the strings on the neck, it makes every note sound flat.

This also sounds a bit odd. You should fret (press down) on the string just above (headstock side) of the fret itself, not directly on the fret. Don't press too hard or the note will go sharp, just enough for the string to be in contact with the fret without buzzing. If you press down right on the fret then your fingers will mute the string giving a dull sound. The strings are meant to vibrate, it's what makes the sound! I think you might be talking about the rattling/buzzing noise you'll hear if you don't fret hard enough.
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Postby Cat » April 14th, 2012, 4:37 pm

Do this:

Find a song in your genré that effects you directly where your music lives. Seriously, any tune that reaches that Happy Place.

Don't worry about learning that song exactly as it's been recorded or even as it was written, just get the chordings and feelings down and hand it over to where your music lives...

Then get out of the way. Don't make learning harder than it is. Once you are good at pleasing yourself with some self confidence...find a good teacher. You'll be way better off if you've already got the rudiments out of the way.

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Postby PEAVEYUSA » April 20th, 2012, 9:17 am

I am a complete beginner at playing the guitar.

Everyone was, don't get discouraged

I am using my Dad's old classic acoustic guitar. I am having trouble playing more than one cord. It's like, they never add up. I know what the cords are, but when I try to play more than one, it doesn't sound right. Like, I'm not playing it fast enough or something. What can I do to make it better?

Get in tune, just look up guitar tuner on the internet and use that. Ofcourse you have train your ear to hear the open notes. Play the string on the tuner and pluck yours they should harmonize. You can buy a tuner. I bought one at Guitar center for 11bux. Or learn to tune off the low E string. A little advanced for beginners but effective

I can play a few songs using a high E and sometimes a B, but am not good at playing the other cords. Is that bad to play a song only using one note? Learning chords is not easy. Start slow, go to ultimate guitar tabs and they have chords along with lyrics and chords on top of the lyrics where they need to be strummed. Play the song from you tube over and over, eventually you can hear the chords in the song and you will get the timing



I'm having trouble holding the neck of the guitar. It really hurts my fingers, and I have trouble getting my whole hand on it. What can I do to make it easier? I have watched quite a few youtube videos of people playing guitars to see how they hold it, but it still isn't working for me.

GUITAR HURTS......at the beginning but it gets better. You will almsot get blisters. IMPORTANT , do not pick at them, those are you calouses, you need them, they are your friends

When I'm trying to play a song, it doesn't make the right sound. like, the strings vibrate. However, if I hold down the strings on the neck, it makes every note sound flat.

You are not pressing hard enough

When holding the guitar, I am having trouble seeing the strings, but if I slant the guitar, my fingers want to go on E and B. How can I see the strings?

I wouldn't say im the expert on guitar etiquite. I hold mine which ever way is comfortable at the time.


I sincerely apologize for the many questions. I hope that you were able to understand what I was trying to say. I am learning completely on my own. No books or anything, so I obviously have many questions, and am not good at expressing what I'm trying to say. I have asked these questions of other sites, but no one ever answers. Thank you for reading.I am a complete beginner at playing the guitar.

You do not need books, intenet has a wealth of lessons and information. And asking is learning, making mistakes is learning.
I do have one bit advice that helped me. Learn the pentatonic scales, and your chords will come eaiser. That helped me, I'm sure others have different opinion

Theres some great lessons right here on Noise too

Good luck have fun get addicted like the rest of us. PRACTICE atleast 3hrs a day if you can!





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