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Old 01-28-2012, 02:05 PM   #26
smooth101
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by analoguesounds View Post
Ok electric vs acoustic:

I guess a lot of people start of learning on acoustic as they are portable (no amp required) and also the (generally) cheaper option.

If you buy something decent, tire of it, and then want to sell it, you are more likely to get your $$ back if you have a quality instrument.

If you can I would avoid Korean and other Taiwanese etc made guitars. This may be difficult as all of the cheaper options (even of "name" brands) seem to come from this part of the world. (I have a Korean car though and it's awesome!!)

Japan made quality copies in the 60's 70' 80's etc but I am not convinced that the newer asian makers have that ability.

I have a range of makes and the one I don't really like is Korean. The ones I have that are good are USA made, Australian made or Japanese made.

Like I said in the other thread I would probably try out some second hand guitars.

Do you have pawnbrokers or second hand dealers nearby?

Sometimes you can find some gems at decent prices.

It may help to have someone who knows about guitars with you at the time.

If you aren't comfortable with playing them and knowing how they play, then having someone who does will help big time. This is the mistake I made with my first few guitars. I bought them with little knowledge and/or assistance and made a couple of mistakes.

What country are you from? USA?

You generally get more options there than say Australia in my experience, so that makes a difference too.
NO NO NO. This is very useful. Yeah, there are many states that have pawnshops, so that will probably be where I will go. I will try to do the tests heya wrote.

Thanks everyone for being so helpful, you are all really great.

Last edited by smooth101; 01-28-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:29 PM   #27
buggzilla
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

What do you guys think about online training sites, like www.guitartricks.com? I'm interested in learning the guitar, and these places are relatively cheap compared to a live guitar teacher. What, if any, are the drawbacks to be aware of before I hand over my credit card and sign up?
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:20 PM   #28
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

I'm not a guitarist, however:

Instant feedback is crucial in learning how to do anything, especially an instrument. Regardless of how big a guitar lesson website is, they're not gonna tell you what you're doing wrong the majority of the time.

When you're learning you really need to get it right quickly otherwise you're gonna be stuck doing it wrong and be unable to change it later because you're muscles won't approve, which may limit your playing abilities depending on what fault you have.

I am all about getting a teacher if you're brand spanking new as a musician, though I know many people who have taught themselves, those people tend to be coming from another instrument and so already know the basics.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:49 AM   #29
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Pay for 5 in-person lessons. You're good from there. Once you can tune a guitar and understand the basic mechanics of guitar playing and read tab or something, you can find the rest from there. x100 now that the internet exists.

We used to buy $3.50 monthly guitar magazines for tips and some songs, it worked. Now with YouTube, forums and tabs everywhere, there's just every resource you could want.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:54 AM   #30
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

You dont need a tuner....just buy guitar toolkit for iphone. I also really like the "guitar lick of the day" app for ipad.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:07 AM   #31
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Thanks guys. I like the compromise of 5 paid lessons to get up and running, followed by some internet lessons. I already play piano and trumpet, but guitar seems to use a completely different sheet music system (i.e., "tab"). Some early live lessons is probably a good idea.
Cheers, Bug
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:34 AM   #32
Mitch Evans
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

The only problem with tabs on the internet is 99% of them are transcribed by apparently, near tone-deaf folks.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #33
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Another problem with tab is that it does not show you the rhythm either. Guitar players should just learn to read music ffs, its much easier in the long run
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:58 AM   #34
elbuennico
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

""3) Use standard strings for a while, not too heavy. For beginners I suggest a common .009-.042 is gauge leaning to the light side, it's a little easier on your fingers. Buy a 3-pack of these or these. """

NOOOOOO

Since you're newbie at guitar, string gauge will have to do with the scale length of you guitar.

If you want to play with a standard tuning here it is:

if your guitar of choice is a 24.75", use 10 46 string gauge
If ----------------------- 25.5 " use 9 42

I would recommend you to NOT buy a Gibson like guitar.

try to buy a good quality guitar on which the action is not too high.
Go to a shop and try some telecaster or ibanez with a fixed bridge
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:14 PM   #35
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Quote:
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The only problem with tabs on the internet is 99% of them are transcribed by apparently, near tone-deaf folks.
songsterr

you can at least listen to them to check them out
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #36
Mitch Evans
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

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songsterr

you can at least listen to them to check them out
Same dif.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:48 PM   #37
elbuennico
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

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Originally Posted by gambit8888 View Post
Another problem with tab is that it does not show you the rhythm either. Guitar players should just learn to read music ffs, its much easier in the long run
Guitar pro does it all
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:00 PM   #38
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

My tip for beginners is get yourself a battery tuner, it will get your ear in a lot quicker than manually, and make you a faster manual tuner because your ear will faster train to know what it really should sound like.

Also, learn to tune using harmonics. Here's a link on how to do it. It's so much easier to tune than traditional manual tuning, but so few guitarists seem to do it (I think):

http://www.get-tuned.com/harmonics.php
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:55 PM   #39
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

I was in a band and the guitarist used to tune by harmonics all the time.

Needless to say he was always out of tune with the rest of the band because they tuned up with electronic tuners!
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:28 AM   #40
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Tuning by harmonics the way that most people do it will always leave the guitar out of tune. You have to avoid using the 7th string harmonics because they are pure intervals, i.e. slightly sharper than the equal-tempered 12ths/5ths that the frets of the guitar are set up for.

I usually tune my guitar (if I don't have a tuner) by tuning one string (usually the A) from a source, then matching octaves or unisons using combinations of the 12th and 5th harmonics , open strings and fretted notes. For example, after I get my A, I would match the 7th fret on the 5th string with the 12 fret harmonic on the 6th string. Then I would match my 12th fret harmonic on the 5th string with the 2nd fret of the 3rd string. And so on.

Last edited by sj2010; 01-31-2012 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:32 AM   #41
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

well, i just got a some stuff to help set up my guitar properly from a site (expensive a **** though). a set of radius gauges, a beveled straight edge and an action gauge. i got that book mitch recommended, so i am going to attempt to mess with it sometime this week. wish me luck. besides that stuff i think i saw i should get some sort of lubricant for the truss rod nut, some super fine steel wool, and maybe some cleaner (it isn't all that dirty, just dusty). i need to get a new set of strings and have the stuff to change those. alrighty then.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:11 AM   #42
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Umm good luck dude. u Got some balls apparently, cause if I couldn't play barre chords I wouldn't dare mess with adjusting action.

Should be a nice TR and learning experience tho, and I wish you luck.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:18 AM   #43
jmitchell42
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

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Originally Posted by dispatch87 View Post
Umm good luck dude. u Got some balls apparently, cause if I couldn't play barre chords I wouldn't dare mess with adjusting action.

Should be a nice TR and learning experience tho, and I wish you luck.
ty sir.
i can play barre chords, just not for very long or switch between them.

i figure the technical aspect of learning the workings of the instrument have nothing to do with my inability to quickly learn how to play the instrument. i will see though. might be fun.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:52 AM   #44
Mitch Evans
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

You have the right tools. The only part where playing ability comes into question is finding the perfect balance between truss adjustment and bridge height, but you can still get a better than music store setup without even considering that; it's more of a custom adjustment that varies with instrument, climate and player tendencies. Just using a radius gauge will put you above 90% of music stores. Now just work on your truss adjustment chops.

Once you're killing your setups, we'll talk about recrowning that Squier.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:56 AM   #45
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That's a good sign, expecting to hear good things
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:13 AM   #46
jmitchell42
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Evans View Post
You have the right tools. The only part where playing ability comes into question is finding the perfect balance between truss adjustment and bridge height, but you can still get a better than music store setup without even considering that; it's more of a custom adjustment that varies with instrument, climate and player tendencies. Just using a radius gauge will put you above 90% of music stores. Now just work on your truss adjustment chops.

Once you're killing your setups, we'll talk about recrowning that Squier.
i hope to have a screaming squire indeed.
i really just want to know how the thing works. i have been working on the exercises and they have been working. i want to know the ins and outs of the instrument too. thanks for all the help all. will keep you updated.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:57 AM   #47
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Jmitch

Learning to adjust your setup is a really useful skill
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:01 AM   #48
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

the mechanics of the guitar can become easily screwed up by trying to adjust it yourself without experience, especially if you have a whammy bar. Take it to a respectable shop that customizes or builds guitars and have them set it up. Trust me...if you mess up your guitars adjustments you wont play it and might just give it up. Learn to play as much as possible until you are hooked, then get into adjusting bridge height, truss rods etc. also when they set it up choose your strings and never change the gauge again, it has to be set up for each string gauge.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:09 AM   #49
Mitch Evans
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

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Originally Posted by shredhead84 View Post
the mechanics of the guitar can become easily screwed up by trying to adjust it yourself without experience, especially if you have a whammy bar. Take it to a respectable shop that customizes or builds guitars and have them set it up. Trust me...if you mess up your guitars adjustments you wont play it and might just give it up. Learn to play as much as possible until you are hooked, then get into adjusting bridge height, truss rods etc. also when they set it up choose your strings and never change the gauge again, it has to be set up for each string gauge.
That was back in the day when there was little info on it. When I was 12 or 13 I decided to replace my bridge pickup, and there was no internet to get an idea; I just went in and did it. By the time I got done only the middle pickup worked. I brought it to a shop and he said I fried the switch (hard to do that) and fried the tone pot (really hard to do that). Meh, so I was out the cost of a new switch and pot (of course I risked screwing the pickup (which I thought I had), but I understood that ahead of time and took extra care).

If he had a Floyd and was changing from 9's to 10's, then I wouldn't recommend he do it himself, but he's got a Squire Strat - pretty basic setup (even if he has to adjust the claw). Also, he has an education degree in music (which means at least one semester of class guitar), and he's been around instruments all his life (e.g., understands it's not like working on a car engine).

As I write in my setup post below from the other thread (intonation I put in a different post, but I only quote this post for the importance of the truss), the truss is where you have to be most careful. The book Gonzo recommended to him will make sure he understands proper relief and how to achieve it. Unless you're just not mechanically inclined at all, it would be hard not to get a good setup with the radius tools he bought.

On the other hand, the guy with the broken neck that wants to do it himself (even though it's in a good spot) I would suggest go to a shop and pay $50 (mostly because you have to break it to fix it).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Evans View Post
Outside of doing a complete refret, most everything is pretty easy from a basic setup and electronics to a level and crown of frets, if you have some basic information and tools ahead of time.

As analoguesounds said, the last thing you want to do is **** up the neck with an improper truss adjustment. That's about the only thing you can screw up to the point where it can be hard to correct. Cracking the underside of the fretboard isn't any fun to fix, but it's possible.

Truss:

Check the relief in the neck by pressing against the body fret and 1st fret (bass string) and tapping in the center between these two points while holding those two frets down (use that guide Rokke posted for procedure of this). Easiest to use index finger on left hand and thumb on right hand and then stretch your middle right hand finger to the mid point between both pressed frets.

When you are tapping, you should have about the thickness of a medium to heavy guitar pick between the top of the FRET and the bottom of the string.

If there's too much relief (space), you need to tighten the truss; if there's no relief, you need to loosen the truss.

Now, here's where people screw it up. If you've never done truss adjustments before, always start with a 1/16 of a turn (yup, that means a tad less than 12 to 1 on a clock), especially if tightening the truss.

The second way people screw it up is confusing lefty-loosy/righty-tighty. Just hold the guitar so the top of the bolt is facing you; that is, if the truss adjustment is at the bottom of the neck, flip the guitar upside down (neck facing the floor) then turn clockwise for tightening. If the truss adjustment is at the top of the neck, put the guitar body between your legs and have the headstock under your chin.

Make a 16th of a turn and check the relief 20 minutes later (the effects are much faster, but the neck won't completely settle for hours, and GREAT setups are a balance between truss and bridge adjustments. This means there is a general range of relief in the neck that is considered proper, but every instrument is different and both the bridge and truss work in conjunction in finding the ideal string height (as well as geographical climate). There are no shops that will continually tweak both until they are down to moving the truss 1/64th of a turn, and I can't really blame them).

If the truss didn't take, do another 1/16 of a turn - rinse and repeat. Stop at a 1/4 turn total, unless you have a good idea what you're doing.

Action:

Now, before doing all that (fine truss adjustments), you want to set your action first. Some old dogs might scoff at the idea, but clearly the most accurate and best way to set action is to match the radius of the fingerboard using a radius gauge (you can buy them at stewmac, but they are also easy to make).

If you don't know the radius of your fingerboard, you take a radius gauge (ones with notches cut out for strings) and place it on the board until you find one that fits (or search your model guitar). Say, it's 10". You then set the individual string saddles using a 10" understring radius gauge. This will make the bottom of all six strings curve to a 10" radius, matching your fingerboard radius exactly (matching the neck radius will help prevent "fretting out" on bends).

Once your radius is set, start the truss adjustments, if needed. This is where the skill comes into play. You need to balance saddle height with neck relief, and there's no easy way to explain it - just comes from experience. For example, you loosen the truss and the action is a bit high so you lower the action (using your gauge).

Now the action is nice in the high register, but a little high in the low register. You tighten up the truss a tad, raise the action, now it's great in the low register and not bad in the high register. Keep working it. A shortcut is to make your fine adjustments with your most problematic string and once that's set, adjust the rest of the action relative to that string.

Every shop will just get the neck in a general acceptable range (as well as the action), and just call it a day and move on to intonation. This is probably how you should start too, and then scrutinize your setups more and more with each one you do until you learn how each of your instruments responds to the slightest adjustments. Remember, you are setting up the instrument to your playing style/needs, not a dude in the back of a music store, or whatever.

The above will take several hours to do since the wood takes time to settle completely, but it really depends on just how close you want the action. Some instruments you want kissing to board, and some you want it higher to bring out the tone more.

That said, if it's an inexpensive guitar, the nut is probably too high, so that will put some serious restrictions on the quality of your setups, but you can always learn how to do nuts down the road.

Cliffs: tl;dr
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:31 AM   #50
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Re: Beginners gutar corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmitchell42 View Post
well, i just got a some stuff to help set up my guitar properly from a site (expensive a **** though). a set of radius gauges, a beveled straight edge and an action gauge. i got that book mitch recommended, so i am going to attempt to mess with it sometime this week. wish me luck. besides that stuff i think i saw i should get some sort of lubricant for the truss rod nut, some super fine steel wool, and maybe some cleaner (it isn't all that dirty, just dusty). i need to get a new set of strings and have the stuff to change those. alrighty then.

#0000 steel wool is what you need sir


quadruple aught
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