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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby CS70 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:30 am

Humf wrote:And then there’s the whole question of notation... what’s the viewpoint on that? Do young guitarists go straight into tab or the stave? The best I’ve worked with so both but I’m not sure what’s best to start? Sorry I’m out of my comfort zone here...

Neither. Tabs are boring like hell and staff notation is useless unless you play classical or some jazz (not even all).

Young guitarists remember stuff. :lol:

(it's a good thing to write what you remember is some notation, tough. Tab is utterly insufficient to denote 80% of what you do with the guitar, and normal notation isn't much better, so usually you invent your own. Nashville notation is, in time, the one that's imho is most worth looking into).
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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby Humf » Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:39 am

Cheers I’ll have a look into alternatives.

Just looked very briefly at Nashville. Unless I’m missing something it’s basically like the Roman numerals id use for harmony.

I’ll write whatever fits the moment in most stuff I do, so quite used to scribblings.


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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:09 pm

I think I'm mostly with Sam on this. I do regret not being able to read music (and my complete lack of music theory) but not at the expense of being able to improvise and make stuff up.
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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:06 pm

Humf wrote:Cheers I’ll have a look into alternatives.

Just looked very briefly at Nashville. Unless I’m missing something it’s basically like the Roman numerals id use for harmony.

I’ll write whatever fits the moment in most stuff I do, so quite used to scribblings.


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I'm not an expert on Nashville charts but AFAIK they can only notate chord sequences. While on the subject do tell him the names of the chords as you teach him them, I know of competent players who don't even know chord names but that makes it very difficult to communicate with other musicians. Memorising the note names on the fretboard s good too even if it's only on the E and A strings (the rest are easy to find after that).
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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby JRC1 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:01 am

I wouldn't worry about the bad habits so much as if you are enthusiastic about learning enough then by the time you start teaching yourself things then you immediately start to develop bad habits as you are more enthusiastic about the instrument than anything else. everyone develops bad habits and those who say they don't have any are lying to themselves.
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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:19 pm

Yeah Nashville is about progressions and intervals. I didn't mean useful as "complete" but as "useful"... :) like in "hey the singer wants to sing this in C#m instead of G#m, let's go" and you can read it on the fly.

Doesn't help for Van Halen solos. But then nothing helps for Van Halen solos :D
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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby Lala » Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:22 pm

Great thread :thumbup:

I'm not sure I can really add much to what's been said before so feel free to ignore.

I started playing guitar at 8 years old by picking up my sister's nylon string guitar. She showed me a few chords from her 'Girl Guide Campfire Songbook' and off I went. I can always remember that THE biggest problem I encountered very quickly was being able to move smoothly between different chord shapes and not have to pause at every chord change to reposition my fingers. Learning how to move efficiently between chord shapes is so important - by that I mean if two chords share the same note, if you can, don't lift that finger off when you change.

I had my first lessons at 9 years old and they were very basic BUT the great thing about them was the level they were pitched at - we learnt a new song every week, just a few chords, simple strumming pattern but I could come home and play a new song to my parents and it felt like I was progressing.

Everyone will have a different opinion I'm sure but personally, I wouldn't get bogged down in any formal notation yet be it tab or stave, if he can strum the chords to his favourite song he's just heard on the tv, he'll be over the moon and then some! I definitely would encourage the use of proper chord names for given shapes and if you use chord boxes that could be a gentle lead into tab proper.

I don't read music and it's never held me back but then I don't play in a pit orchestra and I'm not a session musician. Around the age of 11-12 I moved to another teacher who was a real old school folk guy and learnt lots of fingering picking and had my first exposure to reading tab and a bit like the 'moving between chord shapes wall' I hit early on, I seriously couldn't get my head around 'how tab worked' (not helped, I might add, by the fact that this particular teacher for some reason used a system whereby the fret numbers were written in the gaps BETWEEN the lines :crazy: ) but I can vividly remember sitting on the sofa one day trying to play Ralph McTell's 'Streets of London' and the whole concept of tab just suddenly clicked.

I probably didn't use a flat pick until I was about 14 but I'm a really strong finger picker and I dare say the reverse would be true today for a beginner - they'd probably be given a pick very early on but I would absolutely say don't forget about your fingers !

Everyone learns at different speeds of course and today we're really spoiled with the sheer amount of apps and online content.

I would sound a note of caution about those apps that you play along to that have the cues for the next chord change etc. (kinda like the bouncing ball over the top of the lyrics). I've been giving lessons to a cousin who has picked the guitar up again after many years and he's very keen on them. However, in my opinion, you become so reliant on the visual cue for the chord change rather than listening to the music, that if you take it away, he can't play the song. Even if I was to give him a lyric sheet with the chords printed over the top of the words at the change points and play the original track, he can't play it because there's nothing showing him WHEN to change.

Anyway, enough of my waffle, the absolutely key thing imho is to keep him interested and if he's still playing in a few years he'll probably want to discover all the other technical and theory stuff for himself.

Good luck :thumbup:

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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby CS70 » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:52 pm

Lala wrote:Great thread :thumbup:

I'm not sure I can really add much to what's been said before so feel free to ignore.

I started playing guitar at 8 years old by picking up my sister's nylon string guitar.

What a nice story! Thanks for sharing! :thumbup:
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Re: New starter aged 6

Postby al_diablo » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:04 pm

I hope my perspective may be helpful

I learned classically / traditionally on piano, violin and singing. I taught myself the guitar mainly by ear and using tab a bit.

I know my way around a guitar but despite I can't actually sightread on it at all and mainly think in chord shapes / hand positions and intervals. I think it's all you need to play rock guitar, and I'd suggest if your son is into that just get him to learn a few basic chords and just enjoy strumming them.

My main advice though, is that I was always terribly embarrassed to practice at home. My dad was a professional singer and I always felt a bit ashamed struggling to make progress on a piece if he was in the house. He in turn got a bit frustrated that I never did any practice so I never got better! So a plea from my younger self, make sure your son knows it is part of the process to be bad at playing the instrument and keep trying to get better. If you were minded to learn alongside him I can't think of a better demonstration of that mindset (and a wonderful thing to do as a family too).

Sorry that was a bit long, this thread touched a nerve I guess.
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