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Early Guitar Playing Milestones


darling67

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All of us here are guitarists..... and thusly, we've all had those moments - during our early years as beginners and learners - where we either learned an elusive chord, or figured-out a riff or a lick, etc. that made us feel really good.

 

I have many memories like these. But one I recall, and which is the inspiration for this thread, occurred when I had been playing for some years already…

 

I got totally into Led Zeppelin during high school. I was able to play a lot of their songs from just listening to my records, but some of it I was struggling with. On "The Immigrant Song", that weird, "... despite all your losin'. Whoo-ooh, whooo-ooh, whooo-oooh!" chord had managed to evade me. I could play the entire song—except for that damned chord! Every chord I knew at the time was just totally wrong. Argh! So I bought a Led Zeppelin guitar book. I didn't (still don't) read music, but I bought it for the chord diagrams.

 

So I flip to the "Immigrant Song", locate the chord diagram.... find the fingering.... and for the first time, that chord rings-out all dark and ominous! I swear it felt like I discovered life on Mars! LOL!

 

How 'bout you guys? What are some of your early guitar-playing revelations and personal crowning achievements?

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Mine is when I learned to play "And I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" from Elton John. Speed is not my friend so I always got hung up on the chord progression before the Chorus. At the time I had a tape recorder with various playback speeds so I started using it at the slowest speed I could manage and I just kept on playing the song through at that speed. Each week I increased the playback speed until I was back to normal playback speed and could play the whole chord progression through at full speed with no foul ups. It was quite an achievement for me!

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Too long ago to remember. I had been playing piano for a while so it was a matter of getting my chops down on the guitar more than anything else. It was most likely something from Rush though, probably something off of Moving Pictures. If I had to guess it would probably be Vital Signs because the guitar part is pretty easy.

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There has been a few for me. Some were pretty recent even.

One was figuring out that the guitar was tuned down to Eb for certain songs. I can't remember which song exactly it was but I couldn't figure out why I couldn't find the right notes on my guitar. So I started to mess with my tuning and sure enough it was tuned down. After that, that song and a lot of others became easier to learn.

Another was when my brother bought a Judas Priest tab book. It had most of the songs on from British Steel except it didn't have The Rage. But after learning the other songs and knowing the techniques they used it became easier to figure out the rest of the album.

Probably the most recent was when I was jamming with a few people and couldn't get the groove. It was a simple I-IV-V pattern but I just couldn't get the feel for it. So instead of trying to play it in a pentatonic minor like I would normally do I tried the major and sure enough I found the groove.

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Years ago, I had only ever played with other musicians doing cover type material.

 

I tend to be pretty shy and un-confident about my playing.

 

I had come up with what I thought was a pretty cool riff that I really liked. I had worked out a lead in/main riff, chorus, bridge, etc.......I thought it was really good, but had no intention of playing it for others.

 

A guy I worked with played drums and he was a Steve Reilly fanatic and I was really into Traci Guns at that time, so we decided to get together and play some L.A. Guns tunes.

 

Just setting up my gear and warming up, I started playing this riff I had written and all of sudden, he just jumped in with a drum part that went with it perfectly..........fills, stops, changes......it sounded so much better with "a band" than I ever imagined it could have. It came together like we had written it together and played it for years. He said "That's awesome, what is that from?" I told him it was mine and he was blown away.

 

That was a real eye opener for me that maybe I could play and even write my own stuff........gave me a bit more confidence in my ability.

 

NHTom

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The first time I played with others and realized that being part of a group of like minded musicians could result in something very beautiful.

 

 

That didn't cross my mind but now that you mention it that was the biggest thing ever for me.

After a while I just didn't even want to pick up a guitar unless there was someone to jam with.

 

Good call. [thumbup]

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Gosh, there have been SO many! But, my first, was when a good friend,

who was a few years older, and who'd been playing a lot longer, showed

me "pull off's, and "hammer on's,...specifically, at the time, the way

to play the "Last Time" riff, by The Rolling Stones. Another, was when

I learned the right way, to play that great riff, in The Beatles "I Feel Fine!"

 

But, there have been So Many, since, as well. It just never ends! [biggrin]

 

CB

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Another, was when I learned the right way, to play that great riff, in The Beatles "I Feel Fine!"

[biggrin]

 

CB

 

CB, that was one of mine too!

 

For years, I'd been messing around with playing it the wrong way: barring the first "chords" at the 5th fret "D", down to the "C", and then... what the hell is with this "G" riff? How the hell does he get it to sound like that?!?!? [scared]

 

Like many others here, guitar parts tend to come to us in a synergenistic way. You play a certain type of music/a band that requires you to play a certain way... technique-wise, etc. Then, one day, you realize you can apply that same approach to another band's music. I believe the day I finally learned to play the "I Feel Fine" riff properly, I was messing around with "D", "C", and "B", etc. chord forms way up the neck—like playing an open "E" with a mobile capo. It could have been while playing, "Red Hill Mining Town" by U2, or "Free Falling" by Tom Petty. Both those songs employ those "E" chord forms sliding up and down the neck, and I was listening to those bands a lot around then.

 

Well, the riff just fell into place... made total sense, and I kicked myself for not having figured it out sooner.

 

I love the guitar! It's been my best friend and mentor from the day I first picked one up!

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Gosh, there have been SO many! But, my first, was when a good friend,

who was a few years older, and who'd been playing a lot longer, showed

me "pull off's, and "hammer on's,...specifically, at the time, the way

to play the "Last Time" riff, by The Rolling Stones. Another, was when

I learned the right way, to play that great riff, in The Beatles "I Feel Fine!"

 

But, there have been So Many, since, as well. It just never ends! [biggrin]

 

CB

Cool! "I feel fine" was mine too !

And later (much later) when I finally got a Ric 360/12 "Tambourin Man" and

"Turn, Turn,Turn"

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When I learned it was completely by trial and error. There were no videos, no tabs, no lessons, no nothing. Just playing along with records.

 

One time I saw a picture of Hendryx playing a 9 chord with his thumb over the top and I was like "Whoa that's cool." So I was doing that for the next six months.

 

At one point I finally figured out a scale that I later found out was the dorian mode. I called it the Allman Brothers scale. Hendryx and Clapton were playing that too. I played it at certain positions on the fretboard. When I picked up the guitar again like 30 years later I realized that I was playing the dorian mode in the three most popular positions the whole time. I realized that I had been on the right track the whole time. I was like "O.K. I'm not as big a dummy as I thought!"

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