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  1. #1
    Fenderfied
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    Default The Captain's Table

    Welcome to the Captainís Table! Pull up a chair and pour yourselves a drink.

    I guess this is my venue where I can air some personal views or generally just waffle. Iím not sure where this will be heading and have no definite travel plans, so if you have the time, please feel free to chime in and chat about whatever takes your fancy.

    Iím a newbie at this guitar playing lark (apart from the classical guitar lessons I had in high school over 30 years ago), so have been reading as much as I can on the forum to try and get my head around it all. I have the usual number of stupid questions but before I pester you kindly people, Iíll search around a bit more to make sure similar posts donít already exist.

    Captain Bb is your average run of the mill Superhero and I'm usually called upon to save the planet on a daily basis but I donít want to bore you with all that stuff. Instead, Iíll start off with my immediate guitar issues.

    Iím currently trying to learn the basic chords and get my fingers moving around the fret board as smoothly and coherently as I can. The fingertips and muscles of my left hand have hardened up quite a bit and I think the really painful stages are over (although Superheroes are well used to pain). However, I seem to be going through a phase of loosing all the hard skin from my fingertips. Is this normal or am I part snake? Do I need to put something on my fingertips to stop the shedding (virgin's water perhaps)?

    My Strat is a straight from the factory affair with stock set-up but when we met I knew I had to have her. Sheís dressed in Tobacco Sunburst and I affectionately call her ďOle SmokeyĒ. Iíll probably look at setting her up myself at some point. Between saving lives, I also find time for a little engineering and have crammed in some bed time reading about setting-up StratocastersÖ..enough reading at least to convince me I can handle the operation myself (i.e. to get myself into trouble). Think Iíll also block off the trem until I find a proper use for it (it seems an unnecessary distraction at the moment).

    Fortunately I can already read music but tab is a new experience for me. Tab tells me what frets positions to use for my left hand but (with the exception of a chord book) doesnít specify which fingers on the left hand to use for those frets...and curiously, it doesnít mention what to do with my right hand either (?). Okay, if I have the music above the tab I can follow the tune easily enough but I donít know which of my fingers to use for the strings. Is there a secret protocol for this Ė the doís and doníts of tab perhaps?

    I guess I need to find a decent teacher to put me on the straight & narrow but will continue to teach myself basic stuff for now (no sense is spending money on what I can teach myself).

    At the moment Iím trying to plan my time around playing my saxophones (my first and second loves) and my guitar (the new chick). I originally intended to play the guitar via headphones at night (when sax playing is banned in our house) and become a guitar legend in my own head for an hour or so. However, I find Iím picking up the guitar more and more. And GAS is rearing its ugly head of course Ė I now have two amps, a PODxt and already thinking about a second guitarÖ


    Anyway, if you got this far, thanks for reading.

    Cheers

    Captain Bb.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  2. #2
    Fender Lover
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    Default

    Hey, nice table!!

    Where's those drinks?







    And GAS is rearing its ugly head of course Ė I now have two amps, a PODxt and already thinking about a second guitarÖ
    yeah... me too! I'm thinking about anather amp (which is one thing I do
    NOT need) and I keep having these ideas about getting a carvin guitar.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Yo, Cap'n! Nice place you have here! I'll have whatever grog is on draught today, thanks.

    If your tender finger tip callouses are peeling off, that is a good thing. Just keep at it. You will build harder and harder callouses, until your fingers finally give and realize this is something they have to adapt to, and then they will produce tougher skin in those areas, and you'll get your fingerprints back. This could take a few months, but once you get there, don't backpedal! If you back off on playing, the skin will soften up again, and you'll have to got through the whole process again. You're on the right track, just keep going!

    As far as tab goes, it just shows you where the notes on the neck are located. How you finger them is totally up to you. Experiment with different fingers until you find something that works for you at this point. I use different grips than some other friends of mine do, and then I have several ways to finger some chords, which I will choose from depending on where I'm going from there on the fret board (the economy of movement theory).

    As a sax player, you have a huge head start over other beginning guitarist's as you already understand melody, know how to read real music, and know what notes you're looking for on the neck. Once you get past the initial learning phase here in learning the strange muscular things involved in playing a guitar, you should advance rapidly.

    There is a certain logic to the guitar neck. It's really kinda like having six piano keyboards laid out there parallel to each other, and offset so that each one starts and ends at different notes. There are actually up to 4 different places on that neck that you can play the same pitch, it will just have a different timbre.

    Play on,
    Stan
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  4. #4
    Fenderfied
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    Sorry about those drinks TW, it looks like the Bar Tender's gone home early...and he hasn't wiped that table again either. I'll put him to the lash tomorrow.

    And thanks for those tips SA. Learning all those notes on the neck is a longer term goal that I'll need to acquire of course. I've heard something about zones, which I assume is a way of breaking it down into sizeable chunks - is that correct? Maybe I'll get a teacher sooner rather than later.

    Oh, and did Fender deliberately put the Strat's pick-up switch directly in the strum path for a reason? I keep knocking it down to the bridge position when I get a bit over eager.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  5. #5
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    Default

    There's a ton of stuff on the web you can find for the scales on a guitar's neck. I don't know where all those are because I learned all my scales on the darned thing before we even had an internet!

    And then there is the system called Fretboard Logic, which integrates a lot of stuff, and eventually helps you to visualize the patterns out there more easily. I have actually purchased that one to see if I was missing something, or if I could find a new way to look at the fretboard, and it has helped. We never quit learning. Try a Google search for Fretboard Logic, and it will take you right to it. That is a good course.

    The trick is to start seeing the scales going across the neck, rather than vertically up and down the neck (ala piano). Most scales are played across the neck within a four fret span (one fret for each finger!) That keeps your left hand in basically the same position as you run through them (ahh-hah! the economy of motion thing again...)

    Eventually, in your case, I would recommend trying to get at least a few lessons now and then, if only to keep you from getting into bad habits that will be harder to correct later.

    I'm glad to see you falling in love with the guitar! It really is a cool instrument. 8)
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  6. #6
    Fenderfied
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAguitar
    The trick is to start seeing the scales going across the neck, rather than vertically up and down the neck (ala piano). Most scales are played across the neck within a four fret span (one fret for each finger!) That keeps your left hand in basically the same position as you run through them (ahh-hah! the economy of motion thing again...)
    8)
    Thanks Stan. It's little nuggets of information like that which I find very useful. Looking at the fretboard is a little overwhelming to me at the moment - clearly I need a way of visualising how it's all interconnected and the tip about working out the scales going across the fretboard will make me look at it from a different angle from now on. I'll be sure to check out the Fretboard Logic site as well.

    Visialising scales and note patterns on the sax is quite different to guitar (certainly at the beginner stage anyway), because you can't actually see the keys on most saxes when you're playing. You have to form a mental picture of the note layout and scale patterns. But a sax is less than 3 octaves from top to bottom, so a more compact scale length to work with.

    I'm also familiar with economy of motion from a saxophone standpoint. Just look at any decent sax player ripping it up and you'll see very little movement in the players fingers.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  7. #7
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    Cool! You're well on your way with your musical background!

    The beauty of a guitar neck is that once you get something learned in a certain key, and it modulates, or your singer wants to change it to a different key, all you have to do is move those same patterns up or down the neck, instead of relearning the whole thing! Of course, this principle does not apply if you are using open strings, or playing it down in the first few frets. But once you get up in the middle of the neck, it's all the same!

    Enjoy,
    Stan
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  8. #8
    Fenderfied
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    Default

    Just been on the Fretboard Logic website and then over to Amazon to place my order for the whole sheebang (3 volumes + DVD).

    Thanks for the heads-up. I can't wait to get stuck into it.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  9. #9
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    That's what I got, the whole shebang! It's a pretty cool system, and it is pretty mystifying at first because he just has you work on these crazy patterns, and doesn't even explain the theory behind it, or even what scales you're playing! But if you stay with him, eventually he ties it all together with theory and all, and the fretboard will make a lot more sense to you.

    I thing at first he just wants you to get used to playing these patterns and work on the muscle memory part of it. Getting your fingers coordinated on playing the darn thing. Let's face it, playing guitar is not the most ergonomic instrument out there, it's pretty darn awkward!

    Congratulations, I hope you love it and get a lot out of it, and that I haven't just stuck you with just another bill to pay!

    Play on, Stan
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  10. #10
    Fenderfied
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    No problem - I'll just defer one of the other bills
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

 

 

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