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Best Way To Learn Music?


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Guitar is the easiest to pick-up and will help the most in forming a band. You don't really need to know how to read (outside of chords and maybe tabs) with guitar unlike most piano pieces. I recommend picking up the piano too eventually, but the best way of starting out learning either instrument (especially guitar) is your basic open chords. Most popular songs only use various combinations of four or five different chords, so if you learn them you can play almost anything.

My Dad taught me the basics, and if there's anyone among your family or close friends who plays guitar, it's a lot easier when someone shows you personally how to play. In any case, you might wanna get a book on guitar chords (and a guitar, if you don't yet have one :P) or use something like 8notes.com to show you the basic chord shapes. It takes awhile to build calluses and get comfortable playing, but after a while I suggest looking up the chords to very simple popular songs (like green eyes) and try playing along.

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I'm actually thinking about learning an instrument too.

 

But I don't want to learn guitar because I don't want to be one of those people that just learn guitar cuz they think it's cool. And I haven't decided which instrument I want to learn... actually I'm thinking of learning a woodwind or something because I have fairly strong lungs; except no one ever listens to, say, clarinet music or something... :/

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True, anyone who learns guitar runs the risk of ending up a dousche, but it's also one of most expressive and fun instruments to play.

Many woodwind/brass instruments like the flute or saxophone are great on their own, whereas something like a contrabassoon is only really useful in the context of an orchestra. The most accessible solo instruments will usually be the guitar and piano since you're not limited to one note at a time, and can apply chords and melodies at the same time (and sing if necessary), whereas many other instruments need congregate into duets, trios and quartets to produce the same effect.

 

A lot depends on how and where you plan to use your instrument, and also the timbres you really love listening to.

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oh, sorry :P

 

It depends on how much you're willing to spend. You can get a pretty decent acoustic for $200, or even as low as $100. Yamaha is a great brand for that, personally I ended up getting an Ibanez, but that's because I wanted to pay a little extra for a cutaway design. If you go acoustic, I recommend you look for an "acoustic/electric (an acoustic that can plug into an amp). It's just more convenient if you ever want to record, perform, add effects, or just play louder and the price difference is very marginal.

 

If you want to go full-blown acoustic you could try a brand like Squier by Fender. They supply cheaper versions of fender strats and tele's. They general come in paks, complete with mini amp, gigbag and accessories for under $300. Of course you'll be limited to playing through an amp to get any real sound, so the choice is yours.

 

I suggest trying a bunch of guitars before making a choice. I actually started off with an electric, but I think an acoustic might be more practical to begin with.

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Try learning the basics on your own before you take a music instructor. If you don't already know how to read music, that's really easy stuff that's probably better off learned on your own rather than paying $60/hour for a music teacher.

 

Considering that you don't really need to know how to read music to play guitar, though, you might be safe just getting an instructor now.

 

I suggest learning the piano, first, though ^-^.

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I'm actually thinking about learning an instrument too.

 

But I don't want to learn guitar because I don't want to be one of those people that just learn guitar cuz they think it's cool. And I haven't decided which instrument I want to learn... actually I'm thinking of learning a woodwind or something because I have fairly strong lungs; except no one ever listens to, say, clarinet music or something... :/

 

It bothers me that people learn guitar merely to seem "cool," too. It annoys me very much, in fact. I may be a tad biased, but I say go ahead and learn a woodwind or brass instrument if you are interested in it. What others listen to doesn't matter, honestly. But you probably already knew that. Maybe I don't fully understand your viewpoint, though. I dunno.

 

Or you can always learn more than one instrument...shrug. I apologize for going off topic. :(

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i want to learn how to play guitar just for the music.

 

Oh no, I wasn't referring to you or anything when I said that. I was just talking about people who want to learn for different, phony reasons.

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I'd say start with an acoustic, steel strings would be even better, but don't care that much about price or quality at first, just buy a cheap one and try yourself, cause if you don't have the skills or you find out it's not like you thought you'll regret spending that much money. If you develope good skills and want to go further then buy something better or an electric one

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I'm actually thinking about learning an instrument too.

 

But I don't want to learn guitar because I don't want to be one of those people that just learn guitar cuz they think it's cool. And I haven't decided which instrument I want to learn... actually I'm thinking of learning a woodwind or something because I have fairly strong lungs; except no one ever listens to, say, clarinet music or something... :/

 

Yes, good to know you get the message :). Be a MUSICIAN, not a GUITARIST.

 

Anyways, something to become a well balanced musician would be to listen to a little bit of everything. Even stuff that you can't stand, because it'll help you define your specific sound. You'll need a sound to make it anywhere.

 

Learn the basics of guitar on a student acoustic first, because then if you decide to switch over to electric, it'll be ten times easier.

 

Don't have the "the-faster-the-better" attitude. Learn to play a song clearly as well as fast, if speed is indeed your thing. Just don't compensate. I've heard some pretty bad guitarists before because they concentrate too much of speed rather than clarity.

 

When you play a song for an audience, make it look like you're really enjoying it. They'll think you're amazing even if the song sucks or if you're just not very good at it yet.

 

Don't be afraid to learn stuff like Smoke on the Water and Stairway! Its songs like those that will help you in the long run through improving your technique! Stairway will help you with a number of things: fingerpicking more than one string at a time, basic chords, and taking solos!

 

One last important pointer I think you should know is that if you have a decent ear for music, use it. Unless you plan on majoring in music in college, don't waste time with reading sheet music (sorry for all you classically trained musicians!) I hate it and will never learn how to read it :p

 

Alright I could go on and on and on, but I'll stfu now.

 

EDIT: I just noticed now that you are interested in that Epiphone SG. I second what Mig-El says. The best way for you to pick one out, in my opinion, is to try them out for yourself at a guitar shop. And then if its cheaper online, order it. Only thing: watch out for Musician's Friend. They just swapped warehouses and they've been having lots of trouble with shipments. Be warned, their customer service sucks. I just ordered an Ovation from them, and one of the tuning heads was screwed on crooked. It merely looked like it was loose to me, so when I tightened it, the lopsided end put a crack in the freakin' laquer. I called customer service and asked them to do an exchange since they screwed up. They wouldn't have it! They were persistant on charging me a 15% restocking fee because of the stupid crack caused by a defective part! I paid about $300, so 15% is almost &50! I'm a strugglin' musician, I don't have that kind of money. haha.

 

Anyways, I highly recommend buying an acoustic first. Ovation, Yamaha, and Ibanez all have decent student model guitars for under $500.

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One last important pointer I think you should know is that if you have a decent ear for music, use it. Unless you plan on majoring in music in college, don't waste time with reading sheet music (sorry for all you classically trained musicians!) I hate it and will never learn how to read it :p

 

Maybe it's because I'm not a guitarist (and don't use tabs or anything of the sort), but I personally completely disagree with this. Learning to read sheet music isn't difficult at all... I don't mind your preference or anything, but one can always learn sheet music as well as play by ear.. I think that it can be fun to just pick up a music book and randomly site read something out of it that you've never heard before. Learning to sheet music can definitely be very helpful and of course would help one better understand music theory. It helps to become a better musician overall, especially if one becomes some sort of composer (maybe not always about the composer thing, but how about a composer for an orchestra or something like that? Bad example, I know).

 

But hey, that's just me. I'm not saying that it is necessary to learn how to read sheet music. As I said in that paragraph above, I don't mind your preference at all and you probably already knew about how being able to read sheet music can be of use...whatever. :P

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I agree with lyric. Reading sheet music only seems difficult when you don't know what you're looking at, but its not very hard at all, especially when you've already heard the song you're trying to play. The fact that you hate it, Eagle, but don't know how to read tells me you haven't put much effort into it yourself.

It's essential for piano, even for simple coldplay songs, and they're actually a lot easier to work off than piano tabs.

 

I'm not the least bit "classically trained" and I think it's an extremely useful skill, especially if you ever want to play a different instrument than guitar. And even in a basic guitar ensemble I struggled because I was one of the few who couldn't read sheet for guitar. Also if you play in a band, work with any type of keyboards or just want to understand the melody in a tab book...a lot of trouble can be avoided by taking no more than several minutes one-day learning where different notes fall on a score sheet.

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Maybe it's because I'm not a guitarist (and don't use tabs or anything of the sort), but I personally completely disagree with this. Learning to read sheet music isn't difficult at all... I don't mind your preference or anything, but one can always learn sheet music as well as play by ear.. I think that it can be fun to just pick up a music book and randomly site read something out of it that you've never heard before. Learning to sheet music can definitely be very helpful and of course would help one better understand music theory. It helps to become a better musician overall, especially if one becomes some sort of composer (maybe not always about the composer thing, but how about a composer for an orchestra or something like that? Bad example, I know).

 

But hey, that's just me. I'm not saying that it is necessary to learn how to read sheet music. As I said in that paragraph above, I don't mind your preference at all and you probably already knew about how being able to read sheet music can be of use...whatever. :P

 

I wasn't trying to downplay sheet music, although it did seem that way! I had sheet music experience with the trumpet for about a year. It was definitely fun and challenging to learn (because I'm slow, lol). It is definitely a good thing to know if you want to learn theory too. Theory might be annoying but its really fascinating because its almost like the "science of music" and how music works. I love theory, haha.

 

Anyways, that's probably why I prefer using my ear over using sheet music. Its also why I'm probably not going to go to school for music either! I'm sheet music-retarded. I just prefer to use my ear because I can usually pick up melodies and tunes pretty quick. I'm certainly no Mozart, but memorizing and using my ear to learn/write parts is probably equivalent to you guys reading it! I respect that! Reading's a great skill, I apologize for offending.

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  • 2 months later...
Is it possible to learn how to sight read for piano or keyboard through online lessons? Or do I absolutely need a teacher? If it is possible, any of you know any good pages I should check out? I can play by ear but I have no idea how to read music...

 

If you have a head for music and put the time into it i'd say it would probably be possible. I play guitar, self tought for about a year and a half-ish, and I taught myself how to read music. Not play straight away from reading the sheet music. I know its not the same thing, but I thin kgenerally, if you have passion and the time for music, you don't need a teacher.

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