Learning an instrument

2 years, 11 months ago

I started playing the guitar about a month ago and have progressed past the basic lessons I’ve found on youtube. Anyone know of more intermediate lessons that are free? Or just some more things to practice. I’m getting bored doing the one scale I’ve been taught.
It would also be nice to hear stories of how you guys started playing instruments. Did you google it? Have a teacher? Friend? etc.

March 24, 2012 at 12:34 am

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Profile photo of Corpse Corpse (@corpse) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

I started long, long before “youtube” existed, but here’s a few tips from a lifetime ago.

1. Get a metronome. many of us don’t think we need it, but we do.
2. Find simple song (many, many tab sites make it really easy for at least the rhythm parts)–I started w/ The Ramones–& learn the hell out of it, so you can . . .
3. Find someone to “jam” with, as soon as you know enough for a song even–you cannot underestimate the power of the “band” environment.
4. Carve out some time every day, even if it’s 10 or 20 minutes.
5. Practice, practice, practice.

Profile photo of Ramistotle Ramistotle (@mcr513) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

I’ve been playing for about a year and am hooked. I’ve done a ton of methods to improve my skill.

From my experience, I would say the most effective and pleasurable way to play and practice is to just fool around while listening to artists that inspire you.

If you really want to commit to improving, I would try to learn a song by ear. It’s called transcribing. Just play each part over and over until you figure it out on your guitar. The more songs and riffs you learn, the better you get at it. Eventually, you’ll be able to hear the song inside yourself and put it into music.

Profile photo of Ramistotle Ramistotle (@mcr513) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

Also, all musicians I’ve talked to agree with me that you never stop learning. Sometimes you’ll feel discouraged about your skill, other times, on top of the world. Just enjoy the entire experience and don’t give up. It can be one of the greatest parts of your life.


Awesome topic. I was lucky to have my parents sign me up for drum lessons when I was 6 with a percussionist from the symphony. Although it is not always possible I would highly suggest classical training.
Been playing ever since then, and through my many years of playing in various bands and styles I can say that the best advise was just given by Corpse. Rock on bitches!

Profile photo of ZionBorn ZionBorn (@irievibes) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

I took guitar lessons for about 6 years. Most of it was worth it but I didn’t retain much knowledge on the music theory aspect.

I recently taught myself to play the drums by ear and so far it’s been a wonderful experience.

I would suggest trying to learn some simple songs by ear on your own. That kind of crude way of learning is the best sometimes.

Profile photo of Psychonaut Psychonaut (@soulpilgrim) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

Pick up your instrument. Set the timer on your phone for 30 mins. Play every day. Stop after 30 mins. Good or bad.

Some days you’ll touch the sky. Some days you’ll be shit. Both are as important as each other. Just do it every day. Stop having lessons. Find your own way.

Let time take care of the rest.

Profile photo of Peace And Love Peace And Love (@peaceandlove) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

taught a little from my dad then learnt to teach myself asap (i.e. tabs) then from there it was hear a song i liked, learn it. didn’t even feel like practice because i wanted to know that song so much

Profile photo of Em Em (@emily) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

Wow. Yeah, like the General said, kudos to Corpse’s advice. Good call with the metronome. The ones that rock back & forth I think are the most fun. But in the meantime, you can use this http://www.metronomeonline.com/ (they got everything on the internet these days!). I bought an electric guitar & an amp on a whim one day. I practiced with a Guitar for Dummies book (which comes w a cd to play along with & such), straight chords, and got a chord book of Beatles & Eric Clapton songs. If you are working toward playing something you think is awesome.. it’s so much more fun & meaningful. I got my son a Super Mario Brothers theme songs piano song book for his birthday (..he’s gonna looooove it :)). He practices anyways, but it’s like a chore to him sometimes..but playing Super Mario Bros, he’s gonna freak out :) And yes, practice, practice, practice!!

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