Guitar Downs & Ups

Down Up Dick

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Well, I finally gave up on Classical Guitar. It was just too fussy and hidebound for me. I didn’t like the silly leg rest or the $85 dollar guitar contraption or, especially, the easily crushable foot rest. In addition, I have very weak, easily cracked and broken fingernails which I’ve just kept cut short for a long time.

The exercises were mostly very boring and repetitive. I understand that they are necessary, but I mostly play for fun and entertainment. I still want to learn to accompany myself, but that’ll happen if it happens. And lastly for the CG, although I do like classical music, I don’t care for most of what I‘ve watched so far.

So, I changed my target to Fingerstyle, and I was doing semi all right, but I still found it mostly boring and confusing. Then, it dawned on me that I play melody on all my other instruments except ukulele which I use for singing. I opened my fingerstyle book to “Silent Night” and voila! Problem solved. The chapter on soloing was mostly understandable, began easily playable, and was exactly what I wanted.

I also have another general acoustic guitar book which was also very helpful. So, now I am undertaking the study of General Classical Fingerpicking Solo Pieces with as few difficult chords as possible.

I can easily play melodies, using dots or of course TAB, and the fill-in stuff shouldn’t be too difficult. So if and when I win my battle with the darned chords, I may be, at last, a guitarist.
 

ksiegel

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Get any of Fred Sokolaw's Fingerstyle books - he writes for both Ukulele and Guitar, and they are most informative.

Check out any of his columns through Stringletter Media (Publishers of Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar, Strings, and Ukulele magazines), or check his webite for his fingerstyle books: Here's the Link!

I have no fiduciary interest in any of Fred's publications, electronic or otherwise, and I can't read musical notation or follow tab notation; I just find his articles fascinating, and his Fretboard Roadmaps book for the ukulele was well written and easy to follow.

-Kurt​
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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Yeah, I‘m familiar with Fred Sokolaws name. I may have bought one of his books a while back. I’ll keep his books in mind, but I have so many books now that I’m tryin’ to keep myself from buyin’ any more. Thanks for the help anyway though.
 

clear

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Glad to see that you're able to find enjoyment with classical guitar. There's no right or wrong way to play it; just the one way that entertains you. It is a nice instrument though.

I can easily play melodies, using dots or of course TAB, and the fill-in stuff shouldn’t be too difficult.

Ok, I know what TABs are; but what are "dots" ? Is that some type of kids/learning-type notation?
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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Your info has been helpful in the past, clear, and you have tried to help me many times. I appreciate it, thank you.

Dots are what I call regular music on the staff for short. I like it much better than tabs. I mostly use tab when chords are involved, and it also depends on which instrument I’m trying to play.

I really wish I had stayed with my wind instruments, but my lip was gitten’ too old. Now my eyes are dimming. I guess I’d better start working on playing by ear — ahhh, me . . .
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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Well, I was (cough, cough, ummm) wrong about the foot stand. It does make fretting easier. I can even play C Major at will now. No more grinding of teeth or twisting my fingers into knots. However, I will have to admit that I stomped the darn thing again. My tool box works lots better.

I’m also still working on Fingerpicking with my CG and slowly progressing.
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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I wonder why they have the sixth string on a guitar. It’s hardly ever used in the chords that I use, and it gets in my way when I try to play ‘em. I am certainly not a guitarist.
 

Rllink

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I wonder why they have the sixth string on a guitar. It’s hardly ever used in the chords that I use, and it gets in my way when I try to play ‘em. I am certainly not a guitarist.
Well as you know, I'm not the authority on guitar playing and only comment from my own guitar journey that I am on. When I played ukulele I simply strum across all four strings. I soon learned with guitars that often times you don't use all six of them. You have to learn to pick those strings that you need and either skip over or mute the ones you don't. It took me a while to come to grips with that concept myself.

I don't know what you are playing where you never use the sixth string, but flatpicking we often walk a base line between strums by alternating the root note and the fifth. The sixth string gets a workout.
 

ampeep

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I use the 4th, 5th & 6th strings a lot for various bass lines when fingerpicking. Also use the 6th strings for bar chords. Surprised to hear that you rarely use it.
 

rlgph

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I wonder why they have the sixth string on a guitar. It’s hardly ever used in the chords that I use, and it gets in my way when I try to play ‘em. I am certainly not a guitarist.
One can find acceptable first position chords on just strings 1-5, though the 6th string is necessary for really satisfactory E, F, F#, and G major and minor chords. Also, one of the most common fingerstyle techniques on guitar is alternating bass (often called Travis picking, though it pre-dates Merle Travis). Using it one often chooses to alternate from a 5th string root note (e.g., A, B, C) to a 6th string 5th note (E, F#, G).

And, of course, the 6th string is pretty much essential for common alternate tunings such as DADGAD, drop D, or open D or E.
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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I wonder why they have the sixth string on a guitar. It’s hardly ever used in the chords that I use, and it gets in my way when I try to play ‘em. I am certainly not a guitarist.
Apparently, I wasn’t clear in the above comment. I meant that many of the notes on the sixth string are X-ed out, and, in addition, most of the chords I’m using now don’t include it anyway. However, it interferes when I fingerpick chords.

I guess I was just complaining. My guitar has become a less than satisfying pastime. I am progressing with it, but very, very slowly. Only my stubbornness keeps me going with it.
 

clear

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many of the notes on the sixth string are X-ed out, and, in addition, most of the chords I’m using now don’t include it anyway.

You are likely playing the "easy" versions (e.g. normal, full barre F chord would be 133211, incorporating the 6th string; the "easy" version avoids the full barre and the 6th string: "x33211" or "x3321x"). Eventually, you'll use that 6th string for most of your chords (it is used a lot actually, especially for open chords).

My guitar has become a less than satisfying pastime.

I'm different than you. If I find a hobby not fun after months and months of trying to make it fun, I'd stop doing it.
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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You are likely playing the "easy" versions (e.g. normal, full barre F chord would be 133211, incorporating the 6th string; the "easy" version avoids the full barre and the 6th string: "x33211" or "x3321x"). Eventually, you'll use that 6th string for most of your chords (it is used a lot actually, especially for open chords).



I'm different than you. If I find a hobby not fun after months and months of trying to make it fun, I'd stop doing it.
Yeah, I’ve done that too, but I am progressing and understanding. It’s not time to quit yet, and I’m still enjoying my other instruments. As I said before I am not a guitarist.

Thanks for help and kindness.
 

clear

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I am progressing and understanding. It’s not time to quit yet

Good for you! Push onwards and you shall be rewarded (a phrase that I find pretty true to many life situations).

BTW, have you ever had a setup done on your guitar? It makes a world of difference playing a well-setup vs poorly-setup guitar. Also, a short-scale guitar might be easier too; the Cordoba Mini II is very uke-like in playability.
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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Good for you! Push onwards and you shall be rewarded (a phrase that I find pretty true to many life situations).

BTW, have you ever had a setup done on your guitar? It makes a world of difference playing a well-setup vs poorly-setup guitar. Also, a short-scale guitar might be easier too; the Cordoba Mini II is very uke-like in playability.
Yeah, I had a Cordoba Mini II but didn’t care for it. I took it back. I only got the CG to see if I could learn to play a guitar, it’s more difficult than I thought it would be. Fretting was difficult for me, and I didn’t like the pickiness of it. However, I seem to have solved those problems, and I’m plodding on. Well, it’s somethin‘ to do.
 

Rllink

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I will have to admit that switching from ukulele to guitar three years ago hasn't been as seamless as I had thought it would be and I have a long way yet to go. That said, at this point I can do way more on a guitar than I ever could on a ukulele. There is just so much more to it. It takes a long term commitment. Just keep plugging away at it.
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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I will have to admit that switching from ukulele to guitar three years ago hasn't been as seamless as I had thought it would be and I have a long way yet to go. That said, at this point I can do way more on a guitar than I ever could on a ukulele. There is just so much more to it. It takes a long term commitment. Just keep plugging away at it.
Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m doin’, but it ain’t much fun.
 

barnstorm

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Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m doin’, but it ain’t much fun.
Depending on what you eventually hope to be able to play, you could always take off the 6th and see if you get on with open G.

You’d be in good company…
310265475
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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Yeah
Depending on what you eventually hope to be able to play, you could always take off the 6th and see if you get on with open G.

You’d be in good company…
310265475
Yeah, I’ve been thinkin’ of that.
 
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Down Up Dick

Down Up Dick

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Wow! Things are lookin’ up with my guitaring. I can now play all the chords (even the dratted CM) that I normally use, and my pickin’ is almost always Down Up Down Up ( like my name) and I‘m gathering lots of info that I need.

At the present, I’m working on straight Melody with all the trimmings, usin’ Silent Night of all tunes. The neighbors probably wonder if I realize that Chtistmas has passed — Ho Ho Ho . . .