niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

f for fred (Thursday February 23rd, 2006 - 20:11)

category: mmhuh?

While my life seems to have gone on the backburner allowing work to take over my days, nights and the wee-hours, I’m still managing to grab a little time most evenings to lull myself in to a daze on the guitar. For anyone learning, or considering to learn, a few words:

Your fingers will return to some form of normality.
My finger-tip calusses are all bit invisible now but on closer inspection it’s obvious that the tips are impenetrable. I can play for hours and find I’m left with painless grooves where once I’d have gaping holes.

Play the songs you love.
It depends on what kind of music you’re in to but there will usually be one or two songs by your favourite artists that are as simple as 1, 2, 3.. or rather A D E. Playing something you know off-by-heart means you don’t have to concentrate quite so hard because the song structure is etched in your mind.

The Fs (or Bs or whatever) will come to you eventually.
Counting up the time since I bought my el cheapo guitar I realise I’ve had it for 9 months. I started off sticking with the D, G, A, Am, E, Em chords. C came along fairly easily. I learnt a few more from the D family. Barre chords began to work after many complaints to friends that my fingers weren’t built right. The B chord started working. I learnt to transition from an E to barre chords. Other chord variations fell in to the repertoire. And the F chord.. we’ve been getting to know each other over the last month and we’re becoming firm friends.

After a while, invest in a capo.
This is my recent addition to the growing instrument-bits-and-bobs family:


Songs that seemed beyond my reach are now incredible easy.

Search for chords and tabs on the world wide web.
There are court cases happening, more looming, to remove tab and chord archive sites due to concerns that they’re affecting sheet music sales. I can understand it, but I don’t agree with it. Of course some of the biggest artists out there are regularly found on tab sites and I’m sure some people have copied the tabs directly out of songbooks, however there’s also an enormous amount of music out there that has never been available for sale as sheet music that is encouraging people to learn their instruments and in turn to make more music to provide more songs to be turned in to songbooks/online paid downloads/whatever.
While the tab sites are still running, make a habit of saving your favourites tabs to your pc either by using the “Save as..” feature in your web browser, or copying and pasting in to a text document.

Keep practicing.
Even if you play for just 5 minutes in an evening during the ad breaks to your favourite tv show, your fingers get a work out and every little bit of pressure on your finger tips helps to toughen them up.

Enjoy it.
That’s pretty obvious.

5 comments to “f for fred”
scot said on February 23rd, 2006 at 9:49 pm:

oh, I bought a capo as well…weird. Try g in f# – something I learnt from the expat lads…great echo

scot said on February 23rd, 2006 at 9:51 pm:

you’ve got to have it facing up instead of down though.

I’ll bring my growing family of pedals around soon…coming next, an echo and digital delay….and a 100 watt amp…yay

niina said on February 24th, 2006 at 4:51 am:

What difference does it make which way it’s facing? I thought it didn’t. But I know nothing about music. Maybe on some models it matters but not mine.

niina said on February 24th, 2006 at 5:12 pm:

I’ve done my testing and it makes no lick of difference which way up my capo goes however it’s easier for me to clip it on from the bottom.

Which way is up anyway?

scot said on February 24th, 2006 at 6:23 pm:

thats what both bens said, and considering I hope to be in a band in one and produced by the other, who am I to argue?