Q: I have never played a musical instrument before and have decided to learn to play the guitar.
I started with Guitar for Dummies, because someone gave me the book. I still haven't mastered playing chords, which is the first part of the book. The problem here is trying to remember where to place my fingers on the fret board and then changing to the next chord. I assume that trying this over and over 7 days a week will solve this problem.
I had no idea if what I was playing sounded right, so I thought that Ear Training was the thing to do. I purchased Ear Training One Note Beginning Level. Do I need to learn something about music notation, before working on Ear Training?
Should I be working with some of your guitar books before continuing with Ear Training?
As someone with an electronics and mathematical background I have the inclination to go look up the frequencies and mathematical relationship between the notes. Would this help me any in learning to play an instrument?
A: Thanks for contacting me. I would recommend you get 1st Steps for a Beginning Guitarist. You first want to study the section on proper playing technique. Look at the pictures and the videos to make sure you are playing correctly. This will make a major difference in your progress. Second I would look at the chord voicings and start applying them to the chord progressions. These progressions have midifiles and mp3 files that you can download to help you hear what they should sound like which will help you learn more quickly. Along with the 1st Steps book I would get Music Theory Workbook for Guitar Volume One. This book will help you learn music theory and apply it directly to the guitar. This will improve your understanding of music and how it relates to your instrument. The other book I would recommend would be one of the Ear Training One Note Beginning Level books which you already have.
I would spend 30 minutes to an hour on the 1st Steps for a Beginning Guitarist book. 15-20 minutes a day on the Music Theory Workbook for Guitar Volume One and do the Ear Training One Note Beginning Level book with a discman throughout the day when you have a break. Try to do the Ear Training 4 to 5 times a day for 5 to 10 minutes.
If you have further questions let me know. I recommend reading the FAQs on the muse-eek.com website. I also recommend that you use the member's area on the muse-eek.com website. There is a lot of additional information found in this section of the website that will be useful to you.
I think Guitar for Dummies is a good reference book. It will help you with basic understanding of the guitar. I think the book falls short in that the chord progressions are not that hip and the explanation of how to physically play the guitar is not well developed. But I say over all of the books available it is a good purchase.
I wouldn't particularly recommend you look up the frequencies and mathematical relationships between the notes. While interesting, it isn't the main thing that I think you need to learn right now. Having an electronics and mathematical background though may help you to relate music to a field you currently understand.