Newbie from rural France


Little Owl
Full Access
Joined: 08/24/21
Posts: 23

Hello all,

I am a 54 year old woman living in rural France and I subscribed a little more than one week ago.

I've been thinking about learning how to play the guitar for a while, and the defining moment came after watching a video on YT where a couple was enjoying their log cabin, the woman playing the guitar and them both singing. I didn't like the song, but that did it, it gave me the kick to find a guitar and a guitar course. I love to sing, and my aim is to be able to play songs and sing along. I listen to a lot of different music styles, among them rock music, and bluegrass country (discovered a few years ago).

I played a few years of classical Clarinet (stopped because that was not the thing for me and I was just not practising enough so making no progress), and learned Music Theory. That will help a bit.

Would you believe that until a week ago I didn't know there existed two types of acoustic guitar : steel string and nylon string. I confess a strong dislike for the classical nylon string guitar so what a joy to discover the steel string !! At last I understood why I liked the sound of acoustic guitar in American music better.

How did I come to Guitar Tricks ? I first watched a few popular guitar channels on YT, then I saw the 5 introductory lessons from Lisa and I found them very well made, detailed, explanatory. It seemed that the course offered here would be a real course, progressive, with a real teacher and that is what I wanted. I am not disappointed.

A big thank you to Lisa for her lesson on guitar sizes : I am 5ft 1in tall and of course I first bought a second hand dreadnought (a Dia from the 70s, made in Japan in the matsumoku factory). I can play it, but it feels like rinding a bike with 28 inches wheels ! After seeing Lisa's lesson I bougth a Sigma 00 15M and it feels much much better to play it. I also bought an electric guitar for the days with sore fingers : an Epiphone Les Paul Express (apparently the teenagers love it, very playable - I am still waiting for it to be delivered).

Before I started I was really afraid : what if I can't bear the pain on the fingertips, etc. I practice everyday but I am making sure to follow the lessons at my rythm, take the time to build the calluses, I stop when it hurts too much, I don't want to rush it. I was happily surprised by my ability to perform the spiderlegs warm up with the pinkie - I think teaching myself to type with 10 fingers at a young age may be helping. I also feel reassured after reading the testimonies of other women saying how happy they are of their progress in a few monts.

There it is, a fairly long introduction. I am very happy to join this global community of music lovers !


The only real failure is the failure to try.

# 0
LynnS1951
Registered User
Joined: 04/03/21
Posts: 34

Thanks for the story, Owl. I moved to the country when I was the age you are now. I wish I'd thought to learn guitar then! Now I'm seventy. I'm five months in and a huge fan of the custom-written songs Lisa uses in her lessons. I'm now at the point where I don't sit in front of the computer and play along with the videos. For now I'm using all the songs of Fundamentals 1 to hone my tone and strumming. My calluses are good for an hour and a half a day. [br][br]Playing the chords of a song a bunch of times before trying to sing along, and then looking at the lyrics while strumming, with just two very early songs, I'm amazed how well I remember the tunes and it's actually easier to sing than when I'm slavishly trying to match Lisa's metre. [br][br][br]


# 2
Jim Stanford
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Joined: 08/29/21
Posts: 41

Love the story, Little Owl. Welcome aboard!!

Yes, I think for all of us that are not-quite-teens anymore that we are learning a lot. I signed up earlier this week myself and have finding all kinds of gaps in my knowledge that, so far, Lisa has addressed in the Beginners lessons.

Now I would not ever have anyone bear the burden of trying to listen to me sing, but I have no problem letting my neighbors hear the amplifier. LOL. (I am a good neighbor and wear my headphones religiously.)

Anyway, welcome aboard. It's great that we have several of us in the not-quite-teen generation on here learning. Makes it that much more enjoyable for me to know that I am learning with others near my own generation who enjoy this amazing instrument we call "guitar".


# 3
LisaMcC
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 3,789

Welcome, Little Owl, Lynn, and Jim!

it is wonderful to hear from each of you. I am so delighted you are enjoying the lessons, and maybe finding out that learning guitar can be a fun and enjoyable experience!

I am very pleased to be your teacher.

Be well, Lisa


Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

Full Catalog of Lisa's Guitar Tricks Tutorials
Find Lisa on Facebook!
# 4
Little Owl
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Joined: 08/24/21
Posts: 23

Wow Lynn, I am impressed ! Congratulations, and thank you for showing me the way (one hour and a half a day is great). I am also practicing "Let's Walk Downtown" on my own without screen and it is easier to concentrate that way.

We moved here (from Belgium - tiny country to the North of France) eleven years ago and I wish I'd decided to learn guitar then ! But learning online wasn't so easy back then (especially with my, hum, rural connection). Anyway, better late than never :-)

Thank you Jim, and I am lucky that my neighbours are too far away to hear me ;-)

And thank you Lisa !


The only real failure is the failure to try.

# 5
Sore.fingers
Full Access
Joined: 07/15/21
Posts: 49

Hello Little Owl, nice introduction. Enjoy your guitar journey. I'm absolutely convinced that you've come to the right place.

Lisa's lessons are absolutely fabulous. You'll be surprised how fast you'll learn some great tunes.

A big Belgian welcome


# 6
Little Owl
Full Access
Joined: 08/24/21
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by: Sore.fingers

Hello Little Owl, nice introduction. Enjoy your guitar journey. I'm absolutely convinced that you've come to the right place.

Lisa's lessons are absolutely fabulous. You'll be surprised how fast you'll learn some great tunes.

[/quote]

Thank you sore fingers ! I agree and I am really enjoying myself !

[quote=Sore.fingers]

A big Belgian welcome

No kidding ? Where from ?


The only real failure is the failure to try.

# 7
jrosenberg1978
Registered User
Joined: 09/14/21
Posts: 1

Hi all, novice guitarist been playing on and off and uncertain which "budget" guitars are good value for money for all round versatility. From some research I think I have narrowed down to a few options but just need some advice from someone with a bit more knowledge. Any help is appreciated.

Options:

Schecter omen extreme 6 diamond series [br]Ibanez TM302 [br]Ibanez RC320 [br]Ibanez ART120QA [br]Ibanez ART120 [br]Squier Affinity Telecaster® Electric Guitar [br]Epiphone Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar[br]Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT

Any other recommendations welcome

thanks[br]Jarred


# 8
Sore.fingers
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Joined: 07/15/21
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by: Little Owl

No kidding ? Where from ?

The most known city nearby is Aalst, somewhere between Ghent and Brussels.


# 9
Little Owl
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Joined: 08/24/21
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by: jrosenberg1978

Hi all, novice guitarist been playing on and off and uncertain which "budget" guitars are good value for money for all round versatility. From some research I think I have narrowed down to a few options but just need some advice from someone with a bit more knowledge. Any help is appreciated.

Options:

Schecter omen extreme 6 diamond series [br]Ibanez TM302 [br]Ibanez RC320 [br]Ibanez ART120QA [br]Ibanez ART120 [br]Squier Affinity Telecaster® Electric Guitar [br]Epiphone Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar[br]Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT

Any other recommendations welcome

thanks[br]Jarred

Hi, I can't help you there but I wonder if you didn't mistakenly post in this thread ? Maybe you should start a new thread to introduce yourself ? Or post in the gear forum ? Thx.


The only real failure is the failure to try.

# 10
Sore.fingers
Full Access
Joined: 07/15/21
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by: jrosenberg1978

Hi all, novice guitarist been playing on and off and uncertain which "budget" guitars are good value for money for all round versatility. From some research I think I have narrowed down to a few options but just need some advice from someone with a bit more knowledge. Any help is appreciated.

Options:

Schecter omen extreme 6 diamond series [br]Ibanez TM302 [br]Ibanez RC320 [br]Ibanez ART120QA [br]Ibanez ART120 [br]Squier Affinity Telecaster® Electric Guitar [br]Epiphone Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar[br]Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT

Any other recommendations welcome

thanks[br]Jarred

Hi Jarred, I'm a beginner myself and I play on 3 guitars now. An old accoustic Washburn J12SN (I bought this in my 20's, when I had a musical itch for the first time, but gave up because my teacher was kinda boring), a Squier Stratocaster (from a starter pack) I assume it is similar to the bullet (I listened to my wife who told me that for beginning, I don't need something expensive... so I bought the cheapest pack in the store) and I recently bought the Squier classic vibe 50's telecaster. They're all great, but comparing the two Squiers, the tele is absolutely my favorite. It sounds amazing, I'm not particularly into the twangy bridge pickup sound, but toned down a little bit, it produces great tones as well.

The choice of a guitar is something that you'll have to decide for yourself. Go to your local shop and ask to try out a few guitars. If you don't play yet (as I was), I chose a guitar that resembles the guitar of my personal guitar heroes (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix,... hence my choice for a strat and not another cheap guitar pack). I had to buy the tele as well, because I am a huge fan of Keith Richards. (It even has the same color as Keith's guitar )

Choose a guitar that's inspiring to you. If you'd like to play metal, I wouldn't go for a tele or if you're into blues, don't buy a shred machine...

Happy hunting,

Jan a.k.a. Sore Fingers


# 11
Little Owl
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Joined: 08/24/21
Posts: 23

An update a little more than 3 weeks after I picked up a guitar for the first time.

I couldn't be more happy. I am currently practicing the F Major scale, have learned the four first songs of the GF1 course, finger soreness disappeared quite quickly, I play everyday (around an hour) and I absolutely LOVE it ! I love the fact that it is an exercise in dexterity and memorisation, I love the instrument, its lightness, its "low tech" power, the music it produces, and also the fact that I am starting a learning journey that will keep me busy for years, working on the fretboard, the chords, songs, etc etc etc. Thank you Guitar Tricks for giving me access to this fantastic journey. My guess was correct, and Lisa's course is very good.

Originally Posted by: Sore.fingers

The most known city nearby is Aalst, somewhere between Ghent and Brussels.

Mijn stiefvaders' familie komt uit Liedekerke. Ik hou van het accent in deze streek !

Thanks for your Belgian welcome.


The only real failure is the failure to try.

# 12
Sore.fingers
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Joined: 07/15/21
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by: Little Owl

Originally Posted by: Sore.fingers

The most known city nearby is Aalst, somewhere between Ghent and Brussels.

Mijn stiefvaders' familie komt uit Liedekerke. Ik hou van het accent in deze streek !

Thanks for your Belgian welcome


# 13
pupsmom61
Full Access
Joined: 04/23/21
Posts: 39

I can relate to the joy learning the guitar brings! I play daily too and it has been great. It is also the best stress reliever for me...100% out of myself and worries and into the guitar instead!


# 14
Little Owl
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Joined: 08/24/21
Posts: 23

Thanks for your message pupsmom61 !

In the meantime I encountered my first hurdle : the G chord. At first I just couldn't do it, the 5th string was always muted, either with the standard or the pinky fingering (I am a real "petite" woman and my glove size is XS). After more than a week of practice it slowly gets better, and I think I am going to be a "pinky G" person : it is easier on my hands that way.

I can do Em-Am-Em flawlessly now, and i am currently working on D-Em-D. Very tough at first but slowly getting there as well. When I have a problem, I search the forum for previous posts about it, and that way I find reassurance that my problem is perfectly normal and that I just have to keep at it as long as it takes.

I love the guitar more and more everyday and I'm eager everyday for the evening to come so that I can practice ! And of course I still find Lisa's course excellent.


The only real failure is the failure to try.

# 15
DraconusJLM
Registered User
Joined: 06/21/21
Posts: 360

Chord changes can be challenging. I'm in my fourth decade of playing on and off, and still find a challenging change from time to time.

What always works for me is taking my time, concentration on just the single change from one chord to the other, then slowly increase speed. Another thing to consider is if a different combination of fingers works better in whatever situation.


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 16
Little Owl
Full Access
Joined: 08/24/21
Posts: 23

Hello all !

It's been a year since I subscribed to Guitar Tricks and I wanted to do a quick post about where I'm at today.

Let me restate my aims when I joined : I wanted to be able to play songs on the guitar and sing along. And I wanted to learn country music because I fell in love with Bluegrass a while ago. I also love indie rock so playing some would also be very satisfying.

One year on, it is a work in progress, but I did manage already to play "Christmas songs made easy" by Lisa this Christmas, and we had great fun singing along to my very messy playing. Messy but fun ! And I received my first Bluegrass book for Christmas (Rural Roots of Bluegrass from Wayne Erbsen). I transposed "All the Good Times" to D and learned to play it and sing it. So I have my first bluegrass song going, although still very imperfectly !

Coursewise, I play every day, and I am still in GF2 because I take a lot of time working on the songs. I don't feel the need to rush it, and I am aware of the fact that the course is very well constructed, every lesson serving a purpose in making us progress. For instance, the last song before the introduction of the barre chords features an F chord. And I am convinced that it is not there by mistake : it primed my fingers for the exercises to come with the barre chords. I feel that my fingers are getting stronger, and I am always amazed at the fact that a chord that just seems impossible to master at first, becomes manageable after a few evenings working at it. I am currently working on Day into Night and Follow the Arrows. I enjoy printing the music sheets and refreshing my music theory by trying to decipher them. I plan on finishing GF2 in the weeks to come, and move on to Country and Acoustic. And also a few songs, of course !

Gearwise, I started by buying a steel string acoustic guitar, and I also bought a cheap electric because I'd read that playing the electric was easier and less painful on the fingers, and also easier for the barre chords. One year on, I almost never use the electric because it is heavier and it takes more time to set up : I have to connect it to the amp, switch the amp on etc, whereas I can just grab my acoustic and play. I will eventually play with the electric because i want to do some serious rock music, but at this stage I like the acoustic better. Also, I learned that at the local music school, you have to first take lessons in acoustic guitar for 2 years before moving on to the electric. I figure it must make sense, so I decided to do the same. And I love my acoustic anyway !

To conclude, I am still very much a beginner, but I feel that I am building a good foundation, taking the time needed, and I aim to be reasonably good by the time I hit 60. Also, I have a new friend who is a sound engineer and she throws big parties every 5 years with live music by friends and the bands she works with - next time will be in 3 years, and I think I will try to have something ready for then.

All in all, thank you Guitar Tricks, I was very happy to renew my subscription.


The only real failure is the failure to try.

# 17
snojones
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 656

It is apparent that you have made a solid conection with enjoying your practice time. In my estiamation, this joy in practice is the most important skill to possess. If you are having fun, practice is not a chore. Instead it is uplifting and inspiring. Follow your joy, it will be your greatest learning tool. Many people never connect with their joy and they sooner or later burn out and quit. Way to go!!


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 18