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Today's Cheap Guitars Are Nice!

Old 03-26-22, 07:04 AM
  #1  
TiHabanero
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Today's Cheap Guitars Are Nice!

Just recently replaced my old faithful cheap guitar friend with an Ibanez AC240. The old friend I picked up in Bankok in 1980 and has been through some real abusive situations. Finally the neck is done, unsalvageable and the top is getting seriously warped. The action on it is unplayable so he had to be retired.

This thing plays beautifully. Tone quality is very good, does not have a deep bass like my old dreadnaught, but is perfectly suited to my needs. The thing that impresses me most is that it needs no setup. Action is very good, strings are spaced exactly the same. New they cost about 300 bucks (newest model is now called AC340 I think). The one I picked up is a 2014 model and got it for 150 bucks. Pricey, but the times are pricey with inflation running rampant.

40 years ago a cheap guitar would never play this well or sound this good. Sometimes the times change for the good!
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Old 03-26-22, 09:49 PM
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My Fender Squier Stratocaster sounds pretty decent as well granted I did do some upgrading on the pickups and added a silly 5 way selector switch that we didn't wire correctly and did add a new neck at some point not for any real good reason looking back at it though the new neck is thinner. In the end I can beat and bang up that guitar and no problems and no real worries. I think even when I first bought it, it is was decent but 20 years down the line it is still rocking and rolling (though I need to play it more)

I think it all comes down to that right guitar. It doesn't have to be the highest end or most popular it just has to be your sound.
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Old 03-26-22, 10:33 PM
  #3  
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Yup, after watching several cheap guitar reviews on YouTube in 2020 I was kinda tempted to start playing guitar again.

Then I remembered why I quit playing guitar about 25 years ago. I wasn't any good at it. Another 25 years of being no good at it might be more than a feller can handle during a pandemic.
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Old 03-27-22, 06:14 AM
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Oh, yeah, these modern guitars from Asia are incredibly good. I've got a Fender CP100 that plays incredibly nicely. They are less than $200 any day of the week. Then you've got brands like recording king putting out cheap solid wood acoustics that sound incredible. They do need some things like fret clean up and such but are not absolute junk like the guitars we had in the 70s/80s that were priced similarly.
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Old 03-28-22, 02:29 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yup, after watching several cheap guitar reviews on YouTube in 2020 I was kinda tempted to start playing guitar again.

Then I remembered why I quit playing guitar about 25 years ago. I wasn't any good at it. Another 25 years of being no good at it might be more than a feller can handle during a pandemic.
Too bad you didn't keep up.

I have been trying to learn/play the Uke for a couple years now and the biggest impediment I have found (beyond the lack of musical talent) is that my left hand never developed the sort of muscle control to drive the individual fingers rapidly in the manner needed to play anything beyond a simple 3 chord song... In over 60+ odd years of life, that hand has done little more than hold things (clamp) or work a computer keyboard (pretty light pressure)... the contortions required for a fret board just puts my hand/forearm in cramps after 15 minutes or so. But I keep trying... Who knows, maybe some day I might be able to play something more than "Don't Worry, Be Happy..." SIGH
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Old 03-28-22, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yup, after watching several cheap guitar reviews on YouTube in 2020 I was kinda tempted to start playing guitar again.

Then I remembered why I quit playing guitar about 25 years ago. I wasn't any good at it. Another 25 years of being no good at it might be more than a feller can handle during a pandemic.
I've never let my lack of rhythm, creativity, or taste hold me back from enjoying guitar. You should pick it up again!
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Old 03-28-22, 09:03 PM
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I'd like to sell my PRS McCarty gold top (c.1995) and get a new cheapy electric. I really only play my Martin.
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Old 03-28-22, 09:13 PM
  #8  
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Yes to all the above.
On a flyer I bought an Epiphone Dot Studio, their remake of a Gibson ES335.
Plays and sounds great, and I have a '63 ES330 to compare to.
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Old 03-30-22, 05:55 AM
  #9  
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Canklecat, I suck as a guitar player, seriously suck at it, however I enjoy making awful sounds! LOL. I got to a point in my twenties to where I was comfortable enough to play rhythm with other players, however that was it. Now I just pluck away strum a few and find it very relaxing. In fact I have discovered a different kind of music that is often heard as background music in movies or podcasts. Don't know what it is, however it never stretches beyond 3 cords, mostly open chords, or the plucking of 3 strings. It is very zen like and I like it.
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Old 04-01-22, 09:19 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Too bad you didn't keep up.

I have been trying to learn/play the Uke for a couple years now and the biggest impediment I have found (beyond the lack of musical talent) is that my left hand never developed the sort of muscle control to drive the individual fingers rapidly in the manner needed to play anything beyond a simple 3 chord song... In over 60+ odd years of life, that hand has done little more than hold things (clamp) or work a computer keyboard (pretty light pressure)... the contortions required for a fret board just puts my hand/forearm in cramps after 15 minutes or so. But I keep trying... Who knows, maybe some day I might be able to play something more than "Don't Worry, Be Happy..." SIGH
That's okay, because I used to play violin (okay I still try but don't really play anymore) and moving individual fingers rapidly is fine, but wait, now you want me to configure my fingers into chords* and then in a split second (and smoothly) configure them into another chord? What do you mean you expect me to put one finger across that entire huge fretboard and then still use the rest of my short stubby fingers for a chord??

*Bowed string instruments have double (and sometimes triple) stops. No, this is not even remotely the same, even octaves.


Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I'd like to sell my PRS McCarty gold top (c.1995) and get a new cheapy electric. I really only play my Martin.
If I had a Martin, I would too (I have a Sigma, but it's not the same). My mom had a Baby Martin and even that thing sounded great; I half thought of keeping it but me playing an itty-bitty guitar would be ridiculous.
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Old 04-01-22, 11:28 PM
  #11  
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I learned to play on a used Yamaha FG something from a pawn shop, it was heavy and a little dead sounding, but I stuck with it. Then I got a cheap used Fender strat, and had more fun with that. Over the years I improved, and upgraded, becoming a certifiable guitar nut. My main acoustic today is a Martin D28, which is sitting within reach of me right now. A few years ago I ordered a Fender strat from “Master Builder” Todd Krause, its too pretty to play (though I still do), and as things go, its become worth more than what I paid for it (my wife thought I was insane). My favorite guitar of them all is my ‘87 Gibson Les Paul “Black Beauty,” it looks more like Neil Young’s “Blackie,” though mine has been played more.
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Old 04-02-22, 02:00 AM
  #12  
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You are right about todays guitars.

Yall are way overthinking the guitar playin'.

You gotta be able to play somethin' to make progress. My opinion is that a method that I've come to call the "Wrong Way To Learn Guitar" because that is what I wrote on the self written notebook that I shipped to my brother with a left handed stratocaster and a Vox amp about eight years ago. He was in his sixties then, and he learned to play, it took him about a year to be able to play about fifteen songs decently. Yeah it is a dumbed downed method, of keeping it simple, using a capo and learn basic chords and how you can employ certain variations, and simplified moveable chords from a few of those, knowledge is more than yall think, lots of actual songs and players employed capos and simple movements and fingerings. My brother didn't take any lessons, I'd send him stuff to look at and explain why you can do certain stuff. I told him to get Keith Urban's 30 songs 30 days dvd which all of it is on youtube by some uploader like something fishbowl... and I told my brother to unscrew the whammy bar from the strat and place it in a drawer, and I told him to keep the Vox on clean until you can play at least most of ten songs. Other than Youtube, and certain xeroxed and handwritten diagrams and explanations and songs he liked with chords worked out and diagramed for lefty. He plays pretty good now and he didn't have to focus on the typical barre chords. I had him master the cowboy chords and then learn the single index finger barre across the first four strings which gives you Am7 at 5th fret BECAUSE just simplifying to the first four strings in Standard Tuning gives you Em7 with no fingering, Fm7 at 1st fret, F#m7 at 2nd fret, Gm7 at 3rd fret, G#m7 at 4th fret, Am7 at 5th fret, A#m7 / B flatm7 at 6th fret, Bm7 at 7th fret, Cm7 at 8th fret, C#m7 at 9th fret, Dm7 at 10th fret, D#m7 at 11th fret , Em7 at 12th fret , Fm7 at 13th fret .......and so on until you run outta room for practical use....
So heck he knew that from day one because he knew the guitar Alphabet that essentially moves forward and backwards till you run outta frets, and ALL YOU GOTTA REALLY REMEMBER IS THAT all have # (sharp) / flat "equivalent" BETWEEN THE LETTERS Except B goes directly to C , and E goes directly to F.

So yeah he learned how to stick his INDEX finger across the first four strings......not worrying about going across the two fat strings.
I also told him that if you limit it to only playing the first three strings with this one finger barre, it is just the minor , NOT THE minor7th chord

Essentially you're building knowledge that any idiot can do.
You then Have him LEARN TO move the four string A7 chord which is the version of the typical cowboy A chord at 2nd fret with the first string fretted at 3rd fret.
So it really is your four string G7 chord which is simply fretting the first string at first fret being made a simple moveable barre chord with one other finger IF YOU THINK OF THE NUT BEING THE barre for that open four string G7 chord........................so you're almost doing what keef does with using simple index finger and simple finger(s) next up......
Yep, you can move the A chord in the same way if you finger it BIRD on 4th string INDEX on 3rd string RING on 2nd string.....at 2nd fret... PINKY can be used on 1st string at 3rd fret if you want to make A7.
Heck , there is alot of rock n roll which just cheats and moves this A chord shape this way, not worrying about ringing the skinny string(1st string).....your choice to mute it or play it with the pinky down to change it to A7 shape. No joke, some songs have used this super simple stuff to perfection. It works great on both nice acoustic stuff or loud amplifieded electric guitar stuff. Heck, you can can use just the top part of your index finger to do this, or that BIRD INDEX RING shape of fretting the cowboy A chord. It does not matter, as long as it works out!
Heck, you learn this, and you'll then get better at this that you'll learn on your own that you can move the four string E7 chord shape with one barre across the first four stings and the BIRD finger next fret on the 3rd string. You'll also see that you can move the four string G chord. You know that the four string G chord is simply the pinky or whatever finger you want on 1st string at 3rd fret and nothing else...........................So when you make an index barre at the 2nd fret you put the pinky down on the 1st string at 5th fret to produce the A chord................yeah I know that stretch might be tough with the pinky going three frets up, BUT IT GETS EASIER and AS YOU MOVE UP THE FRETBOARD TOWARDS THE GUITAR BODY, THE FRET SPACING GETS CLOSER, and the stretch isn't as far.
keef gets that one finger chord WITHOUT that stretch needing anything else BECAUSE the first string is tuned down to D instead of E in keith richard's five string open G tuning. Basically, you know in Standard Tuning that playing strings 2, 3, and 4, if you can skip the two fattest strings and the skinny 1st string Gives you G chord with NO FINGERS. You know that in Standard Tuning that you get Em7 if you play strings 1, 2, 3, and 4 , skipping the two fattest strings Gives you Em7 chord with NO FINGERS. You get Em chord if you play only strings 1, 2, 3 ONLY with NO FINGERS.

Just real simple but useful things to know when you are beginning to learn.
You gotta know the guitar alphabet.
You'll get good at seeing the alphabet relationships and see how to move things IF YOU EMPLOY A CAPO with simple cowboy chords that you can play now.
Get yourself in the habit of simplifying some of the chord arrangements that you might see when Googling your favorite song's .......for example google After Midnight chords...

My belief is that some folks will only learn this way. You gotta be able to play something that sounds somewhat musical and sounds really good when you get the songs tempo and pacing down. You'll realize, oh hell yeah, I can play something, and it will speed you on to playing more.
Yeah, this might be the WRONG way in that it might encourage simplified, bad technique, and whatever but it does get folks that probably won't grasp it any other way with the so called proper taught method from a teacher. My opinion is that if you can learn the proper way, well great,stick with that, but for everybody else, just do whatcha gotta do. Most folks that I know, learned the monkey see monkey do method, decades ago because there wasn't anything with printed songs that we wanted to learn, so you learned and picked up certain things and ways from what others were doing, and then a light bulb would go on in your head and say thats what the heck he's doing. I remember seeing Keith Richards on stage fifty years ago, and thinking that is genius, after being shown by a pal of mine who was a great banjo player that he'd tuned it to banjo tuning which is G tuning.......which is the exact same (D) G D G B D that open G guitar tuning is. Keef dropped the 6th string (D) as the root is on the 5th string anyway, and it simplified things even more, He saw the possibilities immediately because his chord knowledge was strong and he'd been using similar barre chords in standard tuning around the 19th Nervous Breakdown mid sixties period. Nobody though had done anything like what Keef did with Open G tuning from 1969 on. He had used open E and Open D and he saw certain immediate relationships with open D. Yep, others showed him the tunings, but Keef saw the usefulness because of his chord knowledge, and nobody was using the open tunings for anything much other than for slide playing, other than a few older black blues men that weren't well known then. Jumpin' Jack Flash is simple to play and you don't have to be very good to play a respectable version of it, it is mostly rhythm and attitude and enthusiasm......you gotta have enthusiasm and have fun while rocking it out........you never ever worry about any mistakes or trying to get it perfect, as it has got to groove and howl and it has got to get your toes tappin' and make you wanna get up and dance & move. If you start playing something......you will get better!
If you can't play nuthin' and the proper method hasn't worked for you.......just do it the wrong way, and get to playing something....... You gotta have fun, and you will have fun. No joke the simplified Keith Urban 30 day method and folks like Marty Schwartz and the Jonathan Kewel guy with the G, C, D tricks video and other great videos that he originally did for public access television, are a great way for many of you to learn to play where you can jam at any party or play open mic nights or even play bar gigs with a band. It ain't that hard, as not everybody does it the most difficult way.
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Old 04-02-22, 04:12 AM
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Now here are three extremely simple but fun songs that if you know just a few cowboy chords, you can probably play very good versions of these songs within thirty minutes of seeing these suggestions and the printed lyrics and the song's chords.

AFTER MIDNIGHT ( CAPO III .....this is incredibly simple to play......place your Capo on at 3rd fret )

capo III
A instead of C
C instead of Eb
D instead of F
E7 instead of G7
G ( the simple four string G chord) INSTEAD OF Bb6

See:
https://www.ozbcoz.com/Songs/song.ph...,guitar#screen

okay: when going from C chord to the D chord
treat it like you'd be making the D7 chord with that fingering AND USE YOUR PINKY to get 3rd Fret 2nd String, thats your D chord
When you go from D to E7 from this position of D chord fingered like D7 with the PINKY down
Just Move the INDEX FINGER from 2nd String 1st FRET ( D7 location) TO THE 3rd String 1st FRET, REMOVE OFF ALL OTHER FINGERS, thats the E7 chord.
***thats all thats needed for the four string E7 chord.............just don't play the two fattest strings.......
............in fifteen minutes, you can rock it all out, After Midnight you can rock it all out..............INCREDIBLY SIMPLE AS YOU CAN SEE




TO LOVE SOMEBODY ( CAPO II)
A great song that is extremely simple.
Use the F maj7 chord if you cannot do the F chord, as it will work perfectly, just play it as four string chord skipping the two fattest strings.
Use the four string G chord , which is just the pinky on 1st string at 3rd fret,,,,,,,,not playing (skipping) the two fattest strings.
Use that D7 chord fingering to make the D chord, then dropping your Pinky on 2nd string at 3rd fret
..............Heck thats all you gotta do and the finger movements for the chord changes are Super Simple.
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab...chords-2437013



I CAN'T EXPLAIN (this one is super easy too, once you see the way to do it)
in the following chord transcription of this song KEEP doing the A chord where it goes to Asus4, and KEEP doing B where it goes to Bsus4, forget about Asus4 & Bsus4

suggest that you make your A chord using BIRD INDEX RING
that C#m chord IS THE EXACT SAME FINGERING as the Amaj7 chord, except that the C#m chord is four strings only...don't play the two fattest strings
Look at a picture of that Amaj7 chord......its BIRD INDEX RING like the A chord except that just the INDEX finger is scootched down to the 1st fret....where with the A chord, the BIRD INDEX RING is all at 2nd fret and with the Amaj7 and C#m chords it is BIRD at 2nd fret , INDEX scootched down to 1st fret, RING at 2nd fret.
You gotta limit it to four strings to get the C#m chord. because it then becomes an Amaj7 chord if you play the fat strings, thus all six, or just five strings.
IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER TOO MUCH AS IT WILL SOUND FINE IF YOU GET EITHER OF THE FATTEST STRINGS, SO DON'T WORRY!!
During the bridge or middle 8 part, whatever you call it... YOU WILL SEE where the song goes E , C#m, A, B, E
Think of it this way: You already have the INDEX finger in the place you want it where it is for E.......because thats the same place for C#m (or for Amaj7) so keep the INDEX anchored there and swing your BIRD and RING down so the BIRD moves on to the 4th string 2nd fret and the RING moves on to 2nd string 2nd fret..
Okay then to go from C#m chord to A chord just move the INDEX finger to 3rd string 2nd fret....you're just scootchin' it back up to make the A chord without moving any other fingers, only the INDEX..
Now here to go from the A chord to the B chord, JUST slide that whole BIRD INDEX RING position formation together UP two frets from the 2nd FRET to the 4th FRET........yeah just scootch the whole finger shape together UP TWO FRETS to the 4th FRET and thats your B chord for this part of the song.

FOR THE verses of the Song, JUST MAKE THE PORTION OF YOUR INDEX FINDER make a one finger across at the 4TH FRET.....you only need to go across mashing down the first four strings.....not playing the two fat strings........do it with the tip of your Index finger from about the top knuckle joint up to the tip end and squeeze mainly the middle three strings....strings 4, 3, and 2..........no need to worry about getting the skinnyest string or the two fattest strings...
You can hack a forceful downstroke across the first four strings...skipping the fattest and YOU'LL GET a good B chord during the part of the song where it goes from E to D to B and back to E.........for example: "YEAH DOWN IN MY SOUL, YEAH cant EXPLAIN .................... ( hack down stroke across four strings at CANT with your INDEX finger tip across four strings at 4th FRET........then immediately proceed to fingering the E chord.)
...................You Do this same forceful hack downstroke B chord made by INDEX FINGER four strings at 4th FRET where the Song Goes: from E to D to B then back to E......."I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS but CAN'T EXPLAIN ................(your forceful hack downstroke B chord by INDEX FINGER at 4th FRET is made at BUT.
Then you go immediately to making the E chord, then the song goes (E) CAN'T EXPLAIN, I (C#m) THINK ITS LOVE, TRY TO (A) SAY IT TO YOU WHEN I (B) FEEL BLUE, BUT I (E) CAN'T...................................
......as you can see that part above with the E to C#m to A to B to E is where you will USE the A finger shape of BIRD INDEX RING and just slide it UP from the 2nd Fret to the 4th Fret to make the B chord there.
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the-who/i-cant-explain-chords-1869329


Some other simplified song arrangements that anyone can grasp at least some that are there:

https://www.ozbcoz.com/Songs/index.php?instr=guitar

https://www.cifraclub.com.br/
https://www.bellandcomusic.com/60s-songs.html
https://www.azchords.com

https://www.bettyloumusic.com
Those will work in finding you some that you might be looking for.
Try GOOGLE for whatever song's title, chords
Have fun!

Here are several more SUPER EASY but really fun songs to jam on:
UNDER MY THUMB ( CAPO II)
Em instead of F#m
D instead of E
C instead of D
G instead of A
A instead of B
https://www.cifraclub.com.br/the-rol...nder-my-thumb/
https://www.azchords.com/r/rollingst...bs-511249.html

ON BORROWED TIME - The J. GEILS BAND (1970) just 3 chords to play G, C, Em with CAPO II
G instead of A
C instead of D
Em instead of F#m
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab...chords-2607273

I GOT THE MUSIC IN ME - Kiki Dee (1974) just 3 chords to play E, A, G with CAPO III
E instead of G
A instead of C
G instead of Bb
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/kiki-dee/i-got-the-music-in-me-chords-1168078

hey if you need to Just use the 4 string G chord where you hit the PINKY down on 1st string at 3rd fret
you should be able to do that fast enough to solidly rock the heck out of I GOT THE MUSIC IN ME
moving from E chord to A chord should be easy enough if you do use the BIRD INDEX RING fingering of the A chord
just keep the INDEX finger on the same string as used for E but slide the INDEX up on that string from 1st fret to 2nd fret while you also swing the BIRD and RING down from their placement on the E chord to their A chord positioning
When You Need to LIFT OFF and go to G chord just simply Toss Down Your PINKY down on 1st string at 3rd fret
that will give you the 4 string G chord which is perfectly useful, just don't play the two fattest strings,
but hey if you can try to swing your RING & BIRD up so that RING goes on 6th string at 3rd fret & BIRD goes on 5th string at 2nd fret which if you could manage that while the PINKY is down on 1st string at 3rd fret is the ordinary six string G chord.
You do not need to do the six string G chord to do a good job rockin I GOT THE MUSIC IN ME, but if you get where you can learn to swing the six string version decently at least sometimes during this song that will help you as a beginner gain more finger skill that will pay off as you begin to learn a few songs to play. Remember though that the super simple four string G chord is a valid choice when speed and simplicity of movement makes it so you can play the particular song now at the fluid quick pace that is called for..


HAVING A PARTY Sam Cooke also its one Rod Stewart does live in concert CAPO III and use G, Em, C, D, chords
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab...-chords-963637
CAPO III instead of CAPO I seen printed there on link for HAVING A PARTY
G instead of A
Em instead of F#m
C instead of D
D instead of E
.....yeah the simple four string G chord where its just the PINKY at 3rd FRET of the 1st string is okay and will be fine but you should try to learn to get the RING & BIRD swung into position for the six string G chord
Using the cowboy D7 chord shape as the basis for making the D chord with the PINKY on the 2nd string at 3RD FRET will make it probably much easier for you to transition from either D to C or from C to D in many different songs.
Hey do you recall in previous lengthy explanation of some stuff that I told you that you get an Em7 chord WITH NO FINGERS if you just strum across the four strings, skipping the two fattest strings.......yeah that is an ultra simple four string Em7 chord.
Wanna try that Em7 chord out WITH NO FINGERS, you can here in HAVING A PARTY...........you see it works pretty good.....you can also try out to see how well the three string Em chord WITH NO FINGERS works too.........that is just the first three strings (the skinnyest three only).... maybe not as good but maybe passable.........
.....seventh chords tend to be slightly more bluesy sounding, so sometimes they may not or may be okay, but generally you can always substitute a seventh chord and likely get away with a good sound.....sometimes you gotta check and see and sometimes throw it in sometimes for variety. HAVING A PARTY will be easy and fun to play where anyone will sound like a pro on that once you just get the swingin pace and groove.........great tunes can sometimes be super simple and easy .... and they are fun to play.

YOU GOT ME ROCKING - The Rolling Stones just 3 chords: D, C, G
https://www.azchords.com/r/rollingst...bs-940099.html

SQUEEZE BOX - The Who just 3 chords G, D, C
https://www.cifraclub.com.br/the-who/squeeze-box

YOU AIN'T GOIN NOWHERE - Dylan , the Byrds also did this one just 3 chords G, Am, C
the whole song is just G, Am, C, in that same exact pattern repeated throughout
.....Example:
(G) buy me a flute and a (Am) gun that shoots
(C) tail gates and (G) substitutes strap yourself to a (Am) tree with roots
(C) you ain't goin no(G)where

(the chorus
(G) whooee (Am) ride me high
To(C)morrows the day my (G)bride's gonna come
oh oh are (Am)we gonna fly (C)down in the easy (G)chair

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Old 04-02-22, 06:33 AM
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Wow, very nice Vintage Schwinn. I started playing in my early teens a long time ago and I have never been able to be too helpful getting others starting or getting past the frustrating bits. It's great that you've got the skill to put this info together. I'm almost more jealous of that than I am of players who are way better than me.
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Old 04-02-22, 11:51 AM
  #15  
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YOU AIN'T GOIN NOWHERE - Dylan , the Byrds also did this one just 3 chords G, Am, C
the whole song is just G, Am, C, in that same exact pattern repeated throughout
.....Example:
(G) buy me a flute and a (Am) gun that shoots
(C) tail gates and (G) substitutes strap yourself to a (Am) tree with roots
(C) you ain't goin no(G)where
One of the songs I play regularly on my UKE. G C Am

I also play Knockin' on Heaven's Door... C G Dm C G F... over and over again.

I know dozens of Uke chords... but still only the simplest strum pattern, and in spite of knowing dozens of chords, I cannot manage to change quickly between them (especially stuff like Em B7 Ab B) to keep up with the songs. I quite enjoy certain progressions... Cm Bm Am and G just seem to carry a certain tension which is released by the G. (I picked that up from Dylan's "Tonight I'll be staying here with you")

Currently being pushed to learn "Fire on the Mountain" and "Harvest Moon..." "oh they're easy... you can do it..." Riiiiiight.

My hands and fingers are so stiff, I have to play the Uke for 10 minutes before I can actually play the Uke. Old hands learn new tricks very slowly. I've been touch typing since I was 17... and do that just fine... but playing songs... well face it, a fretboard is no keyboard.
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Old 04-02-22, 12:20 PM
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Vintage Schwinn, you must teach guitar, is that correct? There is a guy on you tube that has a website named song-bike.com that offers lessons online or in book form. I have watched his you tube tutorials and they are well done, especially for those of us that suck at playing! haha
I'm impressed with your ability to communicate very simply the complexity of guitar playing.
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Old 04-03-22, 03:38 AM
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No, I have never taught guitar, as in giving lessons, at least in the traditional sense. I have been on one or two stages... I learned a long long long time ago and I had to have it broken down into explanation that I could comprehend and grasp. Like I mentioned, I and probably many others learned by the monkey see-monkey do method by watching and asking others what and how after checking out a how to. booklet from the public library, thathad chord box diagrams for common chords but had stuff that I couldn't grasp as it tried to teach you to read music, or expected you to read music, and as you'd expect there were no songs that you'd want to play then.
The instruction in that course book was excellent I am sure but other than the chord diagrams, chords in particular keys, I could not understand it at all then. Way back then, probably when I was in the 10th grade in high school, many of us would get to school early enough about 30 minutes before school started and we'd all hang out in parking lot because a there would be at least two people sitting on an opened tailgate of a station wagon playing Beatles, Animals, Motown, Dylan, etc. Where there was music, there were girls that gathered, so this became a sizeable social gathering before school each day. In those days, it was nothing like today, there was no parking permit required, none of the administration monitored the parking lot, there was no fencing or gates, it was just a parking lot, and because this was in the very warm southeast, that it only got below freezing for maybe twenty five days total, typically Jan and early Feb each year.
When asked, the cat that could play, said that just learn to play the C chord immediately first , along with the F maj 7 chord and G chord. He said that the C chord is most important in getting the ability to make the C chord with your fingers, as if you can do that everything else in the basic chords is Easy. He showed us what he called the "hillbilly C chord" which is just the typical C chord with the PINKY added on the 1st string at 3rd FRET ....(****that 1st string at 3rd FRET is the four string G chord by itself ****) He told us that adding the PINKY there keeps it being the C chord (hillbilly C chord) BECAUSE changing the first string from being an open E note to the G note by fretting there on 1st string 3rd FRET Does Not change it , because it still remains a C chord BECAUSE by law the C chord is made up of at least one of the following individual notes, G, C, E, in any order combination, but no other notes except those.
Asked why he said hillbilly cats playing bluegrass music like that version with the PINKY, but the great thing is you have an anchor from switching from C to G, or from G to C.........................the other thing is you've got the simple four string G chord by simply lifting off slightly with your INDEX BIRD & RING while playing the "hillbilly" C chord.
He also told us that you know that the D7 chord is the worlds easiest chord for beginners....................then he showed the four string G7 chord which is just the INDEX finger on the first string at 1st FRET. He also showed us HOW SIMPLE THAT IT IS TO while playing the regular C chord, to move YOUR RING FINGER from the 5th string at 3rd FRET to the 3rd string 2nd FRET WITHOUT MOVING the INDEX or the BIRD (keepin' them planted exactly where they are), just swingin' the RING finger into that new place To Make Am chord............. He said try that and keep moving the RING back and forth repeatedly for about 15 seconds just as an exercise to get the hang of it. He also explained that if you simply Lift OFF the RING from where it is in the normal C chord, so that only INDEX & BIRD are down, that if you do that you get Am7 chord IF YOU PLAY 5 strings or more, as IF YOU PLAY it as a four string chord it is still a C chord.
You know what some refer to as the Am7 shape with INDEX & BIRD.........thats a four string C chord if you skip the two fattest strings.
(unrelated to this otherwise standard tuning discussion....experienced players may realize this is the shape that Keith Richards throws down behind the Index finger barre to get the IV chord in keef's 5 string open G tuning.....obviously Keith uses the BIRD & RING because the INDEX is the barre...... Also experienced players may realize that when Keef only throws down the BIRD behind the INDEX barre, that just makes it the SUS chord, and when both BIRD & RING are thrown down it gets the IV chord.....its only rock n roll.....keith likes to dance those fingers on and off to real great effect.....something thats impossible in standard tuning......his doing that is the signature Seventies STONES sound.)
Anyway you can see, changing between simple Cowboy chords can be done if you just get the C chord nailed down, then realize that the G7 and the D7 chord changes from the C chord are super simple. If you can make the D7, just drop the PINKY to get D. You see changing from C to Am7 is beyond simple, and changing from C to Am or Am to C is simple. Heck , the E chord is same shape as Am just on different strings. Dm chord is simple to learn too. Heck, Em is just the E without the INDEX down, or hell, you get free Em7 from four strings DOING NOTHING. Treat learning the cowboy B7 to doing that D7 shape on different strings and DON'T WORRY ABOUT GETTIN' THE Pinky on 1st string 2nd FRET right now..............later on you'll get it.
Make you A chord using BIRD INDEX RING and hop that over to get the D chord.........hell, if you can't get the pinky down, it is still a very useable Dmaj7 chord.
Finger your six string G chord using RING BIRD PINKY. Know that you've got the super simple four string E7 chord by simply INDEX on 3rd String 1st FRET.
Its the six string E7 chord if you just lift off the RING while doing the E chord...........
Know both the simple ordinary A7 chord which is just the INDEX finger LIFTED OFF when playing A chord using BIRD INDEX RING..........you know there is the longer A7 chord which is just the entire A chord formed and then also fretting the 1st string 3rd FRET.


I've never taught lessons, but I have communicated tips and shared information with folks about how they can go about learning to play.
I've seen so many folks that want to play. Here is the reality. Some teachers are brilliant musicians but they expect everybody to be a fast learner like them, or they cannot dumb it down enough so that folks without any music theory or music schooling to understand.
I came up in an era where there wasn't much on how to play chuck berry/bo diddley/beatles/animals/dc5/stones/dylan/sam cooke/johnny rivers/donovan/beach boys/, so you had to sort of try and learn bits of stuff from some classmate and then share what you'd learned and then play and watch others play and ask lots of questions.
I never resorted to using pedals and other plug in gadgets to equalize or tailor the sound. I did buy and use a wah wah occasionally, and I guess I did have a few mammoth amplifiers with some pretty large speaker cabs. It is just how it was. I got a good basic foundation as I tried to build on basic chord knowledge and just simple blues progressions, and then seeing how others were doing it live, and learning what I could do that some others were doing. There were some incredibly gifted and talented players that could do stuff that I couldn't do in a milliion years. ....But you know, not everybody is gonna be able to do what Alvin Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Eddie Van Halen, or Jeff Beck could do. Don't let that stop you from having fun. Most everything is within your playing ability whether you realize it or not.
Sometimes just knowing when not to try to throw in too much is as important as anything. Now, yeah if you're in the league with Alvin Lee or Eddie Van Halen, well throw it all in at 99 miles an hour because that is incredible to watch and hear when it is done like they did it. Now your Eric Johnsons, and Satrianis, and Vai's are just incredible players but they just lose the soul and the groove in my opinion with that that they do. Somebody like me shouldn't comment as those guys are incredibly talented, and my playing is like the kid that gets his first guitar for Christmas, and my playing might be about equal to that kid's playing on the evening of Dec 26th, (about a day later, after getting his guitar...) I have soaked up lots of tips, info, and knowledge over the decades but much of that hasn't efficiently traveled from my brain to my hands and fingers. Do the best that you can, and have fun. Try and find songs that you like, figure out how you can break them down into workable versions that you can manage to play now. Talk to and ask others about how they do what they do to play certain songs. If you feel that Covid-19 has mitigated enough in your area to go enjoy live music, go see some free in the city square or park concerts that your local city might have as a concert series. Go up and talk to the performers before and/or after their gig there. Heck, have an outdoor Memorial Day, July 4th, etc cookout and invite all your friends, and just for the heck of it ask them to bring their guitars, tambourines, harmonicas, banjos, drums, whatever, someone that you know probably has a P/A system. Nobody has to be that good, as you can see that there are at least about 500 songs that can be fun to play and anyone that can play decently to the point of the song being recognizable and fun. Live music is fun, especially if you've got mics where people can get up and pretend to be Linda Ronstadt, or Joe Cocker...... Beware though because your pals all have smart phones with HD quality video and you're gonna be on facebook, and youtube, and everywhere else


Jonathan Kehew is the great teacher that has the videos that he started when he did the early ones for television program. He is the song-bike guy.
I 've seen his instruction and it is beyond brilliant, as he may be one of the best out there. You can tell he gained much of his knowledge from past experience.
There are some other super talented Youtube teachers like privatetricker, jamesjames.........same guy with two youtube accts..........he specializes in trying to replicate by ear and what is known, of essentially note-by-note versions of how the famous old rock tunes were played.....his instruction might be beyond what someone just beginning can absorb.
Happy Traum, who had an outfit, maybe still has , called HOMESPUN Video about 35 years ago had a two videotapes "LEARNING TO PLAY BLUES GUITAR tape 1, and LEARNING TO PLAY BLUES GUITAR tape 2.................My wife's brother bought those tapes about 33 years ago. They are among the best advanced basic/intermediate guitar instruction videos that I've ever seen. This is acoustic fingerstyle blues, but the runs, riffs, turnarounds etc will advance any electric player's ability. Knowing fingerstyle acoustic fingerstyle blues will advance anyone's acoustic guitar playing. All songs there are public domain blues standards. The songs and Happy's vocals aren't gonna win any Grammys, but his careful thought out thorough explanations of how to, and then how to build on, are priceless.
This never gets overly technical in explanations, and it covers a tremendous amount, but at a quick pace, so there is a lot there.
You might want to find out if he had or still has that on dvd. He's got to be in his early eighties or about eighty years old now, although he always looked very fit and young. He is a great musician, and his calm, down to earth explanations are easy to follow.
Arlen Roth, another great player, he was the lead guitarist on Simon and Garfunkel's August 1983 USA outdoor stadium Tour.
He led the way in quality home video tapes, in the eighties, his company was Hot Licks video.
His video were generally geared towards the quick learners and experienced players, top notch but they didn't waste any time covering more basic stuff, as it assumed that you knew what you needed to know before getting a video of that caliber level.
Arlen's HOT LICK's video series had a number of his famous friends doing a video tape on their own famous style of playing and how to, etc.........those were outstanding, as were other one from him as far as I can determine based on friends/colleagues reports on them at the time. There was even a Mick Taylor one


Here is something that some of you might want to copy and keep as reference. Don't try to memorize it! You've got more important basics to concentrate on to begin playing:

Chord Construction----MINIMUM COMBINATION ( in any order ) OF NOTES TO FORM:

.....................................................MAJOR CHORD..................................MINOR CHORD................................add this Note to make the 7th or minor 7th chord......
A ------------------------------------------------- E A C# ----------------------------------------E A C ------------------------------------------------------ G---------------------------

B--------------------------------------------------F# B D# ----------------------------------------F# B D ------------------------------------------------------A--------------------------

C--------------------------------------------------G C E -----------------------------------------G C Eb-----------------------------------------------------Bb----------------------------

D--------------------------------------------------A D F# -----------------------------------------A D F-------------------------------------------------------C----------------------------

E--------------------------------------------------G# B E ----------------------------------------G B E --------------------------------------------------------D--------------------------

F--------------------------------------------------F A C ---------------------------------------- F Ab C--------------------------------------------------------Eb--------------------------

G-------------------------------------------------D G B ------------------------------------------D G Bb--------------------------------------------------------F.--------------------------


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Old 04-03-22, 05:45 AM
  #18  
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Well, this thread is well-timed for me as I've just resumed learning to play guitar. Don't be afraid canklecat. Cheap guitars are definitely good now, but from what I've read on various forums, QC of the MIC products setup is still variable. Some need little adjustment, others a lot.

I'm not yet awake enough to follow Vintage Schwinn 's tutorial, but I'll definitely try to absorb it later today. Thanks for the posts! I'm working on learning to play a simplified version of "Bye-bye Love", but I am still in the elementary stages of chord changes and rhythm. Playing a "real" song is motivational.

BTW, a couple of days ago I received my third Epiphone Les Paul, a 2006 Standard model. Maybe I'll collect less guitars than bikes?
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Old 04-03-22, 07:55 AM
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Apparently you have a real passion for guitar playing, Vintage Schwinn. Although I don't understand it at the level you do, I do get compliments from my wife and daughter! Just yesterday my daughter commented that I sounded really good and she will have to pick up her guitar again so we can play together, which is always seriously fun and funny to experience. We're both terrible at it, but enjoy the fun together.

When I was around 15 my dad got me a guitar so I could play along side him. He taught me cowboy songs and "hobo songs" that he remembered from the Great Depression. Really haven't advanced much past that, but enjoy it none the less. Thanks, VS, for sharing your knowledge. Hopefully it will help some of us move further up the fret board. (metaphorical reference)
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Old 04-03-22, 08:33 AM
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There has always been a few "diamonds in the rough" out there. You just have to get yourself into a guitar store and find one that speaks to you. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a guitar that you like and that sounds good. If you're unsure take someone along with you so that you don't have to rely on the salesperson's opinion.
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Old 04-03-22, 09:46 AM
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Fortunately for us the guitar store near us simply lets one use their ears and fingers do the selling. They typically don't bother us unless asked to. When we bought my daughter a baby Taylor she picked it out based upon the sound. Every instrument as strummed, even the out of reach Martins, and she felt the baby Taylor best fit her needs as it was small and easy to handle, and it had a very nice tone to it. I judged the action as OK without setup and that was it.

Within a few months she was pickin' and grinnin'. She was much better at it than most beginners, however I chalk that up to her playing the flute in grade school and middle school.
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Old 04-03-22, 05:54 PM
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BYE BYE LOVE (Capo II ) The Everly Brothers
https://www.ozbcoz.com/Songs/song.ph...,guitar#screen

D7 is perhaps one of the simplest chords for most anyone beginning guitar to learn to play.

Okay now think about the four string G chord, it is just the PINKY hitting the 3rd FRET of 1st string.
(visualize this four string G chord by looking at the chord box diagram shown there for the regular six string G chord, and imagine x x above the two fattest strings)

Now, just try for one moment, not trying to play any particular song, or anything,
Just strum a few D7 chords, then as you continue strumming that D7 chord, PLACE YOUR PINKY on 3rd FRET of the 1st string, LIFT OFF your BIRD & INDEX
fingers, you're now playin' the G chord.
( Notice that I said Lift Off your BIRD & INDEX, well practically speaking it would be bird, index, & ring but since the ring is on 2nd Fret 1st string, it don't matter.)
It does not matter about lifting off the RING, It , the RING here, actually gives you an anchor.
THE REASON IT DOES NOT MATTER, SHOULD BE APPARENTLY VISIBLE TO YOU, it is Because the PINKY is on 3rd FRET of 1st string
so you know the sound coming outta that 1st string is the 3rd FRET G note.

Okay, follow along with me as I think that this might help yall with the C to G to C chord changes.
Okay, this might appear to initially be more complicated , but follow along, I promise you that it isn't once you see....,
There is what I call the "Hillbilly C chord ".
Because many bluegrass people use it.
PICTURE THE ORDINARY C chord married to - or Combined with the four string G chord...............Picture that?
Still can't picture it..., Well just make the ordinary C chord , and just to see what I am talking about, strum that a little bit and
now while doing that ordinary C chord, ADD YOUR PINKY on at 3rd FRET of the 1st string.
This is now the "Hillbilly C chord "........It is still a C chord, you're just fingering and fretting more strings,
THE REASON ITS STILL a C chord is that though you are changin' the first string's sounding note from E note to G note,
IT DOES NOT MATTER SINCE both E note and G note BELONG IN THE MAKEUP of any C chord.

minimum combination of notes, in any order to produce C chord is: G, C, E,

you only need at least one G, C, and E

You cannot have any other "LETTER" notes.
You can have more of any one G, C, or E, just as long as you've got at least one G, at least one C, and at least one E.
The order of the notes really does not matter.
Now Yes, it is still is a C chord. Yeah, the sonic flavoring may be a tiny bit different but it is still a C chord.

Why the heck is VINTAGE SCHWINN telling me about this hillbilly C chord which adds the PINKY? Is Vintage Schwinn an idiot moron??
Well yes, and IT IS BECAUSE The PINKY is your Instant four string G chord as you LIFT OFF Slightly with your INDEX RING & BIRD,
The PINKY also serves as an Anchor, while you are changing back and forth between C and G chords, and between G and C chord changes.

Heck, just for a minute, grab your guitar, and strum nothing but the ordinary C chord, slowly, slightly faster, mixing up the pace,
you don't need to do it fast, as slow or medium pace is great, so while you're just continuously strummin' the ordinary C chord,
and without stopping or moving any fingers, JUST SEE IF YOU CAN ADD THE PINKY for about one or two seconds ON & OFF...,
Only moving your PINKY repeatedly ON and OFF while continuously strummin' the ordinary C chord.
that simple exercise should get you familiar with this hillbilly chord.
HEY, YOU ONLY USE IT WHEN IT HELPS. You Don't Need To Complicate Things.
I hope that you see that it does make C to G, G to C moves really simple!

Another important piece of information that will help you:
I hope that you can visibly see that (SEE CHORD BOX DIAGRAMS)
it is incredibly simple to change from C chord to G7 chord (and vice-versa)
and that it is incredibly simple to change from C chord to D7 chord (and vice-versa)
PAY ATTENTION NOW, BECAUSE IF YOU REALIZE THAT:
you can finger the G7 chord and ADD THE PINKY on that same 1st string, then that G7 chord becomes the G chord.
same thing with the D7 chord, IF YOU MAKE THE D7 chord and then ADD THE PINKY on that same 2nd string, then the D7 becomes D chord.

You're Rockin' Now, Aren't Ya??

Do realize that you do have the ability to use different fingers to fret the same exact strings,
sometimes you you'll find that some are better in some situations.....whatever works for ya.....the more you know...
Like a great old classic song goes......"if you try sometimes, ya just might find.....ya get what ya need.."





ps: I do recall that one guitar magazine, some years ago stated that the Everly Brothers did Bye Bye Love in openG tuning with a Capo on 2nd Fret.
Their C chord in openG looked like the standard tuning Am7 chord with another finger fretting the first string second fret.
Their G chord was NO FINGERS.
Their G7 chord was fretting the note on first string third fret, and fretting the note on fourth string third fret.....both of those are F notes in open G,
YOU DON'T HAVE TO do anything but capture that first string third fret and Forget about that fourth string...not bothering to fret the note there
because you already have that one F note that makes it the G7 chord..........
Their D7 chord looked like a standard tuning Am chord EXCEPT YOU LEAVE THE 4th string OPEN, and you CAPTURE(fret the) 5th string instead.
Hey remember what I just said in this ps will apply only if you tune it to open G tuning
The Everly's lead guitar intro was in Open G also
it goes G (finger tip half barre at 12th fret, leaving the fourth and fifth strings open-unfretted) then G (NO FINGERS ) , Bb (index barre at 3rd fret) C (index 5th fret)
then G (NO FINGERS).
I think that is it, if I'm remembering correctly.
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Old 04-04-22, 06:02 PM
  #23  
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Here is one for genec.
Isn't UKULELE tuning an OPEN Am7 tuning? Uke tuning is G C E A

This translates to OPEN Am7 because by law the three individual notes E, A, C make up the Am chord & by law if you add G note it becomes the Am7


chord MAJOR----MINOR---- add this for 7th
A------E A C#--- E A C----- G

B----- F# B D#-- F# B D-----A

C------G C E----- G C Eb---- Bb

D------ A D F#--- A D F------- C

E------ G# B E--- G B E------- D

F------- F A C -----F Ab C------ Eb

G------- D G B ----D G Bb -------F

Thats the Minimum Combination of NOTES (in any order) for Chords

If I didn't screw up any of that from memory and in typing it there,
That list there if copied and used as a list or chart for review
will help assist anyone with anything from a 3 string cigar box guitar
to someone that might have one of those old lowry magic genie electronic organs
or hammond organs like a an old sandpiper or something that has the flip switches
and cool stuff and with all the Notes clearly labeled on the keys, etc.
Keep that chart in front of you and then see if you can hammer out any songs on the organ.
Those big old, loud seventies era organs, had some really cool sounds and rhythms etc.


Okay here is a really sweet little youtube video that a young lady did that is really fun to watch and simple to grasp.
What I mean is that it is obviously an unedited, unrehearsed, unscripted lesson, you get the simplicity of it.
You can easily grasp the enthusiasm and fun, and the general basic strum that might work.
My belief is most people are SLOW grasping when trying to learn guitar. Some are FAST learners but
no no it wasn't me. Yeah, I can play decent enough and alot of stuff well, but when folks describe it in
terminology such as , oh wow that was cool how you played combining Dorian mode with DogDew mode or whatever
they have described it, those folks might as well be speaking martian....

though this is a UKULELE video showing Sweet Home Alabama, it's simplicity also best shows how to do it with your guitar.



this cat, youtoober with the handle of WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL WITH THE SKULLSTER
has urban's loaded up there.


Last edited by Vintage Schwinn; 04-04-22 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 04-06-22, 04:14 PM
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Wileyone 
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I remember back in the late 70's cheap guitars coming in from Japan. Some of witch now can be worth a lot of money.
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Old 04-16-22, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Just recently replaced my old faithful cheap guitar friend with an Ibanez AC240. The old friend I picked up in Bankok in 1980 and has been through some real abusive situations. Finally the neck is done, unsalvageable and the top is getting seriously warped. The action on it is unplayable so he had to be retired.

This thing plays beautifully. Tone quality is very good, does not have a deep bass like my old dreadnaught, but is perfectly suited to my needs. The thing that impresses me most is that it needs no setup. Action is very good, strings are spaced exactly the same. New they cost about 300 bucks (newest model is now called AC340 I think). The one I picked up is a 2014 model and got it for 150 bucks. Pricey, but the times are pricey with inflation running rampant.

40 years ago a cheap guitar would never play this well or sound this good. Sometimes the times change for the good!
To each their own. Since being a rugrat watching Hee Haw I've had an over 40 year obsession with guitars that began as a player and eventually to a hobby in luthery. I will always credit my early 1970s "lawsuit" Takamine F360 as being instrumental (pun intended) in pushing me to become a halfway decent player, but time and poor care eventually caught up with it and once I got a solid wood Larrivee I never looked back at Pac Rim guitars. As its end approached I purchased a "low end" Martin D-16GT made right here in Pennsylvania for $950. Despite being mahogany instead of rosewood the difference in tone between the imitation and the real McCoy were night and day.



FWIW I also frequent the Acoustic Guitar Forum and talk to a lot of the Boomers over there. Those guys have a guitar problem that makes the N+1 folks seem pious in comparison. I try to keep my wits about me but have admitted to being tempted by custom guitars priced well over $10K. I've even handled a few, including a vintage Gibson J-45 once owned by Buck Owens.

On the luthery end of things, I can't begin to convey how intoxicating - and sometimes how frightening it can be. At the end of the day though, I just love how alive a good guitar can feel in my hands. Even the dead ones like my poor old Takamine who is waiting to be reborn with a new solid top to replace its original laminated one with oversized and cracked braces and bridge plate.

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