I want to skip learning about chords, can I?


Benjamin Tan
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Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25

I've been learning with GT for a while, nearly completed guitar fundamentals 1.

I really want to know how to play fingerstyle and learn the scales, and notes on the guitar so I can improvise whatever I want.

I find it very hard to go through the steps of learning all the chords in the fundamentals course, and due to me being uninterested, I am hardly absorbing anything I learned.

All I wanted to do is learn the notes on guitar and fingerstyle so I could improvise whatever I want. I really don't want to go through every step just because it is structured that way.

Any thoughts?

PS: I was full of passion before studying music in university, once I joined, so many rules, you must do this and that, you have to be this and learn that. After completing my final course, I wanted to DIE and quit music because I have to do everything that I don't like, I am forced to do those things. I always think I'm not good enough, cuz Im doing things don't even like. I became as dead as a robot and as lost as a sheep. Totally destroyed my passion. I'm still 'recovering' now. This is just a side note.


# 1
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,312

I think that we each decide what we want out of it. Personally, I find the chord work easier (depending upon the song of course) than some of the lead work, and when learning songs will often get the song to the point where I can jam to it, and leave the fancy picking alone.Case in point, is Working Man. I can't realistically see me ever getting the lead down. So what I do when it comes to the lead parts? I just play short muted chords in key and it seems to work ok. Nobody is paying me to play so I give myself a great deal of lattitude. If all you wanted to focus on were "notes", I don't see why you couldn't do the same in reverse. Then when it comes your time in the song... let 'er rip and go like Eddie.

Personally speaking I have tried to apply a fuller approach, but I do enjoy trying my hand at writing licks and laying them down over jam tracks.


"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

[u]Works for me![/u]

# 2
DraconusJLM
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Joined: 06/21/21
Posts: 360

I can't think of any way you could play fingerstyle without using chords of one voicing or another, but maybe things have changed since I learnt it over 30 years ago.


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

# 3
William MG
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Posts: 1,312
Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

I can't think of any way you could play fingerstyle without using chords of one voicing or another, but maybe things have changed since I learnt it over 30 years ago.

I am assuming the guy has some understanding of keys and how the pieces fit together, at least at a basic level. Hopefully he got something out of that university time lol!


"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

[u]Works for me![/u]

# 4
mjgodin
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Joined: 11/23/19
Posts: 384

I think the confusion here is how he is defining finger style guitar. I think of finger style as fingerpicking. Whereas your thumb hits a base note and then the index, middle, and ring pluck an assigned string in a particular pattern. This is what Lisa and Anders teach in their acoustic courses and I have been through most of it up to acoustic level 2 and I have yet to NOT use chords so I know no way around it. That's traditionally what finger style guitar is at least to my limited knowledge. If he's talking about lead guitar soloing then that's another area of study where scales and fretboard knowledge comes into play. So Benjamin could you clarify the type of playing you want to do and we or some others could better steer you in the right direction. [br][br]

Moe


Why don't guitars come with an instruction manual ?

Oh yeah, that's what GuitarTricks is for..

# 5
William MG
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Posts: 1,312
Originally Posted by: mjgodin

I think the confusion here is how he is defining finger style guitar. I think of finger style as fingerpicking. Whereas your thumb hits a base note and then the index, middle, and ring pluck an assigned string in a particular pattern.

Moe

Good point Moe, hadn't thought of that.


"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

[u]Works for me![/u]

# 6
Benjamin Tan
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Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by: mjgodin

I think the confusion here is how he is defining finger style guitar. I think of finger style as fingerpicking. Whereas your thumb hits a base note and then the index, middle, and ring pluck an assigned string in a particular pattern. This is what Lisa and Anders teach in their acoustic courses and I have been through most of it up to acoustic level 2 and I have yet to NOT use chords so I know no way around it. That's traditionally what finger style guitar is at least to my limited knowledge. If he's talking about lead guitar soloing then that's another area of study where scales and fretboard knowledge comes into play. So Benjamin could you clarify the type of playing you want to do and we or some others could better steer you in the right direction. [br][br]

Moe

You're describing what I'm thinking. except I think voicings will come into play at some point, but it is fine for me because, for example: If I learn an arrangement that has some chord voicings, I wouldn't have issues with them as I can see how chords come into a fingerstyle arrangement. It would be more fun to learn chords and voicings along with what I'm interested in(fingerstyle) instead of just learning all about the chords which I'm not interested in(yet).


# 7
Benjamin Tan
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Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by: William MG
Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

I can't think of any way you could play fingerstyle without using chords of one voicing or another, but maybe things have changed since I learnt it over 30 years ago.

I am assuming the guy has some understanding of keys and how the pieces fit together, at least at a basic level. Hopefully he got something out of that university time lol!

Why would say that a person finished studying at university not know anything about the basics of music? What I'm asking here is related to guitar, as I'm inexperienced and I don't know if learning chords on guitar is really that important as a foundation for fingerstyle, since 80% of the fundamentals 1 and 2 is about chords.


# 8
Benjamin Tan
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Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

I can't think of any way you could play fingerstyle without using chords of one voicing or another, but maybe things have changed since I learnt it over 30 years ago.

Voicings, chords will definitely come into fingerstyle playing at some point, If I'm learning a piece and that arrangement has certain chords or voicings that I have to learn practically to be able to play the arrangement, I'm fine with that, because I'm learning the chord voicings in context of what I'm interested in. Unlike the fundamentals where I have to learn A LOT of chords that I am always not looking forward to learn.

What I really wanna say is that 80% of the entire fundamentals 1 and 2 is about chords and I am genuinely wondering if chords is all that important as a foundation for fingerstyle, as you can see in the homepage it goes from fundamentals 1, to 2 then to the other specified styles.


# 9
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,312
Originally Posted by: Benjamin Tan
Originally Posted by: William MG
Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

I can't think of any way you could play fingerstyle without using chords of one voicing or another, but maybe things have changed since I learnt it over 30 years ago.

I am assuming the guy has some understanding of keys and how the pieces fit together, at least at a basic level. Hopefully he got something out of that university time lol!

Why would say that a person finished studying at university not know anything about the basics of music?

You might want to go back and read your own account of your time spent in university. Hardly sounds like you were "into it".


"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

[u]Works for me![/u]

# 10
davem_or
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Joined: 10/31/17
Posts: 147

Finish up Fudamentals I and then go to the fingerstyle lessons. See how it goes. There aren't any GT police to stop you. GO CRAZY! It's your dime.


# 11
Benjamin Tan
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Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by: William MG
Originally Posted by: Benjamin Tan
Originally Posted by: William MG
Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

I can't think of any way you could play fingerstyle without using chords of one voicing or another, but maybe things have changed since I learnt it over 30 years ago.

I am assuming the guy has some understanding of keys and how the pieces fit together, at least at a basic level. Hopefully he got something out of that university time lol!

Why would say that a person finished studying at university not know anything about the basics of music?

You might want to go back and read your own account of your time spent in university. Hardly sounds like you were "into it".

Go back and read my post, apparently you aren't getting my question here.


# 13
Benjamin Tan
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Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by: davem_or

Finish up Fudamentals I and then go to the fingerstyle lessons. See how it goes. There aren't any GT police to stop you. GO CRAZY! It's your dime.

That's actually a great idea! thanks! I think I will go straight for the fingerstyle instead of finishing the fundamentals 1 first, and see how it goes, thanks mate.


# 14
snojones
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 633

If you don't want to play chords.... Perhaps Rap and/or Poetry/ or Accounting would be a better fit. Western Music, without chords, is like landscape painting without solvents or canvas. But I suspect that if you finished 4 years of music school, you must know this.

I have been playing guitar on and off since I was 12 years old. I worked on jazz chords, rock chords, folk chords for years, until I thought I understood chords. It was not until decades down the road that I decided I wanted to play lead guitar. To my surprise it took me right back to learning about chords, ALL OVER AGAIN!!

Western music is built on a highly evolved use of Harmony. How can you develop your sence of melody without activly working on chord theory??

You can learn it through lessons (which can come quickly).... or you can learn it through the crash test dummy approach (witch is MUCH slower). That, and the woodshed, in fact, is how I learned most of my skills. But when I learned, there were no interwebz, or guitar tricks. Just me and records and a lot of time to practice. I learned that way... but it was slow progress getting there.

I think you are saying that you get bored with the fundementals lessons. That is not a uncomon result when people with prior experience start GT. If so you could try going past those lessons. But, if you don't already have a frim grasp of the material, you will have to learn those lessons the hard way, by bashing into them with blind enthusiasum... Again and Again.

When I started GT I skipped the fundementals. But I finally went through them to brush up on details. I was surprised to find that I did pick up useful info, even after playing the instrutment for DECADES! It didn't make me an overnight sensation, but it helps to be on the same page as the instructors. I also had absolutly no intrest in learning all the "Mary Had a Little La La".... songs... So I didn't do that part of the program. I did pick up useful info that clarified the directions that I am now studying.

Now I study the lesson topics that interest me. What I am trying to say is that there are many ways to go through learning on GT. But I will be currious as to how you fare in playing music without a deep understanding of chords and chord theory.


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

# 15
Benjamin Tan
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Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by: snojones

If you don't want to play chords.... Perhaps Rap and/or Poetry/ or Accounting would be a better fit. Western Music, without chords, is like landscape painting without solvents or canvas. But I suspect that if you finished 4 years of music school, you must know this.

I have been playing guitar on and off since I was 12 years old. I worked on jazz chords, rock chords, folk chords for years, until I thought I understood chords. It was not until decades down the road that I decided I wanted to play lead guitar. To my surprise it took me right back to learning about chords, ALL OVER AGAIN!!

Western music is built on a highly evolved use of Harmony. How can you develop your sence of melody without activly working on chord theory??

You can learn it through lessons (which can come quickly).... or you can learn it through the crash test dummy approach (witch is MUCH slower). That, and the woodshed, in fact, is how I learned most of my skills. But when I learned, there were no interwebz, or guitar tricks. Just me and records and a lot of time to practice. I learned that way... but it was slow progress getting there.

I think you are saying that you get bored with the fundementals lessons. That is not a uncomon result when people with prior experience start GT. If so you could try going past those lessons. But, if you don't already have a frim grasp of the material, you will have to learn those lessons the hard way, by bashing into them with blind enthusiasum... Again and Again.

When I started GT I skipped the fundementals. But I finally went through them to brush up on details. I was surprised to find that I did pick up useful info, even after playing the instrutment for DECADES! It didn't make me an overnight sensation, but it helps to be on the same page as the instructors. I also had absolutly no intrest in learning all the "Mary Had a Little La La".... songs... So I didn't do that part of the program. I did pick up useful info that clarified the directions that I am now studying.

Now I study the lesson topics that interest me. What I am trying to say is that there are many ways to go through learning on GT. But I will be currious as to how you fare in playing music without a deep understanding of chords and chord theory.

Hi snojones! nice to meet you, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I actually do have knowledge about music theory up to an advanced level(Berklee book of Jazz Harmony was what my university used), however, going through EVERYTHING about fundamentals when I'm uninterested or can't see how it will help me in what I wanna learn(fingerstyle) will slowly have my interest for fingerstyle fade away. I had been through this path for learning things and this is not my path. If it works for you, good, but not for me.

I’m wondering if you mean you have to start all over again means you didn’t learn it the right way, or you did? If you’re learning things without seeing how it would help you it will most likely not stay with you.

I didn’t really get bored, I am uninterested at chords at the moment. If I can see how learning all of these can help me, I would learn em. At this moment it’s like: I know and I am sure I would be a musician, so why give a damn about biology, chemistry and physics in highschool? But if I know that getting good results in highschool can help with scholarship for enrolling into music universities, I would make sure to get flying colours for those science subjects though those have nothing to do with I want to become.

What I’m saying is that I can’t see how all these chords can help me in finger style. Sure they do, but ALL of them? I have to learn ALL of them to be 'qualified' to learn fingerrstlye? I am really interested in fingerstyle atm and I understand that learning all the things in fundamentals 1 and 2 would DEFINITELY be useful when learning fingerstyle. I would prefer to go learn finger style, then if I get stuck with a certain chord or voicing, I go back to fundamentals 1 or 2 and learn that. If I learn with a clearer goal it would be much easier for me to absorb what I learn, and in this case clearer goal means that learning a certain chord or voicing that is present in the fingerstyle arrangement that I am currently learning.

At this point I'm learning all the chord-related stuff but I honestly can't see how it will help me(yet) so I can't really absorb what I learn as efficiently. If I can see how it would help me in learning fingerstyle, what I learned would stay with me(or at least for a long time), if I can't see how it will help me, it won't stay long with me.

Do you remember all the science stuff about plants you learn in school? most likely not.

I'm going with @davem_or's suggestion with a twist: go for fingerstyle straight away and see how it goes.


# 16
Herman10
Registered User
Joined: 12/04/19
Posts: 318

Maybe you should take the time to go over fundamentals 2 because Lisa teaches the beginning of fingerstyle guitar there with some beautiful songs, just go through it at high pace just to see what is in it, if it doesn't help you, it certainly won't hurt you>

I've done both the acoustic series from Anders and believe me, if you don't know your chords you will get stuck quickly

Herman


# 18
ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,784
Originally Posted by: Benjamin Tan

I really want to know how to play fingerstyle and learn the scales, and notes on the guitar so I can improvise whatever I want.[/quote][p]Maybe there is some confusion on what the term fingerstyle means.

Generally fingerstyle is distinct from strumming with a pick. You can either use a pick (or fingers) to strum all or some of the strings together. Or you use the fingers of your picking hand to arpeggiate, to rhythmically separate the notes. This is usually called fingerpicking (or fingerstyle).

But in both cases, strumming & fingerpicking (fingerstyle), your fretting hand has to play notes on the fretboard in. Generally the notes your fretting hand plays are chords.

Or maybe you only want to play single note melodies?

[quote=Benjamin Tan]I find it very hard to go through the steps of learning all the chords in the fundamentals course, and due to me being uninterested, I am hardly absorbing anything I learned.

If you don't know chords what do you expect to be doing with your fretting hand while your picking hand is plucking strings?

If you are bored with GF1, then by all means go find another lesson that inspires you! For example, Lisa has a great series of tutorials on fingerstyle guitar. Let's look at the first one.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=596

She starts with the basics of how to orgranize your picking hand. But then right after that, at lesson 3, she starts using chords. And then adds more chords thereafter to play actual songs.

The lesson here is that there is no getting around learning chords if you want to play guitar. It's part of the process. How you learn them is up to you. If you are not enjoying GF1, then pick another course or lesson! Some other approach on how to learn chords might be more beneficial for you.

But eventually you'll have to learn chords or else you are only going to be playing one note at a time melodies. And that's fine, too! But the guitar is a harmonic instrument: you can play up to 6 notes at once on it! And playing more than one note a time means playing chords.

Hope that helps! Best of success!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 19
Benjamin Tan
Registered User
Joined: 06/21/20
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Or maybe you only want to play single note melodies?[/quote][p]

Nope, not single note melodies, Im thinking of finger style as basically what ure described.

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

If you are bored with GF1, then by all means go find another lesson that inspires you! For example, Lisa has a great series of tutorials on fingerstyle guitar. Let's look at the first one.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=596

[/quote]

OMG I didn't even know this existed! Where is this lesson found at?!

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel[p]The lesson here is that there is no getting around learning chords if you want to play guitar. It's part of the process. How you learn them is up to you. If you are not enjoying GF1, then pick another course or lesson! Some other approach on how to learn chords might be more beneficial for you.
[p]

I actually find it boring simply because I can't see how learning this much about chords(almost the entire GF 1 and 2 is about chords) can help me with fingerstyle, and for that reason, I find it boring and I also find it hard to retain what I learn, if you know what I mean for the latter. I know fingerstyle will need chords, but I don't know to what extent. But now that you have clarified, I am a bit more clearer now.

[quote=ChristopherSchlegel]

But eventually you'll have to learn chords or else you are only going to be playing one note at a time melodies. And that's fine, too! But the guitar is a harmonic instrument: you can play up to 6 notes at once on it! And playing more than one note a time means playing chords.

Definitely, thanks for the tips. Fingerstyle is what I wanna learn right now and if I need to learn chords to play fingerstyle, I will, as long as I can see how chords can help me with improving my fingerstyle. In this case, I am learning chords with a clearer purpose instead of learning for the sake of following GT's structure to progress with no clear goal in mind(That's what I had been doing for the past year).

[quote=ChristopherSchlegel]

Hope that helps! Best of success!

Thanks. you too.

Benjamin.


# 20