Guitar for Beginners and Beyond :: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

I am a complete beginner, are your fingerstyle lessons suitable for me?

Probably not. If you're a complete beginner, you need to learn some basic chord shapes, toughen and limber your fingers up a bit and become familiar with the feel of holding a guitar. There are some lessons in the content section of this site that will help you achieve this, and I will be adding more and more as time allows.


How can I pick a lesson that is right for me? What are the difficulty ratings?

I think the best thing to do is to listen to the mp3 of the pieces. If you hear one that you really want to learn, then there's no reason why you won't be able to. The only ingredient missing is the time you will need to put into practicing. Remember that you are the boss of those fingers and that you have the ability to make them submit to your commands. The difficulty ratings are just guides, as we all have different learning curves and we're all at our own level.


Why do you include a GuitarPro file with your lessons and what program do I need to be able to use it?

The GuitarPro files are included as an additional way of breaking the lesson down into its elements. Learning guitar, as you already know, is a very visual  process, and Guitar Pro allows you to see all the action moving around the fretboard and lets you stop, start and loop the bits you may have trouble with. You can also speed up/slow down the tempo, and cross reference what you see my hand doing in the movie with the graphics in the GP file. You can either use Guitar-Pro or use a free, open-source version called TuxGuitar to open them.


What makes your lessons so special? There are heaps of lessons out there for free these days?

I have been playing finger style guitar ever since I started playing in 1961, so I do know what I'm doing, and I try to tailor the pieces I compose to give you and your fingers the maximum workout. I also believe that we twangers should always know what it is we're playing, and the written commentary will give you a plain English explanation of the theory behind all the moves. Copyright laws prohibit me from posting well known tunes, but the aim is to get those fingers working properly and your ear tuned so that you can learn your favorite tunes simply by listening to them and working them out for yourself, which is, in my opinion, the better way.   


Some of your lessons seem very short, what is the point of that?


The point of the lessons is not to learn a whole tune but to learn specific aspects of finger style guitar, to get those fingers coordinated and to gain some insight into the theory behind the moves. If you want to make the piece longer, repeat it over again ... and again. I also encourage you to experiment with it all, not to see these pieces as set in stone, but merely examples of certain techniques.The only way to really become proficient is to experiment, to noodle around, to alter the arrangements of whatever it is you're working on and look for ways to express yourself rather than just parrot what I'm playing. Don't be shy about this, trust your ear and make sure your fingers know that YOU are boss.


Do you use metal, plastic or no finger picks on the ends of your fingers.  This is not clear from the videos I've seen.

I gave up on picks of any description years ago. I did use finger picks for a long time back in the early 70s but now, when I try them on it feels very odd, like trying to tap dance wearing skis or something. Now I just use my fingers with a bit of nail. I recently discovered a pretty good product for strengthening nails. It's a simple idea and process. You get a little kit with some self adhesive china silk and a bottle of super glue. You simply cut a little strip of silk, press it onto the end of the nail (about ⅛ of an inch), then you apply a tiny amount of the glue over the silk. Let it dry, trim the ends and file. It works very well and it doesn't affect the health of your nail (like acrylic, which I used to use) because it's just over the end bit, not the whole nail. When I did use finger picks, I preferred the plastic myself ... I found metal ones too noisy.


I have a Mac. Will I be able to open the Windows Media Player movies that come with your lessons?

Yes you will. You will just need to download and install this free plugin Flip4Mac - it is a component that will enable you to open and play Windows Media Player movies in Quicktime.


I didn't receive my download? What do I do now?

First check your junk mail or spam folder in your email client, the email with your download link may have gone there by mistake. If it's not there, just contact us and let us know your email address and your name and we will resend your download details.


My download link has expired, what do I do to get my lessons?

Just contact us and let us know your email address and your name and the date of your order we will resend your download details.


I can open the lesson folder I downloaded and the pdf file and see the TAB but when I click on the link to open the movie or sound files I get an error, what's up with that?

In most cases this is simply because you haven't unzipped the lesson folder that you downloaded before you opened your lesson.
To open your lesson once you have downloaded the file, please follow the instructions below.

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First, locate the downloaded zip file on your computer.
When you have located the file, right click on the zip file and click on "extract all" or "extract files".
The files will then be extracted and a new folder will be made. From there, open that folder and double click on the pdf file Lesson_OPEN_THIS.pdf

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I bought a downloadable lesson before May 10 2010 from your old store and I've lost it. Can I download it again?

In most cases we will be able to provide you with a new download link as long as we can verify your order details. Please contact us and let us know your email address, your name and the date of your order.