Guitar for Beginners Week 3 Exercise: Playing Notes | Coursera Community

Guitar for Beginners Week 3 Exercise: Playing Notes

  • 2 January 2021
  • 27 replies

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Hi all, decided to create a video made of the 4 parts of the exercise mentioned in the title, as well as share it here. Hope you’re having fun


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@FRX now, make up your own exercise using all the notes you learned in the video. Post that for us!

Maybe one of our more advanced guitarists can create background chords to whatever exercise you create and we’ll have created a music forum song. 🎶😀

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Nice. Come on put more enthusiasm.

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Hi, I like the idea but I guess my level is not there yet. Trying to stick with the basics first.

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Mhh sounds like a classic problem of the method.

Mechanical routinary work yields the best results, however, sooner or later, it comes to be tedious.
Then we have a savage experimental attitude, which is a fire that burns by itself as for being enjoyable, but also seems it takes us nowhere and lets us think we’re wasting time.

You know, having a target helps us make plans and find the way if we get lost; But the problem is that if we could define the last target of our existence, that would mean we already concluded our experience, as life would just be closing our mind to an idealization and letting everything else outside: inspiration, culture, intuitions, life. 

Is there a way to solve this paradox? but if we solved the paradox that would mean having solved the problem of life and having no more reason to live…


@FRX , What I suggested is about improving your basics. For example, take the first (E) string.
The notes you usually have learned are E ( open string), F ( first fret] and G ( 3rd fret).

Make up your own exercise using just these notes notes, for example: EE,GG,FEE…

Just work those 3 notes in all sorts of combinations and rhythms. You will get better as a result. For example, it will become so easy that you will be able to play the note without looking. 
This is a way to make music fun, take what you learned and be creative.

Try it!😀🎶

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I instead have just seen this Jeff Tweedy’s How to Write One Song (my teacher of Mathematical Thinking would say there’s an ambiguity in the title)

so I post a random review just for the sake of it, hope it helps


@ATP , this would make an excellent thread...for people to post book and music reviews. Would you like to start one and then include this review? ( or I can , later)

I was just thinking, on my daily walk today, about oneness. I was thinking about the possibilities of writing an interesting song on one note...or would you need 2?😀

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Hi, I appreciate your suggestions, maybe one of these days I’ll come up with something.

I’ve been improvising a bit with pentatonic scales along with learning portions of solos of some rock n roll songs though.


@FRX that’s fabulous! Improv using pentatonics is an excellent way to practice! No matter what you do, it always seems to sound wonderful if you work off that scale. I hope you enjoy playing!🎶

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Sure do, along with a few runs on some chromatic and major scales to warm up before it.

Thanks a lot

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@Judith I too think on Oneness very very often.

I think Oneness is not an object by itself, but the essence of that object. When we get that essence we can make something new out of that abstraction, which actually means that we are joining this abstraction with another abstraction we had from somwhere else.

I think therefore it would be surely more productive to work with 2 notes and make one melody.

(Not unusual to find this idea in rhytmic guitar.)

What I wanted to say, music is not about just picking strings, but communicating through emotions and inspiring action. We only can communicate something we really got.

So there’s no way out but doing One thing at the time, one step at the time. 

@ATP  ..with many possibilities for the One thing.🙂

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@Judith  It's a great comment, but it also implies a speech on the real reason behind what we do. 


Anxiety may show up as extreme multi-tasking, or as obtuse long-term targeting as well.

Being able to manage both --being focused and intuitive at the same time--is a great skill that I hope I'm starting to apply the right way. 

I begin my day with my short-term target and proceed rather mechanically, but having a system view as reference: so that this will also open (but not necessarily) to intuitions and shifting.

You'll notice that now you are looking to the issue B "as if" it was sort of issue A. This is a system view. 

Then, at the end of a cycle, I'll come back to the main target again, until I'll think I have mastered it.

For the first time since I don’t know how many years, I think I’m on the right path.

@ATP , interesting explanations…

Being intuitive can be exhausting. It’s so much easier to focus mechanically, but we need both to feel good and be successful.

It’s wonderful that you have found the right path for you. Everyone has his/her own path to find, a daunting task. They do say that life is a journey. It sure is!😀

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@Judith Yes my dreams have become more intense and rich, this means there's more work below. 

Basically I said, when someone is obsessed by the result, mistakes always appear a negative event. It’s not a matter of study hours, I mean.

Going back to your one-note experiment, I think it's worthy of it -- after all, even silence is a kind of note, as well as personal sensitivity: so, even if the main feature of the melody would be "The one only note" actually is more complex a work, also depending on the author and on the musical instrument which could play higher or lower... 

I think I would need another note anyway! otherwise that would come out as too intellectual work?

@ATP , rests, or timed spaces in music is essential, along with varieties of rhythms, so a one note piece might work. But 2 notes would be so much more interesting! Isn’t “rap” basically one note?

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@Judith I was rather thinking to the lür ’s (pl. lürer) -- those long horns used by Norsemen and alike; but then, also to shamanic drums, you know in this case you break through an open door

it’s just that when musicians get out this idea it’s for intellectual works -- see Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack (qed)

or because the melody is not the important part, in the case of rap.

; is that project therefore a form of virtuosism, or is meant to a specific context? 

@ATP more like virtuosism, a way to expand your musical mind.  I once read how, in India, before a tabla musician becomes a master, he/she goes on a retreat with the instrument and spends days alone with it playing and discovering its possibilities. 

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@Judith  I guess I made a wrong question then. When it's about learning a tool, technique and playfulness go side by side, and you see this spontaneous in children: idea >> prototype >> idea >> etc.

What happens, is that we developed an education system where children are not just required to imitate adults, but to mirror them under affective blackmail, in the paranoia that if they don't "do as I do" the world will be merciless with them, so we do it before.

As a consequence, Learning becomes a way to "show results" and solve anxiety because they lack of self-confidence, which is therefore the difference between being Result obsessed, and Process enthusiasts. 

Jesus said: it's adult who have to learn from children, not children to monkey adults and tyrants. 

(Jesus who?) 

@ATP, as interesting as this discussion is, it is straying from the original theme here. Someone created a very helpful video of the exercises learned from a course. To go along with what you say about rote education, it is important to be able to present alternative ways to master a skill. Much of music education depends on mirroring and learning by rote. It’s a good way to progress for some, but along with this, learners need to think creatively as well. After learning the 3 note exercise, you need to shuffle those notes, shuffle those rhythms and make new music and exercises that you create.
I studied classical music for most of my life, learning how to play and interpret what someone else wrote. When I tried to make my own music, it was a skill that intimidated me at first. I blame my education for this and had vowed as a music teacher to present experiences of creating one’s own music to others.

Self confidence is another skill that needs to be developed. It starts with knowing that what you have done and who you are feel good. You have practiced a skill well performed, and you feel good about what you do and who you stand for.

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@Judith you are some lines above me so I can’t answer but I think when you do what you like there’s nothing more

@ATP , wise words, but not always possible...something to aspire to. I loved teaching music and enjoyedevery day I spent working with the students. People need to be in touch with what they like, but sometimes life gets in the way. 

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@Judith The way is getting in the way and enjoying it that way. 
(I hope it makes the sense in your language) 

@ATP this seems to make sense philosophically but not realistically.
What language is this from?

You always have such a unique view to share with us. 😀

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@Judith it’s just that I don’t seem it’s the case to involve what is by my point of view on the original sin®️ and Jesus, that we still live in a prize-punishment mind which talks of peace and hopes for war and sorrow in order to appear those who solve the problem, as if most of religious institutions were like those psychopate who close a victim in a nightmare to say “I’m the one to set you free from this”. Because freedom of experimentation is the only problem tyrants have with life.

Is this the case? Creativity and education to problem-solving might accept this (if you know J. Dewey for eg.), but as you said, this thread is not meant to host a theoretical discussion -- after all, the best I can do is to give the wheat from my own sack (this one is a literal translation instead :D

and may I be consistent with myself rather than with my speeches anyway; I realized that anything I could study is a representation of a System; then I tried to multitask with this idea and could even work but I finally realized I have a better method which is focusing anyway on a task, but let my mind deepen somewhere here or there not to fall asleep on the same page.

So I just were trying to express my idea that when we enjoy our field, there’s some a cocoon around us that neutralizes the existential anxiety and no matter you are into science or music, the important is how you can communicate this dimension and inspire *[= inspire other people to do something similar in their own field], but you need a competency in that field, so the two things are one the consequence of the other. 

If you want me to add more, just call :D