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Acoustic Newb

A network of beginning acoustic guitar students for sharing discussion, encouragement, ideas, resources, and support as we begin the journey.

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Latest Activity: Sep 30

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Comment by Arlie Box on April 23, 2012 at 5:47pm

That sounds close to what we do Walt, but we just play our individual stuff, and people can jam with ya.
I kind of like the format you described. There would probably be a lot of 12-bar going on if we gave that a try.

Comment by Walt Pilcher on April 22, 2012 at 6:14pm

Jim,

Below I'm copying a post I made three years ago with suggestions from my experience with this, mostly for others who may benefit from finding a group:

"Through a mutual friend I started attending a regular Thursday evening circle that meets in the home of a man who has been playing fiddle, guitar, autoharp, and you name it, for 30-40 years. The group has fiddle, guitar and mandolin players mostly, plus one who plays keyboard (so what if it's not acoustic!), and occasionally someone will show up with something else. Many in the group are accomplished players, both men and women, but some are not far beyond the basics. None makes his living with music, but some are in church worship bands and/or play an occasional gig for money or just for fun. There are probably 25 people who come off and on, of whom anywhere from four to 12 will show up on any given Thursday. There are about 10 that I would call "regulars." The "core group," if you will, of about eight, makes up a band called Bishop's Bridge (after the leader's deceased dog, Bishop) that plays mostly Celtic, folk and old time music, but with some fun modern stuff thrown in as well. When I started I played the spoons because I hadn't even started on the guitar yet! I was there because I had brought a song I wrote that I wanted some help with, and they pitched right in and worked on it.

The format is you go around the "circle" taking turns picking a song that the group will play. Anything goes. We have a collection of hundreds of chorded songs we choose from, or often people will bring in something new, so the group is always adding to its collection.

When I announced I wanted to learn guitar, Vance, the leader, lent me one of his until I could shop around and get my own, just to get me started. These folks were generous with their willingness to encourage me. It has been a wonderful learning experience.

Anyway, the point is that there may be informal music circles in other areas that will welcome newcomers of any skill level.

Suggestions for finding a group to play with:

1. Google and find out if there is a guitar club or society or acoustic musicians' society in your area. Where I live in North Carolina it's High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association (http://www.highlonesomestrings.org/ ). You don't have to join it, but call up the president and ask if he/she knows of any music circles that welcome newcomers. Maybe they don't call them circles where you are, but whatever.

2. Check with the faculty at a local community college that offers music lessons and see if they know of any such groups.

3. Call the proprietors of bars and clubs that feature acoustic entertainers and see if they know or can give you the names of their performers because some of them may be involved in such circles.

4. Ask the managers of the local music stores."

Comment by Jim McHie on April 22, 2012 at 6:00pm

" Vance says, "If you show up twice, you're automatically in the band."  And that was true for me even before I could play more than one chord per song."

This.  I need this. 

Comment by Arlie Box on April 22, 2012 at 10:26am

Maybe then y'all can pick his brain on GuitarBQ

Comment by Arlie Box on April 21, 2012 at 9:45am

Scott applied yesterday, so I recon we'll see him sometime tomorrow or Monday
:)

Comment by Arlie Box on April 20, 2012 at 11:56pm

Well Stan,

I guess we need to get Scott, over here to lend a hand, and perhaps a few of the regulars at JoyG's & GuitarBQ too.


Sounds like the starting of another group
Kentuckiana (sp?) Guitar Pickers :)

I know I live here, But I usually just say Indiana lol

Comment by Walt Pilcher on April 20, 2012 at 10:03pm

Welcome to the group, Stan.  And thanks to Arlie for inviting you.  You are doing a good thing by hosting a monthly session.  I've certainly gained a lot from the weekly music circle hosted by Vance Archer, a talented acoustic string musician here in Greensboro, NC, so I appreciate how important it is.  Like yours, everybody's welcome.  Vance says, "If you show up twice, you're automatically in the band."  And that was true for me even before I could play more than one chord per song.

Comment by Stan Attenberger on April 20, 2012 at 9:31pm

Thanks, Arlie, for inviting me to join this discussion. The monthly Songwriter GuitarBQ is at my house, but it wasn't my idea.  My friend Scott Murray Bate was involved in a similar thing in Nashville, TN, and he was looking for someone to host it.  Peggy and I are delighted to be able to do it.  It has inspired my songwriting and I always pick up guitar playing ideas from people like Arlie.  You probably need somebody like Scott that really promotes the event and keeps bringing newcomers.  We enjoy having all skill levels, but I think that part of our success is due to having some really good songwriter/players that keep showing up.  They enjoy visiting with each other and eating the wonderful food that everybody brings.  And they inspire the rest of us and keep the NewBs coming back.  We don't ever tell anybody that they are not welcome.  We were afraid that throngs of people would show up to see free entertainment, but it hasn't been like that.  It's been going on for a year, and we continue to get a good mix of people.

Comment by TheValleyGirl on April 12, 2012 at 6:33am

I'd say a couple of each :)

Comment by Walt Pilcher on April 12, 2012 at 6:16am

Welcome to the group, Aubrey Brawley of Waterloo, Ontario.  We hope you will enjoy the group.  All 400+ of us have benefitted from it whether new players or veterans.

 

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