Trent: 00:05 Hey, I’m Trent with GuitarAnimal.com. And today we’re going to do our FAQ. Questions that are most frequently asked and I’m going to be asked those by our Co-Founder at Guitar Animal Debbie, and she’s gonna ask me some things and I have no idea what she’s going to ask me, so let’s see what these things are.
Debbie: 00:20 Hi Guys. Yeah. So we have some questions that have come in through the website, through comments on youtube, through comments on the website and also that are just emailed to us on a regular basis. So let’s, let’s try to answer some of those. So Trent, one of the questions I get a lot is why should I join guitar animal rather than just trying to learn from the free videos?
Trent: 00:43 Well first off we’re doing a lot of the footwork for you upfront. Basically we have tablatures which are key. You need to be able to see what you’re trying to play as opposed to just looking at the video and trying to figure out what I’m doing. A lot of times it’s hard to see what I’m actually playing through my fingers. You can’t see through my fingers, so I might be doing something that you really just can’t see from the video. So having the tabs are there is key as well as being able to slow down and loop the parts of the song that you’re trying to learn. We can slow them down, you can move at your own pace. So if you’re a member, we have that all built into guitar animal, you can just set loop points and just slow it down and go at your own pace. Whereas if you’re just looking at the free video, it goes at one speed it, you can’t loop it and you don’t have the tabs. So really guitar animal is there to really help you out. And if you learn one song that way, join us for a week. Check it out. I think if you try that with one song, it’d be sold on it. It works great. So the way I learn everything. So I think you guys will find it very useful. Okay.
Debbie: 01:46 And another question, we get a lot and I get this one a lot where people write in and they say, I don’t read music, I don’t read tabs and what’s the difference and how can I learn from you?
Trent: 01:59 Alright, first off, tablature is a form of notation that’s actually been around longer than standard notation, which would be note reading. Uh, it’s designed for the instrument itself. It was actually originally for the loot and that’s for the guitar. And basically it shows you exactly what string and what fret, we want you to play. There’s many, many areas on this guitar where you can play the exact same note, different strings, same note. So being able to quickly see which string and which note I want you to play or what fret I want you to play is key to learning it very quickly. Now eventually if you stick with guitar, you would learn where all the notes are on your guitar. Because when it comes to theory, you’ll need to be able to figure out how notes, come together to make chords and things like that. But for the beginner, tablature is great. It shows you where I want you to play, how many times I want you to play that note. It’s relatively easy to learn. Reading Standard rotation is much more difficult and we haven’t covered that here on guitar animal as far as reading standard notation. We may in the future, but right now we’re just with tab because that’s industry standard for guitar notations.
Debbie: 03:02 And it’s pretty easy to learn, right?
Trent: 03:06 It is pretty easy to learn. I mean basically each one of the lines of there’s six lines on the tab paper. Each line represents a string, so it’s actually a drawing of the string of the guitar and then the numbers represent the frets to play. So first, second, third, fourth, would be, one, two, three, four. So really, really straightforward. I do have some videos covering how to read tablature and and people seem to like those videos.
Trent: 03:28 And nobody should be turned off if they don’t know how to read tablature?
Trent: 03:35 No, no. You can come to the website not knowing how to read anything and we can lead you through it. Just go to the videos on how to read tablature. It starts out with very, very basic notations and from that you should be able to move forward with it.
Debbie: 03:49 All right. Okay. This question I really like. What makes you different than other online lessons?
Trent: 03:57 Uh, if you just take a few minutes and jump around online and click several different online lessons sites, including ours, I think you will find that we’re definitely different. We have interesting screens behind me and in the end that’s more important than just entertainment because you will remember what song you were working on by what was behind me. So it was the video with the horse behind him or the video with the waterfall or whatnot. So it really helps you to get back to the video that you were working on and remember, was I working on this particular one or was it a different song? So you don’t even need to know titles or things like that. We also have a favorites that you can mark your favorites that you’re working on and you can just go to those. You don’t have to wade through the 200 videos or whatever we have out there. We have a lot of videos out there. Um, it’s an easy way for you to get right back to where you were working and start your work again without having to float through it. Also, we try to cover a wide range of song types and tried to give you very, very accurate tabs to every one of those songs that we make all the tabs here ourselves. None of them are canned tabs. Everyone was video verified. I go and watch videos of the artists playing the songs and then I get in there and say is what I’m playing or writing matching what they’re doing? And I’ll do that for every one that I put out there.
Trent: 05:06 So really high quality tabs. I’m not sure there’s a lot of other websites that are doing exactly that. I see different ways to play songs. That’s okay. If you’re playing in a bar band, uh, probably rare that you’d be playing the songs exactly the way the artists play them. But I really want to stick to the original version of the song, the way the artists played it. And then if you want to change it after that, feel free.
Debbie: 05:27 And I think we would be remiss if we didn’t bring up our player.
Trent: 05:34 Yes, the video player. I forget that all the time because I’m so used to it being there. Being able to slow down the playback and set loop points so I can go over this. You can watch me play the same little line over and over again at whatever speed you’re comfortable with. playing it at is key to learning it. If you can slow it down and play it multiple times, you will get it. So even very difficult lines, you can learn through the use of this player. So it’s a key point of guitaranimal.com. No one else is doing this and I really feel that that is a huge plus for you guys.
Debbie: 06:08 Yeah. Not just slowing it down, but being able to set those loop points and go over pieces of the song that you might be having trouble with and go over them over and over and it’s very simple. Setting that in point and that out point. And you’ve got your piece of the song that you want to learn.
Trent: 06:26 I will say the students that I have, that I see personally every week that are also members of the website, once I showed them how to do that through the website, they use it all the time and their understanding and their quickness and learning. They’re able to learn these songs much faster using that. So if you’re a member of the website, make sure you’re using those loop points and the slow down features. Do it for one song. You’ll be sold on it. This way you’ll learn everything.
Debbie: 06:52 It’s one of the benefits that we give to members that nonmembers do not have access to. So there is a free trial if you want to try it out and see if it makes a difference in your playing. Right?
Trent: 07:04 Right. Yeah. You, you, you know, if you want to see what the members are able to do, joint for a week, it’s free, doesn’t cost you anything to join for that week and during that week. Don’t just look around but actually get into one of the songs. You’re choice, lots of songs out there, we have them broken down in beginner, intermediate, advanced, wherever you’re playing level is, and use that slow down feature and that looping function and I think you’ll see what we’re talking about.
Debbie: 07:28 And we’re a lot less expensive too, aren’t we?
Trent: 07:30 Yes. Yes. So we get comments on that all the time. It’s basically like a month subscription to your local movie network, whichever, you know, Netflix or whatnot, and you’re getting a lot of value for that. If you compare that to private lessons, which can cost six to 10 times more per month, you’re getting a lot of value for your money and you can work anytime you want to work. You want to have your guitar lesson at 1:00 in the morning. Hey, I’m there for you. And if you keep your eyes open, we do run sales now then so you guys can get in and save a couple bucks there too.
Debbie: 08:04 Great. Alright, now here’s another question, and I know that I had an issue with this when I first started playing guitar and someone wrote in, I hate bar chords and I try to stay away from songs that use them. How can I learn them better?
Trent: 08:20 Well, first off I start my students that I see in my private lessons on bar chords within the first four weeks of them starting their lessons. The reason I do that is it will take a few weeks or months to learn how to play the bar chords cleanly. So we want to go ahead and start that process early on. So when we’re ready for those songs with bar chords in them, we can actually be able to play the bar chords. The main thing you need to do is, you know, you need to understand that a a lot of my students will be, I’m going to wait till I play for a year before I learned bar chords because it will be easier for me to learn them. And that’s not the case. If you don’t practice doing bar chords, you can have guitar lessons for three years and it’s still going to be difficult for you to play the bar chords. You can’t just always avoid songs that have bar chords in them. They’re very powerful tool because once you learn one chord, you can basically have about 20 chords available to using the exact same shape, so we try to lead you through that on how to play bar chords here at GuitarAnimal.com. I would encourage you to start to attempt to do them, but you do need to practice bar chords everyday to build the strength in your hands to be able to play them. They are easier to do on electric guitar. Then on the Acoustic Guitar, so if you have an acoustic guitar, you might want to put a capo at your first front there. Hold down those strings a little bit so it’s a little bit easier to approach those because you’re not dealing with such a high string string height because you’re not dealing with the nut anymore. You’re dealing with the height of the first fret. So put a capo at the first fret and then practice your bar chords, but I would encourage you to do maybe five, 10 minutes per day, but everyday learning bar chords.
Debbie: 09:55 And kind of along those same lines, we’ve had people that say that they either have trouble with speed trying to play things to speed up or they have trouble with strumming patterns.
Trent: 10:10 Okay. There’s two separate issues for speed. Speed is automatic. I want you to focus on smoothness and on accuracy, not speed because speed comes after you’ve played something 200 times and literally we play things hundreds of times, not 10 times or 15 times to learn them. Once you’ve played things two, three, 400 times, you will be faster at them so the speed will come automatically as a byproduct of rehearsal, so concentrate on smoothness and accuracy over and over again. Never playing more… Never playing with the speed faster than you can play smoothly. When you ramp it up and all of a sudden it gets a little bit sloppy, dial the speed back a little bit because you do not want to ingrain that sloppiness into your playing, so lots of repetitions over many, many, many days you will get the speed. And I have forgotten the other part of your question. What was the second part of the question?
Debbie: 11:02 Strumming patterns.
Trent: 11:03 We use those as a separate issue. You’ll want to learn one strumming pattern per week or maybe two per week, so you’ll lock in on one very basic, well, maybe just down, down, down, down one beat per strum and work on that until you have it. Then maybe the next week you could put an eighth note in there, one, two, three, and four, so we don’t want to do too many strumming patterns too quickly. What I find is beginners too often try to learn to play a very difficult strum pattern when they haven’t gone through their basics of, you know, just your simple strum patterns. We address this GuitarAnimal.com. And make sure you learn to walk before you run simple strum patterns first, and then the more complex strum patterns
Debbie: 11:41 And isn’t true. This is just a question of mine. Uh, isn’t it true that some people could just hear and feel strumming patterns naturally and other people just, just don’t. And that’s okay.
Trent: 11:53 Yeah. Some people have less of a problem with rhythms than other people do. I never had a problem with rhythm. I can hear a rhythm and duplicate and I could do that right up front, but a lot of people have problems with that and that’s okay because we can still learn to do that. We just have to start with the basic building blocks of, you know, just down strum then eighth note stums and then more complex rhythms as we, as we get better.
Debbie: 12:15 Right. All right. Uh, let’s see, uh, this is a good segue, I think into this next question. How much should I practice?
Trent: 12:27 I like my students that are in private practice, private study to practice at least a half an hour every day. Uh, the things you want to be and these are critical. Do not skip days . Every day you skip, set you back about three days. So we went to avoid that. I used to tell my students to practice a half an hour every day, but I’ve even broken that down further to 15 minute practices per day, one earlier in the day and one later in the day with some time between them. And what happens is at the end of seven days, one week of practice, you’ve practiced 14 times, your recall is going to be better at 14 practices. Then it is at seven practices if you’re only doing one practice per day. And I think that you’re gonna attain that muscle memory that’s required to play guitar much quicker with 14 rehearsals per week. So 15 minutes, twice a day minimum practice and you will move forward. You will have great results.
Debbie: 13:20 All right, awesome. How do you choose the songs you teach and do you take requests?
Trent: 13:26 Anybody that has a request for a song in the comment section send them in because I’m constantly looking for new ideas of things I want to cover. I try to cover things that are based on what people have asked me to do in the last 20 years of private practice as well as, you know, maybe something that’s new that’s come out that’s really popular or something that’s fun to play or something that maybe stresses one type of playing over another. In other words, this one has finger style in it or it’s got a cool solo riff, so I try to be varied with it as well. You know, you have people saying, oh you’re, you know, you’re doing a lot of classic stuff. I want new stuff, so for two or three shoots there, we just did all brand new stuff and I really enjoyed doing that as well. So we’re constantly looking for ideas. I can’t guarantee that we will do the one that you request, but if you ever request you really love a song, send it in and who knows? It might be on guitar animal some day.
Debbie: 14:17 We’ve done that a lot. We have had a lot of the songs that have come in from requests, so we’d like to hear him.
Debbie: 14:24 All right. Just a couple more quick questions, someone asked, I’m an intermediate player and I have some experience, but I’m looking to get better. Are these the right lessons for me or are you more for just beginners?
Trent: 14:37 No, we have an advanced section as well as an intermediate section of lessons and theory as well. So I think we offer something for not only the beginning player but also the more advanced player. I’m bringing to this years of private practice where I’m teaching students how to play not only beginners but people that are in bands actively out there on tour working and uh, you know, we study things that they might need, you know, like a compositional skills or you know, they’re playing the same old thing every time and they want to add some new stuff to their playing. So, uh, yeah, I think we offer something for all levels of players.
Debbie: 15:09 Great. And just a final question for those who might not be familiar with you and are not familiar with guitar animal, why don’t you just explain why we’re doing this and what your background is?
Trent: 15:23 All right, I’m coming from background of private practice of teaching literally thousands of students over the last 20 years. I was always looking for an avenue to expand to reach more people and this is a great avenue for that as well as you know, it’s really entertaining to for me or enjoyable to see that people overseas are learning from GuitarAnimal.com. And so I’m bringing my teachings to a wider range of people so I really enjoy doing that. Also, I feel that the process that we’re doing where we’re using the looper functions, slow down features, bringing really good custom tabs to you guys are all are really, really helpful and taking a person who can’t play at all or has played for awhile and wants to get better to learn to do it better. I tried to not make it complicated at all. I try to make it as simple as possible. Uh, not trying to reinvent the wheel here, just trying to give it to you guys in a very easy to understand format and we’re getting a lot of good results so far. I’m getting a lot of good feedback from it and uh, so we’re, we’re just trying to expand, give people another way to learn to play guitar and try to keep it fun and not so rigidly structured, but you know, have fun while you’re doing this, but at the same time it’s a really high quality way to learn to play. Absolutely. Alright, you guys keep those questions coming in. Comment section. Check out everything on guitar animal. We’re trying to bring you guys new and fun stuff every week. And um, we love hearing from you. So don’t forget GuitarAnimal.com. Share.