Easy Guitar Lessons: The "Boring" Stuff
Okay, what’s the real first step to learning to play guitar? Hint: it’s not where to put your fingers or what strings to play or even what the notes are. It’s getting geared up!
The stages of getting geared up:
- Picking a guitar
- Learning how to setup that guitar
- Learning the guitar itself
After that you can start rocking. So let’s work together to bust out these “boring” first steps!
Picking a Guitar
This is probably going to be one of the best pieces of advice you get. Trust me on this one.
Don’t waste money on an expensive guitar and amp! Get one at Target or Wal-mart. Wait! Don’t go! I know some of you out there are tweaking right now, but let me tell you a quick story.
An older buddy of mine got the rare opportunity to work on stage for one of the guitar legends. I can’t recall which one it was now, but that’s not the important part. I believe it was one of the Jim’s; Paige or Hendrix. He was totally ecstatic to say the least! After the show he was even more excited when he got permission to play on the Legend’s guitar! He was learning guitar himself and knew an opportunity like this would only come once in a lifetime. He nervously got on that stage with the assistance of the roadie got plugged in and busted out some serious Legendary notes! Uh, actually no. Much to his surprise even playing on the guitar Legend’s guitar, the music still sounded just like his own personal guitar sound!
It was that day he learned a very important lesson that I now pass down to you. The “sound” is not in the strings or guitar or amp or effects. Your legendary sound is in your fingers, just like it is in all the Rock Stars. Guitar Legends can make a $100 Wal-mart special shred. And dropping $5000 on rig won’t make you sound like a Rock Star. Learning your stuff and developing your skills will make you into a Guitar Legend! So right now while you are learning and growing, save yourself a buck and just get a basic guitar and a basic amp or a basic acoustic. What brand or even kind doesn’t really matter. Instead of plunking that extra $500 on the guitar, get yourself some more extras like a wah pedal or overdrive pedal and some extra strings.
With that said, some things you should know about picking your guitar. Go with the kinds that matches the sound you like the most. If you listen to a lot of classical or Spanish guitar, go with a Nylon String Acoustic. If you listen to more country or folk, get a Steal String Acoustic. If you listen to more rock and alternative, get an Electric Guitar, but you will need to also buy an amp and a guitar chord. In the end though you can learn any guitar song on any of the 3, so you can also just go with your budget.
Don’t forget a guitar tuner. This low budget item will save you a ton of headache.
Setting up Your Guitar
For Acoustics this is pretty easy. It should have come with the strings already on it all you got to do is sit down, tune and play.
For the electric you will have to plug the chord into your amp and guitar and then just tune and play! For an electric tuning will probably be even easier since any tuner worth its salt will have a spot to plug the chord in.
For tuning, as long as it was strung right, turning the tuning peg (the little turning key on the head of the guitar) counterclockwise should make the string go higher in sound and the opposite direction will make it lower. Remember this when you re-string your guitar, cause you want all your pegs turning the same direction to keep from confusing yourself.
Learning Your Guitar
The pictures to the right should give you all the general information you need! Now to learn the mnemonic to help memorize the names of the strings:
"Every Acid Dealer Gets Busted Eventually"
Or a little more PG:
"Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears"
Whichever suits your fancy!
There you go, you’ve learned all the basics you need to know to get setup and ready to start learning!