I Love My Guitar
At 17 I was given an old guitar. It was a beautiful object with a carved headstock and a rich, mellow body and I longed to play it. Alas, I hadn't a clue... I was a musical klutz. I knew nothing about music and didn't even know how to tune it. Although a couple of guitar-playing friends tried to help me out I couldn't seem to get my head or fingers around it and there just wasn't enough teachers with the patience to spell things out for me.Plus In those days I was into instant gratification...and so it languished in the corner of my bedroom for a few years gathering dust until I finally passed it along to someone who could play.
Now, many years later I've taken it up again but with a new sense of commitment, an electronic tuner and a host of youtube teachers. I took it up because I was worried about depreciating brain cells and thought I'd try to forge a few new neural pathways by learning something new...and perhaps that early sense of failure had never quite left me. After some web research I decided on a Tanglewood TW 28, made by an English company ....from their low end range but not too cheap. I was advised to buy the best I could afford. From the moment I took it out of the box it was love at first sight and I knew I was in for a long-term relationship....
That smooth creamy body and pale laquered maple head-stock; those art deco inspired machine heads, the stylish black logo, the shimmering phosporo bronze strings....[chills]
Fired by enthusiasm I lashed out and bought an online teaching program called Jamorama which was okay but completely unnecessary as there is enough free information out there to get started. For the first month or so my fingers ached to the point of bleeding...those acoustic strings are murder on soft finger pads but through grit and determination I crashed through the pain barrier and developed some great calluses. The suffering only bonded me closer to my guitar...we were going through so much together.
Before too long I was thrashing away and playing songs, singing along... even writing my own stuff , not to mention boring everybody to the point of inertia with guitar talk and impromptu concerts. I still had brick walls to overcome, such as the dreaded barre chords which seemed to demand an impossible stretch of fingers. For the first few months I resisted the monotony of stretching exercises, reasoning that I would only learn if I enjoyed the process and while I did learn a lot from continuously trying to play the songs I enjoyed, in the end I did succumb to the tedium of repetitive exercises and it did help me with developing dexterity and getting those barre chord shapes out.
It's been 12 months now and while I'm not sure about the brain cell development, my guitar has opened up a new and wonderful universe for me. Being able to play music has proved a powerful emotional release and allowed me a new creative outlet. I never thought I could do it and perhaps I couldn't have without the incredible resource of the internet which allowed me to learn at my own pace, whenever I wanted. I could rewind and pause over and over again, choose my own teachers, find chords and tabs and observe a wide range of inspiring guitarists. So if there's anyone out there with an unfulfilled hankering to play guitar, without hesitation I say go for it. Amaze your friends and acquaintances. All you need is the commitment and as the saying goes, 'if I can do it, anyone can...'
Some recommended youtube teachers:
There's quite a few out there and I'm sure I haven't seen them all, nor have I checked out the teachers at the hub which is all new to me but these are just a few I stumbled across that have been really helpful.
Justin Sandercoe -not only is Justin completely adorable but he's also a very accomplished guitarist and a terrific teacher. He's got some great tips for beginners and is easy to watch and listen to. He also has a good vid on how to change strings.
Goldhat -ah Goldhat. An old-fashioned, self-taught guitarist from the sixties...not as hep as Justin but his skill and love of guitar shines through. Teaches some great Beatles classics...as well as the usual beginner fare..Leaving on Jet Plane, Wonderwall etc. and his signature line is "have fun with that one". His singing will amaze you, though perhaps not in a good way and he has some very distracting wallpaper behind him in his videos.
Marty Swartz - Love him. He has over a 100 lessons on his youtube channel. Check him out.
Bobby Crispy -has a quiet, mumbling voice that makes him sound likes he's talking into a rolled-up sock but he knows his stuff and offers patient instruction. He taught me to play Don't Worry Baby, which is quite an achievement, for him and me.
- Advice For Beginner Guitarists by jj200
I first started playing guitar when I was about 10 years old on my great uncle's old acoustic. I had no musical experience, never been in band, played a triangle, sang in church, owned any albums. Nothing....