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Instant Gratification   

Mon, 31 Mar 2008

So you want to learn guitar…

…and know almost nothing about music. Most likely you somehow got a guitar and are wondering what you got yourself in to. Don’t worry; you will cope, and it will turn out for the best.

When I first picked up a guitar, I didn’t know what I was getting myself in to, but I feel at least somewhat qualified now to give some advice to other guitar n00bs.

My advice comes from the fact that I’ve settled on learning classical music, but many of these tips will apply no matter what you eventually end up learning.

What Guitar Stuff to Buy

What Media to Buy

Of all the above media, the only one I was using after 1-2 months is Noad’s book and a little laminated chord chart for reference. In addition to the above, buy one or two music books of music that you’re interested in. It’ll be a good stretch for you while you’re learning. In some cases you can try simplifying the music you play, ie: by playing only the high or low notes, or only the chords.

A word of warning: at first only you will understand what music you’re trying to play no matter how hard you’re trying or how much progress you’ve made. People you share music with are used to hearing professional bands, musicians, produced music, “the best take”. You make a few small mistakes or mess up the rhythm and people won’t be able to “hear” the same thing you’re trying to play. Chalk it up to experience and keep practicing. One day you’ll surprise both yourself and your audience.

What to Learn

Sites to Visit

And Finally…

Start taking lessons as soon as you feel like you know which end of the guitar goes up. Find a good teacher. Ask around about a bunch of guitar teachers. You might need to change teachers as your interest or skill changes. See if you can watch (or listen) to a teacher giving lessons to one of their other students. See if you like their teaching style.

Have fun, and remember that slow & steady wins the race … you should focus on making continual, small progress and celebrating your personal victories (recognizing notes, playing a chord well, etc).

22:22 CST | category / entries
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