I told you, my creativity well is running low. There’s still many things I’ll write about, but I’m actually reaching into things I’d have written in the future and bringing them to this time to publish them.
There actually is a madness to my method!
Well, today I’m going to be talking to some of you who are more at the beginner stage. You might think that it’d have suited if I’d started with you, but there’s a cold hard truth that I’m just going to tell you.
I don’t believe you. So many experiences tell me that when you say you’re going to learn to play guitar that you’re not actually going to keep it up very long.
Here, go back and read a rough draft of my thoughts on the subject of learning to play guitar. In that article, I put a very low number on the number of hours I’ve dedicated to mastering the instrument.
The thing is, I don’t expect you to do that. Fuck no. You’d have to be right out of you fucking mind to do that. Seriously, it’s not worth it – for most people. It really isn’t.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to play a guitar and have fun with it.
Have a very basic lesson:
Assuming you’ve managed to string your guitar, something you should do frequently, then you should now tune your guitar. We’re not going to discuss alternate tuning, at this time. So, you’re going to get the Martin Guitar Turner app (or whatever they call it) for your cell phone.
Well, you should get a real ‘strobe tuner’ but, for now, you can just use your phone. They work well enough. This isn’t actually something that requires huge precision. If you’re using an electric guitar, stuff your phone in front of your amp. If you’re using an acoustic, put the phone on your lap.
Now turn your fucking guitar. The big fat string gets tuned to E. Then you go down. The final result should look like E A D G B E. There’s very few good reasons to use an alternate tuning at this stage. So, don’t worry about them. You’re using Standard Tuning.
Do you have a pick?
Throw it away. You can have a pick after you’ve mastered some guitar chord. How are you going to do this?
Guitar Chord Bible in PDF. You should probably buy one. They’ll even tell you where to put your fingers.
With that, I want you to learn a bunch of open chords. These are chords usually played with some open strings. They’re played way down at the very end of the neck, near the head. Learn the G, A, E, D, A min, E min, throw in an Fmin (maybe the min7) for good measure, B min.
In fact, if you look to your right, there’s a diagram that will let you pick and show those chords and how to play ’em. I put that there for you, ’cause I knew I’d get here eventually.
Excellent… So, now you’ve practiced those chords for a few months. Right? Right… I’m gonna fucking pretend you did. Seriously – practice them.
Now, go buy an “Easy Guitar Songbook of Your Favorite Artist!”
Note: Almost everything they tell you is wrong. That’s not actually what the band was playing – but I don’t care. I’m not teaching you technical mastery, I’m teaching you how to have fun playing the guitar.
These songs won’t be exactly right – but they’ll do. They’ll sound close enough to let you practice, play for friends and family, and even share your music with other people.
In six months, you’ll be busting out Friend of the Devil, Sugar Magnolias, and Uncle John’s Band – to the amazement of all your friends. Along the way, you’ll learn some more chords. Then, you can start to look for guitar chords to specific songs by using this here network of computers.
Also, have this book. Guitar For Dummies in PDF. I’m not calling you a dummy. It’ll actually help you. You might want to buy a copy. I’m not actually sure where that one came from. I just used Google and up it popped.
So, if you want to learn to play guitar, you can do it. This will get you started and give you some fun before you get into the dull treatment that I give my current student. With her, I start with theory, method, and rote. You don’t want me as your guitar teacher. No, I’m no fun at all.
And, even as a stickler for some things, I always admit that it has to be fun. It has to. There’s one path to fun. Use it if you need it, or leave it if you dare. (I think that’s quoted correctly.) Until next time…
Shut up and play us a song!