So You Wanna Play the Guitar

by guitarkadia on November 4, 2008

in Blog

You should give it up. There’s no way you have what it takes to learn an instrument like that. I mean, look at you…you’re not the right type and you don’t look to me like you could pull it off being a guitar player. Have you not seen what those guitarists look like? Do you really think you can compare yourself to them, the ones who rock, and roll? Seriously now, quit it. Do something useful with your life. Don’t let ‘dreams’ take over your life that is, otherwise, just plain boring. You do see that you are not made to play the guitar. I don’t know what possessed you to even consider taking up the holy instrument.

Still with me?

Good, cuz life is too short to take shit from anyone. Guitar is not a mysterious instrument; it’s a beautiful one defined by you – who will pick it up and make it sing. It will be your voice that has been trapped inside waiting to break out. Break that voice out, dammit.

In the coming weeks, months, and as long as I am able, I will share lessons of all kinds, some from me (some like this), some inspired by others, and hopefully some from others who contribute to this blog. I’ll tell you upfront – I’m no master of the guitar. I’m not a wizard with chops like Van Halen or soulful like BB King who can make one bend down on the knees and do a monologue. I don’t read music like I read words. I don’t know theory like…that guy you know who’s all about theory. Theory is good if you get to use it, but otherwise it will be useless.

Apologies – don’t wanna scare people off with theory talk. But what I do have is a bit of all the above I’ve mentioned. I’m learning too because there is no end in learning the guitar. If there were, it would have gone out of fashion looong time ago. I have been playing since I was 15. Sixteen years later I supposed I ought to have been a master at some things. I’m not. I’ve taught one on one for a while and have had the joy of teaching kids who showed incredible talent and their approach to learning completely dumbfounded me – they brought nothing to the table that would get in the way of learning. And they are like giant sponges that soaks up everything, fast.

Which had led me to wonder, why can’t adults do the same? What is it that makes us so un-teachable? Answer: We make ourselves unteachable. Kids don’t think like some of us adults do. There is no such thing as ‘It can’t be done’ with them. That’s a thing to celebrate and encourage. Instead, parents get in the way and shut them down. Because their parents had done the same. Let’s skip that depressing topic.

What you need to know is – nothing! I’ll hook you up. You don’t have to buy expensive books on scales, chords, and theory. All will be given to you and more. I am, however, not the boss of you -so you can buy whatever the hell you want to buy. I’ll even point you towards stuff. I probably will rub a lot of guitar players and teachers the wrong way with my web2.0 mentality. I could care less if they think I’m butting into their territory. My lessons will not affect their business. I sure hope not because what would that, then, say about their methods. I would, however, appreciate if teachers out there would participate and share their knowledge and thoughts on here.

Remember, though, that there are no shortcuts to greatness. But…you should not aim for greatness because that’s a mountain you are already building too high. Let your love for music and guitar take you on this journey. It’s a beautiful one, I assure you. You will love being a guitar player, a musician, and a well-rounded person. I know for a fact that you are reading this because you need a change in the way things are happening in your life. When do we pick up an instrument? We do when we’ve made that decision to stop and re-evaluate our lives. Am I wrong? Re-evaluation, I assure you, occurs at any age. Whether you’re 13 or 63.

You do have to promise me one thing. You’ll share what you learn here and teach someone else. Not just guitar; guitar, here, is an excuse to share other things we’ll learn. Remember we talked about guitar being your voice? And by the way, don’t wait till your second lesson to teach what you’ve learned on the first lesson.

Enough. Let’s get to the shit. Oh, by the way, if you find my rare use of colorful language offensive – it’s your fault. :)

Next: Acoustic or Electric?

Time out: This second post can wait a couple of days. It’s election day and you need to be out there voting. I promise I’ll bring you some good lessons after. Please come back and comment with just ‘I Voted Today.’ It will make me very happy.

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