Have you ever woke up one day and thought, ‘I am going to learn to play the guitar so people will want to sleep with me?’ If yes, you might be in the same boat as me. I bought a guitar last Christmas and I didn’t know where to start. No-one who I live with plays the guitar and other friends have families, jobs and other commitments. However, in times of loneliness you always have the internet.
This being said, typing into a search engine can be rather subjective, you have to wave through piles of tripe, porn, and people who have a very loose definition of what the word ‘beginner’ means. The aim of this little section is to cut through all of that and give a personal take on what helped me.
Firstly, if you haven’t bought a guitar yet you might be wondering whether to invest in one with nylon or steel strings. Both types are excellent general purpose instruments, suitable for many styles, but each has its own distinct feel and sound. Visit your local store, pluck a few strings and see what feels right.
Buy a tuner that has a frequency display, it makes tuning a lot less subjective and fiddly. A great application on Android is gstrings which is free. Basic tuning goes from the top string, (the fat string) goes E A D G B E and will sound like this if done correctly.
All I wanted to do originally was to be able to play three or four songs well, so I used Youtube and this channel. I am not going to lie; a lot of these “teachers” are incredibly annoying. This guy however has a free ebook which has all the chord shapes in when you sign up for emails. He also shows you how to play a lot of songs for when you’re getting good. Don’t be put off however when you find a so called easy song is incomprehensibly difficult.
Another channel I used was this one; it also shows that many pop songs are essentially the same. The little pop up boxes are quite useful and you get no Americanisms from the hyper teen.
A lot of songs suggest/require using a capo. If you decide to get one buy it online, Amazon is full of bargains.
Hopefully these basic tips should set you on your way. Just keep playing and one day you will become just below average.
Other things I have learned.
You will waste more time getting a plek out of the middle of your guitar then you will on the toilet.
Playing Busted does not make you a sell out; it does make your housemates question your sexual orientation though.
Everyone learns at different speeds and uses different styles to learn. I used video; others like still pictures or having someone watch them.
Having a pen and writing notes is a massive help.
Everyone at some point thinks that their hands are too small/too big.
For the first 3 months of playing your friends, housemates, neighbours, and dogs will want you dead.
You will want to give up and learn the recorder.
Singing and playing the guitar is rather difficult.
You don’t get laid by playing the guitar; in fact you get it less.
Singing played until my fingers bleed may sound cool, it is not. Your fingers will harden and become gross to the point where you girlfriend doesn’t want to touch you and F**k’s your brother, b****h.
By Kevin Peacock