Forty Seven Years

author: Paulbookwood date: 04/02/2014 category: junkyard

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Forty Seven Years
After playing guitar for 47 years I thought I might share a few things with aspiring guitar players. First of all get a decent guitar. The guitar should be well suited to the style of music you want to play. It's a pretty sure thing that you will get discouraged if your first guitar is difficult to play and doesn't sound good. You don't have to spend a fortune, but you should get an experienced player to help you make your choice. Not only can an experienced player help you select the best guitar in your price range, but you should get some help setting up your guitar. The strings you use, the action adjustments etc. Can make a huge difference.

Let's not neglect the music itself. There is no reason not to get a basic understanding of music theory. Don't be afraid, it's not that hard to get a handle on it. You'll find that guitarists can use the same fingering for scales and chords by simply moving up and down the neck of the guitar. This means if you learn the scale and the chord in one key you can play it in eleven keys. The keyboard players pretty much have to change the fingering for each key they are playing in. Take a little time to learn to play in the most commonly used keys, particularly keys you can sing in.

Much as I love my fellow musicians I have found that the best strategy is to be able to stand alone. Not that I don't enjoy jamming with other musicians, but they aren't the most reliable bunch as a whole. If you get into a situation where you rely on others to play music you are setting yourself up for trouble if others don't show up, get too drunk to play, or just don't learn their parts. If you can sound good all by yourself you'll be in a more advantageous position.

Last of all, practice! It takes time to develop the muscle memory and the brain-to-hands link it takes to play well. That's no reason why you can't have fun practicing, and experimenting can be a lot of fun. Try new things out and develop your own style and sound. Just spend a lot of time with your guitar and things tend to come together in a very satisfying way.

See you next time, P.B.
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