Posted Feb 08, 2011 08:28 AM
Ok, you just bought a guitar because your big brother has one, or you think it will get laid, or your cool friend has one. Whatever your reason for buying a guitar (lame or not), I would like to welcome you to the ranks of the millions of people who are struggling with this amazing instrument. The following is a primer to get you started.
So before we begin, we need to cover a couple main things that are essential to your success as a guitarist. A lot of this may seem painfully basic, but refrain from judgment as this is particularly important information for the aspiring guitarist. It is tough being a beginner because EVERYTHING is difficult at first. The following 3 principles will help you immensely:
Jamming With Friends
Tune Your Guitar
Inspiration Get excited about the guitar! You need to be motivated to keep your interest in this block of wood with strings. Do whatever it takes. Read guitar magazines, listen to your favorite band, go to a concert, smoke a cigarette. Once you are excited about it, start practicing immediately and don't stop until your fingers blister and bleed, or you want to smash your guitar into splinters. Personally, I like to put on some of my favorite tracks to pump me up, and then when I pick up the guitar I play for hours on end. Figure out what inspires you and seek it out.
Jamming With Friends I don't care how many scales you know, or how quickly you can sweep pick through Perpetual Burn, if you can't jam you suck. Fact. It's like masturbation (aside from the fact that you have wood in your hands); sure it's fun and all, but in the end of the day you are still just playing with yourself. Once you start jamming you will see exponential progress in your playing. From timing, to knowing what notes work over what, jamming will make you a better player. There is something amazing that happens when you and your buddies lock' into that groove for the first time. And yes, I am aware how gay that last sentence sounds. Finally, recording yourself and jamming over it is no substitute for playing with other musicians.
Tune Your Guitar Yes I know it shouldn't have to be said, but tune your damn guitar. Every time you play. You will become frustrated a lot quicker, and increase the chances of putting your axe down to collect dust if you don't. Also, when you are starting out, your ear probably sucks and always having your guitar in tune will facilitate your ability to learn song by ear. Oh yea, do yourself a favor and buy a tuner, don't try and tune your axe by ear when you are just starting out.
Alright, you read through my preamble, lets get started