By Lisa - Homeschooling Mom
Well.. I have often made the promise to myself but not ever really carried through. ALOT has changed in the 30 years since I first tried to learn guitar :-)
I first tried to learn when I was in high school. I went to a VERY alternative high school in Toronto and was almost a prerequisite to play chess and guitar!
My quasi-boyfriend at the time was a very gifted guitar player ( he is now pretty famous as a guitar player!) And at the time I was pretty intimidated and felt like if I could be GREAT at it why bother? What a terrible attitude that permeated my youth. If I couldn’t be the BEST at something then why bother at all.
The last few summers I made promise to myself that I would try and learn at least THREE songs to sing around the campfire…. and then promptly forgot about it.
Well- this summer made same commitment to myself in August and so far so good!
One thing unexpected that I discovered while trying to learn- practising and playing guitar has become not so much as learning songs to play by campfire- but I GREAT way for me to escape for a few minutes and take my mind off of things… I find it a great stress reliever and wish I had kept pursuing it. I really am enjoying learning to play an playing for myself- the sense of accomplishment I get is very fulfilling.
The internet an ddigital tuners have been a LIFE SAVER! I have studied music in the past and was not bad it despite being tone deaf .. I just work really hard at it. The biggest frustration as I recall when I first started to learn to play guitar was tuning the guitar- no way can I do it. If you told me you would give a a million dollars if I learned how to do- still no way I can do it. I am totally tone deaf.
My daughter who has AN amazing voice and perfect pitch has no problem but she also does have a digital tuner to tune guitar which is a GOD send! I also got a couple of apps from my phone to tune ( gstring_) but I much prefer the clip on tuner you just camp on guitar, strum then it shows you visually if you are sharp/flat and when you get it just right. I have this guitar tuner, the Samson Clip On Guitar Tuner and vert happy with it. I paid close to 40.00 for it but see Amazon has it for 15.00.
My guitar is CRAPPY 60.00 one I bought at liquidation place ( Canada X-Cargo)… I know… horrible, eh. I couple of my guitar playing friends tell me it sounds better than most enrty level guitars. I have told myself that if I continue to practise and enjoy I will invest in better quality.
I also started learning a few things over the interet- first with http://www.justinguitar.com/ who is totally free and quite good. He was good to get me staretd.
I wanted somethign more in depth and did tiny but of research an dthen just jumped in and took plunge and am currently using Jamplay, which is a paid service. I paid 19.95 for a month of access to their site and zillion videos.
I did a google search on which Jamplay artist was best teacher and for beginners I saw the name Steve Eulberg over and over so I use him. He is a bit folksy at start but after a few lessons you realize he really knows his stuff. I find the theory he injects a but overwhelming but can see how over time it will sink in.
I am finding that the lesson are challenging ENOUGH but no so easy I am bored. # weeks after using I would recommend giving Jamplay a try.
So far I am on his beginner lesson 4 chapter 8. I have learned 4 chords- G, C, D7, Em and Am , some scales and getting pretty good at some strumming patterns. With Justin I learned D, A and em as well and very comfortable with these chords. C chord I find tricky but have not hit the dreaded F chord yet.
I have found it KEY to play every day. I try and play in morning and before I go to bed. I find that whatever I play at night comes so much easier in morning and can feel the progression coming along well.
I will post regularly of my progress :-)