So I’ve been trying to teach myself guitar recently and, if I may say so myself, I am awful. The first thing I did when I picked it up was hold it upside down. I mean I play Rock Band and Guitar Hero as a lefty and those games are as real as it gets, right? After a couple of hours of struggling, I finally got it right side up (turns out the guitar and I are both right-handed). I had grown up learning and playing piano, mostly the classics like Beethoven and Mozart, but then stopped at high school so I could play school sports. I figured they would be related and I could make an easy transition. I kinda regret it now, but at the time I just wanted to be messing around with my friends instead of sitting inside with just me and a lady teaching me songs/scolding me for not practicing. Just kidding, my teachers were great women. I just can never sit still enough to learn. Anyway, I am getting way off topic! Back to guitaring.
Naturally, I started out just strumming every string I could and pretending it was awesome. Eventually I had some friends teach me some things, looked up some chords and I was on my way. So in an actual related note to piano – I figured I could find some sort of scale work to practice my fingering, but I couldn’t find any. But after a week of teaching/learning, my friend did teach me a practice similar to scales that blues musicians practice. So success!
I learned two songs. Redemption Song by Bob Marley and this Spanish romance song by someone I don’t know but my roommate taught me. “The ladies will love it. Just play it for them when you get them alone,” he said. Worth the learn I figured, since I’m into that kinda thing.
After learning the basics, practicing my fingering, and just messing around with chords, I felt ready to learn some more. I tried playing some Rebelution songs, because they sounded simple. Turns out they are hard. So I made my way to http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/ and tried my hand at learning tabs of some of my favorite songs. Man, did my world open up some more. I’ve always heard mentions of “guitar tabs”, but never really knew what they were. NOW I KNOW.
YouTube is also a great place to learn. Some people can be great teachers, especially when it’s something they are passionate about. It’s just a matter of finding that person who you like. My friend follows Marty Schwartz from www.guitarjamz.com on YouTube. Here’s a link to their account.
Even though I haven’t been learning long, I’ve been called the next Santana by myself and a totally real friend and/or stranger. Here’s an actual quote I heard someone say about me, “[He’s] awesome, [he’s] going places and I’m coming along for the ride,” – Andrew Lee talking to himself in the mirror after a hot shower. It started as a normal shower, but then I got into it and it became a hot shower.
Anyways, I feel that I am improving and having fun with it. It’s fun, a great hobby, and can be done whenever and with whoever. I truly believe that learning an instrument should be on everyone’s bucket list. I would have to look this up, but I’m pretty sure there are cognitive benefits and other positive effects that come with playing and learning a musical instrument.
Look out world, get ready for this guy to be sitting on college campuses, stealing your women when you go to the beach, and randomly serenading girls in libraries. That last place might not work so well…