First of all, welcome.
The guitar is one of the deepest of musical instruments. You can be as good or as bad as you wish. You can even play very good without knowing much. That’s if you have a good ear and a keen feeling for the instrument. Even with a good ear, the lack of knowledge can be very limiting to your playing and your music. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is try to learn more.
If you are here it’s probable you are interested in learning to play, or you already know how to play and you want to learn new things in order to improve. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Just like in any other subject, I recommend you seek the instruction of a qualified teacher. You can learn a lot from books, websites and magazines but the best and fastest way to learn is combining all these with an instructor. There is something I recommend even more than an instructor, and that’s PRACTICE. Even if you never see a teacher, if you practice often, you can learn to play better than anyone who learns from a teacher but rarely practices.
Having said this, let me point out the best way to go about using my site:
1. The Begining. I will be adding lessons periodically. The site will not be a complete resource. But, you will find great amount of information that will keep you very busy learning. So, don’t forget to visit often for new lessons and tips.
2. What Order? The lessons are in no particular order. They are organized by category though. What this means is that you don’t have to follow the lessons in order. If you have some experience playing, then choose whatever topic interests you at the moment. If you are a beginner, the same applies to you, but starting with the essential chords and a few scales is the quickest way to start playing. I really recommend that along with the chords you begin learning scales. Learning scales early with put you on your way to playing excellence. Not only are they the basis for soloing, riffs, and songwriting but playing scales will introduce you to intervals, alternate picking patterns, and other techniques that are essential for mastering the guitar.
3. Do Your Time. Practice! This is the single most important rule for learning guitar. This applies to you whether you are a beginner or experienced player. The best approach to practicing is to set a fixed amount of time to practice everyday. “Everyday, you say!” Yes. Practicing everyday will ensure that you learn thoroughly. Not only that, but practicing everyday will develop in you a bigger desire to play. I’ve noticed that when I stop playing for a day or two I don’t have as much entusiasm when I decide to pick up my guitar again. So to avoid this I make myself play everyday, even if I don’t feel like it. Playing the guitar is fun, so as soon as you begin playing you’ll be glad you made yourself play. So, set a given amount of time to practice. If you have a lot of time on your hands, then great! Two or three hours a day will make you pretty good in a year. If you have little or no time (thanks to work, school, the girlfriend, etc.) then make sure you separate 1 hour for your new girl, your 6-string slab of wood. Remember, there is really no excuse. Anybody can pull off at least one hour a day. Don’t forget this: “1 hour a day is better than 7 hours in one day.” If you practice lots of hours in the weekend by the time the next weekend comes around you’ll have forgotten half of what you learned. On the other hand, if you practice once a day you will learn at a steady pace and you will seal what you’ve learnt. Plus, your brain can only learn so much in one day. After two hours you get pretty much saturated and you don’t absorb information very well. If you sleep on it and get back at it tomorow, you get a fresh start on new info and at the same time you build upon what you learn the day before. I can’t stress this enough.
4. The Routine. Be sure to establish a practice routine. Don’t just pick up your guitar and start hammering away! Break your routine down into sections. Dedicate the first ten minutes to warming up. Do stretching exercises and practice your scales. Practicing scales up and down the neck is one of the best ways to warm up. Not only that, but it helps you remember them. After that, you can start learning new material or reviewing what you did yesterday. Also, make sure you put in at least 30 minutes of actual playing which will keep you motivated since it’s the most fun. If you begin your routine one day without much energy or entusiasm, then play a couple of songs you like before you begin any new material. That’ll get you going.
5. What’s This? Don’t worry if you don’t understand at first. Some of the material will seem like Chinese. But don’t worry, just keep doing it and soon you’ll find that you’ve begun to understand. Sometimes that happens very soon. I remember when I started learning my scales. I could not understand a thing. “Why this? Why that?” I realized that in just a couple of days it started making sense to me. Often times something you learn today makes you understand something you could not understand before.
6. Finally. Have fun! That’s the whole point of it all. Right?
This site is here for your enjoyment and your personal development as a musician. That’s why it’s free. So tell all your friends and email anyone you know who loves music. Don’t keep it yourself ; ) If you have a site I’d appreciate it if you link to me.