You have decided that, no matter your age, race, religion, or personal reasons, you are going to learn the guitar. Take it from millions of players, all around the world, this is a GOOD thing. Well done! "But", you ask yourself, "How long will it take me to play a song?". "How long before I can play that searing solo, or the heartfelt, soulful blues solo I have listened to, over and over again?"
Please believe me, there is no quick fix. There are no shortcuts, no five minute workouts, no instant one off free download that will turn you into a maestro overnight. These articles, websites, and free downloads are there only because you, yes YOU, want there to be a miracle cure.
Having taught music for almost two decades, I can confidently say, that no matter where you are in the world, you are not alone. Millions of students look for that ever elusive site that will turn them into guitar heroes in the shortest time imaginable. If you have not already done so, you will eventually surf the internet, looking for answers. You will find so many different approaches, so many quick fixes, so many different techniques, that will almost definitely leave you more confused than when you started. Here is your first guitar tip - spend the time you would surfing, in actually picking up your guitar and making a noise. This will advance you in your studies a lot quicker than trying to understand what someone is trying to articulate in words, what should be done with noise!
Please don't misunderstand what I am saying. There are many helpful and intuitive sites on this subject, but they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the run of the mill, "miracle" sites. Your best bet on finding a decent site is to get a referral from someone you know who can play the guitar better than you!
Once you have learned the basic theory of music, which hopefully you have read from a published book, or possibly signed up for a short course at your nearest music school, you should be well on your way to learning to play.
The following are the tips I feel you need to take to heart, if you ever want to amount to any level of competence.
Firstly, play the guitar. Even if you only know how to do one thing, play one chord, one string, by actually playing physically, you are training your body, your muscles, much like a boxer repeats his bag combinations over and over again. The more you play, the better you will become.
Secondly, for those that want to play the screaming, shredding solo. This does not happen overnight, and seriously, it does not happen without learning rhythm. Rhythm guitar is the foundation for all guitar work. For the first few years, you need to concentrate most of your efforts on chord work, and scales.
Lastly, but possibly the most important tip. I have seen so many students give up in disgust, after choosing to learn a song that seasoned pros would raise eyebrows at. For the first few years, remember to keep it simple. Go back in history, and find a song that does not contain more than three chords. Yes, three. Some of the best songs in the history of music never had more than three, and believe it or not, some even contained two!!
Standard rock songs from the 1950's through to the 1970's are the best learning tool you will ever use to become proficient on the guitar. If you feel that you have to surf the web for inspiration, find sites that promote music from those decades.
Lastly, good luck and keep playing.
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