Introduction

 

New Students Welcome!

As a new student of the guitar, it is important to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the basic concepts and theories of playing the guitar. From these concepts and theories, you can begin to develop your own style and become a very good guitarist. Many people believe that the guitar can be self-taught and it certainly can be. But I feel that it is much easier and more beneficial to also study the teachings of experienced players in order to gain a full understanding of the proper ways to play the guitar. Not only will this give you a much more comprehensive knowledge of the instrument but it will also allow you to more easily learn new and interesting styles as you develop as a player. Every guitar player should wish to gain a unique style and voice on the guitar.

Some of the stuff you’ll learn

By learning the basic theory and techniques of the instrument, you will gain an understanding that the guitar is an easy music instrument to learn and is extremely enjoyable to play and it is also a gateway to learning music in general. By learning guitar, you can transfer that knowledge to almost any other musical instrument. You will also learn how to develop your own style based on the material in this book and material that you learn yourself on your own. For example, if you wish to learn how to play blues guitar, I can show you the chords and scales and techniques that are commonly used to play blues guitar. However, the most important part of blues guitar is improvisation and “playing from the gut” which means that every note that you play will be selected by you as an extension of your own musical voice. This is why some of the greatest blues guitarists of all time were self-taught. They were able to take the basic blues scales and chords and give them an interesting flair based on their own approach to the instrument.

black acoustic guitar

Learn to Have a Style!

I believe it is very important to understand that the guitar is an individual instrument. Although there is the old adage “rules are meant to be broken”, the student must understand that the theory behind playing guitar has been developed over hundreds of years and that common knowledge is very important in order to become a great guitar player and great musician. I have met many guitarists over the years who are self-taught and have not studied the common teachings of guitar. I find that those guitarists tend to be very limited in playing styles and very apprehensive to learning new ideas. The greatest and most diverse guitarists seem to be the ones who are able to utilize a combination of self-study and formal instruction.

Get some Help from a Real Teacher Too!

Therefore, this course is not designed to be a self-study guide. It is meant as a companion to formal guitar instruction by a qualified teacher. The student is advised to read through the material to familiarize him or herself with the upcoming lesson plans and attempt to study any parts of the material that may be foreign or obscure. Although I have tried to make this guide as complete as possible, there are many aspects of the guitar that are best learned through a combination of self-study and formal instruction. Although I can teach you the theory and techniques that you need to become a great guitar player, I cannot teach you your own style unless you spend a lot of time developing it yourself. The best way to gain a new style is to listen to a wide range of great music and begin to learn how that music was created while at the same time, developing your own voice based on the music that you hear playing “in your head.”

It’s a Brave New World Out There!

The Internet is a great resource for new guitar players. When I began to learn how to play guitar in the late 1980′s, the teachinghow to play guitar material was only available at a high cost from professional publishers. However, nowadays you can download for free a plethora of guitar instruction material from the Internet. My lesson plan includes regular quizzes and I will judge your playing based on the material I expect you to learn from this book. However, all quizzes will be “open book” and you will complete them at home on your own because I feel that the research that you will undertake to find the answers is extremely important in adding to your knowledge of the instrument.

Have Some Patience!

I have tried to include as much material as possible in this book. But do not be apprehensive. I do not expect you to learn this material overnight. It will take weeks, months, years to become the best guitarist you can be. Some people spend their entire life learning the guitar. By grasping each part of this lesson plan, you will begin to understand the “big picture” on how to play guitar and soon you will not need me at all. The more you play guitar, the better you get.  The more you practice guitar, the better you get. The more you learn about guitar, the better you get.

I hope you stick around for more of my how to: guitar lessons!

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