Welcome aspiring guitar students.
We all dance to our own tune.
To quote Iggy Pop some of us "dance like a fool" while others are more polished.
Most of us perhaps fall somewhere in between. But all of us had to start somewhere!
Free youtube videos and guitar lessons have their place and their own agendas too.
I have whipped up a few such digital presentations because they are interesting and somewhat humbling.
So first thing you should do, to make the most of these guitar learning opportunities, is,
to get yourself, a couple of good guitar reference books, like these first two below.
And remember what Lou Reed said in an interview with Guitar Something magazine. "We have only one rule in the Velvet Underground: No Blues Licks"
Brilliant and a real nice guy! Much has been written. Listen to see for yourselves.
Wayne Kramer · Fred "Sonic" Smith; Rob Tyner; Michael Davis · Dennis Thompson. Inspired original midwestern rock. Derived from Chuck Berry et al.
Love his rhythm section too! Chicago Blues! Countless singers and musicians have recorded Gershwin songs, including Louis Armstrong, Al Jolson, Bobby Darin, Art Tatum, Bing Crosby, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock
In a time honored fashion the correct Guitar Reference book(s) combines what you need to know.
Chords - theory - rhythm! Books or printed matter will never get tired or be down for maintenance
and will make the difference by saving you time and money.
Armed with a well designed, comprehensive fret board over view at your finger tips;
you can better make use of digital teaching aids found at youtube which constantly reference music theory.
At first glance there is so much music theory out there its overwhelming.
So how much theory do you really need to begin to have fun playing guitar and to follow your muse?
A C-A-G-E-D method and tied for first place and suitable for flat pickers, acoustic and electric guitar students is Bruce Buckingham's book and digital disc set Rhythm Guitar the Complete Guide.
Many of us are looking for the best bang for our buck and this book and digital lesson combo set is, in my many years of experience, a top choice. More...
This is a great introduction to C-A-G-E-D system scales and their inherent overlaying chords in a really friendly easy to See & Read, laying flat on the desk, non-confusing format. Its a very convenient reference book. An inspired book. Well made and servicable.
Snap this up if you can find it. Its got large easy to read layout and graphics. It doesn't have every scale in the world. Its got what you need to understand. All the Keys certainly both sharp and flat, major, minor and a whole lot besides. Learn More
Jeff shows us Train Kept a Rollin and a slew more by pioneers of rock and roll and rhythm and blues. Seminal DNA
Steve plays a three string guitar. Pay attention to see how simple it can be and still sound great.
Talent and Looks!
For example J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton are pentatonic players. Made careers out of it. You can learn the pentatonic scales first as I did without learning the major scale theory and that's a mistake. Learn what the major scale is and how simple it can be. And 2 or 3 chord scales. Then practice your 5 connecting pentatonic scales. How about chords?
Do you really need to know 23 chords? Hundreds of hits have been written with C, Am, F and G chords alone. I'd say start with the 7 chord shapes that comprise a key or diatonic scale. Diatonic is ancient Greek word and means pertaining to the tonic or Key Tone. There are 12 tones, 7 natural (white keys) and 5 incidental (black piano keys).
These Mastering Fret board Harmony Lessons will change the way you choose voicings on the guitar neck. Such knowledge allows one to know the difference and takes the guess work out of guitar playing. There is well made and handy .PDF file adding great value. Pickers and strummers will begin to appreciate the intelligence of the guitars design how the notes are handily laid out to our benefit. Lots of spiffy fretwork is simple as pie if you know why and where!
If you do the exercises and follow along axe in hand, odds are, guitar lessons like these will give you a great overview of the how notes are purposely laid out in patterns on parallel strings. Its got must have basics and also delivers advanced level techniques right to your door and no college loan to pay back... Check it Out
Ben Lowrey is Great - loads of free stuff!
Ben in his salad days!
Berklee has free stuff worth checking out
C is simplest key because it has no sharps or flats. On guitar learn your C major and C major 7th chord scales with root notes on various strings. There are no flats or sharps. C is home court. C, Dm, Em, F, G7th, Am, Bm7b5, C. or major 7th: Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7, GDom7, Am7th, Bm7flat5, Cmaj7.
To learn chord scales I recommend book one of Jodie Fishers Jazz series found under the Start Smart button. I love 3 chord rock but didn't know what I was missing with Maj7th chord scales. Don't be intimidated by the 'minor 7 sharp 5' chord either, a couple of its voicings are easy as pie.
Theory wont do it alone and neither will physical practice. You need both. A book is the most economical way to learn from and store theory information. Guitar is about economic movement. Economics in notes and time.
Physically in addition to chords, you need to develop your rhythm time. It doesn't matter if you know 23 chords if your rhythm is undeveloped and you cant even string 4 to the bar measures.
Some lessons are manipulative and wont tell you the signal chain settings used by the instructor to get a particular iconic sound. Or they give you no written material or even a .PDF file. Those we find remarkable.
But my agenda is about sharing worthy lessons, even if purposely flawed. Even with all the good will in the world there is no one perfect guitar lesson or course. I review over 150 notable ones for you, as you would yourselves.
Out of my collection of over 100 Guitar instructional lessons and comprising 3 separately sold presentations; the C-A-G-E-D Guitar System I, II and III by Ernie Hawkins is tied for my number one suggestion for any beginner with an acoustic guitar ! Any acoustic guitarist but especially Country, blue grass and finger stylists want this! Read more Y'all
This could be the best all around very first guitar lesson you could be fortunate enough to testify to.
Its another must have entry for the best beginners guitar instructional lesson. Acoustic guitar is what's preferable to match our finger stylist instructor.
If just starting out on guitar and wanting to start with sound fingerstyle and/or flat pick practice principles. Laid back but rooted in serious guitar music! Steel string oriented focus. Even if you've been playing in a desultory fashion for years your timing will get back on the good foot by studying this presentation by Peter Huttlinger. Even Collins guitar's honored Pete with a signature model too. Start here...
Another big issue is finger picking. A lot, a real lot, of your favorite guitar slingers and axe grinders fingerpick to a certain extent. OK maybe not shredders. But even most pro shredders probably know how to finger pick. Me, I am flat picker by inclination and recommend hybrid picking as a compromise with a lot of potential. If you want the absolute best way to finger pick use a thumb pick and a fore-finger pick. No flat pick for you at all.
Merle Haggard, Chet Atkins, Johnny Winter (initially learned Chet Atkins style) and Freddie King all use this method. You only really need two fingers to finger pick, your thumb and your forefinger.
A word about me. I am guitar collector and have been mucking about with guitars for 40 years. Its only in the last four years that I have seriously, metronome engaged, practiced scales and arpeggios and asst. techniques at least one and a half hours a day.
On a good day I'll play three hours or if a buddy comes over, even more. I am faithfully working on playing 'out' at some point and each guitar 'achievement' is among the most satisfying feelings in my life.
I find that about every three weeks I'll level up. There are good days and there are 'ho-hum' days. The persistence pays off and is a life lesson that will change your outlook in a good way. That's what my little Role Model quotes are all about. Take them lightly but they inspire me, some of them anyway.
Bob Brozman what a player and of so many acoustic styles! Happily this is a great testament by Bob and his total 'all body' approach to Progressive Acoustic Rhythm Guitar. Andy McKee, Jon Gomm, Antoine Dufour, Mike Daws are also names associated with this whole new percussive style.
So you think you're...?
I'm psyched about this particular guitar lesson and have practiced it more than any other. Its a great warm up too and you learn something new every time. I can personally vouch for the exercises within. These are the fundamental practice concepts you need to use in order to develop your guitar rhythm. But in a way you don't mind doing over and over. Tower of Power, James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, Prince. Add dimension to your act.
The oldest guitar I have is a 1954 Gibson ES-125, my most valuable guitar would be my 1959 Fender Telecaster with a slab board neck. I have a non reverse '1964 Gibson Firebird, a 1965? Gretch Chet Atkins Nashville, a 1974 Gibson ES-175, a black Rickenbacker 12 string electric I never play because its such a pain to string and tune. I have a Charvel San Dimas, a wicked good Mexican Strat w/factory installed Floyd, an 1985 PRS, a Les Paul, an SG, a Schecter Corsair, an Epiphone ES-335, a Taylor acoustic a couple of basses and so on.
I am telling you this because my go to guitar is a TOKAI 1959 Strat copy with a maple neck. Great guitar. Alnico pickups have the most transparent sound for a Strat body style.
Tokai is the Japanese company Fender USA used for their Made in Japan line. On Gibson style guitars single coil P-90's rule too! Another fret board issue is hand size, some of these instructors have huge hands and use their thumbs to fret notes. If your hands are small or you're toying with the idea of buying a gift for someone. Consider parlour guitars, Martin makes a small guitar if you ask around, I have a baby Taylor I bought in a pawn shop in Daytona Beach. On line there are starter kits but its far better to go to a real music store if possible..
Chet Atkins said "there are no shortcuts and I've been looking a long time." Others have said Mastering the guitar is harder than it looks. Education is expensive but ignorance more so! Virtue is its own reward you virtuosos.! Don't make unrealistic goals. Choose the simplest songs to learn first. Wild Thing for example! Even Jimi Hendrix covered it. Its got three chords and a lot of attitude! After centering your self with some knowledge of the tools you'll need to develop you can then put together a practice regimen or even a strategy, you can live with. Stick to it and you will see results.