Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lesson 1

 Getting Organized

First of all, I wanted to explain that these lessons are geared more for intermediate to masterclass level guitarists, but that doesn't completely exclude beginners either.
Even beginning players can reap some benefits from the theoretical and philosophical information as well as the written exercises, licks, and phrases, etc, that will be included in these weekly lessons on this blog.
So no matter what your level of musical knowledge or playing skill, there will be something in these lessons that will greatly benefit you as an ever-evolving guitarist and musician.

That being said let's begin lesson 1: GETTING ORGANIZED--

Let's start off by assuming that you have a guitar that has at least 6 strings on it and is at least somewhat playable. If you don't you should probably buy one asap!!
One of the most important things about being a guitarist is having a good instrument to play, and to practice on.

There is a huge difference between trying to learn on a beat up old clunker with the strings an inch above the fretboard as opposed to having a well-balanced instrument.

You would be wise (if you are an electric guitarist) to also have a decent sounding practice amp that doesn't sound like total crap. I've seen many a developing player give up playing altogether because their amplifier sounds like a dying cat screaming in a rusty tin box. We dont want that. So if you need to, get a good amp too.

Make sure that you have a timing source to practice with as well. For example:
a metronome, drum machine, keyboard with built-in rhythm section, a computer with internet access to pull up an online metronome, etc...

Now that you are all ready to go lets talk about inspiration. What exactly is it that you want to accomplish? Are you just wanting to take the guitar a step further or take it to a whole new plateau of unique musical expression and technical power? Who are your favorite players? What are your favorite bands? Do you want to sound just like Synyster Gates or Carlos Santana? Or do you want to try and create your own sound on the guitar? What is the level of your musical passion and desire? Look deep within yourself and ask what is it that you really want from the guitar and music in general.

 No matter how gifted and talented you are you will need to practice to get good. The more you put in, the better the returns will be. The more consistent, organized and patient you are with your practice routines, the better your overall expression will become and the greater musician and guitarist you will be.

I would suggest putting in no less than 1 to 2 hours of practice at least every other day. But, of course, as I stated before, your overall growth depends on the amount of time that you put in.
Determination and persistence are two key elements in our overall growth as musicians. So is patience and a passion for music and the guitar. The guitar is a remarkable instrument worthy of its legendary mystique and reputation.

Don't just look at it like a block of wood to bang on. Strive to get to know your guitar better and respect it as an almost living, breathing entity. It will never do you wrong, but you can do it wrong by letting it sit in the corner or under the bed collecting dust from not playing it.

Next week we will begin with written exercises that you will be able to incorporate into your practice routine.

Until then, happy jamming!