Thursday, February 05, 2015

Learning Guitar Part 0

I've owned a guitar for years, but I've never got around to learning.

I'm going to try to document my experience and try to practice everyday and write about it. I'll be following the Beginner's Course at Justin Guitar, which seems to be pretty great. If I could afford a teacher, I'm sure that would be easier and better, but I don't have the money or schedule for a teacher, so let's go teaching myself!

I could easily go through one lesson a day, but I'll probably try to do more than that (given that I've already started and am a little familiar with the course.)

The first three lessons are for the D, A, and E chords, which I don't have down at all. I can barely remember their names and I know nothing of music theory. I know the chords are named after the key they're set in, but I'm not sure why (it has something to do with the spacing of the notes and which notes are used from the arpeggio, but I barely understand what any of that means.) The funny thing about starting out is that everything seems hard. Holding down a string is difficult, strumming is tricky and none of this stuff is actually difficult.

The hard parts about playing are yet to come, but just knowing how to play chords and switch between them fluidly can actually make a guitarist. Many guitarists actually play just that way, which separates a hobbyist from an enthusiast, and I couldn't imagine what the difference between an enthusiast and a professional would be.

Everything hurts right now, and nothing sounds right. You'd think just getting your fingers into place would be enough, but there are a half dozen factors to think about, and corrections that seem impossible to make. What gives me hope is that I know guitar isn't an impossible task, it just seems that way.

My short term goal (a year out) is to play songs easily, even if they're simple or bad. My long term goal is to be a master of music, but I'm probably starting a bit too late for that.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


Late in 2008, when I was a fresh face in college and ready to learn of the world, I found an article articulating the comparability of Guitar Hero and Rock Band instruments. I returned to this article often, because it was the only one like it. It had every system, every game, every controller, and it cross referenced them all by the binary switch of 'works' and 'doesn't work.

It was a work of art that could only represent one group of people.

This was Joystiq.