Thursday, January 1, 2009

Learning to play guitar

Santa was good to me this year: in addition to a Flip Mino HD to replace the Mino that was stolen at the Convention in August, I also got a guitar. I learned to play as a kid, but haven't played in decades. One of my 2009 resolutions is to re-learn the guitar, and I thought it'd be helpful to document what I got to make progress on that front:
  • Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar: Just $89, it's a natural finish acoustic guitar and it sounds pretty good. I'm not looking for anything fancy, and this seems to be a good fit so far.
  • Korg TM-40 tuner and metronome. Makes keeping the guitar in tune a breeze, and the metronome will be helpful as I learn more than a handful of chords. :)
  • Guitar Method v4.0: This software appears to be pretty decent - the UI isn't the most polished I've seen, but the addition of videos, audio and interactive fret displays makes learning pretty straightforward. The reviews are pretty helpful there, suggesting that some online sources are good complements to GM, so I'll likely check those out. (I got this because it's Mac compatible, there were a couple other options for the PC that I ignored.)
  • Gripmaster Hand Exerciser: The fingers on my left hand need some strengthening (to say the least!), and this is going to help build them up. I'll probably pick up the callus builder clips for the exerciser too.
  • Guitar stand: So that my guitar can be easily visible to remind me to practice.
What did I forget? Any tips, tricks, things I should know about as I head down this path?

6 comments:

  1. I'm a bit of an axeman myself...I'd get a book that shows the chords for some of your favorite songs. If you learn an actual song all the way through, you'll have a sense of accomplishment and be motivated to keep going. Also, if people see the guitar they'll say, "You play? What songs do you know?"s
    s
    You'll also want to swing down to the time store and pick up a whole bunch of spare time to practice. :-D

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  2. I have those grip things (for sailing both the medium and the heavy) don't get the heavy. sAs for guitar it's been a long time and I sucked when I did it as a kid. But man you can't beat the smell of a new acoustic guitar.

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  3. More than almost any other instrument, quality really matters with guitars. A guitar with very good action is significantly easier to play than one with just good action. I recommend taking the guitar to a service shop to get it set up correctly: have the frets filed down so you don't rip apart your hands, get good strings installed, etc.

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  4. You forgot a very important thing-- Guitar Hero for your Wii...

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  5. learningtoplayguitarFebruary 23, 2009 at 2:52 AM

    I love music and guitar is one of the musical instrument. By playing or listening guitar music I feel happy and refreshed.

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  6. You may not like that $89 acoustic for long. Once you start playing up the neck a bit (especially if you use a capo), you'll find that it won't sound in tune. You won't have to spend mega-bucks though. A half-decent intermediate guitar costs between $200-250. You won't need to spend more unless you decide to turn pro, but this is probably what you need to end up doing before too long.

    The "Gripmaster"? Nah... Playing will be what does it for ya. If you play a lot, you will develop hand and finger strength. There is no substitute for practice.

    Anyway, congrats on you picking up the guitar again. It's great doing the things that you love.

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