How to Make the First Step in Learning Guitar

CMC, here. So….you wanna play guitar, huh? Wanna be a rock
star? Jazz star, Country star…Or just wow the girls (or
guys) -or maybe you’re far less ambitious. Maybe you just
want to just find a creative outlet. Here are a few
observations from Chronicles of a Mad Guitarist: (the
biographical foundations I will be basing these
“guitarticles” on)

OK, here goes:

1. Learn, study, do it right. While I tend to adopt the
philosophy that all things happen for a reason, no worries,
no apologies, no regrets, if I had to live my life over, I
WOULD TAKE GUITAR LESSONS. I would learn to read music
sheets. I didn’t. I followed the supposed lead of the
Beatles, hearing some stupid (and probably wrong) interview
in which they supposedly said that they never learned to read
music. I made up my mind that I didn’t need it, that it was
“old school.” WRONG. What happened to me? Well, for one
thing, I rarely made any money. I got paid to play guitar,
based sheerly on my 12 year chutzpah, gumption, guts or
conniving–at 12 freaking years old (who can say that???) but
it went all downhill from there. And why? The answer is
simple: I never studied music. I relied on my presumption, my
guts, my inherent creative genius and talent. But that can
only get you so far.


The point is: no matter how smart or talented or creative you
think you are, you need to harness that energy to music.
Unless you’re just f—–around, you need to humble thyself
and take lessons, learn to read music. That way, if you end
up being really, really good, you just might get gigs as a
session player. Or as a teacher. So, what can it hurt? Even
if you just learn the names of a few chords, you’re better
off. Knowledge is power.

Eventually, I went to College here in L.A. and took a
classical guitar course where I learned how to hold an
acoustic guitar properly (if you want to play classical.) I
signed up. I showed up. I took my FIRST GUITAR LESSONS almost
TEN YEARS AFTER (OK, Alvin Lee, another rock star but
definitely not in the running for #1) I first was paid to
play. The only way to become good at something is to make it
a habit, to make a commitment to it, to do it on a regular
basis, or “religiously.” FOCUS, DON’T STOP *Believing* (OK, I
wont even go there). And this brings me to the next point:
make some decisions, if you can, about how important learning
guitar is to you.

If you are just f—-around, that’s ok but own that. Just say
“I’m just f—-around.” But if you really know that you know
that you will have a life-long love affair with that shapely
collection of wood and plastic that emanates good vibrations
out to the universe through your creative choices, then by
all means, do it, stick to it and work hard. Learn, take
lessons, go to school. Dive in head first. Don’t F—aroundjust

How much should you pay? Where do you start? Well, back in
the day, we didn’t have YouTube. You “young’ins” have a HUGE
advantage over us old timey rockers and wanna-be rockers.
(and we expect more from you) You can always start there. You
know the drill-type in whatever key word or favorite players
or phrases you need to get started. But of course, ultimately
you will need a ‘hands-on’(literally) approach. You will need
to spend MONEY. Yes, thats right MONEY. It takes money to
make money. The Funny thing about money-is that it can act as
a gauge of how important something is to you. If guitar is
really important, you will be more than happy to shell out
your hard earned money (or your parents hard earned money) in
order to step up, to get to the next level.

So, that’s it for now, kiddos. Onward and upwards. Get busy
time! Take your


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