22 April 2010
In the past those who wanted to learn guitar had a much harder time. Not so very long ago you had practically no chance to learn to play guitar unless your uncle was a friend of Robert Johnson himself. But now, just about anybody from anyplace can learn to be a great guitarist, all you need is the desire to learn.
Yes, in these modern times those of us who learn guitar have many things to be thankful for, things that make it easier to learn. Here's my list of seven great things that make it a great time for us to learn guitar.
1. Instruction books
First up I think we can give thanks to the publishers of all the wonderful guitar methods. There is a wide choice of books offering step by step programmes so you can learn almost any style wherever you live.
Instruction books are great, but coupled with audio or video presentation they are even better. Just about any self-respecting guitar method comes with it's CD or DVD these days giving you a complete presentation of the material. This really makes it easier to decrypt all those musical symbols in the tab or score.
3. You Tube
Who hasn't enjoyed a guitar lesson on You Tube? If not then you're really missing out on some great stuff - and it's all free. You can pick up a favourite song or brush up on the playing tricks of the great players with a huge variety of teachers to choose from.
4. Tab files
Many of us still use tab sheets to learn new songs and there are literally tens of thousands of songs tabbed out on sites around the Internet. Thanks to these you don't need to have perfect pitch to figure out all those songs you want to play.
5. Backing tracks
Backing tracks let you play in a band wherever you live and whatever your level of playing. You can jam with any style of band: blues on Monday, rock on Wednesday, and funk on Friday. That is a great way to build your skills and confidence until you're ready for a real band, or is a great alternative if you don't have the time, or the inclination, to commit to a band.
6. Slow down software
When you work with backing tracks the chances are you will find that sometimes things go just too fast for you. But thanks to slow-down software this is no problem. You can slow down the music to a tempo that's comfortable for you and gradually build up to full speed.
7. Great guitars
Of course, none of the rest would be possible without a guitar to play on, and it's never been easier to acquire a quality guitar relatively inexpensively. There is something for everyone and you can even own and try several different types of guitar if you want.
That's my list of 7 reasons to be thankful if you're learning to play guitar. What else would you put on your list?
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