Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You can!

Greetings, rockers! Someone emailed me a few days ago feeling discouraged about learning the guitar. So, I've written a story...Enjoy!

A kid walked into the guitar shop. His shaggy wannabe hair inadvertently matched the old raggedy jeans jacket, ratty shoes, and out of style jeans. Intimidation seemed to lurk behind the brightly colored electric guitars, hide in the jar of picks, and masquerade as the salesmen.

He tersely asked "got any acoustic guitars?" It was his fourteenth birthday in a few days, and he was out shopping with his Dad. The other music store didn't have what they were looking for, and they had decided to go to the rock store. Unattainable skill and knowledge seemed to scent the air, mixing with the aroma of new electronic equipment. Amplifiers sat squatly on the shelves, ready to blow the face of anyone who dared mess with 'em. And it was with trepidation that the Kid entered.

He found his acoustic guitar. And he saw that the store had lessons. How cool. Other students looked like talented goth vampires, walking in and out with their guitar cases covered with bumper stickers. He signed up. He learned. He listened. And much to his astonishment, he discovered that he could play!

Every week, he would buy a dollar's worth of guitar picks as a reward for practicing. The folks at the counter surely earned three halos for putting up with his insistence that he find just the right ones. (Actually, one of them earned a lamp, but that's another story.)

The years went by, and the kid grew up slightly. He played in bands. He practiced. He got better. He got a job teaching guitar at that very store. And he saw others like him, enter the door with an intimidated look, and ask "Got any cool guitars?" And he says, with a twinkle of knowing and relation in his eyes... "yes! Try this one out - you're gonna be great some day."
And you've probably guessed by now, but I'm the (22 year old) kid.

I teach for a living, and I've helped hundreds of folks learn to play the guitar. I know how you feel. Walking into that guitar shop, I never thought I'd be teaching there someday. It seemed as if everyone knew what they were doing, and I'd never be able to join them.


I think anyone can learn to play the guitar. And you can, too. ;)

I also think anyone can be good if they really want to. It's not magic. It's just work.

How to start? I really like books. (And I'm a teacher! I'm putting myself out of business...)
I highly recommend "Guitar for Dummies." Once you get a few things under your fingers, find yourself a good teacher. (You can start with a teacher, too!) If they make you feel bad, stupid, small, or just dumb, find another one. Remember, they're working for you, not the other way around!

Find one that inspires you, encourages you, and most of all, makes it fun!

And pretty soon, you'll be rockin'. You can.

(And of course, if you just can't get something, drop me an email! joshurban251@gmail.com
And if you're in the Washington, DC area, I offer private lessons.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, just got done reading your blog about scales on ultimate-guitar and I have never felt like I could understand music theory until just now. I've been playing for a little less than a month and I play for at least 2 hours EVERY day, but I am still just on riffs. I know what you're thinking, and yes i'm hoping for a lot in a short period of time, but I love music so much that I'm not gonna stop until I can rock with the best of em. Wow, now I'm rambling. Haha, thanks for the advice and keep up the great work!