Learning the Guitar
The guitar is a very popular instrument to play. Not only does it ooze coolness but you can get a guitar quite cheap and you can learn to play something pretty quick and impress your friends!
One of the interesting points about learning the guitar is that,whilst it is one of the simplest instruments to learn to play something half decent, it is one of the most complex instruments to master.
The primary reason why the guitar is so hard to master is down to the design. If you take a piano as an example, each key you press plays one note. Now I am not suggesting by any means that the piano is an easy instrument to master but you have this simple – one key = one note.
On the guitar one note can often be played in several positions across the neck. In fact all notes can be. Whilst this is extremely liberating for the guitar master, it can be very daunting for someone who is just starting out with the guitar.
When people first pick up a guitar they generally learn a few chords. This can be tough to master but generally after as little as a few days of practice, simple chord progressions can be strung together to make a recognisable song. This immediate reward for hard work really motivates the learner guitarist.
Once chords have been learnt, generally this where people stop and give up and from here, there seems to be no rapid progression with the playing ability and it seems like as you begin to start to understand one aspect of playing, it opens a doorway to whole bunch of other unknowns that seem even more difficult to master.
One of the great things about learning the guitar is the huge online community of guitar players and guitar lovers. If you get stuck on anything or would like to share your knowledge then pop over to a guitar forum where you will most likely find a whole bunch of friendly people who are keen to help you.
Another great aspect of learning the guitar is guitar tab. This is a really simple way to write down or read guitar music and it is readily available online for virtually any song you can think of. Tab consists of six horizontal lines. Each line represents a string of the guitar. The bottom line represents the thickest string of the guitar and the top line represents the thinnest. Numbers are written on these lines that simply tell you which fret to put your finger on – sounds simple right?
There are limitations to guitar tab. Generally it will not show the timing of a song and timing is really important in music. You have to work out yourself which finger should go where and because tabs are written and published by anyone, there are no guarantees that the tabs are correct! That being said, there are a load of guitar books available that are written in tab that of course tend to be much more accurate!