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Help Me Learn to Play the Guitar

May 26, 2008

This weekend, I went to the Hartville Flea Market and came home with a guitar. As some may remember, I bought a ukulele a few years back that I never really learned to play, mostly because I lack all knowledge in string instruments (pianos are like this - read the note, hit the corresponding key). So, I picked up a starter guitar and we're going to see what happens. I still have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Chris passed on Harvey Reid and Joyce Andersen's The Song Train, a book with two-chord songs and CDs so that I can tell when I've completely run off track. Again, this is all an experiment, but I would at least like to be able to plow through some campfire songs by the end of the summer. And I'll find a way to keep my nails while doing it.


Posted by Ann VerWiebe at May 26, 2008 1:15 PM


Hi Ann,

Congratulations on buying a guitar. The guitar does not have to be frustrating to learn. Do yourself a favor -- Find a really good teacher. Look for someone who plays the music you love and in the style you want to learn and take some lessons. It will be worth the money.

Good luck!

Chris Hartzog

Posted by: Chris Hartzog at May 28, 2008 11:43 AM

Rule #1 Buy a good tuner It will make the whole process much more enjoyable

Posted by: C.D. Goforth at May 29, 2008 2:31 AM

Ann, Ann, Ann. Didn't we warn you that the ukulele might look cuter than puppies but is actually a gateway to the hardcore strings? Now look at you. Next you'll be asking for tips on tuning a tack-head banjo (unsafe to even attempt without peg dope).

Posted by: Joan Kennedy at May 29, 2008 2:10 PM

As far as a tuner goes - I bought a digital tuner when I got the uke (because my ear is not as good as I thought it was) - so I'm covered. And for other strings, there was this sweet banjo mando at the flea market...

Posted by: Ann E VerWiebe at May 29, 2008 2:24 PM

Welcome to the throw-back club Ann! I got my guitar last year for Mother's Day. (My kids are grown, I bought it for myself.) I've been taking lessons ever since. I agree with Chris find a teacher - one that is good for you. I've found I'm much more likely to practice/play when I know I have to "perform" for Alex (my teacher) each week. I bought mine with the same idea of just wanting to do sing alongs around the campfire, but have found a wide variety of styles and songs that have been a joy to sit alone with my guitar and play. I've learned everything from the Beatles (Alex's favorite) to Tracy Grammer (my favorite) to Francisco Terrega! Have fun girl!

Posted by: Kathryn Buck at June 3, 2008 11:10 AM

Kathryn--That's very encouraging! I found out that the University has beginning folk guitar classes (which I can take for free as an employee), so I think I will start there.

Posted by: Ann E VerWiebe at June 3, 2008 11:27 AM

Must be catching. Retiring this month and my Guild D-40, Richie Havens acoustic signature model just came in - a retirement gift from my colleagues. I've been teaching myself to play o a loaner in Open D with the help of internet resources and Richie's method DVD (w/ Arie Traum),and lots of internet research.

Open tunings are fascinating and might be worth a look.

Posted by: Robert Furia at June 12, 2008 11:45 AM

Try the Rise Up Singing! songbook from the Sing Out folks. Get a good teacher and play with as many people as you can. Best of luck.

Posted by: Carter Reid at July 30, 2008 3:41 PM

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