Some time ago, your favorite musical muser was at the Gene Autry Museum of the American West in L.A. In the “Sparkle And Twang” Marty Stuart exhibit, your crusty chronicler borrowed a cowboy shirt, picked up a child-sized guitar and attempted to regale a lady with a rendition of “Sparkling Stella” but was disappointed because the guitar was out of tune. So much for a standing ovulation from my lady friend. That experience brought back memories.
In a previous piece you were told tales of your favorite scribe’s often annoying guitar lessons as a child. This reporter truly lost interest in instruction because the teacher focused so much on how to hold the instrument and not enough instruction on how to actually play. Still, the one song your favorite record reviewer did manage to learn in between being harped on for not holding my wrist properly has stayed with me to this day.
The real question is who truly taught yours truly that song? Was it self-taught through practicing from a book that came with the lessons? Or did the instructor somehow manage to teach something OTHER than how to properly hold the guitar?
(Personally, these days your half-witty writer handles his “instrument” just fine without any instruction; thank you very much! Mind you, it works better when a lady friend is present . . . but I digress. . .)
“But I never dreamed how far
I’d go with that guitar,
Gave this fat boy wings,
Strung out on strings,
Strung out!” — from “Strung Out On Strings” by The Tubes
The debate about hiring a teacher and teaching yourself is not uncommon. In fact, a site I have written about once before had some information about the issue. I thought I would share it with you.
Acoustic Pleasure is a site dedicated to the acoustic guitar. It includes information about such subjects as buying your first guitar, tuning your instrument and strumming techniques. It also contains links to sites concerning voice training as well as drum and piano lessons.
One piece on this site once debated the idea of self-instruction versus hiring an instructor. While teaching oneself is cheaper some people are incapable of self-motivation. The article also discusses what is involved before the learning can begin.
Specifically, the author reminded readers that the first step is purchasing the appropriate equipment. It was suggested that one good idea is to buy a guitar that can take a beating. Beginners are known to be hard on their equipment.
Furthermore, the writer reminds the novice to keep it fun because once the learning becomes like work people are more likely to give up entirely. Finally, the student should focus on “the dream” by posting pictures of a favorite guitarist and remember: “Learning an instrument can add great satisfaction to . . . life”.
So there you have it. If you are considering taking guitar lessons (or know someone who is) or are simply in the market for a site about guitar playing, you might want to visit this site and read what their posters have to say about it. Your input–good or bad is welcome. No comment will be “barred” as long as you tell us how the site “measures” up!
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.