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Six Strings…


So, I’m teaching myself guitar. I figure, if millions of other people can do it, so can I.

When my friends Mike and Gwen moved away (with little Brian!) Mike sold me (at a very cut rate) his acoustic guitar, a Yamaha that I’m sure is good enough to learn on, whatever a pro guitarist might say. In the last week or so, I’ve been fiddling with it and teaching myself a few tricks. So far I only really know a couple of chords, but I’ve been fiddling around and have started to get a few patterns I can do really well.

It’s a dangerous route, though, and I am right at the spot where I need to get someone to teach me a few things — chords and such — or else I’m going to just fiddle and diddle on this forever. I don’t need formal lessons, just enough to know how to play a bunch of basic chords. I have tried Youtube videos like this one and this one, and I picked up a few tricks, but I really need to see someone do these things in front of me to totally get it, I think. Just a couple of times, and then I’m sure I’ll be able to start getting more out of the tutorials online. It’ll be a while before I’m ready for this tutorial, though, yeah, it’s one of the songs that makes me wanna learn the instrument. (It’s Nick Drake and Iron and Wine that have me wanting to learn, really. And to my credit, I am able to sort-of pick my way through the first bit of the tune…)

But the thing has already become a little demystified for me… in a good way. It’s amazing how this instrument is designed. Once you have a basic idea, and the requisite dexterity in your fingers, and the requisite calluses on your fingertips, it’s pretty hard to make it sound awful.

Of course, I have neither the dexterity nor the calluses. My fingertips are tingling all the time, and I am getting a little more dextrous. But the nice thing is, I have the basic idea, and am no longer freaked out by the fact there are six strings. (I remember four strings on bass seeming like the maximum a human being could handle. Ha… the twelve-string guitar, the santoor, oh, forget the santoor. Lovely instrument, but it would drive me mad.)

Eventually, I’ll probably posting mp3s of songs of my own composition. Ha! But for now, I’ll just link this handy dandy metronome, and also this online guitar tuner. Not that I ever use anything but the low E, but… it’s nice to have the exact pitch set out for you.

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