Practice, practice… PRACTICE!
I think Paul’s going to go mad at me this afternoon, when I turn up for my guitar lesson! Why? I haven’t been practicing enough over the last few weeks and it really shows! I’ve been cramming all morning and getting more frustrated by the minute, as I try to move quickly from one cord to another!
And now the ends of my fingers are really sore. I’m not looking for sympathy. It’s of my own making. Should have practiced a lot more. Kept saying to myself I will practice this evening and then I get distracted or my brain feels cooked after a busy day so then I’m not in the mood.
When I first took up learning the guitar I hadn’t met Paul. I just decided I was going to learn to play. My brother-in-law gave me an old guitar and a book called The Complete Guitar Player Song Book (it’s by a chap called Russ Shipton). There are 180 songs spread over 4 editions. I have the Omnibus edition. It’s just what I needed to inspire me and get me going. It has loads of songs I know and like, such as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound”.
What’s great about it is it shows the chords. It does feature the normal notes as well; you know, quavers and all that stuff that you see in normal music sheets. But the chords are effectively a picture featuring the six guitar strings and where your fingers should go for that chord. And it even puts numbers for each finger, so you know which finger goes where! It also has the chord name e.g. C or G; those are the same letters used for normal music as well.
It’s so much easier than learning traditional music! Especially for someone as thick as me!
Anyhow, that’s how I started learning guitar.
Incidentally, as part of the song sheet it also shows the words to the song underneath, so you can sing as you play! How good is that!
Take a look at the photo (It’s an extract from the song “Homeward Bound”). On the top line you can see two chords: C and Em (E minor).
If you look closely at the C cord you can see you need three fingers: 1, 2 & 3.
1 is your index finger, 2 is your middle finger and 3 is the finger between you middle finger and your little finger. And yes, if they put number 4, like in the G chord, then it’s your little finger! The G cord uses fingers 2, 3 & 4 if you are wondering.
Honestly, learning some basic guitar chords is quite easy so you can enjoy having a sing song on your own at a really early stage.
Go on, give it a go! You may even be inspired like I was to write your own songs!
Right, I’m off to my guitar lesson! Wish me luck!