Learn to play guitar easy.




Learn to Play the Guitar

Kevin Sinclair

Here are some of the more common ways to learn to play the guitar. Try each method to see what works best for you.

Group Lessons: Learning guitar in a group setting can be less intimidating for the beginning musician. You not only get the benefit of having a teacher to help you along you can often judge your progress

Private Lessons: This is the best way to learn to play the guitar if you can find the right teacher. The instructor can gauge your progress each week and custom design your lessons for you. You have your teachers undivided attention and you can ask anything you feel is not clear.

CD Lessons: There are many instruction CDs available in nearly any style you can think of. The advantage of this style of learning is you can listen to the CD as many times as you want. Any part that is not clear can be replayed as many times as needed. The disadvantages include the songs may not be the ones you desire to learn and the instruction is more general without any way of knowing where you are in your musical journey.

DVD Lessons: Instruction on DVD includes all the good and bad points of the CD instruction. The number one advantage to learning guitar

Music Books: Music books are a time-honored way to learn how to play the guitar. You can find more books on more different styles than most any other way to learn. You need to be proficient in reading music if you do not know the song you are learning. Most folks have a hard time getting the song right if they do not know the song they are learning.

Internet: In these modern times the Internet is a wonderful resource in learning to play the guitar. There are many websites that will show you how to play the exact notes your guitar hero plays. Membership sights are plentiful where for a small monthly fee you can learn most any style you choose.

Friends: Do not overlook your guitar playing buddies. Most guitar pickers are a friendly bunch who will be more than happy to help you along.

Slowing Down Recordings: You can purchase software that slows down your favorite recordings. This allows you to hear each phrase at a speed where you can pick out the different notes. This is a great way to learn to play.

Playing With Other People: The very best way to learn to play the guitar is to get together with other people and play. This is the fastest way to learn. You will learn more

The method you decide to use to learn to play guitar is up to you. Try to practice four or five times a week for 30 minutes at a time and you will be playing guitar before you know it.

Kevin is the publisher and editor of musicianhome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.

Guitar Hero

Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine , November, 2005 by Joe Rybicki

I play guitar. I'm not very good'”strictly rhythm'”but I do play. And when I learned that the United States was finally getting a game in the vein of Konami's fantastically entertaining Guitar Freaks (which, inexplicably, the company never opted to bring here), I was thrilled. So it's a great joy to be able to say that Guitar Hero meets'”no, exceeds'”my high expectations.

First off, let's talk about the ridiculously awesome lineup of songs. The developer (Harmonix, which you no doubt remember from Frequency and Karaoke Revolution) put together a top-notch cross section of guitar rock. Ranging from old-school punk (the Ramones) to cutting-edge alt-rock (Franz Ferdinand), this is a good 30 years' worth of guitar classics. My only complaint here is that the lineup is a bit heavy on classic rock (ZZ Top, Boston, Sabbath, Deep Purple, David Bowie) and a bit light on modern stuff, which is primarily represented by Franz Ferdinand, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Donnas.

More important, though, is how these songs play. I'm shocked by how much playing this game feels like playing guitar. Oh, on the easier levels the playing is, of course, vastly simplified. But check this out: In the entire 30-song lineup, there are only two songs I've ever played on a real guitar. On the expert level, I was able to play through both songs on the first or second try. I couldn't get past the first quarter or so of any other song. This should tell you something about how playing this game compares to really playing the guitar.

In fact, it's so similar that anyone who does play guitar is likely to find the easiest levels much too simple. And yet, some of the more advanced songs, even on the easy setting, may be too challenging for someone who's never picked up a guitar. So it would have been nice to have a smoother difficulty ramp, and perhaps even one easier setting for absolute newbies, to give 'em a chance to hit a few chords, whale on the absolutely awesome whammy bar, and get totally hooked. (The whammy bar was a special treat for me, since I only have guitars without them. Strictly rhythm, remember? Who do I look like, Steve Vai?)

It also would have been nice if the game had included a few more modes in addition to quick play, career, and two player. (A practice mode, for example, would be most welcome.) But when it really comes down to it, what this game's about is no-frills rocking. And no-frills rocking is something it does very, very well. More, please.


RedOctane recently announced a licensing deal with Gibson Guitars to feature Gibsons in Guitar Hero. The lineup includes the Les Paul Standard, Les Paul Special, V-Factor (aka Flying V), X-plorer, Firebird, ES-335, and SG (on which the controller is modeled)'”plus, apparently, a few unlockable models.

Pros: Fantastic song list, great guitar-playing feel, substantial challenge for newcomers and guitar gods alike

Cons: Perhaps too much of a challenge for newbies, very no-frills presentation

Rating: 4.5

Pub. RedOctane Dev. Harmonix ESRB RP MSRP

Copyright 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine.

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