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Learn to Play Guitar - Free Tips for Beginner Guitar Players

By:Ralph Serpe

Find a Good Teacher - There is no substitution for a good guitar teacher. You can buy all the books and videos you want, but in order to really become a good guitar player, you need to learn from a pro. A professional guitar teacher has the experience and wisdom necessary to teach you how to become a proper guitar player. Books, videos, and the Internet for that matter, lack in their ability to provide you with feedback and advice. A good guitar teacher will correct you if you are doing something wrong so that you don`t form bad habits or techniques. A good guitar teacher will also encourage you when you are doing something right.

Do Not Get Discouraged - When first learning the guitar, or any instrument for that matter, you may find yourself getting discouraged, or perhaps saying to yourself "this is just too difficult". You may find yourself practicing the same song or chords over and over again, and never getting any better at it. Do not let this discourage you. Sometimes are brains just need a little rest, or need to be occupied with something else. Take a break and come back to your practice with a fresh mind.

Practice - The more often that you practice your guitar the more familiar you will become with the instrument. Your playing will become easier over time. Try and free up at least 20 minutes of time every day to practice your guitar. Find a time and location where you know you will not be interrupted. Interruption can really kill your concentration and snap you out of a good rhythm. Warm your hands and stretch your fingers before you play. Talk with your guitar teacher to develop the best practice exercises that are right for your style of playing.

Create an effective practice schedule - The length of your practice is not necessarily the most important thing. Usually it is the quality of your practice that is most important. Make sure your guitar teacher is giving you a well-rounded approach to guitar playing and helping you make the most of your practice sessions.

Slow Down - One great bit of advice with your practicing; don`t play too quickly! Many new guitar players will rush through a lick or a song in the beginning, trying to play it exactly as they hear it and only wind up butchering it. Before you can play anything correctly, you must learn to slow down and play it right at a much slower speed. You can then slowly increase your speed as you improve.

Watch your posture - Guitar playing should not be extremely painful and uncomfortable. If you find yourself with various aches and pains in your shoulders, your neck, your back, etc., chances are you are not in a correct playing posture. Ask your guitar teacher to demonstrate a proper playing posture, then do your best to stick to it. Tell your teacher to observe you during practice and correct you whenever you fall out of the correct posture.

Get a metronome - A very important part of guitar playing is the ability to keep good timing. An instrument, which will help you become better at timing, is called a metronome. You can purchase this at any guitar center. When working with a metronome, in the beginning, you should start off at a slow speed. This will help you build your muscles and develop better control and good playing habits.

Change your strings - Your guitar strings are very important to the quality of sound your guitar produces. How often you change your guitar strings really depends on how often you play. Professional guitar players may change their strings before every gig. Others who don`t play as often, may change their strings every 2 months or so. Again it really depends on how often you play, and how well you take care of your guitar strings. Don`t wait until your strings break before you change them and you should change all of your strings at the same time.

Try new things/experiment - If you feel uninspired in your guitar playing why not try something fresh and different? If you have mastered a particular song on your electric guitar, why not try the same song on an acoustic guitar? If you only play your guitar using a pick, put down the pick and just use your fingers. Perhaps you only enjoy playing blues guitar. Why not try some jazz or classical?

I hope these guitar tips were helpful. The most important thing is to never get discouraged and never give up. Persistence is key when it comes to playing the guitar. If you really have a sincere desire to learn, and you continue to practice, you will become a better guitar player.

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Gustavo Cerati sparks guitar-rock thunder

Chicago Sun-Times , Aug 18, 2006 by Laura Emerick


Gustavo Cerati at the House of Blues

Always an avatar of tomorrow, Latin rock god Gustavo Cerati once again finds himself going back to the future.

On his latest solo disc, "Ahi Vamos" (SonyBMG), he revisits the hard-charging guitar rock style of his days in the late, great Soda Stereo, one of the most influential bands ever to come out of Latin America`s fertile rock scene.

When Soda Stereo disbanded in 1997 after a 15-year run, Cerati switched gears for his solo career. On "Bocanada" (1999), he explored his fascination with electronica. "Siempre Es Hoy" (2002), though less experimental than "Bocanada," distanced himself from his illustrious past.

But longtime fans kept clamoring for the classic Soda sound, and so "Ahi Vamos," released stateside in April, must have delighted them. It embraces straight-up American and British rock, with echoes of Cerati faves King Crimson and Led Zeppelin, and yikes, even the unhipper realms of `80s pop. (Anyone remember Big Country?)

On first listen, the disc originally seemed a little too retro for my tastes. Why would Mr. What`s Happening Now want to trap himself in rock`s Way Back Machine with the swirling, chiming guitar rock of bands like Echo and the Bunnymen or the Alarm?

But the maddeningly appropriate correctness of his methods came through early Thursday in an after-midnight show at the House of Blues. What occasionally might sound quaintly anachronistic on disc sounded breathtakingly intense and absolutely vital in concert. To gauge the real genius of "Ahi Vamos," it has to be heard live.

Backed by his stellar quartet, Cerati started with the one-two- three punch of "Ahi Vamos." As on the disc, "Al Fin Sucede" flowed into "La Excepcion," followed by "Uno Entre Mil." The latter evoked the Latin equivalent of heavy metal thunder, without the self- important excess. With drummer Fernando Samalea kicking out mind- crunching and bone-rattling beats, as sequencers, synths, keyboards and guitars churned away, it was nirvana. Instrumental bombast never sounded this intelligent or satisfying.

As a guitarist, Cerati belongs in the rock pantheon with Jeff Beck, Robert Fripp and other ax legends. Vocally, he never lets the sonic fury detract from his message. The two-hour-plus concert was nearly flawless, except that he played deliriously hypnotic "Bomba de Tiempo" -- for my money the best song on "Ahi Vamos" -- too soon in the set.

If he didn`t save the best for last, he compensated with many other great renditions, including "Av. Alcorta," "Cosas Imposibles" and the acoustic ballad "Te Para Tres," from his Soda days.

For the generous encore segment, Cerati ran through six favorites, starting off with "Crimen," his latest single. "Profugos" even segued thrillingly into David Bowie`s "Jean Genie." Hallo, spaceboy, glad to have you back.

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Copyright CHICAGO SUN-TIMES 2006

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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