#9 Learn that instrument

I grew up playing the piano to classical music composed by the likes Mozart and Beethoven. It was something that was chosen for me by my mom.  I never particularly enjoyed it or really connected with it even though everyone around me including my music teacher all stated I had an innate talent for it. So much that I was able to perform at Carnegie Hall twice at the age of 9 and 12. When I left for college I gave up playing the piano as it wasn’t feasible to have one inside a small dorm room.

So now that I’m an adult (loosely defined) I’ve decided I wanted to pursue music as a hobby. I’ve decided to learn the electric guitar as the music associated with it is something I like more a.k.a. Rock n’ Roll. I bounced that idea in my head for many years not sure if it was something I could stick with or give up easily like playing the piano. I talked to my manager at work about it who happens to also play the guitar. Right there on the spot he encouraged me to do it and one day we left for Guitar Center to pick out my very first guitar, a used $80 Epiphone SG Special off the showroom floor.

My First Guitar

My First Guitar

I used a combination of Youtube videos and a video game called Rocksmith to learn how to play. Rocksmith has really helped me more than anything else. Rocksmith is similar to games like Rockband or Guitar Hero where colored blocks come down the screen and you must hit a button in time with the music , except with Rocksmith you plug in a real guitar. It’s perfect since it combines my addiction to video games in a productive manner to learn the guitar.

After about 8 months of playing and practicing I soon realized this was a hobby I definitely enjoyed and would stick with and I quickly decided to spend the money and invest in my dream guitar, A Gibson SG, the same model played by my favorite guitarist, Angus Young of AC/DC.

My dream Gibson SG '61 guitar

My dream Gibson SG ’61 guitar

I even decided to create a YouTube channel that chronicles my guitar journey that I hope will show me improving over the many future years to come.

And some advice to those that also would love to learn this great hobby. I would spend a little more on your first guitar as a cheap guitar is difficult to keep in tune and hard to play. I pretty much outgrew mine in less than a year and I am by no means a good player. Take things slow. Learn your basic chords. Every song is based on the same 3 or 4 major chords so once you get comfortable with just strumming simple chords you can then transition to single notes and harder patterns. Even when you’re not playing the guitar, listen to the songs you like, focus on the guitar parts and try to imagine yourself playing it.

These two guys on YouTube also helped me greatly as Justin Sandercore and Marty Schwartz were able to explain things very easily for me

http://www.youtube.com/user/JustinSandercoeSongs

http://www.youtube.com/user/martyzsongs

And just like sports, visualize the outcome and it will come more naturally to you. A lot of times I catch myself walking down the street listening to a song I want to play while my left hand is fretting an imaginary guitar. And this goes without saying, practice practice practice and then repeat.

Another great inspiration is the following website below. While the author, Karen, is talking about dancing all her principles apply to playing a guitar or anything else in life.

http://www.danceinayear.com