In my head: What shall we do with the drunken sailor” – Traditional

I keep wanting to blog about how I’m learning to play the guitar, but I’m too busy playing the guitar to do it.  I guess that means it’s going pretty well, but me – the perpetual perfectionist – am unhappy that after my first four days of learning still haven’t mastered the G major to C major transition smoothly and instantly. I know I need to be patient (and fortunately, I’m having a lot of fun learning), but it’s really pissing me off that I can’t yet play a single song on tempo, without any delays.

And for that matter, that I can’t play any decent songs at all. I mean come on, I’m learning to play the guitar so that I can play Cat Stevens and Arlo Guthrie songs, not this lame-ass “Brown Eyed Girl” crap.

But at least yesterday, I think I finally settled on the lesson plan that I’ll be using. I was torn for a bit- hold on… I guess I’d better start from the beginning.

When I told a friend of mine that I wanted to learn the guitar, he offered to loan me his acoustic steel string. Okay, that’s not actually how the story goes, but it’s the shorter version. Anyway, me, knowing Jack about guitars, took him up on the offer so I could at least see what a guitar felt like. I played it for a day, and decided that I was going to go the classical route. So I picked myself up a nice, classical guitar with nylon strings.

This was before I knew that you couldn’t put steel strings on a classical guitar (but I think you can go the other way).

Well, I probably should have stuck with a steel string, but damn if my guitar doesn’t sound good. And it has a wider neck, so I can hit the strings better.

So, now that I had a nice classical guitar, I wasn’t sure how I should go about learning it. I’d started with an online lesson (because it was free, and you can’t beat that for price) when I was using the steel, and since I didn’t have any picks, I’d just been strumming with my fingers. Well, after I picked up my classical, I got a lesson book that actually taught classical. As in, lesson one starts teaching you how to pluck, not strum. As did lesson two… and three. And I realized that there was no strumming in the entire frelling book.

I realized that this wasn’t going to give me the cool-ass, cafe deadbeat, guitar sound that I wanted. It was great for actually learning to play skillfully, but not what I was after. So I found yet another lesson plan. After doing a little online research (because I’m all about the online research now – except in cases when I fail to think that you can’t have steel strings on a classical guitar), I found a prety good bang for my buck with Jamorama. It seems to blend both strumming and plucking… but unfortunately, teaches using a pick. So I’m just kind of ignoring that part. I figure since I started with my fingers, I’ll keep playing with my fingers. Sure it makes hitting some of the individual strings a bit tricky, but hey, I’m not gonna be a freakin’ rock star. Besides, if I learn to play with my fingers, then it’ll be all the easier to go back to classical style later. Right? I don’t know, I have no idea what I’m talking about.

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