• mikewimmenhove

Not cool yet....But will be soon

So you got the gear, but you need to learn. Here are some suggestions to get you going: Learning music can cost you next to nothing, or can rack up $40,000 in student debt at a college. A Berklee education will cost you 250 grand. Never fret, there is a solution for every budget when it comes to learning music.

Books are a great way to learn. Having a couple books is a good idea. Hal Leonard offers a lesson pack for acoustic guitar that includes a method, plus a chord chart, a theory chart, and a scale chart for around 39 dollars. The method gets you singing and playing songs right away. It starts off with a few riffs but has you playing your first 4 chords in the first few pages and gets you faking “Proud Mary” right away. It's a tab method but it shows you the basics and once you know the basics a whole world of music opens up for you. It is safe to say that after this course you will go from a beginner to intermediate guitarist. I am mostly through it and I am learning more and more advanced stuff at a fast pace.

Store lessons will cost you 1300 dollars a year. This is a good idea if you want to learn how to read music notation which will help you get into college or give lessons yourself . There are plenty of music teachers in town offering lessons for $22-$25 per half hour. Some teachers offer “Royal conservatory” lessons which give you different “grades”( i.e. 1-12) these teachers are slightly more expensive but these lessons give you some credentials. Having a live person to show you things and correct mistakes and problems, is kind of nice and may be worthwhile doing. My problem with these guys is that the cost for this is enormous, and you can’t be a slacker (if you are, it just costs more). I am far too sporadic, to really benefit from lessons. If you got both the bucks and the ambition lessons from a good teacher will get you farther, faster than just puttering with books.

Guitar apps such as Fender Play are another option, which is a subscription that gives you both lessons and access to a database of songs. There are quite a few apps and databases on the internet offering music instruction from free tabs and free video lessons to paid subscriptions and one time purchases that give you access to thousands of songs. The internet has basically taken everything ever written and is willing to teach it to you at your own speed.

YouTube is free. If you have the patience to sift through thousands of videos, learning music has never been more accessible. Someone on YouTube knows how to play what you want to learn and there are many teachers pumping out weekly videos full of tips. YouTube offers help with not only your playing but with advice about almost any music related subject.

Access to learning in the modern age is not really an issue anymore. Just get off your butt and practice. The only difference between me and a guitar god isn’t money for lessons or access to education, the internet has equalized the access, the only thing stopping my success is practice.

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