Lifestyle

Guys, wow your Valentine with your guitar this Valentine’s day

Calling out to all guitar rookies or rusty old hands!!!

According to an article on dailymail.co.uk

revealed…

  1. Researchers have found an astounding 9/10 Britons saying they find someone who plays the guitar instantly sexy…
  2. Respondents also unanimously agreed to guitars having the power to transform undesirable geeks into gods…
  3. 25% of UK’s population admitted to dating someone for the only reason that they can play the guitar…

Now that you are convinced that this “trick” potentially has the power to win over the girl of your dreams (or perhaps just continuing to look “sexy” and appealing to your partner), question is what’s next?

Do you find a guitar teacher or learn guitar online?

Allow me to digress a little about myself. I have had 4 piano teachers at different stages of my life, from young till about just a year ago. While I think my last 2 teachers were amazing, I have to admit that music lessons are pretty expensive and we tend to under-utilize the time we have (or maybe it’s just me chatting away during lessons).

Often times, I had to do my own “self-study” online and/or search for chords and other materials/ explanations that I need. Here, I realized the money spent on school fees did not compensate to my progress. I pay S$250/month for a weekly 45 minutes lesson at the School, I also struggled with keeping up with the schedule due to last minute work commitments sometimes.

With this, I recommend online learning, but with a structured course curriculum. The beauty about online courses is that you can learn at your own pace and login anytime at your convenience (whether its to refresh your memory on-the-go, or put it into practice at home). The more you practice, the better you get.  

Pros & cons of learning guitar using YouTube tutorials

Great, many resources out there. Here’s the catch though.

  1. Either the information is created by amateurs for amateurs, and the melodic rendition might differ from the original version
  2. Or, there will be lots of inaccuracies since anyone can post anything online

This is not good as beginners will find these information confusing and overwhelming in an online maze of data and quickly lose interest.

Learn guitar online using a structured course curriculum

You will need to pay for a structured guitar course, but hey, at only a fraction of paying a guitar teacher. You might ask, why pay when we are able to find so many free courses out there? Herein lies the gaps in a free course and/or YouTube tutorials verses a structured online guitar program. Just about anyone out there in the world wide web with a guitar, webcam and a YouTube account can create a tutorial, but are they really qualified? Having gaps in your knowledge causes a lot of frustrations in your learning, which of cos lengthens your progress to playing your very first song.

Recommending 2 top structured guitar courses

Musicians are passionate people and they “protect” their community. The great thing about paid programs is that they are under the radar and scrutiny from the online community all the time. Bad reviews spread like wildfire within the community, and you will be able to see it for yourself. Check out the 2 top online guitar programs below.

Guitar Tricks is seen as the king of online guitar courses. It is launched in 1998 and is the oldest and most comprehensive guitar online course. Guitar Trick has its very own lesson library of over 11,000 lessons, over 700 songs (adding new ones every week), and credible top-notch instructors from around the world. The instructors will show you every section of the song, note by note, as well as the proper tone for a song, which in my opinion is very very important.

Guitar Tricks offers a free 14 days trial membership that is fuss free. If you choose not to continue with the paid membership after the trial, just cancel your trial account, simple as that. If you wish to continue with the paid version, monthly membership is at US$19.95, with a 60-days money back guarantee. Check out their website for more information.

JamPlay is a serious contender to Guitar Tricks. What’s great about them is that they have 80 professional instructors who are professional artists or members of iconic bands. From Heavy Metal to Country, they are your go-to place. What’s unique is their LIVE courses that runs up to 5 days a week, offering interaction with the instructors. And you can even record yourself and have your playing reviewed by your instructor, how cool is that? On top of that, there is also a progress report to mark your progress as you go through the lessons.

JamPlay has a free 7 days trial membership that is fuss free. If you choose not to continue with the paid membership, just cancel the trial account, simple as that. If you wish to continue with the paid version, their monthly membership is at US$19.95, with a 30-days money back guarantee. Check out their website for more information.

Next question: should I buy an Electric or Acoustic guitar?

JamPlay wrote an article about What Guitar is Best for a Beginner.

This is often the common question for beginners. The answer you will get is “it depends” or “it doesn’t really matter”, because down the road, the desire to play another type of guitar will naturally come. Learning how to play a musical instrument is a journey, a labor of love, passion and interest. At the end of it, it pretty much boils down to what you connect with the most, whether its acoustics or electric.

Acoustic guitar: One most talked about school of thought though is that learning on acoustic guitar is recommended because of its heavier gauge strings which require firmer picking and fingering etc. This makes it easier to transit from acoustics to electric.

Electric guitar, on the other hand is easier to play with the thinner strings. For those who are “shy”, you have an option to plug headphones into your amplifier so that you don’t create chaos in the family and neighborhood (while you are just starting out). HAHA. If you play your electric guitar without an amplifier, you technically can, just that the sound that you hear from your electric guitar is an acoustic sound, not an electric sound. Hope this clarifies between an acoustic and an electric.

8 simple tips to selecting your very first guitar

  1. At a price that is affordable to you since you have just started and not sure if this new passion will last
  2. Acoustic guitars are generally cheaper than electric ones. They can be played anywhere; no amplifier or power required
  3. Check out beginner starter packs. They are great as it comes with a lot of fun little things such as the picks and tuners
  4. Note: might not be the best idea to grab the “cheapest” around. The choice of wood is the single most important factor that will determine the sound of the guitar. Also make sure the strings don’t buzz or won’t stay in tune
  5. You might want to head down to a guitar retailer to have a touch and feel of the guitar. Make sure they sound pleasing, easy on the fingers, has a great tone, and a comfortable size for you
  6. Read some online reviews on the chosen guitar model
  7. Do a price comparison between online retailers like Amazon and eBay (note that some models do not ship to Singapore) as compared to the guitar shops in Singapore. Be aware of overseas shipping cost too
  8. If you are going absolutely nuts with so many brands and models available, stick to the Yamaha series, cannot go any “wrong-er” with a Yamaha for a first-timer

A ton of information out there but don’t stress over it. Most important, take action and get started on your guitar journey. Don’t procrastinate for too long as it usually fades away. It would be a pity if you revisit this interest again some time later and realize, hey its been many years passed and you are still where you are.

All the best to you, practice makes perfect and happy strumming!

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