Now I realize that I made a wise decision. To learn to play the guitar, I bought a guitar and a guitar pick. In addition, like playing other instruments, learning to play the guitar requires the love of music, perseverance, and patience. I learned some basic knowledge about the guitar and how to tune it. To illustrate, the neck of the guitar is divided by the strings from the left to the right and by the frets into sections from the top to the bottom. Moreover, every guitar has six strings and each string has a different size and note value.
Each time before playing, I need to tune the strings. The tuning process is important for getting the right sound when I play. Next, I began to learn to play the chords, which are made up of different combination of notes. Each time I played the chords, a unique sound was created. The knowledge of the function of the frets and strings helped me identify the chords’ locations easily. There are a lot of chords on the guitar, but I could only memorize the most common chords.
I could search for other chords online when I needed them. Now I can play the most important and fundamental five ‘major’ chords. I spend more than 30 minutes every day practicing without looking at the diagram of chords. At first, I strummed the strings slowly to see if all the strings rang clearly. When I could naturally play different chords, I would switch my fingers from one chord to another as quickly and precisely as possible. In this way, I could connect several chords together to make a song.
There are many different types of scales, each with different characteristics, note patterns and musical qualities on the guitar. Playing improvisation means playing the scales in different orders. I also learned some techniques to enrich improvising, like mute, vibrato technique, advanced bend and so on. All the different techniques made improvisation fun and diverse. With the encouragement of my professor, I became very enthusiastic about playing the guitar. I carried my guitar everywhere and strummed notes whenever I was free.
Before long, my fingertips developed calluses and the pain abated. Also, the more flexible and the stronger my fingers became, the easier I could play the chords. My fingers’ flexibility and strength turned out to be essential for improvisation on the guitar scales. At last, after learning to play the guitar for three months, I could play one of my favorite songs, ‘Time of Your Life’ by Green Day and some other songs with simple tunes. Then I quit my class and decided to learn to play the guitar by myself.
Because I knew, practice makes perfect, in order to be a better and more skillful player, I had to practice more. I began to search music scores and videos online, and I followed them to learn new songs. Many uploaded videos on YouTube teach how to play different songs, and I benefited greatly from them. It took me some time to learn a new song, but the process was always fun and enjoyable. Even though I stopped going to the guitar class, I knew what to do and where to go to improve my skills. The most important lesson I learned about playing the guitar is that practice makes perfect.
The only way to become a good guitar player is to practice every day. It has been said that professional guitar players practice 8 hours a day, so I knew there was a long way for me to go to become a good player. I am very delighted to say that I can play and sing quite a few songs at the same time. It has been rewarding to learn to play the acoustic guitar, as it has opened up a whole new universe of expression, conversation and real pleasure. It also has been a great way to make friends, so it was worth making the effort to learn it.