After teaching guitar and music theory to thousands of students over past three decades, I thought that I had basically 'seen it all' when it comes to guitar instruction. Then I discovered Justin’s website, and man was I impressed! Justin’s caring spirit, attention to detail, vast knowledge base, and especially his lucid, laidback and nurturing style, allow students to fall in love with the learning process. You see, it’s not enough to simply find out how to play a few cool licks or chords. A truly great teacher will make you fall in love with the process of discovery so that you can unlock the best within you. Justin is one of these great teachers, and I highly recommend justinguitar.com to anyone who wants to tap into their best selves.
Acoustic: I recommend a Yamaha solid top acoustic guitar. This guitar plays just as good as some that are many hundreds of dollars more expensive. It can be difficult to manufacture quality acoustics at low prices due to the importance of a solid top finish. When I was in college I scratched together the cash to buy a handmade acoustic guitar that was over $1,000 (I won’t mention the brand) but that guitar was nowhere near as good as this Yamaha.
So you've started taking guitar lessons and you've learned how to play some of the essential chords. When you grip your guitar, you probably feel instantly cooler, and trust me, you should. While being able to play some sweet riffs on your ax will definitely make you the life of the party and boost your street cred, those aren't the only perks of your new hobby. Here are five benefits of playing guitar. 1. Strum Away the Stress No matter what's causing you to feel stressed, spend some time
On a day when there's a temptation to go into a dark place, and only see all the bad stuff there is in the world ... greed, cruelty, exploitation, selfishness ... I get days like that pretty often .... it's great to find someone giving out, and giving out good, and operating on an honour basis ... There are so many people who can't afford Guitar lessons .... well, here's a wonderful guy who has set up a whole system of teaching guitar ... Blues, Jazz, Rock, even Songwriting, from the basics, tuning the guitar, etc ... upwards ... If you use his site, it's up to you to determine how much you can contribute ... but this is an amazing site .... he is also very aware of issues in the world which need attention ... a great channel .. Check him out. He's a giver.
I got all involved with Guitar Tricks and bought a full access membership several years ago. Then I spent MUCH more money on “packages” to learn the songs of specific artists (Eagles, Clapton, etc.). Those packages were housed online, but I was supposed to have access forever in return for the rather large sums I was paying. After a few months, I completely got cut off from my packages. They disappeared. No access. I emailed and emailed – no response. I never posted on their chat room, so I couldn’t have said anything that upset them or gave them reason to cut me off. I talked to a lady several times who didn’t help me at all. In fact, she acted like their site is flawless and I must be wrong. No help. I ended up paying them hundreds and getting ripped off. I would warn everyone to proceed with caution.
Pierre Bensusan on justinguitar.com! Pierre Bensuan (www.pierrebensusan.com) "Lucky you, guitar players from all over the world, to take advantage of the tutorials presented in Justin's comprehensive website! Whatever the style you fancy, Justin is there for you with generous and precise guidance to help you enhance your playing and by doing so, introduce you to so many ways of approaching the guitar and discover new artists along the way. I wish there would have been such a medium and decitated host around when I started to learn how to play. Bravo Justin, and my gratitude for bringing music to the heart and ears of many!"
I've subscribed to Guitar Tricks for a couple years, and have been pleased with the quality of both the content and the instructors. I intended to take a break from guitar lessons, but my annual subscription auto-renewed before I could cancel it. I contacted Guitar Tricks via their website messaging system and requested a refund of the annual fee. My request was immediately acknowledged, and by the next morning my refund was processed ... no questions, no hesitation. They left the door open to reactivate my subscription at some future point, but in the meantime mentioned they were glad to have had me on board, and wished me the best in all my endeavors. Very classy and professional, with customer satisfaction clearly evident in their handling of my request. I recommend Guitar Tricks not only for their quality content, but also for their approach towards satisfying their customers.
This guitar trick is a variation on artificial harmonics, which itself is a variation on natural harmonics. The natural harmonics are most commonly played on the 5th, 7th, and 12th frets. To play these, you lightly press the left hand on top of the fret without pressing the string to the fret. Then, you pick the note. To make an artificial harmonic, you regularly fret a note with the left hand and then use your right hand index finger to lightly press on that string twelve frets above the fretted note. Then, you pick the string. With this technique, you have to hold the pick between the thumb and middle finger. Finally, to play harp artificial harmonics, you alternate plucking a note using the right hand ring or pinky finger with picking artificial harmonics. This creates a harp-like sound! This technique works well when you can fret a chord using four or more strings without repeating any notes. The video below shows the great guitarist Lenny Breau describing how to accomplish this:
We now know three chords: G major, C major, and D major. Let's see if we can put them to use in a song. At first, switching chords will take far too long to be able to play any songs properly. Don't give up, though! With a bit of practice, you'll be playing away, sounding great (this tutorial on switching chords quickly might also be of some help). In our next lesson, we'll start learning about strumming, so you can come back to these songs, and be able to play them better.
It’s important to realize there is a fine line between challenging yourself with music that is slightly above your ability, and frustrating yourself with music you have no logical reason to expect yourself to be able to play just yet. This line is different for each new guitarist. Some may work on basic chords for years, and be happy enough with that. Others may dive neck-deep into some fairy difficult music and thrive on the challenge it provides. Point is, go at your own pace, and don’t ever feel like you need to take on more of a challenge than you are ready for.
A few years back, I dusted off the ol' Takamine I got in high school to try some 'music therapy' with my disabled son, who was recovering from a massive at-birth stroke. This reignited my long dormant passion to transform myself from a beach strummer to a 'real' musician; however, as a single mom, taking in-person lessons was financially difficult. Then I found Justinguitar! Flash forward to today; my son is almost fully recovered (YAY!), my guitar collection has grown significantly, and I'm starting to play gigs. None of this would have been possible without your guidance and generosity, Justin. Thank you for being part of the journey!
In their quest to innovate, I think JamPlay really took the camera angle thing overboard. Sometimes they show so many angles of hands on the screen, that it can get confusing and not intuitive at all. There is an camera angle which I really dislike, the "teacher angle", which is a camera above the teacher aiming at his fretting hand. Mixing angles of the same hand on a screen is not cool, I literally get dizzy watching it.