Just another musing....

Posted by: izzyhara

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I just watched Mark's first attempt at transcription of True Colors - Cyndi Lauper.  Yes, it is 4 months old, but I wasn't here when he first put it up.  Glad I got a chance to see it.  It got me to musing about how I learned to play guitar.  I was 8 years old and my brother purchased a guitar at a yard sale for $5.  Then he left for college and got a real guitar, leaving me the yard sale piece of junk.  I started by inventing my own sounds.  Then my mom found a chord book for me.  WOW !! That was too cool.  So I painstakingly taught myself to play chords.  I learned to tune the strings to each other, but probably NEVER was it "in tune".  No tuners in those days.  As I advanced, I spent hours listening to records and the radio, writing down the chords I was hearing.  Then a stealth trip to the music store just in case they had sheet music for the current pop song I wanted to learn.  By this time, I had the chords down, and again, listening over and over to get the lyrics.  I kept a notebook (which I still have).  If the music store had the sheet music, I would just verify what I had done by ear.  Couldn't generally afford the 75 cents for the music.  Then in college, in the coffee house days, I would go almost everynight.  Buy a beer and sit in the back with my notebook, watching what the nightly guitarists played and making notes.  Then I started playing with records, but it would take me a long time to get my guitar tuned to the record.  No capos - no understanding of alternate tunings.  Those songs were just lost to me.  The Beatles and James Taylor and Bread - I could recognize the chord progressions.   Played and sang with anyone and everyone, just to learn.   As tough as this was, it did train my ear very well.   I could buy music and "hear" what it was going to sound like just by reading it.  GP is so good for people like me because I rely on hearing the music, not just following the tab.   If it weren't for all the life interruptions, I would be a really good guitarist by now.  But I'm not.   But I can still hear a song on the radio and picture the chords in my mind.  Guess that is a pretty cool gift to have.     


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Izzy, I can relate. If only I had kept up with my guitar practice when I was introduced to the guitar at 14 years old. My parents bought my first classical guitar and paid for guitar lessons. Don't remember what happen with my lessons...maybe they could'nt afford it anymore, so I was on my own. Learning music theory was hard for me back then. I lost interest,but always was in awe watching others play guitar on my life journey. Here I am...my fingers are not as limber as they used to be. Yes, I am learning more now, but how I wish my passion for guitar had been stronger in my younger days....written by Lisa Cash, April 18, 2010
It's nice to be "not finished" as a guitarist though isn't Izzy? THe journey is so much fun.written by Chris , April 18, 2010
loved to hear your story,,dose day's are easy?? i start 6 years ago learning guitar,,the other years only listen to music,,i can't transcripe by ear,,so glad i walked agianst Neil and the great members....and Neil does not tell us everything,he left us some to puzlle on and i think that is for our progres,,but i think i have'nt the time for it,,,strange enough is that when i go on a lesson i regonice the sound..(ear??)written by willem last, April 18, 2010