My journey thus far with learning to play the guitar

Made considerable progress

joesan published on

4 min, 799 words

Categories: Miscellaneous

Tags: guitar

I remember my interest to play the guitar started in the year 2012 and without any hesitation, I went and purchased my first ever electric guitar, the Ibanez GSA 60 and a small Marshall amplifier. I'm not sure at that point in time if it was the right decision to start with an electric guitar but as I recollect, I don't think I made any significant progress with it. I was even struggling to play the basic chord shapes. This deterred me from playing the guitar. The Ibanez mostly saw its life being on the shelf. Now and then I would just pick her up and try to learn something or the other, but never made any significant progress.

Fast-forward to 2015, my interest to learn the guitar got even stronger, I decided to take some private lessons. This was the time that I made two serious mistakes. One is to buy a very cheap beginner acoustic guitar and two to get some private lessons. I did those private lessons for about 6 months, and I realised it was not worth it. Maybe the teacher did not have any experience teaching beginners like me. The class, the lessons were not structured. No theory, no chords! It was pure waste of time and money. This experience again put me off in making any progress with my guitar learning!

Fast-forward to 2017, I again made an attempt to learn the chords, but before playing anything on the guitar, I watched tons and tons of videos and I realised that I should have a nice decent enough guitar that would invite me to play. After doing some research, I nailed down that I need to get the Seagull S6 Original. It was not available in stock here in Germany. I placed an order at the Music store in Köln sometime around September 2017 and waited and waited until it was almost a year, the answer from the store was that the stock did not arrive. When I ordered it, it was retailing for a price of about 419 Euros, but I got pissed off waiting for it and hence I went ahead and got my first ever proper acoustic guitar from Taylor, the Taylor 114e in November 2018 I guess. It was pricier than the Seagull, but in the end it was definitely worth it. Taylor 114e and Justin Guitar helped me to be comfortable playing most of the open chord shapes, change chords, strumming patterns, play a few songs. Overall I did make some considerable progress.

I went back to Youtube, watched tons more of videos. I got interested in playing blues music. The more I watched those videos, the more I wanted to play blues. I decided that I need a quality electric guitar. I first tried to learn blues with my Ibanez GSA 60, but I somehow did not like the tone that came out of it and it was for me pretty limiting. Remember I'm not a complete beginner anymore. I would call myself as an advanced beginner. So I decided that I need some quality instrument that I can have forever. I sold the Ibanez and started to do some research.

Sometime around November 2019, I narrowed down to two of the famous iconic electric guitar models - The Les Paul and the Stratocaster. I went back to Youtube to understand the tonal differences between the two, watched tons and tons of videos, understood what the different pickups mean, humbucker vs single coil... and you know!

I almost decided to get the Les Paul Studio, but after learning about the Fender Strat and making a few visits to the Music store in Köln and trying out both of these icons, I ended up getting the Fender Stratocaster Performer with the HSS configuration, yes in the sunburst color. No regrets, I made the right decision. I also got the Yamaha THR 10 V2 amplifier which made a killer combo with my Strat!

I started to learn the pentatonic scale shapes, practiced them up and down and made myself comfortable playing it faster. But then I realised that I'm stuck within this one shape, so I wanted to understand how I could move left and right, up and down the neck which is what I'm learning right now. I did make some progress, but I still have a long long way to go and I have made playing the guitar a regular routine these days.

So my verdict is, if you are interested in learning to play the guitar, my suggestion is to go and get a decent enough instrument that makes you feel to pick it up and play. If you can afford it, I would strongly recommend to get an American made guitar, Fender it is!