Sunday, November 11, 2007

Learn to Play the Guitar: How to Jump Start Your Midlife Hobby

I started my guitar hobby with a borrowed guitar, Danelectro single-cutaway U2 model. I started poking around the Internet, guitar magazines, and instruction books at guitar shops to figure out what to do next. The choices were staggering. I acquired a Jimi Hendrix book by Andy Aledort and started working through “Hey Joe” note by note. Although I started to make sounds that bore a remote (very remote) resemblance to the piece, it was not moving very rapidly. I went into this under the impression that the guitar takes time, but having just achieved AARP membership, I really wanted to minimize the time component needed to start rocking.

My daughter was taking lessons and was going to miss her next one and my wife suggested I take her place. “No, honey; I’m self taught, got my Jimi Hendrix book and I’m covered.” As you suspect, I went to the lesson, signed up for more, and made more progress in the next week than in the previous three months of plinking away at my Jimi Hendrix book.

Signing up for lessons was the single decision that made the guitar a great hobby. There is a staggering amount of great resources for the guitar, but without a frame of reference, it is time consuming to make use of them. Your instructor already has the frame of reference and can ensure you invest your time where you get the greatest return. Being able to make the same amount of progress in one week as the previous 12 weeks made the $75 per month cost a no brainer!