Dave Byers

I'd like to learn to play the guitar (whatever musical instrument) where do I start?

I'd like to learn to play the guitar (whatever musical instrument) where do I start?

Great! I'm excited that you see the joy in music. I started back in 1979 and it changed my life. Music is a lifelong hobby and a ton of fun.

The first thing I'd ask is what your end game is. What is your big picture with music? Are you into Metallica, classical, jazz, blues, country, do you want to play in a church? See if you can find a couple mentors doing what you want to do in that style to help you along. Go to a local music store or two and interview a few music teachers. See what styles they're into and see how that can mesh and their character and how that works for you. A good instructor can really keep you focused and motivated and moving forward quickly. Many people want to try it on their own for a while embarrassed that they don't know anything, but this is the time you need an instructor the most. Don't waste time learning bad habits right off that you'll later have to unlearn. Don't get frustrated as many do and sometimes quit because of lack of direction. The 1st 3 months is the hardest. Have a good music instructor get you through them unscathed and with a great foundation.

I strongly encourage you to learn how to read music and music theory. Learn the language of music basically. You'll be thankful you did for the rest of your life. I've heard many people make many excuses for why they don't play music. They're simply excuses. You either want to bad enough or you don't. I've seen a many playing guitar with his feet who had no arms. Did he have really talented feet? Or was his desire to play the guitar so great that not having arms was not going to stop him? Django Reinhardt lost the use of two of his fingers on his fretting hand in a fire at the age of 17. That didn't stop him from becoming one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Short fingers, long fingers, fat fingers, no coordination, too young, too old, whatever, they're all excuses. The most important thing you need to play music, or do most anything for that matter is the drive to want it bad enough. Will you put in the tie to practice? Will get discouraged quickly and start making excuses? Playing music, especially at a novice level is really not that hard. It just requires effort just like being a decent cook, golfer, hunter, mechanic, etc.does.

Now get yourself a local music store and get a quality instrument (can I suggest DC Music Store? www.dcmusicstore.com ) and a good music teacher locally and get started with music lessons.