You, the Guitar, and Other People

Dear Students,

I want to talk with you for just a minute about the social aspect of playing the guitar.  This is the true driving force behind our desire to play music.  99% of the time, we play the guitar because we want to get involved with other people through music.  Here are a few ways to do this:

*Playing music with friends.  Get together with other guitar players and strum around and take turns soloing together.  If you play electric guitar, find a drummer, bass player, singer, keyboard player, or other electric guitarists to get a fun garage band jam.  You’ll only need a handful of songs to get started.  Find people using your local online community boards or local social media sites.

*Writing music.  Write a song and play it for someone.  Simple as that.  Write it down in any basic way that you understand and play it for a friend.  Or, record yourself playing it on your phone or computer and send it to a friend.  Or, record it and post it online, to a social media site or tube site.  This is a good way to get feedback and recognition for your creative efforts.  It is normal to feel nervous about this, but everyone wants to like your song.  People love music and writing songs is an amazing way to connect with lots of people.

*Performing.  This can be for free at a public jam or open mic or a paid situation.  Most musicians dream of getting paid to perform their music, and while it is wonderful, there is a higher expectation to be entertaining, since you are being paid.  An open mic at a local restaurant or cafe is a very friendly & welcoming environment for you, since no one expects you to be amazing, and you are offering free entertainment.  As always, you will find that people (strangers included) want you to succeed, they will try to enjoy what you’re doing, because music makes people feel good.

The take away points from this message are to get involved with people through your guitar playing and to not wait until you’re a perfect guitarist – do it now.  Plan something now.  People make the mistake of waiting years until they are amazing at the guitar.  Don’t wait – it’s about community.  Get involved with people today.  Practice your guitar while you wait to meet with your new friends.

I hope you’re all doing well and I’m very excited for you!  Keep playing, and think about how you can connect with someone musically.

Talk with you soon,

-Dan (your guitar teacher)