Wednesday, December 12, 2012


ONE OF THE COOL things we do at Second String Music is give you four free music lessons if you buy an instrument from us, or rent a school band instrument.

Vancil Performing Arts does the four free lessons. They have a booming music department with great teachers, and the lessons will help develop your skills.

Mary Shelor stopped by the store this morning to give us some info on her Musikgarten classes. These are family classes for kids ages 6 months to 5 years, and it's a great way to get your child involved at the youngest and most impressionable age.

There are a variety of ways to approach guitar lessons. My theory is to keep it simple and to get you playing songs as soon as possible. We'll learn chords, technique and simple drills to practice, but that's the key - you determine if you want to be a player, not your teacher.

I learned guitar on my own and until recently never had a lesson. I found a battered acoustic when I was in high school and started by playing bass notes to songs on the radio. Somewhere I discovered chords, and I do remembered my old Calvin College buddy Ken VanAndel showing me bar chords and a few other things in our old Omega 10 apartment in Grand Rapids during the tumultuous summer of 1984.

Then I bought a guitar before heading out to the Wild West and a job in the Grand Canyon National Park. With time on my hands and a desire to play, I slowly got better.

A guy came into the store the other day and said he thought my playing had gotten better recently. Don't know about that, I'm a pretty average strummer who would like to get better, but it was a nice compliment. I have been playing a lot more lately and the more you do it, the better you get.

Guitar isn't necessarily easy, and you have to stick with it and deal with some frustrations early on. It gets better and better as you play more. Promise.

Keep playing!

1 comment:

  1. I love giving guitar lessons. My kids learn chords quickly, but we also learn to read notes. Best quick "success" was with a student who was brand new around Christmas time. I put four kids in a guitar ensemble and had arranged the music so he could play an open D all the way through. He could hear how that note was needed and he was really part of the group. My youth band is playing for the church program and I have a new drummer and 2 new guitar kids, early teens in age. Getting them in front of people and getting that encouragement is a real motivator to keep playing.