How to Become a Campfire Guitarist
Musical instruments provide perfect opportunities to foster a sense of accomplishment. It’s also easier to relax while playing music for it’s nearly impossible to dwell upon regrets and worries that trouble the mind. The question is whether climbing the steep learning curve to musicianship is worth it. I’d like to try to convince you to play the guitar or other musical instrument for the following reasons.
How I Learned to Play the Guitar
One day as I gazed at my bloated music collection of albums, cassettes and CDs I realized that maybe my interest in music was in part due to an unfulfilled desire to actually play. I jealously listened to some of my friends play musical instruments and decided to give it a fair try. So, my 1998 New Year’s resolution was to learn to play the guitar.
I reasoned that if I bought an inexpensive guitar and was too lazy to play it I wouldn’t feel too badly. Therefore I purchased a used Martin J40 for about a month’s net salary. I thought if I didn’t play the Martin, I could at least sell it easily since Martin’s are coveted by many musicians. I contacted a local music school and attended a dozen lessons or so. I soon realized I needed to practice very regularly and proceeded to practice about an hour every night or so. Knowing that I couldn’t catch up with my buddies who’d played 20 years or more I decided to take a dozen or so singing lessons to give me an edge in that department. Learning to breath properly helped a great deal. After three years and about 1000 hours of practice I was considered by most of my peers to be an “OK” performer. The path I took may or may not suit you but you’ll never know unless you try.
Necessary or Useful Equipment
Buy a good six string brand name guitar with a solid wood top to play exclusively in your home. It’s safer to have a used pre-dented inexpensive guitar to play at parties or outside. Inevitably others will want to play it and all sorts of calamities can occur. It’s hard not to worry when a stranger is playing your good guitar in a social situation.
I prefer guitars manufactured in North America though my campfire guitar is a Yamaha made in Taiwan.
Canadian brands include Larrivee, Seagull or Godin
Buying a guitar privately is a bit risky. You'll never know if it spent a lot of time drying out in basement or was abused in other ways. If you buy a defective guitar at a store you probably won't be stuck with it. (Guitar diagram.)
Playing With Other Musicians