If you were to ask me what the best decision I ever made was (you might), I would answer that it was learning to play guitar. Maybe this says something about my life, that the best call I ever made was learning to play an instrument but, picking up an electric guitar from my music shop was the soundest purchase I’ve made.
I will admit that my intentions weren’t quite as pure as the “It’s about the music, man!” philosophy that some people go for, although I admit that is what it’s about now. I was 12 years old when I decided I’d like to follow in the footsteps of Hendrix and Clapton and at that age I’d also discovered girls. They were a strange lot to say the least but it seemed my peers and I found ourselves wanting to impress them by seeming cool and deep. What better way I thought, than to learn guitar? After all, women love musicians and I thought that by learning guitar I would be fighting the ladies off. Almost eight years later I still haven’t had any results.
It’s fair to say though that my early adolescent mind wasn’t the only reason I picked up the guitar. Green Day’s American Idiot was all the rage back then, Gorillaz were about to release what was arguably the best album of the 00’s with Demon Days and I was firmly in love with Nirvana. So that Christmas my parents bought me an electric guitar and for weeks the house was alive with some of the worst playing you’ve ever heard. In my mind i imagined I’d be the next Slash within a month but of course, as with any skill, if you want to be good you’ve got to put the work in. Something I was unwilling to do initially. After a few lessons where I learnt how to maintain a guitar, how to read TAB and my first few chords, I decided it was all a bit too much like hard work and decided to give up. That could easily have been the end of my career as a guitarist but luckily I came back to it and decided I’d teach myself. The going was slow but I was determined and the better I got, the more I wanted to learn.
A few years later I’d become a competent guitarist and whilst jamming with a friend one day, I mentioned I taught myself rather than see a tutor. He then suggested I visit a site created and run by a skilled guitarist that featured everything you could ever want to know about guitars and offered lessons via videos. The site is called justinguitar.com and has been of great use to not just me but thousands, if not millions of guitarists across the globe. It’s all run by a nice chap called Justin who frequently updates it with lessons, videos and information. Of course there are thousands of sites that offer a similar service but what makes Justin’s site better? It’s totally free for those who can’t afford lessons or are otherwise unable to see a tutor. The site relies solely on donations from it’s visitors and you can access all of it without paying or even having to sign up. That’s not to say however that I’m telling you all to go free loading off a guy who’s doing a good thing. If you find you enjoy the site and it’s useful to you then I URGE you to donate a bit of cash to help Justin continue doing the great job he is and to also keep the site up for those who really can’t afford lessons or donate. I donated some cash myself a few hours ago and I intend to so again. Until then I thought I could help by spreading the word to anyone who may be reading this.
Justin himself is no middling guitarist. In fact you couldn’t ask for a better teacher. A British newspaper, The Independent, called him “one of the most influential guitar teachers in history” and he’s received accolades from guitarists Steve Vai and Brian May. He’s produced and written for Katie Melua as well as played in over 1000 shows in a Rolling Stones tribute band. At this rate he’ll probably bring about world peace and cure the common cold within the next few years.
So go check out his site, justinguitar.com and if you find it useful then be sure to send some money his way. If you’re strapped for cash then why not spread the word and promote his site on your Facebook page and tell all your friends who play guitar about him. And remember, the guitarist is always the most talented member of the band.