Basic Guitar Lessons with Gerald Lee Ames
After a show, often folks come up to me and ask, "How did you learn how to play guitar like
that! How long have you been playing? What does it take to get started?"
Well, the guitar first landed in my hands at about 3 years of age. It was a fine crafted small
plastic Woody wood pecker version, with four nylon strings and a juke box crank at the tail
end. It played really well too, ya just turn the crank.
First real guitar efforts started at about age 5 with an old 6 string Silvertone Spanish Guitar
and a Mel Bay Spanish guitar book. The Mel Bay book was great for a kid because it had
pictures of the hands of , I guess Mr. Mel Bay playing the chords. Instead of learning every
chord on earth all at once, someone sat me down and said , " All you really need is three
chords and a pure heart." So lets start small.
One must first learn how to tune the guitar. VERY IMPORTANT. A cheap way to start and
train your ear is with a guitar pitch pipe. The notes are as follows.
The bottom string or the fat one closest to your elegant chin is "E" for Easy to play
Next down is "A" for All right!
The next wound string down is "D" for DO IT!
Your almost done, half way there!
The next string is the "G" for (pardon the plug) GERALD LEE AMES The little skinny itty
bitty string two up from your feet is the "B" for Balance
And last but not least, it's full circle back to Easy street just an octave up with the little "E"
E Big string
E Little string
There are more tuning tricks to check strings to each other, most at the fifth fret.
If you press on the E big string at the 5th fret it will make the note "A" and should match the
open A string. Same applys to all strings: except the G string.
Of course the G or Gerald String had to be different. Just press or "fret" the
"G" string at the 4th fret and it will match the open "B"
Return to the fifth fret for checking the B string to the open little "E" string.
Tuning just like this:
E check at 5th fret to the open A
A check at 5th fret to the open D
D check at 5th fret to the open G
G check at 4th fret to the open B
B check at 5th fret to the open E
So practice tuning that guitar, and we will start your first chord on the next lesson.
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