So, you want to learn how to play guitar? Fortunately, you came to the right place. Usually when people approach me asking for lessons it takes anywhere between one to three days before they give up, but I’m sure you will be different. So here we go. It’s always good to start out by asking yourself why you want to suddenly start playing the guitar. Most likely you either A) Want to impress girls or B) nothing else. Great! Now that it’s out in the open let’s talk about your favorite bands. As much as you love the guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix and the voice of Phil Collins, you can’t let girls know that. From now on your favorite music is: Dave Matthews, Dispatch, the RENT soundtrack, and anything country. Now that you have your alibi down you can start the actual guitar playing process.
Slow down there Slash, you’re not nearly ready enough to pick up a guitar just yet. Remember, a guitar player is only as good as his guitar. That’s why you need a really cheap, shitty guitar. Anything from Target or Best Buy will do the trick. Next, you need to buy some guitar picks. These are what you use to strum the strings, more importantly you can give them to hot girls after you play for them, like a souvenir. You have the equipment, now you have to look the part. When you walk down past all the freshman dorms you need girls to turn and say, “Wow, there’s that one kid with the one guitar on campus!” To achieve this goal yo must purchase the one thing that screams musician: plaid shirts. Lots of em’. I’m talking blue vertical lines with black horizontal lines AND vice versa. It is a proven fact that there is a correlation between people who play guitar and people who wear plaid shirts. At this rate you’ll be selling out bar mitzvahs and sweet sixteen parties in no time at all.
Now that you have made it this far let’s finally pick up that guitar of yours and learn how to play like a true douche. Luckily, you will never be playing more than one song at a time (always have an excuse) so you only need to learn some basic chords. Thankfully, the rock gods were on our side when they decided to make such songs as “Collide” by Howie Day and “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz have the same chord progressions. Finally, when you master those songs and combined them into one totally awesome mash-up, you can move onto more advanced, but still douchey songs, such as “Daughters” by Jon Mayer. This is what is often referred to as a college woman’s version of a musical wet dream.
Congrats, for only the small sacrifice of your dignity you have reached the last stage of the process. It’s time for you to showcase what you have learned live for your friends. After all, who doesn’t like a live concert? Be careful though, you have come too far to screw it all up now. Breaking out the guitar in a public environment is an art and should be treated as such. First, you want to stage a casual event where multiple people will show up, I recommend a bonfire. Next, text one of your reliable friends to wait ten minutes and then bring up the idea of you getting your guitar to play in front of everyone. Spend a good couple of minutes insisting that you’re not ready before finally giving in to the request. Choose a seat next to a pretty girl and position yourself in a way that the light of the fire emphasizes your chiseled cheek structure. At this point, have fun, you’re home free, all you have to worry about is the actual guitar part, and come on, we all know that’s the least important part. Once you get that golden instrument in your hands you might hear yourself singing the chorus to your favorite Jonas Brothers song, but the only thing that girls will hear is, “I have a guitar blah blah blah sex blah hipster”.
Well there it is, how to play the guitar as well as you will ever need to in your life. Let’s face it, it may not land you to a full time job touring the country, but it will land you a full time job at being awesome. So just relax, forget about all the guys giving you those death stares, and play your best song, as long as that song is in the key of douche.
anything by maroon 5 is good too.
Tweet at me @savittj
Email me at: Jsavitt@Indiana.edu