Over the weekend, I picked up my guitar for the first time in ages. I don't think I've even looked at it since May. Whenever I haven't played for awhile, I'm always interested in seeing what songs I can remember right off the bat and which ones I kind of have to play around with for a bit before remembering how to play them.
Like a lot of kids, I started playing guitar in high school. There were quite a few kids at Pius
who played guitar, and I just thought they were so cool. I remember going into the band room after school one day so that my friend Karen could pick up her flute. We found our classmate Andy in the room, playing No Doubt's Don't Speak
on his guitar. I was so impressed because it sounded EXACTLY like the actual song. I wanted to be able to do that too.
I was 15. I loved Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, and The Cure. I was pretty certain that I was gonna be a rockstar because I loved music so much. So, I figured I had to learn how to play something.
The day I got my guitar at Jackson's music, I also got The Gig Bag Book of Picture Chords
, which I still use whenever I don't know how to play a certain chord. I took lessons for about a month with this lady at Woodward Academy. My lessons were usually on Saturday mornings. She wasn't a guitar teacher per say (she mostly taught piano) but she still knew the basics to teach me. She asked me what songs I wanted to learn how to play, and had me write the lyrics out on lined paper. Then when we practiced, I'd play her the cds that the songs were on, and she'd write the chords over the lyrics. When she realized that I'd need a capo to play certain songs that I wanted to learn, she suggested I buy one. So I had Kevin take me back to Jackson's and I got a capo as well as the Nirvana in New York
There was a handful of songs that I was set on learning when I first got my guitar. My teacher taught me how to play Glycerine
, Sunny Came Hom
e, and Make it Home
, and on my own I learned how to play My Forgotten Favorite
, Fire in Cairo
, and Free to Decide
. And thanks to my trusty Nirvana guitar book, I of course learned how to play Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam
. I only had lessons for a short time because my teacher felt that she could only teach me so much, and I was learning pretty quickly. The songs that I set out to learn right away were some of my favorites at the time, and ones that I thought I could learn fairly easily.
When I wrote about Juliana Hatfield over the summer, I mentioned that I got the chance to talk to her after a show she played in Athens. She said the coolest thing when I told her that Make It Home
was one of the first songs I learned how to play. She said that when she first started playing, she was so amazed that she could actually learn how to play songs that she loved listening to. And I thought, "Yeah, that is pretty amazing." We all have those songs that we just adore, and to me it's just so awesome that if you want to, you can pick up a guitar and learn how to play one. Sure some songs are easier than others, but you are capable of doing it. It's something that's possible. And that's pretty cool.
Here are some guitar tab sites that I like going to. Check them out for (generally) easy to follow guitar and bass tabs.Guitar Tab UniverseOLGAUltimate Guitar
And here are the first songs that I mastered on the six string! Ok, not really mastered
but ya know...Bush- Glycerine
(from Sixteen Stone
)The Cranberries- Free to Decide
(from To the Faithful Departed
)The Cure- Fire in Cairo
(from Boys Don't Cry
)Juliana Hatfield- Make It Home
(from My So-Called Life
)Nirvana- Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam
(from Unplugged in New York
)Shawn Colvin- Sunny Came Home
(from A Few Small Repairs
)Velocity Girl- My Forgotten Favorite
Check out how dorky I was in high school. My awkward stage lasted forever. Are those glasses the worst or what? My 5 year reunion was last month, but I didn't go. I don't think I've done anything that interesting in the past five years to really tell anyone about. Maybe I will in the next five. At least, I hope so.