Quincy Jones says learn your favorite songs note by note!

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Subjests covered

  • General Comments
  • Seven principles of guitar playing
  • Closing comments


  • keep your hands relaxed
  • keep your guitar in tune
  • play in time, with the rhythm
  • musicality always beats technicality
  • practice too slow instead of too fast
  • play along to records whenever you can
  • play with other people whenever you can

General Comments

Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace...
(The Republic of Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1888)

Music is a beautiful thing. Listening to music is like reading a book, watching a movie, or looking at a painting. Playing music gets you in touch with a fundamental part of the human experience. Plus, it is a lot of fun.

Playing guitar is great for a long list of reasons. The way the Guitar Kitchen is set up you will be making music after the second lessons. Making music is an amazing feeling. The Remember list sums up all the most important things you will want to know about making music and playing guitar.


Keep your hands relaxed

  • When your hands are relaxed, the music will feel and sound better.
  • It is bad for your hands to be tense and you could cause harm if you play like this for a long period of time.
  • If you find that your hands are tense, take a break and then play slower.

Keep your guitar in tune

  • Most guitars will go slightly out of tune every 10-30 minutes. Your music will sound better the more in tune your guitar is.
  • Keeping your guitar in tune will help your ear to develop faster.
  • One of the worst things is an out-of-tune instrument.
  • Guitar Kitchen suggests buying a tuner/metronome.

Play in time, with the rhythm

  • Regardless of what you think about egg/chicken question, with the music of our ancestors rhythmn came before melody and chords. It still is the most fundamental and therefore important aspect of music.
  • No one cares how fast someone can play if it is not in time.
  • Play slow enough that you can play rhythmically
  • Use a metronome if there are no drummers around.

Musicality beats technicality

  • The intent to create music always supersedes technical wizardry
  • Think about Carlos Santana and Jimi Henrdrix. Sure they have technique but people want to hear the music because they play with feel, not because they play fast. Both can make one note sound amazing.
  • Especially when you are starting out, it is important to focus on making music and keeping the rhythm, not hitting all the notes.

Practice too slow instead of too fast

  • You will learn twice as fast if you practice twice as slow.
  • You will not learn anything if you practice too fast.

Play along to records whenever you can

  • This will help your ear, your musicality and you will learn a ton.
  • Even if you cannot play the notes the people are playing, try to be part of the groove.

Play with other people whenever you can

  • Playing music with people is a great thing
  • Keep the groove going and build from there
  • Even if you are just starting out, you can add little things to the music, just keep the groove going.

The nitty-gritty

The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.
Thomas Kempis

Now for the nitty technical stuff. All this stuff will be important as long as you play the guitar. The basic principles were discussed in the "Remember" section.

The two important thing are to not strain your hands and to stay relaxed

Not straining your hands and arms is accomplished by staying relaxed, taking breaks, following our general advice and understanding principles of ergonomics.

Staying relaxed is important for your hands as well as the rest of your body.

Closing Comments

Start with a strong foundation now, be patient and you will reap a bountiful harvest in due time.

Playing music is great! Do not let an excuse (like you are just starting) keep you from playing music. Use what technique you have to create the music you imagine.

It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact you could say music is another way of thinking, or maybe thinking is another kind of music.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

A link to the home page A link to the guitar lessons A link to article about a variety of topics A link to the tools page.  This has suggested items, etc. A link to the help page A link to contact us

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