Monday, December 7, 2009

First class!

Yesterday I took my first class in guitar playing via the dedicated website Guitar Super Stars. I must admit that at first I was somehow a bit skeptical about the idea of learning to play the guitar online. I had the idea that I would prefer to have the classes face-to-face with a teacher, someone who can correct your mistakes at the spot.

I was also excited and very curious what I would encounter on the website, the e-mail I received from Andy (the founder of the website) after registering surely looked promising and very professional.

So, after logging in, I was brought to a webpage, which functions basically as a database: I have access to video classes of different professional guitar teachers. Each one of them teaches in a different way and aims for different styles and genres of playing (from rock and blues to classical). I chose to go for the first class with Ben Philips, since he is specialized in the styles I am mostly interested in learning: Rock and Blues. His profile page explains his discography, what his experience is in teaching, where he is from, and so on.

The website works flawlessly, the video started and "Master Ben" explains in a 6-minute video in a very smooth and clear way the basics of the guitar: the names of the strings, the fingers and some useful tips for holding the instrument and what to focus on in the beginning. Very useful things for me; I have looked at guitar tabs before, but never could make much out of it and quickly gave up trying to understand. In 6 minutes, this experienced teacher explains very simply how things work in the wonderful world of guitar-playing...oh yes, don't forget that it will take you hours and hours to learn!

Of course, after this, I could not wait to get to try playing, and moved on to his second class. Here her explains how to hold the strings down when practising 3 basic chords. This video once more is around 6-7 minutes and after playing each chord individually, Ben shows how to play the first melody, used in many rock songs (eg. Knockin' on Heaven's Door)...after some practise, this can be done just following his first 2 classes. I find his teaching style relaxed, and challenging, because he quickly moves through the chords, so I need to follow quite concentrated what he is saying. For me it worked best to write down the finger/strings combinations he recommends for playing the chords and then master them , before moving on to the next chord or attempting to play them in a row.

Also, I am trying to find on the website if there is an archive of tabs or chords in written form, but I have been unable to locate this so far. I like to have a look now if, after Ben's explanation, tabs look a bit more logical and understandable to me!

Concluding, it was an interesting experience for my first class, it worked better and more clear than I expected. Also because Ben in his video's already points out what the most frequently made mistakes are when playing (and yes, he was right, I made these mistakes also!) these excercises by beginners. Now, I want to move on to the next level, so I will practise again today!


  1. The idea of online guitar lessons is very intriguing. I'm very much into it. Wishing you succes and perseverance I want to congratulate you on this blog. Good job. I will be your follower, that's sure.


  2. Thanks Raf, for the encouragement. I find it a very efficient way to learn to play, for me it has many advantages at least. I was also a bit skeptical in the beginning, but I must say I am really liking it now!