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'Why play the guitar?'- guitarists help needed (warning very long post!) watch

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    For my english coursework I have to make a creative piece (any piece of writing basically). I'm doing a web-stlye article entitled 'why play the guitar?' which is intended to encourage first time musicians to play the guitar. I have about 1000 words but I need 1500 at least. Here is what I have so far:

    'For starters, in terms of musical equipment and maintenance the guitar is exceptional value for money: the average beginner’s package including the instrument itself, as well as strings, lead, and anything else needed to get you started shouldn’t set you back much more than £250. I have found low quality models in everyday street music shops for as low as £30 if you're really desperate (and I emphasise this, as such an instrument is a poor choice for a beginner). And you can literally take it home and start playing- obviously there are none of the complexities of removal involved when buying such larger instruments as the piano (which increasingly is being overshadowed by the guitar in terms of learned musical instrument of choice). Of course, when buying a new instrument the general if not obvious rule is, the more you spend the better. It is especially important for a beginner to start with an instrument that is of a good standard of quality; there is no good in getting frustrated at the early stages by fret buzzing and poor intonation induced by shoddy workmanship, which will impact not only the sound of your playing, but also your own confidence in your playing. As a fact, badly made guitars are physically difficult to play. At the same time it is important not to go too overboard, as you don’t want to invest huge amounts of money in something that you will later realise you cannot fully commit to, so a compromise must be found.

    A good rule as ever is, if it sounds too good to be true, don’t buy it: ‘value packages’ that a lot of music shops will offer you would have to contain cheaply made components in order to sell at a reduced retail price. You will find that experienced players will often brag about their collection of expensive, vintage, ‘limited series’ guitars- you must not let this sway you, as overall it is not the instrument but the player who makes the music. Often the money paid for a guitar is spent on the brand name rather than the overall quality of the instrument. A good player will always bear in mind the old adage, ‘”it is a bad workman who blames his tools.”’ Other things to consider when purchasing a guitar are to ensure that it is a good size for you, and to look out for obvious signs of poor workmanship (such as visible blobs of glue when you look inside the body).

    Not only are the guitars themselves becoming increasingly available; a vast library of guitar knowledge is now easily accessible via the internet, and it really is as simple as typing ‘how to play guitar’ into Google. The surge of information provided by the internet has definitely impacted the ways in which music is taught, and the uprising of self-taught ‘bedroom’ guitarists that would not have been seen 20 years ago is growing ever stronger. Respected teachers across the world offer online ‘web-cam’ lessons that you can experience from the comfort of your own home, for more or less the same price of a regular, ‘real-world’ teacher. Video sharing websites (notably youtube.com) now offer literally millions of guitar demonstrations and tutorials; practically every man and his son has a video of themselves showing off their guitar skills (make no mistake, the guitarists are an ostentatious crowd).

    And learning the basics of the guitar really is simple; ‘easy to read’ tablature with numbers indicating which frets to be played on which string is quickly replacing traditional music notation, although whichever method is used is up to the preference of the guitarist (the latter, for example, is preferred by classical and some blues guitarists). Programmes such as ‘PowerTAB’ and ‘GuitarPro’ are used by guitarists across the globe to share guitar ‘tabs’, so finding the music for your favourite song is just as easy as using any search engine. And the best part is, it’s all free! Big tab archives such as www.ultimate-guitar.com offer a wealth of guitar knowledge, for practically all styles, for absolutely no monetary fee.

    Another undeniable strength of the guitar is its versatility; almost without exception, the guitar is not out of place within any genre or style, playing a large role in country, blues, and jazz music. Of course, there are some genres that simply would not be without the guitar, such as the Spanish Flamenco, and of course, more recently, Rock and Heavy metal. The fact that the guitar is involved in so many different genres is representative of the sheer variety of different sounds that it can produce- there are literally hundreds of gadgets available for the guitar, such as pedals and effect boxes, and advances in MIDI technology mean that you can make your guitar sound like… well, anything other than a guitar. Not taking these things into the account, the guitar on its own is capable of producing many different sounds, with a variety of timbres and colours- one of the benefits of being a heterophonic instrument. Some players take a completely different approach to playing the guitar, such as playing purely by fretting with both hands (what has come to be known as ‘tapping’), and also ‘slapping’ to achieve percussive and/or harmonic effects- some of which can be truly dazzling. Some of these ‘innovators’ have become youtube phenomena’s, gaining tens of millions of hits. Indeed, the study of the guitar can truly be said to be infinite in depth!

    The guitar is a well regarded instrument, with more composers writing music for it now than ever; though it already has a vast repertoire spanning all the major periods of music from Renaissance to Baroque to Classical (the earliest guitar music in fact derived from lute manuscripts; the lute being the parent instrument of the guitar). An always appealing feature of the guitar is that it can sound good whether you play alone or as part of an ensemble, something that can’t always be said about instruments with a lower range (like its cousin the bass guitar, for example).

    Whichever guitar you choose, whatever style you play, the guitar really is the most fulfilling instrument you can experience!'

    Did I miss anything? Anyone who plays the guitar got any ideas? I do play the guitar myself so no need to explain fully. I already have an idea for a paragraph on alternate tunings which should get me another 100. +rep for best replies.
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    You could include some relevant quotes from well known guitarists?
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    (Original post by Devel)
    You could include some relevant quotes from well known guitarists?
    good idea! such as? I guess there must be something by Van Halen/Hendrix somewhere...
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    (Original post by Sad Clown)
    good idea! such as? I guess there must be something by Van Halen/Hendrix somewhere...
    Hendrix - Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded.

    Brian May - The guitar has a kind of grit and excitement possessed by nothing else.
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    (Original post by Devel)
    Hendrix - Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded.

    Brian May - The guitar has a kind of grit and excitement possessed by nothing else.
    Thanks, that Hendrix one will might a nice addition to the closing paragraph.
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    Maybe include a small paragraph about the history of the guitar too - how old it is, which cultures it first appeared in etc.

    Then maybe put famous guitarists alongside specific genres; e.g. : "Many guitarists learn specific playstyles of the guitar in accordance with a certain genre; for example T-Bone Walker is regarded as one of the greatest blues guitarists, and Jimi Hendrix is regarded as one of the greatest rock guitarists. The beauty of the guitar is its ambiguity, and no matter what type of music you listen to, the guitar is one of the few instruments which is capable of producing almost any sound, with the aid of a diverse range of effects pedals and amplifiers."
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    I'd love to learn how to play the guitar but there's too many strings attached.
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    Sorry I only kinda skim read it so if you've already got this in there then ignore me! But from my experience learning the guitar is a much better aid to songwriting then most instruments because it can be played completely by itself as an individual piece, not in need of a band, like drums so much or like clarinet. I mean its a bit controversial as I'm sure there are some amazing drum solos and trumpet solos but when ur just starting out you can make music which sounds good and reflects the kind of song you want to write faster than other instruments. And yeah it can be played on its own with no instruments to make a perfectly good structured song.

    I think I worded that really badly, hopefully you get what I mean!
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    Small point you could consider, keyboard legend Tony Banks often writes music on guitar because he finds it easier to come up with something fresh and new.
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    I like stringed instruments. A piano is too large to have in the house. I started learning guitar because i wanted to have the sounds of strings vibrating and the ability to amplify them.
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    If you want to say something on alternate tunings you could perhaps talk about the new 'Gibson Robot' guitar... it tunes itself to anything at the click of the button. So technological advancements making the guitar endless in capability or something
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    (Original post by ankthebank)
    If you want to say something on alternate tunings you could perhaps talk about the new 'Gibson Robot' guitar... it tunes itself to anything at the click of the button. So technological advancements making the guitar endless in capability or something
    If that thing can stay in tune constantly, regardless of how much whammy bar mistreatment you give it then that would be brilliant.
 
 
 
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