Saturday, March 9, 2013

Learn and Teach Guitar for Free

One of the first things you need to learn to do is tune the guitar
I find this to be the hardest part but with practice (and youtube), you can learn this within no time.
(It doesn't have to be perfect in the beginning.)
Here's a good tuner to work with online.
 When you hear it played correctly, over and over, you learn when it doesn't sound quite right.
Remember, always loosen the string and tighten gradually to tune.
You're less likely to pop your strings!

Tuners like these are nice too. Amazon has them for about $12, local they're about $20, and you might find them at the best price on ebay. 
Now- the next thing- chords!
This site has small videos and how-to charts that are really elementary. 
He also has sound clips which I've found very helpful. 
He plays the chord, you play the chord. If it doesn't sound right- you goofed or you're out of tune. :)
The second page on that link will show you your basic chords. You can play a lot of hymns and sing-songs with those basic chords. 
You can also buy books or print out tons of charts.
We have some hanging on the walls and the kids all have them in their guitar notebooks.
(Been playing a while and need really odd chord demos? This site lets you type in exactly what you need.)
 Next- let's move on to strumming patterns.
When I was a teen and trying to learn the guitar, this is the area that I could have really benefited from IF ONLY we would have had the internet then! :)
If you want to learn to read strumming patterns, this gnarly guy here shows a nice little diagram on this video but these strumming patterns aren't necessarily the easiest or most common, especially for beginners.
Here is a video of very basic strumming patterns and this fellow goes slow enough for all beginners to easily follow along.
Here's another good site for some printable material and a video to show how you how to put the strumming patterns together with a few chords.

Here are basic ones my kids learned first:
-down, down-up, up, down-up (Like the song Sanctuary)
-down, down-up, down-up (Amazing Grace)
-down, up, down, up (I'll Fly Away, Nothing But the Blood)

We buy bulk picks and keep them in a jar on the piano.
Above was strumming, now, let's talk tab (tablature) or picking. 
This site is one that my daughter finds to be very practical. (She's 12.)
Dd says to remember that the thin string is actually the 1st string and that the thickest string is actually the 6th.
Here's a video that shows another method.
His series of videos are good.
Here are some guitar scales that are very good picking practice.
The above picture is a capo.
Capos are very important for some songs. They raise the pitch. 
They are required to play many songs, especially modern music. 
From ebay and Amazon, they are usually less than $5. Local, about $20.
Find free songs and music.
Our favorite site to use to find music is Ultimate Guitar.
You can find everything from Amazing Grace to Shout to the Lord there.
You can also find pop, country, bluegrass, folk, etc.
One thing about the site is, once you type in your song title, you can choose from several variations, tab and chords, and some more complicated. My favorite thing about the site is that once the song is pulled up, where it shows the chords (by letter) above the lyrics, you can highlight there and it will show you how to play the chord but not only that, if you put your mouse over the chord box, it will actually play the chord.

It should also be noted that you can type in 'how to play' any song on youtube and find very detailed videos from beginner to pro.
I also highly recommend this VERY frugal book. They are forty cents on Amazon, plus shipping
-and worth much more.

This teaches all the basics, various styles of guitar, parts of the guitar, history, and more. 
It would certainly be enough to be used for a credit for school.
You could have younger students just skip to the basics of the book to get them playing sooner, but everything discussed above and more is in it.
Finding guitars-
My youngest learned to play on a cheap $30 guitar from ebay (including shipping!). It was new, hard to stay in tune, but it played.
We have several other cheap guitars that we had to make adjustments on the necks to make them playable for the children. They had been around here for years. Nothing fancy, but they work.
Locals, I highly recommend working with Crossroads in aiding with finding used guitars.
Lastly, you don't have to know how to play the guitar to learn and have your children learn.
It can be a fun experience for your whole family.
You may have to enforce practice at first, but once one or two songs are learned, kids often take flight!
Psa 150:4  Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Isa 38:20  The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.
Hab 3:19  The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.


Joy said...

Thank you so much for this Donna!! I will have to use these things with mine! I need to get his guitar tuned and put on new strings! I'm hoping maybe I will be smart enough to use some of these resources so he can learn! He wants to so bad.
Do you have any resources like these for piano?

Donna said...

I find the piano to be MUCH harder. Gulp!

I have some stuff listed under the Frugally Free Home School tab but the best ones (the first links) have been removed the internet. Bummer. I keep my eyes open. There was a really good one here some time ago on MSM. I will see if I can track it down and if it's still free.

Did you get my email?
We need to do a park day. I have 5 kiddies who can teach anyone who wants to show up and learn! :)

Donna said...

Here it is:

The library might would let us use a room there if you're interested!

Heather~Choosing Simplicity said...

Thank you! This post is an answer to prayer!!! Our son is on the path to recovery.... going in for a bone morrow transplant in April. I will be spending about 2 months with him at the hospital. I have a few things I want to learn to do while I am there (I will have my own room to sleep in at the Ronald McDonald house) and God has really laid guitar on my heart.... My son is learning piano and so when he gets better we can play together and PRAISE THE LORD for HIS faithfulness and healing!!

Donna said...

I'm so blessed to know that you will be able to use it! We will pray with you for Wes's healing. He looks like a very precious young man.

Please let me know if I can help you with your guitar in any way during your stay.
My email is laptopmail (at) twlakes (dot) net

May God bless your family!
You're in our prayers!

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