There are obviously countless books, CDs, DVDs, even VHS tapes running amok throughout our educational world of music, along with a multitude of more than competent instructors at all levels. So one might ask why I decided to take on the task – with my friends at TrueFire – of yet another attempt to present a beginner’s platform, a topic that has been thoroughly covered, if not repeatedly hammered into the ground.

I hate to use that driven into the ground cliché, but to me the answer is obvious. Plainly put, so many people are just not getting IT. I will not say that, ‘for some reason’, IT is not registering with people. But, based on what I have encountered and observed, I believe I can accurately express my exact feelings about the reasons why many folks are not getting IT.

Let me start by defining IT. IT is a number of roadblocks that get in the way of progress and, in this case, creates a downright sluggishness of forward movement in the skill level of the guitarist. For example, one obstruction is the lack of understanding of timing and how to use a metronome effectively, and how to actually think of it as a fun tool instead of an instrument of terror that reveals a player’s supposed incompetence.

Another barrier is the absence of a quick and effective method of presenting a bare minimum of music theory at the snap of one’s fingers. Often the extensiveness of music books and lessons trigger a solid wall of blank stares from a student. Off goes the learning switch and that knowledge pathway clogs up quicker than a slowdown on the highway from “rubber-neckers” looking at an accident. Regardless of the accuracy of the material or patience of the instructor, this visually surreal obstacle course seems to yank up that emergency brake in some students or players, sometimes permanently.

Originally posted 2009-04-08 03:35:24.