Sure wanna be: Guitar Hero

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«… It’s gonna cost you several layers of fingertip skin…»

You’re already an air guitar master — your fingers fly across the virtual strings when you’re listening to a Malmsteen, Megadeth or McLaughlin solo. However, you feel it’s high time you got into the real thing. Well you can. It’s gonna cost you several layers of fingertip skin, but you will get there – or at least close – in the end.

First things first: get yourself a proper guitar instead of a badminton racket or a broom to practise with. Try to avoid the cheapest of instruments, because these often have a punishing “action”. (That means that they require a lot of effort to push the strings onto the frets and make a decent sound.) Second-hand is ok, but take an established guitar player (or expert) with you to test the thing before you buy it.

Don’t forget to ask that same guitar player to teach you a trick or two. But the absolute best way to learn to play is to forget everything you know and get proper training as soon as possible. Classical guitar lessons are best, although they may hinder you when trying to learn rock and metal tricks. Bach wasn’t really into ten-finger tapping and feedback and stunts like that. Or maybe he was, but classical teachers are not, alas.


Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to experiment. Jamming with a couple of friends is great for training your sense of rhythm and harmony. Sheet music and tabulature will help you play along with your favourite songs. Meanwhile, keep working on those chords. And make sure you brush your teeth twice every day — you’re gonna need those in perfect shape to play the American Anthem like Hendrix and to smile at your fans when they come begging for your autograph once you’re famous.

For proper air guitar championships near you, take a look here:

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