Why is the Band Chicago Not in the Hall of Fame?

Why is the Band Chicago Not in the Hall of Fame?

UPDATE: Chicago was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 8, 2016!

This original article was written on May 3, 2014

You’ve got to be kidding me! How can a band as influential and successful as this one throughout the 70’s to the present day, with only the Beach Boys topping their unbelievable chart success throughout the 70’s and 80’s for singles and albums by American bands, not be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I’ll tell you why.

It’s because according to many rock artists, the guy in charge, Jan Wenner, is an impetuous little child who adds who he feels like to the Hall of Fame simply because he can! Many reports say he does not like Chicago’s music. Personally, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Chicago; and I’m talking about dozens of family members, friends, and strangers. What’s not to love and respect about one of the greatest rock bands ever to grace a stage? There is no question that Chicago is one of the top 10-20 rock and roll bands of all time. Whenever I hear 70’s Chicago music, whether at a bar, cafe, or anywhere else, it always seems people sit or stand up and take notice.  Chicago’s music is not only firmly embedded in America’s heart and taste, it’s been a huge part of people’s lives all over the world. Talk about influential! Conduct some research of your own and you will find the countless successful artists these guys heavily influenced.

This leaves me wondering; I wonder why anybody in this world should take Jan Wenner’s hall of fame seriously.

Chicago has only been together for over 47 years. They have only sold a gazillion albums. They are one of the few truly original rock bands of all time, mixing horns with rock and roll and having great success to the tune of 5 number one albums and 21 top ten hits. They have also had 8 multi-platinum, 18 , count ’em 18 platinum, and 22 gold albums throughout their career. Without a doubt, a big part of their success came from daring to be different with their slightly jazz-infused, highly-original rock sound.

Why is Chicago not in the hall of fame? The answer is obvious.Chicago’s first album, released under the name Chicago Transit Authority, contained two classics; “Does Anybody really Know What Time It Is?” and “Beginnings”. The hits just kept on coming after that. Here’s a list of their 2nd album’s hits; “Make Me Smile”, “Colour My World”, “25 or 6 to 4”. Former lead singer Terry Kath goes down in rock and roll  history as one of the most expressive vocalists and greatest guitarists of all time. It is said that Jimi Hendrix once saw an early Chicago concert and remarked to Kath, “You are a much better guitar player than me. You are the most dangerous (as in good) player I have ever seen.”

By 1972, they had already gained a huge following and the hits continued throughout the 70’s with classic songs like “Feeling Stronger Every Day”, “Just You ‘N Me”, “Make Me Smile”, “Call on Me”, “Wishing You Were Here”, “Saturday in the Park”, and the hauntingly beautiful ballad “If You Leave Me Now”. During the 80’s, just before the departure of one of their lead singers, Peter Cetera, Chicago scored huge successes with classic hits such as “Hard Habit to Break”, “Hard To Say I’m Sorry”, and “You’re the Inspiration”. The list of classic hits goes on and on.

By the way, Chicago still has 4 of the original members, including lead singer Robert Lamm, the very same guy who wrote and sang, “Saturday In the Park”, “Beginnings”, and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”. Even though the band has aged, it is so worth watching Chicago live today just to see him perform those three classics! Dude, they still rock!

Chicago is just one of the bands that has been snubbed by Wenner and his so-called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, they are the best one not inducted so far.

It’s sad to see how insignificant the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is. This goes beyond bands crying foul or sour grapes. It has to do with obviously deserving bands who, according to the Hall’s criteria, have had a significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of this beloved music we call rock and roll. Chicago has reached every criterion to an extreme! The Internet is littered with information on how Jan Wenner has single-handedly ruined it for all of us rock fans by making a joke out of his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He should be ashamed but he’s not.

Shame on us for supporting this pretentious institution. We deserve better. Someone should start a “Real” rock and roll hall of fame, one with an unbiased panel and one without subjective and emotionally-opinionated players making the decisions. Until then, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t mean anything. It just serves as a self-serving, disrespectful entity that no recording artist should ever be proud to be a part of. Sad…really sad. It is truly an insult to rock and roll fans worldwide.

Miley Cyrus Likes Molly But She Takes the Cake on Irresponsibility

Miley Cyrus Likes Molly But She Takes the Cake on Irresponsibility

You see it plastered all over the Internet; Miley Cyrus likes Molly and she sings about it convincingly in her smash single “We Can’t Stop.” Furthermore, Miley Cyrus likes weed and she wants everyone to know how it’s perfectly OK for your kids to smoke it! She’s made this well-known, turning in a complete about-face after she assured Ryan Seacrest during a 2010 interview that drugs were for losers.

Some are calling Cyrus the ultimate hypocrite and sell-out because, after all, how can someone say they despise drugs just two years earlier then turn around a freely boast about how she is doing drugs on a regular basis, especially a dangerous one already linked numerous deaths across the globe? It appears every week we hear a story about how three or four more teens have died from an overdose on Mollies at a party.

Then, while many parents struggle to help their children stay away from drugs, a pop icon like Miley Cyrus throws a huge monkey wrench full of dirt and grime that permanently stains children’s minds. In complete “sell-out” fashion just to be cool and sell more recordings without even caring about how she would negatively influence little girls who idolize how she dares to be different with her newfound bad girl image, Cyrus becomes the latest megastar to cop out by implying she did not ask to be such an influential person. She appears to carry herself as if to say, “It’s not my fault a few young people will die from overdosing on Mollies this year alone because they want to be just like me!”

To make matters worse, she appears to have accomplished what she set out to do at the future expense of human lives, no less. She has thrust herself into the controversial spotlight, selling more CDs and becoming even more famous in the process. This is evidence of how screwed up our morals and values have become.

To be fair, Miley Cyrus isn’t the only performing artist glamorizing drugs. Rihanna, Madonna and Kanye West are a few of the many other worldwide artists cashing in on the drug scene instead of making a more positive impact on human beings with regards to this subject. Whatever happened to artists and bands staying in the closet and remaining mum about their recreational drug use?

You hardly ever saw pop icons in the old dMany believe the Miley Cyrus drugs crusade will take a toll on her career in the end.ays publicly brag about how many lines of cocaine they could snort at a post performance party. They quietly respected other people by not advertising their misdeeds even though the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” was continually in our faces.  That phrase was merely a generalization, not a suggestion! These artists refused to be let others dictate how they wanted to celebrate their oftentimes temporarily successful professional careers but they didn’t openly encourage others to do drugs like them.

In the end, many successful artists have fallen apart and even died using essentially the same types of illicit drugs thousands of people are overdosing on each year. The difference is, at best, it was only suspected they were using these substances. They kept it under wraps. It’s a far cry from someone like Miley Cyrus standing up and declaring she likes to do drugs. This tells children of all ages, “What’s the big deal? You should try using them, too, or you are not as cool as I am!”

Three short years ago, my thirteen year old daughter thought the world of Miley Cyrus. My little girl bragged about how she had world-class talent. I agreed. She could sing and act, she had rightfully gained the adoration of millions of fans worldwide, and she had become a master as a comedy sitcom actor in her Disney show.

Many people will read this and try to defend Miley Cyrus by saying she’s a true artist exercising her freedom of expression. If you are one of these people, I want you to know I will not  resent you for your views. However, I will ask you, “How is it that you can’t see how badly she is hurting the very people who helped her achieve her fame and fortune?”

Talented? There is no question Miley is gifted. Sadly, Billy Ray Cyrus can’t be fully proud of the way his daughter has recently played out this phase in her life. She has gone from world-class talent to the world’s most irresponsible idiot to anyone with half a brain!

When today’s youths finally grow up, they will look back at their lives and the shake their heads in amazement at how stupid they were to let this once-precious-now-completely-confused-brat-with-a-superiority-complex encourage them to derail their lives. I just hope for them, the derailment ends up being only temporary.

The Rascals Once Upon A Dream Came True

The Rascals Once Upon A Dream Came True

I knew we were in for a treat when the announcement over the speakers said, “If you have a cell phone, leave it on,  take as many pictures as you want and tweet them, put them on Facebook; basically, do whatever the f_ _ k you want! The crowd, composed of mainly of people 50 and over, went wild!

Moments earlier, as my wife and I boarded the elevator on the second floor, we had noticed all the occupants were in their late fifties and early sixties and no one had pressed the button for the first floor. A hippie with a weathered face and long hair tied in a ponytail said in a playful manner, “Hey man, is anybody going to press 1?” Another long-haired gentleman replied, “Dude, we’re all staying right here ’cause nobody’s sober?” We all erupted in laughter and finally, the hippie guy got us going to the first floor. These people were definitely here to have a good time!

And so began the journey into a magical night at the Seminole Hard Rock Live “Once Upon a Dream” (May 25, 2013) show featuring The Rascals’ lead singer and keyboardist Felix Cavaliere, singer and percussionist Eddie Brigati, guitarist Gene Cornish, and drummer Dino Danelli.

The show started with a bang as the intro was read on scrolling text a la “Star Wars” (I don’t want to give up the funny details and ruin it for you) and a little girl named Sophie Zamchick started singing “Once Upon a Dream” dressed as a sixties flower child followed by a montage of clips culminating with Ed Sullivan introducing “The Young Rascals.” Then bam! The Rascals brilliantly appeared live on stage in a black and white backdrop. That was genius!

Within three songs, Felix Cavaliere was already singing the hit “(I’ve Been) Lonely Too Long” and I could tell his vocals sounded as full, crisp, and spot on as ever. People behind me appeared shocked while saying, “Damn, he sounds so good.” Make no mistake; Cavaliere does not only have one of the most distinctive rock voices ever, he is one of just a handful of American vocal treasures still with us today!

In the sixties, after the British musical invasion, The Rascals were one of the few American rock bands who managed to stay on top in popularity and record sales unlike the vast majority of American acts at the time. The biggest reason was the magical combination of Cavaliere’s soulful voice, Eddie Brigati’s vocals and energetic percussion, Dino Danelli’s incomparable and virtuosic drum playing, and Gene Cornish’s tasteful guitar licks. True talent rules!

The Rascals played a total of 28 songs throughout two hours including all their #1 hits. When they played “Good Lovin” people were dancing in the aisles and suddenly all the 60 year olds in attendance pretended they were 22! Moments later, when Felix Cavaliere began singing “Groovin” and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place when he sang the lines, “I can’t imagine anything that’s better, The world is ours whenever we’re together.” That song still gets tons of airplay to this day and is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and coolest songs ever recorded. One of the most important parts of this song is obviously Gene Cornish’s wailing harmonica, and it was wonderful to see how he would play his guitar and alternate that with pulling out his harmonica and playing those important lines perfectly.

The highlight of the night, however, was when Eddie Brigati sang, “How Can I Be Sure?” Even though you could tell his voice was straining a little bit on a few of the high notes, his passion and emotiThe Rascals prove talent rules above all else in music!on while singing the song struck everyone squarely in the chest and he received the biggest standing ovation of all, for that performance.

One of the last songs they played was their #1 hit, “People Got To Be Free” and Felix Cavaliere never sounded more soulful. In fact, if you closed your eyes while listening to this performance, you would swear Felix was African-American! Something interesting about the history of this song is that once it was released, The Rascals, in the spirit of the song’s message, declared they would not play any more concerts unless half of the billed artists were African-American acts. And they stayed true to their words. God bless them!

The biggest treat of the night was watching Dino Danelli play the drums while twirling the sticks in his hands. Can anybody say, “That’s tight.” Folks, for those of you who can appreciate the different styles of the greatest drummers in the world, you need to watch him play. If you aren’t able to make it to one of The Rascals’ concerts, makes sure you search for their live performances in the sixties and beyond on Youtube so you can see Danelli in action. He is absolutely mind-blowing!

The Rascals were backed up on stage by a handful of talented musicians; a bass player and keyboardist as well as three background singers and they all added to the energy and impact of the music. The harmonies were always in perfect sync and sounded authentic to the actual recordings.

I can’t get over how important music like this can make people go through a range of emotions and make such an impact in their lives. On this night, I was reviewing the show and it was my duty to focus on the performers as well as audience reaction.  I couldn’t help but notice how many people were dancing one minute and crying the next while these guys played their biggest hits.

I had barely turned four when “Groovin” was released in 1967 but I remember hearing the song all the time as a child in my father’s car throughout the late sixties and early seventies. I have to admit when they played this song, I fought back the tears as I was suddenly catapulted back into a time capsule where I found myself in the backseat of my dad’s car in 1969, both of us singing along as he chain-smoked his Marlboros on the way to Miami Beach.

I’m not going to say today’s music is not on par with yesterday’s. I would sound like an old fogie and like my father did when, in the sixties, he would talk about how music from the 40’s and 50’s was real music compared to the crap we were hearing in the 60’s and 70’s. We now know this is not true!

However, I will say this; I wish there were more bands today as original and soulful-sounding as The Rascals were in the sixties and I certainly wish record companies and executives would make a better effort to cultivate an environment where real bands and musicians cold flourish and accomplish what these four guys have!

By the way, Steve Van Zandt, one of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band guitarists, gave the introduction speech when The Rascals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. He is also the one responsible for putting this show “The Rascals Once Upon a Dream” together after years of bugging the four guys to finally do it. Thank you, Steve!

Fun Things to Do On The Weekend Should Never Run Out

Fun Things to Do On The Weekend Should Never Run Out

You can never run out of things to do on the weekend. So why are so many of us mulling around and sitting in front of our TV’s watching American Idol and Survivor reruns on Comcast On Demand while everybody else is out there having a blast?

Last night, my brother invited me to a Sunday barbecue at his house and I had no choice but to politely turn him down for one simple reason; by Wednesday of any given week, my weekend is booked solid with plans for things to do! That’s not to say I wouldn’t ever be flexible and change my plans for him but when I have two kids and a wife whose hearts are set on going to the Florida Keys for a Sunday outing, the choice is easy! I asked him if he wanted to come along and he politely turned me down. Regardless, I set up a family get-together with him the following week and I’m sure we’ll have a great time.

One of the keys to consistently having a great time on the weekend is to be flexible and spontaneous. I have had some of the most memorable times through spontaneity. You may be a single girl or guy with big plans on going to the pool or beach this weekend until you get a call from you cousin Michael who’s inviting you to go out on his boat to the most ‘happening’ place in the water, with many other good-looking guys and girls in tow. How do you say ‘no’ to that? Dude………THE PARTY of the month has just landed in your lap!

Some people have a difficult time chasing some weekend fun because their days off don’t fall on the weekend. Still, many of those same people find themselves adjusting to their friends’ and families’ schedules so they don’t miss out on all the fun by taking days off or by accepting the fact that although they work on the weekend, they are still going to have their fun. Many of these folks wake up on a Saturday or a  Sunday with a terrible hangover but they still go to work! And guess what? They still enjoy their weekends immensely but they occasionally have to slow down and lay low every now and then in recuperation so they can start having fun all over again! These people deserve a standing ovation.

If you feel you can improve your weekend aThere are countless fun things to do on the weekend; you simply have to make a list of things to do and follow through.ctivity, plan out at least one fun thing to do in advance and stick to the plan.It’s ok to stay home and spend quality family time on a Sunday, especially when you need to recharge your batteries from the stress and fatigue of a long work week. Also, don’t forget that when you have great times on the weekend, it gives you something positive to talk about during the week and something to feel great about when you are talking amongst your friends while you are texting, Skyping, on Facebook or Twitter, or simply having lunch with your work mates. People are drawn to others who like to have fun!

One important thing to note before we get to the nitty gritty; once you find a yearly event you like, make sure you take note of the date so you can attend the same event next year.

Here are some ideas for fun to spark your imagination so you never run out of things to do on the weekend:

  1.  Go to the beach or local pool. Take plenty of sunscreen and spend time in the water with your loved ones. There is nothing more refreshing or relaxing than this, especially if you are in possession of your favorite beer holder! Some of the greatest times I have had included chicks, beer, and a pool or beach!
  2. Go on a fishing trip.  If you don’t have any rod and reels, borrow them from your Uncle Charlie and tell him you’ll have them back within the next few days. If you have never fished or have limited knowledge of how to do it, surf through the Internet and see the type of fishing you can do in your area and don’t be afraid to ask the bait and tackle shop people questions on how to fish. Then, the following weekend, go fishing again to complete your two for one deal and stop by Charlie’s house on the way back and thank him for providing such awesome entertainment for you. One word of advice; if you are getting more bites from mosquitos than you are from the fish, you are doing something wrong! Go back to Google, get more information, and make an adjustment. These will be some of the most fun weekend trips you will ever take.
  3. Invite people over for a barbecue or get-together. You can do this at your place or in a park. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and a few suds have never been a threat to anybody’s wallet or pocketbook! If you can add a few tiki torches at your place and spring for a small assortment of drinks for all ages, you will be everyone’s king or queen for a day. Encourage others to bring their favorite baked dishes and you’ll be set!
  4. Have a karaoke party. Karaoke sets are fairly inexpensive these days and they carry loads of fun. Some of the best times I have ever had have been at a friend’s house where we would swim in the pool all day and barbecue churrasco steaks before warming up our vocal chords with Corona beers in order to start belting out the hits! So what if you can’t sing! After a few more Coronas, who cares?
  5. Invite friends over to watch a double feature on your big screen TV. This one will take about four hours or so and all you have to do is get the movies, a few bags of popcorn, and ask them to bring their own refreshments. Fun has never been more practical than this. You get to hang out with your friends and talk about how awesome Julia Roberts was in her role, and you can decide what your next move is if the night is still young! Duffy’s Tavern, anyone?
  6. Keep an eye out for local events. In most cities and towns, there is always something free and interesting to do but people hardly ever take advantage of it. Meetup, Goby, and Shake Up are three apps you can use on your smart phone and thy will give you all the information you need to find something locally. Additionally, I use Local Yahoo sometimes to find out what’s going on in my town on the weekend. Watch for arts and crafts shows, free concerts, wine tastings, and food and music festivals; out of all the fun things to do on weekends, these can turn into your favorites if they are not already!
  7. Volunteer your time and get your friends and family members involved.  Find a local charity and donate your time at least once a year. The personal satisfaction of helping others have the fun you constantly have will more than warm your heart and you will appreciate your weekends even more!
  8. Visit garage sales or flea markets. These are loads of fun and there’s no telling what you will find. Make plans to have a nice lunch at your favorite restaurant while you are at it, and mix in a movie night; you will be set! If you are looking for fun weekend activities, this one may turn into a regular outing for you.
  9. Go clubbing. When was the last time you got dressed up and painted the town to take advantage of the city’s nightlife? This can be the easiest way to instantly rev up your spirit; club music has a way of waking up even those who are lifeless! Plan on hitting a few different clubs; you just may like one and come back over and over again!
  10. Have a picnic. Weekend fun would be incomplete if I didn’t include visiting your favorite park, taking a nice long walk, settling down in your favorite spot, pouring yourself a glass of wine, and chowing down on those amazing chicken chipotle sandwiches you prepared at home. After the picnic, stop by your favorite coffee shop, get a to-go cup of coffee or tea, and take a long scenic drive somewhere interesting. Some weekends were made for ultimate relaxation!
Watch Baseball Live and You’ll Forget About Watching It On TV

Watch Baseball Live and You’ll Forget About Watching It On TV

I’m fairly easy to please and entertain but it’s extremely hard for me to watch a Major League baseball game on TV, only because I grew up watching baseball live and up close as my dad would take me to the old Yankee Stadium to watch the greats in the late 60’s. I actually saw Mickey Mantle hit two home runs in a double header at the House that Ruth Built when I was 6! Geez, I’m getting old.

Years later, in the mid to late 70’s, we had no choice but to watch Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson on a televised broadcast after moving down to South Florida and although I enjoyed watching my team, the New York Yankees, it wasn’t the same as being there at a live baseball game.

If you have ever been to real MLB game, you know there is nothing like really being there! The same can be said for NBA basketball and NHL hockey. Watching these sports on the tube is like watching paint dry at times; you can’t feel the electricity a crowded and pumped up stadium can give you and it leaves you bored at times, twiddling your thumbs in your lazy chair.

About the only major sport you can watch on TV and be just as entertained as if you saw it live, is football because of the game’s layout as well as how hard hitting and fast-paced the game is. There’s just something about that pigskin being thrown and carried all over the field by trash-talking grown-up men who are playing their guts out!

These days, Major League Baseball has tried to make the sport more interesting and fun and it has sped up the games; the umpires actually start a stopwatch in between innings to make sure the first pitch of the following inning starts somewhere at the two minute mark. The result; MLB games average  two hours and fifty minutes as opposed to well over three hours just a few short years ago.

I love entering a MLB stadium, finding my seats, and sitting there with a cold The legend of Mickey Mantle still lives on.beer and peanuts in hand. Yep, you guessed it; I go there to drink and eat. Is there any other way to enjoy a sport? For me, there is nothing like watching live baseball. You get to hear the crack of the bat and a chance to cheer your favorite ballplayer in person. You are constantly bombarded with player information on the big screen and it’s hard to get bored when fans are cheering so loud you can’t even hear yourself think!

Baseball is in full swing right now (no pun intended). This is the time of the year where you will see little league diamonds crawling with youngsters who dream of being the next Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter. Chances are in your hometown, there are some great college games being played as we speak. If you like to watch baseball live like I do, watching little league, high school, or college ball in person beats watching overpaid athletes on the tube any day of the week!

How to Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

How to Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to teach yourself to play guitarther it’s acoustic or electric? Some of the most famous guitarists on this planet taught themselves how to pick up their axe and start picking and strumming away to the tune of millions of dollars; Eric Clapton, Prince, BB King, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen are but a few of them.

On a much smaller scale, I can say I started to teach myself how to play guitar at the age of 28 and within 2 years, I was finger picking and strumming to my heart’s content, always being the life of the party. I was impressing the chicks and making the guys jealous. I remember many a time when one or two guys in a party were visibly perturbed that all the women were flocking around me!

Enough bragging! Anyway, the point is; I taught myself and if I did it and you have the desire to do it, you can too. You don’t need to read music to play well on guitar. However, there is nothing like hiring a qualified teacher because he or she will be able to point out mistakes and guide you to quicker success. If you have the time and you can afford it, I recommend you hire the services of a guitar instructor. They will also ensure you learn how to play the right way and it’s without a doubt, the quickest way to learn. Either way, I know most people don’t have time or money to hire someone to teach them, which is why I wrote this article for you!

I play acoustic guitar and I currently own a Taylor 110 dreadnought that my wife bought for me as a birthday present for $700.00. it is regarded by many experts as being the best acoustic guitar in its price range and I can vouch for that. There are a few good acoustic guitars in the $200 price range that will do just fine such as the Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar that sometimes comes bundled with a package of other goodies such as a string winder, a tuner, etc.

If you prefer an electric guitar, you will have to buy the guitar and an amplifier of some sort. Alternately, you can purchase a headphone amplifier instead so you can practice quietly in your bedroom without bothering anybody until you can really ‘shred’ and show off. The Squier Fender Stratocaster is a good one for about $179.00 and if you look around, you will probably be able to pair this guitar off with a bundled pack which includes an amplifier for under $250.00.

Another important piece of equipment you need to have, especially when you are starting out, is a guitar tuner. I currently use an app tuner I found on my iPhone called Guitar Tuner Version 2.3 for $2.99 and it works perfectly for an acoustic guitar. For electric guitars, you will need an inexpensive digital $29.99 tuner you can get just about in any music store. Make certain the guitar is in tune before every practice session. This takes a few tries to learn but it is worth it! You cannot learn anything if your guitar is out of tune.

Whichever guitar you choose, it’s iYou can teach yourself how to play the guitar with a little bit of patience and effort.mportant to buy one with a decent, low string action (the distance between the strings and the fretboard. If you buy a guitar with action that is too high, you will have a tough time making the guitar sound clean because your fingers will be digging way too deep as you finger the chord shapes and when you pluck or strum, the strings will vibrate and your fingers will mute the strings accidentally.

Last but not least before you start practicing, you need to get a few guitar picks. I use the Dunlop 4420 Nylon Standard Guitar Picks and the sizes are .45 MM for lighter strumming and .60 MM for a little more bite when you are able to pick the strings and strum. When you are starting out, go for the .45’s.

Start By Learning a Few Basic Guitar Chords

Now that your guitar is in tune it’s time to start learning how to play. Start by learning the basic chords such as G, A, Em, C, D, E, etc. (see below) *** the numbers below the chords tell you which fingers play the frets starting with your pointer finger as #1 and your pinky is #4


When you place your fingers on the right frets, you want to place them just barely behind the frets as below:

Place your fingers directly behind the correct frets to avoid string buzz.


This is the wrong way to place your fingers:

This is the wrong way to place your fingers on the guitar frets.


Learn one chord shape, finger it, and strum in a downward motion. Then, once you are comfortable with that first chord, learn another one. Then, practice moving your fret hand from one chord to another slowly until you build speed. Repeat this process with the other chords until you learn them all. When you learn the above chords, you have already won an amazing battle and you will be well on your way!

Next, find he guitar chords for one of your favorite songs on Ultimate-Guitar.com and try to pick one out that uses some or all of the chords you have learned so far. Make it a point to learn that first song from beginning to end. One of the easiest ways to retard your progress is to jump from one song to another without really learning one song and the chords that go with it.

With each song, listen to the guitar runs and other instruments in parts of the song, and try to imitate them with your guitar. This will make your guitar playing much more interesting to your listeners. This will take some time to master, so be patient. For now, playing straight chords coupled with basic strumming or finger-picking will do just fine.

Putting All the Pieces Together

At this point, you can continue learning one new song at a time while learning new chords and improving your strumming and fingerpicking. Don’t worry too much if the strumming and picking is a little awkward. It takes time and you will naturally see improvement the more you play and the more you try to imitate the percussive sound of the songs you play. You will eventually learn how to mute the strings with your playing hand for a percussive effect and you will graduate to hammer-ons and pull-offs.

The more songs you learn from start to finish, the better you will get over time. With regular practice, it takes two to three months to see real progress and about two years to play fairly proficiently. Keep practicing and understand it’s normal to develop calluses on the tips of your fretting fingers; these are your battle scars and they will be well worth it!