How I Learned How To Play The Guitar After Giving Up In Disgust

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I was 17 at the time (the Beatles era), and it was considered cool to play the guitar. I had a little training in music in elementary school where I had learned how to play the trumpet. I remember that the only reason I started the trumpet was because my daddy had run across an old beat up horn that a woman was selling for $10.

So, in my junior year of high school I set about to teach myself how to play a few chords so I could strum along with "Love, Love Me Do" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". However, it never occurred to me that learning how to play the guitar might just be a little different than learning the trumpet.

Actually, what happened was that I gave up after about 2 weeks and threw the old guitar that my daddy had given me in the corner and in frustration declared "I don't see how anyone can play a guitar".

It's funny how I remember thinking those very words. I didn't know it then but my difficulty with learning how to play was because my guitar strings were about a half inch off the fret board and it was extremely difficult to mash the strings down. After about 1 week I was developing thick calluses on the tips of my fingers on my left hand.

My desire to play eventually overcame my initial frustration and I did go on to conquer the instrument to become quite proficient. Eventually I ended up attending the Berklee College of Music studying guitar.

If you have a desire to play the guitar my advice is to not give up, Eventually you'll succeed if you don't quit.

Steve McArthur

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