April 18, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Five Things You Need to Get Started on Guitar

Do you want to start playing guitar? Whether you want to learn to celebrate your heritage or to express yourself through songwriting, you should know it takes a long time. But if you’re dedicated and put in the hard work, “anyone can play guitar,” as Radiohead says on their first album. In many ways it’s true. Once you have the inspiration and motivation to get started, here are the five things you will need.

The Guitar

This is obvious, but the other details are not. What kind of guitar do you want? Will you learn acoustic songs, electronics, or both? What do you feel more comfortable with? Even if you buy an acoustic guitar you can buy one that plugs into an amp and effects pedals just like an electric. What about the shape? The color? The style of your guitar doesn’t matter as much as people think it does, but it is also a way to express yourself and your type of music. When you have decided that you want to learn guitar, think about how dedicated you are and spend even more time thinking about what guitar you should buy.

Picks

When you are buying a guitar, you should also purchase some picks. You may want to learn how to finger-pick, but that takes more skill and time to learn. Start with picks. What size picks do you want? What about the elasticity? You can buy soft, hard, and medium picks, but there are also nuances between these elasticities. If you don’t know which one you like you can pick a few up and try them out or simply go with the medium pick because it’s right in the middle. Picks are one of the first things you will need whether you’re plugging in or not.

Amp

Next, if you are playing an electric guitar you will probably want to pick up an amp. This can be a small practice amp that you use in your room. It doesn’t have to be big or loud. While you can also buy an amp for an acoustic electric guitar, you may not need to right away. People who buy standard acoustics won’t need one at all. Depending on your learning curve, your style, and budget, an amplifier is at first an optional purchase—but who doesn’t want to hear their guitar through an amp?

Cables

Then, if you do buy an amp you will need at least one cable. Although you should probably buy a few extra, one cable will get you started. That is, unless you feel very dedicated to playing guitar already and want to invest in some effects pedals. This is not mandatory to get started, but if you have a little extra to spend, a stomp box distortion pedal will get things moving. When it comes to cables, don’t buy the cheap ones. High-quality cables usually come with a warranty. If it breaks, you‘ll be able to get a new one.

Straps

Guitar straps are one thing that is overlooked. You will want to stand up while playing, so you should buy a guitar strap when you purchase the guitar. Sitting down when you are playing is very different from standing up. If your goal is to play on stage then you should definitely practice standing up in addition to sitting down. Remember that acoustic guitar straps are different from electric. Straps range in price, but if you want it to last a while you should invest in a nice one. Feel the fabric and materials it’s made out of. You should be able to tell pretty easily how long it will last you.

These are the basic things you need to play electric and acoustic guitars, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to effects and accessories. Everything from slides to capos to electronic bows are available. Once you get the fundamentals down, guitar is a crayon box of creativity. While you need the tools to paint the canvas, the most important thing is the motivation. Inspiration comes first, but motivation and dedication to hard work is the most vital. Your fingers will hurt. You will fail. But if you push through, you will get better and better.

Ryan Beitler is a writer, journalist, and musician. Follow him on Twitter @ryan_beitler

in NEWS
Related Posts

Michael’s Santa Monica Celebrates 45 Years with Culinary Extravaganza With Famous Chefs

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

Iconic Restaurant Hosts “Great Party!!” Benefitting No Kid Hungry Campaign  Michael’s Santa Monica is set to commemorate its 45th anniversary...

Los Angeles Times Presents Star-Studded Lineup for 29th Festival of Books This Weekend

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

Over 550 Writers and Celebrities to Grace USC Campus for Weekend Extravaganza The Los Angeles Times has a stellar lineup...

(Video) Westwood Premiere of Zendaya’s New Film Challengers, Directed By Luca Guadagnino

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

Luca Guadagnino, stars Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist, composers Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and producers Rachel O’Connor and Amy Pascal...

Marine Corps Member Sentenced to Federal Prison for Firebombing Clinic and Domestic Terrorism Plots

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Man Receives 9-Year Sentence for Neo-Nazi Plots Including Hollywood Hills Home Invasion Plans  A man from Orange County, convicted of...

Los Angeles County District Attorney Announces Charges In Brutal Venice Sexual Assaults

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Charges Filed Against Suspect in Venice Canals Case by LADA George Gascon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has...

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Delivers 2024 State of the City Address Monday Evening

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Mayor Highlights Achievements and Outlines Future Plans in Annual Speech Mayor Karen Bass delivered the annual State of the City...

Study Reveals Alarming Rise in Mental Health Distress Among TGNC Individuals

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Research Highlights Urgent Need for Improved Access to Support Services On April 10, the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH)...

Measles Case Reported in West Los Angeles, Locations Identified for Possible Exposure

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Health Officials Urge Vigilance Amid Rising Concerns The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed a case of...

(Video) The LAPD Announces the Arrest of a Suspect in the Horrific Attacks on Two Women on April 6 in the Venice Canal Area

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

At a press conference on Friday, City leaders announced an arrest. @smmirrornews The LAPD Announces the Arrest of a Suspect...

WeHo Pride 2024: Last Call for Participants and Vendors for This Year’s Event

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Deadline Approaching for Parade, Street Fair, and Food Vendor Applications The City of West Hollywood wants to remind the community...

LAPD Announces Capture of Suspect in Venice Canal Attacks

April 14, 2024

April 14, 2024

Authorities Provide Updates on the Arrest at Press Conference By Dolores Quintana This morning, LAPD Commander Steven Lurie, West Bureau,...

Registration Now Open for Summer at New Roads

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

New Roads School is accepting registration for its summer program, a vibrant selection of classes and camps curated to meet...

CodeREV Inspires Kids to Code

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Budding coders, robotics engineers, game developers, animators and STEM campers are invited to join CodeREV this summer for a memorable...

YMCA Santa Monica: When School Is Out, Camp Is In

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

As the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District nears its end,  YMCA Santa Monica is setting up for its popular Summer...

Accents Owner Steven Hanna Reflects on Decades Long Legacy

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

For 37 years, Accents Jewelry has transcended mere commerce, evolving into a vibrant community, a crucible of creativity, and a...