• 10 STEPS

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10 Steps to Learning Guitar Basics in a Week


10 Surefire Steps to learn great songs from scratch.

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1. What to buy, whether to buy?

First things first, Don’t buy an outrageously good guitar like a Taylor or Martin Acoustic or a Gibson Les Paul electric unless you have been playing for at least 2 years. If you are beginning, just starting out and don’t know whether you will stick to it or not, don’t buy something outrageously expensive. I’d recommend, when starting off, to buy an acoustic fender pack for approx £150, they can be bought at any good acoustic guitar store. Whatever you do, don’t go over £300 on your first guitar because even if you have the poets spirit and musicians’ soul, it may still lie in a lonely corner gathering dust.

2. Once I have my Guitar? What do I do?

Well, like anything in life, learning the guitar wont happen overnight, it is a long and tedious process. However, you can learn a few basics in less than a week to impress your mates with a real good song and then use that confidence you have built up to start the ball rolling on your emerging guitar career.

3 What do I Learn first?

The first thing I learned was the intro to a song called “Nothing Else Matters” by “Metallica”it involves picking the first, fourth, fifth and sixth strings of the guitar and not fretting at all. When you begin playing, you will learn chords more than anything, learn every chord you can until you get bored, they will stand to you when you get more and more experienced. Check out the site www.ultimate-guitar.com it has every chord imaginable for any song and diagrams on how to play each chord if you hover your mouse over the chord itself. Its a great starting reference site.

4. Do it yourself ?

This step really depends on what sort of person you are, if you are, for example a D.I.Y sort of person then get your head down and start motoring away learning easy songs like “Bad Moon Rising” “Wonderwall” “Time of your Life”, they are all great for a party and will get everyone going.

5. Get help?

If you need in depth step-by-step training, then you will need to find a package on the net that teaches you everything, most sites on google will ask you to pay money for lessons, however i have searched some good free links and have included the only good pay site for it from my own honest personal experience. The two free sites are the first two google searches on “learn basic guitar”, which is a testament to googles’ rating systems.


Jamorama.(This one requires the least time and effort and teaches you concisely what you will need to know in a short time. It is run by an old friend of mine and he is seriously cool and seriously easy to chat with.)

Jamorama, Seriously, this is the only good pay offer, I used it when I started, covers everything deeper than free sites


About.com (A great free site that will give you some great insider tips and clear and crisp beginner knowledge)


Cyberfret.com (Another really good looking site offering the basics in a bright and easy to follow presentation)


6.Don’t give up.

When I first started to play, I learned the basics and then I gave up, but if you really want to begin to get proficient at the guitar and to eventually have the ability to write your own music and to add great riffs to your poetic lyrics You should stick to it. If you are into acoustic artists who are chilled out like Clapton, or Damien Rice or Josh Ritter or somebody like that, then learn all of their tabs and keep banging away on your little music machine.

7. Rhythm is the Key.

O.k, so you have a few easy songs under your belt, but you may be out of time, have a bed sense of where you are in the song, or generally have the tempo of the song completely wrong. If you ever want to tie your playing of guitar in with a rhythm section of a band a drum player, bass player etc, you will need to be in time. Here is a site which works entirely on learning rhythm and timing.

Daniel Laberge has a good site on rhythm here: www.daniellaberge.com/music/rhythm/rhythm1.htm

This article on guitar noise really helped me when I began playing. www.guitarnoise.com/article.php?id=184

8. Progression

Personally, I love acoustic guitar, and guitar artists like Ray LaMontagne, Jose Gonzalez and Roderigo Y Gabriela. One thing I will say is if you are ever feeling like you are bored with music, or bored with learning the guitar, then take a days break. Before you begin your next guitar session the next day, listen to some new artists, you , or other people like and recommend and your entire outlook on music might change again in a second. That is the beauty of music, it is so dynamic and always surprises.

9. Buy a Capo

When, after two or three weeks of first learning guitar, you have learned a lot of songs and are getting frustrated and really aggravated at the tedious learning process, Treat yourself to a CAPO, a small clip for the fret board, costs about £15 max. It changes the key of the guitar as it is moved up and down the fretboard and can just give you the most beautiful tone. Apply it to a song you already know and bang it out, it feels great the first time you use a Capo.

10 You will succeed.

If you have had the patience to read down this far, the chances are you are a thorough and determined person, these two traits will stick to you as you learn the guitar. I am certain you will succeed. Yes, it takes hard work, yes, it takes love for your instrument,(give it a name, make it your baby, make it an extension of your arm, make it a part of you, eat, sleep, drink and shag guitar and you;ll be the envy of all your mates and be playing pubs and concerts before you can say “10 steps are Great”

Forgive any modesty, and thanks for reading. Best of luck with your music career.





The 10 Steps Blog

Follow these steps to Success

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First of all I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Jack and I thought it might be a good idea to have a blog in which almost everything useful and interesting and profitable to do is summed up in TEN real steps.

I have passed through so many sites on the net which claim to offer 10 steps to success in many fields but are always sidetracked and end up trying to sell you something. I want to just be clear and concise and positive on all of the problems discussed on this blog, and I hope everyone progresses and benefits even a small bit from the issues and steps put forward to deal with them.

As a recent quitter of smoking, my first Post will be “10 Real Steps To Quit Smoking”, a topic that has been much discussed and heavily publicized. All I can offer in this situation is the method that worked for me, since it is the only method I know and requires the minimal amount of self discipline to achieve, in my opinion at least. So, here it goes:

10 REAL Steps to give up Smoking


In overcoming any addiction, it is essential to believe in what you are about to do. Giving up, much like everything else in life, requires 99% preparation and 1% perspiration. Cravings will come, but if you BELIEVE that you are strong enough to overcome the difficult hurdles in front of you, you will more than likely succeed.


Make a timetable of when and where you smoke and be concise with it, treat it like a personal diary and have it with you at all times. Writing something down and keeping what you have written sacred, increases the guilt of giving in, and thus decreases the likelihood that you will. As you begin to cut down, pencil in the amount of money you would have spent on that individual cigarette you didn’t have on Monday morning at 10 o clock break. This also helps you to identify your “Black Spots” i.e times when you chain smoke, exact times when you need to concentrate even harder on fighting the cravings.

3.Hand Habit.

With your timetable under your arm and belief in your brain you are beginning to fight a winning battle. But as any smoker will tell you, once you quit, your hands go crazy. One seriously needs something to do with their hands, since the habit of raising them to your mouth is extremely hard to shake. My solution to this was to buy a stress ball and to learn finger exercises to help your brain concentrate its powers on something else. Why not increase your dexterity, rather than decrease your lung capacity? This may seem like a small thing, but subconsciously this can be a huge step to quitting and staying quit.

4. Kill the drunken smoker.

Another, and probably the most potent enemy inside you that you will need to constrain and eventually exterminate, is the Drunken smoker. I can’t remember how many times I lost my battle against quitting when out on the drink with friends. The social smoker is just as disgusting as the lonely smoker, it is sometimes the pressure to smoke and be accepted and sometimes the relaxed atmosphere that can jeopardize your journey to clean lungs. You must kill the mentality that says ” I’ll have one when i drink and thats A O.K” or “Its perfectly normal to have a social smoke”, that mentality is flawed and needs to be weeded out and cut in the bud. It may seem like the baddest thing in the world to have a cigarette hanging from your mouth, a pair of low cut jeans, a glass of whiskey, and a Marlboro T-Shirt but the bad boy image always loses to the clean cut, smoke free, natural beauty of non-smokers. It is a fact that 88% percent of Women would rather be with a non-smoker. So get the idea out of your head that smoking makes you more wanted in the eyes of the ladies. Vice versa for women, guys don’t find smoky breath, black teeth or wrinkled faces attractive either!

5.Progress from Chain to Passive.

Going cold turkey for the first two days is the hardest part, and once it is over the slope becomes less steep and the challenges become less demanding. One quick step to help you through the first two cold turkey days, is to make use of second hand smoke. Your brain knows it is not smoking, so if you cant stand the pressure or the craving are overcoming you, take 10 deep breaths of fresh air, and then step into somebodies second hand smoke and take two full breaths of it. This is not smoking, but merely a crutch to get through the hardest two days. You will not become addicted to passive smoking because in step 8 you will learn a method to nullify the threat of passive smokers once you have gotten through the “Red Zone” i.e the first two days of Cold Turkey.

6.Carry a Guilt Pack.

Once the first two days are over, and you have gone cold turkey, your timetable should be full of prices for each day and added up at the end to see your profit for the day. When your profit reaches the price of a 20 pack of cigarettes (which should be maximum three days depending on how much you used to smoke), buy one. This is your “Power Pack” or “Guilt free pack” and you must keep it forever, just to remind you of the first two days and how hard they were. I still have my “Power Pack” after a year and a half, without it i would feel the need to buy a pack. It is far easier to quit in the knowledge that buying a pack would be a complete waste of money considering you already have one, it might seem absurd, but it is a mental technique, it deceives the “NICO”, i.e the vicious ugly addict inside you, and allows you to breath easier and to stick to your long term goals.

7. The two week time-bomb.

After two weeks, the potential for a relapse becomes strangely potent and it needs to be watched out for. The mentality this time is that, your body has been winding itself up for two weeks and the stress is likely at this time to become overpowering. This is the time for the first treat. Check your timetable and see how much money you have racked up in two weeks, for a pack a day smoker it should be £105. The key is to treat yourself to something that will in itself release stress, buy a tub of Ben and Jerries ice cream and a scented candle, or if you have more money than that, a massage and a hypnotherapy session. Buy a positive treat to both renew your faith in what yo are doing and to give you a new positive outlook and feeling of worth about the new, cleaner, more beautiful, and most of all healthier person you have become.

8. Passive Disassociation.

This is another key step to quitting and simply can not be ignored. You need to hang with the non smokers. Hanging with the smokers will destroy all the hard work you have done to stop smoking and will infect your lungs just as easily as you could yourself. This doesnt mean you cant be great mates with the smokers, but just hold yourself in slightly higher regard than them. Don’t become flagrantly insulting or egotistical about your new found inner strength but simply move subtly away from the group who are smoking and chat with them later when they are in between cigarettes or in a non smoking zone. If you own a car, buy a new air freshener and impose a no smoking rule. Don’t worry about people calling you a hypocrite for imposing a no smoking rule, but don’t be too annoyed with them as they are obviously jealous and frustrated in the fact that they have not found the path you have found towards quitting. Impose no smoking rules everywhere you go and write all the place you may encounter smoke into your timetable and write a buzz word beside the names of the places for example, WARNING! BENCH 3PM. WATCH OUT! SMOKERS CAR 6PM. Disassociate but do not alienate this is how you keep your friends but stay smoke free. You need to find the balance, believe me, non smokers are never lonely so don’t worry about those who hate you or mock you for disassociating yourself from them, it will blow over in time. Giving up requires hard changes and this is the one you need to prepare most stringently for.

9. Realize it’s never going to stop.

The real difficulty with addiction is that it is immortal. It will never cease to bug you until your lungs stop. The aim is to give you a longer patch of life until that happens. The next step will reinforce the positives of quitting and this step is really a premonition to that. In the back of your mind always remember that you ARE AN ADDICT and you WILL ALWAYS BE AN ADDICT, but with control, belief and support you can imprison him forever in a dark cave at the back of your mind. Remember, HE WILL ALWAYS BE ALIVE WITH YOU. The moment you say to yourself “Wow I can’t believe i did it… i actually quit”, that is the moment when the cards come crashing to the floor and all the work you have done and all the trees you have planted and all the supports you have built lie tattered and lonely and corrupted and broken and utterly destroyed.

10. Enjoy your new life.

Why did you quit in the first place? What was all that hard work for? Probably the most important and final step is to enjoy what you have become and to realize the new found freedom of self, the increase in personal hygiene and beauty, the financial bonus of quitting. There is no way you will have the resolve to keep up your good work if you do not appreciate the new being you have become and keep rewarding yourself every year. Remain positive in the long run with your rewards (More massages, more iced cream, more luxuries which you would otherwise not have encountered in your life) Finally, Never, Ever stop the process that the first step instilled in you and always remember what your BELIEF has done for you and feel proud that your belief was strong enough and that you are a better person for it.

This blog is merely one opinion.

The Opinion of Alen Carr, the worlds leading Guru on Quitting smoking, is available at his site, just google Allen Carr and you will find it.

This program at the site linked below is also probably one of the most effectiv methods of giving up forever as well. Thanks and enjoy a smoke free life.

A life without Cigarettes?