Let's Play Some Guitar.


Artifact Post 1

One artifact that I chose to symbolize my topic is a guitar pick. The guitar pick is used in variation by different types of guitarists. It is a small instument used to pluck or strum guitars. I feel that this symbolizes my topic pretty well because of the fact that so many guitarists use it, and when one pictures a guitar it is very common to associate a pick with it.

The pick comes in a few different variations. It can be hard, - meaning stronger and thicker, soft - meaning weaker and less thick, and a few other strengths in between. It comes in different materials as well, for example plastic, felt, rubber, nylon, tortoise shell, wood, metal, and stone. There are also different shapes. 

The pick is important to my community because it can symbolize how a person plays the guitar. Even if a person does not use a pick, they would know that the pick is important to playing the guitar. It is one symbol that can represent the larger community of guitar players.


As I read through this weeks required or special blog posts and saw that I would have to find a controversy dealing with my topic, it hit me that this may be a hard task. I searched the internet and other places to find something, anything that might go with a controversy dealing with learning to play the guitar or the guitar in general. I was not wrong when I guessed that it would be hard to find.

I found a controversy dealing with the Gibson Guitar Cooperation - and I’m sure it has also occurred to other giant manufacturers of different types of guitars. Gibson Guitars actually began in Kalamazoo, MI in 1894, but moved to Nashville, TN. They make many different types of guitars, from electric to acoustic and bass.

Gibson has had a few different controversies when they sued two different companies for selling unauthorized copies of their guitars. The two companies were manufacturing different guitars that embodied a very very similar style to that of a gibson guitar. Gibson sought legal action against the two companies on the grounds of that the companies made guitars too similar to their own.

Gibson was also under investigation in 2007 and 2011 for having guitar material deemed endangered and illegal and violating materials made illegal by the “Lacey Act” which contains regulations about illegal wildlife that is transported or sold. 

The two examples here show a guitar company which had a situation where they had to take legal action and one where they had legal action taken against them, and is associated with my community in a certain way - though I don’t believe that it has affected a great number of the guitar playing or music communities.

This post is on the special blog post idea about reading a memoir or an account of someone with a literacy related to my topic (http://www.helium.com/items/615636-testimonies-learning-to-play-the-guitar?page=2). This man had previously learned to play the guitar. He offered tips for beginners and a lot of insight on good techniques and such to help someone who is trying to learn to play guitar. I enjoyed the parts where he had steps to go through. The steps offered both mental ideas and physical things to do when first learning. The way he wrote was pretty informal, which offered an easy read as well as a good connection to what he was saying. It seemed conversational. The article/memoir offered a lot of good information.

Today, I practiced for a while. I learned a few new chords and also revisited ones that I learned earlier. It really is not coming so easy to me. Still, my hand positioning is affecting how the guitar sounds when I strum sometimes, so I still need to work on that a bit. I am making improvements in remembering the chords that I am learning. It would be so cool to be a pro guitarist and be really good. It’s a great skill to have because I would like to be able to play for pleasure when I am bored or for my friends and family on different occasions. I am going to continue to progress, and we will see how far I get within the 30 days which I will have spent learning. Have a fun weekend!

I decided to look into things that one should know when first learning to play the guitar. I gained a lot of insight on ideas and practices that are usually best when first learning to play the guitar.

It is known that the acoustic guitar is the best starting guitar to learn - preferably one with nylon strings because the metal strings are said to injure fingers of beginners. I have a metal one, and it’s not too bad, though it does hurt.

Knowing parts of the guitar is important, as well as knowing how to take care of ones guitar.

Another very important key is knowing how to hold and control your guitar. I need some work on that because I don’t have the best posture and guitar holding skills that are needed when I play. Here is what this website says is the correct positioning for holding an acoustic:

The classical posture where the left leg is raised by setting it on an object while seated is the most suggested position for beginners. The bigger curve of the body of the guitar is secured in your inner thighs. For right-handed players, the left hand will operate the fingerboard while the right hand strums or plucks the strings.

Lastly, it is important to learn chords and to be able to read tabs. Tabs are finger positioning on the fingerboard (As I said in a prior post, the open chords are E, A, D, G, B, E).

History of the Acoustic Guitar

I made the decision to look into the history of the acoustic guitar today. I was not aware that the Acoustic guitar has been around for more than 5,000 years! Thats a very long time! The acoustic guitar has been forever evolving and changing since it was first invented. 

During the medieval times, an acoustic guitar model would be smaller versions of what we know today, having anywhere between 3 and 5 strings. The main parts of the guitars were separated into two different groups: Guitarra Latina and the Guitarra Morisca.

In the Middle Ages, the guitar was not very popular as it was overshadowed by other instruments that better fit the musical interest of the time. Nonetheless, in the Renaissance period the guitar developed more prominent and popular instrument. The first six string guitar was created in 1779 in Italy by Geatano Vinaccia. 

Antonio de Torres Jurado fathered what is known today as the classical guitar by making key changes as well as changes to the body that changed the pitches and flow of the sounds. 

It is a common misconception that the Classical Guitar and Acoustic Guitar are on in the same. They, in fact, are not. I was not aware of this until reading today. There are many differences. The fact that the acoustic guitar uses steel strings and the classical guitar uses nylon strings is one of the biggest. The acoustic is louder and the two create different ranges of sound.

The next and last big development in the history of the acoustic guitar is the creation of the electric acoustic, which can be plugged into an amplifier for more volume. 

I chose to look into a certain style of the guitar today instead of doing something very normal. I looked into the blues. I watched a few videos and read an article on this type of music. They were quite interesting. The blues is a great genre to express emotion and feeling. I have never listened to much Blues before. The videos and article can be found here:




As we continue on…

Today I am writing about the other “Special Blog Post” for this week. One less traditional form of reading that goes with my topic of learning to play guitar is not reading words, but reading sheet words or music. Now, I attempted this type of reading but it was quite difficult because I don’t really know any notes yet. This is a great video to learn how to read sheet music: http://www.guitarlessons.com/guitar-lessons/guitar-theory-ear-training-and-reading/how-to-read-sheet-music/.

It didn’t really resinate with me because I am such a beginer. Hopefully one day I will be able to read the sheet music. It would take me a while to master this skill though. 

Day 5

This post is in response to the “Special blog posts” part of the assignment. I found a blog that is similar to my topic and use RAIDS to analyze the blog posts. The blog that i found is called “Learning How to Play the Guitar Blog”. The link can be found here:  http://learntoplayguitarblog.com/

Revision: The author is trying to inspire ideas for his audience who is obviously wanting to learn how to play the guitar. He posts a lot about the art of learning to play the guitar and the best ways to go about it, such as the best places to learn, the best online lessons, and other tips. He seems like he is very motivated to help people learn to play the guitar. 

Arrangement: His ideas seem to be organized in a way that helps the reader through the posts. He seems to go into detail about one certain part of the post, then bring up another idea. His style of writing doesn’t seem to vary.

Invention: The author had to engage in research in order to create the posts - especially about the best places to learn and the best online lessons. He also has alot of knowledge from first hand since he himself is a guitar enthusiast and plays the guitar.

Delivery: The text is delivered online in blog posts. The context effects how the audiences will read this by making the information readily available whenever a reader chooses. This creates a very laid back sort of following of the blog, as well as a great way to get information on learning to play the guitar.

Style: His style is informal. I like reading his posts because the way he writes is very interesting and relatable. Its almost as tho he is actually speaking, which is a style that usually appeals to me. 

Day 4

I began today feeling like I really wanted to learn a few chords. I watched a video all about the 5 major chords (http://www.guitarlessons.com/guitar-lessons/guitar-chords/essential-guitar-chords/). 

All of the chords I learned are “open” chords, meaning that they are in the first position  and also that when you play the chord, there will be one open string. These chords, along with the two minor chords, are very important to learn because of the fact that they are the foundation of the chords that will be learned later on. The major chords are C, A, G, E,  and D. Each of the chords are changed by finger positioning on the neck and also by which strings that are strum.

I need to find some more time to practice, otherwise it will be hard to learn by the end of the 30 days. I’s like to know more than just the basics. Hopefully I will keep progressing. Have a fun weekend!