Jim gives his thoughts on purchasing your first guitar.
Taught by Jim Deeming in Basic Guitar with Jim seriesLength: 7:09Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
Around the early 60's it became a popular notion that every beginning guitar student should first learn on an acoustic. Parents with little or no musical experience spread this idea. Although the logic behind this argument is understandable, the argument bears little truth. This false argument gained popularity for several reasons. Starting a child on an acoustic guitar cuts out the expense of equipment such as an amplifier and a patch cable. However, since the electric guitar is far more popular than its acoustic counterpart, the price of a typical entry level electric is more affordable than the typical entry-level acoustic. In addition, many companies such as Fender sell a combination package that includes the guitar, amplifier, patch cable, and electronic tuner at a very affordable price. Many parents prefer to buy their child an acoustic because it is a quieter instrument. Parents in the 60's associated the sound of the electric guitar with the eardrum busting tones of Pete Townsend and Jimi Hendrix. These parents failed to realize that an electric guitar's volume level is controllable. Also, most practice amps are outfitted with a 1/4" headphone jack for silent practice. Finally, many parents believe that it is much easier to learn the basics on an acoustic guitar. This could not be farther from the truth. Due to lower tension and action of the strings, it is far easier to learn solid fundamental technique on an electric guitar.Buying a guitar is a lot like buying a car. Regardless of whether it’s the first or fifth car you’ve bought, you still have to do your homework. Before you hit the streets to find a new guitar, there are some necessary preliminary steps that must be taken.
There is only one good reason to choose an acoustic guitar for your child's first instrument. A child should start on an acoustic guitar ONLY if the music that he/she desires to play is primarily performed on an acoustic. If you are planning to buy your child his/her first guitar, work together with your child to conduct thorough research. As a result, you will both sleep soundly knowing the best possible selection was made.
Roughly all guitars (with the exception of classical guitars) fall into three price range categories. However, price is not always an accurate indicator of quality.2. Narrow the field.A. $0-450: Beginner Quality
B. $450-950 Intermediate Quality
C. $950+ Professional Quality
You must form a general idea of the ideal instrument. Jim gives you some great tips to get this process started.3. Where to Shop
A. Observe Your HeroesThis is the single best piece of advice for anyone looking for a new axe. Whose guitar sound do you admire most? What guitar does he/she play? Do many of your favorite guitarist play the same guitar or a similar type of guitar? When choosing your first guitar, you most likely won’t want to shell out the cash to get the same guitar your heroes play. However, it’s a great idea to take some notes regarding the features that these guitars have. This way, you can look for a less expensive model that resembles the ideal sound you are looking for.B. Set Some Preliminary GoalsDo you want to perform publicly or just play for your own personal enjoyment? This has a large bearing on which guitar you should eventually choose.C. Don’t Stress Out!Choosing a guitar should be an enjoyable process. Regardless of your price range, there is a great guitar out there for you. For example, Matt Brown owns several professional quality guitars. He owns a PRS Custom, a Gibson Les Paul Standard, and a G&L ASAT Special. However, his no. 1 guitar is a beat up Mexican Strat he purchased for only $200. Keep in mind that the price tag is not always an accurate indicator of quality.D. Philosophical Points on Music EducationMany parents believe that music education is a mandatory part of every child’s educational development. As Jim mentions, if a child does not have the guitar in his/her heart, music lessons will become a constant battle from start to finish. Many teachers (Matt Brown is one example) outright refuse to teach students who are forced into lessons by their parents. These students typically put in the minimum amount of practice necessary for the first few weeks of lessons. Then, once a parent grows tired of enforcing adequate practice time, the child withdraws and ceases to learn anything. Many of these parents choose a very inexpensive instrument for a child knowing that he/she will not play it for very long. If a child is playing an instrument that is of slightly higher quality, he or she may stand a better chance of sticking with music longer.
On the other hand, if a student is really driven to master the guitar, no obstacle can stand in his or her way. Jim Deeming is a perfect example. His first guitar was of extremely low quality. Regardless of the quality of the guitar, Jim played could not put it down during his first few years of practice.
Over the past few decades the retail industry has undergone some drastic changes. The retail music industry is no exception. Gigantic chain retail stores have replaced multiple small businesses across the globe. Although giant stores such as Guitar Center or Sam Ash sell equipment at lower prices, the customer receives less quality per dollar spent. Instruments at these stores are not cared for at all. Once an order is received into inventory guitars are simply taken out of their cases and thrown on the walls. From this point they are handled daily by numerous customers who typically have no interest in buying the instrument they are test-driving. As a result, guitars diminish in quality the longer they hang on Guitar Center’s walls. Also, the sales representatives in these stores are rarely knowledgeable. Lastly, customer service and satisfaction is not a high priority, because the sheer volume of customers is simply unmanageable.
We recommend that you shop for your first instrument at a store that is not part of a large retail chain. Ask a respected professional in your area where he or she shops. For example, the Drinking Gourd Music Store in Dayton, Ohio is a long standing favorite among professionals living in the Midwest. When a guitar arrives at a store of this quality, professionals carefully inspect the guitar for any possible defects. A full professional set-up is then performed. Key issues such as the quality of fret installation are also addressed before the guitar is hung on the wall. From the moment a customer walks in the store, he or she receives excellent customer service throughout the entire sales process. This excellent service continues after the guitar has been purchased. The salespeople at these stores are often professional players themselves. Their superior knowledge of the instrument enables them to help each customer find the perfect guitar.
Fingerstyle master Jim Deeming teaches you the basics of guitar playing. With over 30 years of experience teaching and playing, Jim will definitely start you in the right direction. This is a great series for beginners and guitarists looking to refresh their knowledge.
In this short lesson, Jim Deeming will introduce himself and talk about his upcoming lessons.Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Jim gives his thoughts on purchasing your first guitar.Length: 7:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.Length: 11:00 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Jim Deeming walks you through the process of changing your strings. He gives some excellent tips on this important process.Length: 41:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Jim introduces proper playing technique. Then, he explains how to play your first chord.Length: 52:24 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Jim teaches you the 3 primary chords in G major. He also explains how chords relate to specific keys. A great lesson!Length: 39:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Jim discusses a plethora of right hand techniques that are essential to guitar playing.Length: 35:19 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
This lesson provides additional information about chords and keys.Length: 19:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
This lesson is all about playing. Jim will start you off playing a song. You will have the opportunity to play along with him.Length: 20:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Jim teaches you a few more commonly used chords. Then, he discusses a technique known as the alternating bass line.Length: 40:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Jim covers all possible fingering options pertaining to the basic open A chord shape.Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jim talks about the future of his Phase 1 guitar series and where to go from here.Length: 4:18 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Jim delves into basic music theory. He starts from square one in this lesson.Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Jim Deeming invites you to a veritable chord fiesta. He demonstrates common dominant and minor chord shapes.Length: 43:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
This lesson is all about movable chords. Learn the importance of barre chords and other movable shapes.Length: 40:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jim Deeming explains how to create a productive practice routine. Make sure you aren't wasting needless time!Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Many guitarists use their pinky as an anchor. Jim explains the pros and cons of this technique.Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Jim discusses an important technique--palm muting. He explains how palm muting is used by flatpickers and fingerstyle players.Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jim Deeming covers the basics of reading guitar tablature. Knowledge of tablature will help with JamPlay lessons as well as learning your favorite songs.Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Jim explains various tuning methods. He provides useful tips and tricks that will ensure that your guitar is sounding its best.Length: 31:45 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Jim is back with another "let's play" style lesson. He teaches the classic song "Red River Valley" and encourages you to play along.Length: 52:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jim Deeming introduces drop D tuning. Drop D is a popular alternate tuning used in many styles of music including rock, fingerstyle and blues.Length: 25:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Jim Deeming breaks down the song sections to the classic tune "Wayfaring Stranger".Length: 29:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Jim Deeming takes another, more focused look at drop D tuning.Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Jim Deeming discusses how to use a metronome for practice, skill building, and speed building.Length: 24:02 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
About Jim Deeming
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Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.
Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.
More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.
Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".
Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes JamPlay.com is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.
Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.
The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.
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Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.
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I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!
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I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg
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