I have early memories of my brother getting all fussed over for putting on a little penguin looking tuxedo and playing at a piano recital on Happy New Guitar Day. In not too long of a time it was happening to me as well after I learned my ABC’s and my hands grew a bit. That was supposed to be some kind of big deal, “oh, he doesn’t have his brother’s hands.” Well, I would hope not, one set of hands is enough for me. To go on, they had me reading music before I could read writing. As I got older I came to realize that music was big on my mother’s side of the family, dad’s family was tone-deaf. By the time our piano teacher died my brother had 9 years of classical piano and I had 7. My mother’s youngest brother, uncle Tom, who was a freshman at Youngstown State University said, ” I’m starting a new band and you’re going to play bass,” quite a matter of factly.
Let the transfer of knowledge begin. You know, to a kid, you are most impressed that while playing music you could hang with the older guys. I just learned to play acoustic guitar and bass at the same time. I started professionally at that time. I was 11.
To help understand the transfer of knowledge you will need to know the Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do for chord building and scales. You must also know the notes for each string on the guitar neck when struck open. They are E, A, D, G, B, E from low (pitch) to high. Remember from the piano article that a 1st, 3rd and 5th is a 3 note chord called a triad. If you look at a C chord on a guitar chord chart you’ll see the 3rd fret pressed on the A string makes a C note, the 2nd fret pressed on the D string makes an E and the 1st fret pressed on the B string also makes a C note. Without fretting any strings 3 were not C, E, or G, our C triad. By fretting those 3 strings in the manner in which we just did makes all 6 strings a member of our elite triad. Now the trick is to strike each string cleanly.
I remember first learning guitar, the most difficult thing was having all the notes of the chord come through clean. This is still difficult at times. One thing I truly love about music is that no matter how long you’ve been playing you can always improve. Playing music is like fine wine, improving with age.
I was able to put together a video example of this change from keys to guitar. It is a combination of Summer In the City by John Sebastian and Summertime by George Gershwin switching from piano to organ to classical guitar. If you’re interested in is on youtube under jdmcgoo and titled Summertime in the City.