People who know me personally often ask how I got up and playing so fast . . . here's how:



I learned from watching DVD instruction videos, and then playing with others. This may not work for you, but is how I got playing quickly, as I had an instructor anytime I wanted to play, 24/7. I was at the tender age of 47 when I picked up the guitar after a stroke to get my hand movement back and if I can do it -- you can too!

These are the instructors I used and highly recommend to begin:

Bert Casey: Watch and Learn DVD Series

Happy Traum: You Can Play Guitar

Peter Vogl: Watch and Learn DVD Series

Keith Wyatt: Ultimate Beginner Series

The instructors above are the ones I go back to, time after time.

Once I could play a little I advanced to playing around the fretboard with:

Fred Sokolow: Fretboard Roadmaps

Don Latarsky (Landers Produced): Guitar Theory Basics

These will teach you quickly to take what you have learned in basics and play that anywhere on the guitar with a few basic shapes. Theory will teach you how to put those basic shapes into musical tones for songs.

Once I could play around the fretboard, I started looking for special techniques and the absolute best no nonsense disk I ever found for that was:

Allan Slutsky: Beyond Basics Series (Warner Bros.) "Funk Guitar Rhythm Chops"

I come back to this often (very).

B.B. King: Blues Master: not an instruction video per se, but excellent for learning his techniques and how he builds pieces:

This is a film, but if you watch closely, you can learn a lot of techniques by the old blues players in it (R.L. Burnside, Cedel Davis, T-Model Ford, Junior Kimbrough and more) -- from it I learned to relax and just play and you will too (from the film: "Whop it like this -- boy . . ."):


See for examples:

I use the following:

Hamer Studio: compact with a big big sound, I travel with this guitar -- see "Limited Mobility Playing" at for more. Mine is a USA made model - there are imports available as well and if it has a low, low price, you can bet it's probably an import ("Slammer" series).

Gibson 335: this is the guitar that virtually duplicates anything and everything on any other 6-string guitar and the studio guitar standard for decades:

If that one is gone, search for "Gibson 335 Guitar" or the copy in the Epiphone line, the Epiphone Sheraton or simply Epiphone Electric Guitar and you'll eventually come across it.

Other Gibsons:

There are over 500 Gibson Guitars on Amazon to choose from:

for acoustic enter "Gibson Acoustic" for electric enter "Gibson Electric Guitar" and good luck in finding the guitar that is just right for you or your loved one:

Rickenbacker - the standard of 12-string guitars with a unique signature sound. The one you see in "Camp Noodle" is a 360V64 series, although all of them are quite good.

Not many Rickenbackers around on Amazon, but you can search for "Rickenbacker Guitar":

Two books on Rickenbacker Guitars I recommend:

You can find any guitar or instructor by simply typing in the name:

Once you get started the recording bug will likely bite: I use Apple Garageband and Logic (Logic is the pro app -- I find Garageband more than ample for most everything I mix in recording -- when you buy an Apple computer, Garageband and the Video software I-Movie and all you need to convert video and music to web based production is already in the computer and works seamlessly -- some ideas on recording basics:

Type in "Apple Computer" into the search to get all the Apple products. Apple's pro video application is "Final Cut Pro" if you want to take your movie-making to the pro level. An excellent series for learning quickly is:

or simply type in "videomaker training videos" and the like to get the Windows equivalent.

The acoustic guitars I use are Ovation guitars. They are actually acoustic/electric, and all Ovation guitars have an on board tuner, so there's never any guess about tuning. You can find many examples by typing into the search, the 6 and 12 string Balladeers are what I use. Typing in "acoustic guitar" gets the rest of the manufacturers (Taylor, etc.)

I hope the above at least gives you some ideas on how to start and how I did it, or ideas to give the gift of music to someone else.

Other Products of interest: