I have two older vintage guitars that I still use. The first is a 1959 Gibson Les Paul that came as the J-20; the second is a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard that belonged to my grandfather, who had it as a gift when he passed during the time when Gibson (the maker) was in the throes of a decade-long bankruptcy.
The first thing you learn in guitar is that most of what you read on YouTube is true, at least in their “ideal” forms. But even with that knowledge you’re just going to learn a ton about guitars. I don’t expect anyone to follow my methods and become an expert guitarist. I’m not a musical legend. I don’t even know how to play a lick. This just isn’t the path that I want you on. So please stop posting links to YouTube tutorials; instead put something relevant in the comments or send me an email.
Okay, that’s enough bullshit for today. Today I’m going to break down everything you need to know about guitar picking. Hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of what guitarists actually do to achieve their sound. But even if you’re not a guitar teacher or a musician, don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten about you either.
So first things first, let’s start with just how a guitar works. What do players mean when they use the word “guitar?” In a lot of ways, it’s actually a fairly simple problem. The human brain is built to process visual stimuli. You can’t put a bunch of words together and expect people to read them correctly. So, what’s the human visual system for?
A visual system is the brain’s way of processing information about the world around us. It’s responsible for:
We see color. Blue, green, orange, yellow, red, green, blue, pink, purple, green, yellow, gray, black, white, and red.
We see edges, shapes, lines, and curves.
We see faces, faces with different hair shapes, faces with different noses, faces with different shapes of eyes, faces with different faces, faces with different hairstyles, and faces with different facial expressions.
We hear audio. Our ears are designed to translate sounds into electrical impulses. When a sound hits our ears, it’s converted into electrical impulses that go into our brains, which then send that information to the brainstem.
We hear sounds through the ears. For most people
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