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Guitar is easy to learn

News editor

At Butler Community College’s Free Class Day on Saturday in Marion, Mike Moran will provide a seminar on guitar basics and three-chord songs.

Moran estimates he started playing guitar at age 25, and he has played off and on since then.

“You can fall out of the habit pretty quickly,” Moran said Thursday.

He said people interested in learning guitar now have more tools at their disposal than ever before. Moran likes to use a cappo, which makes it easier to play in a different key signature. There are also tools to help properly tune a guitar, instead of tuning by ear.

But the biggest modern advantage for learning guitar is the Internet. YouTube is full of tutorials of all kinds, including musical. A search for “guitar lessons for beginners” gave about 35,000 results. And videos on YouTube have the advantage of being able to pause and take a closer look at how the teacher is playing, Moran said.

Moran has taught lessons at Hillsboro Elementary School’s after-school program for about 12 years.

“I really love doing that,” he said.

He wishes there were better guitar teachers than himself to help people learn the instrument.

“I don’t consider myself a really good guitar player, but I love to play,” Moran said. “For me, teaching guitar is really … it’s a joy.”

He said that if a student is advanced beyond Moran’s ability to teach them new things — which he considers a fairly low threshold — they would have to go out of the county to find an advanced teacher. He said there are plenty of talented guitarists, and he wishes more would share their talents with beginners.

“I’m a real advocate of music education,” Moran said.

Students with a background in music, especially piano, have an easier time learning to play guitar, he said. Like all instruments, it is easier to learn starting at a young age.

If a student has a music background to start, they may be able to play one- or two-chord songs by the end of the first lesson in some cases, he said.

Moran will teach “Guitar Basics & Three-Chord Songs” from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Butler of Marion. To register for the class, contact Butler of Marion at (620) 382-2183.

Last modified March 28, 2012

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