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"Can I Really Do This?!?"

Are you considering learning how to play the guitar and don't know if it's actually possible?  See if this helps:

If I've never played the guitar, how do I get my guitar tuned properly so I can actually play it?

If you don't know how to tune a guitar yet and none of your friends know either, bring it to a store where they sell guitars. In general, the folks who work in music stores are musicians and tend to be very helpful. For about $60 you can get what's called a "set up" which includes: changing and tuning the strings plus checking and possibly fixing what's called "the action" which is the distance of the strings from the neck of the guitar. It's normal to need the action adjusted on a guitar from time to time.

One of the bonus videos that students receive as part of Janet's Planet: Music Lessons For Humanoids is a lesson on how to tune a guitar by ear.  I've attached the lesson on how to tune your guitar with an electronic tuner.  p.s. You can download guitar tuners for free on iPhones, iPads and smart phones.

I was so excited to get started, I tried playing my guitar and it made my fingers hurt, does that mean I can't do it?

Everyone's fingers hurt at first, even the guitar God Eric Clapton. In fact, he got his first guitar at the age of 13 and quit because it hurt his fingers. Then he convinced his family to buy him an electric guitar when he was 15 and the rest is rock 'n roll history.

Other normal early guitar playing hurdles include switching from one chord to another and singing and playing at the same time.

What if the strings are broken or missing on my guitar?

I suggest bringing your guitar to a music store to have it fixed. If the strings are really old (they're dirty, rusty, been on the guitar since your 60 something mom bought it in 1968) have them put a whole new set on for you. It's also a good idea to have an extra set. I suggest buying light gauge acoustic strings (all the brands are fine). Nylon strings for classical guitars are all the same gauge.   Another bonus lesson video is on how to change your own strings.  It's not a difficult thing to do, it's just really nice to have someone show you.

I have a classical guitar (nylon strings), can I still use it to take lessons?

Yes, the way you play is the same. Nylon strings are a little easier on your fingers because they're softer. Plus, classical guitars have a more gentle sound because of the strings.

My guitar is electric, can I still use it to take lessons?

Yes, the way you play it is the same. The difference is in the sound. And of course, you may find yourself wanting to do a fist pump and shout, "THANK YOU (fill in your city here)!!!" after playing a song.

Have more questions?  Email me at

Interested in getting started with your journey of playing guitar now? Register below for my free video lesson series, Janet's Planet: Quick & Dirty Guitar Start Up and find out for yourself that you can do this.

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