I have played off and on for 34 years and am still a raw beginner.
Someone gave me an accoustic guitar when I was 18 and showed me some basic chords and taught me to play house of the rising sun. I didn't stick with it.
Then about 20 years ago I joined my first band as a lead singer and also started writing. Before long I wanted to do some of my songs - and the lead guitarist (also the band leader) told me they would do one of my songs when I could show him how to play it on the guitar.... so I bought my first electric. I started writing on the guitar at that point instead of the piano.
I took lessons about this time for a few short weeks - I stopped the lessons when I figured out my "instructor" was far more interested in showing me how great a guitar player he was than he was in actually teaching me anything. He showed me one scale, the pentatonic, and the rest of the time was spent with him playing for me and bragging.
After going through several bands with over inflated egotistical guitarists I finally decided I was done with joining bands and started my own Christian rock band. We sounded pretty good I thought - but then the band fell apart. My lead guitarist moved to California, my drummer told me his wife wouldn't let him be in a band any more because it took too much time away from home, and my keyboard player said he was getting married and taking a year off. Back to the drawing board.
I decided to just start writing and recording using a sequencer. I was in the zone and laying down track after track. Then one night after I had locked up someone broke in and stole everything. I didn't pick a guitar up again for nearly 10 years - it was as though something had died in me that night.
I finally got another accoustic about 7 years ago but just couldn't get back in to it.
THEN I discovered Guitartricks.com and OMG. This site is wonderful.
For the first time ever I am totally psyched about the guitar. I have dusted off and cleaned up my accoustic. I am spending as much time playing chords as my poor fingers will allow (gotta love steel strings and no calluses lol) and spending a few minutes picking each day, but I have started at the very beginning of the core lessons. Already I have learned some things I have done wrong all my life.
I always hated using a pick and played with my fingers instead - I discovered it was because I didn't know how to hold a pick properly - thank you guitartricks for lesson 1. I found fretting is MUCH easier when you are holding the guitar properly - something else I had never learned.
I have gotten so excited that I have done some research and already selected a new electric and an inexpensive Marshall combo amp. I spent probably 10 hours just reading over reviews and reading what other guitarists had to say about their gear before making what I think is an AWESOME choice in gear for a beginner on a tight budget.
I am glad to be joining this community and looking forward to exploring everything guitartricks has to offer. I have talked about it with everyone - there will probably be a few more guitarists checking this site out because I so much love what I have found here.
Whew - long winded message. Thanks to anyone who read this far.
Jack Alan Naugle