Many guitarists playing at BRIDGE Guitar Festival will agree: playing the guitar is a matter of lifelong learning. With a bit of luck, a teacher will push you somewhat in the right direction. The Dutch guitar hero JB Meijers (he will play at BRIDGE AROUND TOWN on Sunday, June 2) teaches Niels, without a guitar in sight. “I've always had a very do-it-yourself attitude.”
Anyone who picks up a guitar for the first time is mercilessly confronted with their own incompetence. While as a beginner you can immediately produce a quite acceptable tone on a piano, for example, this is radically different on a guitar. The very first attack sounds - in my case at least, in one short expletive - horrible. But the good news: from that very moment your quest has begun. For many guitarists, playing those early notes is a defining moment in their lives. BRIDGE Guitar Festival is a timely moment to see where this can all lead.
The special thing about the journey on the guitar, is that you will ultimately have to do it all yourself. Every skill you have learned is your own achievement. Every concept you understand is your own merit. That may not make the journey of discovery easier, but the reward is very satisfying. The route of unconsciously incompetent to unconsciously competent is one with many stops. Many leave prematurely. Others drive there in a detour. For some, many exit points remain closed forever.
In recent years, an incredible number of tools have emerged for those trying to master the guitar. Whether the most popular number, the strangest, the most difficult: there are always online supports that will help you a long way. You could hardly see the trees for the forest, so many of them courses can be found there. Our own Dutch guitar hero JB Meijers planted a nice tree in that forest recently. His guitar course 'Playing Guitar with JB' is as clear, concise and to the point as the name of the lesson series in which he takes all kinds of styles 'under the microscope like a laboratory technician.'
JB takes on the role of teacher somewhat unwillingly, he said when I spoke to him recently. The idea was that we would meet online with the guitar on our laps. Although JB says he plays the guitar for about ten hours a day, this time - as you can see - there was no guitar within his reach. He doesn't consider himself a real teacher, JB said. “Because I am very bad at preparing. But people often think that I can talk about music very nicely.”