All You Need To Start

1) Boss TU-12H High-Range Chromatic Tuner/Korg CA-30 Chromatic Digital Tuner/iPhone App-Peterson Tuner 2) Kyser Quick-Change Capo 6-String 3) A Korg GA-30 Ultra Compact Digital Metronome or a Korg TM-40 Large Display Tuner and Metronome 4) The Beatles Guitar Chord Songbook: A-I (Guitar Chord Songbook) by the Beatles 5) The Beatles Guitar Chord Songbook: J-Y (Guitar Chord Songbook) by the Beatles 6) The Little Black Songbook: Chartbusters! by Amsco Publications 7) How to Write Songs on Guitar: A Guitar-Playing and Songwriting Course by Rikky Rooksby 8) Chord Master: How to Choose and Play the Right Guitar Chords by Rikky Rooksby 9) The Songwriting Sourcebook: How to Turn Chords Into Great Songs by Rikky Rooksby 10) The Songwriter's Manual: Everything You Need To Create & Record Your Music by Rikky Rooksby 11) The Complete Book Of Alternate Tunings (The Complete Guitar Player Series) by Mark Hanson

Guitar Playing Hints

First and foremost-Earplugs!-If there was one piece of music advise I would give to anyone it would be to go out TODAY and get some professional earplugs to protect your most valuable asset as a musician-your ears!

Click on this link on Healthy Hearing for more information regarding musicians, tinnitus and hearing loss.
Whether you’re a student of Heath’s or not, here’s a dozen or so ideas to think about.
#1-Human nature is to forget. My two main tricks these days is to record any and all musical ideas into my iPhone or video myself playing a song idea when the inspiration is fresh in my mind. Hearing live bootleg recordings of yourself for the first time is a trip and that is what you sound like warts and all. For years I did the phone/answering machine trick where you call yourself on your answering machine and leave a message. But you know, you sing your melody or you sing your lyric into the phone and then record it or type it into your computer when you get home.
#2-One should always have a guitar within arm's reach and a pen and a yellow legal pad to write down all of your lyric/song ideas down. I tend to keep guitars around the house in multiple altered tunings such as Open "E" or "D", Open "G" or "A" or whatever tuning I am exploring in at the time. Keeping a couch guitar (Gibson LG-2) near by is always a good idea while watching T.V. or watching a movie. I have come up with some of my best musical ideas by playing guitar but not really paying attention so to speak. By letting your left brain do the work on a sub-conscience level sometimes is a good thing. I keep a small-bodied guitar tuned in a Nashville tuning around at all times. I also keep Kyser capos atop all of my acoustics as well.
#3-For some reason practicing in front of a mirror helps my playing. It gives you an audience members perspective of your own playing style. Watching music DVD's upside down is also very beneficial. Your able to see/watch your favorite guitarists' scale positions, bending techniques and their vibrato from the perspective of that guitarist looking down at their own fretboard. It makes life that much easier to mimic a style that over time will eventually become your own.
#4-Early bird gets the worm or at least the lower stress level. As I get older the more I can appreciate being on time or even early. And yes I have forgotten my own amp for a cooperate gig=comedy! Regarding gear-only make one trip from the car to the gig. Get a road case for your amp, put your pedal board on top and carry your double gig bag on your back. Listen, very carefully, this will save you a lot of headaches involving stolen gear if you have ever had anything stolen from you-you know what I am talking about.
#5-Grolsch beer rubber strap holder-So you do not drop you guitar and break it. I've almost had it happen a few times. I've luckily caught it. Flirting with disaster to say the least. It's nice when you catch a $40,000 to $60,000 guitar before it hits the ground, breaks the neck and devalues the guitar by half of what it's worth. What you do is get yourself go out and get yourself two Grolsch beers-the one's with the poptops. They've got the the metal tops you know, the white poptop thing and inside there are two red red washers and those are the exact perfect guitars rubber straps or guitar rubber strap locking system for the bargin price of two beers. I've got to give Chris Chaney a little credit where credit is due. All my students do it, I do it and he does it. What's more rock n' roll than that? Drinking a couple of beers or a beer with your buddy or a beer with your band and you get to protect your guitar for the rest of it's life. Anyway, that is my advise to you. Check it out and do it! Go out and get yourself a couple of Grolsch's. Yeah!
#6-Tab or notate your music! Get a yellow legal pad to write down all of your lyric/song ideas down. I keep meticulous notes on every song/musical idea I've ever had in my life. If you have bothered to play it twice that should tell you something right there-it's important! Tablature is key in remembering any musical idea if you don't have a recording devise.
#7-Learn to get a great tone from a simple rig and a simple pedal board. That was one of the big inside jokes at the vintage guitar store I worked at in San Francisco for years which was that if all the musicians we sold vintage guitars, amps and pedals to realized that the secret to a good tone is all in player's hands that we would be out of business as a vintage guitar store.....Shhhh! Don't tell anyone :)
#8-The best lessons I've learned are from going out and seeing live music with my own two eyes. What to do and what not to do while playing live music on stage entertaining a room full of drunks usually. Watch YouTube!-Where else can you attend all your favorite musical artists perform alive and dead? A great trick is to watch you computer screen upside down to see your favorite musician's hand movement and placement. I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars in the 1990's on bootleg videos and CD's. That's were I learned everything that has to do with my musical style today. When YouTube first came around I viewed for free every bootleg video I had ever purchased. I wish there was a YouTube back then and so does my wallet.
#9-Practice in the dark. Why? Because you don't have to look down while you play which is a very important talent to have while you sing and play guitar believe me. The audience appreciates the eye contact as well. I'm legally blind without my contact lenses or glasses so I am used to literally playing in the dark.
#10-Practice in the five main songwriting keys-C, G, D, A and E. Also practice three minor keys-Am, Dm and Em. These are the keys that 95% of all music that you are hearing and liking on the radio, CD's and MP3's are written. Gradually move to all 12 keys in both major and minor.
#11-Know your airlines policies on traveling with a guitar before you purchase a ticket from that airline. Check their website.
#12-It is amazing how different one's tone is by just varying which pick you choose to use. A great recording trick is to have various multiple picks of different sizes and shapes on a music stand or amp while you record. Take a pass on a track with one size pick hard and then play the exact same passage with a thin pick. The difference in tone and timbre will startle you and your producer/engineer. The will think you are using an entirely different guitar and amp setup. Sometime combining those two different takes on the same song is a magical way to do a simple double track. As A general rule I use heavy picks (Dunlop-purple 2mm) on electric guitar and thin (Fender) or medium picks (Real Guitars Fender-style) on acoustic guitar.
#13-Tab Books. Buy guitar tab books of you favorite artist and influences. Get some Beatles, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, etc. It's a two for one benefit; you intially learn the all the songs you want to play and you have a musical library from which to teach music if you ever choose to do so. Don't belive the the myth of those who can't play teach-Bullshit! Some of the best musicians are also the best music teachers.