The first thing one learns on guitar

For her 12th birthday, my daughter got a guitar. I know she is using YouTube to learn music.* I assumed she would learn something contemporary. When I came home the other day, she said: Dad! My friend taught me a new song. And the first thing her friend’s taught her on the guitar was…Smoke on the Water!!! My first thought was: cool, she can play something. And then I thought: hey, 30 years ago when I was trying to learn how to play guitar, I ALSO learned SotW. And then I thought: Has no one written anything ELSE since then worth learning first!?!? It’s quite amazing how this song continues to be passed down to people learning how to play guitar (for better or worse).

Ah well…perhaps they should have put some Deep Purple on that disk they shipped out via Yoyageur, so alien kids all over the universe can learn the first few bars of Smoke on the Water, too. 🙂

* (In fact, I was surprised how many “hits” these tutorial videos get! A tutorial of how to learn how to play “Bubbly” gets way more hits than a classic from Lyle Lovett! Hmmm, maybe Lyle should give guitar lessons on YouTube on how to play Bubbly. Nah! Although I would be happy to watch Lyle singing the ingredients of the back of a cereal box.)

3 responses to “The first thing one learns on guitar

  1. Ha ha. Im actually a guitar teacher, and generally the first song i teach is Smoke on the Water. The strange thing is i don’t know why i choose to teach that first & nobody has pointed it out before. I think i may be because when you pass on your knowledge you look to the method in which you were taught yourself.
    I may have to think of a new starter tune from now on.
    James Burton

  2. Smoke on the water is one of the first songs I learnt as well. I think it’s because the song is so recognizable and it’s something beginners can pick up quite quick.

  3. At least you guys learner something. I to have been trying to learn via youtube as well. My comprehension skill must have gotten dull over the years. I seem to be at a standstill.