November 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

Nov 01, 2005 | Posted in Q & A Archives

Question #1 My mother bought me an acoustic guitar for my birthday. I said I wanted electric. She claims the salesman told her I will be a better electric guitarist if I learn this first. How can that be true? Thanks Tommy, you rock! -- Kochese Biggs, Lago Vista, TX

ANSWER: I agree with the salesman. When you take up the guitar, I believe the best and first thing to learn is the five or six basic "open" chords. On the acoustic guitar you are forced to learn the chords cleanly and properly without depending on volume and distortion with an electric. Also on the acoustic guitar, you initially learn to "strum" which is important for the rhythmic development of your right hand (for right-handed guitarists), which in guitar playing is just as important as the left hand.

Question #2 My mother was also somehow convinced I should practice 4 hours a day if I want to be good at this. I am 15 years old. I am still in school. What do you recommend? What do you do? -- Kochese Biggs, Lago Vista, TX

ANSWER: You should practice whatever time you feel like practicing. Keep in mind though that if you want to do well at something, guitar-playing included, it's proven that hard work and lots of practice will pay off.

Question #3 One more question if that is OK. How do you go about writing a song? Do you write words or sounds out first? Is this the singer or guitarist's job? Thanks again Mr Thayer. -- Kochese Biggs, Lago Vista, TX

ANSWER: You are doing it all! I like that! The songwriting process is simple, there are no rules. You can write a song anyway you want to. But most importantly, the more you work at it, the better you'll be at it.