I am attempting to re-learn how to play the guitar. I took lessons when I was young, put it down for 35 years and now — for some reason — I have decided it is time to try it again. I felt this would be an easy transition because I have mastered the air guitar for some time now.

Playing the guitar is a two-part process consisting of the part you can learn — chords and finger placement — and the part that requires experience and expertise — the strumming or actual playing.

The first step in my process was to learn the basic chords and finger placement. Since my preference is rock and blues oriented music, this only involves a handful of chords. Pretty simple there. Once a learned a few chords, I took out my song books from the 70s. I reviewed the songs that only had a few chord changes — which is most of them. Then I played the chords — but I did not play the music. This is where expertise and experience come in. I was playing the chords to Eric Clapton songs, but it did not sound like Eric Clapton. (Note: The Eagles songs sounded close, but this is not really much of an accomplishment.)

What I am learning is that experience and practice matter.

The parallels of this process are similar to roofing/waterproofing design. A manufacturer can provide you with a guide specification (the chords), but the designer needs to ensure design meets building requirements and proper details are provided to make real music.

My goal is the intro to Layla.