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September 2012--How to Start a Guitar Club

Friday, September 14, 2012
[caption id="attachment_2002" align="img_left" width="207" caption="Honolulu Guitar Club - 1933"][/caption]

“I want to play with other musicians but I don’t know any guitarists in my area.” It’s a common problem that many aspiring guitarists face. A simple solution is to be a part of a local guitar club. Guitar clubs are a great way to meet other musicians, jam, and have fun.

First, inquire if there are any guitar clubs in your area. A search on the internet of “(your city) guitar club” is a great place to start. If there isn’t a guitar club in your area then consider starting one of your own.

Starting a guitar club is not as hard as you think. Here are a few tips to building a place where guitarists can come, learn from each other, and make music.

1) Find a Place to Meet. You need a room that can hold about 20 people. Possibilities are meeting rooms at a local library, community center, rec center like the YMCA, or a church. Even a neighborhood clubhouse would work great. All you need is a room with about 10-20 chairs and room to put cases, gear and such. Meeting places can be acquired for free or minimal cost with a little searching. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out with the first inquiry. Sometimes it takes a few phone calls or even a visit to show your potential venue that you are serious.

2) Set a Starting Date and Time for the First Meeting. Don’t feel like you need to find the absolute perfect time for months to come. Once you get started your group will let you know when would be the best time for everyone. For now, just look at your calendar and the room availability and pick a reasonable time. Weekday evenings (except for Wednesday and Friday) are good and Saturday mornings are generally a good time for most people. Meeting once a month for a couple of hours tends to work well.

3) Get the Word Out: Facebook Group Page. The easiest way is to create a facebook page for your group. It’s free and easy to do. Pick a cute name like the “Santa Fe Players” and an image and you’re on your way. There you can list the date, time, and place of the first meeting. Invite everyone you can think of to be a part. You might be surprised at which of your friends secretly want to learn how to play guitar.

4) Get the Word Out: Flyers at Local Music Store and Venue. Most music stores have a community bulletin board that anyone can post on. Create a simple flyer with the name of the group, brief description, date, time, place, and contact phone number.

5) Decide What You Want to Cover. A sample schedule might be…

• 9:00am-9:45am - Welcome and Skill based instruction. (chords, single notes, blues or pentatonic scales, or cover a chapter from the Learn & Master Guitar course)
• 9:45am-10:30am - Learn a Song.
• 10:30am-11:00am - Questions/Answers/Jam-Time

Your group may start with you and one or two other people; but don’t be discouraged, just give it some time. As word gets out, in a few months you might have 6 or more and you’ll find that learning together is a blast. As meetings get going then invite a special guest musician to play, or someone from the music store to talk about a topic like guitar care. Giveaways from a local music store are always fun. You can even have a field trip to go see music around your area.
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