Notes By Claudia Potamkin: You Can Learn Guitar

This musician tells us it takes mastering three moves to play hundreds of songs

Branding exec Bruce Turkel, Claudia Potamkin, banking giant Lorenzo Del Zoppo, and musician Bob Bonnen jam together at a Social Distance

We’ve practiced and conquered in the kitchen, our board game skills are at their peak, we’ve made it through books we’ve been meaning to read and but before you finish every season of every show ever made, you might try learning guitar.

Wouldn’t it be great to return to parties, dazzling and amazing your friends with a talent you learned from a social distance? A skill that will up your “cool quotient” around the campfire?

If you thought playing the guitar was out of reach, I am here to tell you: It is not. If you learn to play just three chords on the guitar you can play literally hundreds of songs. I barely read music yet play well enough to amuse myself and have a blast with my friends.

To start your own amusement, I give you several chord combinations to consider. For each song, the chords may appear in a different order. The order in which the chords appear will not matter as KNOWING the chords allows you to mix it up.

Here is a teeny tiny example of the many tunes you’ll be able to play with only three chords.

With C, F & G

Chantilly Lace
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
Down on the Corner
Sloop John B

With D C & G

Sweet Home Alabama
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Can’t You See
Night Moves
Warewolves of London

With D  A & G

Bad Moon Rising
The Authority Song
Twist and Shout
Save the Last Dance For Me
All You Need is Love

With A D & E

Feeling Groovy
Spirit in the Sky
With a Little Help From My Friends
You Are My Sunshine

Claudia Potamkin’s Tips for Tackling Guitar

  1. Get your hands on a guitar.
  2. Choose your three chords and go…one chord at a time.
  3. Start small and don’t become intimidated, overwhelmed or discouraged. Beginning anything takes time and patience.
  4. Several short practice sessions beat a few long ones.
  5. Your fingers will hurt, stay with it.
  6. You will curse me, stay with it.
  7. You won’t read anything else I write, stay with it.
  8. Don’t take the guitar or yourself too seriously. (Stay with it.)
  9. Know that you will actually be able to play all of those songs in all of those keys….but that’s a conversation for another day.
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