The title of this blog might be leaving you confused. Manamana was a big part of my independent learning project this week, but I’ll explain this in more detail a little later.

My independent learning project is to learn the guitar. I found a friend who was willing to set up times to meet each week. He even made a 14-week syllabus for what I should do in between my lessons each week. This week we started with the basics. The basics included the parts of the guitar, the numbering of the frets, an important website to look through for songs to play, and a few basic songs in which my friend made sheet music (seen below).

guitar music

Photo CC-By: Barbara Pieper

The parts of the guitar include the body, the bridge, the sound hole, the neck, the strings, the frets, the nut, the headstock, and the tuners. There are twenty different frets starting at the nut with 1 and continuing to the sound hole with 20. On the guitar I used, there were dots along the side of the neck that marked the odd frets from 3 to 9 and number 12. This made it easier to correlate the placement of my fingers.

After learning the parts of the guitar and the fret numbers, my friend told me the tabs (numbers seen in the sheet music) for three songs and then played them. After listening, I played the three songs seen in the music. The rest of my lesson included lots of practice and an opportunity to learn to read the written music and a quick overview of Songsterr which is an easy way to find songs and play them along with the computer.

The way the music works is each line correlates to a string. The top line correlates with the thinnest string which is found on the bottom of the guitar and is the highest pitched string. The bottom line correlates with the thickest string which is found on the top of the guitar and is the lowest pitched string.

Throughout my lesson, my friend started playing songs off of youtube to show me what I might be able to play at the end of these 14 weeks. One of these songs was Muppets Manamana 1969. If you do not know what this song entails, please listen to it and see if you agree with me. There is no point to the song except it is catchy. Personally, I do not like this song at all. After realizing how much I dislike the song, my friend would say Manamana every time I messed up. This encouraged me to work a little harder at figuring out the way the song is supposed to sound.

Overall, I enjoyed my first lesson. After my lesson, I was told to follow the syllabus written by my friend in order to prepare for my next lesson. I haven’t looked too much into this double-sided one paged syllabus, but I think this next week will be just as fun.



  1. I would love to take guitar lessons one day. I think the app you mentioned would be helpful. Any time I learn a new instrument I always get tripped up with being able to read the music quick enough.


    1. Reading music at the right pace is still hard for me. The app is wonderful to see how songs are supposed to sound, but it frustrates me when I cannot play it fast enough. I highly encourage taking lessons one day. The guitar is a challenge, but it is so much fun to play.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great thing to learn! I played the bass guitar for a little bit in middle school, but I never could really get the hang of it so I gave up on it. I have pretty small hands and felt like I couldn’t get full control. Hopefully you learn to overcome small issues like that along your journey!


    1. I find my problem being my fingers not wanting to cooperate more than my hand size. I am learning to overcome this obstacle with practice. I hope you try playing the bass guitar again some day.


  3. I think it is awesome that you’ve choose to learn guitar for individual learning project. This I think would be a difficult learning process but is so cool. I hope it goes great!


    1. Thanks for the support. Everything goes better with some backing. My brother is extremely musically inclined, and he claims the guitar is the hardest thing he has tried to learn. I think part of me just wants to be able to outplay him in one musical instrument.


  4. Barbara,

    I think that it is great that you are learning to play guitar, that is another instrument I would love to be able to play and not only for songs like Stairway to Heaven, Purple Haze, and I could go on and on with the classic rock songs that would be great to play, but if you have ever watched Desperado with Antonio Banderas I would like to play that song that he showed the little boy how to play. Anyway, good luck with your future lessons and I am glad to hear you enjoyed the first lesson.

    Peter Hernandez III


    1. I listened to Stairway to Heaven and was shocked at the guitar part. I hope I can get to this stage one day. I have never seen Desperado with Antonio Banderas, but I will have to look up the song to see if it is in the realm of possibilities for me to play. Thanks for the suggestion.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s