90-Days of Fender Play
“We express our being by creating. Creativity is a necessary sequel to being.”Rollo May
The abandonment rate for new guitarist is about 90%. Let me repeat, 9 out of every 10 people that buy a guitar quit after less than a year. Fender, who gets half of their sales from new customers, launched the Fender Play Subscription service and apps to help new guitarists get past this drop off point. In the book Subscribed, Fender CEO Andy Mooney spoke about how powerful subscription services have been for Fender. He noted that “by simply reducing his abandonment rate by 10 percent, he could double the size of his market.”
I have had a lifelong goal to learn this instrument that I have so fondly admired. This desire was fueled over the years by desperate and unique styles some of the most famous guitarist from a number of my favorite bands. Greats like The Edge, Dave Morello, Jimmy Paige, and more have made the guitar an object of lore for me.
Like many others I never really stuck to learning how to play, finding one excuse after another for not picking it up and just trying to learn. Usually, it was the idea that I had to have an ideal time and setting to practice & learning. Then, a student I was mentoring in another field who played guitar broke it down real simply for me. He said, “just pick it up for 5 minutes a day.” So I started with that, then I read Atomic Habits and the principles of habit building become locked in. Just after that I discovered Fender Play, and the path forward to learning how to play truly opened up for me.
Fender Play really makes learning to play simple and digestible. You don’t start with learning all the chords, or scales, or music theory. You start very slow and deliberately with just holding the damn thing and strumming. From there, each lesson reinforces the last and incrementally complex concepts, elaborate styling, and music theory are introduced. If you can dispel yourself of any delusions of rock start greatness, you will find no trouble learning to play simple rifts and songs.
If you take that daily commitment I mentioned to practice daily, even if just for 5 minutes, then Fender Play will align perfectly to you lifestyle. Lessons are as short as a couple of minutes and all delivered in video format by awesome guitarist that play with and back up some famous acts. Moreover, the wide of array of mobile apps they have, make it easy to stay tuned up, learn new songs, connect and adjust the tones of your amp, and of course follow along with lessons from anywhere.
The entire Fender Play platform is structured to dial into the exact style you are trying to learn. You select the style of playing (Path) you want to go down. This selection consists of selecting an instrument type (Electric, Acoustic, Bass, etc) and then a genre (Rock, Blues, Country, etc). A lot of friends recommending to me that I learn the blues first. After stumbling through rock I went back to blues and see how they were 100% right. If you learn the Blues first, everything else builds neatly from those scales and rhythms.
I know I am one who can be prone to pleniloquence. So when I play, I feel that I am getting to be as expressive, without all the words. It is a musical language of expressing oneself and storytelling that I wish I had not been so lazy about getting around to. I am very glad I subscribed to Fender Play and can truly recommend it to anyone looking to play. After learning at least one path, you can supplement with YouTube videos from some greats, along with private lessons. I think you will get more out of those as well. I still have years to go before I can play almost anything very well. For now, sharing a short post that demonstrates some of the techniques and styles I learned after 90-days of practicing with Fender Play. Please forgive the audio quality. I don’t have a proper amp, and attempted to record through GarageBand & QuickTime without adjusting the tuning. Also, keep in mind, I am a lazy musician and started from scratch.