WHAT IS THIS PLACE?
Simplified Guitar is a resource created by me, Jonathan Reaux, to help those who are interested in learning the guitar.
Here's my thing...I want to make popular songs playable for beginners, by simplifying them down to a few easy to play chords and strum patterns.
WHO ARE YOU, AND HOW DO YOU KNOW ENOUGH TO TEACH ME?
I grew up, and still live, in the small town of Maurice, Louisiana, with a population of 1,000 people.
When I was about 10 years old, I had a passion to start learning the guitar.
Someone, out of the kindness of their heart, gave me a chord book the size of a Bible, with literally hundreds of chords inside. I was immediately overwhelmed. I assumed I needed a doctorate in music theory to play the guitar, so I quit. Ok, so I was only 10, but I think many of you have felt a similar depression at the prospect of learning the guitar.
A few years later, at about 13, I overcame my fear and picked it back up, but it was a rough and arduous journey; you know, blood, sweat, and tears.
I had only been playing the guitar for a month, when the church my family attended announced their guitarist was leaving and they needed a replacement. My mother signed me up, and that following service, I was on stage at age 13 in front of a wopping 30 people. My knees quaked, and I knew none of the chords for any of the songs. The leader taught me one chord at a time, from one song to the next, and this went on for years, and it's how I learned.
On the side, my friends and I formed a cover band called Vintage Glory. (oh man...) It was something to smile at, I'm sure. But needless to say, music consumed me in those early years.
At age 18, I became the music director of that small church, which had then grown to about 300 members, and I performed my duties there for 8 years.
I’ve been playing the guitar now over 15 years. During that time, I've had the opportunity to compete in Nashville for a songwriters competition, I’ve had originals on the radio, and I’ve led music ministry at my church, and looking back on all of these experiences, I realize that I learned a lot of things the hard way.
This realization prompted the creation of this website. I want to inform the world of aspiring guitarists that the skill of tickling those six strings doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge. If this is your first time attempting to learn the guitar, or if you’ve tried to learn already and have given up, hopefully you’ll find hope here, that no matter how little time or talent you think you have, you can still become a great guitarist.
WHY SHOULD I LEARN WITH YOU?
Sure, there are many different resources out there that teach the guitar, and maybe there's another one out there that's better for you. It kind of depends on what you are wanting to learn.
Most other resources, even the beginner courses, teach way more than is necessary, which tends to be overwhelming and eventually discouraging, because they require a lot of time and effort. My purpose with this site (as may be evident by its name) is to simplify the guitar to the absolute bare bones, to get you playing as many songs as possible in the least amount of time and with the least amount of effort. I won't delve into playing scales, and playing blues licks, and advanced chord progressions, and so on. You can get into all that eventually if you want. But the thought of everything there is to learn on the guitar can be overwhelming.
I want to establish goals that are reachable for everyone in any walk of life with even the busiest schedule. I want to make playing the guitar successfully something that is reachable. If that's what you want, then you're at the right place.
I'm married to my beautiful wife Megan, and we have 3 children, Lyla, Jed, and Gabriel.
We lived as missionaries in Tanzania, East Africa, for 4 years.
I love me some crawfish!