My name is Peter Bos, born in 1966, live in Belgium and I have been playing ever since I was 12 years old.
I still remember my very first lesson. I had zero music background and really had to start from scratch.
I started immediately with the song “Lola” from “the Kings” which was a hit at that time.
The song started with an intro C, D & E and to be honest it took me 4 weeks to learn these 3 chords, before anyone could even recognize it. What I learnt was to play a ‘C’, I had to place my index finger on the 2nd thinnest string in fret 1, my middle finger had to be on the 3rd thickest string in fret 2, and my ring finger on the 2nd thickest string in fret 3. In other words I learned how to make an image with my fingers while pressing the strings and weird enough it had a name, ‘C’ .
I went on like this for a few years. I even played chords like Bb6/b9 or A13 …, but I still kept looking at them as a shape which I had to learn of by heart. Of course the internet was still science fiction so it was hard to get good information. I could buy expensive books or take – for me – expensive lessons therefore I just made paper copies of any material I could find or get and kept going on like I did before.
When I was about 30 years old, I had stored my guitar in a corner and did not touch it anymore for several years. Until one day – about 15 years ago - I saw a lesson on the internet about the CAGED system. I looked at it and amazingly enough “I HAD SEEN THE LIGHT !!!”, I recognized what I was playing so many years ago and I noticed there was a logic in it. I undusted my guitar, put new strings on and started to play again and crazy enough I could still play the shapes that I learned as a kid. (I guess it is like riding a bike, once you can do it you never forget how to)
So I started to learn again but now with the theory could be found on the web. And it really became an eye opener (still get goose bumps thinking back at this moment), I learned about keys, arpeggios, scales, chord substitution, etc … I must admit, while still having no music background at that time, some issues were hard to grasp for me. But I kept on reading, investigating & comparing info on several internet pages and after a while I got it. I finally understood how a chord was formed, why it was called a Bb6/b9 or a A sus4 etc ….
Because I know how hard it was for me to get to my current level of knowledge on the guitar – and I guess I am not the only one out there having such a hard time to grasp it – I wanted to bundle the necessary information to understand chords. I am convinced that if you finish the lessons, chords will not have any secret anymore for you.