How To (Poorly) Play Guitar

For the 30 Second Documentary assignment, we had to make a 30 second video without commentary as a documentary of sorts.  One of the suggestions on the assignment is showing what it’s like to do something you haven’t done before, and another is to show something you are terrible at.

I went with both:

This is me playing my dad’s old (and I mean OLD) acoustic guitar that I’m pretty sure hasn’t been tuned for at least 2 decades.  I don’t know anything about playing guitar, so I just did my best to make sounds that could pass as being musical.  I made sure to show the neck of the guitar primarily, since that’s what is more important to be looking at when playing guitar.  The lighting is less than ideal, since the bright left side is kind of distracting, but I do feel like it makes the important parts stand out.

The story behind me having the guitar is that one of our relatives gave it to my dad a long time ago.  So a few years back, I asked if I could have it, and I’ve had it sitting in my room ever since.  I’ve always been interested in learning to play, but I think this one is more suited towards folk and country (the strings come up way above the neck), when I’m more of a rock guy.  Didn’t think it’d ever come to be of use, but when I remembered I had it the idea to use it for a 30 second documentary quickly came.

To make the video I placed my phone on a table beside me to make a good angle to make the neck more prominent.  I didn’t want my face shown since I feel that would distract from the guitar.  In hindsight I could have placed myself a little more to the left to center the image a bit.  When I finished recording the video, I uploaded it from my phone to Windows Movie Maker.  I trimmed the original video to around 30 seconds using the trim tool, and used the default cards and effects to add in the beginning and ending cards.


After that I saved the movie ( a different option than saving the project), and uploaded the .wmv file to Youtube.

Jack Brooks

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