What is Eldritch?

Dec 23, 2015 · 3 min read

And no, I don’t mean the word, I mean the website. Which is a good deal less sinister than its namesake.

Eldritch’s purpose is to help people teach each other how to play guitar, at any skill level. What form exactly this takes remains to be seen, and over time it’ll grow. But either way, Eldritch is meant to help people help each other learn, and generally just be a big hippy drum circle with a lot of people singing Kumbaya (with guitars instead of drums).

For what purpose?

When I started playing guitar, being a somewhat shy and awkward computer nerd and having no idea how to find someone to teach me how to play, I naturally turned first to the internet as my teacher. As I explored what was out there, I had the impression that there were some very talented people trying to put out learning material and teach others online, but that it was all very disorganized and spread thin. Some videos on YouTube, the odd personal website, people trying to sell instructional DVDs. That sort of thing. Centralized resources of knowledge were few, and those that existed had problems, primarily that they relied heavily of things like having a computer listen to you play and give feedback. Which I tried, and hated.

A computer makes for a shitty guitar teacher. We don’t (yet) live in the dystopian future where machines are hyper intelligent and have overthrown humanity. For the moment, a computer simply isn’t as smart, and therefore not as good of a teacher as an actual genuine human intelligence, especially for something creative like playing guitar. Not that computer’s can’t help; if they couldn’t I wouldn’t be writing this. But the focus needs to be on people helping other people learn to play.

So I started working on Eldritch as a way to scratch my own itch. Hopefully there are some other itchy backs out there to scratch too.

Okay, but why the name?

Well, I could tell you the truth, which is that I already owned the domain name, but that’s not a very interesting story.

I did pick the name from a list of domain names I already owned, and I settled on it primarily because I’m a casual fan of cosmic horror, which makes for a slightly-better-but-still-terrible story. So here’s a mostly bullshit, more pretentious, but more quotable explanation. I’ll even put it in a quote block:

The name resonated with me because I think that people who’ve never picked up a guitar before look at playing the guitar as some kind of forbidden knowledge, or dark art. Like its Unknowable. I definitely felt that way before I ever picked up a guitar. It’s all very intimidating. But once you get over that fear, and just give it a try, its really not like that at all. Sure, you have to start small, but playing guitar, at any level, is a lot fun.

I’ll be writing more in the future about the Eldritch’s philosophy of people teaching people, and why I think that its important, so don’t touch that dial, there’s more excitement on the way.

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