How to learn to play guitar
Guitar is still (2019) a very popular instrument. It’s easy to carry and very versatile. Still, there are lots of people interested in starting to learn guitar effectively every day. Learning guitar can be somewhat tricky at different levels: For example if you’re a beginner you will most probably have pain in your fingers trying to learn the first chords. Your hands will need to stretch properly before having consistent results. If you’re an advanced player you will most probably fight with yourself to find your personal voice and your original approach while playing a super-popular instrument.
Wherever level you have as a guitar player, you will have to face a learning curve.
In this article I will give you 5 tips to learn guitar in the best possible way, avoiding wasting your precious time and keeping up the most effective mind approach through the learning process.
Tip#1 Choose wisely the guitar you start with
If you’re a beginner guitar player, I strongly suggest you to set up your instrument first.
Among guitar players, there’s a myth equal to “no pain no gain” for bodybuilders: if you want to build muscles in your hands you’ve to struggle with a super-hard-to-play instrument in order to become strong enough. This conviction is not only wrong but also very dangerous for your articulations.
The keys to playing any instrument are basically two: comfort and relax
The guitars you start to play with and that you buy in a shop are mostly not set up. This means that the action (the distance between the strings and the neck) will be terribly high and as result you could start to develop have articulations problems. Trust me, A LOT of people give up learning because they are not aware of this simple fact, and they will mostly turn it on their lack of talent.
Please be wise and bring your instrument to a good luthier (or ask your music shop) in order to set up your instrument properly. This means basically: the action has to be as low as possible, the octaves have to be in tune.
Tip#2 Choose a cheap but already good quality instrument
I don’t advise you at all to go for a super cheap instrument made in the-land-of-far-away or the one you found at your grandma’s attic. Be careful, so you won’t have to spend double the cost once you start to really like playing.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of guitar you will choose. It can be electric or acoustic, it has to have already some inner quality in order to avoid both pain for your hands and your wallet if you will decide to get serious. In the worst scenario, you can always re-sell it as used if you don’t want to keep it with you.
Here’re some examples of good guitars you can start with:
Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Ibanez 6 String Acoustic Guitar Pack, Right, Natural (IJVC50)
Ibanez S Series S670QM – Sapphire Blue
Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature 6-String Electric Guitar – White
Tip#3 If you can, go and take music lessons
A lot f people learn on the internet and this is a very good thing. The downside of the internet is that it would be very overwhelming.
There’s so much information that you will most probably lose yourself through the learning process.
Also, another risk is that you could start having an overall incorrect posture. In that case, it would be very difficult to come back from bad habits. I strongly suggest you find a graduated and qualified music teacher.
Everyone teaches guitar nowadays but you will most probably get scammed by some musicians that just teach to increase their salary while they are not dedicated to their core activities, which are mainly concerts and studios. These people most probably have some good practical experience, but they don’t have any clue about what really music didactic is and how to communicate the concepts to their students. As it is for playing, teaching is an art and there are skills and abilities to develop that are not only related to the music itself that comprehends the understanding of how dealing with people and being good in communicate with them.
Trust me, it’s plenty of supposed to be good musicians that are terribly bad at teaching. The myth that you can teach easily as long as you’re “talented” is BS.
Do a favor to yourself: search for a good teacher that is graduated with a specific music teaching degree, or if you can’t find it, beware of the musicians that just brag about how cool there are, but then they treat you not as a person but just like a way to make their wallets bigger. Trust me: it’s plenty and stay away from them.
Tip#4: Use the internet with a strategy
The Internet is full of good and bad guitar courses.
I absolutely suggest you go for it, you can find plenty of very good tips here and there on YouTube or googling around. The best way you can use the internet is: search for good articles and videos, search for a well-made beginner course, and use them in parallel with your music lessons.
The best way to learn is by processing your information while being critical. You will have multiple points of view and for sure you will have many inputs to get along with your music teacher. For example, you will have many ideas for songs to start with or you will be carried by some music style in particular. Whatever the input is, you will be pushed to grow up and learn much.
Tip#5 Be constant and consistent
Like anything in life, making serious progress in playing an instrument it’s a matter of time, patience, and a serious strategy.
Guitar can be a very tricky instrument at the beginning: you will have to face some little discouraging and frustrating moments before succeeding. There’s no magic pill but working hard and having the right strategy, being organized.
You’ve to dedicate a precise amount of time every day. Even if a few times, you’ve to work every day. This is the best possible approach and you will see results for sure.
A strong passion for music will lead you, so don’t worry about any struggle. Playing guitar is fun, it’s beautiful and it will make you happy whatever is the level you reach, so relax and think about it much in therm of a funny moment.
Also, don’t forget to play with other people as much as you can. Try to search for a band, go to open mics, go to jam sessions. It doesn’t matter your level, what matters is sharing your passion for music with other people. This will lead you far away and it will compensate every possible frustrating moment you could face during your path.
Relax and enjoy the trip!
I hope this article gave you some useful tips about starting to play guitar and remember: it’s all about passion and dedication, nothing else!
If you’ve any questions you can always write to me to firstname.lastname@example.org