First, You Need To Think About Getting the Equipment To Learn On
The first step to learning how to play the guitar is to obtain one, and you don’t need hundreds of dollars for a quality one either. You can get a quality acoustic guitar for less than $40 at most Guitar Centers, or any other major music store. Places like Amazon also sell inexpensive Acoustic Guitar Beginner Kits.
These are great because they normally come with helpful instructional material to help you get on your way to becoming a guitar player. A tuner and a guitar pick are some other items that would be very helpful on your way to learning the guitar.
The second step to learning is to devote some time each day. Whoever your idol may be, all great musicians have one thing in common, and that is practice. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success” he states that most great athletes, musicians, and other skilled craftsmen all have one thing in common.
Over 10,000 hours of practice put into their craft. Now if you don’t want to be the next Jimi Hendrix that is understandable, but the point is practice is essential. Put aside an hour or two every day to sitting down with your guitar and practicing, and you will see results almost immediately.
Once you have a guitar and some time to practice, all you need is something to practice. Before the days of the internet, you would have to pay upwards of $50 just to get an hour with an instructor. But thanks to the vast amount of information there is online, an acoustic guitar teacher is probably the easiest of all the things to obtain. Guitar Tricks is an excellent source for instruction and one that is highly recommended.
Another thing that you will need to play the guitar is motivation. You must want to play the guitar. We usually fail at things we do not enjoy, and if you are only learning to play because someone is forcing you to take lessons, chances are you will not take it very seriously. Gather together a list of all your favorite songs featuring guitar.
Listen to them and imagine yourself playing them, take some of the simpler ones and try to find a couple of the notes from the song on your guitar. This is a great way to teach yourself and will become an extremely valuable skill the more you work at it.
Once you have got your list of songs together and all your other equipment it is time to start practicing The first thing to learn is your guitar. Your average guitar has 6 strings. The “lowest” ( speaking in terms of sound, not position) is the E string. This is the thickest string on the guitar and has the lowest, deepest sound. After the E string is the A, D, G, B, and High E strings.
You play the guitar by picking one of the strings with your guitar pick and emitting sound. Whenever you play the string without placing your finger between any of the frets, you are playing that strings note. For example, if you pick the E string, you are playing an E, etc… Mess around with all the different sounds the guitar can make.
The farther down your fretboard you go, meaning the further your hand pressing the frets goes down the guitar the higher in pitch the sounds will get.
Once you get the hang of simply holding the guitar and moving your hands around, start learning some very simple melodies, such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. Try to just listen to the notes and see if you can figure it out, and if you can’t look it up on YouTube and someone will be able to show you.
Once you have gotten a hold of the basics you can start messing around with learning to play chords. A chord is what happens when you play more than one note at a time, by strumming all or several of the strings of the guitar at a time. This may sound difficult, but there are plenty of beginner chords to play with little to no experience, these are called bar chords.
To play a G bar chord for example, simply place your index finger on the third fret of the guitar, on the E and A strings, these are the first two strings. Then put your ring finger on the fifth fret, on all of the remaining strings play them. And there you go! You can move this shape up and down the guitar to get different sounds and have a very fun time.
This article is merely a drop in the bucket of all there is to learn when it comes to playing the guitar. But if you really want to advance your abilities all that you need is at your disposal. With dedication and a true desire to learn you can teach yourself to play your guitar with online guitar lessons. The more familiar you become with your instrument the better you will get.
You may feel yourself coming to a point where you have learned all that you can, but this is time at which you must push the hardest. There’s a multitude of skills that go with playing the guitar. It is much more than just chords and learning the notes. You can always work on improvising, soloing, playing by ear, reading music, writing music, and more. The possibilities are endless.
Playing with other people is another great way to improve quickly and efficiently. Being a musician is a lot more than just being able to play alone, learning how others work, and how to read other people is essential being a musician and can come in very handy in other areas of life. Learning the guitar is a process, but with only a few hours you can have a very fun hobby under your belt and learn to play your favorite songs.
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