At first sight, of all the instruments that we have today the guitar seems to be one of the most accessible to pick up and learn.
It is ubiquitous, and its popularity with teens is no surprise given how fast they can pick it up and strum their first chords.
Of course, it is only half-true to call the guitar a very easy musical instrument: even if it is relatively simple compared to other instruments like violin, piano, drums or a wind instrument, you still need to know the basics to be able to learn the guitar.
The day you learn that taming the guitar is in your reach is the day you begin to really learn the instrument.
To begin with, before you know the instrument, you may find the identical notation intimidating: unlike the piano there are no black and white keys to help you distinguish between them.
When you know a little music or music theory, you will find this quite different, you already know how to decipher sheet music: you just need to learn to hold your instrument well, to pick up a plectrum and start the first exercises to get sound from your guitar.
But if you are a complete beginner and the musical universe is totally foreign to you, a score will not have any meaning for you. However, there is a solution that can change your whole approach to the guitar: tablatures.
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Instead of the notes you find on a score, tablatures use a code to suggest where to place your fingers on a line that corresponds to your guitar strings with a number that corresponds to the precise fret on your guitar neck.
It is a very schematic representation of your guitar, which is simple to learn and will literally shatter your fears of learning the guitar.
Using this very popular technique makes learning the guitar accessible to everyone. Whatever your level, you will be able to learn one of your favorite songs.
Choose the type of guitar that corresponds to your chosen musical style (do not buy a classical guitar to learn to rock, the neck is wider as are the gaps between each fret). Start by learning the basics to read the tablatures (there are many websites, magazines, eBooks, tutorials that you can refer to) and then practice.
Learning the guitar with this method is fast and if you practice regularly, and take care to place your fingers well, you will be amazed how easily you can play your guitar.
There are many ways to learn guitar but none of them are 100% easy as each will require a minimum of determination, will, and concentration.
Whether you opt for private guitar lessons or decide to learn alone in your room with music, tablatures, audio software, videos or other guitar games, you should know that even if learning about the Instrument is easy, and the first steps are not complicated, the guitar remains a musical instrument with its specific difficulties.
Learning occurs in many ways, for example in a music academy, a music school where you can learn music theory, which will help you to decipher the scores more quickly and even be able to write them yourself.
Another solution is the private lesson with a teacher, who will give you tips, and introduce you to the world of the guitar. They will tell you when you are doing well and will encourage you in the more difficult moments.
Of course, it will not all be smooth sailing from the start; there will be days when you will feel you do not know how to play, or how to make progress, and this is when your teacher will be your precious ally.
Another technique to learn guitar easily is to use the internet; today it is easy to learn guitar as you can find videos to watch videos many times over, or pause them to study particular hand movements or finger placement.
It really is an indispensable learning tool which will help you gain experience fairly quickly.
Overall, though the guitar can be an easy instrument to learn, you must find the right method to learn it.
This “right method” is personal to you, and though not everyone has the chance to learn with a private teacher, there is a vast range of options when it comes to learning this instrument.
Always weigh the pros and cons for each method, check the quality of the guitar lessons and methods, and pay attention to the rates charged.
This advice is not “one-size-fits-all” as each individual has their own resources and their own way of reacting to problems, but nevertheless, as with any instrument, learning guitar comes with certain universal foundations.
When you know how to apply them, learning the guitar will actually be fun.
Surely one of the most important tips to follow: everything you will learn to guitar, whether in theory or practice, requires regular training.
You need to repeat the same movements over again to successfully play a sequence, a string of chords or a perfect solo.
Practice the guitar daily.
You must be able to play instinctively, almost automatically, so that your brain and hands do not struggle to work in harmony.
Everything must become fluid and natural.
By working between 15 and 30 minutes per day you will ensure optimum conditions to learn the guitar.
Even if the work is important, never forget that playing guitar is fun.
Work is necessary to learn the techniques, but it is important that you enjoy yourself playing your guitar, composing, deciphering or even improvising pieces.
Although not everyone has the time, the means, or the desire to take guitar lessons, whether in a music school or a teacher, if you have the opportunity, you should do it.
You will learn a lot about the instrument, and its practice but also about yourself. The teacher will be like a guide, will answer your questions, and will help you avoid bad habits.
This invaluable contribution to learning guitar will save your energy and time.
Not everyone will like this advice, but it cannot be ignored.
Musical theory is an integral part of learning an instrument and the guitar is not exempt from this.
Many beginners neglect this aspect and it is a mistake: learning the basics of theory will help you to compose, improvise or simply better understand what you are playing.
Having studied the theory a new guitarist can start to think about how to choose their first guitar.
Learn to listen to music, learn how to break it down, find each instrument in a piece, discover what bass lines are, what rhythms are most common, the strokes, and so on.
Little by little, you will develop other skills and you will correct your own mistakes.
Music is made to be shared, and there is no better way to appreciate it than by playing with others.
Change it up by playing guitar in a group.
Do not think you cannot give it a go because you are a beginner, quite the opposite; everyone starts somewhere. By joining a band, by tapping along with other musicians, you will learn from observing and listening to them, being able to ask questions, and receive advice, useful tips and tricks.
The guitar can be an easy instrument but you have to be motivated and have the right method, these are the 2 basic ingredients that you need to progress from novice to enlightened guitarist.
If you are passionate, if you always want to know more about the practice and the guitar and about the different techniques available (picking, tapping, etc.), then you will progress serenely. You will also learn how to play the guitar faster.
The guitar must remain a pleasure, a joy to share; the more you learn, the greater your desire to learn will grow and the guitar will seem easier and easier.
Work on your concentration, always remain motivated, persevere and learning this instrument will come easily to you.
You will not longer have to ask how to learn the guitar.