What’s The Best Way To Learn Guitar?
This is a tough question to answer but we’ll do our best. In short, there is no ‘best way to learn guitar’. What works for one person, won’t work for another. What you need to do is find a way of learning to play the guitar that works best for you. That’s easier said than done though.
There are numerous ways of learning the instrument and you might have to try out a few different approaches before you settle on one in particular. You might even find that using a multitude of methods suits you best.
To help you with your decision, we’re going to take a look at a few of the options open to you when it comes to learning the guitar. We’ll also give you some helpful tips and ideas that will hopefully help speed up this process.
What Do you Want From Your Guitar Playing?
In order to decide which route to take, it’s important to know what you want to achieve and what your ultimate goal is when it comes to playing the guitar. If you aim to be a session musician or the next guitar god, you’ll probably take a different route to that of someone wanting to play just as a hobby.
How much time are you willing to put into your playing? You aren’t going to master the instrument with just a few hours a week. If however, you’re happy to be able to play a few songs and knock out a decent tune, a few hours a week will probably suffice.
If you are really serious about learning the guitar to a high level, getting a private tutor and enrolling at a music college might be a good idea.
Where To Begin
With the advent of the Internet (YouTube in particular) there’s never been a better time to learn guitar, having said that, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there and it can be difficult knowing where to start.
First Things First
Obviously a top priority is to get a guitar. Now, whether you start out on an acoustic or electric is entirely up to you. Some people recommend starting with an acoustic guitar in order to toughen up your fingers, others say that an electric guitar is best, as it is slightly easier to play. There are lots of other pros and cons but we won’t cover them here. We will say that your neighbours might prefer you to buy an electric guitar if you’re a beginner, as they are quieter than acoustics (if they’re not amped up that is!). You can also amplify them and use headphones so you won’t disturb anyone.
We can help you choose a beginner electric guitar or starter pack, if that’s what you want. If you don’t get a starter pack and just opt for an electric guitar on its own, you’ll also need to buy yourself a good little practice amp.
Private Lessons Or Learn To Play Guitar Yourself?
Are you planning on teaching yourself how to play the guitar or do you want to pay a guitar teacher? There are a lot of benefits to having a private instructor, one of them being that the tutor will tailor his or her teaching method to your individual needs and provide you with a more structured course. On the other hand, it can be rather costly to undertake private lessons, so a lot of novice guitarists start out teaching themselves. If you do choose this method, make sure you do some background research, as it’s important to get a good guitar teacher.
Teaching Yourself To Play The Guitar
Most beginner’s will probably choose to start out trying to learn to play by themselves. There are lots of different ways to do this and it is probably the cheapest and easiest way into guitar playing. You can purchase some good books that will take you through the basics but the most popular way at the moment is probably to use free online lessons. There are lots of websites out there but we would recommend you start out with the following.
- Andy Guitar - Free online guitar lessons
- Justin Guitar - Over 1000 completely free guitar lessons
- Marty Schwarz - Home of Marty Schwartz Music's top guitar lesson channel
The only downside to this method is that you might find yourself dipping in and out of certain lessons and not following the structure correctly. If you do choose to use an online course, make sure you follow it from the beginning and don’t skip sections. Stick with it.
Learning Your First Guitar Chords
As we said earlier, there’s a lot of information regarding learning the guitar and you might wonder what you should work on first. If you have decided to go it alone, your best bet is to learn some chords. Again, there are some different opinions on what your first guitar chords should be but we’d recommend starting out with these 3 beginner chords.
The chords we advise starting out with are used in thousands of songs so are extremely useful for any guitar player. Once you’ve mastered them and can change between each one smoothly, you’re ready to move on to the next set of basic guitar chords here.
After learning some basic open chords and rhythm patterns, there are numerous options available to you. Here are some simple tips that might help you improve as a guitarist and should help you on your journey.
So, What’s The Secret?
What is the best way to learn guitar then? Well, as we said earlier, there is no ‘best way’ but if there is one piece of advice we can give you to help you learn to play better it’s this - regular focused practice. Having said that, the next thing we would say is to make sure you’re having fun. After all, that’s why you want to learn to play the guitar in the first place isn’t it?