So you’re thinking about picking up the guitar, huh? Awesome! Learning to play guitar is a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a bit overwhelming for beginners. There’s a lot to learn, and it can be hard to know where to start. But don’t worry, I’m here to help.
Step 1. Your First Guitar
First and foremost, you’ll need a guitar. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality beginner guitar. They’re usually more affordable and designed to be easier to play. There are a ton of options out there, so do your research and find one that feels comfortable to you.
These tips will help you get the best guitar for your needs and budget:
- Think about the type of guitar: There are so many options out there, like acoustic, electric, and classical. Each one has a different sound and feel, so figure out what kind of music you want to play and choose a guitar that will work for that.
- Set a budget: Guitars can be super expensive, but you don’t have to break the bank to get a good one. Decide how much you can spend and stick to it. You can find a great guitar without spending a fortune, just don’t compromise on quality.
- Check for quality: Make sure the guitar is well-built and has good craftsmanship. A well-made guitar will be more comfortable to play and will last longer.
- Test it out: Before you buy, play the guitar and make sure it feels good in your hands and the action is low. A guitar that’s easy to play will make it more fun to practice.
- Ask for help: If you’re not sure what kind of guitar to get, talk to a guitar teacher or a professional musician. They can give you some great advice and help you find a guitar that’s perfect for you.
Related: Top 15 Beginner Guitars: Find the Right One for You
Step 2. Start Learning the Basics
Once you have your guitar, it’s time to start learning the basics. This includes things like chords, strumming patterns, and scales. There are plenty of free resources online to help you get started, like guitar tutorials on YouTube and guitar lesson websites. I also recommend checking out guitar method books, which are great for learning the basics and keeping you on track with your practice.
- Chords: Chords are the building blocks of guitar playing. They’re a combination of two or more notes played at the same time. Some chords are easy to play, like basic open chords, while others can be more challenging, like barre chords. A tip for learning chords: start with the basic open chords, practice changing between them, and then move on to more advanced chords.
- Strumming Patterns: Strumming is the motion you use to play the strings with a pick or your fingers. Strumming patterns are the way you organize your strums to create rhythm. Some common strumming patterns include down-up, down-down-up, and so on. A tip for learning strumming patterns: Start with simple patterns and gradually add more complexity as you get more comfortable.
- Scales: Scales are a series of notes played in a specific order. They’re the foundation for melody and soloing. There are many different types of scales, such as major, minor, and pentatonic. A tip for learning scales: Start with the pentatonic scale, it’s the most basic and versatile scale, and then move on to more complex scales.
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Step 3. Proper Technique
You’ll also want to focus on proper technique. This includes things like posture, finger placement, and proper fretting. Make sure to practice regularly, and take breaks if your hands start to hurt. It’s also important to keep your guitar in good condition, which means tuning it regularly and keeping it clean.
- Posture: Proper posture is key to playing guitar comfortably and efficiently. You want to sit up straight and make sure the guitar is at the right height for you. Keep your back straight, your elbow close to your body and your wrist in a neutral position. A tip for posture: practice playing guitar in front of a mirror to check your posture and make adjustments as needed.
- Finger placement: The way you place your fingers on the fretboard can make a big difference in how easy or difficult it is to play. Make sure your fingers are pressing down on the fretboard firmly but not too hard. Keep your fingers close to the frets and avoid touching the other strings. A tip for finger placement: practice playing the same chord or scale multiple times with different fingerings to find the one that is most comfortable for you.
- Proper fretting: Fretting is the technique of pressing down on the strings with your fingers to produce a note. To fret a note properly, make sure your finger is directly behind the fret and avoid touching any other strings. A tip for proper fretting: use the tip of your finger to press down on the string, this will help you to have more control over the note and produce a clearer sound.
Step 4. Advancing Your Skills
As you become more advanced, you’ll want to branch out and learn new skills. This might include things like fingerpicking, soloing, and improvisation. You can also start to explore different genres of music and learn songs by your favorite artists.
- Fingerpicking: Fingerpicking is a technique where you pluck the strings with your fingers instead of using a pick. It’s a great way to add texture and variety to your playing. Fingerpicking patterns can vary greatly and some songs or pieces require a specific fingerpicking pattern. A tip for fingerpicking: start with simple patterns and gradually add more complexity as you get more comfortable.
- Soloing: Soloing is the process of playing a melody or improvisation over a chord progression. It’s a great way to express yourself musically and add your own personal touch to a song. A tip for soloing: start by learning the pentatonic scale, it’s the most basic and versatile scale, and use it to create simple solos.
- Improvisation: Improvisation is the process of creating music on the spot. It’s a great way to develop your creativity and spontaneity. A tip for improvisation: start by learning the basic chords and chord progressions of the song, then experiment with different scales and arpeggios to find new sounds and ideas.
Bonus: Easy Songs to Learn on Guitar
Alright, now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to put your new skills to the test and start playing some songs! Playing songs is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of learning guitar, and there are plenty of easy songs for beginners out there. Here are five songs that are perfect for beginners to start with:
- “Wonderwall” by Oasis: This song has an easy chord progression and a catchy chorus that’s perfect for beginners.
- “Blackbird” by The Beatles: This song is a classic, it’s a fingerpicking song that’s not too difficult to play.
- “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd: This song has a simple chord progression and a catchy chorus that’s easy to play along with.
- “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz: This song has a simple chord progression and a catchy chorus that’s easy to play along with.
- “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day: This song has a simple chord progression and a catchy chorus that’s easy to play along with.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Learning to play guitar takes time and practice. It’s important to be patient with yourself and enjoy the process. Remember, you’re not going to be a guitar god overnight, but with dedication and practice, you’ll be shredding like one in no time!
Related: 11 Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners