There are a couple of questions that people ask when they are considering learning to play the guitar and need answers, so hopefully, I am going to answer those questions for you.
I know my first questions was:
How to Learn To Play Guitar?
There are a number of means to learn to play guitar.
1. Have A Friend or Relative Teach You Guitar
This is a great idea just to get somebody to show you how to hold the guitar and how to play the strings and press down the strings at the frets. If you’re just starting and have not played a guitar before, this is a great way to get you started and shouldn’t cost you anything. Don’t rely on this method alone. Just get the very basics and then start to learn yourself from the other methods. You can let your friend show you some tips and tricks later on when they have time.
2. Purchase a Guitar Lesson Book
This is okay to show you how to hold and play the guitar, but not as good as someone showing you. It’s not free unless you can find a decent book from the library. The cost of guitar books varies from cheap to costly, although you might be able to find them at charity shops. I’ve found that books are great for learning theory. Depending on what style of guitar you want to play, you might not need to learn much theory. The more theory you can acquire the better, but you can always do that as you are advancing.
3. Buy a Video or DVD About Learning Guitar
I’ve never been a big a fan of practicing this method entirely. Sitting in front of the television screen or computer monitor watching somebody tell you to position this finger here and that finger there. It’s good for showing you the basics of playing the guitar and some techniques like bends, slides, and hammer ons, etc.
4. Have a Guitar Instructor to Teach You To Learn Guitar
This could be the most expensive way to learn the guitar. I’ve seen friends and relatives children play songs better than me and I’ve felt pretty stupid. But, that’s all they’re being taught, merely songs. I comfort myself by saying yes, you can play that song, but how much has it cost your parents. I’ve seen a video recording of a friends girl playing on stage with other students and she played a popular song note perfect, even the solo. She actually played it better than the original guitarist used to play it live. Only all she was doing was playing notes that she’d learnt parrot fashion. There wasn’t even any emotion or enthusium on her face. If someone said now play that in a different key or improvise and make up your own solo, she probably wouldn’t have been able to. By the way, the guitar lessons have finished and I don’t think she plays the guitar much now.
This can be free, cheap, or dear. There’s so much info on learning to play the guitar on the internet, this must be a good source. Once you can hold and play your guitar, or even before, explore the net for free online courses. When you’re ready, there’s a lot of good low cost or free stuff that will improve your playing. Don’t be tricked into buying high cost courses that you can’t afford or don’t need. Learning to play the guitar on the internet has all of the the advantages of the other methods. You can learn as little or as much theory as you want to. You can have someone on the computer screen in front of you showing what to do and how to do it. You can download the information on to your computer and do it in your own time and at your own pace. You can download the guitar tabs to songs you want to learn.
How hard is it to learn to play the guitar?
It’s not hard at all. It all depends on how much you want to learn it. When I told my brother I wanted to learn the guitar, he was already playing bass guitar in a group, he told me it’s easier to learn the piano. It might be but I didn’t want to play the piano. In reality, it’s much easier playing guitar with guitar tabs than it is the piano with standard music notation.
How long will it take to learn how to play the guitar?
As much time as you put into it. It’s a process and you will never perfect it, so the time is forever. But to get just enough to know how to play many songs, not that long, just a total of several hours. But if you want to become an artist, write songs, etc. That takes the time and passion. And when you have the passion the time gets away from you.
Finger exercises are important as are the techniques you learn. Like the guy in the video above. He shows you that you need to focus on keeping your fingers low and close to your strings so that you get even faster.
The exercise above is just one technique of many which could include:
- string skipping
- sweep picking
I love hammer-ons and bending the strings for that little extra they provide to the music.
Playing Other People’s Songs
What I have found, going to local guitar jams, is that I learn other people’s style of playing without realizing I am learning.
When someone new comes to the jam, with a different style, I find over the next week I seem to improve my playing. It was a long time before I put two and two together and realized it was new playing styles.