Learning to play the guitar is lots of fun, but it can be a challenge, especially without a guitar teacher. It is possible to teach yourself the fundamentals of guitar on your own, with a few simple steps.
The first step is to choose the right guitar. Beginners often choose a guitar that is difficult to learn to play. You’ll get on much better if your choose a guitar that is suitable for beginners. The right beginner guitar will feel comfortable to hold and will be well suited to your body shape, finger thickness, and hand size. Try a few to find the right one. It should be comfortable and appeal to your musical taste.
While there are many guides to learn the guitar online, it is a good idea to find a local guitar to teach you. While you can learn the fundamentals online or from books, you will struggle to progress without at least a few face-to-face lessons. A guitar teacher will be able to spot your mistakes or bad habits and help you to correct them. The right teacher should suit your learning style and encourage you. Don’t worry if it takes you a few attempts to find the right teacher for you.
The Learning Process
The easiest way to learn to play guitar is to make the learning as easy and fun as you can. If it’s too difficult, you’re likely to give up, so go steadily and be patient. You must learn the basics before you can take on complex music, so keep things easy until you’re ready to progress. If your learning is fun, you’re also much more likely to stick with it, instead of dreading your lessons and trying to find an excuse to skip them.
How can you make sure that every stage of the learning process is easy and fun? By breaking things down, you can make guitar learning very simple. Learning to play the guitar, requires you to do two things. At its very basic level, playing the guitar is just chord shapes with the left-hand, and strumming with the right.
As you learn those skills, make it as easy as you can, and then use those skills that you’re learning to play the kind of music that you love. Doing this gives you the best chance of succeeding. Easy steps and music you love is the easiest way to learn guitar.
The easiest way to learn guitar is think of the learning in three stages:
- Learn stepping stone chords for the left hand.
- Learn the universal strumming pattern for the right hand.
- Only play music that you love
Why only choose music that you love? This choice is where keeping learning fun comes in. You can learn by trying to play songs you don’t really care for, but which have good chord patterns for beginners, but you’re likely to find this dull, as you would if you only played scales when learning to play the piano.
While you will, of course, have to spend some time practising chords and strumming technique, put together what you’ve learned by learning to play the kind of music that you like. Guitars can be used for all kinds of music, so don’t think you need to learn to play famous rock riffs if you much prefer folk music. If you play what you love, you’ll feel far more motivated to practise and will find your guitar playing much more enjoyable and rewarding.
The Stepping Stone Chords
Don’t jump into learning difficult chords too soon. Start with stepping stone chords, which are easy to play, sound great, and will allow you to create music much faster than if you used standard chords. You’ll also have more time to concentrate on your strumming.
As the chords are easier, you will be able to focus more on developing the rhythm in your right hand. Learning easy chords will develop your finger control and dexterity, which will help you immensely when it’s time to play standard chords later on.
The Universal Strumming Pattern
One of the biggest myths about learning the guitar often found online is the idea that there are strumming patterns that guitarists need to learn. You don’t need to learn a series of strumming patterns. What you should aim to do is develop a sense of rhythmic expressions, creativity, and musicality in your strumming.
Learning a set strumming pattern for a specific song won’t help you to learn more songs in future. Forget about strumming patterns, as these won’t help you to develop as a musician.