- The Best Tips To Start Playing The Guitar
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- Why play the guitar
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- Why is the guitar an easy instrument to play?
- Why is it easy for some people to learn to play the guitar and difficult for others?
The Best Tips To Start Playing The Guitar
“To master the guitar, it takes 10 years per string” – Spanish proverb
Learning to play the guitar… A challenge we tried to achieve for months and even years. In spite of that, if you want to learn to play the guitar, it’s because you enjoy it, but keep in mind that learning can be difficult and long.
I’m sure you have some questions on this subject: Where do I start? Do I buy an acoustic or electric guitar? Do I have to study solfeggio with a teacher or learn to play it alone, with tablatures? Do I take guitar lessons with a teacher or learn with internet classes?
Here are some figures and anecdotes about the guitar that may be of interest to you:
The number of guitarists in the world is estimated at 50 million, of which 41% are amateurs;
Schubert and Berlioz composed their pieces with a guitar because they couldn’t afford to buy a piano. The largest group of guitarists consists of 6346 musicians.
You do not start guitar lessons to embark on a difficult and endless journey, although, we will not deny you, as it happens with all musical instruments, the guitar will require motivation and passion to master it.
How to start?
Should I buy an acoustic or electric guitar?
Should I learn solfeggio with a teacher or learn guitar alone, with tablatures?
Do I have to rely on a guitar teacher or learn with online classes?
There are many methods and solutions for learning to play the guitar, including video games!
Why play the guitar
You’ve been thinking about it for months and maybe even years: playing the guitar!
We would all like to know how to play it, but why launch into this project, which can be quite long, and why learning to play the guitar? A very simple question, but one that must be asked.
Music lovers don’t even ask themselves this question. The guitar is considered to be the king of instruments, which has consecrated the greatest: from Keith Richards to Jimmy Page, through Hendrix, Clapton, BB King, and many others.
But the acoustic guitar, like the electric one, is above all a means of expression, an instrument with which, once you know all the technique (solfeggio, tablature, scores, notes, arpeggios, chords, closed chords…), you can improvise in an extraordinary way. The guitar becomes an extension of oneself, capable of exalting emotions, whatever the style: blues, rock, hard rock, reggae, soul, jazz, pop…
Learning the guitar also opens up new musical horizons. The guitar is present in all musical styles, from classical music to the hard rock of Nirvana and Metallica or death metal, as well as Spanish pop. Rock guitar or blues guitar, Spanish guitar or electric guitar, it’s not the style that matters but what you do with it!
Music has the power to bring people together, so learning the acoustic or electric guitar is the chance to put together a band with your friends or even strangers to create an artistic emulation, learn to compose together and improvise to relax. Being several helps to avoid getting discouraged and even encourages you to stay in the group.
Moreover, the guitar has many advantages, such as being able to play anywhere: by the fire, in the park, in the street, at parties… You won’t lack the opportunity to take your guitar out! Likewise, the guitar is an instrument that we could describe as “universal” because it can be played by both children and adults. Likewise, there are many pieces that can be played with the guitar from a score.
Play the guitar, and even sing at the same time, but above all do it for a good reason: to enjoy!
Now that you are convinced of the benefits of playing the guitar, let’s talk about how to start playing it.
It is very important to face the first guitar lessons with two fundamental elements: motivation and pleasure. With the first one, you will be able to assimilate all the guitar techniques; with the second one, you will be able to overcome all that theory so that you will always enjoy playing.
Before learning to play it, it is essential to equip yourself properly: what type of guitar should you buy? How do you choose? Acoustic guitar or an electric guitar to connect to an amplifier?
And where can you buy it? There are many music stores that offer instruments of all kinds of prices. Don’t spend too much on your first guitar!
Once you have bought the guitar that suits you best, you have to go on to practice. There are two main ways to learn to play: by taking lessons with a guitar teacher or by learning on your own.
With a guitar teacher, you can learn to play the guitar by adopting some good technical practices and learn to read solfeggio or new chords fairly quickly. In general, with this option, you will learn to play the guitar quickly, in the company of a real professional.
The second option is for those who like to explore the world of the guitar on their own, on the Internet, with online guitar lessons and other free methods to try and discover for themselves all the magic of this instrument.
There are different ways and methods to learn to play the guitar.
What are the advantages of taking guitar lessons with a teacher? If you want to learn to play the guitar accompanied by a professional, you will be able to learn all the technical and theoretical knowledge that every good guitarist needs.
Guitar teachers are used to working with beginners, so they will know how to help you when you have difficulties or when you get stuck. The pedagogy involved in this method will help you to progress with the guitar more quickly. Even though guitar lessons can be expensive, isn’t it great to learn to play the guitar in a few months, and take advantage of your teacher’s musical culture to learn from him!
On the other hand, learning to play on your own also has its advantages, although they are not suitable for everyone, as some need guidance. But if you want to explore the world of guitar on your own and solve your blocks yourself, this is the solution. It can be very rewarding.
It is a much cheaper method than guitar lessons and you will be able to plan your schedule and your learning. You will be able to play whenever you want without being forced by a teacher’s lessons.
Both methods of learning to play the guitar have their drawbacks. You will have to decide which one suits you best.
Can you learn to play guitar with video games?
When you want to learn the guitar, there are several possibilities.
Practice using online lessons and YouTube videos to learn to play and read the notes.
Take group music lessons at a school, association or conservatory to learn how to read tablature and how to use the guitar neck and six strings
Take guitar lessons with an experienced private teacher to learn the basics, learn how to tune a guitar and progress quickly in skill.
Are there others? Can you learn to play it with video games?
With games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, children and teenagers around the world have had the opportunity to start playing guitar. It’s true that they have learned in a less than academic way, but even so, playing with the guitar-shaped controller of these games will make you discover the pleasure of the most rocking instrument there is!
The famous Guitar Hero guitar: a preview of the instrument?
But what will these games really bring you? Will you be able to learn solfeggio, chords, tablatures, how to read a score, how to place your fingers, music theory, the classical guitar, the electro-acoustic guitar…
If with Guitar Hero you will put yourself in the shoes of a guitarist, with Rock Band you will have the chance to get started in other disciplines: drums or singing. There is no denying that learning to play the guitar with these games can teach you certain things: the scene, rhythm, and even musical culture.
However, these two games do not allow you to learn to play the guitar, strictly speaking. In fact, you won’t have a real guitar in your hands. The guitar is smaller and is made up of keys and not strings, so playing it is totally different. Also, it doesn’t sound like a real guitar and that’s not the point.
Therefore, a guitar beginner can score very well in any of the games and progress quickly even if he has never played the guitar in his life. This is the principle of guitar games.
To start with the guitar in a more serious way, there is also the Rocksmith, with which you can connect your instrument to the console and play.
This revolutionary method for learning to play the guitar will give you real music lessons, but it will never replace the knowledge that a real-life teacher can instill in you. He will teach you many things: how to tune your guitar, how to play chords and guitar pieces that are right for you, how to coordinate your right and left hands, how to sing while you play, how to place your fingers correctly…
But learning guitar with these games will never replace the knowledge of a guitar teacher in person. When you start, you usually need support. A student may find it very difficult to learn on his own and give up before he can play his first song. That would be a shame, wouldn’t it?
A teacher’s teaching is very varied and helps the beginner to maintain his motivation: learning to tune the guitar, cross chords, guitar songs adapted to you, coordination of the left and right hand, singing and playing at the same time, finger placement…
Why is the guitar an easy instrument to play?
If you want to learn to play the guitar but consider it too difficult, don’t worry: the guitar is an easy instrument to play!
It is true that it presents some difficulties, but many guitarists have learned on their own after years of learning. This is proof that the guitar, in many aspects, can be easily learned.
The guitar is an easy instrument
If you already know how to read music, the guitar is simple, when you don’t, it is also possible to take the plectrum and start playing after the first minutes of your first class.
For example, with the guitar tablatures! Tabs are scores that have numbers instead of notes so you know what sound to play and where to place your fingers on the strings. Great! It’s a resource with which you can start playing the guitar without having to study solfeggio, although it’s recommended. There are many websites where you can find tablatures, as well as videos on YouTube.
In general, there are many methods to learn to play the guitar in an easy and fast way, starting with guitar lessons, as we mentioned before (either with a private teacher or at a music academy). You can also learn through the Internet, where there are many free guitar courses where guitarists teach you, note after note, how to play this or that song.
Because, like all learning, there are days when you feel unmotivated, you will not progress, you will even have the feeling of going backward. A guitar teacher can be very useful to motivate you during these periods of insecurity, inevitable for any student.
Once you have found the method that suits you best, all that remains is to practice regularly. You will not be able to progress in any other way. And maybe pleasure, motivation, and theory will lead you one day (why not?) to play guitar in a group.
Don’t forget to take some theory lessons. When you learn an instrument, it should be a mixture of theory and practice. Because when you have the feeling of getting lost playing, holding on to the theory and basics of the guitar can be a source of motivation and renewal of energy. You will advance more quickly.
If you don’t have a musical ear, you can develop it! How? By listening to music carefully, breaking it down, trying to understand how guitarists play, how you can string together this or that note, what rhythm is used… You will see that the musical ear is useful to correct your own defects without the help of anyone.
Pleasure, motivation, and theory will take you one day, why not, to play the guitar in a group… A very motivating group for your own progress. Who knows? Maybe one day you will have the opportunity to present your own compositions to the public at a music festival!
If you want to find a guitar course in Valencia, Superprof is your place.
Why is it easy for some people to learn to play the guitar and difficult for others?
If you are serene when playing the guitar, you will be very successful!
It’s true that the guitar is one of the easiest instruments, at least when it comes to learning the basics. However, to progress, you have to practice.
But it may be that some aspects of the guitar are easy for some and difficult for others.
Learning the guitar and especially as a self-taught person will require rigor, regularity, motivation and a passion for music. To make sure you start with the guitar with the goal of following and progressing, ask yourself the question: what is my goal?
To play in my room just because I’m bored, to join a band, to create songs, to accompany singing? Never lose sight of your goal and remember it when you feel unmotivated at some point in your learning.
Remember: not everyone can learn alone. Asking for help and using a guitar teacher is not shameful, on the contrary! It’s good to know yourself and to know that you need a structured and mandatory framework to progress and to stick to your goal.
Some notions are more complicated to learn the guitar, depending on your musical skills or your ability to quickly learn and understand a concept. This is mainly the case with:
Music theory. Sometimes it is considered a science, so it is interesting to have a scientific mind to understand it quickly.
The musical ear. Unfortunately, either you have it or you don’t… It is one of the inherent qualities of the human being and it is difficult to play the guitar without it.
Besides, some can perfectly well be part of a group, while others cannot play in front of others. You have to adapt to the musicality of each one.
Finally, the love of music and the motivation that goes with it… cannot be learned. If you have both, starting to play the guitar will be easier for you. But if you don’t… it’s not worth starting!
To learn to play the guitar, setting goals will help motivate you. However, you must choose achievable goals. With these goals, you have to set a program to follow. For example, learning to read tablature in one hour, knowing how to tune your guitar after one week, knowing the basic chords after one month…
Don’t give up the first lesson or the first difficulty, because there will be many others…