Learning To Play The Guitar

Learning to play the guitar

You Need To Love To Play

There is one thing you need to know about learning to play the guitar in order to be really successful: You need to love to play. Don't get into learning to play the guitar unless you are really into it. Don't let anyone "force" you into it.

Playing the guitar -- because you love it -- is a lasting affair. The skill you learn doesn't go away as you grow older. In fact, for people who are more enthusiastic about guitar playing, you learn more and improve your skills as you grow old with your guitar. For many of us, the skill and the love for playing the guitar stays on for life.

Having said that love is the most important ingredient, there are some basic things you also need to know in order to be a successful guitarist or guitar player. 

Practice is the key

To be an excellent guitarist, you need to practice at least two hours per day. But, since you're a beginner, an hour a day or every other day is good enough. 

You need to believe in the saying, Practice makes perfect. You need to spend time familiarizing chords, hand and fingers positions, shifting, and strumming. This takes time to familiarize and master. 

You will sleep with your guitar in hand. You'd wake up with your guitar in hand. If you love your guitar and if you are intent on learning to play, then your guitar will be your constant companion and best friend (soul mate). Consistent practice will make your relationship with your guitar a personal one. 

Learning to play the guitar

Choose your guitar well

This is the reason why you need to choose your guitar well: because it will be a lifelong relationship you begin when you own a guitar. If you were given the choice, you need to get a good grip (literally) of your guitar. Since playing the guitar is a matter of getting a good, comfortable grip. 

Don't choose a guitar based on how it looks or appears. Yes, that is also important. But that is secondary. Like a shoe, you need to see if the guitar fits you. And the most important thing in choosing a guitar is if you have a comfortable grip on its neck (where you play the chords). 

If you have long, outstretched fingers, a wide neck (fingerboard) won't be a problem. But if you have short stubby fingers, you need a narrower neck to suit your limitations. It's not a problem because there are acoustic guitars with necks that have a narrow width.

Learning to play the guitar

Start with the fundamentals

If you are a beginner, start with the fundamentals. In choosing songs to play, choose songs that have basic chords and chord patterns. Most of these would be the major and minor chords and open chords. 

I know you would want to play Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, or John Mayer. But unless they have songs that have basic chord charts that beginners can strum, you'll have to save that for later. 

The more important skill you need to learn right now is how to play simple open chords in familiar songs, how to shift from one chord to another, and how to position your fingers correctly during the change up. It is also important for you to learn to recognize chord patterns. There are many popular songs that will help you go through the basic chords and chord patterns and prepare you to play some of the more current popular songs. 

As the saying goes, there is no fun without learning the fundamentals.


Never give up

Last piece of advice: Never give up. Persevere!

Learning to play the guitar