I'm not a TOTAL beginner, I can read tabs (just not really play most of them), I know a lot of chords, and I have 2 guitars (acoustic and electric). I play clarinet and piano well, and I'm trying to learn to really play the guitar.

So I was wondering....

I wanna know if I should start by learning as many chords as I can, if I should start by learning how to play killer hard tabs (starting with easy though LOL... DUH), if I should start by learning sheet music... (I can btw read sheet music, just not with guitar).

Any advice or help you have would be great

Thanks so much,

Oh, and btw, I can't take physical lessons sadly because of complications of where I live and such :/ I also don't have a credit card, so I can't take lessons online. I wish I could, that sure would help, LOL.
Last edited by musicluvandlife at Jul 3, 2011,
I'd start with chords and easy tabs. Smoke On the Water, Iron Man, and such. Start on the acoustic guitar, and move on to electric after you have a bit more down.
Well, the logical thing to do would be to do finger exercises and scales. But when I was starting out, those were boring, so I just learned the songs that I was listening to on my mp3 player, using tabs. It was much more fun. When I got a good feel for the fretboard, and felt comfortable with my ear's development, I started to get into theory and learning by ear. But that wasn't until 3 years after I started. Some progress faster, some slower, and it really depends on where you want to go with your guitar playing experience.
start with the basics E,A,D,G,F,C and build your shills from there. There are lots of helpful free videos on youtube that can help you.
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Figure out the kind of music you want to learn. If you want to learn songs with a lot of chords, learn chords. There are a lot of songs that don't really use chords or only use power chords, which don't take long to learn. Unless you want to learn that style of music, it doesn't make much sense to put a lot of effort in them. Scales help. Learn the fretboard, that will help you read music and play guitar to it.
If you already can read sheet music, but not with guitar, I would say that you should learn that, as well as chords and scales. But of course, you should also do what's FUN for you. If you don't think what you're doing is fun, what's the point of doing it?
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If you already can read sheet music, but not with guitar, I would say that you should learn that, as well as chords and scales. But of course, you should also do what's FUN for you. If you don't think what you're doing is fun, what's the point of doing it?

This is what I did. I started by learning to sight read first and then got to chords and scales+modes. It helps so much knowing what notes are where on the guitar and it helps with the more difficult songs/solos that you may want to learn later. But as a side note I never really need to use my sight reading skill as nearly everything is in tab lol.

Once you start getting better with chords learn the variations to the chords (i.e minor, major 7th, minor 7th, sus, sus 2, add 9 and 11th as a few common variations) as you get some much more colour from them and will be needed for more advanced progressions etc. But really what everyone else has said is most important which is do what's fun to you.
honestly i feel that i started on the right path for me. here is in a nutshell what i did.

i already knew how to read sheet music as well as piano, trumpet, drums, so i am on the same page with you there, but i, like you, don't know how to read it on the guitar.

started learning simple songs via tab that you like and can tell they are easy.
compared those easy tabs with an introduction to scales and see what is similar and different, which will most likely break you into some really really basic theory. and if you did those basic songs you would already be working on similar techniques like hamer ons and snap offs, slids, palm muting, etc. that will keep you going for a short while, then get into scales (minor pentatonic would be a good start), and paid attention to what other artists were using notes from that (pretty much any blues/rock song), and apply.

basically that should get you on your feet. it worked for me, and i wouldn't of had it any other day.
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