This article is aimed at beginners, or people who haven't yet started, but are thinking about learning the guitar. It covers some of the very basics involved in learning the instrument, and is intendted to help people decide if the guitar is right for them.
For some people, the idea of learning the guitar is scary one. It seems as though there is more to learn than anyone could ever find the time for. Technique, theory, chords, scales, it's a lot to take in and, unfortunately, some people are put off altogether by what they see as an insurmountable challenge. The truth is however, that with the right guidance, learning the guitar isn't nearly as difficult as some people think. Here I'll address some of the most common problems people may face when learning the guitar and, hopefully show you, that it's really not that hard.
People learn the guitar for a number of different reasons. Some people want to make it as a pro, and have a long and successful career. Some people want compose their own music and record their own records. Others simply want to be able to play their favourite songs at home. Regardless of your reasons though, I can assure you that you will enjoy the challenge of learning the guitar, and if you're willing to put in the effort, you'll reap the rewards of becoming a great player.
Before you start leaning the guitar, you'll first have to decide which type of guitar you want to play: acoustic or electric. Your decision will be mostly based on what sort of music you want to play, although there are no strict rules. Electric guitars can be a bit easier to play than acoustics due to their lighter strings, but they do require additional equipment, like leads and an amp. Acoustics have the advantage of being able to be played, and heard anywhere.
Once you've got a guitar, you can either get lessons from a professional teacher, or teach yourself using books, videos, or other resources. Getting a tutor will give help you by showing you exactly how to do things, and offering advice and constructive criticism of your playing and progress, but it will cost money. Teaching yourself is cheaper, and can be great if you can stay disciplines, but it easy to develop bad habits, and incorrect playing techniques when learning this way.
Whichever route you deicide to take, you'll most probably start off by learning some chords. A chord is two or more notes played at the same time, and a lot of guitar music is just strumming chords. Once you get the hag of changing chords, and strumming in time, you'll be amazed how quickly you can learn new songs, and how great you sound.
The key to becoming a good guitar player is, of course, practise. But there's more to practice than meets the eye. If you practise incorrectly you can end up wasting a lot of time, whereas correct, effective, and efficient practice can drastically reduce your leaning time. You should always aim to play and practise things as cleanly and as accurately as possible. Take care to play each note or chord evenly, and in time. You should always us a metronome for this.
That concludes this article. I hope you've found it informative, and maybe it's inspired you to get practising. Good Luck!
Chris Lake is a professional guitarist and guitar teacher. He writes for several guitar websites including his own. To check out more of his writing please visit Learning The Guitar.