4 Tips for Learning to Play Guitar
Have you always wished you could just pick up a guitar and start strumming? Well, you can. While there are no guarantees that you’ll become the next Eric Clapton, there’s nothing stopping you from learning how to play 70 to 80 percent of all songs using some basic chords and strumming patterns.
Try These Simple Tips to Learn Guitar
Learning guitar is a worthwhile pursuit that yields plenty of benefits. But how do you excel? Here are some helpful tips to make learning guitar easier, faster, and more enjoyable.
- Carve Out Time
Time is the most important ingredient in learning to play guitar. It doesn’t matter how nice your guitar is, how ambitious you are, or who your teacher is – if you don’t carve out the time to practice, you’ll never learn.
At first, it’s a good idea to carve out at least 60 minutes per day. We recommend actually writing it into your schedule like you would with a work meeting or dinner with friends. By putting it into your daily schedule, you ensure it actually gets done.
- Purchase the Right Guitar
Don’t go out and spend $2,000 on your first guitar. Pick up something that’s comfortably within your price range and puts out a pretty decent sound. If you don’t know anything about types of guitars or guitar brands, visit a local music shop with knowledgeable staff and ask them for their recommendations.
- Take Lessons
There are plenty of DIY resources for learning guitar, but it’s highly recommended that you take some lessons in the early stages. In fact, having the right instructors and learning curriculum is usually what makes the difference between beginners who give up and beginners who stick with it.
While you can certainly find an in-person “classroom” instructor, you don’t have to. There are plenty of powerful online options, including beginner guitar lessons from places like GuitarTricks.com, which helps people master learning the guitar in simple and easy steps that don’t require tons of time or effort.
Online lessons are great because you can do them at your own speed. You can find a quiet spot in your house, grab your computer and guitar, and learn at a comfortable pace. If you feel like you’re falling behind, just hit the pause button and catch up. Or if you feel like you need to review material, simply find the lesson and rewatch it. Online lessons put you in the driver’s seat of your own guitar education.
- Challenge Yourself
The final tip is to continually challenge yourself. You’ll reach a point, usually after a few months of playing and practicing, where you feel as if you’re no longer improving. You’re not really learning any new chords and you find yourself playing the same old songs and strumming the exact same patterns. At this point, it’s easy to become frustrated. But now’s the time to really lean in and challenge yourself.
There is no growth without challenges. In other words, you have to put yourself in situations where you’re uncomfortable. In the context of learning guitar, this means taking that next step. This could look like learning a chord that stretches your fingers beyond what you think is possible. Or it could mean tackling a new song with a solo that scares you. Or perhaps it’s taking advanced guitar lessons.
When you challenge yourself, you’ll finally start to see progress again. Sure, it’ll be painful and frustrating in the moment, but after doing it for several weeks or months, you’ll be able to look back and clearly see your improvement.
Adding it All Up
You aren’t going to master the guitar in six or eight weeks. You can, however, learn a few basic chords and start to develop a feel for various strumming patterns. As your fingers get stronger and your coordination and dexterity improve, your skills will gradually expand. It can take years – decades even – to truly master the guitar, but there’s nothing stopping you from learning the basics this year and starting your journey.
Once you get over that initial hump of learning to play a few chords, you’ll experience immediate rewards in the form of being able to pick up a guitar and play your favorite song. And, truth be told, it doesn’t get much better than that!