Guitar Tips for Beginners

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If you have just picked up your first guitar, you may wonder where to start learning how to play it. This article offers you several tips to take you from fumbling to fingering like a pro.

The internet is a wealth of information for guitarists. It offers information on buying and caring for a new instrument, chord charts, and sheet music. You may also find several lessons which include chord progressions and fingering techniques for the new guitarist. Websites abound offering helpful advice for budding Claptons, even if many are only teasers for off-line lessons or other products requiring purchase.

These resources can be very helpful in teaching the new player the basics. For example, you can learn the components of the guitar and its functions. You can learn proper tuning and a few basic chords to familiarize yourself with the fretboard. Best of all, you can learn the right questions to ask your local music shop, allowing you to find the right guitar for your budget, musical taste, and desired playing style.

In addition to the internet and your favorite music store, it’s a great idea to speak with professional guitarists and teachers to get their unique and unbiased perspectives. Some of the considerations you may want to research and discuss include brands, styles and shapes, woods, finishes, strings, pickups and other electronics for electric guitars and amplification. For the beginner, this may not be so important, but as you progress, these subjects will more likely become necessary to discuss.

Most importantly, it’s far better to take lessons in person from a teacher than from online or video classes, for several reasons:

  • A teacher can answer your questions immediately
  • A good guitar teacher will personalize your training for your playing style and preferred genre
  • It is easier to help you directly with the proper forms for holding and playing your instrument
  • Knowing you have a lesson coming up once or twice a week with a live instructor will keep you on a regular schedule, and you will be more likely to continue practicing and improve your playing

Some new players rent their first guitars so that they may familiarize themselves with the instrument. If you choose this route, it may enable you to better choose the guitar that’s perfect for you when you’re ready to purchase one.

How do you gauge your progress? Simple. If you have managed a chord change or progression that you struggled with the week before, you win! You need not, and should not, compare your progress with that of your fellow students. Everyone learns at his or her own pace. Be patient with yourself, and keep playing.

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