The acoustic guitar is a fun and rewarding instrument to play. Millions of people start off learning to play acoustics. Starting off right and working on your playing daily will quickly improve your playing. If you follow these pointers, you will have a much better chance of becoming a great guitarist. Remember to be patient with yourself as you learn these concepts.
Start With Songs You Like
Many people give up early on their training because they try to learn songs that don’t really fit their style or tastes. You may need to start with some very basic songs with just a few simple chords. The good news is that you can usually find something you will enjoy learning and playing. Don’t bore yourself with Yankee Doodle or Skip to My Lou (unless, of course, you like those songs). Do just a little bit of research and you can find something that will work for you.
Tune Your Guitar Regularly
Surprisingly, this is overlooked quite a lot with new players. They will get frustrated at the sound their guitar is making, only to find out later the guitar simply wasn’t tuned correctly. Over time, you may be able to tune your guitar by ear, but it is best to start off with a pitch pipe or electronic tuner to ensure accuracy. These are generally very affordable and small enough to fit into your guitar case. How often your guitar needs tuning will depend on the make and model, exposure to heat, etc. They all need tuning sooner or later, so don’t skimp; get a pitch pipe or tuner!
Choose the right pick
Plectrums, or picks, are available in a wide variety of gauges. Lighter picks will make a lighter, “slapping” sound; thicker ones produce a louder sound. Which one is right for you? Most players agree that there is no “one size fits all.” It is best to get several different ones (they’re very inexpensive) and figure out which thickness works best for you.
Practice Every Day!
Becoming a good acoustic guitar player requires regular practice, preferably every day. Even if you have just a few minutes a day, make use of that time and practice. The more you play, the more encouraged you will feel. This will make it more likely that you will put in more practice and advance in your playing skills. Conversely, the less you practice, the less likely you will be to continue practicing. Practice for at least 20 minutes per day to get the momentum going in your favor. More is better.
When practicing, spend the time running scales or learning chord progressions. Avoid looking at the neck as much as you can. This will build up speed in the long run. With regular practice, you will be amazed at how much dexterity you have developed.
There are many options out there for teachers, videos, and self-taught books. Explore each and decide how you want to learn how to play. Above all, have fun!