Learning to Play The Guitar is easier than you think.
Here’s a look at some best tips for beginning guitar players.
If you want to learn to play guitar.. you’ve got to be obsessed. I’m going to give you 5 basic guitar lessons that you can practice everyday, and that will eventually build the foundation for understanding the guitar completely.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve overheard is, make sure you pick up your guitar once a day and just start playing it. It doesn’t have to sound good, what is ‘sounding good’ anyways? Music is just subjective nonsense so have fun. This is the easiest way to learn the guitar, you just have to interact with it everyday and not worry about what you sound like.
Choose a Guitar Hero
Your guitar hero will change as you get better, but start with whoever you like right now, for a lot of people in the West that’s going to be David Gilmour or Jimmy Page. For me personally, I love these two guitarists plus Frank Zappa.
Ok great, now you’ve got a guitar hero. Start studying their music, listen to all of the albums they put out, every single one. What you’ll start to see is that they’re all occupying a specific niche, the more you hear their solos and writing, the more you’ll be able to replicate what they do. It seems like a daunting task, but it’s something that happens naturally as long as you pick up your guitar everyday. Which leads me to my second tip.
Pick up the Guitar Every Day
Guitar is mostly the coordination of your picking hand and your fretting hand. After many years of making these hands work together, it’ll become second nature, mostly everything about the guitar is muscle memory despite how difficult it may look at the moment. Muscle memory is built over time, so you’ve got to grab a pick, and just start plucking the strings.
Start with down picking only, and eventually you’ll get a feel for it and you can start up picking. This is called alternate picking, and while it feels awkward at first, it’s necessary for advanced guitar playing. It’s also much easier than it looks, go easy on yourself, you’ll get it down within a few months.
Learn the basic guitar chords C D Em A G, just getting your hand used to fretting these 5 different chords will allow you to learn all the rest, you just have to get past that initial clumsiness of your left hand and it will inevitably disappear.
Persistence & Obsession
You’ll hear a lot of guitar players with enormous pony tails and beards compare their daily guitar playing to meditation. Well… that’s because it’s very similar. You’re forced to sit alone, concentrate with no distractions, and focus on a simple task for at least 30 minutes to an hour a day… and guess what, if you do this everyday, it works.
The Pentatonic Scale
This is the blues, it’s almost all of Western music, and for a lot of players it’s all you’ll ever need. If you learn all 5 of the pentatonic boxes, then you will have simultaneously learned the notes that don’t fit in the pentatonic. By learning to throw in these off notes, or use them exclusively, you can play almost anything. Knowing the pentatonic scale is also essential for jamming in a band setting.
It sounds daunting, but it really all comes down to muscle memory. Learn one box of the pentatonic each week, and you’ll have it mastered quickly.
Have fun. You don’t have to be the best guitarist in the world, because really.. no one cares except you. So, play whatever you want, play terribly, play okay, in the end it’s just music. Music is nonsense, don’t’ take it so seriously, relax, and you’ll probably end up surprising yourself.