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You Can Learn to Play the Guitar
In high school, did you ever dream about starting your own rock band? Want to duplicate the soothing sounds of folk tunes for family and friends? Does your favorite musician work magic with a Gibson ES 335? Is Jimi Hendrix your idol? It doesn’t matter the reason why you want to play the guitar - a seed has been planted and now it is time to nurture the desire.
Where to begin? Playing guitar (whether for fun or professionally) takes patience and determination. By following a few tips, you can harness your passion or interest for the instrument. You will also find that fueling your creativity and developing this new form of expression will take time. Great guitar players do not blossom overnight.
Purchasing a Guitar
Before you start learning the ropes of guitar playing, you’re going to need an instrument to carry out your lessons. The type of music you wish to play will determine the kind of guitar you require. For example, an acoustic guitar is used to generate the sounds of country, ragtime or folk. The body of the guitar is large and hollow, creating a sound that many deem “natural.” Rock music often utilizes an electric guitar, which offers a rather distinctive amplified sound. Additional guitars to look into include the steel, solid body, archtop, resonator, bass and twelve-string guitar.
With the purchase of a guitar, there are other necessary pieces of basic equipment. A guitar pick is required to help play the chords of your instrument. The size of guitar pick is quite small, prompting easy breakage and it can also be easily misplaced. This is why beginners should have a good number of guitar picks on hand. When purchasing picks, the medium gauge varieties are suggested because they are less apt to break. You should also invest in a comfortable chair.
While some guitar players are able to naturally experiment with chords by ear and strum along with less guidance, others require the assistance of structured lessons. There are numerous ways to learn how to play the guitar. If you are able to afford a private tutor, you can take advantage of one-on-one instruction, which may speed up the learning process. Sometimes, beginners benefit from group learning, which provides a wealth of constructive criticism. The Internet also offers a way for beginners to privately learn online. Some websites offer a computer keyboard lesson on learning scales, which some beginners find quite easy.
Whichever approach you take in learning to play guitar, you should know that setting goals for yourself makes the process more rewarding. Achieving personal milestones further motivates your desire to find a common ground with the instrument and who knows how far your lessons will take you.
Recognizing why you want to play guitar in the first place will also help you to better accomplish your goals. Some people want to learn to play for fun, peaking with a performance in front of family and friends. Others would like to share their talents with a slightly larger crowd, probably visiting a few coffee shops or open-mic nights. Then there are the masses of learners who have bigger dreams of taking to a stage in front of thousands. No matter what the goal is, you can’t get there without loads of practice.
What You Will Learn
Guitar lessons usually start with building a basic foundation, such as how to properly hold the guitar and establishing correct posture when playing. There is a wide range of techniques involved in playing the guitar and after a few lessons, you may start to find your niche.
One of the most important things to focus on when playing a guitar is understanding and mastering the chords. There are books and charts to help you along this important part of the process. There are many different chords to familiarize yourself with and taking them one at a time will lead to better results.
Additional areas of guitar instruction may include learning how to properly hold a pick, memorizing scales, tackling music theory and selecting a music style. Instrument maintenance, such as tuning and caring for your guitar is also of importance.
Sticking With It
Staying motivated is one of the best things you can do when learning to play the guitar. It is easy to become frustrated with a new project and abandon it before truly experiencing any benefits. On some days, you may have to dig deep to reclaim your passion and dedication. Other days, you could be composing the next pop hit. Give the process a chance and remember that it takes time to get the hang of this instrument. The best thing you can do is continue to practice and soon, you will reap the rewards of hard work and focus.
About the Author: Kevin is the publisher and editor of musicianhome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development. Download a free introductory guitar course also.