Your Options for Guitar Lessons

So you want to learn to play the guitar and you’re not quite sure how to go about it.  Your options for guitar lessons are either hire a private instructor or use the internet to learn how to play.  Both have their advantages but which one is right for you?  Let’s look at your options for guitar lessons and then you can make an informed decision.

Private Instruction

This is the traditional way of learning how to play, you took lessons from a guitar teacher.  You met with them a couple of times a week and they would help you with your technique and practicing was up to you to do on your own time as well.  That is a great option and thousands of students continue to learn and improve this way.

There is also the option for group music lessons where an instructor may teach a half a dozen students or more at one time in the form of classes.  Your local community center probably offers lessons such as these.  Private instruction, while it isn’t terribly expensive will cost more than trying to learn from books or online videos.  That is probably the biggest drawback to private instruction.  That being said if you really want to improve your technique and even pursue a career in music at some point you will need private lessons.

Online Lessons

There are no shortage of websites that will teach you the fundamentals of playing an acoustic guitar.  There are tutorials for just about everything on YouTube and other website that will teach you everything from chord progression to how to restring your guitar.  There are plenty of advantages to learning guitar online.  You can learn at your own pace, if you are stuck on a particular lesson you can pause and go back to it as often as you want.  You can learn the type of music you like, don’t like classical guitar and you would rather play blues…not a problem.

One of the biggest advantages of learning online is that for the most part it is free.  Yes, there are sites that do charge a fee and they have really good comprehensive lesson plans to take you through the various skills.  On the other hand you can find a lot of that same information on YouTube and it is free.  The drawback to that is YouTube is incredibly disorganized and you can spend a lot of time searching for the information you want.  It is all about convenience and how seriously you want to learn.  If you’re committed to playing guitar, then spend some money on a comprehensive tutorial you’ll thank yourself in the end.

Learning to Play Acoustic Guitar

Learning to play acoustic guitar is not as difficult as you think, but practice is what will make you great.  There are different levels of ability and if you want to end up a rock star or on the cover of Guitar Magazine, that’s going to take some raw talent and years of practice.  If you want to learn how to play a couple of tunes at a party or just use music to manage stress, that you can pick up fairly quickly.  Here are some tips to get you started.

Learn to Tune Your Guitar

There is no worse sound in the world than someone who doesn’t know how to play strumming away on an instrument that is out of tune.  You should learn how to tune your guitar yourself.  You can use an electronic tuner but ideally you should be able to tune by ear.  As you get better you will need the electronic tuner far less.  Here is how to tune your guitar.

Learn Control

You want to practice muting your instrument, with both of your hands.  You want to make sure that when you play the only strings that are making sounds are the ones you want.

Learn Basic Techniques

You can start by learning different strumming patterns.  Strumming can totally change the sound of your playing and it allows you to create your own distinct sound.  Think of Carlos Santana, no matter whose music he plays you can always distinguish his sound, this is down to strumming.

Start off Slowly

Even if you want to perfect your own version of Flight of the Bumblebee on guitar, you need to learn to play it slowly before you try and play it fast.  Learn the difficult parts, learn where you are making mistakes.  It is easier to fix mistakes when you play slowly and it will vastly improve your playing when you try and play fast.

No Pain No Gain

Learning to play guitar is going to hurt until you build calluses on the tips of your fingers.  The only way to do that is to play through the pain.  Your fingers will hurt from pushing down on the strings, it will pass as the skin thickens and it happens to every guitar player in the world.

The guitar is not a difficult instrument to learn, in fact it is one of the most commonly played instruments around today.  There are thousands of lessons online to teach you how to play chords and various songs.