Learning How to Play Guitar for Beginners-
When beginning guitarists are considering where to get instruction, some questions they might have are, Is Learning the Guitar Easy? And, Are Online Guitar Lessons Effective?
The first question is an easy one…. Nope! You’ll have to work hard to become a good guitarist, no doubt about it. But then there’s our second question, if online guitar lessons are effective.
This is a very good question! And the answer is…. Maybe! Or… It Depends!
The reality there are definitely some good online resources for learning the guitar. But the problem is that the beginning student often doesn’t know the difference between good instruction and less than good instruction, and perhaps even more importantly, what areas they should be studying and in what order.
Also, what is meant by a beginner? Is it really how long they have been playing, or is it more related to what they know and what they can do? I tend to think it is the latter. All of this goes to explain why you can have someone play for years but still really be a beginner.
And this is what I’m trying to help people avoid with my course. But let’s break it all down, in the order I think is best.
For sure the basics of playing the guitar are technical issues. These include, how to hold the pick, how to position the left hand, how to strum properly, how to learn to change smoothly between chords, building a chord vocabulary and learning a few good starter scales. (And if you want some free lessons in these areas, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link, no signups or fees required)
A lot of people learn some or most of these beginning technical ideas, and then spend the rest of their guitar life learning this guitar song or that, and that’s about it.
And while there’s nothing wrong with learning songs, or the sites and channels that teach them, the problem is, no matter how many songs you learn, if you don’t continue to learn your musical basics, you’ll always be a beginner.
Because the real difference between beginners and more advanced players is knowing what you’re doing- knowing the fretboard and not just a few scale shapes, and knowing the language of music. All of this allows you to understand the songs you’re learning, not just repeating them by rote. And it will allow you to create your own music in the style of the artists that you admire.
This is why what beginners should be focusing on is:
Learning the Language of Music- or, in other words, learning theory. Both
Basic Theory, and How Rock and Blues works as well.
Learning how to read and count rhythms, even if you don’t want to read, this will have infinite applications for players.
Then, the beginner should concentrate on learning the fretboard, this includes learning a comprehensive list of scale shapes and modes, and knowing the names of all the notes in the scales as well as the shapes, as well as learning all the basic chord inversions for triads and seven chords.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing, there are those that know this material and those that don’t, and with this material being mastered, everything else you will learn will come easy, and without it, things will always remain mysterious.
This is what a beginning guitarist should be worrying about, more than how much they should practice a day, or how long will it take to become an intermediate player, or how good can I get in three months of playing.
So if you’re still mystified by the guitar, it’s time to Jump In and Get Started!