"Who the hell needs a drink & drugs when you've got music?" - Tomo Milicevic

There are an estimated 50 million guitarists in the world of which 16% are professionals. With this many guitarists, some of them, surely, must be beginners like you.

Be warned, learning the guitar requires a lot of motivation and work. You won't end up playing the guitar like Jimi Hendrix by procrastinating.

And while getting guitar lessons for beginners is highly recommended, it's not the only thing you should be doing. All types of learning require that the student is invested in the learning process.

Here are some tips and answers to some of the commonly asked questions on how to start learning to play the guitar.

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Is Music Theory Useful when Learning how to Play Guitar?

Music theory and learning how to read sheet music can be quite useful when it comes to learning how to play the guitar. Useful, but not essential. Beginner guitar lessons, for example, probably won't cover tonnes of music theory but rather show you the parts of an acoustic guitar or electric guitar, show you how to strum a few basic chords, and how to hold the guitar correctly. Thus, as a beginner, you might be thinking about getting music theory classes.

Should guitarists study music theory?
Music theory can be applied to every musical instrument. (Source: Pexels)

However, you've probably heard that music theory lessons are usually taught by strict and old-fashioned teachers who manage to suck the joy out of learning a musical instrument. And how!

If you're wanting to learn to play the guitar, though, these lessons might be unavoidable. You'll have to know how to read sheet music in order to play along with other musicians in an orchestra, for example.

When you first start learning how to play the guitar, you can learn how to play songs with tablature. However, a lack of music theory may cause you to struggle when it comes to composing music or improvising. You run the risk of trying to play chords that don't go well together, playing the wrong notes, and limiting your own creativity.

You're probably thinking that some of the great guitarists like Jimi Hendrix or Django Reinhardt were self-taught and didn't really know much about music theory.

But do you honestly think that you're as talented as them?

As popular as Hendrix was by the end of his career, he would have liked to have learnt more music theory because he was feeling stifled creatively…

Music theory is good for something. Especially when you consider that almost 99.9% of guitarists are mere mortals. Music theory doesn't limit your creativity. In fact, it's a way to get the most out of your musical instrument.

A sound understanding of music theory can make the difference between an average guitarist and a great guitarist.  Even if you're just strumming a basic chord progression, playing a few licks, or finger picking, music theory can make the difference between a guitar player and a novice.

Check for guitar lessons near me here.

How to Master the Neck

The neck is the most important part of a guitar to get to grips with. It's the part of the guitar where you press on the strings in order to make a given note. You should probably learn how to manipulate it.

How do you master the guitar?
The neck is arguably the most important part of the guitar. (Source: FirmBee)

The neck is made from a single piece of wood and covered by the fretboard and frets. The spaces between the frets are where the guitarist will place the fingers of their left hand (or right hand if they're left-handed) in order to play a specific note. There is a difference of a semitone between each fret and most guitars have between 19 and 22 frets on the fretboard.

There are usually inlays on the neck. These are usually circles, diamonds, or other symbols which can be found on the odd-numbered frets with the exception of the first, eleventh, thirteenth, which don't usually have inlays, and the twelfth fret, which usually does.

Unlike what you may think, the inlays don't actually indicate which note you're playing. In fact, the same notes appear several times across the guitar's fretboard since each string is tuned to a different note and a higher fret on one string will equate to a lower fret on another, for example.

The inlays only indicate the number of the fret and are quite useful if you're reading music from tablature. However, after a bit of practice, you probably won't even look at these inlays any more.

Check out more tips on playing guitar.

The first thing you should do is learn the notes that each string is tuned two. Usually, from the lowest to the highest, strings are tuned to E, A, D, G, B, e. Additionally, you should also know that:

  • There is a semitone between each fret.
  • Between E and F and B and C, there is no semitone. In fact, there is no such thing as E sharp or B sharp.
  • Between every other note, there is a semitone.

For example, if we start from the fifth string, you'll hear the following notes along the neck with the open fret being A.

  • 1st fret: A#
  • 2nd fret: B
  • 3rd fret: C
  • 4th fret: C#
  • 5th fret: D
  • 6th fret: D#
  • 7th fret: E
  • 8th fret: F
  • 9th fret: F#
  • 10th fret: G
  • 11th fret: G#
  • 12th fret: A

What is Your Level as a Guitarist?

After a few weeks and months of playing the guitar, how are you doing? What is your level as a guitarist?

Are you still the beginner? An intermediate? An expert?

To really work out what level you're at, you really need to be critical of yourself.

How much do guitar lessons cost?
You don't necessarily have to learn on your own. (Source: SplitShire)

Put yourself in a comfortable situation without any outside distractions. If you can manage to do everything you're trying to do in this kind of situation, it's not really a good gauge of your level.

To really see how you're doing as a guitarist, there needs to be more at stake:

  • You need to feel like there's an audience watching you and listening to you.
  • Have had a poor a night's sleep.
  • Be irritated after a hard day at work.
  • Play the guitar other than your own.
  • Play in a noisy environment.
  • Play without having practised for a few days.
  • Play along with a band.
  • Play the guitar with someone who constantly makes mistakes.
  • Play when it's hot or cold.

Great musicians can play in any condition. This is when the best musicians really shine. Just because you manage to play a song once, it doesn't mean that your great guitarist. To say that you really know a song, you need to be able to play it perfectly almost 100% of the time.

To better understand what level you ask, here's an example of what you should know at each level:

  • Absolute beginner: knowing basic chords, playing basics songs with the music. Still making mistakes such as playing the wrong notes and struggling to keep time.
  • Beginner: being able to play in time, a good knowledge of basic chords, knowing several basic songs, being able to recognise mistakes, being able to sing along.
  • Advanced beginner or lower intermediate: familiarising yourself with the neck of the guitar, a rudimentary understanding of music theory, harmony, and more complicated chords, starting to improvise, singing at the same time.
  • Upper intermediate: a good understanding of the neck of the guitar, musicality, mastery of basic chords and rhythms, knowing how to improvise and compose music, being able to play along with other musicians.
  • Advanced: flawless technique, being able to use an advanced knowledge of music theory at any moment in order to improvise, create or produce music, or play by ear, experience playing live.

Being a great guitarist is all about improving your playing and never resting on your laurels. You have to feel that there's always something else to learn or an aspect of your playing that you can improve.

Advice on Improving Your Guitar Playing!

Learning how to play the guitar isn't necessarily easy. If you don't know where to start, you're far more likely to give up.

Find good online guitar lessons here.

How do you join a band?
You don't need to be a solo artist, you can always join a band. (Source: langll)

The first thing you need to do is build up your confidence. Confidence is the key to success.

If you've decided to learn how to play the guitar, you probably the reason for doing so. Build up your confidence and keep this reason in mind any time it wavers.

Then, if you want to get better at playing the guitar, you should follow these tips:

  • Warm up: warming of allows you to loosen up your fingers, especially when it's cold, in order to perform better.
  • Make mistakes: mistakes are a great way to progress, especially if you make note of them and work on fixing them.
  • Listen to music: music is a great way to feed your inspiration or motivate you, discover new songs and artists, or learn about new techniques and chords to work on.
  • Practice regularly: working on your playing a little bit every day is far more effective than practicing for a long time once a week.
  • Play slowly at first: if you want to learn how to play quickly, you need to first be able to play a piece slowly. This way, you can work your way up to playing a piece quickly.
  • Play with a metronome: this will help you get a sense of rhythm and timing.
  • Work on your speed: there are plenty of different exercises you can do to improve your dexterity and speed.
  • Record or film yourself: this will help you to see what mistakes you're making and to correct them. Try to be as objective as possible.
  • Plan your practice sessions around fixed objectives.
  • Get guitar lessons.
  • Join a band: this will help you to progress more quickly.
  • Get out of your comfort zone both in terms of music and techniques.
The best Guitar tutors available
Steven
5
5 (17 reviews)
Steven
$17
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Kieran
5
5 (19 reviews)
Kieran
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Louis
5
5 (32 reviews)
Louis
$30
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Arthur
5
5 (12 reviews)
Arthur
$40
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Ilenia
5
5 (26 reviews)
Ilenia
$45
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1st lesson is free!
Sudhanshu
5
5 (10 reviews)
Sudhanshu
$40
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1st lesson is free!
Vicente
5
5 (10 reviews)
Vicente
$40
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Justin
5
5 (10 reviews)
Justin
$29
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Steven
5
5 (17 reviews)
Steven
$17
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Kieran
5
5 (19 reviews)
Kieran
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Louis
5
5 (32 reviews)
Louis
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Arthur
5
5 (12 reviews)
Arthur
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Ilenia
5
5 (26 reviews)
Ilenia
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Sudhanshu
5
5 (10 reviews)
Sudhanshu
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Vicente
5
5 (10 reviews)
Vicente
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1st lesson is free!
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5
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Justin
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How to Start Learning the Guitar

Guitars are one of the most popular instruments among music lovers. Musicians complement their vocals with guitar sounds to make beautiful and pleasurable music. You can start learning the guitar as a hobby. Many singers also play the guitar, helping them understand more about music production.

Whatever reason you may have for learning, you have to understand that practice makes perfect. Without adequate practice, your lessons will be a wasted effort. When you practice what your guitar instructor teaches you, you will become a better guitar player. Here are some helpful ways to start playing the instrument.

Take guitar lessons

The best way to play the guitar is by taking beginner guitar classes. A guitar teacher specially creates a guitar lesson with new learners in mind. This helps them go through the basic aspects first. Most beginner guitar lessons teach students parts of the guitar. Similarly, the lessons may also reveal the functions of those parts.

Learn the basics

You can learn guitar basics during your class or on your own. For example, the body is where the strings align. Around this part, you strike strings with your fingertips or a tip to create chords or notes. Also, it would help if you learned how to hold the guitar. When you learn the right way to hold the guitar, you will find it easier to know how to play the guitar. Fundamental knowledge is the bedrock of every instrument. If you don’t embrace the basics, you may find it challenging to see the bigger picture.

Find notes to practice with

You can find numerous music notes online, which will help you with your practice. Your guitar instructor would likely advise you to practice your lessons to become a better player. While learning guitar can be challenging initially, you need to practice and attend to a guitar.

How to Play Guitar?

Learning can be an exciting process, especially when you have the right resources and good instructors. However, before playing guitar, there are some steps you need to take to actualize your goals. While most lessons will show you guitar fundamentals, you can also choose to learn them yourself through the help of this article. Here are some steps you need to take to play the guitar well.

Tuning

Before learning guitar, you need to learn how to tune your instrument. Tuning is the process of setting your guitar to the appropriate pitch. People who can play the guitar are usually great tuners who understand the importance of creating quality sound. Whether you are taking acoustic or electric guitar lessons, you should learn how to tune your guitar. You can buy an electric tuner or download a tuner app to help you set the right pitch.

Play chords

Chords are a combination of two or more notes played simultaneously. During your class, your guitar tutor may show you ways to play chords. There are two major types of chords: minor and major chords. You have to use your fingertips correctly while learning to help you create better music. Chords are vital for every note, making it necessary to become familiar with chords.

Play notes

After mastering some chords, the next step is to play real notes. Your guitar tutor may show you how to read notes during your lessons, enabling you to play them on your guitar. This makes it necessary to attend a good guitar masterclass even as a professional instrumentalist. When you can read notes and can also play them, you will perfect your skills in no time.

Should You Take Online Guitar Lessons?

Before hiring a tutor or taking a class, you have to decide what kind of class you want. Today, you can easily find a guitar teacher through the internet to teach you the arts of guitar playing.

Beginner guitar lessons
Superprof has made it easy to learn guitar at your convenience. Source: Pexels

Because of the technology, teachers can communicate while teaching online. While in-person a guitar masterclass is quite popular among new learners, you can still benefit from organizing online guitar lessons. Here are some reasons why you should consider taking online classes.

You can learn anywhere

Online classes give you the luxury of learning from any place. You can learn the guitar from the comfort of your home while enjoying valuable services. Your instructor would organize a video call to allow you to see how to play the guitar easily. Similarly, you may learn how to hold the guitar properly to help you hit the notes.

You save money

Most guitar classes are affordable, allowing learners globally to benefit from the tutor. Online classes are cheaper because organizers spend less on classrooms and maintenance if you also want to save money. Thankfully, playing the guitar is relatively easier with the growing number of instructors ready to teach students online.

Tips For Playing Guitar

Some tips would help you play your guitar the right way, even as a beginner. While learning, many students are impatient, making it difficult for them to understand the basics. Basics are crucial because they lay the foundation on which you would build as you progress.

Many students miss these tips because they want to learn to play the instrument without finding effective ways to play it well. These tricks will help you find better ways to become a better instrumentalist.

Play slowly

When new students start guitar training, they rush to play notes, producing unpleasant sounds. If you want to maximize your class, you need to start playing slowly. Watch how notes beautifully align, and with more practice, you will know ways to play faster. During guitar training, instructors also play for you to grasp the note fully. This helps you understand what it means to be a better musician.

Use the correct fingering

The learning process involves using your fingers to find the right notes. You also need to know how to play the right fingering of a chord to better sound production. Asking your trainer to help you out would hasten the learning process. You trainer should also know the best sitting and standing position for better support.

Be patient

While attending your guitar class, stay focused and patient. Give yourself breaks when you need to, and practice later to ensure adequate spacing. It would be best not to make unrealistic goals during tutorials, especially since some people spend years to gain mastery in it.

Why Should You Learn How to Play Guitar?

You might wonder if playing the guitar comes with benefits. When you learn how to play the guitar, you will enjoy numerous perks. Besides being a great hobby, reports show that playing the guitar helps your mental health. Also, listening to quality music is especially soothing, especially after an exhausting day. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting guitar training.

Builds your confidence

If you want to improve your confidence, try playing the guitar in public. This helps you have confidence in yourself and your abilities. When you know how to play guitar, you find it easier to teach other people, which gives a confidence boost needed in different aspects of your life.

It helps you earn extra money

You can become a teacher when you are well-versed in playing the instrument. This serves as another way to earn money. You can also play the guitar professionally. Professional guitarists earn a lot of money when playing with known singers.

Beginner guitar lessons
Do you know you can earn extra cash teaching others how to hone their guitar skills? Source: Pexels

Improves your memory

The best instrumentalists need to have great memories to remember notes sequentially. Learning will help your brain remember little details, which are vital for improving workplace or school performance. You can start by learning how to play the guitar and knowing notes without looking at the sheet.

Where Can You Find a Guitar Tutor?

After viewing the benefits associated with the guitar, the next step is to find a good guitar trainer. It would be best if you had an instructor who has in-depth knowledge of guitar playing and can easily teach you tricks on playing.

While searching for a qualified teacher might seem like an arduous task, you don't have to worry about it because Superprof instructors are all you need. Superprof is the world's best platform for learning the guitar. Besides the guitar, you can also learn how to play other instruments, thereby improving your skills. Below are some reasons you should consider hiring a tutor from Superprof.

  • Qualified and experienced instructors

There are numerous qualified instructors on Superprof. When you take a masterclass on the platform, you will learn from the best guitar players in the world. You can also choose to attend physical or online teaching, whichever one suits your needs. Learning to play the guitar from a qualified guitar instructor is crucial if you know how to play well. Thankfully, you have all the resources at your disposal when you register for a guitar class on Superprof.

  • Well-structured classes

Before you understand the guitar, you need to attend well-structured classes. When your class is well-structured, assimilating becomes easier. A good instructor would create a good syllabus and teach you with useful resources.

So do you reckon you're ready to learn guitar?

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Marvis

Marvis Osarhenrhen is a freelance SEO writer focused on helping businesses reach their target audience, get leads and increase revenue using optimized content.