First Steps to Learn to Play the Guitar

If you're fed up with playing guitar hero and want to play a real guitar here are a few broad brush strokes about how you can get started.

First up, you need to get a guitar. You should decide what type of guitar you are interested in. Most people start with an acoustic guitar because you can get some good but reliably cheap acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitar are easier to use and you do not need any extra equipment other than a pick.

The alternative is to get an electric guitar. For me, I can not see the benefit in a beginner getting an electric guitar. However some people want to play rock music which an electric guitar is more suited to. You can also get different sounds from an electric guitar but I can not see that a beginner will really need these sounds to begin with. And you need more equipment than an acoustic which is harder to set up and more expensive.

Next, you need some method to teach you how to play guitar. Doodling around with a guitar will get you now. You need some good reference material that can teach you the basics and some knowledge of music at the same time.

The ideal reference material might be a personal tutor. You can not get much more real than a person teaching you how to play guitar. You can ask questions and clear up problems. You can get instant feedback on your progress and know what needs to be worked on. It's all good but the down side is that it's expensive.

Alternatives are to learn using a self study course or even online guitar lessons. Self study courses have come a long way from reading a musty old book that shows you where to place you fingers for a certain note or chord. Modern courses include videos where you can watch a tutor or student playing a particular sequence.

You can even get DVD based courses that are like a virtual tutor teaching you how to play the guitar. The obvious bonus of this method is that you could go over the lesson again and again and your teacher will not get fed up with you. But you can not ask him / her questions.

Most self study courses will work out way cheaper than a tutor but may not be as motivated or flexible as a real person.

You're almost done. The next bit is probably the hardest part. Although you may be learning the guitar as a hobby you have to develop a work ethic. You have to take it seriously. Develop a routine wherey you are learning a lesson everyday or practicing one day and doing a lesson the next. Whatever schedule or plan you come up with, be consistent. Only with time and repeated practice will you achieve a good level of guitar playing. And do not give up. It may seem like you are making no progress but eventually it will click into place.

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