How many times have you stood in front of the mirror, imaginary guitar around your neck, pretending to be rock star? If playing the guitar is what you enjoy, then stop playing around with an imaginary one, and pick up a real guitar instead. Playing guitar could be an extremely fulfilling and enjoyable experience, whether you take it up as a hobby or a profession. It can be an extremely satisfying outlet for your creativity and passion for music. Guitar is one of the most popular instruments that man has always used to express his feelings and personality. This rewarding and fun filled hobby is easy, cheap and fast to learn and it can never get old because everyday you get to learn something new.
Benefits of learning guitar as a hobby:
The satisfaction and excitement you can get from learning a new art is incomparable. If you have the passion for music and you want to learn the guitar the right way, have some patience because it will be rewarding in the long run. If you are a singer you can learn guitar as an accompaniment for better performances. It can also help you turn your fantasy of becoming a rock star, into a reality. Playing a guitar not only calms you down when you are stressed out, but composing tunes on your own can provide you immense creative satisfaction. And at the end of the day if you feel you are too good at this hobby, you can use your newly acquired skills to earn good money.
Lesson 1 - What you need to know before starting to play the guitar
Learning a new art is always very exciting and satisfying as well. So if you are a music buff and have always thought of learning how to play a musical instrument, do it right away. Learning an instrument like the guitar will require a little patience but it will have its rewards in the long run. It can be the perfect accompaniment if you are a singer, or it can bring you one step closer to that rock-star fantasy that you`ve nurtured since you were a child. It can be the perfect way to calm you down when you`re in a bad mood. Composing your own tunes can also give you a different high altogether. And then of course, if you think you are a star, you can always make big money with your new found guitar skills and entertain the whole world.
Before you get started there are a few things you need to know and you will be a pro guitarist in no time. This list has been compiled to help you as a novice guitarist. However, no amount of advice is ever enough. You will learn from experience that you can only learn from experience. Nonetheless, here goes…
There is a variety of material available out there that can help you learn how to play the guitar. There are numerous books, which start right from scratch and teach you exactly what you need to know. The introductory chapters usually contain a short riff and a few easy songs you can try. Videos, often by famous guitarists themselves, are also very helpful, because you can get a live demonstration of guitar secrets and better your own act. The internet of course has a plethora of information to offer, be it advice, riffs, videos and anything else you might need to learn how to play the guitar.
When you`re buying your first guitar, don`t be lazy and simply pick up the first one you come across on the internet. Go to a music store and take a look around before settling on one. While prices are important, don`t base your decision simply on how much it costs. Of course a cheap guitar is fine to begin with; you won`t need the fancy features initially. But as you get better at it, you will want to upgrade to better models which offer more advanced features. If you don`t know what to do when you get to the music store, tell the shop assistant what you need and he may be able to help you.
Classes and Community Lessons
Classes are the best way to learn any instrument. While some classes may be free, most charge a fee for their teachers and equipment. However they`re all equally good. A hands on approach to learning, with expert guidance and first hand knowledge helps you learn how to create music much faster. When someone is looking out to ensure that you make no mistakes, and corrects you every time you do, it becomes much easier to grasp something.
Practice Makes Perfect
As cliché as it sounds, this age old saying holds true for any instrument. To perfect your skills, more than anything else, you just need to continue practicing. You need to enjoy playing before anything else. Your enjoyment and a desire to perfect yourself will push you to keep practicing. But you need to keep in mind that you mustn`t force yourself to keep playing. Music is all about passion, and you must keep playing only as long as you enjoy it.
Appreciation is Important
While practice is important, it`s also equally important to be appreciated for all our efforts. So when you think you`ve practiced just about enough, and can`t bear to hear yourself again. Stop! Go find someone who`s willing to listen and play something for them. Everyone loves music and they`re bound to enjoy what you play for them. Watching them enjoy themselves is definitely going to give you an ego boost and also an added rush which will encourage you to keep playing better.
Keep these tips in mind and keep practicing. There`s no limit to how good you can get. Happy Guitaring!
Lesson 2 - How to Choose and Buy the Best Beginner
When you`re a beginner, it`s always hard to figure out exactly which guitar you should buy, and how much you should pay for it. Of course, judged from an expert`s point of view, these are just a few factors. There may be many more factors worth considering before settling on the ideal beginner`s guitar. Here are some tips you could keep in mind when you`re thinking of buying a guitar.
Tips For buying A Beginners Guitar
Buying the right guitar is not an easy job. It can be tiring, frustrating and at times you`ll feel like buying the next guitar you see, just so that you can stop looking for one. Or worse, you could feel like giving up the idea of learning the guitar altogether. Each individual has a different set of criteria to buy the perfect criteria, and you might not always be able to satisfy all of them at once. The most important thing to remember while buying a guitar is PATIENCE. You will get the right guitar, just have a little patience, and look around as much as you can.
Research well, before you settle for a guitar. Don`t just buy the first guitar you see. The web offers you plenty of information. Take a look at it. Visit as many music stores as you can, just to get an idea of what`s on offer. You might have buddies you`ve been playing the guitar for a while. Ask them. A player is generally capable of giving you the lowdown of where to get the best guitars for the best deals.
Beginners are often offered package deals. These deals often give you a free strap, case, tuner, free lessons etc. This would be a wise choice for a beginner because everything you need is provided for. If you`re a parent looking to gift your kid a guitar because he seems very interested in learning, this is your best bet.
You are a novice, and yet you want to be a good guitarist. Buying a bad guitar would not only shortchange you but it might also disillusion you. To save yourself from this, it is always wiser to buy from reputed companies such as Yamaha, Ibanez, Fender, Gibson, Ovation, Martin, and Taylor. You`ll get to choose from a variety of guitars for your skill level, at an affordable price.
Don`t feel shy to take a good look at and play the guitar at the shop. It`s a mistake many make. After all you`re paying for it, it better be worth it. Check for soppy gluing. It`s a bad sign. Also, make sure the guitar has a solid top. Play the guitar as loudly as you want because this is the best way of hearing the tone. Play each fret on the neck to ensure there are no fret buzzes.
This is something many don`t know. NEVER pay list price for a guitar because this is usually hugely inflated. Bargain with the sales person and ask for a reasonable discount. You will probably get it.
Of course, buying a brand new guitar may not always be possible. In such a case you may consider a good quality second hand guitar. You could use such a guitar especially if you`re not sure if this is just a passing phase or whether you`ll stick with it. You could ask in music stores about second hand guitars. You could also look up classified ads, online ads and bulletin boards.
If it`s just not possible for you to go down to a music store and personally select a guitar, you could always buy one online. But you must be careful. Since you`re buying the product online, you have no way of checking its finer details. Therefore, before you make any sort of payment, make sure the company has a suitable return policy.
These are some tips on getting the best guitar for a beginner. You could keep them in mind while buying your own. Also, following is a list of the five best acoustic guitars for beginners. You could take a look at them when you go down to the music store. Of course, there`s no guarantee that you couldn`t find a better one.
Seagull S6 / Yamaha F310 / Takamine G-240 / Fender DG-7 / Epiphone DR-100
So go ahead, look for your ideal guitar. But search long and hard, because a good guitar, even a simple beginner`s one, could last you a lifetime.
Lesson 3 - The secret to learn it fast: manage your time!
The best guitarists of the world treat their guitar as their most important object of affection. Most call it their "first love". Keeping this in mind, it`s important to understand that a guitar and its player share an important "relationship". Just as every relationship needs to be nurtured with ample time, so does this. If you don`t give your guitar enough time, you will never develop a relationship with it. It`s important that you feel passionately about your guitar and the music you make with it. Without this passion, you can never be a good musician.
Practice, practice, practice. There`s no better advice we can give you. It`s the only way of ever learning how to play the guitar. You need not practice for hours together, but yes, it is absolutely essential that you practice regularly; if possible, every day. There is no point in practicing for 5 hours on Sunday and then picking up your guitar next on Friday. You can devote just about 20-30 minutes at a time, but make sure it`s on a regular basis.
But what if you are truly passionate about the guitar, but as much as you would love to, you just don`t have enough time to devote to it. Every time you look at the guitar you feel like strumming a few notes, but you just don`t know if you`ll ever be able to create good music with it. May be you really want to learn, but you can spend just a few minutes honing your skills every day. Don`t worry. We can give you a few tips which can help you improve your guitaring in spite of your inability to give it the time that it requires.
Practice a chord change over and over again until you`ve perfected it. May be you`re having trouble switching from an F barre chord to a D open chord? You could keep practicing this every day and better yourself. As long as you keep practicing, you`re constantly making progress.
Focus. It`s very important to. Find a skill that you can improve and work on perfecting that. You know you can`t devote much time so concentrating on one skill at a time, and you will get far.
Everybody has a favorite song. What`s yours? Wouldn`t you love to be able to play your favorite song while you sing along? So do just that. At some point, you`re bound to get tired of playing only chords and riffs. You`re going to want to play some `music`. Choose a song you want to play and work on it. This way you`ll have fun even while you`re actually `working`. Having fun is very important when you`re learning and playing music.
You don`t have time to take a guitar lesson, but do you think people take lessons all their life? Whatever happened to spontaneity? So what if you don`t have the time. Simply having a good ear for music is enough. Play a song and jam along with it. You can keep rewinding it until you`ve got it just right. This is what most guitarists do once they`ve got their basics right. It`s the perfect way to learn when you`re running short of time.
Working on a lick is also a good way to learn. You can work through licks many times in just a few minutes. This is a good technique to use while practicing chord changes as well. When you have limited time, this is a good way of improving your guitar skills.
Picking skills are very important. Working on them is also very important. Doing drills up and down the neck of the guitar can improve your picking skills tremendously, which in turn contribute to you making immense progress with your guitar. You can use your metronome to help improve your speed at picking. On the other hand, you can work on relaxing yourself while you`re playing, so that you look at ease rather than looking like you`re going through a terrible ordeal. Use a metronome to help build speed. It will give you a smooth rhythmic sound.
Practice playing a scale. You can play a single scale about 50-100 times within a short span of ten minutes. Practicing a scale not only helps you build your stamina but also helps you increase your speed.
Creativity is important. Play a few different chords that sound good together or even some melodies. This way you could even come up with an entire song of your own!
Most importantly, discipline yourself and create a routine for yourself.
These practice sessions may be small, but every little step helps. Use these tips, and add them to your own imagination, and very soon you`ll be playing the guitar like a professional.
Lesson 4 - A Must Do Step: Learning the Fret Board
Firstly, and most importantly, do you know WHAT the fret board is? Take a look at your guitar. It is the flat section on the front of the neck of the guitar. You play your chords on the fret board. There are metal bars embedded across the board, which divide it into several parts. These are called frets.
Now that you know what a fret board is, let`s discuss learning the fret board. It seems virtually impossible that one would be expected to know every single note on every single fret. But one must learn it. It is more difficult than a piano but with dedicated effort you will soon know it. Although this might seem unimportant and appear to be mere drudgery, it is very important.
There are various methods that have been suggested for bettering one`s knowledge of the guitar fret board.
Some suggest that you must practice away from the guitar, in your mind. Frederick Noad, in his book `Solo Guitar Playing, suggests "mental methods" such as "Learning by Equivalent Notes", "Transfer of Position" and "Learning by Fret". You must keep memorizing the notes and positions till you know them like the back of your hand.
Position-to-note and note-to-position are also mental methods. They simply mean that whenever you think of or see a position you must know exactly which notes lie there. Similarly, whenever you see or think of a note, you must know exactly where to play it on the fret board.
You can also design yourself some memory games or download some that are available online. These games usually consist of memory cards, which have on them either the fret numbers, or the position, or both. You must look at each card, and give the relevant information out of memory. For example, if you pick up a card which says "Fret 3", you will have to say "G C F A# D G" out aloud. You could play this with a partner on a regular basis and automatically know your guitar fret board much better than you thought you could.
Mnemonics are used for all sorts of learning. It can help you to learn the guitar fret board as well. For example, this one - An Emu was chasing an Ape with a Drill but tripped over a Garbage can….out popped a Baby eating an Earthworm, helps you learn the open notes (and fret 12 and 24). The capitalized letters in bold are the open notes. If you are witty enough, you could come up with your own mnemonics to make your learning more fun.
Hesitation is inevitable in all new learning, but your goal should be to minimize and eventually get rid of all hesitation. Keep pushing yourself till you don`t hesitate anymore. Take one note or one position at a time, whichever suits you, but make sure you eliminate hesitation altogether. Motivating yourself to stop hesitating every time you try to play a note is an excellent learning method. You need to practice extensively, but then "practice makes perfect" right?
It`s vital that you know your `sharps` and `flats` very well. C sharp and D flat are the same note right? But when you`re playing, do you remember that. It`s essential that you do. You must know how it is played, both ways, equally well. This will show that nothing can confuse you or make you hesitate while playing the guitar, because you have a thorough knowledge of the fret board.
The fret board has mother of pearl markers strategically placed, inlaid in the wood. Usually, these markers are laid in the exact same positions in every guitar. A standard guitar will have these markings on the third fret, the fifth and the ninth. The twelfth fret has two markers because it is exactly one octave higher than the open string. The fifteenth fret again has a single marker. These markings are not only useful but important as well because they will help you find and play the right notes on the fret board effortlessly.
Learning the fret board is an extremely time consuming and tiring task, but once you learn it, you`re on your way to becoming a better guitarist. Motivate yourself by may be learning one fret a time. Set yourself a date by when you will know every single note on the fret board and play them naturally. You must not neglect this task, and consider it a very important part of learning how to play the guitar.
Lesson 5 - Your Guitar is your new friend: take care of it!
Taking care of your "object of affection" is very important. Acoustic guitars are made from the finest wood, which not only make them beautiful instruments but also produce the best sound. You need to ensure that your guitar is kept in the best condition to continue producing high quality sound. Good guitar care goes miles towards adding to the life and playability of your guitar. You may be a professional guitarist or just an amateur player, but you must take care of your guitar well and make sure it is handled well to avoid critical damage to it. This is essential for every guitarist.
Some Guitar Care Tips
Here are ten tips that will help you keep your guitar in the best condition.
Learning how to string your guitar is very important for every guitarist. It`s an important aspect of taking care of your guitar. If you think your guitar sounds dull, and your strings show obvious signs of wear or are rusted even, it`s definitely time to restring your guitar. There is no fixed routine to follow while changing strings of guitars. Some players change strings before every performance, while others let them wear out and then change it. It depends solely on the individual. Normally, it would depend on how often you play guitar. A set of strings can last for anything between 1-3 months.
Tuning your guitar right is important to be able to produce the perfect sound. Learn how to tune your guitar through easily available guidelines available online. You can also tune your guitar by simply using some tuning software that you can download, or buy. Guitar tuning of course is all about practice. You can buy guitar tuning forks and pitch pipes at any music store near you, and tune your guitar effortlessly.
The fret board becomes very difficult to clean properly because the strings are stretched across it. So, when you`re stringing your guitar next, make sure you clean and take proper care of the frets as well. Don`t let sweat, grime, dirt or oil from hands build up on the frets. The best way to clean them is using a toothbrush and some soap water. A clean fret board affects the strings as well as the sound of the guitar.
While tuning and stringing your guitar, you must also check that all screws on the guitar are tightened and strap pins properly fixed. The tuning knobs should be adequately tightened as well.
Get your guitar a proper fitted case. Keep it in its case when it`s not being used. The case helps keep away excessive moisture, which can be damaging for the guitar. Moisture can also cause the strings to rust, and thus produce lower quality sound.
Cleaning your guitar regularly is extremely important. You should wipe up and down the neck and the body of the guitar. A clean guitar not only looks as good, but also sounds better.
You must ensure that you protect your guitar from extremes in temperature. Excessive heat can cause shrinkage, cracking, swelling and warping of the guitar. Extreme cold can also be harmful because the cold can destroy the binding of the guitar.
Never apply pressure to the soundboard or the bridging area. Flexing the soundboard can crack it. You must therefore always keep in mind that when you pass your guitar to someone, hold it by the neck and not the soundboard.
Be very careful when you`re transporting your guitar. The slightest manhandling can cause it great damage. Always carry the guitar in its case. Further, place it in an airtight case so that a small amount of moisture is locked within. This protects the guitar from the variations of temperature while traveling from one place to the other. The moisture that is sealed in can protect a guitar from excessively dry climates.
Last, but not the least, the best way to take care of your guitar, is by playing it. There is no better advice. A guitar that is seldom played lies neglected and is not well taken care of. Play your guitar regularly. Only when you play it, will you realize when it needs tuning, or whether it needs new strings or any other glitches that might go unnoticed when you hardly ever play your guitar.
Use these tips well. Taking care of an instrument is a very important part of learning how to play it. You must be passionate not only about music, but about your guitar as well. You must take care of it because at the end of the day, it is your music that will get affected if you use an ill taken care of guitar.
Guitar is the most important equipment required to pursue this hobby. As a beginner, make sure that you don’t buy the first guitar you come across in a store or on the Internet because not all are suitable to learn with. There are few things you must consider when buying a good guitar. The fret board and strings must be close so that it is easy to press. If the strings are placed high, it can be very difficult for a beginner to learn. The best way of checking whether the string height is proper or not is to stack two quarters and place it under the first string which is the thinnest at 12th fret (2 dots). The distance ideally must be the equivalent spacing of 1½ quarters. If the quarters fit without having to lift the string, it means the maximum height is acceptable. When you buy a guitar, get it tuned. If the tuning gear is exposed it means the guitar has cheap tuners. Good quality tuners are encased and are die-cast. There are two immediate choices in guitars: electric or acoustic. Even though both look different, the position for picking, strumming and chording is similar. If you are able to play an acoustic guitar, you will be able to play the electric version too. There is no need to start learning on acoustic guitars. Begin with any type because practice is required for both. If an 8 or 12-year-old wants to learn guitar as a hobby, buy a small size - three quarter size acoustic guitar.
The second most important equipment is a tuner. It is essential to keep your guitar in tune and with the help of a guitar tuner, a small device operated with battery, you can tune in an easy and quick manner. If you are buying an electric guitar, you can add more flexibility with different distortions and amps. You should research in order to find good deals on headphones and amps on the Internet.
Best place for buying a guitar:
The best bet for getting a good guitar is to purchase from a music store because the staff can help you select good beginner’s guitar of your choice. In case you visit any pawnshop or second hand instrument store, ask a guitar-playing friend of yours to accompany you for good advice. He or she can check the guitar and let you know whether it is a good buy or not. Usually, a beginner’s guitar of good quality is available in 175 to 375 dollars. Don’t forget to purchase a strap, case and tuner for a better learning experience.
How to get started?
As a beginner all you require is a little patience and lots of practice. Find a nice and quiet place inside or outside your house where you can spend time practicing without getting disturbed. Always remember to start slow and then work your way up because first you need to learn the basics. Once you have a good quality guitar you need to start learning how to read tabs and songs. Tablature and tabs are musical sheets with the help of which you get to know the point where you are supposed to place your finger and play the notes. It is not difficult to learn reading tabs. You can find guitar tabs on the Internet free of cost for any song you wish to learn. Internet is full of reference materials that can help you learn the guitar easily. You can either get access to some books based on guitars or buy videos for a live demo of guitar playing techniques. You can even join online classes for a better understanding of guitars. Make sure that you practice what you have learnt on a regular basis. Manage your time and take care of the instrument so that it doesn’t get lost or damaged.