How to Learn the Guitar

The guitar is said to be one of the easiest instruments to learn as far as time taken to learn is concerned. It takes around 2-3 months of consistent practice to get the basics right, and after that practitioners are able to compose simple songs on their own. But perhaps, that is not the end aim for most people who pick up this instrument. What most of the practitioners want is to be able to achieve some sort of mastery and compose music like their idols do. Here are a few suggestions that can help people realize their dreams: 

  • Master the basics: As has been said already, it is important to practice consistently at the start. It usually takes around 2-3 months to be able to play with a certain degree of ease. Initially, it is a problem to get any sound, let alone a proper tune, from the complex holding positions that are referred to as bar chords in guitar lexicon. However, it is imperative to keep at it. The student should also strum the strings as gently as possible – the force needs to be applied with the holding hand. Also, give attention to the exercises suggested by the instructor, as these help one get to the desired level in a shorter span of time.
  • Achieving a rhythm: The next step in guitar playing is to achieve a proper rhythm. The first step is mastering the down stroke and the up stroke – the pace slowly increases with the passage of time, as well as according to the progress achieved by the practitioner. Soon the student is able to play a favorite song of his or her, or even compose a piece or two! Till this stage it is important that the training is received from a qualified teacher or a professional musician. Someone who is at least in the habit of playing on a regular basis can even be a good teacher at this stage. After that the student can decide whether he or she wants to learn by himself or go for further training – either with the same teacher or someone else.
  • Decide the aim of further learning: For rhythm guitarists–that is, guitarists who focus more on rhythm–it is essential that they compose and listen to as many songs as possible; this way they will be able to understand the finer aspects of what it takes to create a good tune that is worth listening to again and again. A good practice for such guitarists is to play along with songs of their choice, so as to make sure that they are not missing a beat. For lead guitarists who play the solo pieces in between songs, it is important to know each and every note on the fretboard. The key is to keep practicing scales for long hours so that the fingers get accustomed to playing even without the aid of sight. Initially students should practice with rhythm guitarists so that they can get a grip of how to approach a particular composition. At an advanced stage they can try matching famous songs and see if their efforts are bearing fruit or not.
  • Decide on the school of music: There are different schools of guitar playing, like Classical, Jazz, Blues, etc. So if a student is interested in learning any of these, it is better to go for specialized training. It is always preferable to go for a proper music school rather than private tutors because of the overall sense of discipline associated with the institutes, and the examinations conducted by them that always keep students on their toes.

Some things to be kept in mind: It is always better that the attempt to learn this instrument should be for musical purposes and not for becoming more famous among peers or making a lot of money by taking it up as a career. Students should keep this in mind that if they achieve a certain level of proficiency in their art, all these will automatically follow. It is also not wise to expect quick results – the student who is taking longer to learn should not let this worry him. It is necessary to enjoy the journey and keep the goal of learning in mind.