Learning how to play guitar is a great way to spend your spare time and is one of the easier
instruments to just pick up and start making music. Most students can strum a chord or two after
their first lesson! Compare this to playing the violin which can take a year to learn how to make a
As you are probably aware, learning how to play guitar falls into one of two basic types:
electric or acoustic. Within these types are several different sub-types which by design or use
have come to typify certain genres. Nevertheless, they all are the same basic instrument played
essentially the same way.
As you are learning how to play guitar, you’ll be covering certain fundamentals. You should
first learn the parts of the guitar, and how to tune it. You will then study how to hold the
instrument and the basic positions for the hands.
In your first few months of learning how to play guitar you’ll be covering how to read music.
Depending on the method and the style of your guitar lessons, you’ll learn about tablature, or
traditional notation, or both. Tablature is typically much easier to learn as it is a simple
pictorial representation of the guitar fretboard with basic instructions on where and when to place
your fingers to play notes. Traditional notation is not as hard to learn as some might make it out
to be and you really should start learning it at the same time as you start learning how to play
guitar. In this way both your playing skills and your reading skills can develop at a similar pace.
Players that already have some skill, but only play from tabs may find learning traditional
notation a little frustrating as it feels as if they are starting the guitar over from the
You may be surprised to know that learning how to play guitar actually takes quite a bit of
strength to play, especially if you are learning on an acoustic guitar. Your strength will build up
over time with a regular practice routine, but this does take a little time. If you have weaker
hands or flexibility problems, be patient and take regular breaks during your practice time to give
the hands a rest. You may also find sitting for long periods of time to be taxing on your lower
back muscles. Take the same advice. Stand up and stretch every once and a while.
Establishing a regular practice routine will become an important part of your development. In
the beginning, set aside several fifteen minute practice sessions per week. Four or five of them on
different days is a good starting place. Use this practice time to focus in on your lesson
material. You may find that fifteen minutes is really not that much time and you will probably
still want to play afterwards. This is good. Use this time simply to explore and learn about the
interest in a more ad hoc manner. You will then really be able to enjoy playing the guitar and
develop in a sure and steady manner.
Learning how to play guitar will take some dedicated time but the rewards are well worth it.
With dedicated effort you can learn guitar fundamentals in a few short months and reap many years