The best way to learn the guitar is to find a method of instruction that matches your goals and
expectations. As you come to understand your goals, you will learn a little bit about the style of
music you are interested in playing, as well as a bit about the instrument itself.
You may be a singer interested in accompanying yourself on the guitar. If so you will need to
develop a solid understanding of different chord shapes, a few strumming patterns to suit different
situations, and how to read simple chord charts and lead sheets.
Perhaps your real interest is in the classical guitar, in which case, the best way to lean the
guitar will involve a great deal of time developing your technique, note-reading skills, and how to
interpret different historical styles of classical music.
In addition to these two playing styes, there are many other ones that may be of particular
interest to you: jazz, pop, blues, and so on. What is common to all of these different styles is a
handful of approaches for the best way to learn the guitar.
Before the Internet, the best way to learn the guitar was to sign up for private lessons. Music
schools, community centers, and individual instructors running private studios will offer guitar
lessons in just about any style you could imagine. Expect to have to register for a minimum number
of lessons, usually held during the school calendar. You will have a weekly lesson, typically a
half-hour in length to start. Your instructor will work with you as you learn; reviewing your
progress, and assigning new material to study. Private instruction is your most expensive option,
and requires a regular commitment.
Another best way to learn the guitar that is less formal and less expensive than private
lessons, are group lessons. Group lessons often run in shorter segments, ten or so weeks for a
course, and may focus on a particular technique or style. Perhaps you will not develop as quickly
as with private lessons, but group lessons can be a fun way to explore the instrument and play with
other music students.
If you are a relatively disciplined person, self-study is also viable option to learning the
instrument. Large publishing houses offer no shortage of guitar methods ranging from multi-volume
graded series of books, to single volume programs specializing in a particular area of the guitar.
Many of these books come with recordings and even DVDs.
The last best way to learn the guitar is through online guitar lessons, a form of self-study
that is truly maturing. You can easily find many different options for online guitar lessons. Like
method books from traditional publishing houses, you will find extensive graded series, as well as
programs that specialize in a particular style or technique. Formats for online programs include
pdf texts, audio lessons, video lessons, and various types of complementary software. You will also
discover that online guitar lessons have a fairly wide range of pricing, from free, to a few
hundred dollars and for many, the best way to learn the guitar is always tempered by costs. Some
online programs are also offered by a monthly subscription.
The best way to learn the guitar or method you choose, really depends on which one suits your
style of learning. Take the time to explore each of the options mentioned here. Remember that
playing the guitar is something that will give you enjoyment over the course of many years. Taking
a little bit of time now to explore these different possibilities will allow you to make the best
decision for yourself, and you will learn a little about the guitar along the way.