So you want to learn how to play the guitar but you don’t have money to pay for guitar lessons. Not to worry, in this article, we will teach you how to learn the guitar on your own.
There are a few things you’ll need to learn on your own. However, all these are things you would also buy if someone is teaching you. So, you’re really not incurring any extra costs by teaching yourself.
Things To Consider Before Buying Your First Guitar
Here are two things you need to consider before picking up your first guitar.
What’s your budget?
What type of guitar do you want to get?
What Should The Budget Of Your First Guitar Be?
We always suggest that your first guitar be as affordable as it can be.
At this point, you’re aren’t sure whether this would be a long-term thing or just a short-term hobby. So, investing too much into it is not advisable.
There are guitars that cost 50$ or less, and there are guitars that cost over a thousand dollars. Obviously, the more you spend, the more quality you get. But as a beginner, a guitar that cots anywhere between $100 – $200 should be your target.
You can check out the Epiphone DR-100. It falls into that price category neatly and provides you with a lot of value. It’s one guitar that you would be able to use for quite a long time if maintained properly.
What Type Of Guitar Should A Beginner Get?
There are three main guitar types, acoustic, electric, and nylon-string (classical). As a beginner, we would advise that you go for acoustic guitars for several reasons.
First, they are the most affordable of the bunch. While you might be able to get a classical guitar for a similar price, changing the nylon strings in the future is a lot more expensive than changing the steel strings on an acoustic guitar.
Second, they are the most versatile. While classical guitars are mainly good for that type of music, and electric guitars are better suited to rock, acoustic guitars sit tightly in the middle. As a beginner who might not be sure what style of music you ultimately want to play, this is great.
Get Some Accessories
Now that you’ve gotten your first guitar, there are a few other accessories you need to get before you begin your learning journey.
You’ll need to get a guitar bad and a strap so you can hang the guitar around your neck and shoulders when you’re playing while standing. If you’re lucky, you can get a bundle that already comes with these accessories.
Tune The Guitar
This is one thing that would be difficult to do on your own. If you buy your guitar from a guitar store, ask the employee there to help you tune it before you take it home.
If not, then ask someone who has more experience to help you tune it. Or, take it to a music store, buy something small first (maybe a few picks), and then politely ask the employee to help you tune it.
Now that your guitar is in tune, you would need to continuously make sure that it is in tune before you practice with it. You definitely shouldn’t be practicing with an out of tune guitar.
After learning the guitar for a bit, you can look into learning How To Tune The Guitar On Your Own. But for now, just get someone to help you out.
Learn Some Basic Chords
While some people will say you should learn chord tablature and string numbers and all whatnot, we think that the first thing you should learn are some basic chords. Why? Well, when you can hear yourself playing something, it gives you the motivation to want to practice and learn more.
Think about it like this. When you go to a country that speaks another language, do you first learn the alphabet? Or do you learn how to say “hello” and “hi” first and then if you want to become good you know to learn the alphabet and basic grammar. You get it now, right?
Well, now you’ll need to go online and do some research. Learn the right way to hold your guitar and pick, and the right way you should strum. Bad posture when playing guitar is something that’s difficult to break out from. So from the getgo, you should try getting an accurate posture.
Now that you have the right posture, look for videos that teach basic chords. Here’s a secret, there are 4 major chords that most pop songs are built on, learn these four chords, and you’ll be playing guitar in no time. Shh! Don’t tell anyone we told you.
Learn the four chords below:
Learn Your Favorite Songs
Now that you’ve learned the four main chords in modern music, practice it by singing along your favorite songs while playing the songs. Trust us when we say “you would be surprised at how many songs you are able to fit into just these four songs”.
By doing this, you are mastering the basic chords and also learning how chords interact with new music. There would come a time when you would meet certain songs with a different chord. Find out what that new chord is, and learn it too! That’s how you increase your vocabulary.
Time To Learn The Basics
Now that you understand basic communication in this new language, to become a master, you have to learn the alphabet and how to construct sentences. For this, you’ll need to learn what is called “music theory”.
You’re going to learn about notes, scales, harmonies, and how they all relate to one another. There is a lot of knowledge available about music theory, don’t let it intimidate you. Remember, you already know how to play most modern songs.
Don’t ignore the basics. If you’re thinking “oh I can already play, I don’t need the basics” then you’re very wrong. Although you can already play, learning the basics would give you more variety and creativity. You’ll be able to tell how each component works and use it to create your own.
Check out these other articles
- How to set up an electric guitar
- What do guitar pedals do?
- How to practice guitar
- How to solo on the guitar for beginners
- How to pack a guitar for shipping
- How to write a melody on the guitar
Learning the guitar should not be a boring and tasking challenge. It should be fun, exciting, and enjoyable. Does that mean that it won’t get stressful at some point? Of course, not. Nothing good comes easy.
However, don’t let the down times discourage you. They are bound to happen, but it’s how you react to them that proves whether you’ll become one of the best or not.
Learning on your own might not be as easy as getting someone to teach you but it can be a lot of fun. You get to decide how fast you learn and how well you learn. You just need the discipline to keep on practicing.
Even if you have all the knowledge in the world, if you don’t practice constantly, you’ll never become a great guitarist.
How To Learn Guitar On Your Own – Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start learning guitar at home?
Learning to play the guitar at home is not just a great idea but is also fun. Many professional guitarists today are self-taught having learned the guitar from home. One of the best ways to learn to play the guitar at home is to make the best use of online resources.
There are many videos on YouTube, for instance, that will take you through the basics of guitar learning. There are also online tutorials that you could subscribe to on various websites where you can learn at your pace. Some of the basics things you need to learn are the fundamental chords, how to strum and how to read guitar tablature.
How long does it take to learn guitar on your own?
It is not really a question of the number of years taken when it comes to learning the guitar. Rather, what is a good determining factor is the number of hours put into learning the guitar and the effort taken to learn it. This is a more balanced metric.
It is often said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master any skill, including guitar playing. This is nothing more than a guide, but a good guide, considering the technicality of guitar playing. Roughly speaking, it will take about 625 hours of practice to reach beginner level of guitar playing, 1250 hours for intermediate level and 5000 hours for expert level.
Is a banjo easier than guitar?
Learning any musical instrument takes lots of time, effort and dedication. Some find certain instruments easier to learn than others. This is often dependent on personal preferences and desires. If a certain instrument appeals to you, you might find it easier to learn that instrument compared to others.
The guitar has more notes and finger movements than the banjo, this might make it harder for some to learn the guitar compared to the banjo. If the action of the instrument is too high for whether the banjo or the guitar, playing becomes more difficult. Strings that are too thin might cut into soft fingers while thicker strings might be harder to press down.
Is guitar good for your brain?
It is difficult to see how the guitar is not good for the brain. Music itself is good for the brain. Playing the guitar can therefore serve as some sort of therapy. Guitar playing improves creativity. Not many instruments can match the guitar for its ability to improve your creative abilities.
Playing the guitar is a good way to express your feelings and release stress and anxiety. Once again, this is just an effect of music on your soul. Aslo, one way to boost your confidence is learning to play the guitar. Being able to compose yourself in front of people to play the guitar does a lot of confidence boosting.
What type of guitar is easiest to learn?
As a beginner, one needs to start off by learning and mastering the basics of guitar playing. A guitar that allows you to do this will be most suitable for a beginner. Electric guitars are easiest to play thanks to the lighter strings.
Electric sound augmentation also means that your mistakes are less obvious when playing. However, acoustic guitars offer the best value to beginners. They sound more natural and allow you to hear your mistakes accurately. Classical guitars are generally reputed to be the hardest type of guitar to learn.
How do I buy my first guitar?
Firstly, be sure about which guitar is right for you. Depending on your style of music and what you might find easier to learn, most beginners make a choice between buying an electric or an acoustic guitar. As a beginner, it might not be best to buy your first guitar online.
You’ll need the guitar to be tested and set up to suit your needs. Your best bet will be to purchase a guitar from a local guitar. Considering it is your first guitar, it might not be best to go for an expensive instrument until you have mastered how to play. A good beginners guitar should cost between $200 – $500.