If you’ve just purchased you’re first guitar, or maybe you’ve had one for a while and haven’t started learning yet, either way take a couple of minutes to read this article. I won’t be offering a bunch of free beginner guitar lessons, or tips. However I do want to talk to you about the two options you have to learn to play guitar as a beginner.
Whether you want to learn electric or acoustic guitar, rock or classical there are two specific paths you can take. One will have you playing songs in no time, the other takes a bit longer but is the path to mastery of the guitar.
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Path 1: Learn Fast, and how to play songs ASAP
The first path that beginner guitar players can take provides gratification faster, but can also cause you to plateau with your learning a lot quicker. Some beginner guitar lessons focus on teaching you how to play basic chords, and then how to strum easy guitar songs. The focus is on teaching you how to play songs.
For those that want to learn to play guitar so they can play songs at parties and around the campfire, this method is most likely for you.
Common points that are covered in these types of beginner guitar lessons are
- How to read guitar tabs
- Learning guitar chords
- Guitar chord charts
- Strumming patterns and timing
These types of easy guitar lessons are solely focused around getting you playing something you’re familiar with as quickly as possible. This might be all you want from your guitar learning process, and that’s fine. However I think everyone should understand what they might be giving up on if they choose this path to beginner guitar lessons.
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Path 2: In depth beginner guitar lessons, teaching theory, music reading, and technique
The other alternative to beginner guitar lessons could also be considered the gate way into other styles of guitar playing. Most beginners will start with either acoustic or electric guitar lessons, and then refine their style as they advance, possibly into rock, jazz or classical.
More in depth beginner guitar lessons take longer to get to the song playing level, but they spend more time on teaching you theory and how to read music before getting into teaching you songs.
Learning beginner guitar music and theory provides you with a solid foundation that you can build on as you learn to play songs. The fact is learning to play an E, A, G and D chord isn’t that hard. Yes it takes a bit of time to feel comfortable with your fingers in those positions but overall it’s not that tough.
The tough part is when it comes to understanding why A chord is an A chord. Then if you want to learn how to play lead guitar (soloing) you’ must learn scales, and about the different keys (if this doesn’t make sense to you right now, don’t worry it all will eventually).
Again this stuff isn’t difficult to understand, but you should learn it in the correct order if you for see yourself wanting to jam with others, play in a band or write some of your own songs.
One thing I want to clarify, I’m not saying that you can’t learn scales, theory, or how to read music if you start with the first method we discussed. It’s totally possible to learn all of these things after learning basic guitar chords. It’s just easier to take beginner guitar lessons that are structured to teach you the right skills in a logical order.
What are the best alternatives for Beginner Guitar Lessons?
If you want to get up to speed quickly with your guitar then I recommend you check out Learn and Master Guitar. This course covers a lot of ground and will give you well over a year’s worth of material to cover as a beginner.
This course is the most in-depth and easiest to follow of any beginner guitar program I’ve come across, both in workbook and video formats. The videos are produced at a very high quality, and the level of play that this lesson pack can take you to is huge! I’d guess there is probably as much as 2 year’s worth of material in the Learn and Master Guitar series depending on how fast you decide to digest it all.
JP is a passionate blogger with great interest in music and various musical instruments, she recently started to get some guitar lessons online.