Learning how to play the guitar at any age is fun and challenging. Having the drive to play keep most students of this instrument involved and motivated. No matter the reason you want to learn to play, the method you pick to learn can help inspire you to learn to play. The only right method of learning is the one that works best for you.
Types of Guitars
Guitars fit into two categories. The electric guitar is one category have sprung into being in recent times. The other category is the older acoustic guitar. The electric guitar is capable many different sounds, and has the benefit of being easily heard through amps. Those who admire the acoustic guitar will tell you that there is no purer sound than this. Between the two categories there are many different types and modifications capable of producing a wide variety of music. In looking at the acoustic guitar you will find the baroque, Spanish, and Portuguese guitars look and sound differently. Some electric guitars can function as transducers to produce a sound like an acoustic guitar while other types are fretless. The list of possibilities and new favorites are endless, but most beginners learn on a standard six-string guitar.
The History of the Guitar
In becoming a student of the guitar you are following in the footsteps of generations of people all over the world. The invention the guitar began in the 12th century, and use of the instrument spread across Europe. The idea of the guitar was no doubt derived from similar instruments that were developed in ancient India and Central Asia such as the sitar. Almost all string instruments found in the face share this influence including the violin and lute can be traced down to the same influence of Eastern instruments, but the guitar is unique in spreading so fast, and being an instrument that so many different peoples of several nations embraced and changed to suit a unique cultural style.
Deciding on the Method
Pick the method you want to learn. For some this is a matter of age, and how much time, and money they have to spend on lessons. There are many different ways to learn to the play once you have selected and purchased the guitar you want to use. Again, most people first learn on the acoustic guitar before moving on to an electric version.
Taking a traditional music class to learn the guitar is usually easier for children, and teens. It’s also possible for adult learners to find beginning classes through such channels as adult education through local community colleges. Taking classes is a good first step since it allows for a little one on one instruction, but it also has the social aspect that makes learning fun.
The big benefit of finding a tutor or teacher for individual instruction on the guitar is that it’s possible to schedule the instruction. Anyone juggling work, school, or home and family can find it hard to show for classes at the same time each week. Individual classes also offer the most one on one instruction possible. This can be the most expensive method of learning however, as the student is paying for an hour or more of a teacher’s time for the instruction.
Online or DVD Classes
This is the least expensive method to learn to play the guitar. It’s also possible to find an online course and DVDs – like Ralph Paul Guitar Made Easy - , which offers detailed instruction on how to play. Those who try this method find many benefits including the fact that’s it’s possible to study and practice at any time day or night. It’s also easy to go back over aspects of play over and over to achieve understanding. The downside there is no instructor to help, or explain.
Essential Methods When Learning to Play the Guitar
Even though you might have a specific song or sound in mind when you want to learn to play the guitar, it’s recommended to start by learning the basic. A solid mastery of the basic skills of holding, fingering the strings, and strumming might sound boring compared with what you are hoping to be able to do, but the real sound starts here and studying the basics keeps the beginner from developing bad habits.
Another important method to use when beginning guitar is to listen to acoustic music. Hearing the chord changes, and strumming allows the beginner to develop a better ear. This is especially important for those who are learning from online courses. This is a chance to hear how the music should sound when you play.
Concentrate on learning easier songs, and build up to something more interesting. It’s easy for the early student to lose interest with children’s classics and easy songs. Songs like Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ are typically easy to learn after the basics are mastered and can help a student stay motivated.