OK… I’ve got my guitar, it’s tuned and I’m ready to play something. What now???
This section will cover some of the ways in which you can actually learn to play your guitar, in addition to the guitar basics that are already covered or will be added soon. Whether you’re considering
- formal guitar tuition,
- online guitar training courses,
- guitar magazines,
- guitar books with CD or
- guitar DVDs
There are are advantages and disadvantages to each learning method. Whichever way you choose, the only way you’re going to get really good is to practise. And then practise some more. And then some more. Then you need to practise. Sure, you get the very rare guitarist who has a natural gift for guitar but most guitarists achieve their goals and get really good thanks to passion and good, old-fashioned hard work. The term “work” is used lightly here as it’s actually more of a joy than work. “Work” is what gets in the way of my guitar playing. For the newbie guitarist, the joy comes from playing some guitar chords so that it actually sounds a bit like the song you’re trying to play. As you become more experienced it will come from finally nailing the tricky guitar lick or riff that you’ve been struggling with for ages, or maybe even writing your own guitar licks, riffs and songs.
Remember that many of the world’s top guitarists are “self-taught” – they learned without the need for formal tuition (i.e. from books/cds, magazines, videos and by ear (listening to their favourite bands and finding their way around the guitar fingerboard by emulating their guitar influences).
You can look around for free stuff online and there’s stuff to be found although in my experience the vast majority of free online guitar training is of questionable quality (amounting to nothing more than someone showing off what they can do and you can’t – disheartening for the newbie guitarist) and the better ones are often restricted to very short lessons designed to get you to buy the full course. Again there’s nothing wrong with that since people have to make a living but what is for certain is that you don’t have to invest a fortune to take up guitar and purchase a guitar course or two to get them going.