Acoustic guitar is a classic, enjoyable method of playing the guitar. Learning how to play acoustic guitar is something that millions attempt each year and that can be very fun and rewarding if you know where to start and what practices to maintain each and every day. If you’re looking for a great way to learn the guitar, I recommend JamPlay. Here are a few tips that will go a long way in helping you master your new acoustic guitar.
Find a Song You Like and Practice with It
Many times, people get bored with the guitar because they are unable to find a song or scale they actually enjoy playing. No one wants to keep playing Skip to My Lou or Yankee Doodle when they could be playing songs they actually like and know. While it might not be something you can play as soon as you start learning how to play acoustic guitar, find a simple song you can practice with that you like – something with a few easy chords and some easy notes.
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Tune Your Guitar Regularly
You’d be surprised how many people have problems learning how to play acoustic guitar only because they neglect to regularly tune their guitars. If each string on your guitar is not properly tuned, you’re only going to make your practice sessions that much harder. It might take some time to learn how to tune something by ear, but a set of pitch pipes or an electronic tuner can help immensely just to make sure your E’s are really E’s and so on.
The Right Pick
You need to choose the right picks for your own style of play when you start learning how to play acoustic guitar. The right gauge is necessary for your style of play with thinner picks being much softer and more pliable and thicker picks resulting in louder, harder sounds. You’ll want to experiment with a few just to see how you do and what you like best.
The key to learning how to play acoustic guitar is practice. If you want to be good at what you’re doing, practice every single day. Even if you only have five minutes the entire day, use it and practice because the second you stop trying is the second you start backsliding. What kinds of practice should you do? The best kind should take at least 20 minutes a day and involve running scales and playing different chords. You’ll want to learn a few different chords and scales early and use them to build up dexterity and the ability to play without looking at the neck.
If you can do these things and most of all, make sure you enjoy what you are doing, you can be sure that as you progress, you quickly become a much more talented guitar player and one who enjoys what they are doing.
There are two different approaches to learning the guitar. The first involves paying for private lessons from a professional teacher. The other is to teach yourself.
When starting to learning the acoustic guitar it’s a good idea to have a specific goal in mind. Do you want to be able to play in a band? Do you want to be able to perform a particular piece of music? Or maybe reach a particular grade and sit the examination? Whatever your goal, by setting yourself targets, both long and short term, you’ll be able to chart your progress more effectively, as well as making the task of learning the guitar seem less daunting.
So how do you actually start to learn to play the guitar? Well, of course, you’re going to have to refer to a number of different resources designed to help you learn. These days there are literally hundreds of books, DVDs, internet courses and websites available for you to work through. Whilst it would be easy for me to recommend some of these here, it’s probably best if you look for yourself, as what resources you use will largely depend on what it is exactly you want to learn. While some of these books and courses can be quite expensive, there are plenty of cheap and even free resources available on the internet.
Whatever reference material you choose to work from, it is important to approach things systematically, and not bite off more than you can chew. Start off with the basics, pay attention to the details, and take things slowly. Teaching yourself guitar is a long term project, so have patience, there are plenty of lessons ahead.
Another part of teaching yourself to play the acoustic guitar is experimentation. In fact, this is probably the best part of all. Feel free to try things differently to how the books tell you, and experiment with different ways of playing things. Often, the best way to gain an understanding of something is to figure it out for yourself, rather than have someone explain it to you. Many of the best guitar players were self-taught. It’s a great way to develop your own style, sound, and technique; all things which can really make you stand out as a guitarist. Players who are self-taught also tend to have a better musical ear, as they’ve been forced to listen carefully to work out how things are played. This is a huge benefit, as developing the ear is one of the most important things a musician can do.
Whilst teaching yourself a guitar can give you a freedom that you don’t get from having a teacher, there are a few pitfalls to be wary of. Without the guidance of a tutor, it is easy to form bad habits early on, or to develop bad technique, from misunderstanding instructions. For this reason, I recommend referring to as many different resources as possible. If you don’t understand the explanation given in one book or website, then another one might make things clearer. Another problem self-taught guitarist often have when learning is they lack the discipline instilled by having a tutor. It is up to you at the end of the day how hard you work and how much you practice. Just because you won’t get into trouble with a tutor, it’s no reason to slack off!
Above all, teaching yourself guitar is like an amazing journey of discovery. You’ll figure out how to play things you never thought you could, you’ll develop your own style of playing and even your own techniques. It’s a great way to learn the guitar, thought there’s nothing to stop you getting lessons later on if you feel you need to. So pick up your guitar, free your mind, and embark on a voyage of learning and discovery which may last a life-time. And most of all have fun!