If you are planning to get started with your guitar lessons, make sure you are ready for a lot of hard work. While passion for music is important, playing guitar like a pro will not happen overnight. Usually, it takes around 6  to 9 months to move from the beginner to the intermediate level.  3 to 4 years of hard work must follow if you want to become an advanced-level guitar player.

It's best to start your training under the guidance of an experienced mentor. But that's not all. There are a host of other things that you need to do if you want to successfully play guitar. Practicing regularly, listening to a lot of music, learning music theory, transcribing music are among the many things that you need to work on. But, before all that you need to buy the instrument. These are the various types of guitars that are available:

  • Classical
  • Acoustic
  • Electro-Acoustic
  • Electric
  • Bass

The acoustic guitar is suitable for a beginner. It has steel strings which aid in the production of quality sound. While things can seem very exciting at the beginning, most learners give up on practice after learning to play a few popular songs on the guitar. But to be good at playing this instrument, you need to show a lot of commitment. Going ahead we'll explore all the things that you need to learn to play the guitar.

Guitar player
Being able to strum the guitar to your favorite songs is always enjoyable. | Source: pixabay.com
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Learning Guitar Playing Techniques

The neck is the most important part of a guitar. It's the part of the instrument where you press on the strings to produce musical notes. The neck contains frets.  A fret is a space between two fret bars. Pressing on these will help you to play the chords. Finger movements will be different for different chords.

To play songs, you have to learn a wide range of chords, scales, and strumming patterns. The more you practice playing these fundamental elements, the faster will be the movement of your fingers and the better you will get at playing the guitar. To enhance your speed, you can also practice playing guitar to a metronome. This will also help to improve your sense of rhythm and timing. A beginner should regularly practice playing scales. It will keep your fingers flexible and in shape.  This is also a good warm-up exercise to loosen your fingers, especially when it is cold.

Once you have learned the basic chords and strumming patterns, you can move on to playing songs that match your skill level. You can start recording the music by using recording software on your computer or your phone. When you playback the music, you will be able to understand where you need to improve.

While taking lessons is one side of the learning process, another way to improve your knowledge is by listening to a lot of music. Devote time to listen to your favourite artists, explore the works of emerging guitarists, attend concerts and band performances. Staying immersed in music will keep you motivated to achieve your goals.

Studying Music Theory

You might wonder what's the point in studying theory when all you want is to play the instrument. The word theory tends to put people off. It sounds dull.  But it's not quite so.  Music theory is like grammar. Just as the knowledge of grammar helps us to communicate effectively with others, knowing music theory helps us to understand other musicians. Knowing things like the underlying formulas behind chords, understanding scales, harmonies, chord progressions, etc. are important. Going ahead you will be able to transcribe music as well as create your music.

A lot of books are available on music theory. Joseph Alexander is one of the most prolific authors of guitar music theory. His books like the Practical Guide To Modern Music Theory are very popular.  But everything that is there in these books may not be easy for you to understand. If you are taking guitar lessons, your teacher will help you to learn music theory because it will improve your ability to play guitar.

Fret
The neck of the guitar is where a lot of playing techniques are employed. | Source:pixabay.com

When you start learning to play guitar, there are many things that you will need to master. From strumming the strings using various techniques to learning all kinds of major and minor scales, to knowing the finger position for chords on various scales; there's a lot that has to be figured out. You have to also know things like how to position your left hand and right hand on the guitar for a better grip, how to tune the strings among other things. It may not be possible to figure out everything on your own. So taking lessons as a beginner will help you to learn both technical and theoretical aspects better.

Making Progress

Learning has to be goal-oriented. At every stage, you need to align what you are learning to specific goals. That is how you will be able to ensure steady progress. There are two types of guitar playing that you can do. One is to play solo, and the other is to play it as an accompanying instrument to a vocal or band performance. As a beginner, you will be expected to sit and hold the guitar in a good posture. You will have to learn basic chords and progress from playing tunes using 2 to 3 strings to using all of them. As you move ahead, you have to increase the ranges of scales that you play and the strumming patterns you use.

The key to success as a musician is to work hard. You should not miss your daily practice. You need to devote a certain number of hours every day to practice. You have to be patient when you are unable to produce a musical note correctly. Playing a stringed instrument is not an easy task and you will have to continuously keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals. Taking private lessons from a tutor will be helpful because you will always have someone to motivate and encourage you.

The teacher will also tell you what your goals should be at each stage of your learning. Often people try to learn to play the instrument by watching video tutorials. But in case you are not able to pick up a technique, these videos won't be there to show you how to solve the problem. The teacher will also have a structured lesson plan in place, tailored to meet your desired goals. Weekly lessons will ensure that you don't go out of practice. You will be able to progress quickly from one stage to the next.

Find good guitar lessons here on Superprof.

Becoming a Successful Guitar Player

In addition to learning music theory and guitar playing techniques, you have to gain the confidence to play in front of an audience. Take one step at a time.  As soon as you learn to play a couple of your favourite songs, you can start performing solo in front of close friends and family.  You can even play the guitar as an accompaniment to a friend's vocal performance.

music
Listening to a wide variety of music is an important part of the learning process. Source: pixabay.com

One of the best ways to learn is by playing with a band. Once you have attained a certain skill level, you can look for other musicians with a similar skill level and set up your band. When you play in a group, you learn to collaborate. To pull off a performance, all of you will need to be on the same page. You have to synchronize your performance with your band members. Not only you will learn to improvise your techniques, but you will also be able to come up with a personal style of playing guitar.

To become a successful guitar player, you need to be friendly and approachable.  You need to work on your networking skills to connect with fellow musicians. These might help you to land small projects which will give you exposure. The most important thing is to ensure that you don't stop learning. If you have to progress beyond the beginner's level you need to constantly work on improving your skills. Once you start feeling confident about your abilities, you can start giving lessons to young children in your locality who want to play guitar. Teaching them will help you to improve your skill and also ensure that you don't forget what you've learned.

Achieving overnight success in this field is difficult. The most successful guitarists have years of practice behind them. They play in bands, perform in local concerts, record their music in studios and get involved in all kinds of projects that will give them exposure and help them to improve their skills.

If you are planning to take online guitar lessons for beginners, you can look up Superprof for the best guitar classes near me. It is a web portal that helps to connect students with teachers across the country. You will be able to find someone who suits your need the best from this website. Online classes are helpful because they save time spent traveling. You can also choose your teacher for any part of the country.  So without further delay, look for a guitar teacher today to begin your journey!

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.