- Learning to play guitar: a question of motivation
- There are two kinds of guitarists
- Learning guitar alone : a question of independence
- Finding balance in learning to play guitar
- 4 goals to set to make learning to play guitar easier
- How to easily learn to play the electric guitar?
- How to easily learn to play the acoustic guitar ?
However, learning a guitar seems relatively straightforward: you learn the principal major and minor chords, you learn to strum with the plectrum, and then you learn to position your fingers on the neck, to make chords, a few bars or your first solo.
The only thing is, not everybody learns in the same way: some will have a better ear for music than others, others will already have some musical experience or music theory which will help them to interpret the piece in front of them.
Some will quickly assimilate to guitar lessons, but for others it will take hours of work.
Others, on the other hand, are less skilled with their hands or fingers and will not know the correct hold and how to start playing guitar.
So, why is learning to play guitar easy for some and hard, or even impossible for others.
Learning to play guitar: a question of motivation
The ability to learn is inherent in all of us, our brains are capable of continuing this task from the moment it acquires a new learning method.
To learn guitar, to discover this new universe with its codes, writing, jargon and references, you will need to change your way of thinking, which is not possible without one important resource: motivation.
Contrary to what you may imagine, learning guitar is not simply a question of building theoretical knowledge to recite to a music teacher or to play in front of your friends, it is an activity that requires human and technical support.
To really learn guitar, you must bring together several areas, thought, theoretical knowledge, practice and collaboration with others.
If you are motivated in your approach, if you want to feed your passion, if you want to go further into deepening your knowledge of the instrument as well as the vast universe of guitar music, discovering new styles (rock, blues, country, pop, funk, etc.), then you will get there.
Of course, mastering the guitar does not happen over night. You need regular and diligent work to get results, but success starts at the beginning, if you are willing to make the effort.
It is vital to know why you want to learn guitar: is it for fun, to play alone in your room, to start a band, to accompany singing or to broaden your musical appreciation ?
The more precise you can be in your response the more you will discover your real drive to learn to play guitar, and the more precise and efficient your learning process will be...
By the point you will already understand if this learning will be easy for you, or if, on the other hand, you may encounter some difficulties.
There are two kinds of guitarists
There are two kinds of guitarists, the self-taught and the one who needs support and to be guided and will therefore take guitar lessons.
The self-taught guitarist: is it difficult to teach yourself guitar?
The self-taught guitarist will try to do it all themselves: their self-confidence and motivation lend them the necessary drive to progress.
They will look to all possible means to develop their passion, to feed it and to learn a little more each day.
There are already many methods, but other support is also available :
- DVDs with repetition exercises to do at home (with the opportunity of pausing to practice the different techniques or movements.)
- EBooks which draw together tables and methods to work on a particular point.
- Magazines often serve as supplements to learning the guitar. There is little theory in their pages, but you can feed your passion for the guitar by practicing some of the passages they discuss or by discovering material used by your favorite guitarists, etc.
- Internet : of course, the internet has completely transformed learning the guitar. With videos, tutorials, online courses, you have incredible access to the universe of the guitar. If you are disciplined enough, with enough rigor it is a very interesting alternative that will moreover prove to be more affordable.
- There are even video games to learn guitar.
The learning guitarist who will need external help
For those who need support, who have more of a "pedagogical approach" to learn, it is possible to take lessons with a private guitar teacher.
These guitar lessons can be taught in an association, in a musical or cultural youth group, a cultural center or in a specialized music school near you.
It is also possible for a teacher to give you classes at home.
The advantage of this method is that you will have a regular follow-up thanks to the presence of a knowledgeable professional.
If you encounter problems, get in a rut, if you have any questions, they will be able to help with tips and tricks.
The teacher teaches according to a methodology, it is not as unstructured as learning by yourself, where you run the risk of losing yourself in the mass of information to be assimilated.
Each kind of guitarist needs a particular approach
According to your personality, your ability to concentrate, your knowledge of music and the guitar, you will find different kinds of support more or less helpful in your learning.
If you already play an instrument, if you already understand some music theory, picking up a guitar may not seem daunting, you may feel at ease.
Similarly, if you have friends around you who already play the guitar, they will advise you, and offer tips and tricks to get you started easily. But if you have never played the guitar, or you have no notion of music, learning can be more laborious.
It is important to know yourself, and you will discover what type of guitarist you are.
Learning guitar alone : a question of independence
In addition to your motivation and self-knowledge, there is one last thing you need to learn guitar: autonomy.
Music, and guitar lessons in particular, must remain a pleasure, it is something that should be shared with others.
Learning the guitar has a passion that allows you to discover a new universe in the company of your friends. There are many good reasons to learn the guitar.
This is a way to express yourself, to show a new facet of your personality.
In addition to personal investment and willingness to learn, you will need to retain some autonomy in your learning.
How to have autonomy in guitar learning? By setting reasonable and achievable goals.
Setting reasonable, achievable goals
If you are self-taught and not taking guitar lessons you must be organized and rigorous.
You will need to commit regular practice: it is better to play 30 minutes each day than 3 hours only once and weekly.
Each week, you set a technique to master, and check whether you have succeeded using the supports mentioned above.
We suggest you read the article: How long does it take to learn how to play guitar?
Establish a program that suits you
If you are learning with a teacher the methodology is different: the teacher will use their experience and knowledge of your own understanding and level to adapt their teaching program.
If you struggle with a particular technique, they will give you exercises, methods and tricks to achieve total mastery.
This is how you gain autonomy but also trust yourself and your abilities.
Finding balance in learning to play guitar
It is important to find the balance between motivation, self-knowledge and autonomy so that learning to play does not become an ordeal.
In any case, the more you learn, the more you progress and the more your playing and your knowledge of the guitar will be enriched.
You will always find better guitarists than you, and even the most experienced guitarist of incredible technical ability will encounter the possibility of doing better.
Do not give up at the first sign of difficulty
You will also find that as you learn you will experience empty moments, in which you will feel like you are no longer able to play: these moments are important as they allow you to step back and reflect. Practicing an instrument is the opportunity to get a new perspective on your way of learning.
Understand that there is always more to learn, whatever level you have.
As to the question "Why the guitar is easy to learn for some and difficult for others?", you hold all the answers.
Never fail to question yourself, to get to know yourself and to be honest, but also to understand your true motivations and drive, to get the measure of your independence, to set yourself realistic objectives, and to work regularly with your instrument.
Never forget, playing guitar should be fun!
4 goals to set to make learning to play guitar easier
You cannot hide that learning to play guitar is synonymous with hard work and patience, and especially dedication!
You will learn much more easily if you play every day.
It is better to spend 30 minutes each day training to play chords and melodies, taking your time with each note, than to play 4 hours in a row each week without any regularity.
Playing guitar regularly will help you keep your maximum motivation and progress with greater ease.
Achieving goals will help you keep your motivation, just as it is for top level-athletes.
Before you can make the string sing like Hendrix, you are going to have to learn to play correctly by going through several essential steps.
Here are some objectives you can set over a number of weeks to help you learn to play guitar more easily...
Easily learn how to read a tablature
A guitar tablature resembles a traditional sheet music.
It has 6 lines (instead of 5 for the traditional staves) corresponding to each string of the guitar. The tablature makes it easy to transcribe the chord and arpeggio suites to play guitar.
On these lines, a number must be written indicating the level on the neck of the instrument at which you will need to hold down the string (s).
Be aware: the order of the lines of the tablature is reversed in relation to the strings of your guitar. When you see a "0" on a tablature, you must play the string without holding it down.
The "1" corresponds to the first square of the neck, the one closest to the head of the guitar and so on.
Reading a guitar tablature is not an easy task, it takes time to adapt and to understand and read this kind of notation with ease.
Easily understand a chord diagram
The chord diagram is another notation scheme.
It simply represents the strings of the guitar as it is held.
Beginners really appreciate this notation system because it clearly indicates which strings to hold down by mimicking the position of the fingers.
A chord diagram reads:
- Horizontally: representing the different squares on the guitar neck.
- Vertically: the various strings of the E low bell left to the E Mi right.
Each number on a chord diagram represents the fingers to be placed on the string, ideal for learning to make chords:
- T: thumb,
- 1: index,
- 2: middle finger
- 3: ring finger
- 4: little finger.
Know how to place your hands on a guitar
The positioning of fingers and hands is vital when learning to play a string instrument!
Proper positioning is essential to play chords correctly. To do this, you must train yourself to:
- Know the right level of pressure to apply to the fingerboard on the neck to obtain a perfect sound.
- Attach the strings with the tuning machines.
- Press the strings near the fret that corresponds to the correct fingerboard.
How to play riffs easily
First the theory, then the practice!
Once you can read a tablature, a chart and the different notes and chords will no longer have any secrets for you, and you can finally learn to play the guitar quickly.
Before tackling Clapton, all guitar teachers will make you work on the riffs, which are combinations of simple chords.
When you have mastered riffs, you will have started to crack playing the guitar easily, which will boost your motivation to continue your training.
How to easily learn to play the electric guitar?
Is it easier to start with an acoustic or an electric guitar?
Many guitarists ask this question when they start out!
They are right to do so, because the choice of the instrument is vital if you want to learn to play guitar as easily as possible. If you opt for a guitar that ultimately does not suit you, you will quickly lose the motivation to practice every day.
Should you start with acoustic guitar or electric guitar?
Ultimately, we cannot answer this question for you.
It is rather a question of your own feelings as you choose your first guitar and the style of music that you want to play.
If you love rock and metal, then the electric guitar is for you!
Why is it easier to learn to play the electric guitar?
- The strings of electric guitars are smaller and more flexible than those of acoustic guitars, which makes it much easier to play notes and to move your hand along the neck. If you start out on an acoustic instrument, beware of cramps and pain at your fingertips after 30 minutes of play.
- Barred chords (often used in rock music) are easier to learn on an electric guitar, which has a narrower neck than an acoustic guitar.
- Using effects pedals gives you many sound effects options for an electric guitar.
- You can play sick solos on an electric guitar! Whether you are a self-taught student or a music teacher, here are some tips to help you easily play the electric guitar:
Whether you are a self-taught teacher or a music teacher, here are some tips to help you easily play the electric guitar:
- Tune your guitar: this is fundamental. The right tuning is very important to produce the right tone of notes.
- Know how to read music: reading tablatures is not for everyone, but you have it down, nothing will stop you!
- Listen to all sorts of music: do not just focus on the unleashed solos of David Gilmour, Jimmy Page and Bonamassa. Listening to a wide musical range will allow you to train your musical ear (pop folk, hip hop, blues, jazz, Latin music, punk rock, grunge ...). So much music is played on guitar!
- Avoid special effects: As a beginner you should avoid using an effects pedal, which could cover false notes and technical errors.
- Practice again and again. It’s no big secret, the best way to become a good guitarist is still to practice.
- Enjoy it! Learning to play an instrument requires a lot of time, dedication and work. Passion and enjoyment will help you get motivated
How to easily learn to play the acoustic guitar ?
We have had a quick tour of the electric guitar, but now on to the acoustic! Often associated with folk music and country, it draws in more and more potential music aficionados.
Do you dream of reproducing Ben Harper’s folk ballads or Bob Dylan's haunting melodies?
Here are a few methods to help you learn to easily play the acoustic guitar.
Easily play acoustic guitar with the 4 magic chords.
What if there were a single a single grid of chords that allowed you to play a hundred different kinds of pieces?
Try to imagine such a place.
What is the common point between:
- Let it Be by the Beatles,
- Poker Face by Lady Gaga,
- Beautiful Young Lady by Christophe Maé,
- Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers,
- Zombie by the Cranberries?
The same chords make up the structure for each song !
Of course, the melody of the music changes but the chord structure remains the same.
- C Minor,
Follow these easy steps for your next clip!
These chords reoccurred so many times in songs that they gained the epithet the “Magic Chords”.
What better way to make an aspiring guitarist’s life easier?
Easily play acoustic guitar with the 30-minute per day method.
The amount of time you spend learning to play acoustic guitar quickly and easily will affect the ease of your progress.
Van Halen did not become a guitar genius in just a few weeks, and it will take several years of work and perseverance to reach a good level.
We advise you to work on it every day, as you would for learning a foreign language.
Children, teenagers, adults; everyone should feel they can pick up and start to learn the acoustic guitar.
No matter your age when you start, it can be hard to schedule practice time, so you must find the right rhythm to learn to play easily.
We think the best way to make progress is with the easy acoustic guitar in 30 minutes per day method.
Everyone can spare just 30 minutes each day.
Working half an hour daily is the best way to optimize concentration, keep motivation and, of course, practice more and more easily.
You could structure your 30 minutes as follows:
- 10 minutes to review an acoustic guitar playing technique (pinching, arpeggio, picking, slap, tapping, etc.),
- 10 minutes to listen and train your ear to reproduce your favorite songs,
- 10 minutes to practice over again!
Now pick up a plectrum and get started! Find lessons for yourself or online guitar lessons for kids here!