In today’s post we will see a guide to learn to play the guitar in an orderly and progressive way. These tips for learning guitar can be carried out point by point or according to the needs you have. Let’s take a look at the steps!
Steps in order to learn to play the guitar:
Knowing the guitar posture
The first point if you want to learn to play guitar, is to know how to hold the guitar. Watch this video to start with the first step:
Do you know the name of the strings?
Secondly, if you want to know how to play guitar you have to know the strings in the air. You must know that the guitar guitar has 6 strings, which are counted from the bottom to the top and they are E-I-G-G-G-G-C-E-E.
Tune your guitar
Knowing how to tune the guitar is also important when learning guitar. You can tune by ear, or with a clip-on tuner (they are very cheap). If you are more modern, with your Smartphone you can download an app like GuitarTuna.
Learning to read tablature and then sheet music
As we learn some notes, we may need to learn how to read sheet music, something very useful that will help you in the long run. Learning to read sheet music is not strictly necessary in the beginning stages, so don’t worry for the time being. You can learn to play guitar also by reading tablature which is much easier. Here I explain how to read tablature:
Learn to play guitar with easy tunes
When we are interested in learning guitar what comes to mind is someone strumming and singing a song. However, before learning to do this, I recommend playing some plucking on the guitar.
Playing plucks means playing single notes on the guitar to create melodies, they are not rhythms or strumming but it is something basic that we should learn to get used to making music and to familiarize ourselves with the instrument in a simple way.
There are three basic techniques when plucking: finger picking, finger plucking, backing and picking the guitar. Here I leave you 5 simple toe tunes for you to play. These melodies will help you to progress quickly on the guitar because we will get used to keep the rhythm and put our fingers to work. You can also play the 8 easy toe taps to start playing the guitar.
And here are some others:
- Beat it
- Happy Birthday
- Yankee Doodle
- Easy Rumba
- Vivaldi’s Spring
- Can Can
Play about 2 or 3 and return to continue with point 6.
Develop your finger agility
At this point it is important to perform exercises that help us to have more agility while we are playing the punctuations above. If you follow the instructions, you will make a lot of progress in a short time!
Know your mistakes while you learn guitar
When you are already in the process of playing various melodies with plucks, you will notice that there are some that come out better than others.
And BEWARE! as we are still on our way to learn to play the guitar and above all, being self-taught, we will have many mistakes at the beginning so we have to be our own teachers and check what mistakes we make in the right and left hand while we are progressing.
If you don’t stop these mistakes in time it will be very difficult to get rid of them later on.
Start with basic rhythms and chords
Once you have finished your basic plucking stage it is time to move on to rhythms and chords. This stage of your learning is perhaps the most important. I recommend following this order:
- Take this free 7-day Chord Gymnastics course.
- Intensive Chord Challenge (10 days to learn basic chords)
- 3 guitar rhythms for beginners
- 9 rhythms to play if you are a beginner
- 15-day guitar challenge (here are easy songs you can play with chords)
***IMPORTANT*** (please read): At this stage you are going to encounter some problems, but don’t worry, we will solve them here:
- The chords don’t ring a bell 😥
- I don’t know how to read chords 😑
- I take too long changing from one chord to another 😔.
- how do i have to strum the guitar? 🤔
- All rhythms sound the same to me 😭
Learn the 3 beginner scales
When you have been playing the basic 6 string notes for a while with some songs on the first frets, it is time for you to learn some guitar scales. Here are 3 that are the most basic and necessary.
Have a practice routine even if it is VERY short.
Once we know how to pluck and know some basic chords, it is important to have a plan. In other words, a practice routine even if it is very short. You can play 20 minutes a day, 30, 1 hour, 2… The important thing is that you commit to doing it regularly. It’s the only way to notice some progress in the short term.
Warm up before playing
When playing the guitar, there will be chords, notes, stretches or changes that will cost us more than others and consequently we may feel discomfort. To avoid pain and also improve our technique, I recommend warming up with some mechanical and coordination exercises, this can be the first point in our practice routine. I also recommend that you practice with these imitation exercises for beginners.
Expand your knowledge of chords
When you see that you have mastered the above chords, you can go to the post 21 guitar chords to play almost all of them and learn a few more.
Learn to play the guitar with your favorite songs
If you have followed the above instructions, everything you see at this point will not sound like Greek to you. Here you can start playing more familiar songs and you will start to notice that your guitar is sounding better and better. You can start with the 40 easy songs to play on Spanish or acoustic guitar.
Learn new rhythms and progressions
Of course, learning does not end here. There is a great variety of rhythms to learn guitar apart from the ones already mentioned in the basic chords section. These rhythms can be used with some new progressions that will help us to keep improving. The important thing is not to stop and learn new things, as long as you have assimilated the previous ones.
Learn to play arpeggio patterns
The guitar is a very versatile instrument and you can do wonders with it. At this point you can already introduce yourself to arpeggios, a technique that will make the songs you are playing sound more beautiful and less boring. Here on the web we have several tutorials that deal with the use of arpeggios. I recommend starting with these 3 in this order, then move on to the next point:
- 8 easy arpeggios for beginners
- 10 fingerpicking exercises for beginners.
- How to learn fingerstyle (super guide)
How to play the guitar with other styles
- After a while you will be able to decide which style to follow. Here are some options:If you like classical guitar for example, you can access this free 5-day classical guitar course.
- If you like rock, access this tutorial on how to play rock
- If you like the blues, here is a complete guide for beginners
- If you prefer Jazz, learn how to improvise here.
We cannot forget about music theory, which is also very important. Above we mentioned the reading of scores. Here you can start to get interested in this subject if you really see that you like it. You can start for example by reading musical notes.
If you find that learning to play the guitar is too hard for you, here are 2 tips:
- Visit the psychology and advice section of the website. Learning something new requires motivation and sometimes it is normal to lose it. That is why I have created this section.
- Join the Guitar Without Limits Community. Here we have weekly meetings, propose monthly challenges and support each other to achieve our goals. Your motivation will increase because you will see how other students learn the same as you.
Educate your hearing
This is another aspect that people overlook but it is also very interesting: to be able to recognize the sounds that are playing and to be able to say accurately: this is a C chord, this is a G chord, that note is D, and so on. In short, there are many things you can do to learn how to play guitar that are in your hands. If you think there is something missing in this list feel free to comment below!