Introduction to Learning to Play Guitar

Glenn Sutton teaches guitar, electric bass, keyboard, theory and improvisation for over 30 years, he specializes in rock, blues, jazz, Latin, Brazilian, classical, country, and folk.

Introduction to Learning to Play Guitar

Even a completely inexperienced player can pick up a guitar and in virtually no time start to play something that sounds like a song. It’s for this reason that many people are able to pick up the guitar and appreciate what makes it so special. The flexibility of the instrument across multiple genres and styles and its simple construction make it one of the most popular instruments. Whatever you want to play is completely up to you. The most important thing is that you keep playing once you’ve started and master the instrument the best you can.

One of the most important things to do right off the bat is get your hands on a quality guitar to use. It really doesn’t matter at first whether you use steel strings or nylon fabricated strings or even whether it’s an electric or acoustic guitar. The only thing that really matters is that it is playable and able to deliver the function of a standard guitar. After you become more experienced you will make more detailed decisions about what kind of instrument you want.

An important thing to note is that staying away from extremely cheap or “affordable” guitars is a good idea. These are often a faux deal, in other words, they won’t really get you the quality experience you want and will usually wind up costing more money to fix or replace in the long run. For example things can often be wrong with a used or cheap guitar like the neck being aligned incorrectly or damaged or poorly finished frets on the instrument negatively impacting the sound of it. Even the best guitarist on a poor quality guitar will sound terrible and it’s even worse for beginners—which can be very discouraging.

Another crucial element of proper guitar playing is tuning. You can’t play a poorly or not tuned guitar without noticing the poor sound it creates. It’s important to know that any guitar will go out of tune eventually and it happens all the time. If the strings are brand new, temperature or humidity changes quickly or if the guitar is even dropped it can impact the tuning of the instrument. If you plan on playing your guitar frequently keep in mind you’ll have to tune it more often. Learning to tune the instrument yourself is very important and it isn’t as hard as it looks.

To get started you’ll want to learn the simple open chords and you will need to learn the vocabulary containing 15 basic chords. Focus on learning these shapes until you know them so well you can get to them without even thinking twice about it.(muscle memory). Always make certain that you finger your chords correctly so that each note is crystal clear and precise. This comes with practice over time but is very easy to achieve. Once you’ve mastered this you will quickly realize that putting these chords in different order will give you substantially different sounds.

Shortly we’ll talk about how chord sequences work and illustrate how specific progressions form the basis of a wide variety of famous songs.

Barre chords are the next step after the simple and basic open chords. They are extremely important and mastering these kinds of chords will be a huge turning point for you in your guitar playing career. Once you’ve conquered barre techniques you’ll have many more chords at your disposal and will be able to perform much more flexible and advanced sounds. As soon as you understand how these work you’ll have the entire fingerboard at your disposal.

Learning to play the guitar is primarily a matter of committing your skills to instinctually developing the right motor skills to play properly. Many guitarists refer to this as “finger memory” and there is only way to learn it—through practice.
As time goes on and you practice more this type of skill will become second nature and seem completely automatic to you.

Through repetition and making sure you consistently practice you will become increasingly more skilled at playing the guitar. When many people try playing the guitar and fail they blame their lack of talent when in reality all that is wrong is that they don’t know where their fingers should go. When you first begin playing you should play slowly and precisely to make sure you know where your fingers go.

Through repetitive and deliberate practice you can achieve the exact results you want.

Some people practice regularly while others just pick up the guitar whenever they have a free moment. The best advice is to make sure you consistently practice and do it as regularly as possible. Make it a part of your routine. While you’re playing make sure you think about what you’re doing the entire time and where your fingers are placed. If you get bored or distracted while you’re playing and aren’t using the time to your fullest stop for a while and come back later. It’s important to note though that if you put the work and effort into playing the right chords and remembering where your fingers go it will always pay off at some point.

If you have ever wondered what age is appropriate to begin guitar lessons the best time is around 7 years old. Since it takes a lot of strength in the wrist and the fingers to press the strings down it’s best to wait until they’re big enough to play the guitar properly. As a beginner it’s a good idea to start with an electric guitar since the strings are lighter and easier to press down. That being said both acoustic and electric guitars have their pros and cons so it’s a good idea to try out both if given the opportunity. If you prefer to play an acoustic or electric guitar make your choice on whatever you feel more comfortable with or what your desires are.

If you’re a parent looking to purchase an instrument for your child try to consider what they would like best as opposed to what you’d like them to play. Their progress and skill advancement will be significantly better when they’re playing an instrument they actually like.

If you want to get private guitar lessons contact Glenn Sutton at 619-306-3664 or email guitarman.glenn@gmail.com right now and find out which guitar is right for you and how to get started with private lessons from an experienced professional.

Contact Glenn at:

Glenn Sutton
Ozzie’s Music
12222 Poway Road,
Suite #27
Poway,
California 92064

Phone 619-306-3664

Glenn Sutton
Ozzie’s Music
12222 Poway Road,
Suite #27
Poway,
California 92064

Phone 619-306-3664
858-679-6997

E-Mail

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