How to Play the Acoustic Guitar
So you want to learn how to play the acoustic guitar?
First off, that’s awesome. There are so many benefits to playing guitar. It can serve as a personal hobby and enjoyment or even evolve into a full-time job playing with a full band.
I personally prefer the acoustic guitar over the electric guitar. Why? I just love the feel and sound. It’s perfect for any setting and it doesn’t drain out the vocals and other instruments like an electric guitar can. It also requires less maintenance and it's way easier to transport.
Learning how to play the acoustic guitar is difficult at first, but becomes much easier over time. After a couple of years of steady practice you'll be playing the guitar with ease, trust me!
It's not that hard...just follow these 5 steps:
How to Play the Acoustic Guitar: 5 Beginner Steps
- Find an acoustic guitar that is comfortable and suits your needs. Start out with a cheaper guitar and buy a more expensive acoustic guitar after you become more serious & advanced.
- Pick a time of day to play. Set aside a half-hour where you do nothing else but play. Do not play for longer than an hour as it’s easy to pick up bad habits. Play 5-7 days a week.
- Grab the guitar, place it in the correct position, and begin by getting more comfortable with the strings and sounds of each string. Strike the string one at a time, working your way individually down each string and back up.
- After you can play each string comfortably without looking, shift your attention to the guitar’s neck. Practice playing individual notes. Check the posture of your left hand and how the note sounds.
- Evolve into playing individual chords. Start with simple two or three fingered chords and progress from there. The “E Minor,” “A Minor,” and “D Minor” chords are a great place to start.
Many beginners seek further advice by consulting a private instructor and engaging in a weekly lesson with the instructor. Personally, I do not like these types of private lessons. I’m not saying their bad, I just don’t agree with them.
Private lessons are extremely costly and time consuming. You need to set aside 2-5 days a week to travel and meet with the instructor. Then you will need to set aside at least an hour or two to practice with the instructor.
The instructor will work personally with you (which is awesome), but I have ran into a lot of instructors who care more about the money then they do actually teaching. Also these instructors work with several different beginning guitar players and are not quite as “personal” as you might think, and it really varies between teachers.
Some newbie guitarists also struggle learning and playing in front of another individual who is much more proficient and advanced. They would prefer playing alone and learning on their own, which is very common.
I thought about learning how to play the acoustic guitar with a private instructor, but it was just too expensive ($150/month or so, for only 2 lessons each week!), so I ended up deciding to learn on my own. That didn’t work as well as I wanted though, because I couldn't seem to fill in the gaps with the fundamentals. I just didn’t know enough about the guitar or the techniques to teach myself.
That is where you can find some handy online and print resources. I learned a lot from Learn and Master Guitar. It’s a DVD, CD, and book course that provides all the material, techniques, tricks, and lessons needed to get started.
What’s nice about these private courses is it teaches you everything you would learn from a private instructor. And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that these courses only charge a one time fee and you can use the course whenever your time schedule will allow. The result is a much more cost and time effective product which is just as strong of a resource as a private lesson. Plus, you gotta love rewind and fast-forward! There's nothing better when trying to learn something...
I highly recommend investing in a home study course, as opposed to paying $15 or more per lesson (it can quickly add up to $1,000, $2,000 or more every year!), although not everyone will agree with me. Some need or want the one-on-one attention of a private instructor. If you think you'd be alright learning with videos, exercises and CD's to play along with, then I'd be willing to bet a home study course will be perfect for you.
In the end, it all depends on how much time & money you're willing to invest to learn how to play the acoustic guitar...
If you want to learn how to play the acoustic guitar without spending $1,000's/year on private lessons, then I highly recommend you check out Learn and Master Guitar: