How to Play the Electric Guitar
There's nothing like the sound of an electric guitar.
While the acoustic guitar has a unique sound and is fun to play, nothing compares to an electric guitar.
I’ve been playing the electric guitar for about 11 years now. I actually first picked up an electric guitar in 5th grade. I was obsessed from the start…
If you’re starting later in life, don’t worry.
My best advice is to counter the claim that “it’s too late to start.” That’s 100% false and a gigantic myth. Seriously...learning how to play the electric guitar is actually much simpler than you would ever imagine.
But, I will say that you have to be dedicated, enthused, and committed to the electric guitar. If you’re not fired up about playing everyday, then you’ll never learn how to play more than a couple of simple songs.
You have to make a big commitment to this special instrument. You have to set daily goals and weekly plans. If and when you are willing to do that, then truly you will learn how to play the electric guitar.
4 Steps to Learn the Electric Guitar:
- Find an electric guitar
- Find a quiet practice space or room
- Find a private instructor or home study course
The first two steps are a given. You need an electric guitar and place to play. The place to play should be easy to find. It could be as simple as your bedroom. The third and final step is to locate a private electric guitar instructor or type of lesson. So what's the 4th step?
Well, that's the only hard part: Practicing what you've learned...
Guitar Lessons: "What's the best option for me?"
Now there is a wide variety of options for learning guitar, ranging from private lessons, to print books, to DVD's, and even downloadable ebooks & software games, all of which can help you learn how to play the electric guitar. Some are amazing resources while others are a waste of your time and money. You need to be careful in what advice you trust.
A lot of new electric guitarists place their trust in a private instructor. There is nothing wrong with that concept. Most of these private instructors work at a music shop and/or are talented musicians who can really play the electric guitar. It’s tough to beat that resource because they sit down with you and work one-on-one on your skills.
The major drawbacks are that private instructors charge a hefty fee for their services, and lessons are huge time commitments (2-3 half-hour lessons per week, plus "homework" exercises).
As for cost, I wouldn’t expect anything less than $15 an hour. Typically, it's more like $16 per 30-minute lesson! You’re going to have to travel to the instructor’s house or shop at least twice a week if not more like five times a week.
If you have the time and money then by all means do it.
However, understand that is not your only option. If you do not learn from a private instructor it’s not the end of the world. In fact some musicians are better off learning on their own. I, personally, was one of those types of people.
I have found that the internet and your local bookstore will provide just as much information and resources on learning how to play the electric guitar as a private instructor would. Many of these online or print resources offer…
• Information on the electric guitar and how it works
• How to tune the guitar
• Guitar Tabs for Songs
• Techniques and Advanced Tricks
One of my personal favorite “how to play the electric guitar” resources is Learn & Master Guitar. This course provides a DVD/CD/book set with all the information you need to get started. It’s a rock solid program, and it's way cheaper than private guitar lessons with an instructor.
One you get the electric guitar, practice space, and a lesson or private instructor – it’s now time to start taking action and really learn how to play the electric guitar.
Each lesson or instructor will teach you differently. Just follow their guide and practice diligently. However all resources will provide some overlapping, consistent information. This includes…
• Strum evenly, and consistently.
• Rest the left thumb on the bottom portion of the neck, not the top.
• Work on rhythm and gain familiarity with the sound of each string.
• Keep the finger close, but not on the fret bar.
• Press down hard on the string when playing a note or chord.
Practicing and playing the electric guitar is actually easier then most guitarists make it out to be. Just make sure you are committed, and dedicated to playing, and you have some formal training to lay a solid foundation.
Check out Learn and Master Guitar for sure, because I honestly felt like it taught me more than what the lead guitarist in my old band learned in over a year of lessons ($1,500+), for about 1/10th the price!