Learning to play the guitar is a life-long process; it will not happen overnight despite what many of the hucksters on the internet may tell you. As such, you are best to develop some reasonable expectations of how quickly you will progress. There will be challenges along the way (yes, your fingers will hurt!) and too many budding guitarists have given up prematurely, slid their brand new guitars under their bed, and walked away in disappointment… not realizing that they were oh-so-close to a breakthrough that would have taken them on to the next level. Having a mindset that allows for setbacks here and there will really help you in the long run, because you will find that through every challenge you come out a stronger player on the other side.
3/4 Size Acoustic: I also have a 3/4 Scale Guitar in my apartment because they are awesome to sit beside your couch and just pick up easily and jam with. I bought the guitar a few months ago, and when I was playing it a concerned shopper came up to me and reminded me “that’s for kids you know.” I laughed. Fair enough, but I think little guitars are cool to have around the house, so if you do too (or if you have really small hands) perhaps this could be the guitar for you.
Alright, now you know five chords. But what’s next? How do you keep moving forward and improving on the guitar? If you’ve made it this far, I highly recommend joining my free email newsletter. As my thanks for signing up, I’ll send you a free ebook with all the best chords for a beginner to learn to play guitar with. As well, you’ll receive a free video lesson once a week that will dig into a particular technique or idea on the guitar. It’s tons of fun, and you’ll learn lots along the way! Sign up below…
"We believe in the power of music. Here at Fusion Music Studio, we strive to empower you with the freedom and joy that music brings. Fusion Music Studio offers premium in-home music lessons and music services in the DFW area. All of our instructors and musicians are highly-qualified and experienced performers on their instrument. [For music services and event planning, please scroll to the bottom.] We bring top-notch music education to your home so that you can learn from the best! Scheduling is very easy and flexible. Let us know your preferred lesson time, and we will send your teacher to you. If you have any questions or concerns, our customer support is always available for you. With our structured programs, you will watch your skills grow! You can also enjoy the fun of performing with our recitals opportunities! Our Philosophy Fusion Music Studio takes music learning to a whole new level. We focus on building a solid foundation, but more importantly, we believe in having fun! By incorporating our state-of-the-art curriculum, students will become proficient in sight-reading, technique on their instrument, expression, theory, improvisation, songwriting, and much more. For every student, we balance the training in technique and theory. In technique, students learn the fundamental skills required to master their instrument, no matter where they are on their journey. In theory, we introduce modern harmony and related knowledge through songs, demonstrations, and interactive games, so you will learn while having fun! Our students will also have a chance to build their own repertoire, pick songs they connect deeply with, and hone their skills while being fully emotionally engaged. At Fusion Music Studio, we are proud to say that all our students are confident performers. Young Beginner Program For our children’s program, we handpicked time-tested textbooks and materials age-appropriate for 3-year-olds to 10-year-olds. Our teaching method combines demonstration and hands-on experience with games, so that your child will love every moment of it! Young Adult Program For our young adult program, we blended in more knowledge of modern harmony to encourage musical creations, such as songwriting, composition and improvising. With our solid foundation, your child can be totally confident in school bands, tests, or competitions, and feel that music is truly where they belong. Adult Program For our adult program, we offer a fast track model. All knowledge of fundamental western harmony and modern harmony will be introduced early on in the learning stage, of course at a pace comfortable for the student. The skills for the instrument will be built gradually through classical and modern selections, which reinforces the studying process. We have a vast selection of popular music repertoire, so whatever your goal is, Fusion Music Studio will get you there, and we will do so with quality. Music Services With the amazing network of musicians that we have as instructors, we also offer professional music services to our clients. No matter if you are planning for a birthday party, wedding, fundraising event, or cocktail hour, we have just the right musicians for you. Band size and style can be tailored to suit your request. Please call us or email us for a quote today!"
This article was co-authored by Ron Bautista. Ronald Bautista is a professional guitarist and guitar teacher at More Music & Los Gatos School of Music in California. He has over 30 years of playing experience and over 15 years of teaching experience. He performs mainly as a jazz musician, but also teaches Jazz, Rock, Fusion, Blues, Fingerpicking, and Bluegrass. As an instructor, he focuses on understanding the fretboard and applying music theory to any genre of music.
Acoustic: I recommend a Yamaha solid top acoustic guitar. This guitar plays just as good as some that are many hundreds of dollars more expensive. It can be difficult to manufacture quality acoustics at low prices due to the importance of a solid top finish. When I was in college I scratched together the cash to buy a handmade acoustic guitar that was over $1,000 (I won’t mention the brand) but that guitar was nowhere near as good as this Yamaha.
C-chord: Place your ring finger on the third fret of the fifth string. Place your middle finger on the second fret of the fourth string, and your index finger on the first fret of the second string. Strum all but the sixth string. Then, go back and play each string individually, while still playing the chord. Make sure each string rings out clearly.
Okay, so if the diagram had O’s across the whole thing, then you wouldn’t even have to touch the fretboard at all, you would just strum it. However, this diagram has a couple of other marks on it, and those indicate where we need to place our fingers. In this case, they are on the 2nd fret of the 4th and 5th strings. The frets are the metal parts running perpendicular to your fretboard; they are what the string makes contact with when you press your fingers down. On the diagram, the frets are the horizontal lines. So count up to the second fret, and put your fingers down just behind the fret, like in the diagram.
Start off figuring out what style you are looking for. Is it acoustic or electric? What music styles are you looking for? From country and bluegrass all the way to heavy metal and rock, there are so many different styles of guitar music. If you are just starting out and are not sure what to begin with, this is okay. Some instructors are very good at teaching beginners and helping them find out what they are passionate and good at. If you do know what you are interested in, the best thing to do is to find an instructor that teaches that style. On Lessons.com you can do this by reading through the teacher’s description.
Practice fretting the strings. The frets are the metal strips that run perpendicular to the strings that mark each note. To play a note, press your finger down between the metal strips, not on them. To say that you're playing the third fret means that you place your finger on the string in the gap between the second and third fret. If you hear buzzing, move your finger away from the lowest fret and closer to the higher fret. Hold the string down firmly so that it only vibrates between your finger and your strumming hand, with the tip of your finger doing the pressing.
Beginning Guitar Class - Open to all beginners age 13 and up, or intermediate players who want the review. Begins with holding and tuning your guitar, names of guitar parts, and quickly progresses to chords, scales, tabulature, and playing basic songs. A variety of styles are introduced to encourage students to explore and find the styles they like best. Classes are organized according to age and skill level, so it's an easy way to make new friends too. Classes start every month and may be repeated as often as you like. Cost is $70 per month (4 hours).