By: Tony Schuck
“…that ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it. Play the guitar on the Mtv…”
– from Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
So you or someone you know has decided they want to learn how to play guitar. It looks easy enough. And believe it or not it’s not as hard as some people would have you believe. You can learn how to play guitar very quickly if you are focused on learning and practice regularly.
Getting lessons from a qualified teacher is probably the best way of learning, but sometimes just finding a qualified teacher can be a daunting task. Be sure that the teacher has your best interest at heart and wants to teach you how to play guitar and not just take money from you.
Also, decide what you want to learn. Do you want to learn to strum some basic chords so you can sing around the campfire or in church? Maybe you want to learn music theory so you can write your own songs. Perhaps you want to learn to shred like Eddie Van Halen or Steve Vai. Whatever your motivation to learn how to play guitar, make sure the instructor you choose will help you achieve your goals.
Suppose you decide you want to save some money and teach your self how to play guitar. It can be done. Some of the best guitar players were self taught. There is a virtually endless list of resources available on the internet. A simple trip to your favorite search engine will attest to that.
So what is an aspiring guitar player to do? I would suggest visiting as many web sites as you can and see what type of instruction they have to offer. There are a lot of inadequate guitar oriented sites that want to teach you how to play guitar by simply selling you a cheesy piece of software and send you on your way. Before buying any instructional software check for testimonials or customer reviews.
Books are often the most economical way to teach yourself how to play guitar. Method books will get you up to speed quickly. I teach children how to play using the CAGED method. This works well because it gets them playing music quickly and not plunking out “Mary Had A Little Lamb” which keeps them interested in learning how to play guitar and possibly help them become a student of the guitar.
Whichever method you choose to use to learn how to play guitar, nothing will replace regular practicing. Remember, we are all born with the same musical skills. You have to decide to develop your skill set.