Teaching yourself to play the guitar can be easier than ever with all of the resources that are available online. Still, while first starting, it can be challenging to know where to begin. If you have decided that in-person guitar lessons in Atlanta aren’t for you, our Atlanta guitar teachers at Lessons in Your Home have some tips for you.
Start by Choosing the Right Guitar
When choosing a guitar, you must find one that is comfortable for you. To do that, it may be a good idea to go to your local music store. For example, those who are left-handed will need a guitar specifically designed for them. People with bigger hands may find it easier to play an acoustic guitar since it has a wider neck. Typically, an electric guitar has a thinner neck which may be more comfortable for those with smaller hands. However, it relies on an amplifier to broadcast its sound, so it may be simpler to start out with an acoustic to begin with.
If you do choose to start with an electric guitar, don’t worry about purchasing fancy amplifiers or effects pedals right away. The goal is to learn the instrument, and then you can pursue the type of tone later after you master the basics of the guitar.
Learn How to Set Up and Tune Your Guitar
No matter how much of an expert you are at playing the guitar, it’s not going to sound good if it’s out of tune. Start each practice session by tuning the guitar by using an app, or you can buy a guitar tuner online or at your local music shop. You will need to know the key of each string in order to tune it properly. If you’ve never tuned a guitar before, there are plenty of resources online that can walk you through the process. There are also resources available to help if you need to change out the strings, or you can also consult with your local music store.
Find a Good Learning Resource
The good thing about teaching yourself to play guitar is that there are plenty of resources available. There are lots of videos on YouTube or websites with complete beginners guides that are free of charge. There are also apps you can install on your phone that have beginners’ courses. These apps are convenient since they let you practice anywhere at any time, provided that you have an internet connection. Also, when using online resources, you can replay lessons until you grasp each concept.
When learning to play the guitar, it’s important to find a comfortable seating position. When practicing, if you’re not comfortable, it will be hard to stay focused on learning. If you’re in a lounging position on the couch, you won’t be able to maintain the proper fret position, leading to fatigue or cramps. Instead, you need to be sitting upright with your arms in a semi-relaxed position. It’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up quickly if you’re in an uncomfortable seating position.
Learn the Basic Chords
Start by downloading and printing chord charts if you want to learn the basics. Chord charts will help you memorize the finger positions for different notes on the guitar. These charts will also help you understand how shapes of chords relate to one another. Learn some of the chords that are easier on your fingers to start with since some of the positions can be strenuous until you build up strength and dexterity.
Find Songs That Use Simple Chords
It’s important to start with the most basic songs, so pick songs that have simple melodies even if it may seem like they are repetitious. The repetitious movements build muscle memory. Learning easy songs will help you stay motivated since it gives you a sense of accomplishment each time you complete a song. This will also boost your confidence, empowering you to keep moving forward toward your goals. Don’t try to conquer “flight of the bumblebee” as your first song. Start simple. Think simplicity. Crawl before you walk and walk before you run. Focus on getting a little bit better each day rather than the ultimate goal of becoming a rockstar.
Decide What Type of Music Suits You
The type of music that you enjoy listening to may not be the type of music that best suits your current ability. For example, some people may find country easier to play since most of the song is played by strumming chords. While your preferred style of music may be rock, you may need to stick with the simple strumming to begin with. Others may enjoy jazz but find it easier to play rock. Different guitars lend themselves better to certain types of music, so as you advance, you may need to evaluate the type of guitar you choose to play. For example, a fender telecaster is a classic clean sound for country music, whereas a vintage Kramer is best suited for rock and heavy metal.
Designate a Time to Practice
Setting aside time every single day is imperative to achieve success in learning to play the guitar. It’s important to push through the drudgery of practice if you want to reach your goals. Even if it’s only five minutes a day, getting just one percent better each day will add up in the long run.
Some students get to a certain point of learning on their own and are ready for more of a challenge. If you’re ready for a new challenge and like the idea of taking guitar lessons in Atlanta, Lessons in Your Home is for you.
If you’re interested in enrolling yourself or your child in guitar lessons, contact us today! Our teachers are available to come to your home for each lesson. In addition, we offer virtual music lessons for those who prefer this option instead of in-person lessons. Our online music lessons are taught by local teachers with plenty of experience and are focused on each child’s individual needs.