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Learn to play guitar: Free Youtube lesson and hints
How much are guitar lessons?
- FREE if you don’t continue lessons.
- 4 weeks: 4 lessons
- No one has ever left our studio without signing up for more lessons!
What will I learn?
In order to play decent rhythm guitar (strumming chords), you will need to know:
- 12 to 18 chords
- 4 to 6 strum patterns
- How to tune your guitar
You will learn all of this by learning to play the songs and progressions given in chapters three through eight. There are no exercises in this report. The songs are the exercise. The reason the number of chords and strums varies depends on the style(s) of music you want to play.
Will I learn to read music?
No, not in this book. While music notation can be helpful, and is necessary for classical, jazz, and professionals, that’s not our goal. You will learn to read a chord chart and some basic rhythm notation. You will also learn to read tablature, an extremely easy way to read guitar music.
How long will it take?
You should be able to play your first song by one month, and at least six more after six months
This depends on 3 factors:
- Practice – how consistently you practice playing guitar
- Talent – you have to practice to find this out
Three to six months for the basic stuff outlined in question one for most people. This depends on the amount of practice, talent, self-confidence, etc. Y. Depending on how you define “songs”, you could be playing hundreds! (A lot of folk tunes and 50’s tunes are pretty simple.)
How much should I practice?
Twenty minutes a day six days a week is way better than two hours all in one day. You are building a physical reflex, not cramming for a test, cramming won’t work. Give yourself a day off too; six days is enough.
What if I’m left-handed?
If you are a complete beginner, I would learn to play right-handed. After all, you have to use both hands to play, and the left hand does most of the work. Left-handed guitars are also harder to find and cost a little more. If you already have a left-handed guitar or you just can’t stand the idea of playing right-handed, go ahead and learn left-handed. Since this book is for right-handed people, you will need to reverse the pictures, so please go slow and pay attention to string and fret numbers.
What type of guitar should I get? Where?
Where do I buy a guitar? A beginner should buy at a local music store. While mail-order, pawn shops and big box stores can be cheaper, they won’t help you if your guitar breaks or show you how to use your tuner.
A good store will find time to talk with you if they aren’t busy. If they won’t talk to you, find another store. The only two exceptions to this rule are if you have an experienced friend to help you, or if you live in an area with no music stores. In that case, mail-order/internet is your main option.
What type of guitar should I buy? Don’t spend a lot! I recommend an inexpensive guitar; good enough to stay in tune, easy to play, and last for a year or more (maybe forever) until you outgrow it. You should get a decent guitar for $100 to $300, anything much below $100 is likely to be a toy.
- acoustic guitars: Also called box guitars, this is the way to go if your budget is tight. You can buy a decent guitar for as little as $100, although $150 is more likely, plus about $20 for a soft case. I would go for steel strings instead of nylon.
- electric guitars: It’s what the kids want, and a lot of adults too. A decent electric guitar runs about the same as an acoustic, $100 to $200, but you also need an amplifier and connecting cable, which can add another $150. You can often purchase a guitar/amp package for $200 to $300, which includes guitar, amplifier, case, and cable (ask and make sure it does).
4 Steps to Make Clear-Sounding Chords
Some people are born with long, slender, agile fingers and have no trouble making chords. For those with stubby digits, here are four steps that will help:
- Pinch the Neck: Keep your palm away from from the neck and pinch it between your thumb and fingers. Don’t grip it like a rifle!
- Arch Your Fingers: Curl your fingers so the tips come down as straight as you can manage.
- Angle Your Hand Towards the Headstock: This will help narrow the profile of your finger as it presses down on the string. It also helps with bar chords by minimizing the ridges between
- Adjust One Finger at a Time: Don’t just whang away and wonder why it sounds so bad. Make the chord the best you can and play one string at a time, adjusting and re-checking for clarity as you go.
I am taking for granted you are already keeping your finger close behind the frets, pressing hard, etc. (Also, check your string gauge, they should be extra light!) If your fingers are big, your sweet spot for a clear chord may be millimeters, but you can do it. It’s easier to watch this than read it, so check out the video to the above!
These free guitar playing hints are straight from the questions and answers in chapter one of my book, No Fail Guitar, available here from Amazon.