Learn how to start playing guitar in four easy steps – whether you’re a complete beginner or you’ve been playing for years.
A Lesson Before Your Guitar Lessons
– FIRST things first!
While it’s fun to play our first song right away, we need to quickly bounce back to the basics before we miss the right foundation in building a solid journey and experience in playing guitar. When we don’t go through the fundamentals, things can get messy and the result of this disorder will confuse us. When we are not driven enough to continue, any road block can easily disappoint us while learning how to play guitar.
Thus, before you start hitting the road, remember to count these FOUR to begin with.
How To Start Playing Guitar
– The FOUR Steps
In learning how to play guitar, here are the FOUR essential steps you need to take note: You, Your Guitar, A Mentor and Community.
As the saying goes, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This means that in order for you to achieve anything, you have to start from somewhere – and that “somewhere” is YOU. You are the very first step in learning how to play guitar.
Resolve to fully engage yourself with both heart and mind.
Know your WHYs, it doesn’t have to be grand but should have personal meaning. This is where you set your expectations right and build on your motivation.
You need to establish the reasons why you want to play guitar in the first place. This will help sustain your motivation and keep you going even when things get tough.
Some people learn how to play guitar because they want to be a rockstar, others do it for self-fulfillment, while some use it as an outlet to relieve stress. Whatever your reasons are, make sure that they fuel your drive to excel in playing guitar.
You can dream big dreams but it can be as simple as having fun, a break from a routine or just having a Dee-Dah-Day, a day to celebrate creatively by playing guitar. These simple desires can mean so well and deeply, especially if you’ve been living a life full of responsibilities and you can hardly grab a time to relax and be with yourself, playing guitar can come handy to provide comfort and rest. This simple joy can be a luxury to avail.
Commit yourself to do it no matter what happens and how you feel. There are days when you are so excited strumming your guitar, there are days when you’re too busy or simply don’t feel like doing it. Therefore, your initial commitment or prior resolve will help you remember that it’s beyond your emotions. Train your mind to think and remember your WHYs. You don’t have to overdo it, as we’ve shared, 10–15 minutes a day won’t hurt you!
Consistency matters. It builds growing muscles both to will and to act on the goal. The discipline you build will surely bear fruit that will last. So hang on, even if you have sore fingers and you can’t play a barre chord yet.
Now that you have decided to (finally) learn how to play guitar, it’s time for you to get your own instrument. You don’t need the most expensive or the best-looking guitar out there – what matters most is the one that will encourage you to practice and play every day.
It is best that you buy a guitar that is comfortable for you. If you have small hands, it would be difficult for you to play a full-sized guitar.
In this case, you can buy a 3/4 guitar or a 7/8 guitar. These guitars have a smaller body and shorter neck, which is perfect for people with small hands.
On the other hand, if you have large hands, a full-sized guitar would be more comfortable for you to play. You can also buy an electric guitar if you want to – it’s all up to you.
The important thing is that you are comfortable with the guitar you are using. If you are not comfortable with it, chances are you will not enjoy playing it and you will eventually get frustrated.
Also, be sure you know your instrument.
Know your weapon, your guitar is your best buddy and it reflects the very heart of your music. Yes you can play a song without knowing fully about it but it is for your sake if you know more about your instrument so you will know better how to use it.
Just like any gadget, if we don’t go back to the manual, the creator’s notes, we will not be able to fully use it and we will miss the special features they offer. It is like having a treasure in your backyard that you never get to discover and take advantage. And for every valuable thing, you also need to know how to take good care of it.
You can add the following to your checklist:
- How to Properly Clean Your Guitar
- How to Hold A Guitar: Proper Posture and Hand Positioning
- How to Hold A Guitar Pick
- String Names
- How to Properly Tune Your Guitar
- Music/Guitar Alphabet
Basic Guitar Accessories
- An extra set of strings (in case one breaks)
- A tuner (to keep your guitar in tune)
- A metronome (to help you keep time)
- Guitar picks (to pluck the strings)
One last thing, this is not a requirement but an option you can consider if you are a sentimental kind. You can try naming your guitar. Some people use a name close to their hearts, or an adjective to express their appreciation and worth. Others use a noun or a verb describing them or speak a declaration to where their journey is heading. Sometimes these remind us of the value of the gift we’re holding, saying don’t let go or don’t stop, keep going and keep growing!
There are a lot of things we can find online, on youtube, but nothing beats having a coach to guide you. The road you take is an unfamiliar path and you need someone who has gone ahead of you, someone who is able to guide where to begin and where to go next. A well-structured guitar lessons will help you so you won’t get lost with the many resources available online. It will help you build on the right foundation.
Having a coach will spare you from unnecessary hardships and detours in learning to play the guitar. Having the right direction will help you reach your destination easier and faster. Right discipline and habits are also established when someone is checking on your consistency and progress. When you still get lost, someone is ready to tap your back and get you to the right path and the right motivation. You’ll be more confident when you have someone to coach you and it will definitely save you significant time.
Your mentor is your best ally. You are their legacy and they will do their best for you to reach your best state and enjoy playing guitar. On a lighter note, they are also your best cheerleader to celebrate your progress, inspire and push you to move forward.
You are not alone in this journey. You need a community where you can interact with other people playing guitar or people who have the same interest as you.
“The power of community will help you stay motivated and inspired”.
A community will help expand your knowledge, inspire you to be better and provide opportunities for collaboration and belonging. These people will understand what you are going through as a beginner and they can relate to your struggles and successes.
Connect with others. A shared journey is better than going through it alone. It’s always refreshing to share your wins and release your struggles with people on the same journey and who understand how you feel. You can even start laughing how your fingers hurt the first weeks and you can’t make any fine sound and share wonders how you finally made it. It makes your journey fun and more meaningful. You can even gain lifetime friends. You can help each other to reach your goals and you can do collaborations in the future, playing and writing songs together. Two and more heads are better and stronger than one.
You can find a community in your local area or online. There are different groups in social media you can join and there are also forums where you can post your questions and get answers from experts. You can also join online courses which have an active community in their student forums.
Count 1, 2, 3, 4!
Start your journey with the right mindset, right instrument, the right set of people and the right accessories. You are ready for your first steps in learning guitar!
Remember to always go with these four: You, Your Guitar, A Mentor and Community. Make sure you are surrounded with people and know your weapon well. Be ready to add value as they will also do so. Playing guitar as it greatly benefits you can also do good to those around you, it’s give and take. Enjoy having a life-giving relationship with others.
Now that you’ve prepared well, get ready to keep walking. Take small steps, it can get you farther than where you started and closer to your goal. Slow is fast. Remember the goal is not to become a rockstar but to rock that journey.