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How To Play Guitar


Ways to Learn How to Play Guitar



How To Play Guitar | Learn To Play Guitar

Page Update 3/7/2016


Learn Guitar by Using Instruction Books, Online Video, or DVD's

There are a variety of methods to learn how to play guitar.  We will discuss of some to the following below:

Many valuable Guitar Instruction Books can to help you in your guitar learning process.  The hard part of taking guitar lessons through a book is the fact that you can't hear what you are supposed to sound like.  This makes it difficult to figure out if your playing the correct note, chord, or song structure.  Some guitar lesson books or magazines help to alleviate this problem by actually coming with guitar instruction CD's to help you out in this matter.  You can read through the music notes in the book, and then the CD's will lead you through a couple measures of notes.  This helps you to hear what you are supposed to sound like.  Many times the instructor will play the section slower, and then faster so you can see how to play the guitar notes at a slower pace.  We highly recommend that beginners start out with guitar lesson books with CD's to help you listen to the passages to learn the material. 

There are also a variety of guitar lessons on DVD, on You Tube video, or VHS as well.  The added advantage to the DVD or online video Instruction is that you can actually see how the guitarist is fingering the note or chord in the song or section of a song.  One item to note is typically many videos are never 100% correct in playing a song. Use these videos for directional purposes and form your own style and opinion of how the song should go.  Leaning by DVD, CD, online video, or book takes a lot of patience.  If you don't have the money for a guitar teacher, this is a valuable way to learn how to play guitar.

Advantage of Taking Guitar Lessons from a Guitar Instructor

There are many advantages to taking guitar lessons from a guitar teacher or instructor.  Not only do you get the hands on attention, but he or she can help walk you through certain songs etc. that you may want to learn.  You can find independent guitar instructors on the internet or phone book in your area.  Or stop at a musical instrument store in your area an see if they offer guitar lessons.  Most guitar shops and stores offer guitar instruction. 

Some Disadvantages To Taking Guitar Lessons with an Instructor:

  1. Lessons can become expensive
  2. Instructor may only teach you what he or she likes or knows
  3. They may not go at a pace that you would prefer
  4. Theory rather than learning the basics

My biggest issue with guitar instruction is for example, if you want to learn rock music and a teacher may teach you Mary had a little lamb type songs instead.  Ask many questions on the guitar instructors style and methods of teaching.   Ask them the following questions: 

  1. What kind of music do you teach?
  2. Do you teach tablature?
  3. How much do you charge for lessons?
  4. What are your teaching styles, methods, and credentials?

Sometimes it's good to know someone who plays guitar. A friend you know who plays guitar may be able to show you a few things here and there.  There are both advantages and disadvantages to taking lessons from guitar instructors.

Learning Guitar Tablature

Guitar Tablature has become very popular in the market both in books and on the internet. Tablature is basically a way for a guitarist to read music by looking at a Six Line area with numbers on some of the lines.  The 6 lines represent the guitar strings and the numbers represent where to place your finger on the fret board of the guitar.  Basically you read it from the bottom up.  The Lowest line represents the Low E String on the guitar.  If there is a Number 1 in the Lowest line you would place your finger on the First Fret of the Low E string of the guitar.  Chords are represented by numbers in a column.  So if you have a number 1 and a 3 right below it you would place your index finger in the 1st fret and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the A String.  This would give you the F Power Chord. 

While these are only the basics on how to read Guitar Tablature, Check out our Free Guitar Tab Page for more information and links to almost any song you could ever want to learn.  Most Guitar Magazine Subscriptions (Guitar World, Guitar Player) offer Guitar tablature in every issue of their magazines.  They are another great resource for guitar tablature.  Also, many rock groups like Van Halen, Green Day, Led Zeppelin, etc. offer Guitar Tab Books.  They often come by album or Greatest Hits and you can learn songs from some of you favorite albums. 


How To Learn Guitar By Ear

While there is no easy way to teach this process, it can be done as you become a more experienced guitarist.  Some songs with guitar use simple bar chords and power chords.  After you have been playing for a while why not try putting on an album(CD) and see if you can figure out the guitar riffs.  Some bands may be easier than others to emulate including: The Ramones, Green Day, AC/DC (For the basic riffs of course).  Try to reproduce the chords or notes the guitarist is playing in a particular song.  A way to start is to find the bass note of the chord and figure out the rest of the chord structure.  Listen to the song a few times and see what you can do by just listening.  Try getting the guitar tab and repeating the process.  You may pick up the song more quickly using guitar tablature.  Again, this process will take a long time to learn, but like anything it's a good way to learn more material without getting lessons or buying expensive guitar tab books

How To Learn Guitar By Concert Video

Try finding a concert video of a band you like and begin to learn some of their songs.  A lot of time the camera will give the guitarist a good amount of face time so that you can get an idea of where his fingers are on the guitar neck.  Of course, you will need to do a lot of rewinding etc, but you may get a lot of tips from watching the actual musician perform.  Many top acts have live concert videos out including Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Green Day, Led Zeppelin, Korn, Incubus, and more.  You would be surprised how much you can learn from watching your favorite guitarist's perform on stage.  Here's some links to concert videos that may help your guitar learning experience.