Play Guitar For Beginners
I just wanted to play something...NOW.
How To Play The Guitar For Beginners
In writing an article on how to play the guitar for beginners, the best piece of advice to give anyone is 'don't give up'. As with learning any new skill, you'll go through different phases from elation to frustration and back again. The most important thing to do is to keep going. You will get there. Let me tell you how I got started, because I'm sure that regardless of age many people experience something similar.
I've been playing the guitar since I was seven years old and can clearly remember getting my first instrument. It was a full sized classical guitar, slightly too big for my small hands and something I had been waiting for, for what seemed like an eternity. I put it by my bed so that it was the first thing I'd see in the morning, and woke up fully expecting to be able to play it. That was when I realised it needed to be tuned. Luckily my dad had also bought me a tuning fork and a book, and so the adventure began. It was around 5am on a Sunday morning, and looking back my parents were incredibly patient as I got to grips with my new-found, and rather loud hobby.
The next thing I realised was that I couldn't read music. So much for the tuition book with the starter lessons in it! That seemed like too much hard work. I just wanted to play something...NOW. I got as far as learning the names of each string, and then discovered the magic of chord charts. It was a revelation. All I had to do was look at the pictures, move my fingers to the same positions on the frets, and I was up and running. Well sort of, if you don't count all the buzzes and muted strings. Maybe I should have gone for the half sized instrument? I kept going until my fingers couldn't take it anymore.
That's the thing about explaining how to play the guitar for beginners. There's no point hiding the fact that there is a little bit of pain involved. It's quite a physical instrument, what with pressing down on the strings and holding those chord shapes, but the good news is that eventually the ends of your fingers toughen up and the muscles in your hand become stronger. It's a bit like playing a new sport. After the first few times you ache a bit, but eventually it does get easier.
The other thing to suggest is that as soon as possible, try and learn some songs you actually like. There are plenty of songs that are based around just a few simple chords, so there's absolutely no reason to get stuck learning things that you've never heard of just because they're in a 'getting started' book. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of being able to play along to one of your favourite songs. It's a great way to improve your timing and also your ear. In fact although this is a piece on how to play the guitar for beginners, I still find that one of the best ways to learn a song is by playing along with a recording. Even if you can't keep up at first, you'll get there eventually.
I've been playing the guitar since I was 7 years old, and 35 years later I'm still enjoying it. I've been fortunate enough to be able to earn money from writing, playing and recording music for TV, and I still play just for fun.