How to Teach Yourself Guitar

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How to Teach Yourself Guitar

So you’ve bought your guitar and now you’re wondering how to teach yourself guitar…

Firstly you need to realise that this is a long term plan and will take some time.
Depending on your musical ability and whether you can read music, you can determine what is needed for you to get started. There are various courses on the internet which you can join or thousands of videos on YouTube to help you learn.

However a good start would be to get yourself a beginners guide. Have a look on Amazon for a beginners guide to the guitar and this will be your best starting point.

What you will learn
Most beginners guides will give you the basic chords and show you where to place your fingers and how to hold the guitar. Get into the habit of practicing your scales daily and this will help you develop the ability to move from one chord/note position to another.

Have a goal in mind
If you have a particular piece of music in mind, make it a goal to learn that tune. Some people can learn an instrument simply by ear and by making mistakes and fumbling through the various notes until they find the right ones. Through repetition they can eventually play a tune which is familiar to them. For others it takes a lot of practice and patience before they can play anything recognizable. Assessing your ability before starting will give you an idea of what is achievable and help you to realize your necessary realistic action steps. Your goal could be something simpler like learning a first chord or playing a scale. Once you have achieved something simple, it will give you the motivation to continue learning.

Get a Guitar Tuner
Make sure your guitar is in tune by getting yourself a guitar tuner. These are available from Amazon and are relatively inexpensive. Tuning your guitar is a good way to get to know the notes and learn what it should sound like.

Schedule a daily routine
By doing some practice on a daily basis and working through the exercises and pieces in your beginners guide, you can start to gain some momentum and begin to develop your ability. Once you start learning to read music from your guide you can look out for other pieces of music which you would like to learn. Finding music you like to learn is a good motivational tool to help you continue learning. Continue practicing your scales and running through the basics. Learning the guitar by yourself has its limits and you can develop some bad habits without realizing. If possible it is a good idea to get yourself a guitar teacher to help you eliminate bed habits and develop your guitar playing to the next level. It can also act as a motivator, giving you the nudge to keep practicing and doing your ‘homework’ ready for the next session!

How to hold your guitar

Guitar perfect posture

The position of your guitar can effect how you play and it is important to be comfortable while playing. Avoid slumping over your guitar and leaning, which puts pressure on your shoulders, neck and back. After long periods this can cause problems so make sure you take regular breaks and do guitar warm up exercises and stretches before playing, and warm down exercises after playing. Your posture when holding the guitar is important not only for your comfort of playing, but also for your overall health. Find a comfort strap which helps you find a good holding position. The Mundo Guitar Strap is designed for comfort and dexterity and allows a better playing position and posture. Take regular breaks from playing and pay attention to your posture and position while playing to avoid strain.    

Guitar perfect posture while standing


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1 comment

  • Tanzy Lea

    Paul, your a genious…I have been practicing like you suggested and am enjoying doing simple arpeggios in E and Em..or just using that simple e shape and mixing right hand, I have restrung my guitar and yesterday put new strings on Anna’s guitar and teaching her how to hold the instrument and use correct right hand strokes and picking PIMA. I am enjoying playing …something seemed to click inside my head after your visit…I have even been confident enough to walk into Guitar Guitar in Birmingham and get us both clip on tuners…we are absolute beginners and proud…our plan is to play a simple simple arpeggios together in the back garden in the spring over a glass of red wine and pretend we are in Cordoba! Your web site is very helpful and I now appreciate the benefits of your guitar support having struggled to maintain a comfortable playing posture… have put us on the right track and enjoyed your playing of follow me..Thanks Amigo

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