If you’re here to learn to play guitar online you’ve come to the right spot. This guide is intended for people who wish to learn how to play guitar but have not picked one up before (or have played very little). I’ve been playing guitar for over 10 years. It’s great as a hobby, having something to challenge your mind, and as a way to blow off some stress from the hustle and bustle. I’m by no means an expert, though I know my way around the instrument quite well and hope to help someone learn to fulfill their desire to play guitar.
There is no single best way to learn guitar, but there are certain things to know that will accelerate the process. Learning the ropes and mastering them before trying anything fancy will create a solid foundation, and once you have this you can actively focus on perfecting your sound or a building a more skill intensive playing ability.
You can learn guitar as fast as you want to learn it. You can learn all the chords of a song and start playing along to it in one day (your fingers might be a bit sore after this option). Or you can learn a few chords throughout the week and start trying to play a complete song next week. It’s up to you what pace to go.
Ideally you should practice guitar in multiple sessions throughout the day. This allows you to rest your fingers, as they will get sore quickly in the beginning. It also optimizes how fast you will learn to play guitar – learning something in multiple periods is more efficient than trying to learn something all at once. This is called spaced repetition.
Learn what to call the parts of a guitar.
Learning the anatomy of something sounds boring, and the process is even more boring (unless you’re extremely enthusiastic about picking up guitar!).
The reason why you want to do this is so when you’re reading new information, such as how to improve your playing ability or how to care for your guitar, it will seem like a piece of cake to understand rather than Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Here is a detailed examination of the guitar and all of its different parts:
Learn the proper way to hold a guitar.
If you aren’t comfortable while holding your instrument in the position of your choosing, you will not be able to play it to your full potential. Knowing how to hold it will get you more comfortable with playing, and when you’re comfortable you can learn to play guitar much easier. Practicing good habits early on will pay off in the long run as you will reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries as well as avoid having to relearn the right way later.
Here is an excellent guide to holding a guitar properly: http://www.guitarhabits.com/how-to-hold-a-guitar-proper-posture-and-hand-positioning/
Learn to tune a guitar.
Before you learn to play guitar, you’ll need to know how to make it sound right. Whatever you’re playing is going to sound much better (to yourself and everyone around you) with a properly tuned guitar. When you learn to play guitar it is not only about practicing using your hands, but also about developing your ear by actively listening to the music. If you aren’t hearing the proper notes consistently it will take longer to develop your skills. Your subconscious plays a role in the development of new skills, and once you’re hearing the right notes consistently it will pick up a pattern and accelerate your learning process. You will also embolden the effort/reward ratio of playing that song you’ve put hours of practice into and hearing a perfectly tuned result.
You can purchase a guitar tuner to make tuning your guitar a piece of cake, but you should also learn how to do it manually in case you don’t have a tuner with you. Here is a guide on how to tune your guitar manually:
Learn the proper way to hold a pick.
If you’re going to play guitar using a pick you better know how to hold it. Improper pick holding technique can lead to poor sound while playing and inefficient strumming, ultimately slowing down your guitar playing progress.
The proper way to hold a pick is between your thumb and index finger, with the pick being mostly covered with both the thumb and index. There are a couple different ways to do this.
Since it’s a lot easier to learn this visually, here is an excellent video summing up hold to hold a pick and the pitfalls of a poor pick holding technique:
The next thing you need to do is practice playing songs, and to do that you’ll need to know how to play the notes and chords that comprise them. There are a wide variety of different chords; open chords, barre chords, power chords, etc. The good thing is that many simple songs can be played knowing 3-4 of these chords. Open chords are generally the easiest to learn for beginners as they are all played in the same place on the fret-board and require less hand strength (you will build this with time).
Here are a couple of websites to show you how to play open chords:
Learn and practice a song.
After you know how to play a few chords it’s time to dive into a song. After you’re able to play a chord properly, strumming along to a song can help you improve your rhythm and control with your strumming/picking hand. Learning how to play a song all the way through will take some time, and practicing can get tedious. That’s why it’s a good idea to pick a song that you like, so the time you spend learning it is enjoyable.
Your fingers will undoubtedly be feeling sore quite quickly when you first start out. A good way to play around this is to practice for 15-20 minutes at a time so you don’t have to endure too much hardship while focusing on your fretting and strumming.
Here are some great websites that shows you visually and with tabs how to play many simple songs:
Hopefully this guide will get you well on your way to becoming the guitar player you want to be. If you’re interested in improving your skill further you can always check out an instructor either in person or online. Having a trained eye observe what could be holding you back is key to an efficient learning process.
Check out the following online guitar communities:
Learn to play guitar online – Paid online guitar resources: