If you’ve recently decided you want to learn the guitar and have picked out the guitar that is right for you, the next thing you’ll have to decide is how you want to learn to play.
The first step to learning to play the guitar is learning the basic chords. Once you have a few basic chords down, you’ll start being able to play songs.
The good news is, learning how to play the guitar doesn’t have to be expensive or overwhelming. There are plenty of resources that will help you learn various chords and how to play various songs.
For beginners that are just getting started but aren’t able to afford a tutor, there are various tutorials aimed at beginnings on YouTube. Many of these tutorials have been put together by other guitarists that simply want to share their love of music with others.
Online tutorials will go over the basic chords, how to play them, how to read chord charts, and how to start putting basic songs together.
While most of these videos are aimed towards beginners, it is also possible to find videos that help advanced players learn to play more complicated songs.
For those that do better with in-person lessons, a tutor might be necessary. An in-person tutor will show you various chords, listen to you play, and correct how you’re playing. They’ll introduce you to chord charts and teach you how to read them.
Some people use tutors when they’re just starting to play until they have a better understanding of chords; others keep having lessons with a tutor even after they know the basics.
Music tutors have one goal in mind; to make their students better musicians. Even the best musicians have room to improve, so anybody can benefit from a tutor.
Once you have the basics don’t, don’t overlook the value of a lesson book. Lesson books are available for guitarists of all levels.
Beginners will want a book that continues to help them learn chords, while more advanced musicians will want books that help them learn to play songs. If you’re interested in learning how to play and have the ability to self-teach, a lesson book is the way to go.
Even if you’re working with a tutor, they’ll still probably want you working through some sort of lesson book so you can practice on your own time.
Physical books aren’t the only way to learn various chords. There are plenty of apps out there that go over basic chords.
There are even apps that are dedicated to offering digitized sheet music. The apps with sheet music are a good way for those that have mastered the basics to continue their musical journey.
Access to digital sheet music means you can play whenever, wherever, and whatever song you want without having to carry around a physical book. There are even some apps that will automatically turn to the next page of music for you.
Another way to gain access to digital sheet music is through online e-learning platforms. There are sites out there that have guitar chords for basically any song you could want.
The benefit of using an online platform is that it will rank songs for you, allowing you to easily tell which songs are meant for beginners and which songs are meant for advanced players.
The ability to look up any song and see the level of difficulty allows you to start moving beyond the basics. Most sites do have membership fees if you have to access all of their songs and features.
Write your own
Once you have an understanding of various chords and have learned how to play several songs, you might be ready to start writing your own songs!
After all, one of the joys of learning to play music is the ability to compose your own songs. Start by finding a song structure, adding a melody, and then finding the right chords.
Or — simply strum away until something feels right, write down those chords, and go from there. The more you experiment, the more likely you are to find the right notes.
No matter if you’re a beginner or experienced guitar player, there are plenty of resources waiting out there to help you learn chords and songs.
Experiment with a few different methods. What works for one musician might not work for another — but with enough persistence, you’ll figure out what works best for you.