Thirty years ago, when I started to think about how to learn guitar in my home, there was no Internet. No social networks, and none of the other invaluable resources we have access to today. In those days, I only had friends, who barely knew a little more than I did, and magazines like “Guitar players” with tablatures and tips. That was my way to how to learn guitar in your home.
But I still got by, learned to play chords, scales, and the songs I loved back then. I’m not saying it was easy to learn just as a self-taught person, but it is possible to learn guitar in your home by yourself. I’ve never stopped playing since then, and in the last decade, I’ve taken advantage of all the new resources that exist today. Below I will write 5 tips for learning to play in your home, trying to combine the latest and most innovative methods, with some old school tricks.
1. Get the right guitar to learn
To start playing guitar, you don’t need the best instrument on the market. I think it is possible and even better to get a medium quality guitar, neither the best nor the worst. In this way, you will learn to play with limited resources that will require effort and dedication. That will prove your persistence and help you generate some resistance to failure.
Between acoustic and electric guitar, choose the type you like best for your desired sound. The acoustic is ideal for traveling as it does not need an amplifier. Electric guitars have more space in the frets to play solos, and you can practice in silence by disconnecting the speaker or by using headphones.
There are some key factors to consider when buying an instrument for beginners. These are some of them: price, style, age, condition of the guitar, and where to buy it.
2. Start with a three-chord song
If you’re a beginning guitarist, you need to start with the easy stuff. And the best thing is to begin with some classical three-chord songs. Of course, make sure you practice the chords and the change between them of the song you choose. In my case, it was Bob Dylan’s song “Knocking on heavens’ door”. You can look on YouTube, and you’ll find hundreds of songs like this without any problem. Starting with an easy task and finishing it is the best way to feed our confidence and to be able to move on to the next challenge.
3. Avoid bad habits
When you start trying to put those three chords together, you’ll see that it’s not easy to get your fingers in the right places. It is essential to develop proper technique and posture of the fingers, hands, arms, and the rest of the body to avoid pain, cramps, and bad habits.
It is easy to fall into bad habits, which are then difficult to remove. The problem with beginners is usually impatience. But if you look at any of the best musicians in the world, they all have one thing in common, and that is a proper technique. Which means they are correctly applying all those basic requirements for playing. They all mastered how to play the guitar with proper technique from the very beginning.
4. Get an online course for beginners
An online course for beginners is the best way to learn to play guitar in your home. You won’t need to read music, do boring exercises, or learn tedious theory. If you practice and don’t get discouraged by the first problems, you’ll probably be strumming your first guitar chords in no time. Click here to read our full review of an affordable online course on how to learn guitar in your home.
Years ago, if you wanted to learn to play an instrument, you had to study theory before you could practice them on your guitar. But one day, a Japanese violin master discovered an incredibly quick and easy way to train his new students. It was a way that did not require the traditional learning of music theory. This new method was called “The Suzuki method”.
More than 40 years ago, the Suzuki master realized the fact that children learn to speak their mother tongue with ease all over the world. He began to apply the principles of language acquisition to the field of music learning. He realized that if children were surrounded by musical sounds, they could develop a skill similar to language acquisition with music.
After years of experimentation, it has been shown that the average level of ability of each individual is much higher than society assumes. It has been demonstrated that talent is not something innate, but that with adequate education, it can be developed.
5. Try all the possible tools and keep the ones that give you the best results
As you develop your skills as a guitarist, you will learn that there are many tricks, resources, and secrets in the art of playing guitar. Here are some that I was able to learn in my years of learning:
Most of the chords are mobile, and you will be surprised at the amount of variation each one can have. Find alternative fingerings to facilitate your task when you make changes between chords.
To improve accuracy, pay close attention to finger placement. For example, bend your finger at the first knuckle. The strings should contact the fingertip at a point that is only one or two millimeters from the nail. Bending your finger in this way will help you to achieve higher accuracy.
The little finger may seem useless at first, but you will see that if you train it enough, it will become your secret weapon. For guitarists, the little finger is often the most underdeveloped. It is difficult to use at first, but to develop the little finger will mean a great resource in the future when playing difficult chords and scales.
Regular practice makes all the difference, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day. As the days go by, you will see that evolution is evident.
I wish you all the best on how to learn guitar in your home, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.