The Best Way To Learn Guitar Without A Teacher

best way to learn guitar without a teacher - acoustic guitar

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Although there are excellent guitar teachers out there, learning to play the guitar without a teacher is possible. I will give you some tips, based on my own experience, to find the best way to learn guitar without a teacher.

Here at All Stringed, we have already made several articles related to learning at home. Articles that will help you be able to learn to play guitar in a self-taught way. Starting with the 5 tips on how to learn guitar at home, we expanded this in the article about the best way to learn guitar at home. We also discuss here the best way to learn to play acoustic guitar at home.

It all depends on your goals and motivations

There is no single specific method to learn guitar without a teacher. Your learning will depend mostly on your goals and motivations. They are closely related to each other. Depending on the objective you have when you start learning, your motivation to carry out this task will change.

It is not the same to start learning just to be able to play a couple of songs with friends at the beach, then to start learning because you want to master your guitar completely. These are entirely different approaches.

No matter what your goal is, you have to dedicate yourself, work hard, and practice a lot to achieve it. Your dedication and approach will be very different, depending on the final goal you have in mind. If you only want to play a couple of songs, you will begin to learn with a self-imposed psychological limitation, which will make it much more difficult to advance when the first obstacles arise. But if you want to master the guitar instead, you will be more mentally prepared to face and not be discouraged when those first obstacles occur.

Playing the guitar is not easier than any other instrument

Since the guitar is such a popular instrument, there is a misconception that it is very easy to learn to play. This is perhaps because many people who use only 2 or 3 chords say that this is an easy thing to do. But playing only 2 or 3 chords is not really playing guitar. It is only a small portion of the initial learning that this instrument requires. Learning to play the guitar without a teacher is not easy either.

In order to learn to play properly and effectively, it is important to become familiar with many elements. Like tuning the guitar, playing guitar tabs, chord progressions, scalesstrumming, etc. Before you can say you have learned to play the guitar, you must master these elements. You will achieve this thanks to the discipline and constancy in the daily practice. These qualities will allow you to develop technical skills on your guitar, and these skills will undoubtedly motivate you to continue in the process. 

Some of the best guitarists have been self-taught

Some think that the best way to learn guitar is with a teacher. But others find it impractical, or cannot afford the cost of a teacher and decide to learn on a self-taught basis. We must bear in mind that some of the best and most famous guitarists have been self-taught.

Knowing that some great guitar players have managed to learn to play without a teacher is a great motivation and a perfect starting point for a beginner. If you need some inspiration to keep going and avoid early frustration, here’s how some of the best guitarists learned to play on a self-taught basis.

Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix has been famous for his great ability, his unmistakable style, and for being a brilliant left guitarist. To this day, he is still on almost every list of the greatest guitarists of all time. Till the age of 15, he played a single-string ukulele, until he bought his first guitar for only 5 dollars.

From the very beginning, he laid out the strings to play with his left hand. He pioneered the combination of Fender Stratocaster guitar and Marshall valve amps that later became so famous, and all this without a teacher to teach him to play.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton is, without a doubt, one of the best blues guitarists of all time. Clapton used to record himself making chord progressions, and then listen to the recordings until he was able to play the chords with the best possible technique. He always tried to eliminate any possible flaws while generating his unique style with his guitar.

Clapton has a big record as he became the first and only “Triple Inductor” of the “Hall Of Fame Of Rock And Roll”. He was admitted as a solo artist in 2000, was previously admitted as a member of Cream in 1993 and as a member of The Yardbirds in 1992. He had another privileged position for finishing just behind Jimi Hendrix as the second-best guitarist of all time in the list made by the “Rolling Stones” magazine.

What method to use to learn guitar without a teacher

Start with the basics

No matter what kind of music you want to play, you’ll need to start with the basics to learn guitar without a teacher. As we discussed in this article, it’s best to start with an open chord progression. In a short time, you will be able to start playing some of your favorite songs this way.

You will find many resources for your initial learning here. Also, YouTube has a lot of videos where you can learn your first chords, easy song tablatures, and the first scales you should practice. 

There are also specialized sites, where you will find courses with complete lessons to learn to play guitar. These online courses are a great way to learn in a self-taught way.

Learn to play the songs you like

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, no matter how hard you try, it will be much harder for you to move on. As I said before, try to learn by always playing the music you like best.

You’ll probably like a band that has a couple of songs that are great for beginners. Focus on learning the necessary chords and practicing enough to be able to play these songs you like.

It’s entirely possible that you will learn to play a handful of songs that you enjoy playing without the need for a music teacher that teaches them to you. In my experience, this can be achieved in a few weeks if you try hard enough. 

You will learn much faster if you set small goals for yourself, such as learning to play a song with three or four chords. You will have small achievements that you will reach every time you add a song to your repertoire. This is a very effective way to learn and improve.

Practice regularly

As in any activity where you improve with practice, learning to play the guitar will require much of your time and dedication. If you keep practicing daily, it will be much easier to achieve. Without realizing it, you will be making a habit out of it.

It will gradually become fixed until you reach a point where you will not be able to go a single day without practicing. A practice time of 30 to 60 minutes a day is a good place to start. If you feel bored or tired, you can stop and continue the next day.

Another great idea is always to have your guitar close by and ready to play. This will allow you to pick it up quickly and start practicing without any big preparations. A song can be more difficult than another and requires extra effort to learn how to play it. In these cases, take it easy, and you will see that by dedicating a few more hours to it, you will be able to learn to play it.

Have everything you need at hand

It’s always good to make sure you have everything you need to play at hand. It’s good to have an extra set of strings in case one breaks. This situation can be very annoying if you don’t have a replacement.

Having a guitar tuner is another good idea. It’s better to tune your guitar with a tuner than try to tune by ear. It will take you much less time to tune your guitar and have it ready to play. I’m sure that if you keep these tips in mind, it will be much easier to learn to play guitar on your own.

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Damián is an author of All Stringed. He started playing with an electric guitar when he was 14 as a self-taught boy at home. He has almost 30 years of experience playing electric and acoustic guitar. You can find more about him here.