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Have you ever tried to pick up a guitar and learn how to play it without taking lessons, made a little progress, got stuck, and then quit altogether? If you answered yes (or even no) to this question, this article might be for you.
You don't need to be a genius to learn how to play guitar. Just like Thom Yorke said in the Radiohead song, "Anyone can play guitar." All you need is a bit of patience, online resources, and a few minutes of every day to practice.
Here are the steps you need to take in order to start your learning guitar journey:
1. Get a guitar (Duh!).
Whether you borrow it from a friend or purchase it yourself, it is very important that you have daily access to your guitar, as it is very important to have it handy for you to practice during your free time.
2. Get resources.
Find some resources online where you can learn things that you need for your every day playing. You can also buy/borrow some books instead, whichever will work best for you. Make sure to use the same source of information for the first few months you're learning. Once you're getting more advanced into your playing, you can start finding more resources and comparing information since your brain has gotten a little more familiar with the technicalities of the instrument.
3. Learn chord progressions.
The easiest thing to learn on guitar are chord progressions. Try learning a few chords and then finding some progressions so that your ear starts understanding the basic structure of music and your fingers build strength and dexterity.
4. Practice every day.
This is one of the most important aspects of learning to play successfully. It doesn't need to be a 2-hour session; practicing 5 minutes a day will make a big difference in your learning experience. Practicing every day will assure that you have a fresh set of eyes on problems that you encounter as you make progress.
5. Learn simple melodies.
Now that you've mastered a few chords and learned some progressions, it's time for you to move on to playing simple melodies. Play a small intro to a simple song and continue to work on it daily. Now, don't go on and learn a bunch of intros or riffs and not learn the rest of the song, because that's one way to make sure you'll get stuck not learning more. It's okay for a start to learn how to use your fingers while also not getting too frustrated.
6. Learn full songs.
Once you've mastered a few lines of melody, learn a full song. It's going to be difficult at first, but with practice, you'll get better at it. If you find yourself frustrated and unable to understand part of a song, take a step back and study the song outside of your instrument. You may think to yourself, "Studying? I'm not in school to be studying. What is this dude even talking about?" Though it's one of the most important things for you to make progress. In order to do this, you can look at tutorials or covers on YouTube and observe what the player is doing that you're unable to do. Nowadays you can even watch the video at half the original speed in order to observe it. If you know the song, try to imagine the part you're having trouble with and play it slowly in your head while reading your tab/sheet music. Then, take a break and come back to your guitar and try again.
7. Figure out what you want from becoming a musician.
Are you trying to start a career? A hobby? If you're just using it as a hobby, then it's all up to you to keep improving and building up on your skills. Now, if you're trying to build a career as a musician, I recommend taking lessons. Even the most proficient musicians can benefit from taking lessons.
There are many ways to learn how to play guitar, but having guidelines and tips is always helpful. Patience, perseverance, and consistency are the most important qualities that a musician needs to become proficient in their instrument.
Now it's up to you to get out there and conquer the world with your guitar!