Basic Guitar Lessons for Beginners

Before you start reading this article, basic guitar lessons by Jamie Jones, keep this in mind.

There are a lot of music teachers, books, videos and online courses out there to choose from. All these learning aids are important but unless you are willing to put in the practice time EVERYDAY chances are that you will not get any better at playing guitar. You will become frustrated and loose interest. It sounds trite I know, but TRUE!

Practice makes perfect.

You're a beginner and you want guitar lessons to start you off. But you're confused by all the choices: which would be the best guitar learning technique?

Guitar lessons are like anything else: there are two ways of learning, and they're not the hard way or the easy way, nor are they my way or the highway. No, they're teach yourself, or get a teacher.

Let's look at teachers first. They come in four guises, and some are more effective than others. The more effective, the more expensive--usually.

Guitar lessons for beginners source #1 - A Friend

The cheapest and probably least effective basic guitar lessons you can get are from a friend. I don't say that to be disrespectful to anyone's playing abilities, but simply to point out that unless that friend plays by the book and is a qualified teacher, you'll probably pick up any bad habits they have. They're also not likely to be available to give guitar lessons on a regular basis, and may either become impatient when you don't pick things up fast enough, or may just let things slide, allowing you to form bad habits of your own. So your basic guitar lessons will remain just that--basic. The cost is good, though--usually nothing.

ACDC's Angus Young and his Gibson

Guitar lessons for beginners source #2 - School Lessons

You may be fortunate enough to be still at school with guitar lessons available there. If so, take them. You'll get a qualified teacher, weekly classes, and fellow pupils to swap notes with (and maybe even get together to play with!) after your guitar lessons.

Guitar lessons for beginners source #3 - Night School

Night school is the next most effective and cheap source. It differs from school because you have to make the effort to go after a day's work. That usually means you've other things going on in your life--things that may intrude. Not only that, class size will probably be large, so you'll have less input about what you want to learn. And there's usually only two levels--basic guitar lessons, then intermediate. The cost as an hourly rate will be very reasonable, though.

Guitar lessons for beginners source #4 - A Professional Teacher

A professional teacher is the most expensive option. A good one will bring out the best in you, may encourage you to take grades, but will get frustrated if you don't practice. If you have money, time, and are prepared to put the work in, this is one of the most effective routes to take, because they'll correct any bad habits, and your guitar lessons are one-on-one. Obviously, you can save a little if you get your basic guitar lessons at, say, night school first.

Guitar lessons for beginners source #5 - A Book or Course

If you can't afford a professional teacher, and you don't have evening/school classes or a friend handy, the second guitar learning technique is to teach yourself. You've three possible options.

You can buy guitar tutors fairly cheaply at most guitar shops, or online. They used to come in book form, but increasingly incorporate CDs and DVDs. There's a one-off cost, non-refundable, and you progress at your own pace.

Guitar lessons for beginners source #6 - Learn By Ear

Once you've got past the basic guitar lessons in these tutors, you might decide the best way to teach yourself is to play your favourite songs by ear. So you listen to them over and over, work out the chords, then play. The advantage of this technique is that it'll give you confidence, and if you mess up, no one will know. It's also cheap--presumably you've already paid for the music.

Also, there are fan sites online where you can download lyrics and sheet music to your favorite songs, thus saving you the time of doing it yourself.

Guitar lessons for beginners source #7 - The Online Course

Finally, there's the online course. For the cost of a few guitar lessons with a professional teacher you can get a course aimed at your level of proficiency. There are anything from basic guitar lessons online to advanced jazz. The courses usually come with a money-back guarantee, too, which is not true of the other methods. Another advantage is that you learn whenever it's convenient--teachers are available only at certain times of the day.

So there you have it--the seven basic guitar lessons sources: a friend, school lessons, night school, a professional teacher, a book or course, learning by ear, or an online course.

Which is best?

Depends on how serious you are, how much time you can devote to practice, and what you want to achieve.

If you're just starting, it might be best to go for the cheapest, most basic guitar lessons you can. That way, if you don't persevere, you haven't lost much.

If you do persevere, and you want to get really good, you'll eventually want to consider a professional teacher.

Wherever you want your journey to take you, I hope you get there and have fun traveling!

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