Guide: How to Teach Yourself Guitar

Music lessons typically tend to run from $30 to $50 a week. Based on these numbers in a year’s time, someone could spend anywhere from $1560 to $2600 just on lessons. For some people it’s just not affordable that is why we want to help you learn how to teach yourself guitar and pay $0 for lessons.

Learning to play the guitar can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it does take time and effort.

Many people try to learn the guitar thinking it will be a quick and easy process, but that’s not the case. If you are going to teach yourself how to play, you’ll need to stay dedicated on your own.

While lessons are expensive, they are also a great motivation for practicing and putting in the time. Now that you are doing it by yourself, it’s up to you to be the driving force.

Are you ready to get started?

Here are our six tips for learning how to teach yourself guitar.

1. Create Your Plan

The very first thing you need to do is to create a detailed plan for yourself. This plan should include things such as:

  • How many hours a week are you going to practice?
  • What type of music do you want to focus on?
  • What skill level do you want to reach?
  • What is the end goal?

By asking these questions and much more like them, you will be able to create a personalized plan that works for you. For example, if all you want to do is learn to play basic chords and sing along, you can structure your practice plan around that.

2. Learn the Terms and Symbols

The next step is learning the terms and symbols. There are over 80 different music terms and symbols.

This might seem daunting, but it’s incredibly important. These symbols will tell you not only where a note needs to be placed but also how long you need to hold it.

By learning the symbols and terms, you’ll be able to look at a piece of music and understand the skill level needed to play it. This will help you to pick songs that match your abilities.

Now that you understand what a quarter note is you can begin to piece together songs. Closely related to learning the terms and the symbols are learning how to read music and tabs.

Reading basic sheet music is very different from reading tabs. Tabs are a great way to learn as a beginner because it positions the notes as they would appear on the guitar strings.

Sheet music, on the other hand, is set up differently. By learning the differences and similarities between the two of them, you will not only be able to become a better guitar player but it will also help you become a better musician in general.

3. Learn Where the Notes Are

The next step seems obvious. Learn what the notes are. This is especially important if you are learning a song on standard sheet music.

A good place to start is with middle C. Then go up the scale from there. It might take some time to get the hang of it, but knowing where the notes are will help you, especially if you are writing your own music.

There are 49 notes on a guitar [1]. The names of the notes are C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. Each of these notes also have a sharp that coordinates with them.

The best step to learning how to play the guitar is understanding the relationships between the different notes. Play around with your strings until you feel you have a good understanding of where the notes are on a scale.

4. Practice Chords

A big part of the guitar is playing chords. If you can learn some basic chords you play a lot of songs.

In fact, there are some acoustic songs that are simply a rotation of three chords. By learning to play the chords and sing the lyrics, you could be ready for your first performance relatively quickly.

In fact, if you’re interested in performing here are some of the best acoustic guitars to choose from.

5. Work on Your Finger Strength

Now that you know where the notes are and how they relate to one another, it’s time to work on your finger strength.

Be warned, learning to play the guitar takes practice and practice will tire out your hands. In fact, you’ll probably even earn calluses on your hands as a result of your practice.

If this is the case, wear them proud! Playing the guitar is not always easy, especially if you are playing a song with a lot of quick, energetic notes.

Your body will need the protection of the calluses [2]. It comes with the territory.

One finger that you should especially focus on strengthening is the pinky. This will differentiate you from all the other people that are only learning guitar passively.

6. Practice and Perform

The last step is the most important. It’s to practice and perform.

Pick one of your favorite songs that you’ve been dying to learn and get started. The best way to get better is to practice.

As you learn new songs and write your own, you’ll find that your fingers can move faster and with less thought.

Don’t forget to perform your pieces either. Playing the guitar can be an incredibly rewarding experience and should be celebrated!

Even if you have stage fright, don’t give up on performing. Instead, find a situation you feel comfortable playing. This could be recording yourself, playing for family, jamming out with another guitar player, etc.

Music is meant to be shared with others! So be sure to try it, even if it seems scary. Who knows you might just have a unique gift!

Watch this super easy guitar lesson for you:

How to Teach Yourself Guitar

How to teach yourself guitar starts by first purchasing a guitar. Here is a review of the best guitars for beginners. Once you’ve chosen your star, just get started!

If you have any questions reach out to us or comment below! We can’t wait to help you get started!

Stephanie Su

Started learning music when she was four years old, Stephanie is a music teacher and a music therapist who is highly proficient in Piano, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele. She likes to learn, teach, and share her music playing experiences.

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