How to learn to play guitar on your own
Learn to Play

How to learn to play guitar on your own

The question of how to learn to play the guitar worries everyone who dreams of mastering this stringed instrument. In this article, we will tell you how to start preparing for learning, how to build the process of learning to play the guitar correctly, and analyze the most frequently asked questions.

How to learn to play the guitar

Why learn to play?

how to learn to play the guitar
guitar structure

Any musician improves throughout his life, no matter how much he plays and what heights he has not reached. Even a professional performer will continuously hone his skills.

It is worth deciding in advance what heights you want to achieve in learning to play the guitar. If your goal is to simply play a few favorite songs for yourself or a small group of friends, then this will not take as much time as, for example, mastering the instrument to the level of relatively fluent reading of music.

Goal setting:

1.  Game for yourself.

2.  Fluency in the instrument
    and obtaining basic musical knowledge.
3 .  Professional concert activity.
4.  Achievementof “highest skill”.

The first goal is relatively easy to achieve for any person and after a year of constant practice, you can master the instrument to a level that will allow you to easily play your favorite popular tunes.

The second, third and fourth goals require a different approach. It is impossible to achieve a professional level of instrument proficiency without going through the basic level of training and without having acquired all the necessary skills.

Classical or acoustic guitar?

how to learn to play the guitar
guitar range

It is important to choose the right musical instrument, and hence the subsequent approach to learning.

If you are interested in classical music or the music of bards, then the choice should be the classical guitar .

If the goal is to perform popular compositions, rock and roll, blues and other stylistic trends, then acoustic (dreadnought) guitar is more suitable for you .

Чем отличается акустическая гитара от классической.

But there is another opinion about the applicability of guitars in the learning process. It is believed that it is necessary to start learning to play the guitar with a classical instrument. At the beginning, it is necessary to master it, gaining basic knowledge of the game, comparable to the curriculum at a music school, and only then move on to mastering the acoustic guitar.

Answering the question of how to learn to play the guitar, we note that it is necessary:

  • master the classic exercises;
  • learn how to play a classical instrument with nylon strings;
  • learn to listen to the guitar;
  • move on to learning.

More about training

No virtuoso was born that way. Everything you see at a concert, in a music video, you hear in music recordings is the fruit of hard work, long studies and training, and only then – talent. Even a person with the most musical ear cannot succeed without a technique. Conversely, through a purposeful sequence of actions, a good guitarist can turn out to be someone who is said to have “a bear stepped on his ear.” Remember the main thing – if you have ears, then you have hearing. Well, for the game, a tool and two hands are enough.

How to learn to play the guitar

In learning to play the guitar, the system you use plays a big role. Don’t be afraid of this word. The system is not a chain of equations that are used to interpret sound vibrations. It is simply a more or less strict periodicity of actions performed with a specific purpose. For example, if you devote at least 40 minutes to the guitar every day, this is already a system. In the end, this will give a better result than if you sat down at the instrument for three hours, but once a week. Therefore, before you start playing guitar from scratch, decide what you need it for. Motivation is a great thing, it works wonders. At the same time, you can purchase a guitar tutorial for learning at home or take guitar lessons from an experienced person.

Pro Tips

Experienced guitarists, many of whom have reached the world level, are always ready to share their authoritative opinion. Many of them started out self-taught, went the wrong way, got a lot of bumps, and already on the basis of this experience they recommend beginners not to repeat the mistakes of others. Most guitar masters agree that a beginner should:

  1. Go from simple to complex, do not rush into a complex piece, learning it for weeks.
  2. To hone not only the technique itself, but also its application in musical works.
  3. Do not be arrogant and do not consider yourself cool – after all, any child of the second grade of a music school at the time of the beginning knows and knows more than you.
  4. Listening and thinking is the only way to become a real guitarist, and not just a performer of other people’s songs who has learned chords and tablature.

Here are a couple of valuable tips from the pros:

Andy McKee : Pick up the tune by ear. Now on the Internet you can find an analysis of any work, but this will not make you stronger as a musician.

Tom Morello : The main thing is regularity. Don’t let yourself miss classes, even if you have a lot of important things to do. It is very difficult, because it is always easier to agree with oneself than with others.

Steve Vai : Speed ​​is good, it’s technical. But you won’t get far at one speed. Work on all aspects of the game.

Joe Satriani : Be sure to study new works, listen to unfamiliar compositions, develop. Repetition of the old is useful only up to a certain point.

Basic tricks

There are some general principles and schemes, without the assimilation of which it will not be possible to move on. Sooner or later, incorrect finger placement, instrument position, or incorrect technique will slow down your development. And relearning is always harder than learning for the first time. Among the basic techniques that are mandatory for learning by a novice guitarist, it is worth highlighting:

  1. guitar position. There is a classic landing and its simplified mass variation . The first must be studied if you plan to perform classical works and complex solo parts. Simplified is common among almost all performers of popular music, regardless of genre.
  2. The position of the right and left hand. It depends on how easily and quickly the student will be able to master various techniques of playing and sound production. It is very important that the position of the hands does not allow fatigue to accumulate quickly.
  3. Chord s and barre. A chord is the extraction of several notes by pinching the strings with the left hand on the fretboard in the right places. Some of the most difficult chords involve performing the barre technique – when the index finger pinches all the strings on the same fret , and the rest are located at several adjacent points to the right of the fretboard .

How to learn to play guitar on your own

Striking playing

Striking the guitar involves special movements of the left hand – hitting the strings from top to bottom or from bottom to top. It is applied with a mediator or with several fingers of a half-bent fret . When moving down, the pads and nails are involved, with the return movement, the inside of the first phalanges.

How to learn to play guitar on your own

In order to place the palm correctly, they play on open strings. Pressing the s chord in this case will be redundant – it will only distract you. To muffle the sound, you can simply loosely place a few fingers of your left hand on top of the strings on the fretboard .

When you master the basic fight, you can move on to rhythmic patterns – combinations of up and down movements. It is better to memorize them by combining a graphical representation with the help of arrows with listening to examples.

Playing chords

Chords are the cornerstone of interesting play on both acoustic and electric guitars. To learn how to play an ami chord , give all your attention to your left hand. The right hand can play the simplest beat so that you can memorize the chord by ear, getting used to its sound.

The desired arrangement of fingers when taking a chord a is called fingering. Each chord can be played in different fingerings, this changes the pitch of its sound. Schematic drawings of the fretboard a, on which dots indicate the clamped strings, are best suited for studying chords .


When playing by brute force, it is necessary to carry out the correct setting of the right hand – it should lightly touch the body of the guitar so as not to hang in the air, but be as free as possible in the wrist joint.

How to learn to play guitar on your own

The main rule when studying any brute-force patterns is slow execution in the first minutes with a gradual increase in tempo .

Guitar device and tuning

To make it easier to navigate in specialized literature, a beginner needs to immediately learn the names of all the functional elements of the guitar. These include:

  • body (consists of lower and upper decks and shells);
  • neck with a head;
  • frets and sills;
  • mechanisms for fastening and tensioning strings –  string holder , nut, tuning pegs .

How to learn to play guitar on your own

Guitar tuning should precede any exercise. Learn to tune your guitar by ear. The first string, held at the fifth fret , must be tuned to the note la of the first octave. To check, it is better to use a tuning fork. Then go up the strings: the second on the fifth fret sounds like the first open, the third on the fourth corresponds to the second open, the next three strings are also clamped on the fifth fret to sound in one note with the previous open.

Choosing and buying a guitar

To learn how to play, do not be greedy and buy a normal acoustic guitar. On it you will understand what you want in the future and work out all the necessary skills. Acoustics does not require anything but hands and desire, unlike an electric guitar, which requires a minimum of a cord and a reproducing device (a computer with a normal sound card and speaker system, a guitar combo amplifier ).

At the first purchase, it is better to enlist the support of an experienced person – a friend, colleague, like-minded person from the forum, a music school teacher.

Organization of the educational process

Before proceeding to the selection of training materials, it is important to consider that any educational process requires:

1. systematic

2. thoroughness

3. Constant and hard work

There is an opinion among teachers of playing the guitar that a student acquires stable possession skills by spending 300-400 hours on the instrument.

Such a result can be achieved in about a year, devoting at least 1 hour to training every day.

ADVICE:you should not move on to studying the next technique without honing the previous element to automatism. So, you will not transfer execution errors to new exercises.

When learning to play the guitar at home, most people face the same problem:

In the process of studying for a long time, they do not notice their mistakes in technique, methods of combining performance techniques, which leads to difficulties. It is much easier to learn how to play right at once than to develop wrong habits.


For this reason, most people, answering the question: “How to learn to play the guitar?” will answer that it is worth some time to study with a professional teacher, get basic knowledge and valuable instructions from him.

THE MAIN THINGin time to identify those errors and difficulties that the student has in the learning process. This will allow you to master the guitar much more efficiently and better.

And, perhaps, one of the most important in the learning process:


Learning to read music will only help you play the guitar. Such a skill is extremely useful from a practical point of view, and it cannot be fully replaced by tablature, and even more so by memorizing the location of the fingers on the fretboard and memorized enumeration!

Guitar Exercises

Do not immediately strive to play complex chords or melodies. At the beginning of training, the primary task is:

1. develop finger flexibility;

2. independence of their work from each other;

3. synchronous work of two hands.

To understand how to learn how to play the guitar, it is recommended that you regularly perform the exercises below.

Exercise 1 . Playing with an emphasis, or a pinch with an emphasis (Apoyando)

This is a sound extraction technique, the correct development of which trains the fingers of the right hand.

  1. When playing apoyando, the fingers marked “I and M” alternately extract sounds from one string and stop after the sound is produced on the next string.

2. The return movement of the finger after the stop begins only after the second finger begins to move towards the string from which the sound is planned to be extracted.

3. Exercise should be done slowly.

4. Every day this exercise should be given at least 5-7 minutes.

Звукоизвлечение. Игра с опорой. Апояндо.

Exercise 2 _

This exercise is aimed at the independence of the work of the fingers and at the same time the synchronization of the hands.

  • With the first finger on the first fret, we hold the string “E” and play this note 4 times, then, without lifting the first finger, we hold the same string with the second finger and also play this note 4 times. We do the same with the 3rd and 4th fingers on the first string. The main thing is not to let go of already clamped fingers.
  • After that, we switch to the “B” string and repeat the move, and so we climb up the strings. Then you can transform the movement down the strings.
  • At the beginning, we perform this exercise slowly. You can pick up the pace later. It is important to pay attention to the purity of sound extraction.
  • Game Intervals: Every day and at the beginning of each session for 10 minutes.
  • The exercise is useful to warm up the joints and synchronize the hands.
  • This exercise can be modernized, for example, into a game of chromatic scales.
Упражнения для Гитары (Хроматика и Переходы со Струны на Струну)

Exercise 3. Finger stretch

At first, this exercise will seem overly difficult, but its effect cannot be underestimated.

  • The exercise is played on the G string. We hold the string with the first finger at the fifth fret. We clamp the same string with 2,3 and 4 fingers at 6,7 and 8 frets.
  • Then we move the first finger to the 4th string D and extract the note with a pinch from the 4th string.
  • We extract a note from the 2nd string B, clamped with the first finger, without lifting fingers 2,3 and 4 from the 3rd string.
  • With the first finger we clamp the 5th string and the 1st string, then we repeat the same with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers.
  • We play slowly and carefully, follow the correct position of the thumb.
РАСТЯЖКА ПАЛЬЦЕВ / видео уроки гитары - ЗАРЯДКА ГИТАРИСТА, урок 2

Common mistakes beginners make when playing the guitar

Beginning musicians often make mistakes, especially self-taught ones. One of the most important tasks is to identify them in time and get rid of the shortcomings of the game.

  1. Incorrect positioning of the hands and tension in the hands.
  2. Translation of the fingers of the left hand from chord to chord by dragging along the strings, not by translating them.
  3. Excessively moving fingers away from the strings and fretboard when transposing chords.
  4. Increased attention to the purity of the work of the left hand in relation to the achievement of rhythmic sound production.
  5. Desire to immediately play difficult melodies and exercises.

This is just a small part of the tips on how to learn to play the guitar on your own. Successful learning of the guitar – play and have fun!

Guitar Lesson - How To Play Your First Chord

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