Excited about your first guitar lesson? Not sure what to expect? Read on as Goodyear, AZ teacher David A. offers his advice on how to prepare, the basics of guitar you can expect to learn, and more!
By the time I turned nine years old, I had spent six months begging my mom and dad to get me an electric guitar. When I finally had one, I was extremely eager to play it. The problem was, I didn’t know how. However, that was all about to change, because… I was about to have my very first guitar lesson!
The Big Day: The First Lesson
So today’s the day… Lesson number one with a TakeLessons guitar teacher! Perhaps you are feeling both excited and a little bit nervous?
First, let’s talk about what you need to bring to your lesson. In addition to bringing a positive attitude and desire to learn guitar (after all, you have been looking forward to this day, right?), it would be a good idea to bring your guitar, if you have one.
If you have an electric guitar, you will generally not have to bring an amplifier (“amp” in guitar-speak) or a guitar cord, as most teachers have these available at their studios. While no two guitar studios look exactly alike, it’s a pretty safe bet that you will probably see a guitar (or perhaps 10!), amps, assorted guitar effects pedals, music stands, and other guitar-related paraphernalia. In my case, I vividly remember walking down a flight of basement stairs and entering the strange-looking yet fascinating lair of my amazing guitar teacher. Although I had seen pictures of rooms like these in music magazines, I had never seen one in person, and this was definitely a magical thrill that, to this day, I still remember with joy.
What You Can Expect to Learn
At your first guitar lesson, be sure to let your teacher know which guitar styles interest you. This is important, as it could ultimately affect the method in which you learn guitar. Do you want to burn up the fretboard as a rock guitarist? Do you prefer the chord and scale sophistication of jazz? Perhaps country is more your style? Or even classical? With regard to style, another aspect to consider is whether or not you will want to learn to play with a pick, fingerstyle, or perhaps both. Just keep in mind that while different guitar styles can involve a variety of teaching methods and approaches, there is still going to be the need for you, the aspiring guitarist, to learn some necessary basics of guitar, like an introduction to the fretboard.
Your teacher will show you the letter names of the six guitar strings. There are guitars available with more than six strings, such as a 12-string guitar, but most people begin by playing a six-string guitar. If you bring your guitar to the lesson, you may learn about the different parts of the guitar, such as the neck, headstock, and bridge. Your teacher can also check to see that your guitar is tuned properly. On this note, if you have a guitar that has very old worn strings on it, it may be a good idea to put on new strings; your teacher can show you how to do this, or may even do it for you. Depending on the duration of your first lesson, you may learn some of the notes on the strings, or even some basic guitar chords. You can also expect to begin learning about proper fretting, picking, and strumming technique.
Having Fun With Guitar
The following is true: I still get a kick out of playing my guitar as much as when I was nine years old and just learning the basics of guitar. Whether you aspire to become a professional guitarist or play for a hobby, learning the guitar should be a fun and rewarding experience that you can enjoy for years to come. While learning the guitar does involve acquiring skills in technique and some music theory, with the right positive attitude and willingness to learn, you too can become an accomplished guitarist in your own right. It all starts with that first guitar lesson!
David A. teaches guitar, piano, singing, songwriting, and more in Goodyear, AZ. He has performed in numerous and varied musical situations, including with The University of Maryland Jazz Orchestra and the Pavement Chasers Tribute to Adele. He currently performs as a freelance keyboardist and guitarist in the Phoenix metro area. Learn more about David here!
Photo by jrsnchzhrs