Thinking about taking guitar lessons? It’s one of the most popular instruments for beginners! While it’s pretty easy to pick up the guitar and start plucking, if you really want to master the chords and songs you hear from your favorite artists, working with an experienced guitar teacher is important. Here, Brooklyn guitar teacher Amit P. discusses six of the most common questions new guitar players have before starting lessons…
1. “Am I too young or too old to start learning how to play the guitar?”
Progress in music is all about determination. As long as you have your heart in it, age is never a problem. I’ve taught students who were 6 years old and students who were 50+ – they all rocked! It’s always the right time to start playing.
2. “Do I have to practice 5 hours a day for the rest of my life?”
Well, in a perfect world all of my students are free of school/work/social life and they are practicing 10 hours a day. However, if you take lessons on a regular basis and practice your material an hour a day, you’re on the right track. Most of the concepts we cover in the lessons are practiced through a song that incorporates the material, which makes “practicing” a very natural process. For example, if you want to learn how to play with a guitar slide, we can play Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Scar Tissue”.
3. “Should I start by playing classical guitar or electric?”
Anything works, just remember it’s important to get used to your instrument. Younger students often have a hard time with the weight of an electric guitar; others might have trouble with the size of a classical guitar. At the end of the day, you grow accustomed to your instrument and not the other way around. The more time you will spend with your guitar, the more comfortable you will feel.
4. “I only play rock/metal/jazz/polka, why do I need to study other musical styles?”
Let’s be clear here: music is music is music. Exposing yourself to new music keeps your muse and brain hungry and constantly developing. That’s how great new music is created!
5. “Is it true that guitar players can’t read music?”
Nope, reading notes is extremely easy. Written music enables us to: (a) preserve music that was never recorded, (b) play any written piece whether it was written for 5 cellos and a trumpet or a piano, and (c) better understand the music we make and come across. It is just as important (and easy) as learning how to read.
6. “How can I be the best guitarist I can be? Do I need expensive gear?”
All you need is your instrument, patience, and maybe a metronome as well. It’s all about practice. Playing guitar pays back the time you’ve invested in it; it’s that simple. The more you play and practice, the better you get. Having great teachers is a tremendous help along the way, but the key ingredient here is you – *It’s all in your hands.*
Amit P. teaches bass guitar, songwriting, and guitar lessons in Brooklyn, NY. He has been teaching for 15 years and he joined the TakeLessons team in August 2013. Amit specializes in teaching many genres of music, from country to metal. Learn more about Amit or search for a teacher near you!
Photo by David Masters