In order to master the guitar faster, it’s essential to set specific and measurable goals for yourself. For example, pick a simple song that you want to learn by a certain date, or choose a new, difficult chord that you want to learn within a week.
Remember to only set goals that are within reach. A guitar teacher can help you narrow down some specific goals depending on where you are in your learning journey.
Follow a plan
Having a plan will help hold yourself accountable to meeting your goals. Your study plan should include individual practice time, as well as time spent working on homework or exercises that your teacher provides. Make time for each on a calendar that you see daily, and set reminders if you need to.
The best way to stay motivated while learning how to play the guitar is to make your practice sessions enjoyable. Learn songs that you really like by musicians and bands you admire. Jam with other musicians at your level and try to come up with your own new songs.
Remember to have fun while you learn, and you’ll stay motivated despite any challenges that come your way.
Find out more about how to learn guitar for beginners here.
Where can I buy a guitar?
Before you start your online guitar lessons for beginners, you’re going to need a guitar. If you’re buying your first guitar, we recommend purchasing it in person versus online. You’ll need to hold the guitar and get a feel for it, making sure it’s the right size and fit for you.
Be sure that the width of the guitar’s neck accommodates the size of your hand, and that it feels comfortable even while you’re sitting.
Check out your local music studio or Guitar Center, and a store associate should be able to guide you in the right direction.
Learn more about how to buy a guitar here.
How much is a guitar?
Guitars are available at many different price points. It all depends on the type of quality you’re looking for, but most guitars range from $100-$1500.
It’s important to keep in mind that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. If you’re a new student, a quality guitar will not only sound more enjoyable, but it can help you sound better as well. With this in mind, your first guitar shouldn’t cost you more than $500.
This might seem expensive, but you can always start out with free guitar lessons online if you’re on a budget. (Shameless plug-check out the ones we offer here at TakeLessons Live!)
What guitar accessories do I need?
In addition to the guitar itself, there are a few accessories that you might like to purchase that will help make playing easier - especially as a beginner. Here are a few must-have guitar accessories.
- Guitar picks - Picks make strumming the guitar a lot easier and they come in a variety of widths.
- Guitar strap - A guitar strap will help hold the guitar up when you’re standing and playing.
- Tuner - Use a tuner to make sure your guitar is in tune before starting to play!
- Guitar case - If you plan to transport your instrument to another location, a case is essential to keeping it in good condition.
- Capo - A capo will help you change the key of the chords you’re playing if you plan to sing along.
How do you tune a guitar?
An out of tune guitar can make even the best guitar player in the world sound terrible. So before you start online guitar lessons for beginners, you should make sure your instrument is in tune.
Essentially, the way to tune a guitar is by adjusting its strings. You can do this by turning the strings’ corresponding tuning keys on the head of the guitar. Turn the tuning key away from you to tighten the string and raise its pitch; turn it toward you to loosen it and lower the pitch.
It’s best to do this with the help of a chromatic tuner, so you know when to stop turning - once each string has reached the correct note. The strings should be tuned to E-A-D-G-B-E starting with the highest string. This is known as “standard tuning.”
Learn more ways to tune a guitar here.
How do you strum a guitar?
Learning how to properly strum your guitar is essential to being able to play a majority of your favorite songs. To start, grab a pick. Or, if you prefer, you can use a fingernail on your strumming hand by putting your thumb and index finger together.
When strumming your guitar, one key thing to keep in mind is that the motion should be coming from your wrist rather than your elbow. Don’t lock up your wrist and arm. Instead, flick your wrist lightly up and down, while relaxing the rest of your body.
First, practice strumming downstrokes through all six strings to the beat of your favorite song. If you don’t know what chords to play, that’s ok. Just mute the strings with your non-strumming hand. Once you feel comfortable with downstrokes, throw in an upstroke on every other beat.
With upstrokes, you don’t have to strum through all six strings. The top few strings should be enough to add a little variety to your strumming. Repeat this down-up-down-up exercise until you feel comfortable with strumming, then add in some chords!
How do you play chords on a guitar?
A chord is three or more different notes that are played simultaneously. For example, the C major chord contains three notes: C, E, and G. The most basic guitar chords are C, D, Dm (D minor), E, Em (E minor), F, G, A, and Am (A minor).
If you’re a beginner, start with learning to play major chords. Something to keep in mind when playing chords it that they should always sound clean and crisp. Make sure your fingers are firmly pressed down on each string to eliminate any muffled sounds.
You should also practice making a smooth, fluid transition from one chord to the next. Don’t rush through playing chords; take your time and practice as slow as necessary to master the technique. Use a metronome if needed!
Here’s a simple exercise you can try to help you improve at playing chords. Start by playing the G chord and switch back and forth from G to all the other basic chords. For example: G - C - G - D - G - Em - G - F - G - Am - G.
Learn more about guitar chords here.
How you structure your practice sessions is just as important as your group guitar classes or individual lessons. Follow these 11 tips to get the most out of your practice time and learn the guitar even faster!
- Make a specific schedule - Practice at the same time (and in the same place) every day so you don’t forget. Remember to choose a location without distractions!
- Warm up - Always start your practice sessions with some warm up exercises such as scales or arpeggios.
- Challenge yourself first - Experts recommend practicing the most challenging things you’re learning right after you warm up, when your mind is at its freshest point.
- Try a new technique - Ever heard of hammer ons or pull offs? How about muting or harmonics? Learn guitar online by looking up guitar tutorials on YouTube for popular techniques, and practice them on your own!
- Separate your hands - Practice your left and right hand movements separately, before combining them, to improve your coordination.
- Slow down - Don’t rush through songs or tricky chords you’re trying to learn. Slow down to make less mistakes and work on your technique.
- Use a metronome - Train yourself to play in time and you’ll not only be a better musician, but you’ll be able to play more easily in a band or ensemble.
- Play without looking - Practice playing chords and strumming without looking at your hands to reinforce your muscle memory.
- Record yourself - Record your practice sessions to check your accuracy and timing. Listening back to yourself will also help train your ears.
- Try a music stand - A music stand will help you maintain correct posture and feel more relaxed while playing for extended periods of time.
- Keep it short - Don’t burn yourself out with long practice sessions. Remember that the quality of your practice is just as important as the quantity!
How much should I practice guitar?
If you’re new to the guitar, we recommend practicing every day for at least 30 minutes. If you can practice for an hour every day, even better! If you have a busy schedule and can only fit in smaller chunks of practice time, that’s okay too.
A little bit of practice is always better than nothing; just make sure you’re practicing frequently and regularly to get the most out of your online guitar lessons.
Intermediate students: Meeting with your instructor once per week is our best advice for how to learn guitar for intermediate students, because it allows for consistent skill growth. If you’re finding you need more time to master new material, you can always move to lessons once every two weeks until you feel more confident.
Expert or professional guitarists: Success! You’ve decided to make your living doing something you love! You’ve learned so much and come so far, but there are so many styles and variations that you could likely go on finding new and different ways to play guitar forever. Taking the time for a lesson every so often can refresh your playing immensely. New skills lead to new and better songwriting, and more impressive performances, so try to meet with an instructor every month or two.
What are some easy songs to play on guitar? After you learn a few simple chords on the guitar, there are hundreds of popular songs that you’ll be able to play! When you learn guitar online with our friendly teachers, you’ll get tons of recommendations. In the meantime, you can check out the following lists for some ideas.