Best way to start playing guitar?

Best Way to Start Playing Guitar: A Comprehensive Guide

Learning to play the guitar can be an exciting and rewarding journey. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an older adult looking to pick up a new hobby, starting off on the right foot is crucial. In this article, we will explore the best approach to begin playing the guitar based on expert insights from reputable sources.

1. Start with the Basics

Before diving into complex techniques, it’s essential to establish a strong foundation. Begin by learning the fundamental aspects of playing the guitar:

  • Setting up the guitar: Familiarize yourself with guitar maintenance, including tuning the strings and replacing them if necessary.
  • Remembering string order and names: Learn the names of the guitar strings and their order, enabling you to identify tones and notes accurately.
  • Holding a guitar pick correctly: Master the proper technique for holding a pick, as it directly affects the sound and tone produced.
  • Playing notes: Develop finger placement skills on the fretboard to produce clear and accurate notes.
  • Strumming techniques: Practice strumming patterns, keeping your wrist loose for a fluid and relaxed playing style.
  • Learning guitar chords: Explore beginner-friendly chords and understand their role as the building blocks of many songs.

2. Find the Best Guitar for You

Choosing the right guitar is crucial to your learning experience. Consider the following factors when selecting an instrument:

  • Acoustic or electric: Decide whether you prefer the warm tones of an acoustic guitar or the versatility of an electric guitar.
  • Personal preferences: Take into account your musical preferences, playing style, and the type of music you aspire to play.
  • Budget considerations: Set a budget and explore guitars within your price range, ensuring you get the best value for your investment.
  • Physical factors: Consider your hand size and whether you are left-handed or right-handed when choosing a guitar.

3. Create an Ideal Learning Environment

Setting up a comfortable and inspiring practice space is essential for consistent progress:

  • Keep your guitar prominently displayed: Visual cues can serve as a reminder to practice regularly.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature: A well-ventilated room with a consistent temperature ensures a pleasant practice environment.
  • Ensure proper lighting: Choose a well-lit room to clearly see the fretboard and enhance your playing accuracy.
  • Use a comfortable chair or practice stool: Support good posture to prevent discomfort and strain during practice sessions.
  • Ensure privacy and quiet: Minimize distractions and interruptions, allowing you to focus and immerse yourself in your practice.
  • Decorate the space with inspirational decor: Surround yourself with items that inspire and motivate you on your guitar learning journey.

4. Build Skills by Learning Songs

Applying your techniques to real music is a great way to reinforce your learning and keep yourself motivated. Consider these tips:

  • Explore beginner-friendly songs: Look for collections of songs designed specifically for beginners.
  • Focus on chords, strumming patterns, and melodies: Practicing these elements within the context of a song enhances your musicality and enjoyment.
  • Utilize reputable sources: Seek out reliable sources, such as online tutorials or instructional books, that provide accurate and accessible song lessons.

5. Develop Your Ear

Training your ear is an invaluable skill that will greatly enhance your musicality. Follow these suggestions:

  • Consistent practice and repetition: Regularly practicing songs, scales, and intervals will improve your ability to recognize notes, chords, and patterns by ear.
  • Learn to play by ear: Challenge yourself to learn songs by listening and imitating rather than relying solely on sheet music or tabs. This process deepens your understanding of music and enables you to play a wider range of songs.

By starting with the basics, finding the right guitar, creating an ideal learning environment, building skills through song learning, and developing your ear, you’ll establish a solid foundation for your guitar playing journey. Remember to be patient, enjoy the process, and celebrate your progress along the way!

– “The Best Way To Learn To Play Guitar: 10 Tips” by Fender (
– “How To Play Guitar As An Older Beginner” by Tomas Michaud (
– “The First Thing To Learn As A Beginner On The Guitar” by London Guitar Institute (


What are the essential steps to start playing guitar?

To start playing guitar, it’s important to follow these essential steps:

    • Learn the basics, including setting up the guitar, understanding string order and names, holding a guitar pick correctly, playing notes, strumming techniques, and learning guitar chords.
    • Find the best guitar for you based on your preferences, budget, and physical needs.
    • Create an ideal learning environment that is comfortable and inspiring.
    • Build skills by learning songs and applying techniques in a musical context.
    • Develop your ear by consistently practicing and training yourself to recognize notes, chords, and patterns by ear.

Should I start with an acoustic or electric guitar?

The choice between an acoustic or electric guitar depends on your musical preferences and playing style. Acoustic guitars produce warm, natural tones and are well-suited for folk, country, and singer-songwriter genres. Electric guitars offer a wider range of tones and are versatile for various genres like rock, blues, and jazz. Consider your musical interests and the sound you want to achieve when deciding between the two.

How can I create an optimal learning environment for practicing guitar?

To create an optimal learning environment for practicing guitar:

    • Keep your guitar prominently displayed as a reminder to practice regularly.
    • Maintain a comfortable temperature and good ventilation in your practice space.
    • Ensure proper lighting to see the fretboard clearly.
    • Use a comfortable chair or practice stool to support good posture.
    • Minimize distractions and ensure privacy and quiet during practice sessions.
    • Decorate your practice space with inspirational decor to enhance motivation.

How can I learn to play songs on the guitar as a beginner?

To learn to play songs on the guitar as a beginner:

    • Start with beginner-friendly songs that focus on basic chords, strumming patterns, and melodies.
    • Utilize reputable sources such as online tutorials or instructional books that provide accurate and accessible song lessons.
    • Break down songs into smaller sections and practice them gradually for better understanding and mastery.
    • Explore songs that you enjoy and resonate with, as it will make the learning experience more enjoyable and motivating.

How can I develop my ear for playing guitar?

To develop your ear for playing guitar:

    • Consistently practice songs, scales, and intervals to improve your ability to recognize notes, chords, and patterns by ear.
    • Challenge yourself to learn songs by listening and imitating rather than relying solely on sheet music or tabs.
    • Train your ear to identify melodies, chord progressions, and tonal qualities in the music you listen to.
    • Practice playing along with songs and trying to match the pitch and rhythm by ear.

How long does it take to become proficient at playing the guitar?

The time it takes to become proficient at playing the guitar varies for each individual. It depends on factors such as the amount of time dedicated to practice, consistency, quality of practice, previous musical experience, and natural aptitude. With regular practice and a structured learning approach, many beginners can start playing simple songs within a few months and steadily progress from there.

Is it necessary to take lessons from a guitar instructor?

Taking lessons from a guitar instructor can be beneficial, especially for beginners. An instructor can provide personalized guidance, correct any technique errors, and offer structured lessons tailored to your skill level and goals. However, it is possible to learn guitar on your own through online resources, tutorials, and self-study if you are disciplined, motivated, and follow a well-structured learning plan.

How can I stay motivated while learning to play guitar?

To stay motivated while learning to play guitar:

    • Set realistic goals and track your progress to see how far you’ve come.
    • Celebrate small achievements along the way.
    • Practice regularly, even if it’s for short periods of time.
    • Find a practice routine that works for you and stick to it.
    • Join a community of fellow guitarists or find a practice partner foradditional support and accountability.
    • Explore a variety of musical styles and genres to keep your learning experience diverse and interesting.
    • Take breaks when needed to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy balance.
    • Remember why you started playing guitar in the first place and focus on the enjoyment and fulfillment it brings.