rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Best way to learn guitar for beginners  (Read 1633 times)

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« on: October 20, 2019, 07:30:31 AM »
For literally 40 years I have told myself I'd like to play the guitar. It turns out, if you don't buy a guitar and do something about it, it doesn't happen. So that's about to change.


In the 'old' days, one would take guitar lessons. And while I'm sure this is still be a good idea, there are now lots of other options. So many in fact, it's hard to choose. I'm sure there's standalone software, plus online courses such as Center Stage (which seems reasonably priced if it's any good). Other online sites I've seen recommended are GuitarTricks, JamPlay, Fender Play, TrueFire and ArtistsWorks. I'm sure there are many others.


So I'm looking for guidance. Best lessons, online, software, etc. Thing to get (other than the guitar of course ::) ). For example, I had a suggestion to temporarily get the little string markers to assist in finger placement. Also, while the prevailing guidance seems to be "just learn a few chords" I've also read that while this may get a beginner playing a couple easy songs early, it will limit the ability to continue to get better down the road (vs doing it the more 'old fashioned way' practicing scales and other more technical but not so fun aspects).


I believe I've chosen this guitar. Very highly rated as sounding excellent and being a good beginner's guitar, solid spruce top (which I've read in several places is a good thing) and reasonably priced. Plus a recognized name if that means anything.


What say you virtuosos?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 07:33:07 AM by Back2PA »
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2019, 08:26:48 AM »
That is a nice guitar Scott but I would recommend this one:

https://www.amazon.com/ADM-Acoustic-Electric-Dreadnought-Handmade/dp/B07D11J72W/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=guitar+with+tuner+built+in&qid=1571576726&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-5

The reason being is it has a built in tuner. Most people are using clip on tuners but after you use a guitar with a built in tuner it really spoils you. This one also comes with a gig bag which I feel is a necessity. It is also able to be plugged into an amplifier which you will eventually find useful.

There are two basic ways to learn to play guitar. One is to learn to play your favorite songs by watching YouTube videos and the other way is to learn to play the guitar by learning music theory and learning what chords are and how they are built. Most take the easy way and just learn songs. The problem with this method is that with every song you start over from scratch and you never really learn how to play the guitar, just a few songs on the guitar.

But in all honesty I recommend you do not try and learn how to play guitar. The guitar is a very difficult instrument for a beginner to get started on. If you don't practice often you will never get good. If you do practice often your fingers will be in a lot of pain. Either way you will probably give up after a month or two and the guitar will stay in the closet. It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of pain to get past the raw beginner stage. If I had a dollar for every unplayed guitar in a baby boomer closet I could probably buy Microsoft.

What I do recommend it buying a ukulele and learning to play it. If you were here with me I could have you playing songs in less than a half an hour and your fingers would not hurt. Ukuleles have only four strings as opposed to six and the strings are plastic rather than metal. Here is a tenor ukulele that come with all the extras you need and is a lot less expensive than a guitar. You odds of success are many times higher. And most communities have ukulele meet up groups that get together regularly to practice and play songs. There are similar guitar groups but not nearly as many and the uke is a lot easier to transport.

https://www.amazon.com/Caramel-Electric-Ukulele-Professional-Beginner/dp/B07R2KHSMH/ref=sr_1_12?keywords=tenor+ukulele+with+tuner+built+in&qid=1571577334&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-12

Then after you have been playing the ukulele for a year and have built up some finger strength you can buy a guitar. And when shopping for a guitar or a uke don't even think about quality. The quality of the cheapest Chinese guitars on the market today are very high. Only after you have been playing a long time will you notice the quality differences.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 08:35:27 AM by SeilerBird »

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 08:47:32 AM »
the other way is to learn to play the guitar by learning music theory and learning what chords are and how they are built. Most take the easy way and just learn songs.

How would you suggest one best do this?
But in all honesty I recommend you do not try and learn how to play guitar. The guitar is a very difficult instrument for a beginner to get started on. If you don't practice often you will never get good. If you do practice often your fingers will be in a lot of pain. Either way you will probably give up after a month or two and the guitar will stay in the closet.

What I do recommend it buying a ukulele and learning to play it. Then after you have been playing the ukulele for a year and have built up some finger strength you can buy a guitar.

I have heard the "start with a ukulele" advice before. For a beginner who has played for a year, what's the transition like to a guitar? And where/how (online, software, etc) would you suggest a rank beginner learn to play the ukulele? Wouldn't it still be best to learn theory, or is the ukulele used more as just an exercise device and theory would come at the guitar transition?

Thanks for the advice.
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

UTTransplant

  • ---
  • Posts: 1975
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2019, 09:11:56 AM »
Scott, are you a traveler or do you stay in one place a lot? If you stay in one place, go look for a good, small guitar/music shop and talk to them. Yes, you will pay for more a guitar there than mail order, but you can get good advice. For example, not all guitars have steel strings, and a good guitar shop can even adjust the neck of a steel string guitar to take nylon strings. The sound isnít as loud, but you are still playing. I started using the online Justin guitar beginner course, and it works for me. However I played violin for 3 years, oboe for 5 years, and piano for time immemorial. I know lots of music theory, so I just wanted something to help me translate that knowledge to the guitar. I even played guitar back in my HS and college days (no picking, just chords), but it has been over 35 since I restarted. And Tom is right about steel strings hurting! Short bouts of practice if you go that way. After about 10 minutes my fingers get numb and it doesnít hurt as much LOL!
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
2018 Tiffin 37PA
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk toad
https://toobusyforwork.com

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2019, 09:13:18 AM »
Here is a tenor ukulele that come with all the extras you need and is a lot less expensive than a guitar.

https://www.amazon.com/Caramel-Electric-Ukulele-Professional-Beginner/dp/B07R2KHSMH/ref=sr_1_12?keywords=tenor+ukulele+with+tuner+built+in&qid=1571577334&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-12


I note that several reviews refer to it as a baritone ukulele, I suspect it's Amazon mismatching reviews. But what about that, baritone vs tenor. Seems like I might like the lower sound (more guitar-like?? ??? ). Why did you suggest the tenor?
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2019, 09:15:34 AM »
Scott, are you a traveler or do you stay in one place a lot?

Currently I'm only moving 2-3 times per year. I may throw in a trip here and there but don't expect that to change a lot
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

LarsMac

  • ---
  • Posts: 853
  • Going nowhere fast
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2019, 09:27:14 AM »
How would you suggest one best do this?
I have heard the "start with a ukulele" advice before. For a beginner who has played for a year, what's the transition like to a guitar? And where/how (online, software, etc) would you suggest a rank beginner learn to play the ukulele? Wouldn't it still be best to learn theory, or is the ukulele used more as just an exercise device and theory would come at the guitar transition?

Thanks for the advice.

I am in the midst of learning music theory. 
start with doing a web search for Music theory classes.
There are a number of them. The one I am taking is from udemy.com
Look for special prices and such, because there are a number of very expensive courses.

Here is one I found recently, though, that looks promising, and the price is right. https://www.musictheory.net/lessons



 
2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V
2007 Saturn Vue

ďThere is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
..."

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2019, 09:49:41 AM »
How would you suggest one best do this?
I don't really know the best way to do it. Music theory is a huge subject and there are lots of books and videos available. YouTube would be my choice to start.
Quote
I have heard the "start with a ukulele" advice before. For a beginner who has played for a year, what's the transition like to a guitar? And where/how (online, software, etc) would you suggest a rank beginner learn to play the ukulele?
YouTube has thousands of beginner videos. I started with the guitar in the 60s when there were no videos, DVDs, books, magazines or in my town even guitar teachers. I only knew one person who played guitar and he was not very good. I had to learn by listening to a song and trying to copy it. Think of the lead to Day Tripper. It was easy to figure out and impressive for a first year guy to be playing. I learned the basic chords and tried to play my favorite songs. Sometimes I was even successful. Then after 50 years of playing guitar I became jealous of Tom's ukulele club and found one locally and joined it. I hardly even touched my guitar after that.
Quote
Wouldn't it still be best to learn theory, or is the ukulele used more as just an exercise device and theory would come at the guitar transition?
The more you know about music theory the better you  will be at being a musician. Most people think of the ukulele as a rinky dink little thing that plays ticky tacky melodies. The uke is a lot more than you would ever imagine. It is a very serious instrument and just as legit as a guitar. Check out this video to see what I mean.

https://youtu.be/puSkP3uym5k

My favorite Jake video is Dragon, where he plays a rhythm part on stage and records it and then puts it in a loop and plays with himself. Jimi Hendrix would be jealous.

Check out this gem from the UOGB whom are as funny as they are good.

https://youtu.be/pLgJ7pk0X-s

Or Highway To Hell.

https://youtu.be/F5-z1c-9QmE

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2019, 09:56:42 AM »
I am in the midst of learning music theory. 
start with doing a web search for Music theory classes.
There are a number of them. The one I am taking is from udemy.com
Look for special prices and such, because there are a number of very expensive courses.

Here is one I found recently, though, that looks promising, and the price is right. https://www.musictheory.net/lessons


Excellent resources thx
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2019, 09:57:34 AM »
I note that several reviews refer to it as a baritone ukulele, I suspect it's Amazon mismatching reviews. But what about that, baritone vs tenor. Seems like I might like the lower sound (more guitar-like?? ??? ). Why did you suggest the tenor?
There are four basic uke sizes. Soprano, the tiny one most people think of when they think of a uke. Concert, slightly larger than a soprano. Tenor, slightly larger than a concert. And a baritone. A baritone isn't really a uke it is a small guitar. It is not tuned like a uke and doesn't sound like a uke. It is tuned like a guitar. I recommend a tenor because your fingers will fit the frets better and be easier to play. If you have a large music store in your area go check out the different size ukes and guitars.

Do a search on YouTube of a song you would like to learn to play. Doesn't matter which song it is, this will work for almost any song. Search something like "Stand By Me ukulele lesson" and watch it. Then do a search on "Stand By Me guitar lesson" and watch it to compare the differences in playing.

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2019, 09:59:29 AM »
I am in the midst of learning music theory. 
start with doing a web search for Music theory classes.
There are a number of them. The one I am taking is from udemy.com
Look for special prices and such, because there are a number of very expensive courses.

Here is one I found recently, though, that looks promising, and the price is right. https://www.musictheory.net/lessons
Excellent resource. Remember you can never be too rich, too beautiful, have too much memory of know to much music theory. You do not need to spend money to learn an instrument.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 47463
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2019, 11:02:23 AM »
Hopefully, Russ (8muddypaws) will jump into the conversation and add his guitar playing and teaching experience.

 I'm not a serious player, nor am I in any way skilled at playing, so I make my simple comments with all due respect to the experts. IMHO how you approach this depends on what you expect to be able to do down the road.

I started playing ukulele before adding (not moving to) guitar and banjo. My initial ukulele lessons essentially taught chord shapes, strumming and switching between chords. Playing only chords (on guitar or ukulele), the melody comes from your mouth i.e. you or someone else sings. Recent vocal challenges aside, I've sung a capella all my life, and strumming on a uke or guitar allowed me to accompany myself. Knowing how to play just 4 chords will allow you to play many hundreds of songs by merely changing the strum and the beat. This is illustrated by the Australian rock comedy group Axis Of Awesome (heads up - there's a small amount of profanity in their spoken comments).

If you decide to start with a uke with the intention of later switching to guitar, I'd suggest you buy a baritone ukulele; It's tuned like the four musically-highest strings on a guitar, which would make the transition somewhat easier; The chord shapes on a guitar are the same, with the addition of the two additional strings . The description of the uke you looked at on amazon mentions G-C-E-A tuning, whereas a baritone would be tuned D-G-B-E and a guitar is usually tuned E-A-D-G-B-E.

Picking a melody is a whole different ballgame. I really have a tough time picking, partly because of what I believe is a dexterity issue.

I'd forgotten what little music theory I learned at school (you'll see/hear me say I didn't take music theory), but have re-visited that subject a couple of times in retirement. It has done little to nothing for my ability to play and switch between chords. Yes, it helps to understand the formation of chords (i.e. which notes are included in a chord), but there are countless online resources to help with the fingering without needing to know which notes you're strumming in the chord.

One thing that helped me (maybe a tiny bit) was that I bought a keyboard years before thinking of a uke or guitar. I'll occasionally hop over to the keyboard to look at/listen to the composition of a chord. But this is so rare. OTOH if you decided to do this, there are "rollup" keyboards available that take up little storage space.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 11:07:44 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2019, 11:03:51 AM »
There are four basic uke sizes. Soprano, the tiny one most people think of when they think of a uke. Concert, slightly larger than a soprano. Tenor, slightly larger than a concert. And a baritone. A baritone isn't really a uke it is a small guitar. It is not tuned like a uke and doesn't sound like a uke. It is tuned like a guitar. I recommend a tenor because your fingers will fit the frets better and be easier to play. If you have a large music store in your area go check out the different size ukes and guitars.

Unfortunately I don't have a large anything nearby  :-\

I was curious about the ukulele size thing and found this. One of the things that I noted was some opinions that because the baritone is tuned like a guitar that could be an advantage  for those eventually transitioning to the guitar. In another comment someone opined that the smaller ukes were harder to play. I guess it depends on the size of your hands. I understand and appreciate your experience and well considered advice but given the similarities of the baritone and guitar, and that it sounds guitar-like, it seems like that might be worth considering. Is your tenor advice like "you really really need to get a tenor" or more like "a tenor would be somewhat easier but even a baritone would be a good way to start vs a guitar"??

Thanks again.
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2019, 11:08:44 AM »
If you decide to start with a uke with the intention of later switching to guitar, I'd suggest you buy a baritone ukulele; It's tuned like the four musically-highest strings on a guitar, which would make the transition somewhat easier; The chord shapes on a guitar are the same, with the addition of the two additional strings . The description of the uke you looked at on amazon mentions G-C-E-A tuning, whereas a baritone would be tuned D-G-B-E and a guitar is usually tuned E-A-D-G-B-E.

Thanks for weighing in Tom, I think we were both typing together. This was my thought too but I appreciate Tom's advice to make this as easy as possible. Lots of food for thought
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 47463
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2019, 11:12:29 AM »
Quote
smaller ukes were harder to play. I guess it depends on the size of your hands.
For me, it was (initially) the length of my forearm. I first bought a soprano, and found it difficult/awkward because my forearm was "too long", and soon changed to concert and tenor sizes. We've found in our beginners classes that folks were initially being told to buy sopranos, but we've changed that advice to buy concert size.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 01:22:32 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 47463
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2019, 11:18:03 AM »
Scott, FWIW I've found that buying instruments on a budget is not worth it in the long run. I don't have very expensive instruments, but have what I believe are decent quality, rather than starter/beginner instruments. I prefer not to get into a 'mine is better than yours' discussion, but feel free to let me know if you'd like me to share via PM what I have and why I bought/like (or dislike) them.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2019, 11:35:30 AM »
Unfortunately I don't have a large anything nearby  :-\

I was curious about the ukulele size thing and found this. One of the things that I noted was some opinions that because the baritone is tuned like a guitar that could be an advantage  for those eventually transitioning to the guitar. In another comment someone opined that the smaller ukes were harder to play. I guess it depends on the size of your hands. I understand and appreciate your experience and well considered advice but given the similarities of the baritone and guitar, and that it sounds guitar-like, it seems like that might be worth considering. Is your tenor advice like "you really really need to get a tenor" or more like "a tenor would be somewhat easier but even a baritone would be a good way to start vs a guitar"??

Thanks again.
No my advice is to find a music store and play a bunch of different ones to see what fits you best. It really depends on the size of your hands. All the opinions in the article are valid opinions. A tenor would be easier but even a baritone would be a great way to start since it has plastic strings and will not hurt your hands as much.

But it really boils down to how much time you wish to devote. If you only want to play a few minutes a week then a tenor would be much better. If you plan on playing a lot and then switching to guitar a baritone would be better. But you won't really know the answers to these questions until you buy one and start playing. The big advantage to cheaper instruments is that it is easier to buy an second and a third one and then let the first one sit. And just about everyone that plays a while ends up with several.

As an alternative you could buy several from Amazon and you have 30 days to send it back. Order a couple and keep the one you like.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 47463
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2019, 11:48:10 AM »
Like Tom, I think you need to 'play' some instruments to see which feels and sounds 'better' to you. Learn a couple of chord shapes (copy a few from a chord chart) and take along with you to the store. Hadn't thought of the amazon suggestion, and not sure I'd openly promote it.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2019, 12:32:44 PM »
I feel that buying your first instrument is a lot like buying your first RV. You know what you want but you don't know exactly which one and which style you want. The only way you will know is to get one and try it. This is why I always recommend to both that you start off inexpensive and then you can easily trade up once you get a better idea of what you want. A more expensive instrument is not going to be easier for a beginner to play and it won't sound better to you. The differences are too subtle. As you gain experience you will discover differences.

Oldgator73

  • ---
  • Posts: 1857
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2019, 02:52:48 PM »
Iím glad somebody brought this subject up. I was considering taking up guitar but after reading here I think I will try piano. I hand cancer in my left hand and arthritis in my right so maybe guitar would not be a good fit.
Retired Air Force
Retired DoD Chief, Education & Training
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier
1952 Wife
Do you know the difference between Education and Training: Would you rather your daughter take sex Education or sex Training?

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2019, 03:35:08 PM »
Iím glad somebody brought this subject up. I was considering taking up guitar but after reading here I think I will try piano. I hand cancer in my left hand and arthritis in my right so maybe guitar would not be a good fit.
You didn't ask but I will mention it anyway. The small synthesizers are a great inexpensive way to start such as this one;

https://www.amazon.com/Alesis-Melody-MKII-Built-Headphones/dp/B07987K4F5/ref=sr_1_6?crid=O5EY4NQ6YDD5&keywords=casio+piano+keyboard&qid=1571603594&sprefix=casio+piano%2Caps%2C185&sr=8-6

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 47463
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2019, 03:53:28 PM »
One caveat for first time ukulele and guitar buyers - it can become an addiction  :( My collection has grown to 10 ukes (including a banjo ukulele and an 8-string uke), 5 guitars (including a 12-string), and a plectrum banjo  :-[ Oh, and 3 keyboards (one in each location where we spend a lot of time).

Folks with limited space might consider buying a 3/4 or 7/8 guitar. When I first started playing guitar I was having shoulder issues, and a full size guitar was tough to play. I bought a 3/4 size guitar and found it much easier on my shoulders. It was also easy to transition to a full size guitar, because I was already playing a guitar, just a "small" one. Along the way, I upgraded from a 3/4 size to 7/8 size guitar, primarily for improved sound. Those two smaller guitars are made by Taylor, who make fabulous guitars - Baby Taylor and Taylor GS-Mini.

I have no plans to buy a sitar, although a mandolin is a possibility.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 03:55:52 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2019, 03:59:04 PM »
I have changed my mind on the sitar. Too complicated.

Larry N.

  • ---
  • Posts: 6291
  • Westminster, CO
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2019, 04:38:17 PM »
I'll go along with both Toms on going into a local music store and trying things on for size. If you tell them what you have in mind, they can usually advise you fairly well (hard to do online), and you'll likely be much happier with your selection in the long run. That inexpensive Fender may be OK for a little while, but I discovered a long time ago that if I had a cheap instrument, I soon lost interest, while one that really sounded good (you don't have to start with a Martin, Guild or Taylor) helped me maintain interest.

I've noted several learning methods mentioned here, but thought I'd throw in what I've done (it suits me, but I'm far, far from being a musician). I bought a Mel Bay guitar instruction book (this was LONG before YouTube) and learned to play several chords, with a lot of practice time being spent just switching from one chord to another, switching from C to F to G to A to F to G to C to... all possible combinations. Once I could do that, I tried some of the songs in the Mel Bay book. With additional songs over the years I've also picked up many more chords and a number of strumming/right hand styles, too.

Of course this essentially makes me a "song learner" as described above by Tom S. but it has worked OK for me most of the time. Most of the time...occasionally I wish I'd gone the more difficult route, but I suspect I'd not have devoted enough time and effort, therefore would have dropped it completely.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 47463
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2019, 05:14:10 PM »
I'm a "song learner" too, and IMHO there's nowt wrong with that. I spend 2 hours every Tuesday night learning/practicing songs with 50-60 other uke players, most of whom have never learned music theory. Like me, they heard "that sound", and decided they'd like to be able to play too.

I second Larry's comment that switching between chords is key (no pun) to being able to play songs, along with the ability to strum on the beat, whatever the tempo might be for a given song. Learning/playing different strums is more of a challenge for me but, once I learn a different strum, it certainly adds to the sound. A simple example might be a calypso strum, on an appropriate song of course.

For adventurous strummers, try emulating Englishman George Formby playing his fan strum or split strum on a banjo ukulele.
If you can't figure it out, You Tube will have a lesson or two taught by an 8-year old  :)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 05:19:17 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2019, 05:16:13 PM »
For the record I never said that just learning songs was wrong. I just mentioned there are two ways to learn and most people just learn songs and don't learn music theory. Nothing wrong with that. That is how the Beatles started.

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5115
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2019, 05:20:19 PM »
most people just learn songs and don't learn music theory. Nothing wrong with that. That is how the Beatles started.


If I heard/read correctly, Phil Collins couldn't read music
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 47463
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2019, 05:21:38 PM »
FWIW PC is still playing, and currently performing in Vegas.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Oldgator73

  • ---
  • Posts: 1857
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2019, 05:41:08 PM »
You didn't ask but I will mention it anyway. The small synthesizers are a great inexpensive way to start such as this one;

https://www.amazon.com/Alesis-Melody-MKII-Built-Headphones/dp/B07987K4F5/ref=sr_1_6?crid=O5EY4NQ6YDD5&keywords=casio+piano+keyboard&qid=1571603594&sprefix=casio+piano%2Caps%2C185&sr=8-6

Thatís what I was thinking about. Doesnít take much room and easily transported.
Retired Air Force
Retired DoD Chief, Education & Training
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier
1952 Wife
Do you know the difference between Education and Training: Would you rather your daughter take sex Education or sex Training?

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 14525
Re: Best way to learn guitar for beginners
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2019, 05:54:31 PM »
Phil Collins is definitely back touring but he stopped playing drums and piano ten years ago due to have some vertebra operations. Recently he fell and now walks with a cane.