There are many misconceptions when it comes to playing guitar and some of them can even prevent those initially keen to start learning from ever doing so. That’s a real shame because learning to play a musical instrument can enrich your life in lots of different ways. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the misconceptions about playing guitar and give you the facts instead.

Five Misconceptions About Playing Guitar

#1. ‘You need to start on a classical guitar’

If you let it be known that you’re planning to start playing the guitar, then, sooner or later, someone’s bound to tell you that you need to start on a classical guitar (one with nylon strings). While starting on a classical guitar does offer some advantages, like softer strings, for instance, you can actually start playing on almost any guitar you like. Our advice is simply to start on the guitar you want to play most. If you’re planning on playing rock or metal music, you’ll probably want to get your hands on an electric guitar. If you want to be the next Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran, then an acoustic guitar (with steel strings) is likely the best choice for you. This means you can start off with the guitar sound you want which is great for motivating you to practise.

#2. ‘You need to learn music theory’

One of the biggest advantages of learning an instrument like the guitar is that you don’t really need any music theory to get started. Believe it or not, some of the best guitarists in the world can’t read a note of music! If you’re wondering how on earth you can learn to play songs then, let us introduce you to guitar tablature. Although it looks a little bit like musical notation, it’s actually far easier to read. Each line represents a string on the guitar and the numbers show you on which frets to place your fingers. It’s as easy as that! When you start jamming with friends and improvising, then learning some music theory basics can go a long way. You can see an example of guitar tablature below. Note: musical notes are written above the guitar tabs, but you don’t need to read these unless you want to.

Five Misconceptions About Playing Guitar

#3. ‘My fingers are too short!’ / ‘My hands are too small!’

One thing that definitely isn’t a misconception is the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’. It doesn’t matter what length your fingers are or what size of hands you have, learning to play the guitar is all about practice. It’s likely that you’ll experience some pain in your fingers at the beginning, but this is the same for everyone. It takes time for your fingers to get used to playing the guitar so it’s important not to rush it. Practising for a short period of time regularly is much better than one long practice session each week, for instance. If you don’t believe us that finger length or hand size doesn’t make a difference when it comes to playing the guitar, perhaps the video below of Li-sa-X playing an electric guitar will convince you. Clearly, she’s been practising!

#4. ‘You don’t need lessons’

Thanks to the internet, there’s a huge amount of lesson material available that can help guitarists to progress. On YouTube, for instance, there are plenty of people giving tips and tricks and you can look up the chords or tabs to your favourite songs on various websites. Having said that, we highly recommend taking lessons from an experienced guitar teacher. Not only will they help you learn the correct techniques right from the beginning, but they’ll also help you master the skills you need in a progressive manner. This normally helps players to master an instrument like the guitar much faster than playing the same exercises you find on the internet over and over again.

#5. ‘The thicker the string, the thicker the sound!’

This ‘misconception’ is slightly more controversial, because not everyone agrees that it is a misconception. Guitarists like Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Brian May (Queen) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) all use relatively thin strings however, and their sound is anything but thin! For beginning guitarists, the feel of a guitar string is far more important than its thickness. A set of strings with gauges from .10 – .046 should feel suitably tight for most beginners, but those looking for a looser feel may wish to consider strings with gauges of .009 – .042. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to string thickness, it simply comes down to what you prefer.

If you have any questions about playing the guitar or you’ve got a misconception of your own, let us know in the comments section below.

Also see

» How do I become a guitarist?
» How do I become a bassist?
» How to tune your guitar

» Electric guitar buyer’s guide
» Acoustic guitar buyer’s guide
» Classical guitar buyer’s guide
» Guitar starter sets
» Bass guitar buyer’s guide
» Bass guitar sets
» Guitar lesson books & song books

1 response
  1. Liana says:

    thanks for info

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