How do you become a guitarist? And how do you start playing guitar? In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the things beginners should be aware of if they want to start learning to play the guitar. We’ll cover topics including: guitars for children, choosing between an electric or an acoustic guitar, and whether you should take guitar lessons or not.
 Don’t forget – all great guitarists were beginners once too!

How do I become a guitarist?

From what age can you start learning to play the guitar?

This is a very common question. Normally, it’s asked by adults who want to know when their children can start learning. There are plenty of adults out there too though who want to know whether it’s too late for them to start playing the guitar themselves. In short, children can start as soon as they’re able to and it’s never too late for anyone to start learning to play the guitar. Needless to say, children tend to be quicker learners than adults, but determination and enthusiasm can go a long way!

For children under the age of twelve, it’s important to consider the size of the guitar. For children’s guitars, the rule of thumb is as follows:

  • Up to 4 years of age: 1/4 size (a ukulele is a good alternative)
  • Up to 7 years of age: 1/2 size
  • Up to 10 years of age: 3/4 size
  • Older than 10 years of age: 7/8 size and 4/4 size

Be aware that the terms used to describe guitar sizes are not literal. A 1/2-size guitar is not half the size of a full-size (4/4) model, for instance.

Electric or acoustic?

Whether you should start learning to play on an electric guitar or an acoustic model depends on a few things. In the past, the general advice was that it was better to start learning on an acoustic guitar, but this is no longer this case. If you’re more interested in playing the electric guitar, then feel free to start on one. In combination with an amplifier and some effects, you’ll be able to create some great sounds and the strings on an electric guitar are easier to press down too. If you want an acoustic guitar, you’ll need to choose between a model with steel or nylon strings. Models with steel strings are commonly used in music styles like pop, rock and folk. Models with nylon strings (called classical guitars or Spanish guitars) have a warmer sound and are normally used for more traditional styles of music.

If you’re not sure which type of guitar you want, take a look at the model your favourite guitarist plays. Don’t forget that music is all about feeling, so if a guitar feels good that’s usually a good sign. For more information on choosing the right instrument, take a look at the following Buyer’s Guides:

» Buyer’s Guide: How to choose the right electric guitar
» Buyer’s Guide: How do I choose the right steel-string guitar?
» Buyer’s Guide: How do I choose the right classical guitar?

Left-handed or right-handed?

Generally speaking, whether you’re left or right-handed will determine whether you should choose a left or right-handed guitar. If you’re left-handed, you’ll strum the strings with your left hand and hold down the notes with your right hand. If you’re right-handed, this will be the other way round. As most people are right -handed, there are many more right-handed guitars to choose from, but most manufacturers ensure they have a number of left-handed models on offer too.

Easy or hard?

If you’re not sure whether the guitar is the right instrument for you or not, you might be wondering how easy or hard it is to play. This is a difficult question to answer, however. At the start, it’s probably easier to get a nice sound out of a guitar than a violin, for instance. It can be a bit more difficult than a piano or keyboard at first though because you need to start using both hands straight away. At the end of the day, the more you practise, the more you will progress on any instrument.

Learning to play the guitar without lessons and theory

These days, there are plenty of ways to learn to play the guitar without resorting to taking traditional lessons and learning music theory. While this a good thing, talking guitar lessons and learning music theory can help you progress faster. This is because traditional lessons tend to be better structured and can focus on the skills you need to learn. It also gives you an environment where it’s easy to ask questions and get answers straight away. Many people find that taking lessons helps to keep them motivated too. Of course, one of the most important considerations is finding out which method works best for you. There are plenty of options on the internet for you try out and lesson books remain popular too.

How often should I practise?

First and foremost, playing an instrument should be about enjoyment. Of course, the better you can play, the more you’ll enjoy it and for that you’ll need to practise! Players like Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne) and Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) practised up to 10 hours a day when they were young! So, if you plan on being one of the world’s best guitarists, you’d better clear your schedule! Thankfully, it’s possible to become a good guitar player without having to practise quite as much as that. The most important thing is to practise regularly. Even if you only have a little time, 5 to 10 minutes practice each day is better than an hour long session once a week. Learning to play guitar is a continuous process that takes time, but each day you’ll get a little better. Quite simply, the more you practise, the better you’ll get.

Why don’t you let us know which method for learning the guitar works best for you by leaving a comment below?

» All guitars & accessoires
» How to tune your guitar?

1 response
  1. PETER GRIFFIN says:

    Fantastic, i love it !

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