Learning to play a musical instrument is one of the most rewarding experiences that makes us feel energetic and in tune with our higher selves. The guitar is an instrument loved by all, and many would want to try playing it. However, like all musical instruments, it takes discipline and time to learn how to play guitar, and no, there’s no right or wrong age to start. You can learn how to play the guitar at any age! If you have suddenly found a new passion for learning this stringed instrument, then we have put together this article just for you.
1. Invest in a good first guitar
When you are in your exploratory phase, it’s always good to own an instrument that you can pick up at any time and practice it to get comfortable with it. The thousands of variants of guitars can be broken down into:
- Classical guitars with nylon strings
- Acoustic guitars with steel strings
- Electric guitars
If your budget is low, classical guitars are great as they are relatively inexpensive. However, they don’t give a sound as bright as acoustic guitars, but they are gentler on your fingertips. An acoustic guitar is a great first guitar if you’re sure about moving ahead and need to lay down the fundamentals. The electric guitar is a much more complicated instrument, and you’d need to invest in an amp to get the fun out of your investment. So pick that as you advance in your musical pursuit.
2. Be patient and don’t compare yourself to others
As you begin to learn, it’s easy to get impatient with yourself and pick up bad habits while trying to take shortcuts in the learning process. Your goal might be to play your favourite song but to do that, you will need to develop good motor skills and proper technique. Rushing the process will surely lead you to a place of frustration, especially when you are trying to play with people ahead of your skills. Your best bet is to keep to yourself and your teachers until you are confident to play with others. In the beginning, get a good guitar tuner to tune your instrument, as doing it by instinct properly is a skill that can take years to hone.
3. Take things systematically
While you could start your journey by watching videos and learning the fundamentals of guitar online, learning from an actual teacher can cut the learning curve. They can assess your skills and tailor-make lessons to help you learn faster. It is essential to ensure you develop a good foundation and not bad habits. It is necessary to learn basic music theory as it is a part of playing the instrument properly. Start slowly by practising the scales and take a bit of a perfectionist approach. Since guitar chords require you to synchronise multiple fingers at once, starting at scales is better as you need to use only one finger. It makes playing chords easier as they are little snippets of scales, and you already have the muscle memory built by playing scales. You can also learn using a guitar chords chart and practice good techniques.
4. Practice, discipline and schedule
It is essential to set aside time regularly for your guitar practice. In the beginning, you can practice for 20-30 minutes daily for 3 to 5 days of the week. As you progress and enjoy your time with the instrument, you will naturally need to practice for a more extended period. Practice after your music class; it will help you understand yourself and the lesson better, as well as come up with questions to help you work things out. With that being said, don’t burden yourself with over practice either. If you can’t practice for a set time every day, pick up your instrument for 5 minutes a day and enjoy.
5. Picks songs that are at your level
It will take months before being able to play something that vaguely resembles your favourite song. Until then, choose more straightforward beginner songs that you can play with your acoustic guitar. You can play the popular ‘ego’ tunes that will make you feel good about your skills and boost your confidence before moving onto the ‘project’ tunes.
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Learning a guitar, even as a beginner, will take a few months before you can start playing decent tunes. Practice every day if you can or dedicate a few hours a week to play the instrument.
Is it hard to learn guitar at an older age?
While age will undoubtedly limit how quickly you can learn the instrument, it’s not that hard when you enjoy it.
How do I start learning guitar as an adult?
Invest in a good guitar, research music theory and learn as much as possible before approaching a teacher. Then it all comes down to practice.
How much time does it take to play the guitar?
It would take about two months for a beginner who practices daily for 30 minutes to get to essential, and more advanced songs would take six months or more.
What guitars should I start first?
Classical or acoustic guitars allow beginners to explore their interests before moving up.
How many long should I practice the guitar every day?
Beginners who are casual players can practice for 30 minutes a day, while it would take 3-4 hours of practice every day to get to the professional level.