It’s exciting to learn to play the acoustic guitar, but it also requires a lot of commitment and dedication along with hours of practice. You also need to make sure you have a quality acoustic guitar, because having the best instrument right from the start is a big factor in improving your skills and making learning more fun.
One of the options available to those interested in becoming a guitar player is signing up for lessons. Guitar lessons can take place in a group setting or in one-on-one instruction. You can also sign up for online courses, which are usually supplemented with a variety of reading materials, drills, tabs and instructional videos. Choose whichever suits you and your schedule best.
What can you expect to learn when you take guitar lessons? Here are some of the topics covered in a beginner course.
First things first: establishing a good foundation of guitar knowledge and learning about proper playing posture. You will learn about holding the guitar properly as well as the parts of the acoustic guitar and their functions. In addition, you will learn different techniques to tune your guitar through the relationships between the strings, chords and note intervals.
You will also learn about how chord diagrams work and which fingers to use and where to put them when fretting chords according to the diagram.
Chords and Finger Dexterity
To be able to play the guitar well, you need to develop strength and dexterity in your fingers. You may feel a bit of pain and discomfort at first when forming chords, but these will eventually cease as you build muscle strength and improve your motor skills. You will perform different exercises such as playing through chord charts and scales. You will learn about the basic chords for beginners, the CAGED Guitar System, open chords and barre chords.
Rhythms and Strumming Patterns
You will also learn about different rhythms and strumming patterns, as well as when to change between chords while staying on the beat. Instructors highly recommend a metronome, backing track or click track to help you develop a good sense of rhythm. Take your time learning about strumming techniques and the next steps to learning will be so much easier.
Reading Basic Music
Once you’ve mastered the basic chords and can transition from one chord shape to another seamlessly – and without continually looking at chord diagrams – you’re ready to play popular beginner songs using guitar tabs. You will also learn to read musical notation and play according to specified time signatures.
Playing Your First Song
Being able to play a beginner-friendly song in its entirety is one of the major achievements of aspiring guitarists. When you’re able to play a song from beginning to end without looking at tabs or fumbling over frets, you’ve already reached a milestone. Give yourself a pat on the back and thank your instructor too!.
From this point on, it’s up to you to practice the skills you’ve learned and challenge yourself to learn new ones. To be clear, lesson time isn’t the same as practice time. During lessons, you learn about what you need to do to become a skilled guitar player. It’s during practice that you focus on improving and sharpening your skills, so keep practicing!