How to learn Guitar: The Simple Process
Self teach the basics with an online program
Never before in history have we had so much information at our fingertips. This has made online guitar lesson programs the easiest and most effective way to learn guitar. One of these programs combined with a self-taught approach is the best way to learn guitar in 2023.
How do you learn guitar?
With the internet, I believe that recipe is a lot different now than it was in years past. Because if there's one thing we have plenty of, it's information.
And that's what learning guitar (or anything else for that matter) really is: Collecting and implementing information. Online guitar lessons help you collect that information, then it's up to you to take the time to implement it.
How to Learn Guitar? The Quick Answer
- Choose between acoustic and electric
- Use an online guitar lesson program to get started
- Start by focusing on single notes and moving up/down the fretboard
- Learn the notes on the fretboard for each string
- Follow with dyads (two-note chords) and basic open chords
- Use the lesson programs to guide you through additional topics.
- Make sure you use your online lesson program to guide you through the information and to show you what you need to practice
I'm going to keep this article simple, and cover how to learn guitar for the modern, aspiring musician.
It's easier than ever, so here are the steps.
1. Choose between acoustic and electric guitar
You can do both, but I would advise making a selection and then sticking to it as you learn. You can mix it up once you've got the basics covered, but the consistency will help you early on.
Electric guitars can be easier to fret and play, which is helpful to beginners, but they also require more setup, and more gear to actually play.
You can read more about the differences between the two here:
Read more: Electric VS Acoustic Guitar
2. Start with an online guitar lesson program
Online guitar lessons give you primarily two things:
- Proper topic order
- What information to absorb and how to spend your practice time
Paid lesson programs tend to do this more effectively, though free content can provide it to an extent.
However you handle it, take the time to get on some kind of learning path online, that way you'll be able to get the information you need. You can then be more efficient about how you spend your practice time.
Per the box above, we recommend Guitar Tricks, which you can try here for 14 days. You can also use the quiz below to figure out what program would be most ideal for you, perhaps if GT isn't a great fit for you.
Making it easy to find great online guitar lessons
Find your best guitar lesson match
Answer a few simple questions to get an online guitar learning program that fits your particular style and situation.
3. Use the online program to know how to spend your practice time
Online lesson videos are typically not very long, meaning you can get through the actual content fairly fast. Depending on the program, spend about 30 minutes a day on the videos, then the rest of your free time practicing.
You can even take a day or two between videos to give you more time to practice.
Use the videos to guide your practice sessions, and don't move onto new videos until you're comfortable with a given topic.
Focus on topics in this order (depending on the program you use)
- Single notes/moving up and down the fretboard
- Note values for each fret (F, F sharp, G, etc.)
- Basic two note chords
- Basic three note chords
- Basic open chords
It varies between program, but the general trajectory will be something like this.
4. Schedule a consistent practice time
I would try to practice an hour per day, and then spend 30 minutes or so working through your online program. So a practice schedule might look something like this.
- Day 1: 30 minutes of videos 30-45 minutes of practice
- Day 2: 1 hour of practice
- Day 3: 1 hour of practice
This would go in three day cycles in this pattern. You have to set something up that works for you, and it doesn't have to be this rigid. But just get a schedule established that helps you be somewhat consistent.
5. Work your way into a musical style and playing style
As you learn the basics, you'll want to start focusing on how to learn guitar in a specific style. This includes a musical genre (or several) and your playing style. Are you more interested in rock? What about lead or rhythm guitar? What kind of stuff are you gravitating towards playing?
The more topics you cover and get comfortable with, the more you can focus on songs and crafting a style of guitar playing that is unique to you.
Everything we learn is by means of collecting information and then applying it. We don't learn if we don't simply do and experience what we're trying to get good it. This should take a lot of the mystery out of how to learn guitar.
Gather your information and then apply it. Learn to play songs and things you're interested in once you've built a foundation of knowledge.
And if you have questions, we can help you out (or at least try to help) in the comments section.
We'll see you there.