These mini guitar lessons have been put together for the beginner acoustic guitar student who feels a need to play music but is a bit short on direction.
Lesson One — What kind of guitar are you going to buy?
If you have a rough idea of what kind of music you want to play, the next step is to find yourself a guitar.
Let’s start with the basics — nylon string or steel string. A nylon string guitar was made to play classical and folk music. Acoustic guitars make their music by sending the vibration of the strings to the soundboard. The vibrations are then amplified in the body of the guitar. Nylon string guitars make a mellow tone; steel-string guitars make a brighter, more metallic sound. One of the main things that will influence you in deciding what kind of sound you want is the guitar your favorite performer plays.
If you are just starting out you will not need a top of the range guitar, but it is best to get the nicest one in your price range. A cheap, poorly made guitar will be an uphill battle to play. A good instrument will make your practice sessions something to look forward to.
Try different guitars. See how the neck feels. Check out if one neck feels more comfortable to play than others. Another consideration is the distance of the strings from the fretboard which is called the “action. Low action is easier to play but if you are planning on strumming enthusiastically or picking loudly the guitar may have a tendency to buzz.
Lesson Two — Go ahead and learn.
The very first step toward learning to play acoustic guitar is to develop confidence and to overcome your natural reluctance to try new things. Lack of money, lack of time, or lack of a good teacher are three big obstacles to your guitar learning progress. The other three big obstacles are all you. You may be your own worst enemy. How do you react to a challenge? Challenges are your friends. If you find yourself getting frustrated, and not wanting to continue your practice, it might be time to downsize your goal, at least for a while. If you have two chords that you have trouble with, work on the first one alone for a while. Once you have improved a little, go to the next one.
Lesson Three — Daily Practice
As far as your daily practice goes, look at starting with half an hour a day. If you can do more, great, you’ll become a guitarist faster. The way you carry out your practice is crucial. Putting in the time isn’t the only requirement. If you rush or try to fit too much in, then you’re working against yourself. Err on the side of too little material at first. If you really are accomplishing what you set out to do in less than thirty minutes, then add a little more.
Lesson Four — Tuning Your Guitar
You can find online guitar tuners to help you get your acoustic guitar in tune. Take a day or two of your practice time to get the knack of tuning. When you start to develop an ear for tuning, try tuning the guitar without the tuner.
Lesson Five — Holding Your Acoustic Guitar
Long hours of practice can take their toll. Learning how to sit and play your acoustic guitar is an art in itself. There are places on the internet that have illustrations showing you how to sit when you’re playing, but it would be good to find somebody with a little experience to show you. But don’t just go with the way one person plays. If he’s self-taught, then you don’t want to pick up his bad habits!