If you’ve always wanted to play an instrument but didn’t know where to start, we recommend trying out the guitar. It’s portable and light and produces lovely sounds. Here are 7 tips for you to get started:
1. Buy a second hand guitar
There are loads of places where you can buy second hand guitars online, and often at very good prices. For your first guitar you don’t want to fork over a hundred dollars for something that you may or may not use in the long run, so getting a nice second hand guitar is ideal. If you don’t end up using it that much, you can always sell it on again for the same price and not lose any money.
2. Get a soft string guitar
The first thing you will notice is that your fingers hurt when you play. This gets better over time – the skin toughens up, you learn to keep your nails short, your fingers become more flexible. To ease this process though, it helps if you go for a classic guitar which has soft strings rather than an acoustic. It’s not necessary but if you’re worried about your fingers it might be a good idea. The sound is much softer than an acoustic, so it also depends what kind of noise you want to make.
3. Use a beginner’s book
A simple beginner’s book to teach you the basic techniques is really ideal. You can learn simple chords and techniques by yourself without paying for expensive lessons and they are really just as good as a teacher, with the benefit of being able to pick it up and put it down whenever you feel like it.
4. Use YouTube videos
Sometimes you need a more visual and auditory guide, in which case YouTube videos can come in extremely handy. You can find so much, but one particular youtuber you might enjoy is Nate Savage of GuitarLessons.com who can walk you through the basics using examples.
5. Learn your easiest favorite songs
Ultimate Guitar is a wonderful website for finding pretty much any song you’ve ever heard of, with chords and tabs submitted and rated by users. You can try out various submissions to find the right one for you. Playing songs that you really love is a great motivator to keep learning.
Whenever you get bored and start heading towards candy crush or another mindless activity, grab your guitar instead. Practicing will become a pleasure rather than a chore if you do it to fight boredom.
7. Write a song
It’s amazing how easy it is to string a few chords together and make them sound nice. Maybe you’re poetic or just want to express yourself. The guitar is a wonderful way to add hauntingly beautiful sounds to your words.