You’re bored of your old habits, and you want to develop a new talent or skill? What? You’ve chosen to play guitar? You should reconsider because if you don’t have these traits you will never succeed with your new path. Welcome, Newbie Guitarist! This is your guide to what you should have and do in order to learn the guitar.
To begin, you have to understand that to be great is never easy. Seeing people play the guitar as newbie guitarist is overwhelming. You might see it easy since some people are so good at being guitarists that they make it look easy but right now I’m telling you, it is never easy learning how to play the guitar. I myself am not very good at playing guitar, I do it for my own entertainment and sometimes I play with my band but nevertheless, I am not considered a good player, so this is going to be from one intermediate guitarist to a newbie guitarist. Ready? Let’s begin.
First, make sure that you have enough financial capability to support this new hobby of yours. Guitars are not cheap, you can buy cheap ones for as low as 1,800 pesos above, but guitars are investments. As time goes by, your guitar can go beyond the price when you bought it. Its value appreciates as time goes by, but you don’t have to wait for so long to prove that you have a high-quality guitar.
This is where the brands and prices come in. I am not telling you to buy very expensive Taylor or Martin & Co. guitars, there are mid-range guitars that cost around 4,000 – 10,000 pesos which are tested and proven for quality. Your first guitar as a newbie guitarist is very crucial and important. When a newbie guitarist’s first guitar is of quality and really made with good materials, it can affect the difficulty of learning the instrument. Your first guitar can either make or break your music career. A low-quality guitar can make learning the guitar hard for you.
Your first guitar can either prove that learning the guitar is hard or can give you the delusion that it is not that hard at all. That’s why make sure that you have enough money to support yourself without neglecting responsibilities outside your new hobby.
2. Determination and Right Attitude
In the first part of this guide, I mentioned that learning the guitar as a newbie guitarist is not easy and will never be easy. One of the most important things you must possess when learning guitar is the determination and the right attitude. This should come first before deciding whether to buy a guitar or not. Assess yourself, can I commit hours to sit down and learn the guitar? If yes, then you should go for it. If not, then you should reconsider.
Learning the guitar is like entering a relationship that you can’t get out of, buying a guitar is already a huge investment whether you can profit from it by selling it (which I doubt if you could sell it for the same price or higher) or you can simply commit to it and learn how to make it a part of you. You, as a newbie guitarist, should understand that there will be days when you don’t want to continue learning it or playing it anymore.
There will be times when you will be burnt out because learning how to play the guitar is tiring and time-consuming. You have to understand that it will take weeks, months, and sometimes years before you can call yourself an intermediate or average player. For now, you have to swallow your pride and remain as a newbie guitarist.
3. What type of guitar?
Now that we’re done with the finances and the attitude adjustment, it’s time to talk about the instrument itself. You might ask, I can see different types of guitars, what’s the difference? What should I buy as a newbie? Why are the prices different? Do they sound the same? To start, yes, there are lots of different guitar designs and these are not just for aesthetic purposes, the identity of each guitar differs according to how they look and their purpose.
Not to confuse you, newbie guitarist, every single guitar has one purpose and it is to produce a sound that you will eventually turn into music. No matter what the design of the guitar is, it relies on the same tuning as every guitar in this world. The standard EBGDAe tuning will remain no matter what type of guitar you have. In reality, there is no beginner-specified type of guitar since almost every guitar is the same so this will be a personal preference and solely my opinion. The best guitar for a newbie guitarist is definitely an acoustic guitar.
Acoustic guitars, from its name, acoustic, it doesn’t need any electric components or any electric device. It is lightweight and it gives you the experience of every guitar in the world. Acoustic guitars are also cheaper than their electric counterparts. One of the disadvantages of the acoustic guitar is it is relatively harder than electric guitars. The frets are softer in an electric guitar, but this is amendable for the acoustic guitar through the guitar setup.
There is no problem if you will opt to buy an electric guitar instead. It has its pros and cons as well and one of the cons is that an electric guitar is very flexible. Almost every genre is playable in electric guitars while some genres sound off when played with acoustic guitars. Buying electric guitars can also help you transition to playing harder guitar parts without the need of buying an extra guitar for learning solos.
The disadvantage of owning an electric guitar is, it is expensive. It is really expensive. Cheapest electric guitar around costs a minimum of Php 5,000. This is just entry-level electric guitar, but it is playable, especially for a newbie guitarist like you. The next expense that you will need is the amplifier. Amplifiers cost Php 3,000 or more.
Usually, there are packages that include both guitar and amplifier but in my opinion, the amplifier that comes with packages is trash so I do not recommend buying that. Other miscellaneous expenses are the cables that you will be needing to plug your guitar into the amp. Good cables cost around Php300-500 depending on the length and durability.
Now that you’re equipped with your instrument, Newbie guitarist. You can start with your journey. The world of guitar is very wide, and it might be overwhelming as a newbie. Should I learn music theory or the history of the guitar? The first thing you have to do when learning the guitar is to learn how to read chord charts.
Chord charts are your best friend when starting to learn about the guitar. It will help you direct where your finger should be, on what fret you should put this certain finger, and the name of the chord as well.
Just like any other things that we do, we need to practice. Practice will not make anyone perfect, but it can make someone great. Finding videos online that will help you learn faster can be a catalyst in the process.
You might ask, how long should I practice and how frequently should I practice? It actually depends on the time that you can commit. Preferably, a good 1-2 hours a day is enough but if you can commit more hours and more days to learning the guitar, for sure you will upgrade from newbie guitarist to intermediate in no time. One last suggestion or recommendation that I can give is to choose one song to practice on. There are tons of popular songs that only use 4 chords.
Master one song and practice techniques that the song possesses. For me, I started playing guitar by learning Ang Huling El Bimbo which then opened the doors for me to learning other songs with the same chords. I hope that this will also work for you.
Now that we’ve come to an end, I am hoping that you will find this guide helpful and may you develop and learn your new hobby. The world of guitar is awesome and really something to be proud of since a guitar can be a stand-alone instrument. When mastered, it will surely point the spotlight on you. Rock on and enjoy the world of guitar!
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Enjoy viewing and reading!