If you are about to start learning guitar or have already started but have a few questions on your mind. The following are very common questions that we get asked a lot by beginners, hopefully reading it through to help you to get started with learning how to play the guitar.
As we’ve met a lot of beginners and helped them over the hurdle of getting started, we understand the struggles you may be going through right now. Often when you ask your friends or family, they have forgotten what it’s like to be a beginner guitar player if they have been playing a while. Getting another point of view will help you with getting the right perspective on playing the guitar.
1. Am I too old to learn to play guitar?
I always say that you can learn at any age, as long as you are willing to put in the work and are passionate about learning. When you are older, it can be slower because your brain develops differently, but other than that. There is no reason why you can’t start!
2. Do I need a guitar teacher?
It depends what result you are after with your guitar playing. If you want the easiest way to learn, and make sure you can learn things correctly to save yourself from long term injuries. Then getting a guitar teacher is a great idea. On the other hand, getting a bad teacher can be worse than not having a guitar teacher at all!
If you have all the time in the world, and don’t care about your progress and happy to see how it goes, then going online or using books to figure it out is possible. Just like someone who wants to build their own bathroom, you can technically use DIY books and google how to do the whole project yourself. Or you can get a friend to help you who has done it before. Even though they may not be an expert. Or you can get an expert in have it done it professionally and quickly. It’s your choice.
It really comes down to how much your value your time and how much you love guitar, and how quickly you want to make progress towards what you want to do on the guitar.
3. My fingers are hurting, am I doing something wrong?
Your fingers may hurt in the beginning when you learn to play the guitar. Especially if you are learning on an acoustic. After a while, your fingers will harden and build callouses to make it easier.
If you are worried about callouses looking ugly, they can do for a while, but then your skin actually softens up again.
4. How much time should I spend practising?
Consistency and quality of your practise a lot more important than the amount of time you spend practising. You can make significant progress on as little as 10-20 minutes a day if you practise correctly.
For that reason, if you are one of our students and learn to practise properly with us, we recommend 20 minutes a day minimum to see considerable amount of progress.
5. Do I need to learn music theory?
If you would like to play with other people, do any form of song writing, being able to understand what you are playing. Then learning music theory is very helpful.
Music theory is simply knowing what things are called. So you probably are already learning it without knowing. Is just to what degree do you need to learn for what you want to do. Having a basic understanding will help you feel a lot more like a musician than the average guitar player.
6. Should I start on an acoustic or electric guitar?
A lot of people think starting on acoustic guitar is easier. However, if you are learning how to play a steel string acoustic guitar. You may find that you can make more progress on an electric guitar. The reason for this is because the strings on the electric guitar as much thinner and therefore easier to play. That means you can spend more time practising without your fingers hurting.
If you want to play any music that’s on an electric guitar, then starting on an electric guitar may be the best thing for you as a beginner guitar player.
7. What should I do if I’m left handed? Can I still learn?
Of course, there are left handed guitars out there just for you. Your selection if guitars may be smaller, but you can definitely still learn!
8. Should I use a plectrum or my fingers when I play?
This depends on the sort of music you would like to learn how to play. You can also use both, which is called hybrid picking. And also learn both fingerpicking and how to use a pick. Whichever you spend more time with, you will probably feel more comfortable with.
9. How long does it take to learn how to play a song?
You can easily learn to play a song in your first hour of learning guitar but it won’t be a very impressive song. The better question would be asking how long it takes to play a specific song. On top of that, would you only like to play one song or have the technique so you can tackle multiple different songs?
Learning the right techniques and approach to the guitar means you can learn lots of songs easily, rather than just learn songs one after another.
10. My fingers get tired when I play barre chords?
Have you been playing guitar for a while and have started to tackle barre chords?
Playing barre chords can be tricky while you are building up the muscles required to play them. Using the right technique to prevent you from injuring your wrist as well.
Try to practise 10-15 minutes a day and don’t overdo it to build up strength in your wrist and arm to play barre chords.
I hope these top ten questions have helped you with a few things you may have had on your mind as a beginner guitar player learning to play guitar.