If you've ever contacted me on any guitar-related question, you'll know that I answer all of my students' questions personally. I love doing so for people learning from our beginner guitar lessons. There are a lot of typical questions and problems that my online students encounter, so I thought a post on these would be useful for everyone to see.

Guitar Student Q&A
Guitar Student Q&A

Of course, if you have any other questions, get stuck somewhere, or just need a bit of motivation, feel free to contact me any time. But with that said, read through the below list of questions I get asked most often, you'll probably find answers to your problems as well.

Question 1.: How much should I practice per day.
Answer 1.: As much as you feel comfortable with, so basically the more the better, but at least 30 minutes per day at the beginning, extending that to 1 hour at least 5 days a week once your fingers stop hurting.

Question 2.:I don't seem to be improving, even though I've had my guitar for a week. I've even practiced twice, so what am I doing wrong?
Answer 2.: Hmmmm 🙂 Learning to play guitar is not an overnight process. It takes time and dedication, which means as much practice as possible. Oh yeah, don't expect to be playing like Slash after a week. There is no need to be impatient, you will progress with time and practice. Also, read this post on how long it takes to learn guitar.

Question 3.: I am having difficulties with barre chords. Any tips?
Answer 3.: Yep, read these articles on barre chord tips, and also learning barre chords by using them in songs.

Question 4.: How can I increase my picking speed?
Answer 4.: Do loads of finger exercises, but better yet, learn to play some easy guitar songs which require lots of alternate picking, for example, Wipe Out. Start out slowly, and build speed as you can.

Question 5.: How can I learn to change chords better?
Answer 5.: Watch this video lesson on changing chords, and just practice the things I teach you in the video every day. If you have trouble with a specific chord change, don't neglect it. Many students jump to something else when they find something difficult. Keep on pushing the problem areas, and you'll have it nailed in a couple of days. Also, read these tips on switching chords quickly.

Question 6.: Should I learn on an acoustic or electric guitar?
Answer 6.: It is easier on an electric, but more thorough on an acoustic. Why? Read this post on acoustic vs electric guitar.

Question 7.: Learning theory and the notes on the fretboard is boring, and discouraging me from playing. What should I do? Is there a fun way to learn theory?
Answer 7.: You don't need to learn guitar theory until you reach an advance-beginner to lower intermediate level. So only once you can already play guitar and start enjoying it. The video lessons on TheGuitarLesson.com focus on teaching you how to play and getting you to enjoy playing. This is why learning and playing songs are important right from the start. The lessons sprinkle in some theory here and there, which will get you familiar with the basic theoretical concepts. And believe me, the more you play, the more you'll enjoy, and eventually, you'll want to learn theory by yourself.

Question 8.: I want to learn to sing and play guitar. How would I go about doing that?
Answer 8.: First of all, you need to be an able guitar player and be able to strum and change chords without even thinking about it. And of course, you need to learn to sing, but I can't help you there 🙂 And you may want to read more tips on learning to sing and play guitar simultaneously.

Question 9.: Should I get Guitar Pro 6?
Answer 9.: GP6 is a tablature editing and playback software. If you are not familiar with it yet, watch this tutorial on using Guitar Pro 6. It is a very powerful program recommended for all guitarists, but if you are just starting out, I would say wait until you reach a level where you can read tabs perfectly, and can play the guitar at an acceptable level. GP6 is great for composing and learning songs, but you need to be comfortable with the basics beforehand. If you do end up buying it, remember that you can download thousands of free guitar pro tabs on our site.

Question 10.: How can I download the video lessons? Is there a DVD version of the lessons on TheGuitarLesson.com?
Answer 10.: We don't have DVDs, and the videos are not downloadable at the moment. If you would like to learn from DVDs, you may want to check out what I consider to be the best DVD guitar lessons.

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  1. How do I learn the next patten of scale when the books I read don’t show examples all the way up the neck …such as minor pentatonic that only patterns one note on the 16th fret …..
    Do I start position again and follow first position after 16th ?

    1. After each octave (12 frets) up the neck, the patterns repeat. Check out this article for the minor pentatonic. As you can see, if you root it at the open E string (making in an E minor pentatonic), you restart the pattern 1 octave higher, at the E note on the 12th fret of the low E string.

  2. Hi, first off really good answers. I can say as a teacher that I’ve been asked those a lot. One thing I would add to question number 1 is that I’ve found students more likely to commit to practicing every day when I say a minimum of 5 minutes. As they can always find 5 mins, but often can’t find half hour – just a bit of advice for any tutor struggling to get students dedicated to daily practice.

  3. Thanks for your advice. I highly recommend you physically walk into a store, pick up and play the guitars you are considering purchasing.

  4. I absolutely love question number 4. Picking speed seems to be considered a holy graale of playing the guitar. I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve had to say the same thing to many different people: to play fast first learn how to play slow. Literally, practice with 30 BPM backing track and before you know you will be shredding like Kirk Hammet.
    Playing slow is literally the best and easiest way to master the speed.

  5. I bought an acoustic guitar today, I don’t know how to play, but I’ve been tuning it and it’s been going pretty well until I was tuning and one of the strings actually came out and isnow completely off but still attached to the bottom. My guitar is an elevation acoustic guitar. Please let me know what I can do, thank you

  6. I’m interested in getting an electric guitar. I’m a little confused about the amplifier situation though. Will I have to get the same brand amplifier as the guitar, or can they be from different brands?

    1. Hi Kristin, no, they don’t have to be the same brand at all. Just make sure you get an electric guitar amplifier, as there are separate acoustic guitar amplifiers as well, that are meant for acoustic guitars.

  7. I Want To Buy Guitar But M Cofused That Which Shape Of Acostic Guitar Is Used for Casual Playing n Learning ??
    Can Some Help Me In Uderstanding Difrence In Between ?

  8. It’s been my experience that beginning guitar students, especially the younger ones have trouble forming chords, and strumming progressions. I use the Hal Leonard Guitar Method series of books as a guide and follow that proven methodology. That is learning all the notes on the first three frets on all 6 strings and playing simple melody lines utilizing those notes. Learning simple notation is included and part of that, but I have yet to hear a student complain about the process. I feel this is a funner way to build up finger and hand strength, and it gives the student more dexterity which will help form those basic chord shapes.

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