How I Learned to Play Guitar

One of my online students asked me how I learned to play the guitar, and I thought this would make a nice post for all to read. It might motivate you, it might set you off, but anyhow, it will show you one thing most importantly: if I could do it, you can too. I was not born with a guitar in my hand, and I am not even very talented. I just loved it from the start, and stuck with it.

My Guitar Story

My Guitar Story

You see, anybody can learn to play the guitar. Be it, there are super talented guitarists, but unfortunately I am not one of them. If I was, you'd be watching me on MTV being harassed by hundreds of girls, not writing on my laptop 🙂

Ok, no more fantasizing, here is my guitar story...

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How to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time

One of my new students recently asked about singing and playing the guitar at the same time, and noticed that my beginner guitar lessons do not contain any video material on the subject. This is true, I'm sorry to say that I have no singing voice whatsoever, so this subject isn't addressed on the website at all, sorry about that.

Sing and play

Sing and play

I can't say that I will have anything of the sort in the future, since I sound like a seagull with a fever when I try to sing 🙂 I do know a bit about the technique though, and as I've heard from others and having tried myself, it's not the easiest form of making music. You need to be able to totally separate your singing from your guitar playing, a skill which is quite difficult to master. You could maybe compare it to playing the drums, where all 4 of your limbs need to be performing different tasks.

Here is a general guide to singing and playing the guitar simultaneously:

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Maroon 5 guitar lessons

If you're reading this post, you probably don't need an introduction to Maroon 5. They were formed in 1994 in Los Angeles as a high school band called Kara's Flowers, led by Adam Levine.

It was in 2001, when they added guitarist James Valentine, renamed themselves Maroon 5, and started pursuing a new musical direction, that the band took off. They've released 5 albums to date, and have become world famous thanks to their funk-pop-rock style, and Adam Levine's voice.

maroon-5-guitar-lessons

You can learn a lot of cool guitar riffs and really improve your rhythm guitar skills from playing Maroon 5 songs, that's why we have several Maroon 5 guitar lessons.

The songs we presently have from the band are:

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Acoustic Guitar Lessons for Beginners

The online acoustic guitar lessons at TheGuitarLesson.com offer an effective way of learning to play the acoustic guitar. Our method of teaching focuses not on showing you some acoustic guitar chords and scales, since strumming some chords and playing scales all day will get boring, since it's not very musical.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Our method of teaching you to play the acoustic guitar focuses on teaching you acoustic guitar songs. Learning to play songs once you're comfortable with basic guitar techniques is great, since it will keep your practice sessions fun and motivating. There's nothing like being able to play one of your favorite songs for the first time, and our beginner guitar lessons will have you playing loads of beginner guitar songs in a relatively short amount of time. All of our video acoustic guitar lessons have animated tablature and chord charts right on the screen as you watch the tutorial, which makes learning those chords and riffs much easier.

Here are 3 of the most popular acoustic guitar songs from our website:
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Five Tips on Learning Guitar Notes

To find your way around the fretboard of the guitar is very important. It will help you in guitar improvisation, sight reading, and in understanding chords and more. In this guitar lesson we will explore five ways to learn the notes on the guitar fretboard. How much do you need to practice?

A couple of minutes a day with one of these exercises will help you improve your skills in finding the notes. In this guitar lesson we will focus on the fretboard, and on learning the notes on the guitar. I will show you several exercises which will help you memorize guitar notes, but you will have to work at it on your own time as well. So, lets begin with the fretboard itself.
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Beatles Guitar Lessons

The Beatles were one of the most productive bands in history. They used many instruments, sometimes entire orchestras when composing their songs, but thankfully, many of their songs have really great guitar covers.

beatles-guitar-lessons

TheGuitarLesson.com offers several The Beatles guitar lessons, and as always, all of them include animated on-screen tabs and chord diagrams, which make following the tutorials easy as pie.

Have a look at our collection of guitar lessons covering The Beatles songs below:

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Solo Guitar Lessons for Beginners

If you prefer playing the electric guitar and are comfortable with the basics from our beginner guitar lessons, you'll be glad to know that we have several solo guitar lessons on our website, each one giving you step-by-step guidance on learning the most popular riffs and solos. As you know, our video tutorials contain animated tabs, which makes them very easy to follow, especially for beginners learning the electric guitar.

Be Like Slash!

Be Like Slash!

The main advantage of learning lead guitar with our solo video lessons is that we concentrate on teaching you through making you play real music, not just single exercises. Through learning to play popular riffs and licks, you'll be advancing your lead guitar skills as well. This combination of practicing through playing songs will mean that your practice sessions will remain exciting, you'll actually want to practice as much as you can, since you'll be making great music. This is the biggest advantage of learning songs, you'll stay motivated and really want to play as much as you can, due to the fact that you'll be playing the solos you've been listening to for years.

We have several guitar lessons on popular songs which use awesome guitar solos for you to learn. Here are the top 3 watched lessons on guitar solos we have at TheGuitarLesson.com, check them out:

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Learning the Notes on the Fretboard (Guitar Neck)

Being able to instantly identify, and move to different notes along the fretboard is a must know skill for anyone serious about learning to play the guitar. Knowing your way around the neck of the guitar is important for playing chords and chord progressions, for improvising, and an absolute must if you want to start writing your own songs as well.

Learn those notes!

Learn those notes!

Learning the notes on the fretboard is not really hard, it just takes some studying. Thankfully, the guitar is built in such a way, that allows us to easily identify the notes on 4 of the 6 strings, after learning the notes on the low E and A strings. This is due to the relationship between the notes on the strings. If you haven't done so yet, watch our video guitar lesson on learning guitar notes, I explain the following on video, which makes it even easier to digest.

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How to Hold a Guitar Pick

Learning how to hold the guitar pick correctly is one of the first things you should learn when you decide to learn the guitar. If you learn it well in the beginning, you'll never need to worry about it again, and it'll make your learning experience much easier. Many beginners instinctively hold the pick between the tips of their thumb and index finger, which is incorrect, and will result in lessened stability.

So, lets get to it.

Correct hand position

Initial hand position

Initial hand position

Curl your hand as in the picture, almost as if you were showing a loose thumbs up. Your index finger is curled, and is parallel with your thumb.
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Too old to learn guitar at 30? 40? 50? 60? Think again!

Undoubtedly some of the most frequent letters I get here at TheGuitarLesson.com are from people asking whether they are too old to learn guitar. In fact, the "Am I too old to learn guitar" subject line letters come from people in all age groups.

It's funny because I've had 13-14 year old kids ask this question, adults of all ages of course, and even a 74 year old grandfather who wanted to jam along with his grandkids.

 

This topic seems to be on the mind of all adults considering guitar lessons, so let's talk about it for a second. Read more