The Best Way to Learn Guitar at Home (8 Steps)
The best way to learn guitar at home is to follow these eight steps. These will make sure that you focus on the right things to help you become a great guitarist!
1. Learning the Foundations
First of all, get to know the instrument and how it’s built and used. Guitars have six strings, which go gradually from the thickest at the top to the leanest in the bottom. There are different types of strings, depending on what kind of guitar you have.
Acoustic and electric guitars use metal strings – these are a bit harder to press with your fingers but give a somewhat stronger sound. Classic guitars use nylon strings, which are softer and more elastic, but are also more gentle and give out a somewhat softer sound.
After that, you should learn how to play a single note. Notes are played by pressing the selected wire by the fret on the neck of the guitar. Frets are those lines that you can see on the neck of every guitar.
Playing the guitar can be done in two ways, by using a pick or playing with your fingers.
It’s really just a personal affinity and there is no big difference between the two, except the pick allows you to play solos somewhat more precisely. But using your fingers to play is also a technique you should know – Mark Knopfler from the Dire Straits never used a pick and still got to become a world-known rock star!
Also, you are going to need to develop calluses on your left hand (or right, depending on which you’re holding the neck of the guitar).
As you are going to quickly find out, pressing tiny wires with your fingertips for long amounts of time tends to make your fingertips sore. Calluses develop as your skin on fingertips is thickening, allowing you to not feel pain when playing.
This process however does take several weeks to happen, so you’ll just have to work through it! At the start, this is another great reason to space out your practice throughout the week.
2. Pick Some Great Online Guitar Lessons
There are tons of helpful YouTube materials that you can use for free. But it’s often a better use of our time to go for something more structured.
You can choose from sites like Justin Guitar and GuitarTricks, which have developed courses for all levels of playing skill. You can choose from different tutors and different music styles, all according to your playing skills, and get just the lessons you need.
3. Dedicate at least 20 minutes per day
Practicing for at least 20 minutes per day is one of the best ways to get great at an instrument, FAST!
Within the space of a few weeks or months, you’ll be surprised at how much you know and can do with your instrument.
Even though it can seem that playing once a week for a couple of hours will get you there, it will not.
You need that everyday routine of having an instrument in your hands, and if you take it once a week, you’ll get it much slower than if you’re playing every day for a much shorter amount of time.
Of course, it’s important to give yourself a break. You might start feeling burnt-out if you play every single day for months on end. Though, just make sure that your guitar doesn’t sit there collecting dust for months on end!
4. Learn Some Basic Chords
There’s a long way for you to go to get to be new Eddie Van Halen. But folk, pop, and many other styles of music are often quite simple to play.
Knowing a few simple chords will enable you to play literally thousands of famous songs, and that’s going to keep you interested in playing and developing your skills further.
If you need proof, then check out this great video below by Axis of Awesome!
5. Work on Finger Drills
Finger drills are some of the most boring things you can do with your guitar, but they greatly help your development.
Playing the same patterns over and over again until you can play them in your sleep. But at the same time, this is something really important. You have to work on them regularly and develop your fingering skills every day.
6. Learn to Play Song Songs You Love
Everybody started playing so that they could play that song they loved. You should strive to learn those songs and play them well.
But don’t stop there once you do it. Learning to play new songs keeps your mind open and improves your skills as a guitar player.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing the songs you already know for practice – you won’t forget them that way and you’ll have fun.
But try to learn something new and not get caught in the loop of playing the same songs over and over again.
That said, don’t spend all of your time playing songs. Focus on techniques, finger-drills, and technical aspects of playing guitar so that you also develop your skills.
7. Always Challenge Yourself
Musicians never stop learning! This is a lesson you have to learn in the beginning, as there is no definite goal you can reach.
You can always perfect something in your playing. To get to improving your playing, of course, you have to go over some challenges.
The point of it is to always find new challenges. Whether that is some new playing patterns, or new scales or chords, there’s always something you can improve, and the only way to get better at playing is to always learn new things and improve at them.
8. Stay Consistent and Be Patient
The first few months of playing guitar is an exhilarating ride. It seems like every time you pick up the instrument you learn something new and massively improve your skills. Once you start improving your skills, you will find that your abilities will start to plateau.
In this case, you might not notice your improvements quite as much, and you might think that you’re already good enough that you end up reverting back to old songs and old techniques that you’ve already mastered.
This is the most important time that you need to stay consistent with your development. At this stage, you should either try to follow some more advanced courses or check in with a local teacher who can start to assess your abilities and develop a plan directly for you.
You could also consider playing with other musicians, trying out other genres, or doing anything that can help you maintain focus and enthusiasm towards your development as a guitar player.
This is an even more important time to stick with your 20 minutes of practice. After a while, there’s no harm in giving yourself a break, but make sure to get back to practicing when you’re ready.
We hope that this article has helped you learn all you need to know about how to get better at playing guitar while you’re at home. Even though some of these things sound like default advice for any situation, they do really work.
It’s important to be consistent, to keep practicing and pushing every day (even for a small amount of time) and you’ll see yourself become better and better every passing day. Nobody has become a master at anything without the time and work put into mastering his passion. You can become a good guitarist rather easily and it’s not something too hard to do.