Guitar lessons are an important part of learning to play guitar, but the type of guitar lessons any one beginning guitarist takes will vary. That’s because we all have our own way of doing things. Some of us work well in a group, or class, setting, some of us may work better with a teacher in a one on one session. There are quite a few of us who don’t do well with teachers at all, or can’t afford a teacher, and have to find other ways to learn how to play. Fortunately, there are about as many ways to learn to play guitar as there are guitar players. That’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.
The most important guitar lesson you need to have is the one that teaches you how to tune your instrument, how to string it, and how to care for it. An out of tune guitar is going to restrict any chance you have of actually learning how to play your instrument. An out of tune guitar will make whatever you play sound awful, so make sure you understand how to tune your guitar. Now, there are digital tuners available, and those are great, but before you rely on one of those, train your ear to hear an out of tune guitar and how to fix the issue without a digital tuner. You may not always have one of those available, and if you haven’t worked on your tuning capabilities, you’ll be in a fix.
The next guitar lesson I’d recommend, whether you use a teacher, a Youtube video, or some sort of written instruction, is one that teaches you where the notes are on your fretboard. Take a look at the example below. These are the major scales in five positions. Play them until you can do it forward and backward, paying attention to the notes as you go. Knowing where to find a particular note on your guitar without having to think about it is an important part of playing.
Another important guitar lesson involves picking and strumming. Work on both hands at the same time. Playing a guitar requires both hands work in conjunction. If you focus on picking and not strumming, or vice versa, you’ll only find yourself trying to play catch up later on, when you’ll already have develop bad habits. Use exercises like those below to train yourself to pick and strum simultaneously. The picking exercise involves some string skipping, which helps coordination, and the strum pattern is a useful basic pattern. Learning how to coordinate your movement is essential and guitar lessons like these can help you accomplish that.
Check out this video guitar lesson on picking exercises:
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