How to Get Started Playing Guitar

If you've spent even a couple of years of your life listening to rock & roll, folk or country music, or any kind of music at all, you may have felt the urge to learn to play guitar.  There's no reason why you can't - even if you're 50 years old!

It's a good idea to take a few months' worth of lessons to start, unless you feel genetically geared to picking guitar up on your own, just by listening.  You'll learn basic chords, commonly used strums, and a little about picking the strings.

Six months' worth of lessons should get you started.  After that, if you don't want to spend the money paying an instructor, you can buy a book that will teach you follow-up skills.

To learn to play, of course, you will need an instrument.  It is commonly thought that an acoustic guitar is the best guitar to own if you only own one instrument, but electric guitars are fun, too, and if you have a lust to learn to play rock & roll there is no reason why an electric can't be your first guitar.

There are many guitars with good tone and a nice "feel" on the market that can be purchased for between $200-$400 dollars.  If even $200 seems steep, consider that you are developing a skill that may provide pleasure for a lifetime,  A good and dedicated guitar teacher may be willing to make a trip to a music store to help you pick out your new "axe."  Alternatively, Musician's Friend is one website, out of many you can find online, that offers a good selection of guitars for a beginner in the $200 price range and provides reviews from players that may help you make a decision about what to buy.  They also offer Value Packages for that price range that include a small amplifier, a gig bag (a soft carrying case for the guitar), and picks and tuners.   

If you do not want to buy online, and don't have a recommendation from a teacher, go to a local music store and look at what they have for sale.  You may want to buy a used guitar.  If you spend a little time trying out the feel of a few instruments, you can ask other players who will be sure to be shopping in the store to test out the guitar for you.  Most experienced players are happy to help a novice, and are equally happy to check out an instrument different from the ones they usually play. 

Once you've learned the basic chords you can start writing your own songs.  Many of the most popular songs ever known were written with only three chords, and you will quickly find yourself learning to play old favorites as well as coming up with melodies that you can write lyrics for and sing.

It is NEVER too late to learn how to play guitar!

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