What is the best way to learn guitar without taking classes – quora gas up the jet


Which brings us to the next phase, learn easy songs to play on guitar. The number one tip is to learn a song that you’re excited to play. Bookmark this massive list of easy songs to play on guitar, it also has the chords and video tutorial for each.

You want to learn how to play guitar without taking any lessons, and that is doable. Millions of people learn guitar on their own because now it’s easier than ever before. Why? Now you only need a computer, an Internet connection, and your guitar. Back then, the only way to learn was to have a teacher. So now, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to be a part of the millions of people who learn on their own.

The advantage of taking lessons is it speeds up the learning process because you have guidance and accountability. Since you don’t plan to have lessons, you must be more determined because you have no teacher to push you. You have to push yourself.

To give you some motivation, watch this video of a girl who documented her first year of playing guitar. Your progress may be faster than hers or slower, it depends on how often you practice and how efficient you are during practice. By efficient I mean do you actually practice or spend so much time procrastinating? Bla bla bla. The point is you need to understand that everybody sucks at first but you’ll see some fun progress as you keep at it.

Having said that, please don’t get a very cheap guitar that are as good as kids toys – these guitars cause so many beginners to quit because they sound horrible and are very hard to play. Read this guitar buying guide if this is your first time, so you’ll know what to look for.

I picked up a cheap nylon string guitar a few months ago, without any significant prior knowledge of music or about guitar. I also tried learning on my own without classes, using some of the free resources available online. The following have been quite helpful:

I learnt some beginners’ stuff without much difficulty — like basics of music theory, strumming, chords, rhythm, finger-picking etc. I can now play along some of my favorite songs. I think doing it this way allows one to keep the motivation and inspiration, for deliberate practice is the only way to master any musical instrument. It’s a skill, and requires perseverance and patience, like any else.

You first learn all the open chords, then pick a song that uses only those chords. Now, you’ll learn how to cleanly switch between the chords. And, subconsciously, you’ll also learn about rhythm. You can then play around with different strumming patterns. Then, you keep repeating this loop by learning new chords, and boost your chord-vocabulary.

Also, people have different approaches when it comes to learning/teaching guitar. Justin’s courses are well-organized if you’ve got no clue where to begin. The next thing for me that comes after chords and strumming is to learn scales and folk finger-style. Some people (I guess, more music theory oriented or professional musicians) will insist on learning scales first, by heart, and then moving on to other things. I think, doing it that way does give a deeper understanding of the origins or chords and allows one to improvise and compose snippets/solos/riffs in a given key.

Just start somewhere, and eventually you will learn and figure out yourself which direction you want to go into, how to proceed, what’s the next big thing to tackle. After giving it a few months of practice and reaching an intermediate level, you’ll figure out your taste, and then can opt among various possibilities like blues, jazz, funk, rock, folk, rhythm or lead etc.

In the end, I’d say that the most crucial part of learning to play any musical instrument is ‘ feedback’. That’s what in fact actual classes and private lessons provide. If you can find a substitute for that, like someone who knows how to play and can guide you once in a while on where you’re good at, where you need to improve, what mistakes you’re making etc. Because, even minor things like your posture, and how you hold the instrument can make huge differences in the long run — for worse, you could get wrist injuries; or, for better, good techniques can save you a lot of time. Errors propagate, so it’s better to get the techniques right right from the start, instead of practicing mistakes.

Watching & doing; empirical education seems to work in most cases. There is no substitute for getting a guitar in your hands & just playing along with music &/or creating (or stumbling upon) music. Once you have an idea of basic chords you will understand most guitarists (particularly buskers – street musicians in the U.S.) use only a few. There have been chords I have ‘discovered’ either by accident or experimentation (‘I played the wrong – hey, that sounds good!’ & ‘What would happen if I put this finger here & that finger – hey, that sounds good!’ &/or ‘The C Major 7 chord has a Minor 7; I’ll raise the 7 to a Major to hear how it sounds’).

Joni Mitchell has stated that she was uncomfortable with playing guitar the conventional way – so she went off & just did what her heart told her – often with unconventional tunings. I once saw one of those ‘1001 Great Busking Songs For Guitar’ books & it was terrible!: her hit song “Big Yellow Taxi” was almost impossible to play -fingers in most improbable positions- because the ‘educated scholar’ who presented the chord boxes was clearly not a guitarist. That song is in ‘open tuning’ and VERY easy to play! Same tuning as some Rolling Stones songs “Honky Tonk Woman” for example) & some not-very-well-known Led Zeppelin songs. And as far as Rock music goes, most – if not all – AC/DC songs use variations of the same basic chords I mentioned before; and the “Smoke On The Water” intro consists of only 2 strings!