Beginner guitarists: where to start

So, you’ve just purchased a brand-new guitar. How exciting! I bet your keen to get started, to learn a couple of your favourite songs, and impress your friends and family.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Beginner guitarists are sometimes disheartened when they first pick up their new instrument – playing the guitar is no easy task! You might find yourself thinking: “This is impossible. How am I ever going to reach my guitar-playing goals? Where do I even start?”

In this article, we’ll share with you three basic starting points: a little foundational info that’ll help you kick-start your journey toward becoming a guitar pro. Ready? Let’s get started.

Basic guitar anatomy

Learning the basic anatomy of your guitar is a great place to start. Check out the above diagram for an excellent overview. Below, I’ve gone into a bit more detail about a few of the most important parts:

  • Tuning pegs: located on the headstock, the tuning pegs adjust the tension of the strings. Different tension levels produce different notes. Use the tuning pegs to tune your guitar.
  • Frets: the neck of the guitar is divided into frets, which are created by thin strips of metal embedded into the fretboard. Frets help you play different notes.
  • Sound hole: on acoustic guitars, the sound hole amplifies the sound of your plucks and strums.

How to hold a guitar properly

So, as a beginner guitarist, you’re now familiar with basic guitar anatomy. It’s time to pick up your instrument. How you do this will depend on whether you are right or left handed:

  • If you’re right-handed, grip the neck with your left hand. If you are seated, allow the guitar to rest comfortably on your leg. Your right hand naturally ends up over the sound hole. Voila!
  • If you’re left-handed, you have a few options. First, you might have purchased a left-handed guitar. In this case, grip the neck with your right hand, allowing your left hand to sit above the sound hole. Second, you could re-string your guitar in reverse order, and flip the entire thing upside-down. Finally, you could leave it as is, and play guitar as a right-hander.

How to find quality guitar lessons

If you’re a total beginner, the best way to learn is by investing in top-quality guitar lessons. If you have a local music school that you trust, by all means, give them a go.  In Sydney, we recommend the Liverpool Academy of Music.

If you don’t have one nearby that’s any good, then you can turn to the internet for help.

But this can be confusing too.  The internet is saturated with online guitar courses that claim to transform beginner guitarists into full-blown pros in a matter of days. Truth is, these don’t work. Instead, they leave you frustrated and ready to give up.

What they do is teach you a few chords, and leave you to practise these over and over again until you’ve memorised them.  The problem with this method of learning is that you don’t learn how to read music, you don’t learn about timing, or tone, or dynamics, or any of the other important elements that set you up for life to become an accomplished player.

That’s why I have created an online guitar lesson program that actually works. I follow the world-renowned, proven Trinity College London system, which teaches students from the ground up. No shortcuts. Real results.   I have taught thousands of students this way, many of whom have gone on to not only pass the exams, but to become accomplished professional musicians who can play any genre of music.

Learn more about online guitar lessons

If you’d like to learn more about my online guitar lessons for beginner guitarists, click here.
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