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At a Later date
Posts: 44
Reply with quote  #1 
What's the best way to go about learning the acoustic guitar as an absolute beginner? I just read a post on here about Barney learning just 3 chords and then was set to go from there.

I won't take any guitar lessons, I'm sure I want to be self-taught, I know YouTube has some videos out there and I've got a acoustic guitar beginners book and it has a load of chords on there, should I just stick with the book and concentrate on the chords it teaches?

I mean, is the main issue in starting off, learning some of the basic chords and making them instinct to play?

Thank you.

Exercise One
Posts: 560
Reply with quote  #2 

Hi, JDW. 

I've played a little of the acoustic guitar myself. I did have a few lessons to begin with, but it's not absolutely necessary.

More of the chords I've learnt since when I began, I just looked up on the internet. I've never tried to use a guitar book, but some people do use them. Some people watch YouTube videos to learn their instruments. I haven't watched many YouTube videos myself, but I do know that you can just search for whatever, really. You can search some videos showing some chords, scales, or you can watch videos of songs you like. Learning songs you like is good as well, because you like them, you're more likely to want to learn them, and you're still learning the techniques you need to learn as well. 

I suppose the main things to learn - not just on guitar, but on any instrument really - are where all the notes are, some scales, arpeggios, things like that. It might seem boring at first, but learning all your notes does help and will make things easier later on when you're trying to find different ways of doing certain things or experimenting a little. You don't have to learn to read music if you don't want to and some people struggle with that sort of thing, but there are always tabs and chord charts you can use instead of music. My main instrument is the piano, and I don't read music. I can a little, but I'm certainly not at the stage where I can read everything off the music and play it just by sight. I tend to play by ear. 

I did say lessons aren't absolutely necessary, but I'll just warn you, there may come a point when you find you can't teach yourself anymore and you need a bit of guidance. Lessons are good for that. Case in point, my nana paints quite a bit. She used to go to art classes, but she's reached a point where she can't improve any more on her own, so she's been considering going back to the art classes for a while. 

I hope this was helpful, by the way. 

E. J. O.

Posts: 902
Reply with quote  #3 
Learn 3 chords and off you go ! Proper punk DIY attitude !

Im presuming that you know how to tune the guitar properly  ... then I would say that its a case of learning the following main 15 open chords, via tablature (TAB) format (which is a way of showing you where on the fretboard to put each finger needed for the individual notes that make up a chord  ... WITHOUT a need to be able to read music)

The main 15 chords are as follows :

A major, A minor, A7, B7, C major, C7, D major, D minor, D7, E major, E minor, E7, F major, G major, G7

Look up online the finger positions for the above chords if you dont have them, and then practice practice practice !

It WILL be hard at first ... the tips of your fingers might hurt, and it takes a while to build the strength in your hands/fingers to quickly be able to go straight to those chords one after another BUT ITS WORTH IT   ...and it WILL get easier, so DONT give up!  

Its a GREAT feeling when you can play along to your favourite tracks and it sounds pretty good !

I would say no need for any guitar lessons ... as only you can learn the above 15 chords, not point in paying someone for that

Try and play with other guitarists too ... others beginneres in a similar situation or perhaps more experienced players

Once you have those basic chords under your belt, you can progress to barre chords  ... which most guitarists use (mainly cause they are much easier ...and ideal for lazier players, like Barney! [smile] )

At that point, it may then be worth considering some lessons .... but from a guitar teacher who plays in a band (as opposed to someone who is a music teacher), as they should be able to show you lots of little tricks, riffs and licks for the kind of music that you like.

Enjoy !

*** Only just noticed JDW that your original post was actually from back in 2014  !!  

Did you persist with the acoustic guitar, and if so can you now play along to Dead Souls, New Dawn Fades, Transmission, etc ? ***

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