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Five tips to learn how to play guitar

Five tips to learn how to play guitar
learn to play guitar

Photo Credit: Jason Rogers

Learning how to play the guitar is right up there on the to-do list for many people. However it can be a daunting task when starting out. Many people get frustrated learning at home from books and also drop into many bad habits.

We all know that people don’t like to be bad at something. A number that is floating around the internet today is 10,000 hours. That is the number of hours you need to put into something to become an ‘expert’.

10,000. That’s a big number.

However, there is another number out there as well, 20 hours.

That’s better.

This number is championed by Josh Kaufman, who after intensive study has shown that it only takes 20 hours to go from being unskilled to ‘pretty good’ at most things, if you break the skill down.

Five tips to learn how to play guitar.

  • Getting Over Frustration
  • Study The Guitar
  • Learn How To Tune Your Guitar
  • Learn Four Chords
  • Practice

Getting Over Frustration

Embrace the fact that you will not be great straight away. Give yourself permission to make mistakes at first. This is the most important thing you can do when learning to play, as it will allow you to keep practicing and pushing forward.

Study the Guitar

Get to know the physical side of the instrument. Commit to learning what the names of the strings are and the parts of the guitar. It is much easier to learn when you know why something functions in a certain way.

Learn How to Tune Your Guitar

Even if you are playing the chords correctly but your guitar is not in tune, it will not sound right. It is important to start your practice with a guitar that is tuned correctly. This can easily be done with the aid of an inexpensive electronic tuner.

Learn Four Chords

Axis of Awesome is a comedy band. They showed on their show, that you can basically play every hit song over the past decade by just using four keys. These keys are E, B, C# and A. This will give you the ability to play a variety of songs. You can build your song base from there and learn more complex songs latter.


Continual practice is required to learn any new skill. Everyone would like to be able to do something straight away, but it is only those who commit to practicing that will get there. Try and play the guitar for at least half an hour a day, until you hit that 20 hour mark.

Learning how to play guitar is a process. You will not pick it up straight away if you have never played before. But, you don’t need to play for 10,000 hours to be able to enjoy the guitar.

Twenty hours of concentrated effort, and using these tips to learn how to play guitar will help you achieve a level where if someone heard you playing, they might say “He / She, isn’t too bad”.

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