How can I learn to play guitar fast?
How to learn to play guitar fast? Almost every guitar beginner will ask such a question. There are some tips to help you to understand learning of guitar better and to learn faster.
Following tips we will discuss for your reference about how to learn to play guitar fast.
- Why you want to learn guitar
- Choose a right guitar
- Holding a guitar is not simple
- Why chords so important
- How to arrange your practice
- Slow is fast
- Is video class a good idea?
- Books we recommend
1. Why you want to learn guitar
You need to ask yourself why you want to learn this kind of instrument, then decide what type you want to learn.
You maybe attracted by rock band’s performance to be eager to practice electric guitar, or surprised by wonderful sound of acoustic folk type, especially finger style, or amazed by charming performance of classical guitar. No matter what attract you, the most important is you like to play guitar. Look into your heart and see if you really like it.
Then you need to decide which type you want to practice. For folk type and classical type, we recommend to learn classical guitar as beginning. But electric guitar is a total different story, if you decide to practice electric type, you just go direct with it, no need to begin with acoustic style. This you should keep in mind.
Don’t superstitiously believe in so called ” talent”. We often be asked like this” My finger is not so long or I’m not so sensitive for music, can I learn?” or like this ” I don’t have any talent in music, can I learn?” Abandon any of this kind of query. if you desire to learn, that’s enough, if you are fond of guitar more than anything else, you have talent. This will make you to learn to play guitar fast and easy.
2. Choose a right guitar
It’s no doubt that to choose a right guitar is important. But how we define word ” right guitar?
In our opinion, a right guitar should be in right size for you to properly hold and easily play, perform at least standard tone of guitar, made of good material, no problem such as string buzz,etc.
What does 39 inch, 40 inch, 41 inch,etc mean? Those data means the length from top side of head to the bottom of body. The longer length the bigger body. Relatively, the longer length the wider neck and fingerboard.
For classical guitars, there is 36 inch, 37 inch and 38 inch for children from age 6 to age 12. For children from age 6 to age 10, 36 inch is the most proper size. For children age from 8 to 10, 37 inch maybe the best size, for age from 10 to 12, 38 inch is proper. 39 inch classical guitar is mainly for adult playing.
For acoustic folk guitar, there’s 40 inch, 41 inch,42 inch and 43 inch. Smaller size for children is not normal, but we are sure you still can find 36 inch folk guitar in the market. Because of holding of guitar of folk type is different, the size of guitar does not influence learning so much. It is recommended to choose 40 inch as beginning for both children and adult.
You need to go to local store to try the guitar yourself to find out which size is the most proper. If the size of guitar is not proper, it is difficult for you to hold and play, then it is bad for learning.
For wood material of guitars, you can refer to this article “How to choose the best guitar for yourself“.
No matter what kind of wood material of guitar, remember that tone performance is the most important thing. A right guitar for you performs at least standard guitar sound. For acoustic type, the volume of guitar is not as big as electric type, But good guitar should play even and clear sound.This will help you to practice your hearing ability. And hearing ability is very important in learning.Listen to the sound from guitar you are choosing very carefully.
The easy play guitar should has comfortable hand feeling like plunking and pressing. No deformation is a basic standard. Especially, pay attention to top, fingerboard and neck. Normally, it is very difficult to recognize deformation of guitar by eyes, you need to try the guitar to have an idea. If any deformation on neck or fingerboard, string buzz is the most common problem you will see. This kind of problem will hurt your interests in playing. And it is bad for your finger. Sometimes, string buzz is caused by improper height of string, this can be adjusted. If deformation on top, the guitar will play a strange sound. This is absolutely not acceptable.
Right size and right sound is a basic characteristics of a right guitar. Another important aspect is price. For beginner, we don’t recommend luxurious kind of instrument because of high cost. But there’s basic rule when you make you budget, don’t buy USD$100 laminated type if you can afford US$200 solid top type, don’t buy US$200 if you can afford US$400 full solid type. Full solid guitar is the most expensive instrument in the market, but not all kinds of full solid are made for concert performance. Among them, there are types for practicing. If it is affordable for you, there’s no reason not to buy.
3. Holding a guitar is not simple
It is simple when you see someone sitting there and playing. But it is not so simple when you begin to start. Why? Because gesture of holding influences every corner of playing. If you don’t properly hold a guitar, it is difficult to relax your arm, finger and your back which will hurt your body and finger. This is why holding a guitar is so important.
Holding gesture of classical guitar and folk guitar is definitely different. But “triangle” in following picture should be the same.
Please note that on the left picture, the top side of guitar should relay on your chest, the left part should relay on you top left leg and the bottom right part should relay on inside of your right leg. From front sight, the three points configure a triangle. This is a typical gesture of holding classical guitar. The left hand guitar’s gesture is opposite.
On the right picture, we can see there’s also a triangle space between your body and guitar. No matter classical guitar or acoustic folk guitar(unless the folk guitar is equipped with pickup) should keep this space.
The gesture can keep your back be straight to avoid deformation of spine and can make your arms comfortable. Besides, this gesture can make guitar back to sufficiently vibrate and to spread the sound far.
The holding gesture is the first thing your teacher should tell you when you attend a class.
4.Why chords so important
We find out that “how to get familiar with frets positions on fingerboard” is frequently asked. We should admit that frets positions often make people confused and what confuse them more is that how to practice. Practice chords is the best way to know frets positions and to recognize scores. This is why it is so important.
No matter you want to learn classical guitar, folk guitar or electric guitar, chords practicing is too important to be ignored. You can start from a very simple chord, when you are familiar with it move on to another more complicated. Do this step by step, don’t be hurry. Segovia chords is highly recommended and can be found everywhere. If you can\t find, please feel free to Email us to get one.
Additionally, it won’t take a long time to practice chords. This practicing you should do everyday, and it takes around 10 ~ 15 minutes before you starting to practice others. Just remember this is everyday work.
Chords practicing is also a good way to practice flexibility of your fingers. Guitar practicing surely has speed requirement. When practice with slow speed, you may bot feel so difficult, but when speed up, you may get mass with your fingers.This is actually one of the purpose of chords practicing. When to practice speed, don’t do it arbitrarily. Remember to use metronome to regular the speed and rhythm. Start with a slow speed that you can catch up, then speed up it gradually.
Realize how important the chords practicing is will greatly make you learn to play guitar fast.
5.How to arrange your practice
Practicing is surely an everyday work. But somebody will lose their patience quickly especially when they practice more than 3 hours per day with wrong method just because of too excited.
At the beginning, you should not practice anything complicated, start at simple one. And concentrate all you energy for 10~15 minutes practicing every day. During this 10 to 15 minutes, start at slow speed to get along with what you are practicing and find out where’s problem, then improve it. This process may last for a week or even the first month of your learning.
When you start to practice complicated work, 10 or 15 minutes is surely not enough, it may take you 1 hour. But if it is difficult for you to be concentrated for an hour, split it into 2 or 4 parts, that means you should be concentrated in practicing for 30 minutes per time or 15 minutes per time. This will help you to move your attention from time to the practicing.
When you start your practicing and where you practice is not important.If you like, you can practice anywhere you like and whenever you want.
Once you are at intermediate level, you know how to arrange your practicing already.
6.Slow is fast
You may get confused by this topic or think this is a philosophy one. It is not.
Anybody who start to learn to play guitar, always desire to be a master after one sleep or play like god in a very short time or at least knowing everything about guitar in minutes. Is this possible? Definitely not. Then how to do it faster and faster?
We all know to build a skyscraper, the first thing is to build a compacted base. The same theory in learning guitars. Compacted basic skills is everything. Any flowery guitar performance looks like so complicated and smooth solo with incredible speed seems no way to learn, is actually can be learnt if you do step by step.
If you do chords practicing mentioned above very carefully everyday for three month, your finger will be unexpected flexible and you will see how fast you play a chord. And if you practice others from simple to complicated, from junior to senior, step by step, after one year you will see how great progress you’ve made.
As for speed of plunking, it is not only related to flexibility of right hand finger, but also left hand finger. You cannot get any flexibility of fingers with high speed plunking at the very beginning. Use metronome while playing to regulate the speed and rhythm from slow to fast. You will build confident by seeing how you make the progress.
Become a master in one month ,three month or shorter will make you upset and lost. But if you don’t take this seriously, and singing with a simple chord company, it’s fine for you to know just basic idea. And this won’t take a long time for sure.
7. Is video class a good idea
You can find and attend guitar classes on youtube,facebook,etc. Almost everything you can find through internet. This result in development of computer, and can save your time and cost, why not to take advantage of it.
But remember that learn to play guitar is not just listen and see, ask and answer is very important in this process. That means if a video class just show you how to play may not so helpful for a beginner. If you want to attend a video class, you need to talk with your teacher not just leave a message and wait for answers.
If you want to learn classical guitar, it is better for you to attend a real class with systematic teaching arrangement.
8. Books we recommend
“ESTUDIO PROGRESIVO DE LA GUITARRA” which is Spain published. This edition contains four books: number 1,2,3,4. If you know nothing about classical guitar, you can start from number 1 which is very simple. Then finish one book by one book. If you can practice all 4 books, there’s nothing you can’t play. However, you can’t learn by yourself with these books, the scores in them looks is not as simple as it looks like. And you need to know how to practice correctly.
“Pumping Nylon” written by Scott Tennant of USA. this book is called “Guitar Bible” in China. If you want to progress any skill of classical guitar, you don’t want to miss this book. It explained all key skills in very detail and contain relative scores for practicing. Especially, the book does\’t say anything useless, it directly tells you how to fix your problem from holding gesture, finger plunking, etc. But this book is not so suitable for beginners, it is fit for those who have learnt some of guitar.
(the picture is the book in Chinese version)