The acoustic guitar, is one of the most popular instruments, many times covered with dust in the corner of a room. It is almost like a piece of furniture, it looks cool and often it is a great conversation starter ‘so, you play the guitar’, and many times the response is ‘noooo, it is my flatmate’s guitar’ or ‘my brother gave it to me when he left’. It is really interesting that the acoustic guitar is one of the most easily accessible instruments and yet, not so many people choose to learn it.
So how long will it take to be able to play a couple of songs? Honestly, two lessons! One song per lesson. You do not have to spend months learning new chords, you can learn a few, and start playing songs straight away. Many popular songs consist of the same chords.
How many chords do you need to know? Armed with 10 chords (you can learn them in a few lessons) you will be able to play a lot of songs. It doesn’t sound difficult, right? I hope I have convinced you to pick up the instrument.
You do not have to take private lessons to start playing the guitar, just go to YouTube and you will find thousands of lessons. Choosing the right ones might be a little bit tricky, but the knowledge is in front of you.
Once you pass the initial learning stage and gain some knowledge of the guitar, a whole new world will open for you. You will be able to play your favourite songs, join jamming sessions and write your own music! You can really awaken your creative side.
Here are a few examples of guitar techniques that you can learn. The video examples are a little ancient – I think back from 2013 – but … the message is still the same 🙂
In this example, I’m going to use the fingerpicking technique. Fingerpicking simply means that I will use my fingers to get sound from the guitar. Another way of getting sound from the guitar is by using a guitar pick – the next two examples are played using a guitar pick.
Here I play the same chord progression twice, but arrange it with two different fingerpicking techniques to achieve a different feel to the song. The first example has a nice soft sound, and the other one is more percussive:
Let’s move on. How about writing a song? It may sound like it is a mission impossible for the beginner guitarist, but it is not that difficult. I always encourage my students to use the knowledge that they have more creatively.
Just take a few chords that you know and arrange them in a random way, listen to how they sound together. A lot of great songs consist of only a few simple chords!
In this example, I took four chords: Cmaj7, Amin9, F and G and tried to arrange them into a song. Here is the result:
One thing that I always stress is that even the best guitarists were in the same place that you are now. Nobody becomes great overnight. Good guitar skills are just results of practicing and having fun with the guitar.
In this last example, I just improvised using different strumming variations and arpeggios. It is a more advanced way of playing the guitar and requires some experience.
Here we go:
Some of these examples are a little bit advanced, but I wanted to show you what you can aim to achieve on the guitar. It all comes down to practicing the right things in the right order.
Playing the guitar is fun and the best way to spend your free time. Undust your guitar and lets rock 🙂