acoustic guitar - close up

All Strings Attached: 3 Super Useful Tips For Your Guitar Learning Journey

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Hi there, I am no pro at playing guitar. However, I surely am someone who loves and lives music.

My music journey started “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away! (Pun Intended ‘😉 )

Although music has always been with me, I got introduced to the ‘Rock’ genre and ‘Guitar in real sense’ when I moved out of school. One of my best friends got admission in engineering and that’s when it all began. I can never forget the very first CD he burnt for me, a Moser Baer one, with a collection of 17 Rock videos that included Godsmack, Nirvana, GNR, Iron Maiden, Cranberries, Cradle of Filth to name a few!! I know a crazy list, right? Like mixing Cradle of filth with Nirvana!! But, that story is for some other time. I think it was a f***** amazing combination to start with if you ask me. Many might disagree – but it’s okay to ‘agree to disagree’ as long as we respect each other perspectives.

Let me skip many years of me flirting with the guitar where I hardly progressed and eventually left playing. Never lost the love though!

What I am going to talk about in the next half of this article summarizes my journey and what I learnt about playing the guitar over the years. And the more I learned, the more I became ‘all strings attached’. 😉

My journey might resonate with you, my learnings might not – especially, if you are a pro. But if you are someone who is just starting to play or wishes to learn more, these might be of help.

For the benefit of those who are at the uber initial stages of their guitar learning journey, let me start with some basics – and then we will move to the tips. Sounds good?

Below you can see all the important parts to help you understand the anatomy of an Acoustic guitar better:

The basic anatomy of an acoustic guitar
Image courtesy: Fender.com

Let’s get to the tips part, shall we?

1. Buy An Acoustic Guitar But Don’t Buy Cheap

Like most beginners, I started with an acoustic guitar
Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Trust me, this is an investment advise and will go long way in your journey. You could easily find a guitar in the INR 2K-3K range. Most people decide to go for it as it is inexpensive, and the fear that they might never learn guitar and waste all their money on an expensive one. While this kind of dilemma is completely justified, following is my recommendation.

A guitar has a lot of parts and each of them matters. Quality of these parts has a direct impact on your learning interest and speed. While it can be expensive and you might not handle it to the level of touch it requires; still it would be beneficial in the long run. Trust me this is just your first guitar and will never be the last one, if you get started. Buy a beauty that you would want to pick up every day.

Common types of modern acoustic guitars:

  • Classical
  • Steel String (Dreadnought, Jumbo, Parlour)
  • Archtop (sometimes called “Jazz Guitar”)

Where to buy online: Amazon, Furtados, Bajaao, OnStage

Quick Recommendation: Go for a Fender Dreadnought and you will not regret it.

2. Buy an Online ‘Guitar Learning App’ Subscription

More you learn more you become interested
Get Guitar learning apps for easy lessons.
Image Courtesy: Pxfuel

While some beginners shy away from investing in these paid guitar applications, others think, they should learn directly from a teacher, look for free applications, take help from friends to learn, look for free guitar learning content on YouTube, Google search, etc.

All these above ideas are fantastic, and I am not saying don’t do that. But you would go only that far with this approach and not be like Superman saying, “up up and away”!!

  • You will have to invest as rule#1 so make up your mind and budget it
  • A guitar teacher would cost about a decent amount in a year and will have a particular teaching style. A learning application, on the other hand, will cost about 20-40% of the annual cost that you pay for a specific teacher.
  • Another benefit of these learning apps is the easy gamification style they offer. They turn the learning experience into a game, and you will practice and improve without even feeling the pain (My Favourite – Yousician App)
  • Subscribe to some guitar classes on YouTube and look for the beginner’s video under their playlist. Just start from the 1st video and keep moving forward.

As you spend more and more time looking up for videos to improve your style, you will realize that you are learning tricks from the best of the teachers who are in millions, from across the world. The difference this approach will make is, you will know whom to look for as per your style and pace.

Quick recommendations:

Marty Music:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmnlTWVJysjWPFiZhQ5uudg

I’ve personally learned a lot from Marty’s Music Youtube channel

Adit’s Guitar Lessons:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfJXSlrIE0K4oPVcKDrnR6g

Adit’s Guitar Lessons for tips on Indian songs

3. The Ultimate Success Mantra (You might have heard it but try it once)

Pick up the guitar every day for 10 minutes for the first three months and just play keeping the above saying in mind. Once you do this, you’ll realise that in 3 months, you …

  • … are no longer playing it for 10 minutes.
  • … are at more ease with the guitar and can play better.
  • … cannot live without your guitar.

I can go on for pages and hours sharing my learning and experiences. I have just started my journey, which is late, but still not too late. Maybe these will help you to start early!!

Watch out for my next articles on topics like learning more about the types and styles of guitar, how and when to graduate to an electric guitar, helpful tips to navigate through social media and digital applications to live your dream.

And before I say goodbye, here’s how my babies look:

My two fondest possessions
Proud owner of an Acoustic and Electric Guitar!
Image courtesy: Tarun Singh

If you have any questions or some interesting info to share, jot it down in the comment section below!

Cover image courtesy: Spinditty

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Alakananda Bhattacharya
Editor

Wonderful article Tarun. Informative, interesting and definitely loved your puns (intended or not!!) You have an easy flow of writing and I particularly liked how you weaved your own experienced into the article to make it more helpful for others. Keep it up!!

AMRITABHA BHATTACHARYA
AMRITABHA BHATTACHARYA
1 year ago

Loved the article. It was like reading my own experiences. Seriously it reminded me of my early days of fiddling with the guitar. We did not have apps or videos back then, so all I did was trying to figure out the chords by pressing each and every strings in different different frets. And later by copying the finger positions of my guitarist friends while they magically produced the heavenly sounds. I read somewhere once, “if you can not spend atleast an hour with your guitar, then don’t play it”! And I still believe in it. I would like to… Read more »

Sudipto Dey
Sudipto Dey
1 year ago

Agree! Very nicely put, will check the app you suggested.

Satwat Bagchi
Satwat Bagchi
1 year ago

Well written, agree with almost everything but I would say it’s better to physically join a class where if you have competent students alongside (even better if you go with friends) it greatly helps your motivation, practice, focus and ultimately skill. But you need to be at least a little competitive, if not, online classes are fine, but yes, definitely a paid one at that! One more thing I would like to say – most of the people quit in the first three months because the guitar and the guitarist do not make music then, just random sounds. And it’s… Read more »

Babuji
Babuji
1 year ago

Bhai mazaa aa gaya!! I can totally relate to everything you have written here.
And if someone needs any motivation to pick up an instrument to learn, they should read the article – its a delight, a great motivation.
And btw, the babies look super cute…..🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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