Learning to Play Guitar

By Ryan Jobes

Learning to play guitar can be quite the undertaking, but luckily here at Sheet Music Plus we have some books that can get you pointed in the right direction. Though many guitar players start by attempting self-taught method, beginners can get much faster and quality results by relying on the experience of others. Whether you want to play, rock, classical, or jazz there are a few essential things your going to need to get started.

First of all you are going to need a guitar:

366px-GuitareClassique5

Make sure that you choose a guitar that is appropriate for the style of music that you want to learn to play. Hendrix is not going to have the same punch on a nylon string classical guitar, as it will on an electric. Spend some time doing some research before making a purchase.

Make sure that you don’t overspend. When you are getting started all you need is a guitar that feels relatively easy to play and stays in tune. Ask friends and family if they have a guitar they no longer play or search for a used guitar at your local music store. As months of practicing go by and you begin to develop your own style you’ll be ready to invest in a higher quality instrument that better suits your new talent.

Speaking of tuning, you’re going to need a tuner. After you’ve been playing long enough you will be able to tune by ear but until then an accurate tuner is going to be essential. Our catalogue features several durable and inexpensive tuners from Korg that will work with both electric and acoustic guitars.

Korg CA-40 Chromatic Tuner Sheet Music Plus

Korg CA-40 Chromatic Tuner

Now that you’ve found a guitar there are a number of books that can help you learn to play. You can find any of the books below and more during our guitar favorites sale. Save 20%  until 7/2/13!

These two books are a great introduction to the fundamentals. They serve to help the aspiring guitar player from the very beginning, teaching the proper way to hold a guitar, the names of the strings, how to read notes, chords, rhythm, and scales.

Doug Downing - Play Guitar Today!

Doug Downing – Play Guitar Today!

Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Sheet Music Plus

Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method

Once you’ve mastered the basics here are a couple books that will take you to the next level.

For those out there that would prefer to learn how to play using guitar tab instead of traditional music notation, Hal Leonard Guitar Tab Method, teaches the basics of the notation system and will have you playing AC/DC, Neil Young, and Nirvana in no time.

Though many modern guitarists prefer to us a pick to play, being a versatile guitarist will allow you to play more types of music. Fingerstyle Guitar Method contains step-by-step instruction on how to learn and perform 36 different songs from artists such as, Robert Johnson, Leo Kottke, The Beatles, and many more.

As you continue to learn guitar it is important to remember a few things:

Practice every day.

It is much better to practice consistently every day then to practice for a few hours once a week. Establish an amount of time you can commit to every day and stick with it.

Be realistic.

Don’t expect to get good overnight. Getting really good at an instrument can take years of hard work and dedication. Cherish the little victories along the way and keep playing.

Ryan Jobes is a Customer Service Representative at Sheet Music Plus and holds degrees in classical and electronic composition from Cornish College of the Arts and Mills College.

2 Responses to “Learning to Play Guitar”


  1. 1 nicole224 July 3, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I always wanted to learn guitar but I never had the time or the patience. Now that I’m older I was interested in trying again but I had trouble finding a place that offered lessons when I was available. I’m actually taking acoustic guitar lessons for beginners online now. It definitely takes patience and a lot, A LOT of practice.


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