Let’s face it: you can learn how to do just about anything through a limitless amount of resources found online now.
And with all this extra time we have to explore a new hobby, it’s as easy as Googling “best way to learn guitar” for a plethora of options!
Learning how to play guitar has never been easier thanks to all of the high-quality platforms available.
No matter how you’d like to learn based on your preferences and learning styles, there’s an option out there.
Is guitar easy to learn?
There are no short cuts for the best way to learn guitar.
But, the great thing is that there are easy ways to start playing today.
And, as you get better at playing guitar over time you’ll enjoy it even more.
The Best Way to Learn Guitar
- Familiarize yourself with the guitar. Learn what makes the guitar great and how to maneuver around the fretboard.
- Use a Guitar Lessons app like Guitar Tricks. There are plenty of apps that can help you learn to play guitar in no time at all.
- Supplement your education with YouTube videos. There are many interactive and visual resources out there. Is guitar easy to learn? It can be if you take advantage of the fantastic free beginner resources.
- Train your ear. Listen intently. Sit with the music you are learning and press repeat. Intention and repetition are key to ensuring you can learn to play the guitar effectively.
- Read, read, and read some more. In addition to videos, you should spend time learning from books about guitar playing, music theory, and performance.
- Design your own guitar lesson plan. Make sure that you have a practice regime that excites and challenges you. We have teachers at Play Guitars that can design the lesson plans for you!
- Play for others. Get comfortable performing for family and friends. You can’t learn to play guitar in complete isolation
- Listen widely. As well as listening intently, you should be open to learning from other genres of music. You can also improve your guitar playing by listening to other instruments.
- Speak to other guitarists. Engage with a community of musicians. Learning guitar will become easier and more rewarding.
When I decided to learn guitar at home during the pandemic, my first urge was to research the best guitar apps to learn from.
Having access to lessons on my mobile phone makes it super convenient to do it anywhere. Outside on a nice day, in the family room, or even in my closet (seriously try it, really good sound in there).
The easiest way to learn guitar really depends on you.
There are plenty of options to learn on your own. Books, apps, software, and online lessons, and private instructors are all valid for the best ways to learn guitar.
Personally, I choose a guitar learning app because I like the idea of having it in my back pocket.
Regardless of the way you choose to learn the guitar, when first starting, you must take one lesson at least once a week. This will prevent falling behind and allow the previous week’s lesson material to still be fresh in your mind.
Ideally, you’ll want to pick up your guitar every day. Forming a good routine will help you progress quickly as a guitarist.
You’ll be riffing in no time!
If you want to know how to learn guitar you’ve come to the right place. Since there are many resources that you can rely on as a beginner, and the best way to learn guitar depends on the individual, I’ll give you some tips to follow.
Can You Teach Yourself Guitar at Home?
You can definitely learn to play guitar at home.
Many famous guitarists developed their skills on their own without any teacher. They had an innate skill and desire.
You can improve your guitar method and technique on your own but eventually, there will be a limit to your progress.
In recent years, the market for online guitar lessons has been flooded by several companies that offer quality teaching and resources. This is because they have recognized a demand. More and more people of all ages want to learn how to play the guitar.
Learning to play the guitar on your own takes a tremendous amount of dedication. There is no easy path to success when it comes to playing guitar.
It is all about practice, practice, and more practice.
Without some kind of instruction, you may get frustrated and overwhelmed.
The good thing is:
There’s no shortage of learning aids available to help fill in some of the gaps or avoid the absence of not having access to an in-person instructor.
What is the best way to learn guitar?
The following tips will provide you with the fastest and easiest way to learn to play the guitar on your own.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Guitar
Even if you are a quick learner, you should always learn the basics of playing the guitar.
Jumping right into playing chords and eventually, songs, should not be your plan.
Without the knowledge of the instrument you are playing, you will be limited in your guitar playing ability in the long run.
After you have purchased a guitar you are comfortable with, learn these things:
- the strings,
- the fretboard, and
- where to place your fingers.
Strengthening your fingers is a must. Learning to play acoustic guitar will help increase your finger strength faster than learning on an electric guitar.
I recommend starting with an acoustic guitar like these.
It can be difficult at the beginning and your fingers will hurt!
It’ll take some time to build up calluses and improve your finger dexterity. But these are essential steps that do not require you to play anything that actually sounds nice. They are purely about becoming familiar with how to navigate the guitar.
Do-it-yourself books can be very helpful for building your knowledge about the instrument.
2. Use a Guitar Lessons App Like Guitar Tricks
Based on experience, I think that Guitar Lessons by Guitar Tricks is the best way to learn the guitar at home via an app.
Not only are there exercises to learn the basics, but also easy-to-follow playing lessons.
This is also one of the fastest ways to learn guitar because you’ll have access to these tools anywhere and at any time.
Remember how I mentioned having it in your back pocket?
How about 11,000 on-demand video lessons 24/7?!
Guitar Tricks provides beginner lessons for strings, chords, notes, tabs, tuning, as well as entire songs. It is a tried and tested resource that has helped MILLIONS of people learn the guitar.
They have an award-winning, step-by-step curriculum. What’s more, this app is suitable for beginners as well as more advanced guitarists.
If you want to learn to play the guitar fast, do not skip the basics.
Trying to play a song before you learn the strings or chords will actually set back your learning.
You want to avoid picking up any bad habits! If you follow the teaching properly this is the best way to advance at a steady and manageable pace.
Nobody becomes proficient in learning anything if they try to rush the process. This is especially true with playing guitar.
Using a guitar learning app can help you develop the best guitar learning system possible.
A good app can be something you can rely on as you develop your skills and become a proper musician.
Taking it slow and practicing is not only one of the best ways to teach yourself the guitar, but it is also the fastest and easiest way to learn guitar. It will also make learning more enjoyable!
Thankfully there are now a variety of resources accessible to everybody. Along with many free resources, there are many apps like Guitar Tricks.
Now more than ever it is easy to get started on the guitar. The best way to learn guitar online is to find a good resource and start practicing.
So go out there and start practicing!
3. Supplement with YouTube Videos
A simple search within the video-sharing platform, YouTube, will show a virtually endless amount of videos featuring guitar players from all around the world.
It’s a great place to enhance your learning of the basics of playing guitar, perfect for beginners to have more exposure.
If you are progressing decently on your guitar learning, a slowed-down video version of your favorite intermediate level song may be just what you need to get over the hump.
If you are an absolute beginner with no experience whatsoever, that is perfectly fine too. There are a tremendous amount of videos on YouTube intended for viewers in your same starting position.
YouTube can teach you how to start playing the guitar.
But, there is a downside. You might think that YouTube is the easiest way to learn guitar.
However, sometimes the sheer amount of videos on Youtube can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know which YouTubers you can trust.
Generally, it is a good idea to trust the number of subscribers and views belonging to the channel. Those measurements are usually a good indication of the quality of the resource. Beyond this, it often comes down to personal preference.
Another downside is that with YouTube, you are typically piecing together your own curriculum. It could be disjointed and out of order, slowing your progress.
Unless you find a specific channel that follows a particular beginning guitar player’s progression, it can be very difficult to figure out which video to watch next.
The easiest way to learn how to play guitar quickly is by using a system like Guitar Tricks and then supplementing with YouTube videos in between.
What I do is use YouTube for my practice time, and take structured lessons with the Guitar Tricks app.
I haven’t progressed this fast any other way!
4. Train Your Ear
It’s important to develop your overall musical sense as well as your guitar skills.
Listening to a wide variety of music is a great way of broadening your horizons and learning more about music.
Over time, having a good ear will be as important as having good fingers!
Being a good guitarist is about more than just shredding and playing all the notes. You need to become a conscientious musician.
As you begin to learn guitar, you’ll need to practice tunes over and over again. This can be tiresome but ultimately it is the only way to learn. Training your ear to pick up tunes quicker is a good way of making your practice more efficient.
A proficient musician will be able to clearly hear the key and rhythm of a piece of music. And as a beginner, this will be difficult.
But eventually, this will become second nature if you engage in active listening.
Therefore, training your ear involves intently listening to music. A good example of a natural way to train your ear is by learning a simple lick.
If you want to learn a lick you will play it over and over again.
Training your ear involves repetition.
By listening to a particular song many times you will begin to get a feel for:
All this will help you learn your instrument.
Often this will involve playing the same 5-second clip of a song or piece of music over and over again.
However, this is the best way to familiarize yourself with the nuances you need to develop as a guitarist.
Training your ear is one of the key beginner guitar practices.
If you want to learn guitar in 30 days you need to spend time listening to music as well as practicing your guitar skills. This sort of practice will pay off in the long run and will also make you a more exciting musician to play with.
5. Read, Read, and Read Some More
There’s plenty of information out there for people starting on the guitar.
Reading about the guitar is a great way of feeling more comfortable with the instrument. It’s a good way to ensure that you have a solid base of knowledge as you progress as a guitarist.
Dive into learning about:
- guitar history,
- great guitar players, and
- how the guitar fits into different genres.
If you are truly interested in learning on your own it is useful to get some contextual information.
If you aren’t fond of YouTube videos you can turn to books. Thankfully, several lists are compiling some of the best guitar books for beginners to purchase. Once you have found a style of learning that suits you, it is time to start practicing.
Reading can also be a productive way of breaking up the monotony of practice.
If you practice for a couple of hours a day, reading between each hour will give you a much-needed break and cement your knowledge.
There is a variety of literature about the guitar you can read.
In the beginning, you may just want to learn how to play specific songs. Your reading can then expand from here to involve other aspects of the guitar and music in general.
As you dive deeper into your guitar education you may want to learn more about the overall history of stringed instruments. Undoubtedly reading everything you can about playing guitar is one of the best ways to improve on your own.
6. Design Your Own Guitar Lesson Plan
It’s easy to become complacent while learning an instrument.
Once you have learned a few chords and licks on the guitar, you’ll become comfortable playing them and not push yourself to try more complex things.
The best way to avoid complacency and learn efficiently is to design your lessons in advance. You should have in mind some specific techniques or songs you want to learn.
The easiest way to learn guitar is by creating a system and routine.
You should also be working towards a goal. This will help you stay motivated and keep pushing you to progress your skillset.
It can be difficult to construct self-taught guitar lessons on your own. When designing your lesson plan you can look for guidance from all the resources we have mentioned above. You should also look to some of your favorite guitarists and songs to help you stay motivated.
Trying to learn one of your favorite songs is always a practical goal to set because it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
If you are committed to learning the guitar on your own then you have to be disciplined.
Sample Home Guitar Lesson Schedule
Here’s the schedule I created for myself to learn guitar at home in a disciplined way.
Sunday – 1-2 Guitar Tricks Lessons, practice chords for 30 minutes
Monday – Follow 2 YouTube videos related to Sunday lessons
Tuesday – 1-2 Guitar Tricks Lessons
Wednesday – Practice chords for 30 minutes, 1 YouTube video related to Tuesday lessons
Thursday – Learn a simple song from Guitar Tricks library
Friday – Break
Saturday – Watch favorite guitarists play on YouTube, read pages from Acoustic Guitar Primer Book
You can include more break days in your schedule, or add more practice if you have additional free time in the day.
7. Play for Others
Playing music for other people is about more than just showing off. Music is a universal language.
Engaging your friends and family with your guitar playing is a great way of improving your guitar skills.
Playing songs and pieces in front of others is a good way of becoming comfortable with the guitar. Even for a beginner, it’s important to learn how your playing can affect people.
If you’re practicing alone all the time you can get frustrated and even disillusioned. Playing guitar for other people can be inspirational for you and the listener.
Feedback will make you better
It doesn’t matter whether the people around you are musicians. If they enjoy listening to music they should be able to give you some feedback.
Responding to feedback is important if you want to know how to learn the guitar.
Once you think you have perfected a piece of music on your guitar you can try and play it for your family or friends.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Small steps like this will make it easier in the future if you want to perform in public.
If you want to know how to learn guitar, performing for other people is a great stepping stone.
8. Listen Widely
Expand your musical horizons. It’s easy and important to listen to your favorite artists and songs over and over.
It’s also vital that you listen to music that is outside your comfort zone. By broadening your musical vocabulary you will be able to improve your guitar skills.
Listening widely can do more than just train your ear. By delving into unfamiliar genres of music and niche artists you may find inspiration to practice.
Listening widely can help you practice with more purpose and creativity. It’s easy to feel constricted if you are within just one genre of music.
Listen to flamenco guitarists as well as heavy metal guitarists. Learn from jazz guitarists as well as prog rock guitarists. If you want to know how to learn guitar you need to engage with a wide range of genres.
Learning guitar is a continual process. At times your practice regime may become stagnant. One of the best ways to keep your routine fresh while learning guitar at home is to get music recommendations from friends.
9. Speak to Other Guitarists
Engage with the musician community. Getting advice from your peers and even experts is one of the best ways to learn to play guitar.
By talking to other guitarists you will be able to get a more comprehensive sense of the journey it takes to become a competent musician.
Speaking to other guitarists will not automatically make you a better guitarist.
However, if you want to know how to learn guitar in the best way possible you have to rely in some part on the experiences of other musicians.
Thankfully, there are millions of people around the world learning guitar. This thriving community can be readily found in forums and subreddits. These places are a great place to learn and foster enthusiasm for the instrument.
Once you have experimented with all the guitar apps, checked out the popular YouTube channels, and read the relevant books it is time to start talking with other guitarists.
What If You’re Left-Handed?
Don’t worry! Some of the most legendary guitarists of all time are left-handed.
However, many guitar learning resources are tailored for right-handed people and standard guitars. So it is important to find good resources and equipment that are reliable and specific to left-handed people.
Learning on your own as a left-handed guitarist will be slightly more difficult than being right-handed. You will require a bit more resilience than your standard guitarist.
You will also need to be aware when purchasing a new guitar that most are made for right-handed people. Your local guitar store may not have many options. Once again looking online will probably get you the best results.
Jimi Hendrix is the most famous left-handed guitarist and a great source of inspiration for any left-handed beginners. Important to realize that you may struggle at first, but determination is a key to becoming a successful guitarist.
Overall there is not much difference during the learning process for left-handed guitarists.
There should be plenty of resources both online and in stores to help you develop. Learning guitar will be a challenging experience whether you are left or right-handed!
So you should embrace being a left-handed guitar player!
Key Takeaways for the Best Way to Learn the Guitar
The best way to learn the guitar is to use the tools you have at your disposal. As long as you have the right tools and practice efficiently, your skills as guitarists will steadily develop.
Try Guitar Tricks to strengthen your playing ability and further your understanding of the instrument.
Use YouTube for practice in-between.
Purchase a do-it-yourself book to help you with the basics of playing guitar.
Try and introduce discipline into your practice.
For example, design your lessons so that you can learn quickly and effectively.
At the same time as developing your guitar skills, you should be learning how to be a good musician. Training your ear by listening actively to a wide variety of music is a great way of becoming a better guitarist.
Use all 9 of these guitar learning tips comprehensively as your personal guitar instructor.
As has been noted doing so will be the most effective way of playing the guitar. Furthermore, over time these tips will also help you become a more conscientious musician.
Is guitar easy to learn?
Well, by now you should know that largely depends on you.
Remember to have fun and don’t stress if you cannot grasp a certain aspect. Because learning to play the guitar can be challenging, but it should not be stressful.
Exhaust all the avenues of learning. Then take time to explore all the resources available to you if you truly want to learn to play guitar well.
Everyone needs plenty of practice. Stay dedicated, and you’ll be playing your favorite songs in no time.
What do you think the best way to learn guitar at home is?
Share with us in the comments below!