Q: DO I HAVE THE NECESSARY TALENT TO LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR?
A: Over years of teaching people how to play guitar, I have become convinced that anyone who wants to play, can play. The most important musical talent is not a good ear, or a good sense of rhythm, although these gifts are important and should be developed. No, the most important talent is that of desire. If you enjoy music enough to want to play the guitar, then you are musical enough to learn to play guitar.
Q: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL SECRET TO PLAYING GUITAR SUCCESSFULLY?
A: Perhaps you want to play guitar because you really love music, and you want to be able to make beautiful music yourself. Maybe you want to eventually play music with other people,or write your own songs, or play for your toddler or perhaps you want to be a rock star! All of these and others are fine reasons to play guitar.
Regardless of your particular motivation, let us recognize the one thing that you MUST do on your way to achieving your goals. To be a guitar player you must play guitar! That's right! If you truly want to play guitar, let us understand right now that you are going to have to pick up your guitar, hold it in your hands, and play it to the best of your ability. This is called "practicing", and the more often you practice the more and the sooner you will realize your goal and desire of being a guitar player.
TO MASTER GUITAR PLAYING YOU MUST PRACTICE GUITAR PLAYING!
Q: HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO PRACTICE GUITAR?
A: You should practice as much as you can and want to, regularly. We have busy lives, but if you practice even for 15 or 30 minutes four or five times a week,you will gradually gain a great deal of skill and confidence with your instrument.With more practice time your comfort and ability will increase more rapidly.Everybody's life is different – the important thing is, practice as much as you comfortably can –and not over the course of a day or of a week, but for months! A year of regular quarter-hour sessions will make you a better guitarist than a week of two hour sessions.With regular focused practice, over time your success is certain!
Q: HOW MANY CHORDS ARE THERE?
A: You may know that a chord is a little arrangement of your fingers pressing down on the strings of the guitar. Further, you may have heard guitar playing friends throw around many names of chords, such as "C major, D minor, E seventh, and F suspended flat five". "How many of these things will I have to learn?" you ask yourself in dismay, for the prospect seems daunting.
Fear not! With only a baker's dozen of chords, you can play most of the songs ever turned into radio waves and sent through the skies of America! These basic guitar courses at New York City Guitar School will teach you those chords!
Q: DO I NEED TO LEARN TO READ MUSIC?
A: It turns out that many, or even most rock, folk, blues, funk, heavy metal, punk, and country guitarists are not particularly good note readers. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and John Lennon are examples of skilled guitarists who read notes not at all or poorly. If you want to play like them, you should begin as they did –learn to finger basic chords and to strum some of your favorite songs.
In the defense of note reading, it is deeply satisfying to play Tchaikovsky and Schubert, or to flip open a book of old folk songs you've never heard and to read and play the melody. Also, the technical demands of playing classical pieces are bound to increase a students overall capabilities. Still, note reading is not necessary to play guitar. Guitar playing is not necessary to live, either. Reading notes, guitar playing, and living are all worthwhile endeavors in and of themselves, and I heartily recommend all three!
Q: WHAT TYPE OF GUITAR SHOULD I PLAY?
A: What sort of guitar do you listen to? If you like classical or flamenco music best, learn on a classical guitar. If you like country or folk or acoustic music or much rock, learn on an acoustic guitar. If you like ska, punk or heavy metal best, learn on an electric. If you will play many types of music, a steel strung acoustic guitar is the best general choice – but if you have access to a free guitar, learn on that one!
Whatever kind of guitar you learn on, it must be decent. Nothing is more discouraging than trying to learn with a guitar that can't be tuned correctly, or which is poorly made and difficult to play. A new instrument, which is suitable for a student can be purchased for a couple of hundred dollars.