Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

While many people want to learn to play the guitar, finding a good guitar teacher can be difficult and too expensive for most people.  While it does make sense for someone that is striving to be a professional guitarist to pay those kinds of fees and tuitions for that kind of training makes sense, for an amateur guitarist learning to play for personal enjoyment, paying thousands and thousands of dollars just isn’t that practical.  For these more casual players, the option to teach yourself to play guitar is much more practical and relaxing a method than the strict discipline and cost of a private instructor.

How to Be Your Own Guitar Teacher

Someone with an understanding of music theory and/or musical training on another instrument will definitely have an advantage, but that isn’t strictly necessary.  What is necessary is the ability to self critique yourself and be able to genuinely be able to realize something is being done well or poorly.

No amount of practice will benefit someone that is practicing poorly in the first place, so being able to realize that something is out of beat or out of tune is important.  At first this can be quite daunting and seem very difficult to people without prior training, but if you stick with it they will become easier.

A lot of people consider themselves to have no sense of rhythm or to be tone deaf, but the number of people that legitimately fall under these is very, very small.  What most people don’t realize is that these are trained skills, and while they might come easier for some people, they aren’t unattainable for most people that put the time to work at it.

Guitar Training Materials

While the point is to teach yourself to play guitar, most people will still generally need some type of materials to learn to play the guitar.  Learning how to play guitar chords, for example, would be extremely difficult for someone with no theory background to independently come up with.

There are a wide variety of materials out there in the form of books, dvds, online guitar lessons, or even just listening to music and trying to replicate what the artist does.  While the last method is the most common one among most of the self taught guitarists that are famous, one thing to bear in mind is that these materials were not available when these guitarists learned to play.

While on one hand not being shown how to do things allowed them to independently develop a variety of techniques, there are some cases where knowing the proper ways to do things make them much easier to do well.  Some materials might work better for some than others, try all of them out and see which ones are most comfortable for you.

A Second Pair of Ears

Having another person to critique your playing can allow you to find out about faults that you might not realize yourself.  It is quite easy to in your own mind know what you are doing and not realize that it isn’t quite translating perfectly, a second person can tell you these types of issues because they are purely listening to your playing.

While the point is to teach yourself to play guitar, going in for a lesson or two with an instructor can still be useful without breaking the bank.  A guitar lesson dvd is a great way to learn to play the guitar, but while you are still developing your own ears, having a second person listen and see if it sounds right to them can vastly help to better guitar playing.

This will become less necessary with practice, but until you are comfortable enough with your own ears, this is a good way to double check you are learning to play things well.