The Best Way To Learn Acoustic Guitar For You

learn acoustic guitar onlineVery cool! You decided to learn acoustic guitar and you’re now at a point where you need to figure out how to go about the whole thing. To keep it short, I will help you with that. While I can’t make a decision for you to tell you the definitive best method to learn the instrument, I can help you navigating through the decision making process. Of course, there is no need to turn this whole thing into a science, but the fact remains that figuring out what the best way to learn acoustic guitar is – for you personally – does have a direct impact on the likelihood of you sticking with it and not throwing in the towel after a short amount of time. Because in reality, that’s exactly what happens to the majority of guitar starters. Perhaps it even happened to you in the past.

I tried to keep this article as straight forward as possible, however, we will have to debate a few points in a bit more detail. In order to keep the information structured and as easy to digest as possible, here is a table of contents with the individual chapters we’re about to discuss. Just click on the topic of your choice if you want to skip certain things; you can always come back later.

1. Getting Started
2. Acoustic Guitar Types
3. Acoustic Guitar Learning Methods
4. Video Discussion: Best Way To Learn Acoustic Guitar for YOU!
5. Comparing guitar learning methods
6. What you MUST NOT DO!
7. Conclusion And Recommendations
8. More Helpful Resources

1. Getting Started

I remember the excitement when I got my first acoustic guitar. The problem was, I had zero clue what to do with it. Two out of six strings were missing. After I had that taken care of, I had to figure out how to tune a guitar, which is not easy either. At the end of this chapter, you’ll find a couple of links to video tutorials that will cover things like how to put strings on an acoustic guitar, the tuning, storage, accessories, etc.

Alright, when I finally had my fully playable guitar ready to go, I had to figure out a way to learn to play acoustic guitar. Now, mind you, that was back in the late 80ies, there was no Internet and things like that. So, the resources available to me were rather limited. You, on the other hand, have a plethora of learning methods at your disposal. Perhaps too many, I’m afraid. But we will talk about that later and I will sure that you understand how to weed out the “too good to be true best free acoustic guitar lessons” and separate them from the legitimate programs.

Below is a summary of the things you need check off your list before you even get started with learning to play the guitar.

Instrument or Toy?

This is very important and often completely overlooked. I had students showing up to their first lesson with ‘items’ that don’t deserve to be called guitars. Of course, it was with the best of intentions, and the Star Wars, Hello Kitty, Superman or whatever ‘guitar’ looked just so awesome – but in all these cases, these were not instruments but toys. To be clear, I have nothing against all the franchises, but I have my reservations when it comes to those brands and their subject matter expertise relative to building/selling actual guitars. I think you get my point. Make sure that however you choose or get your first acoustic guitar, it is in fact a playable instrument and not a toy. There are different types of acoustic guitars and we will look at them in the next chapter. Oh, and one more thing, a good acoustic guitar for beginners doesn’t have to be expensive at all. We will talk about that later, too.

Helpful Accessories for acoustic guitar beginners

There are accessories that you do must have, some that you don’t necessarily need but can be helpful, and there are others that you can forget about (at least for the moment).

Definitely make sure you always have a couple of sets of spare strings at hand. Strings can break, especially if you’re new to the guitar and the process of tuning, there’s always a risk of over-tuning a string – as a result, it can break. So having replacement strings with you is always a good idea.

If I had a dime for all the guitar picks I lost over the past 25 years, I’d have enough money to make a down-payment on a decent home. For some reason unbeknownst to be, these little things keep disappearing. Anyway, having a bunch of guitar picks in a drawer somewhere is definitely something I would recommend.

If you’re a guitar beginner, get yourself a tuner. These things are so cheap these days so it’s a no-brainer. Later on I will share with you my personal recommendation for an inexpensive, yet highly reliable guitar tuner that I’ve been using for years now.

Well, and there is a ton of other guitar accessories vendors will tell you that ‘you absolutely need’. In my opinion, that’s non-sense. Of course, I’m not arguing that there are some things that would be good to have, but if money is an issue, don’t worry about them just now. I’m thinking about things like a guitar footrest, a strap, capo, guitar stand, etc. Well, a there’s are also other products that you can without hesitation put on your wish list for a future point in time – such as special guitar cleaning oils, a recording device, amplifier and so on. And lastly, there’s are some items you can cross of your list right now, as I deem them to be completely useless and a rip-off.

I know, there’s a lot of information, so here’s a table for you where I categorized the items we just discussed into respective sections of if/when you need them:

Necessary Good To Have Not Yet NEVER
Spare Strings Footrest Special Cleaning Stuff “Learn Guitar In You Sleep” DVD set
Guitar Picks Guitar Strap Recording Device “Learn Guitar In 2 Days” online program
Guitar Tuner Sheet Music Stand Amplifier, Capodaster, Metronome “NEW Method – Learn Guitar Super Fast” course

2. Acoustic Guitar Types

There are different types of acoustic guitars. But in order to keep things simple, let’s focus on the two main categories. Acoustic guitars with steel strings and acoustic guitars with nylon strings.
Both instrument types have one thing in common: you can play them without an amplifier. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t use an amp if you wanted to, but unlike an electric guitar, amplification is not needed to get to a decent level of volume.

I don’t want to get too technical here in terms of all the differences between these two types of acoustic guitars, therefore, let’s just stick with the main differentiator: the type of strings (nylon vs. steel).

teach yourself to play acoustic guitarA classical guitar will always have nylon strings. You must not put steel strings on a classical guitar, because it will damage the instrument, possibly irreversibly. Because of the nylon strings, a classical guitar is more gentle on your fingers. I’m not saying that your fingers won’t hurt at all, but compared to an acoustic guitar with steel strings, there is quite a difference. That’s the reason why I’ve been always recommending a classical acoustic as what I believe is the best acoustic guitar for beginners to get started. I will admit that there are different schools of thought, but that’s my opinion based on what I’ve seen in my students.

So, in contrast to the above, we have the acoustics with steel strings, often referred to as Western guitars, too. In the addition to the difference in the type of strings, Western guitars are also louder and typically have a slimmer neck.

As I just mentioned, if you’re a guitar beginner, here is my standard recommendation: get yourself a decent classical guitar to learn the first steps. After a few months and once you have developed some ‘muscle’ in your hands and fingers – and most importantly, calluses on your fingertips – you can certainly start using a steel string acoustic guitar. Personally, I think having both a nylon and a steel string acoustic, makes a lot of sense. It will help you getting used to the different characteristics of these guitars and depending on the piece of music you’re working on, one may be more suitable than the other.

But to be very clear: start out on ONE instrument only! At least for a few months until you feel comfortable with the basics. It doesn’t make sense to learn to play guitar on too many instruments at the same time!
In the last chapter to this article I will give you specific recommendations regarding a few instruments that I believe would all qualify as candidates for the best way to learn acoustic guitar on.

3. Acoustic Guitar Learning Methods

Okay, how do you learn best? Are you among those who need a little nip in the butt at times to keep going? Do you need structure? How about personal guidance and maybe a little bit of scrutiny, a bit of scolding or words of encouragement?

Great, that’s actually very good – well, it’s good for some of you.

However, what about YOU? Does all this sound like stress and hassle?

Would YOU rather prefer to do things at your own pace and without anyone telling you how well (or not well) you’re doing?

Do you have a budget?

How flexible is your schedule?

You see, all these are questions worthwhile exploring in order to find out what’s the best way for you to learn playing acoustic guitar.

Okay, right after this paragraph is a link and a video where we do exactly that. We will look at all these different learning approaches and figure out what makes the most sense to you.

Alright, so you got yourself a good, solid instrument. Next is to figure out the best way to learn to play the acoustic guitar FOR YOU! Why do I keep emphasizing the “for you” part? Because what’s works best for you doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be the best for you, too. Now, I don’t mean to make this unnecessarily complicated and if I was after your money, I would probably tell you that all you need to do is buy my book, DVDs, online programs or whatever. But the fact is I have nothing to sell. All my stuff is free, completely free. Anyway, my point is, there are many different ways to learn to play the acoustic guitar and things can get very confusing and COSTLY. I therefore put something together for you that will help guide you through the process. Watch the video below where will discuss everything in detail. If you don’t want to sit through the video, click on the link below where I put everything together for you in written format:

4. Video Discussion: Best Way To Learn Acoustic Guitar for YOU!

5. Comparing guitar learning methods

Check out my article on the Best Ways To Learn Guitar where I carefully evaluated all the different guitar learning methods.

Just a reminder: I’m not trying to turn this whole thing into a science. But the fact is you can waste hundreds or thousands of dollars on inefficient guitar programs or worse, scams! And that’s why I encourage you to take some time and think about all these things we are discussing here. It will be worthwhile your time….and money!
However, if you already have enough of all this and just want me to tell you straight ahead my personal recommendation of what I believe the best way to learn acoustic guitar online is, here you go:

Jamplay is a paid-for option. However, it is hands-down the by far best online guitar learning platform on the Internet. It is super affordable; you can get access to an ENTIRE guitar course for the same amount of money you would elsewhere pay for ONE lesson. And on top of that, I have a bunch of Jamplay Coupons (see below) for you that make the whole thing a no-brainer. Lastly, they have something for everybody: complete guitar beginners, intermediate players and advanced professionals. All genres, all types of music. So, go ahead and check them out.

6. What you MUST NOT DO!

Alternatively, if you like wasting money on things that don’t give you results, you will find plenty of opportunity to do so. Heck, how about “Learning Guitar In Your Sleep”? Wow, you don’t even have to practice. Or what about that one: “Learning Blues Guitar in just 2 days”? Amazing! I’m sure you’ve seen these and alike ads online. Let me get straight to the point here:

STAY AWAY FROM OFFERS THAT ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

It’s very simple, if you are serious about learning to play the acoustic guitar, then stay away from offers like those.

Learning guitar requires effort, and if you don’t like that notion, then in all honesty, this whole guitar playing thing is not for you. Sorry, not trying to be harsh, I’m just being very honest with you.

Whatever you will end up doing, be it going ahead and trying to teach yourself play acoustic guitar, working with a teacher and getting 1:1 lessons, or learning acoustic guitar online, you will have to PRACTICE. It just doesn’t work otherwise.

I think you get the point, but just one more time: Please don’t fall for guitar scams. To be clear, I am not trying to discredit other reputable guitar learning programs or teachers – they absolutely exist, I’m not saying that everybody/everything else out there is a hoax. Two very good online guitar teachers you might have heard of already are Justin and Marty. These are genuine, highly qualified individuals and great additional resources for you to learn guitar.

However, the fact is that these are the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, just stay away from things that just don’t make sense and cannot be true.

7. Conclusion And Recommendations

Here’s my personal opinion when it comes to learning guitar in general. A good, reputable Online Guitar Course offers the best of both worlds in terms of learning efficiency and investment (money and time). While you remain fully in charge of the schedule, you are receiving qualified guidance and following a structured, methodical program. And if you get stuck, you can ask questions and you’ll get feedback. Therefore, as I said before, my personal recommendation is to check out Jamplay – use these exclusive coupon codes to get additional discounts:

33C6CE – 10% off all guitar products (monthly, quarterly, yearly)
1BA1E2 – 25% off first month

8. More Helpful Resources

My recommendation regarding the best acoustic guitar to learn on is the Yamaha C40. It’s a good instrument at a very affordable price. Get the ‘bundle’, because it will come with some great accessories such as a clip on guitar tuner.

Speaking of guitar tuners, the Snark models work great – and they are super cheap.

Here’s a link to a video tutorial on how to tune a guitar.

My Free Beginners Guitar Course.

Alright, that’s it. I know, this was a lot of information, but I really hope that you got something out of this. With that being said, I do realize that you still might have questions for me. No problem, I’d love to help where I can. Just leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

 

Published date: January 20th, 2016 by Ulrich Peise

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