Recently, I've talked to a lot of people who have a guitar but don't play or have never played it! The idea of starting the huge task of learning to play guitar stops a lot of people from taking just 10 min to enjoy making music and potentially finding a new passion. I wanted to give you a quick breakdown of things you can do TODAY to pick up and learn to play that guitar that's been by itself for way too long!
When you are in the beginning stages of learning acoustic, you may know a few different guitar chords or maybe something random a friend taught you, but other than that, it can be a little tricky to figure out where to go next.
1. Learn to Tune Your Guitar
This is one of those things for beginners that seems difficult (or not as exciting) as learning to play, but it's actually THE MOST important! It's also easy to learn.
2. Learn How to Hold a Pick and Strum.
A lot of people will start using a pick and realize it's kinda awkward in the beginning. That can make it tempting to learn to strum with your fingers and never learn to use a pick. But trust me, learn this first because it will open up so many options, and allow you to convey more emotion through playing! Try to practice strumming lightly so it sounds pretty.
3. Practice the Most Basic Chords
This is going to be so important! By the most basic chords, I mean A, AM, B, BM (B/BM may be a little trickier in the beginning) C, D, E, Em, F, G. This are all very straightforward chords to play and set you up to play most songs! After you learn just a few chords, practice playing along to a metronome / a song you like in time. This will help you play rhythmically right off the bat.
4. Find Songs You Like and Learn to Play Them
Here's a list of basic songs you can play with very few chords. Practice playing along to a song and pay attention to the exact (or close as you can) strum pattern so you will learn to play as if you were playing for someone else. I have attached links to the chords for each song here- all my song choices are purely based on songs I think are fun to play!
Tenerife Sea- Ed Sheeran
Better Man- Little Big Town
Divine Romance- Phil Wickham
Love on the Weekend- John Mayer
Perfect (listen to the acoustic version!)- One Direction
White Liar- Miranda Lambert
Always- Jon Foreman
5. Connect with people
Playing guitar will quickly get boring if you are playing by yourself too much! Ask people to come over and play songs with you, ask to play at church or in a band, and take lessons (especially from me)! Just focus on making it fun and interesting, and you will naturally get better! If this step scares you a little, just remember there is no shame in being a beginner! You will learn best on the job, AKA playing somewhere / with people that challenge you! Insecurity kept me from "getting out there" for a long time and it was only when I decided to walk into some of my fears that I was able to get better and have a lot more fun playing!
I hope this is the tiny push you needed to pick up your 6 string and start learning to play!