How to Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
This is a guide on how to teach yourself to play the guitar. By teaching yourself, you develop your own style, as opposed to getting lessons and developing the style of your teacher.


  1. Buy yourself a starter guitar. A good suggestion is First Act (roughly $100), because the craftsmanship for the price. If you're willing to throw up another hundred or two, you can get an Ibanez RG Series, which is a good beginner and intermediate brand.
  2. Buy a book or DVD that teaches you the basics. This includes chords, power chords, minor and major penatonic scales, and basic lead and rhythm techniques. And learn to use your pinkie right away. Pinkie dexterity is crucial to all playing.
  3. Learn to read guitar tablature. It is the easiest way to learn songs.
  4. After learning about five songs from tablature, sit down and try to learn one song completely by ear. When you think you're done, compare your interpretation to the correct tabs. If wrong, learn the correct way and try again with a different song until you learn 5 more songs correctly by ear. Developing an ear for music is crucial.
  5. Start jamming with other musicians. Guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists, or the school band. Playing music with others is a good way to learn new techniques and further your ear for music.
  6. Continue doing all of the above. Use magazines such as guitar world to learn new techniques. Strive for perfection, and don't just learn a piece good enough to get by.


  • Take your time. Don't rush. Its better to know five songs perfectly than 30 songs that sound like a piece of nothing.
  • Learn to tune your guitar by ear.
  • Learn to read sheet music at some point.
  • Take constructive criticism.

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