The guitar is a very attractive first instrument to many due to its versatility and the fact you can sound start to sound quite good relatively quickly. Once you’ve mastered a few basic chords on the guitar, you’ll be able to strum along with many classic songs.
While a career in any part of the music industry is never going to be the easiest option, the guitar’s wide popularity means that there are more opportunities for guitarists that might be the case with many other, less popular, instruments. Of course, there’s more competition too, but those who practice stand a great chance of reaping the rewards!
Whilst there are many different types of guitar including electric, jazz/archtop, acoustic, 12 String and electro-acoustic, it is usually recommended to begin on a Classical guitar with nylon strings. This is because the nylon strings are less severe on your fingers when you’re beginning and they are available in different sizes to suit you ( ½ and ¾).
Here are a few examples where you can hear the flexibility of the guitar in action...
FUN FACT: The Fender factory makes around 90,000 strings per day. This is over 20,000 miles a year - enough to circle the world!
As mentioned above, it is usually recommended to start your learning process on a classical guitar of the size to suit you. The guitar is quite affordable compared to other instruments for most people. While top of the range guitars are naturally very expensive, you can get started with a much more basic model which costs significantly less and still sounds good and plays well. As with other instruments, you can also rent a guitar from your local music shop or various online instrument rental services.
Whilst additional guitar accessories are not essential for getting started with your new classical guitar, here are a few examples of things you might find useful to help you feel comfortable with your new instrument.
We recommend this handy TGI Transit Gigbag with carrying handle to protect your instrument and easily take it with you - it comes 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4 sizes.
Here are the best selling guitar tutor books for beginners:
Alfred's Basic Guitar Method has been recognised for over 50 years as the best-paced and most comprehensive guitar method available and is the most popular method of learning how to play. It is easy to follow and therefore quick to learn from. The book progresses through the technical basics with the aim to progress to a wide variety of genres of pieces that are included, such as blues, country, folk, jazz, rock and pop songs! Learning to play has never been easier or more fun than with Alfred's Basic Guitar Method - the first choice for todays beginning guitar students. Alfred Basic Guitar Method with starts with book 1 and then progresses onto book 2 and 3 - alternatively you can purchase Alfred's Basic Guitar Method Complete which has all 3 books in one edition.
This Absolute Beginners book is designed to help you progress from the very first time you pick up your new guitar. It takes you through your musical development in a step-by-step, easy to follow process, building your skills up to playing the short pieces with the CD towards the end of the book. The book does not aim to help you progress to a professional player but provides the vital first steps towards that goal in a clear and structured way.
Alfred's Kid's Guitar Course Book 1 is declared as the easiest method book for children aged 5 and up as three cheerful characters guide them through the method in a colourful and lively way. By the end of Book 1 you'll know how to hold your guitar well, strum a sequence of chords and play along to your favourite tunes. The book has an accompanying DVD with a containing a live instructor who demonstrates the instructions described in the book.
Guitar chord dictionaries go through a wide range of chords you can plan on the guitar - so if you fancy playing along to a chord songbook this dictionary will have all the chords you need.
If you do not want to start learning with a tutor book and want to get stuck straight in these 4 chord songbooks are great. Each book is just based on 4 easy chords (with chord diagrams) so you can get started straight away - there is a wide selection to choose from!
Finding a Guitar Teacher
Music Centres - playing in orchestras & ensembles
This resource was written by:
Sarah Hayward Bmus (hons), MA
Sarah is a sprightly coloratura soprano and active violin and viola player who enjoys interacting with other musicians and teaching her students. Sarah is part of DS Music’s Education Outreach & Marketing Team and is passionate about the expansion and Educational Outreach of the company in order to help give everyone the opportunity to access music. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Music has the power to change people so help me use it to change the world!! :)