After years of teaching guitar, I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty:
“Don’t teach yourself guitar”.
Ok, so now you’re saying: “why not? A friend of mine did it, I can do it too”
Yes, it is possible, but I can tell you the results are far from satisfactory.
You may not know this just by listening to yourself play, but believe me I have heard many, many beginner guitar players and most of them have the exact same problems.
Taking acoustic guitar lessons with a professional guitar tutor is the best option by far.
But, and it’s a big but, not everyone can afford it.
If you can afford it, please, do it, get serious, find a good professional guitar tutor and start working.
The main benefits of taking acoustic guitar lessons from a pro are plenty,
But the most important of them is that no matter how talented you are, you don’t have the ear or the knowledge of an experienced professional.
Sometimes, your tutor can tell you things that may seem unreasonable, very complicated or plain wrong and it may take you weeks or months to actually grasp them.
To sum up, there is no substitute to a professional tutor who can guide you personally and get to know the way you play and also your weaknesses.
But, aside of the fact that a private tutor is not affordable for everyone,
You may want to try this whole guitar thing before you start spending $40-$80 on acoustic guitar lessons every week.
So what should you do if you decide to take acoustic guitar lessons without a private tutor?
The first thing you need to be aware of, believe me I’m not just saying that, is your physical state.
As a professional guitar player, I had major back problems and had to stop playing my guitar for 6 months and go through physical therapy for a long period of time.
So if you don’t have anyone to warn you about that, you need to do it yourself.
The second most important thing is take your time.
Running ahead and trying to accomplish many things very fast is a basic human function.
But it’s not always the right thing to do.
It took me years to understand it, but you need to play a lot slower than you think.
Really, the most important thing is to play at a speed that allows you to be aware of everything you’re doing.
You need to be able to count, place your fingers, think of the next chord and pay attention to dynamics while you’re playing, so you may need to play very slowly to be able to do all those things at once.
Last but not least, listen to other people’s opinion.
Since you don’t have one professional person to direct your attention to every mistake you’re making, you can learn a lot from other listeners, even if they are not pros, everyone listens to music and the bottom line is: you want people to enjoy your playing.
So, if you want to take acoustic guitar lessons on your own, remember to pay a lot of attention to the things your tutor would have done if you had one.
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