Picking up a guitar and expecting to instantly play like Jimi Hendrix isn't realistic. But, picking up a guitar, taking basic lessons and learning the ropes and building on them is.
The fact of the matter is a guitar isn't the easiest instrument in the world to learn, or there'd be thousands and thousands of Jimi Hendrix knock offs out there. However, good guitar lessons can really help anyone learn to play with a basic proficiency.
So, how do you determine a good guitar lesson from a bad one?
That's going to depend a lot on your proficiency going in. If you're just starting out, you'll want guitar lessons that teach you:
* The basics of the instrument. This means the different parts, what they are and how they work.
* Basic fingering techniques. Playing the guitar is all in the fingers. If you don't know where to put them or how hard to apply pressure and so on, you will never sound like Jimi!
* Basic cords, tabs and so on. You need the fundaments down to build on to become proficient in playing.
* Theory and music fundamentals. You don't need to be an expert in music theory, but good guitar lessons will give you a minor run down and will begin to expose you to reading music so you can move on by yourself in between lessons or once you complete them.
* Exercises. Going back to that fingering techniques statement, the only way to really get them down is to practice. Good exercises that help the mind, fingers and ears work together are always smart. Great guitar players instinctively know where their fingers need to go on the neck, and they learned by practicing and through exercises.
* Baby steps for learning. It's all fine and well to understand the notes, the fingering positions and build up speed and accuracy, but if you aren't learning at least very basic songs, you won't feel like your accomplishing anything. Good guitar lessons begin giving you "something to take home" as quickly as possible while still working to instill the basics.
* Repetition. It's not a word most people relish hearing, but when it comes to guitar lessons, repetition can be important. The more you practice, the better you'll get.
Now that you know what to look for in guitar lessons, it's time to figure out where to get them. A lot of people enjoy taking lessons in person, but others would rather learn a little on their own.
Courses can be had in local music stores, through books and even online through downloadable programs. Any of these can teach you the basics and do it well, but remember, it's up to you to apply what you learn.
Good guitar lessons can only go so far in teaching, the real proof in the pudding, so to say, will come from the player him or herself. Practice, patience and a desire to learn the steps and build on them will separate the real players from those who simply know the ropes.
A real passion, too, doesn't hurt in defining the best of the best. It all, however, starts with solid guitar lessons.
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