by Marco von Baumbach
It has always been your dream to play guitar and you finally decided to get started? If you are holding your first guitar in your hand, than most likely you can not wait to start right away, at least for me that was the case!
Back than when I discovered the old guitar of my father, I immediately tried to play some cool tunes on it. From my today's perspective I must have played awful, but I didn't cared about how I sounded at all, because I was so fascinated from playing it. I simply started with what I thought would be fun for me and after 2 weeks I was already able to strum to the first simple songs.
Most people find it hard to start playing the guitar, because they don't know where to begin. Don't get me wrong, learning the guitar is a challenge for every single person who attempts it, for me it was as well, as I had troubles to play even the simplest chords - not even talking about changing between them - in the beginning, but I didn't perceived it as being a struggle. Why? Because I had a picture in my mind's eye, with me already being able to play all the stuff I really would like to be able to play and I only practiced stuff that seemed to be a lot of fun to me and the stuff which I saw myself already being able to play.
Start with something that is fun for you!
If you don't know where to begin, than start with what I did. Imagine in your mind's eye, how you would like to see yourself as a guitar player. If you need an idea for this, simply get started with listening to your favorite song and imagine yourself playing along to it. That helps yourself with getting excited about wanting to become really good on guitar and second, you now have something to start practicing with.
For example, you can start with listening to the melody of the singer and replay it on your guitar, or you start strumming simple chords to the song. If you get stuck and feel helpless with learning it by yourself, you could simply asked a more advanced player or a guitar teacher to help you.
Do you see yourself playing your own songs?
If you imagine yourself in your mind's eye playing your own songs, maybe even performing them in front of a big audience, here is something to get you started right away with playing and writing your own songs, even if you know nothing about music right now.
A great place to start is to learn basic chord on guitar. Here are some names of chords to get you started:
C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am
These chords are all in the same key, called C Major. Nowadays most songs are written in a single key. In popular music it often occurs, that a composer is picking out 3 or 4 chords out of the same key and than basically repeats them over and over in the same order.
So if you want to write a song, you could take the same concept and simply pick out 3 or 4 chords of the ones above and let them repeat over and over.
Here are examples of how that could look like:
1. Example with 3 chords: G Em C; G Em C; G Em C; G Em C;
2. Example with 4 chords: G F Am C; G F Am C; G F Am C; G F Am C;
After you have figured out how to play these chords and came up with your own chord progressions, a great exercise is to sing a melody along the chords and your first song is already finished! If you are into songwriting, this will get you started having fun with as a beginner on the guitar.
This article was written by Marco von Baumbach, guitar teacher in Wuppertal, Germany.
If you are interested in the author, check out his website about Gitarrenunterricht in Wuppertal