ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How can you teach yourself guitar?

Updated on March 4, 2014
What type of music do you want to play?
What type of music do you want to play?

Learning guitar is a really awesome skill to have, the guitar is undoubtedly a cool instrument with it being a key part of lots of modern music right from jazz to death metal. Most guitarists will have had tuition to learn how to play, however it is totally possible to teach yourself. I know for fact it's possible because I have done it myself!

Before you start strumming

Do you have the right equipment? By teaching yourself guitar you are relying on your own motivation and to keep that motivation going you will want to be learning music that you enjoy listening to and thus playing. The guitar you have should suit that style. If you like metal or punk rock then an acoustic will not be much good, or if you enjoy the Beatles for example then there is little point getting a flying V or ESP. Go to a music shop and pick your first guitar very carefully which matches the style of music you want. Also make sure you have the right accessories like reasonable picks,or a guitar cable that is more than a metre long. It is small things like that which can irritate you whilst learning hamper your performance and mean you don't want to pick up your guitar and play. Which brings me nicely to the next section.

Practice is key

Before you throw yourself into the world of guitar you need to realise that you are not going to become Jimi Hendrix in a month, learning guitar is a continuous process which takes years and years. You may feel like you are no longer a beginner after a year of practice, however it is a long process you need to put effort into.

This effort needs to be every/most days of an hour a day practice, this doesn't need to be all in one go, hence why it is important to have a guitar you want to pick up and play. If you have 10 minutes before you need to leave the house or whilst waiting for dinner to cook these are the kind of times that you want to just practice. A lot of learning guitar is muscle memory, a professional musician isn't thinking about each individual note they are hitting they have it almost as a second nature. The only way to do this is practice. In that respect learning guitar is very similar to learning to ride a bike, you can think about it as much as you want but the only way to learn is practice/

What should I learn?

There are various schools of thought in relation to teaching yourself guitar. Some people say that you should spend most of your time learning technical knowledge such as lots of chords and scales, these are very useful and allow you to understand a lot more about what music is comprised of, however they can be just a little bit boring and leave you feeling that you are not actually getting anywhere.

The other main idea is that you should just learn songs and riffs that you enjoy, this approach is much more fun however it can leave you feeling later on that you don't really know much about actual music.

So the best thing to do a mixture. Learn songs from bands you enjoy but also learn the basic chord shapes (E,A,E,C,G) and a couple of pentatonic scales (These are what comprise pretty much all rock solo's).

Maybe one day you can be like this
Maybe one day you can be like this | Source

How on earth do I learn this?

When learning guitar it is a good idea to learn how to read a system called Tab, this is how a lot of guitar music is written and it allows anything from really simple too insanely complex music to be written in a format that is easy to understand. Here is an example (Most tab you see on the internet will be typed out as well).







Each of the lines represents a string. The top line is the thinnest string (The High E string), the bottom line is the fattest string (The Low E string). The strings are labeled bottom to top as EADGBE, these are the notes the strings will sound when you play them open (just plucking the string without touching the neck), a good way to remember this is the silly rhyme; from thickest to thinest: Eddie Ate Dynamite Goodbye Eddie.

Then you simply read the tab left to right, each number represents the fret on the neck that you should play on that string, Like the small little solo I have written first on the tab you would play 12321 on the relevant string. When the numbers are in line with each other then it is a chord, like the 577 which is a power chord.

If you search on Google you can find almost any song in tab format which allows you to learn most songs with a little perseverance.

An easier way to learn a song is a video tutorial, there are lots of tutorials on youtube for most songs. A brilliant tutor on youtube is Marty, he explains songs very well and in detail and has a large library of videos so will definitely find something for your style.

By learning guitar yourself you have much more freedom over what you learn, and with so many resources available on the internet you can find almost any information or advice you need very quickly and easily.

Good Luck and most importantly have fun

Thanks for reading this hub and I hope that you have lots of success teaching yourself guitar, it's a really cool skill to have. Playing a guitar is a skill that you have for life, its like riding a bike at first its difficult and laborious however once you are going then you have opened up a whole new world of possibilities. However don't forget that playing guitar is mean to be fun and that is the most important thing, enjoy yourself.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      6 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, I get students that have tried to learn the guitar, and it always amazes me the stuff they do. I believe anyone should be able to learn the guitar but what do I know.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)