Whether you want to learn a few simple folk tunes or you want to make your air guitar solos come true, there are many reasons to start learning the guitar. Learning to play the guitar is not only fun but you will learn more about your favourite bands, musicians and songs than you ever thought possible. Diving into your favourite music with a new outlook will help you to appreciate the guitar in a new light.
Before you begin your journey into the world of guitars, and guitar playing, however, you will need to have the right gear. While you can spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars getting yourself set up, there are a few essential pieces of kit that you will need. There are plenty of additional pieces of guitar tech that you can add in the future but, let’s get started with the basics.
Let’s take a look at what you will need to start your guitar learning journey.
The Right Guitar
Naturally, you will need to start off with buying a guitar. There are many different types of guitars to choose from but the main difference you need to be aware of is electric vs acoustic. Most guitarists begin on an acoustic guitar as they help to develop strength in your fingers. Acoustic guitars typically come in either nylon or steel-stringed designs.
Beginners will usually opt for a nylon string acoustics as they are softer on the fingers and the fretboard is larger, allowing more room for error. Look for a guitar with good action, meaning the strings are not too far from the fretboard so that it is easier to play. When you’re buying a guitar, be sure to shop around and try a few guitars so that you can find one that fits.
Many songs require the use of a capo to play them correctly. A capo is a small device that attaches to the fretboard of the guitar, clamping down across the strings to shorten the playable length of the strings and change the key. Capos can be a lot of fun to play with and can help you to change the key of songs to better match your voice. Capos are generally pretty inexpensive and can open up a whole new world of sounds for a guitar newbie.
Plectrums And Picks
Plectrums, or picks for short, are small, usually triangular-shaped pieces of plastic used to play the strings of the guitar. Picks are available in a range of materials, colours designs and thicknesses. For a beginner, start with a medium-to-soft pick to make strumming easier. As you get more of a feel for playing, try experimenting with different plectrums to create different sounds and to change your playing style.
Whether you’ll be transporting your guitar or not, having a case to store it in will help to keep it protected. There are both soft and hard-shell cases available with the latter being much more expensive. A simple soft bag won’t cost much but it can help to keep your guitar safe from scratches, nicks and dings. When you’re upgrading to a more advanced guitar in the future, you can trade-in or sell your current model for a little more if it is in better condition.
Start Honing Your Guitar Skills
Once you have everything you need to get started, it’s time to begin honing your skills. There are plenty of online courses and video tutorials to help get you started, regardless of what style of guitar you are interested in. With a little time and practice, you will soon be ready to entertain your friends and family with your new-found skills and take your guitar-playing to the next level.