After covering Types of Guitar: Beginners Guide to Buying a Guitar, I feel it is appropriate this week to focus on learning guitar chords and the importance of practicing them. By that I mean anything from two-note power chords to spidery jazz chords spanning all six strings. Don’t make the mistake of attempting lead guitar without first getting a solid grasp on chordal, rhythmic playing.
In the “classical” world, composers would oftentimes write musical studies called “etudes.” These pieces would generally be musically pleasing, but the sole purpose was to develop an instrumentalist’s playing technique. Examples of these can be seen in classical guitar music, where many pieces have the same right hand arpeggio pattern that remains constant throughout the entire piece.
Since the website was born back in 1998, the quality of the lessons vary. The older lessons don’t have that good video and sound quality, but we only experienced this on about 1-3% of all of the lessons during our review, the rest are in HD. Each lesson has reference material, such as tabs and chord charts, which can all be downloaded in pdf format for easy printing.
Now many people are going to ask about other brands, like why don’t I suggest Gibson guitars? It really is a personal taste thing, and it’ll ultimately depend on yours. Perhaps by the style of music you play or the artists you admire. For me, Fender guitars represent the best in quality and feel. Many Gibson style guitars have fatter necks, bigger frets, are heavy, and feel and sound “muddy” to me, whereas the feel of a Stratocaster– light, slender, classic– feels, plays, and looks fast. :)
You may have gone online to look for guitar lessons or to learn the fundamentals of guitar. Even if you just want to learn a few particular songs and increase your knowledge a bit. Even if you are an experienced player, this may be the place to learn that little nuance that you may have felt was missing from your method. Either way, this is the website that you will want to continue to visit.
One other cool thing about electric guitars– you can plug them into your computer and use a program like Apple’s Garageband as an amplifier. You can basically have 100’s of classic sounds available virtually. You can “jam” virtually with your computer and create full-on recordings on your laptop. You’ll just need a “pre-amp,” which is a device that amplifies the signal from your guitar before it sends it to your computer. I’d recommend something like the Focusrite Scarlett
You may have trouble finding a guitar teacher who is on the same wavelength you are on. In other posts I’ve recounted my first experiences with a guitar instructor back when I first started playing. The guy did not seem to care one whit about what kind of music I was into or what my goals were as a new musician. He was going to teach me songs he wanted me to learn, not help me explore music that inspired me. Or perhaps he just thought a kid wearing an Ozzy Osbourne t-shirt would also be into Lionel Richie.
The larger choice of lessons on Jamplay is intriguing, but I don’t know. I think I’ll try GT first since it has a longer refund period, and if it doesn’t work out for me, I’ll just get my money back and head on over to jamplay. I mean it’s not like we’re talking about exorbitant amount of $$$ 🙂 I mean the $15 monthly price is like 20 minutes with a live teacher, that’s pretty ridiculous…
Though this decision can be based on preference, we think the best guitar for a beginner is the acoustic guitar. Classical guitars have a wider neck, which can be hard for younger students or physically smaller individuals to handle when learning guitar chords. Meanwhile, the electric guitar is designed to be played with an amplifier, which comes at an additional cost. Acoustic guitars are simple and require little to no additional equipment, making them ideal for beginner guitarists.