Piano and Keyboard lessons from Glenn Sutton in Poway and San Diego

Beginners Acoustic Guitar Tips

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Interested in learning the electric, bass or acoustic guitar? Need lessons in the Scripps Ranch or Sabre Springs area? Would you like to learn to play your favorite songs?

Contact Glenn Sutton at 619-306-3664.

The acoustic guitar brings with it many different fantasies, from romantic sing-alongs around the campfire to playing on a big stage with some of the great artists. You, like many others, have decided that this is the instrument for you. How do you get started on the right path? Follow these simple steps.

acoustic guitar

Acoustic guitar
Sabre Springs guitar lessons 619–306–3664

Finding your guitar

Of course, in order to learn how to play a guitar, you must first own one. If you do not already have one, begin by doing a little bit of research. As a novice, you may not be ready to spend oodles of money on an expensive acoustic guitar, and that is OK. Once you are more proficient and have a better idea of what type of music you want to play, you may always upgrade. Meanwhile, go online and read some forums about playing. There are several out there. Familiarize yourself with the terminology, equipment, and some techniques. You will feel more confident when you are ready to shop.

Once you know what type of guitar you want to purchase, begin your search. There are many very nice, affordable used guitars that you may find in music stores, pawn shops, or online. Whenever possible, be sure to physically check out the guitar before you buy it. Examine the entire body, looking for damage or other issues. Strum it and listen for intonation and pitch. If you have a buddy who is an advanced player, take him or her along with you.

Learning technique

Once you’ve found a guitar that fits well with you, it’s time to discover your learning style. No one is the same, so don’t feel that you are odd if you can’t learn by simply watching or reading like someone else may have. If you do not know how to read guitar tablature or guitar chord diagrams yet, start there. Even a basic understanding will take you a long way. As you do this, figure out what environment stimulates the most learning for you. Is it a book, a classroom, a video, one-on-one, or a combination of several? Knowing this will help you learn your instrument and keep you engaged and encouraged later.

It’s best to learn the proper playing technique right from the beginning – this way you will not have to un-learn bad habits later. As a beginner, you will be developing skills that you never have used before. You will also be working something known as “muscle memory.” Eventually, it will seem that your body automatically performs certain motions and you will be able to produce clean chords without thinking about it. If you’ve ever watched a professional play extremely difficult chord progressions or intricate solos without ever looking at his or her fingers or guitar, you have witnessed muscle memory in action. Be patient with yourself. This comes with practice.

One you are at the point that you can practice on your own, give yourself specific goals. It is much better to spend 10-15 minutes focusing on exercises than it is to spend hours just noodling around. Look for quality not only in your technique, but in the time and space you choose to practice. Avoid interruptions, and be intentional with your playing.

Practice, practice, practice

When you are first learning to play, please do not discourage yourself by trying to play a very complicate song or passage. Start with a relatively easy goal and work until you complete it, then set your next goal. The last thing you want is to find yourself getting bored, so make sure that these goals do offer some challenges. Take it slow and easy, but not so easy that you aren’t learning new things. By setting incremental goals, you will build confidence as you achieve them.

If during your practicing you find that you have reached a point where you feel “stuck” or just can’t improve no matter what you do, don’t give up. Put down your guitar for a while and focus on something else. You may just need some mental stimulation in another area. Give yourself a breather, and then pick it up again. Set a new challenge and go for it.

Continued improvement

If there is one thing that musicians do more than playing, it’s listening. Listen to as many artists from as many different styles as you can. The acoustic guitar is a very versatile instrument that lends itself to classical, jazz, folk, rock, country, and even pop music. Even if your interest is focused on one genre, don’t limit yourself to only learning or listening to that area – stretch yourself. You will find that many techniques cross over into other genres, and you never know when you’ll learn something new by listening to something that you wouldn’t normally try.

Learning to play the acoustic guitar is a noble ambition. Take your time, do your homework, practice, and above all, have fun!

Phone Glenn Sutton at: 619-306-3664 or email: guitarman.glenn@gmail.com

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Services include:

  • Electric Guitar Lessons
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  • Acoustic Guitar Lessons
  • Keyboard Lessons
  • Piano Lessons
  • Organ Instruction
  • Learning to Write Music
  • Advanced Improv Techniques
  • Performance Techniques



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