You can teach yourself guitar
Daniel Webster is famously quoted as having said that “books and teachers are but aids; every man must educate himself.” This idea is especially true when you’re setting out to teach yourself guitar. It should be a comfort to know that every guitarist is, to a vast extent, “self-taught.” No teacher hovers over him hour after hour, day after day, making sure he practices enough to improve.
So if you’re not signed up for guitar lessons, take heart. Sure, they’re helpful, but you don’t really need them. Teaching yourself guitar isn’t easy, but it also isn’t easy to learn guitar under the tutelage of a teacher, either. In both circumstances, you’ll need to spend lots of time practicing.
Use books to teach yourself guitar
While it’s absolutely true that you don’t need a teacher to become a great guitar player, it’s absolutely ridiculous to think that you can do it in a vacuum. You do need to get a few books and/or videos on how to teach yourself guitar. You don’t need an outstanding product to help you get started, either. The basics of guitar are relatively simple, and lots of authors and players have created resources to help you teach yourself guitar.
It sounds strange, but it’s absolutely essential that your guitar lesson book be readable and likable. If you don’t like the way your guitar lesson book looks, or if the author’s communication style doesn’t resonate with you, go get a different book or video. Chances are, if you don’t, your guitar playing career will be very short-lived. There are enough excellent guitar resources out there that you’re sure to find one that you like.
As your skills progress, you can find guitar resources that help you teach yourself to play guitar songs in the genre of music that you enjoy most. I loved blues, which is arguably one of the more difficult styles, but I slogged through a number of very difficult songs just because I loved the way the music sounded when I got it right. This is the most important factor – as soon as your playing starts to sound like music, you need to start playing music you like.
Use online videos to help teach yourself to play guitar
YouTube is a tremendous source of video guitar instruction. We’ve even produced a few free instructional guitar videos as well, just to give you an idea of what’s available out there. You can learn from some of the world’s greatest guitarists, and you can learn from regular joe’s like us, as well. Instructional videos can be very helpful for demonstration purposes, as sometimes it’s helpful to see and hear what a particular chord, scale, or riff sounds like instead of just reading about it in a book.
No matter what method you choose…
…The key is to get started! It will take time, effort, and patience, but there will be plenty of rewards along the way. It’s a beautiful instrument to play, and even the masters will tell you that nobody ever really masters the guitar. Be patient, have fun, and most of all, stick with it!