All guitarists learn their craft in a different way. Whether you learn to play through professional music lessons, by taking tips from your friend or by teaching yourself, there are a number of basic unwritten rules which all guitarists should abide by.


Get a thorough understanding of basic music skills

Learning to play the guitar to a decent standard involves having a good grounding in the basic skills. Some guitarists are quite narrow in their approach which restricts their ability. Having a full understanding of all notes and chords is incredibly important. It doesn’t matter if you learn these basics from a book, an online course or a teacher. Be sure to learn and read up on strumming and picking so you can utilize everything you learn as you play.

Work hard on learning chords. At first, it may sound terrible, but don’t progress onto the next thing until you master your current chord. Take time to learn scales and perfect the way you grip the guitar with each hand.

Listen carefully to yourself and other guitarists

Never underestimate how important listening is. If you have always had an interest in playing the guitar, you may find that you naturally listen out for the guitar in songs. When listening to bands perform live or on albums, listen to their sound, tone, notes and style.

Whilst you practice, listen carefully to yourself. Developing the ability to pick out your own faults allows you to improve. If you think you are perfect before you get to the next level, you will never progress. Consider whether your notes sound even or if your tone could still be improved.

If you ever join a band, you will find that listening is essential. Learning to naturally listen out for the sound of individual instruments, listen for chords, intervals and rhythm.

Get to grips with musical theory

Some musicians hate nothing more than music theory and believe that practice alone is enough. However, it can only benefit you as a musician to have a thorough grounding on the theory behind the music. Understanding theory makes you more well-rounded as a musician.

In order to play the guitar, you will need to learn a chord chart and guitar tabs. You can find these on an abundance of websites online. If you plan on learning riffs and melodies, you will need to understand how to read guitar tabs.

Enjoy the learning process

Finally, nobody has to play the guitar. If you are learning to play the guitar, you already have an interest. It is important that you maintain this interest throughout what can be a long winded and sometimes disheartening process. At some points, you will feel that you are getting nowhere and feel like giving up.

Make the routine of playing guitar fun. Play with friends, play in different places, play different songs. Give yourself short term goals to motivate you to becoming a great player. If you set your sights too high, it may be difficult to see yourself ever getting there.

Jane Hoe is a renowned author of all things music related. When getting the latest information on guitars, Jane visits