Most people who are thinking about learning to play the guitar wonder if it’s really necessary to get a personal teacher, or if it’s easy enough to learn on your own. That’s a valid question; especially considering we have the Internet these days with its many interactive learning tools, like video.
Searching for a teacher is not a bad idea. Teachers will give you that one-on-one that many people appreciate. You’ll have the advantage of everything being interactive. On the other hand, during the first few months of learning to play, you’re mostly going to be involved in memorization you’re going to be given chords and exercises, and you’re off on your own practicing over and over. Because this is done at home, you’ll quickly appreciate the fact that teaching yourself might not be such a bad idea.
Now, this argument for self-study might not have been the same fifteen years ago without the Internet. Because today, if you want to learn a G chord, you can head over to YouTube and you’ll find dozens of videos showing you how to do it, just like your live teacher would. Of course, you won’t have the teacher’s feedback, but if you’re just being honest with yourself about what you hear as you apply the finger patterns, you’ll probably do just fine.
The best way to get started playing the guitar is to start off with chord charts and learn to do them correctly. There’s memorization involved, and also working on getting your fingers nimble enough to bend and push down with enough strength to hold down the notes. Plus, just like with the piano, you’ll benefit greatly in the beginning by learning scales. Learn the major scale and practice doing it up and down, over and over.
If you get stuck and you probably will when using free YouTube videos, it is time to seek out professional help. By that, I don’t necessarily mean a live teacher, because there are many excellent online courses that are good substitutes. They will give you a more structured approach and a program to follow, so you can start the right way and cut down the learning curve.