7 Frequently Asked Questions for Beginner Guitarists


 1. How much time will I need to devote to practicing guitar?

The amount of time someone should devote in order to practice guitar each week will depend a lot on your goals and how quick you want to learn. Full-time music students at a university are required to       practice about 20 hours per week!  But, really, who has that amount of time available? I would say, if       you are a beginner starting out, it is good to try and practice half an hour everyday for about five days per week, with two days off. I realize this is pretty ideal considering how busy life is. If you can’t manage to put that amount of time practicing you should not worry. The most important thing with practicing is to be consistent, especially when you are starting out and learning the basics. So if you can only practice 15 minutes a day then that’s better than picking up your guitar for a couple hours once every week or two. Consistency is the key, and obviously, you should put as much time as you can towards practicing guitar.


2. They have told me that when you first start playing guitar  your fingers hurt really bad. How bad your fingers really hurt?

The truth is that the tips of your fingers will be a bit sore when you start playing guitar for the first time. Your fingers need time in order to build strength and develop callouses. Your wrist will also be a little sore to as you are trying to build up strength in order to play different chord progressions. Again, this is another reason why consistency is a key factor when you’re first starting out playing the guitar. It’s not very helpful to train once every couple weeks. You won’t only burn your muscles but you will never develop the strength and technique you can get from consistent practice. I have never  heard of someone’s fingers hurting so bad that they are not capable to perform their daily activities. If your fingers hurt too bad to, just take a day off for rest and come back after. After a couple weeks of consistent practice, any soreness should disappear.


3. Shoud I learn Guitar using a pick or learn how to finger pick?

You will want to consider your learning goals and what types of music you hope to perform. Also, it’s equally important to learn how to strum and how to pay with fingers. Learning how to strum using a pick can help you develop a good sense of time and rhythm. Finger picking definitely gives you a greater awareness of the nuances and technicalities of playing guitar. All to say, as you approach learning guitar, keep an open mind to all different styles of guitar out there. There’s something to be learned from all of them.


4. Are private lessons absolutely necessary or can I learn everything I need to know through online guitar lessons?

If you can afford private lessons, there’s nothing like having someone in the same room as you able to give you feedback and tips right on the spot. However, it’s not uncommon for folks these days to learn guitar online. The problem though with finding random articles and lessons online is that the information is often really disorganized and not really available to you in a way that gives you a step-by-step plan to success. If you want to go with the more self-taught, online lesson approach, I’d definitely recommend checking out some online guitar lessons that are specifically designed with a step-by-step plan for success.


5. What is the actual difference between a nylon-stringed guitar and a steel-stringed guitar?

The difference between a nylon guitar vs. a steel guitar is hard to notice on the surface because the guitars look very much the same. The difference lies in the types of strings that are used, nylon or steel. Steel-stringed guitars have  a brighter attack which makes them great for strumming, or if you’re an electric guitarist, for soloing and improvising. A nylon-stringed guitar will have a deeper, warmer and more round tone. Many consider it sweeter. That’s the main reason why a lot of classical guitar players who fingerpick use nylon-stringed guitars. It’s not to say you can’t fingerpick using a steel-stringed guitar  but the sound is definitely going to be different. Generally, you will find that most classical, fingerstyle and flamenco guitarists prefer a nylon string guitar, whereas, most guitarists playing popular music styles (e.g. rock, pop, blues) will play a steel string guitar. So one is not necessarily better than the other. It just depends on the type of music your playing.



6. Is it better to learn on electric guitar or acoustic guitar?

Again, you should recognize your learning goals. Identify the types of music you would want to be able to play. If you are more into just being able to strum out a song and maybe even fingerpick a little bit, then you probably want to consider learning on acoustic first. However, if you want to learn how to play solo and rock the crowd then you probably want to go with an electric guitar. There is also the middle solution, the electro-acoustic guitar. Another consideration is that you might find it cheaper to learn on acoustic guitar first because all you need to buy to learn acoustic guitar is just the guitar and the tuner. If you buy an electric guitar, you need to consider buying not only the guitar, but an amplifier, cables, effect pedals, etc. This can all really add up to the cost.



7. How much is the cost of learning guitar?

Playing guitar is not a cheap hobby but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a very expensive one either. Usually, the initial investment is a bit intimidating because someone has to consider buying a guitar, accessories, and then the source of learning. Of course learning could be free using free online guitar lessons from internet sources. The total  investment is usually worthwhile. Even if you end up deciding guitar is not something for you, if you have made a decent investment and have taken care of your equipment, you can always sell it and be able to get some of your money back. If you are hesitant to buy a guitar, you might want to  borrow  a friend’s guitar so you can learn how to play. Borrowing a friend’s guitar is very helpful because it gives you a chance to figure out if playing guitar is something you would enjoy. Chances are you know someone who might be willing to lend you their guitar.