Often considered the pastime of teenaged boys, the truth is, people of all types are eager to learn to play guitar. Playing guitar can be rewarding in a variety of ways, whether approached as a casual hobby or with the goal of becoming a serious guitarist. Either way, there are many ways to learn. Which is best for any one person depends on a variety of things, such as the person's natural ability, desired learning speed and personal learning style. Common to each of them is the need for dedication and patience.
Many people choose to start their guitar-playing education by consulting with a guitar teacher. One on one lessons can be very helpful, as there is always someone there to guide you step-by-step, from the very basic skills to more advanced techniques. Teachers can provide valuable feedback, and can clearly demonstrate the proper techniques. They can also adjust lessons to a person's particular skill level and learning pace. This can keep novice players appropriately challenged without demotivating frustration.
For more practical knowledge about how to learn to play guitar, books can be an informative resource. From explaining the techniques and theory involved in guitar playing to illustrating key concepts, books make it possible to re-review sections whenever necessary, or skip past concepts already understood. However, books are limited in their ability to comprehensively describe complex techniques, and often work best in conjunction with other learning methods.
Like books, "learn to play guitar" videos offer flexibility in learning and have the added benefit of being able to explain techniques step by step. Videos make it easy to re-review lessons at the desired pace, and lessons can be repeated as often as necessary until the concepts are well understood. As with books, familiar concepts can be bypassed, allowing the player to focus on the areas that need the most work. Used together with books or private lessons, videos can be very helpful in the learning process.
Regardless of the learning method(s) chosen, there are certain fundamentals that are key to success. Patience is important; very few people are able to pick up a guitar and play complex songs right away. Setting realistic goals and appreciating even progress that seems minor can help avoid frustration and boost motivation. Of course, practice is also vital. The more a person practices, the more natural guitar playing becomes, and what once required concerted effort and thought can become second nature. Practicing reinforces the lessons learned, and lays the groundwork for future learning.
Learning to play the guitar has both its rewards and challenges. With patience and perserverance, even the most novice guitarist can find themselves playing recognizable tunes that previously seemed impossible to master. Whether pursued as a part time hobby, or with the aspirations of becoming a professional guitarist, the choice to learn to play guitar is very rarely regretted.