Learning guitar is an amazing experience! The popularity of the guitar has risen for the last 50 years. There is a certain romanticized association with this instrument, and rightfully so! The versatility of the Guitar shows that its a force to be reckoned with. It can go toe-to-toe with almost every instrument out there, including piano. But, why? The answer, I will try to keep short and sweet. The guitar allows you to play both chords and scales. Meaning, you can play a HUGE variety of music and also accompany yourself in musical situations without the help of other instruments. For example: instruments like flute, trumpet, trombone and other brass varieties, only offer you scales. This means that you are only allowed by the physics of that instrument to play one note at a time, which results in a melody. No chords allowed! There are other options such as: Guitar, Piano and Violin (to name a few) that offer both chords and scales to give you a wide variety of sounds and self-accompaniment. The piano is a timeless instrument that most people would say is the "best" instrument to learn on first. I don't disagree that its a great instrument and gives you a wide selection of styles and tones...but the best instrument to learn on? Debatable. Now, before you string me by my toes from the rafters...here's my reasoning: The average piano
can weigh anywhere from 400 - 800 POUNDS! Try lugging that sucker up a flight of stairs every day. You can't put it in your car and transport it anywhere you go. Yes, there are keyboards that would possibly offer the same convenience, however you have to have electricity to power them and most keyboards don't have weighted keys.
This means you aren't going to be getting the same muscle adaptation as you would have on a weighted piano. So, thats my reasoning and I'm sticking to it! I love the piano and its an amazing instrument that sounds beautiful...but not that convenient. So, back to the guitar. Sorry for the rant.....
Choosing Your First Guitar
There are a few different options when it comes to choosing your first guitar (if you don't have one already)
Option 1: Acoustic Guitar (Steel String)
Option 2: Electric Guitar
Option 3: Classical Guitar (Nylon String)
Which option is best for you? It honestly all depends on what your goals are. There is a common misconception where people assume you start on an acoustic guitar and then work your way up to an electric.
However, there really is no tier system here, it all boils down to preference and music styles. Don't get to bogged down by starting off with one instrument or the other. What do YOU want to hear from the instrument?
Electric Guitars are very easily distinguished. They have pickups and volume knobs and you can probably remember seeing a rock guitarist slinging one across his shoulders playing live.
Although there are many options when it comes to electric guitars, stick with something simple first, and work your way to more expensive models.
If you wanna play some hard rock and blast your neighbors windows out. Then I would suggest an Electric Guitar.
If you want to play something that resembles for of the Eagles or Signer-Songwriter styles, then an Acoustic Guitar (Steel String) is best for you. This sound is so beautiful and versatile.
The great thing too is now they offer Acoustic/Electric Options. So when you want to plug in and play with all the cool sound effects you can! (although, I don't recommend distortion in this case...trust me
This Classical Guitar (Nylon String) ... This guitar gives me a headache. I see more students walk into lessons with Nylon Stringed Guitars then I like to admit. This comes from misinformation. Nylon stringed guitars are their own breed. This is usually reserved for Classical Training Guitar Instruction. Think, Spanish Flamenco.
There is nothing WRONG with a Nylon String Guitar, but when you are just starting out and you are not trying to be a flamenco guitar player, this guitar sounds very strange and will no give you the results you were hoping for.
What About Price?
Beginning the journey of becoming a great guitar player is not always congruent with the price tag on the guitar. A lot of parents assume that buying a beginner guitar is extremely expensive or they feel overwhelmed by the Local Guitar Shops because they have no idea what they are looking for or how to decide if one is worth the price associated. Honestly though, if you get yourself a great beginner guitar teacher, then they should have the knowledge and help you find the guitar that fits your budget and needs.
Keep it Simple. There is no need to buy the most fancy guitar in the store. Being able to play is the important factor here. You don't need a Floating Bridge or a Floyd Rose. If you don't know what these are, then that's exactly why you don't need one yet. Just get a nice fixed bridge guitar that will stay in tune easily and allow you to learn without all the hiccups. There will come a time to get a guitar with all the fancy stuff, but that's a little ways down the road.
Keep it withing a Set Budget. If you can make a $200 guitar sound like a $2000 guitar, then you have succeeded in your journey. Don't get wrapped up (just yet anyway) in the expensive guitars. They are cool and have many benefits, but none that you will be needing to use for quite some time.
Keep it Cool. The great thing about the modern guitar world, is that there is a huge selection of cool looking guitars. Different color options give you a custom feel and the more the guitar speaks to you, the more inspired you will be to pick it up. You can find a guitar that will be everything you need both in simplicity and price, all while looking cool too.
What About Lessons?
Lessons are an important part of picking up the guitar. There has been too many people to count that have tried to learn the guitar on their own and failed. There is just so much information out there, especially with the internet. It becomes confusing and overwhelming to say the least. Everyone and their dog thinks they can teach you how to play guitar, but you have to ask yourself...
How well does THIS person play the guitar?
If you can't answer that question with certainty, then you may be taking lessons at the wrong place. Getting lessons from the RIGHT person that works best for your goals, is the quickest and most efficient way to reach your goals.
Look at it this way... would you ask someone who has bad credit and collection agencies after them about financial advise? I would sure hope not. In that same fashion, don't just go to your next door neighbor because he has a guitar.
Here is a list of questions you should ask your potential Guitar Instructor.
How Long Have You Been Playing?
Where Did You Learn To Play Guitar?
What Are Some Of Your Accomplishments?
Have You Ever Taught Before?
Why Do You Think You Are The Best Fit For Me?
There are more questions that you can ask, but this will get you started. Get the ball rolling and ask around for referrals.
Commit to Success
If you don't commit to yourself, then none of this matters. You can't go into the guitar with the mindset that you will just "give up" if it gets too difficult. Nothing that is easy is worth having and nothing worth having is gonna be easy. Keep that in mind going forward.
To help with the initial stresses, Zachary Adkins, Owner and Instructor at Adkins Guitar and Music Lessons, has created the worlds FIRST Guitar Tab Book/ Success Planner.
It was made with Guitarists in mind. Sometimes it can become overwhelming with all the at home work you have to put into the Guitar. This book is the perfect way to keep organized and stay consistent with your goals.
Be pro-active in your search for a Guitar Instructor in Omaha. The difference of quality can make or break your motivation and experience. You are paying for a service and I'm sure you don't have money to burn. So, be smart and open to the ideas and find a Guitar Instructor in Omaha that will work the best for YOUR goals.
We here at Adkins: Guitar and Music Lessons are dedicated to giving you a customized experience. Let me give you the rundown based from the questions above
Zachary Adkins - (Owner/Instructor)
How Long Have You Been Playing Guitar? "I have been playing guitar for over half of my life, 14 years. This has been every single day of my life, guitar is not a 'Hobby' it is my life."
Where Did You Learn To Play Guitar? "My father was my guitar instructor. I was blessed to have a very musical family. My dad has been playing guitar for more than 30 years and has been through all the trial and errors. He gave me a shortcut path to success with the guitar and I am very fortunate to have had his instruction."
What Are Some Of Your Accomplishments? "My most recent accomplishment was in 2017. I won 1st Place in a National Guitar Competition. I had some of the world's most re-known guitarists judging my performance and voted me to the 1st Place Position."
Have You Ever Taught Lessons Before? I run an entire business around Guitar and Music Lessons. I do this 7 days a week and have over 50 students of my own. This is not including the fact that we have a Drum Instructor, Bass Guitar Instructor and another Guitar Instructor besides myself.
Why Do You Think You Are The Best Fit For Me? I believe that Adkins Guitar and Music Lessons is the BEST fit for anyone looking to pursue ANY of the above mentioned instruments. We have all spent our entire life dedicated to our crafts, who better to learn from
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