The number of guitarists in the world is estimated at about 50 million, of which 16% would be composed of professionals.
You are not, therefore, the only one to play the guitar or to want to learn how to do it.
But, depending on the style of music you prefer and the guitar you have – classical, folk or electric – you won’t learn the same things in the same way.
To progress, we strongly recommend that you choose the style of music you prefer.
The motivation is the key to success, it would be a shame to try to learn the flamenco style, when you only think of bossa nova.
How to play rock guitar
Talented guitarists attract the likes of young and old and everyone dreams of becoming a star.
Learning to play the guitar is often a matter of rock passion.
If learning the guitar is synonymous with rock for you, choose a rigid pick with a pointed end, so you can play quickly and be precise in the attack of the notes.
Rock is certainly the simplest musical style for someone who debuts with the guitar. You’ll find riffs, arpeggios and vibrato, easy to play even for newbies.
To play rock with your guitar, start by knowing the name of the notes; this advice, however, applies to any musical style and any instrument, of course.
In rock, power chords have a prominent place. They’re easy to learn and make, a blessing to every apprentice rocker!
Pay particular attention to rock riffs and the minor pentatonic scale, often used in this style of music.
You can also play the rock guitar with the easiest tracks to learn.
When you were a beginner guitarist, you certainly expected to learn the solfeggio, how to tune the instrument, how to apply music theory with your right hand and left hand, before you could have fun and play your favorite songs.
However, you don’t need to write or play very complex chords to play a success: John Lennon, The Cranberries and Nirvana have understood it well!
It’s in rock that we find the most affordable pieces of music; here are some that you can also study in guitar lessons:
- Noir Desir – Le vent nous portera : two guitar chords, D Major and E minor,
- Ben Harper – Waiting For You,
- David Bowie – Heroes : C Major, D Major, E minor, G Major and A minor,
- The Beatles – Yellow Submarine,
- The Rolling Stones – Dead Flower : 3 Chords, D Major, G Major and La Major,
- Nirvana – Come As You Are,
- Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water: certainly the best known riff on Earth,
- Bob Dylan – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door : 4 chords and away!
- U2 : Sunday Bloody Sunday,
- Jimi Hendrix : Hey Joe,
- The Animals – House Of The Rising Sun.
A Jazz Guitar Course: The Basics
The pressing rhythm often invites you to move the steps of dance and you can hardly resist the temptation.
Playing jazz allows you to make people dance!
To play jazz, the best thing to do is invest in a jazz guitar that has a bigger resonance box than a standard guitar. But not everyone has the chance to get one, as it will remain a jazz-only guitar and not a multi-purpose one.
If you can’t invest in a jazz guitar, at least change the strings on your guitar, replacing them with flat strings rather than round strings.
The pick also plays an important role in the production of a jazz sound. Choose it very hard and slightly blunt.
Playing laid back: guitar course
The secret of the swing is the laid back sound, that is to say the fact of playing behind and voluntarily putting oneself against time on some measures.
The jazz guitarist’s phrasing must be very close.
It is absolutely necessary to develop one’s listening skills before starting to learn jazz.
Learning to play the guitar with affordable jazz tracks
Jazz, frankly, is not the easiest style to learn. It’s very much about the musician’s ability to improvise and provide quality guitar solos.
There are, however, jazz standards that are easy to reproduce, to soak up this rich and exciting musical universe:
- Duke Ellington – Take The A Train (compost by Billy Strayhorn),
- Luis Bonfa – Black Orpheus: closer to bossa nova, it is however very well known and just as frequently reproduced by jazz man,
- Jerome Kern – All The Things You Are (from the musical comedy Very Warm For May),
- Joseph Kosma – Autumn Leaves,
- George Gershwin – Summertime,
- Kenny Burrel – Midnight Blue,
- Wes Montgomery – Four On Six,
- Kenny Dorham – Blue Bossa,
- Maceo Pinkard and Ken Casey – Sweet Georgia Brown.
A guitar lesson playing hard rock and metal
All this to distinguish groups and songs from the pop rock industry. Two distant worlds, even if from common origins.
Hard rock brings together heavy metal, grunge and punk!
It sounds hard to believe, but hard rock has inherited its soul from blues rock. With aggressive singing, distortion, but also pentatonic scale and blue note, hard rock is a clever mix of blues and rock.
Power chords play an obviously primordial role, in order to get a blues, aggressive or saturated sound in only two notes.
If you want to play hard rock, practice also with the mixolydian way, quite frequent in the genre.
As far as metal is concerned, it’s a very varied musical genre, which brings together a multitude of different styles: from heavy metal to funky metal, passing through trash metal. The common point between all these styles is the omnipresence of the electric guitar, with very elaborate rhythmic and melodic parts and legendary solos.
Different techniques to practice with the right hand (for the right) are:
- The downpicking,
- The picking alternately,
- The sweeping,
- The palm mute.
Guitar lessons and best hard rock tracks
Hard rock has many classics, to start with the different brands of the group AC/DC and especially Highway To Hell, Hard As A Rock, Hells Bells, Shook Me All Night Long, not to forget … all the others, actually.
The riffs are simple and effective, ideal for training.
You can also try tracks by Aerosmith, ZZ Top or Alice Cooper, if you don’t like AC/DC too much:
- Aerosmith – Walk this way,
- Led Zeppelin – Stairway to heaven,
- ZZ Top – La Grange,
- Alice Cooper – Schools Out For Summer, Poison,
How to learn to play guitar by training with metal tracks
Metal is a difficult musical style at first. It requires precision and speed with the guitar. But it’s an excellent way to progress, because it allows you to make your fingers faster and stronger and gain endurance and speed.
Here are some tracks that are also accessible to beginners:
- Dream theater – Hollow Years,
- Panther – Planet Caravan,
- Rammstein – Ich Will,
- System of a Down – Atwa, Lonely Day,
- Nightwish – Angels Fall First,
- Slipknot – Vermillion part 2 (avec accords barrés),
- Limp Bizkit – Behind Blue Eyes.
Learn to play the guitar to know how to compose your own songs
The work that the participants in the composition have to do together is fundamental for the success of the piece.
The composition implies a feeling of couple or group!
There are between 40,000 and 450 million fingerings of possible chords, with only 60 chords or little more.
So, to say that there is nothing more to invent in the world of music is at least false.
Or at least, it seems like an excuse not to compose. A beginner guitar shouldn’t wait too long before launching into creation, under the pretext that he doesn’t have the level required to write.
Improvising and creating a song can be done with very simple chords and is an excellent way to progress, untie your fingers, free your spirit and develop your creativity.
So when you reach a better level, then your creations will only improve.
A piece must first of all convey emotions. And for this reason, the technique can, within certain limits, be overshadowed!
Look instead at the great successes: they are for the most part very simple chords, riffs that involve and a melody that remains in the head.
It could be that you want to include in a piece everything you’ve learned up to that moment: it’s not a good solution. The ideal thing to do when composing is to follow the rule of simplicity!
Don’t forget to write down everyone (even on your smartphone, if you prefer), to avoid that the new ideas and insights of the moment do not escape forever.
What’s more, remember to register or film yourself, during your improvisation and creation sessions, to see your flaws and your qualities and then add a piece here and a piece there and finish, so, your creation.
There are different ways to compose a song:
- Write the chord grid first, and then the melody then: it’s the safest method;
- Write the melody first and then the chords in the grid: it’s the most daring method;
- Write a guitar riff;
- Write a bass riff (provided you know the basics of bass, of course).
You always have to vary the intensity of your song to create a dynamic uona within it. And, above all, give space to your creativity!
What if you enrolled in a guitar course?
Guitar lessons and improvisations
Being interested in the history of the guitar and the culture of musical style is a good strategy: you will acquire the vocabulary little by little.
Some definitions for your guitar course
What’s the tremolo in the guitar?
It is a musical effect obtained by the very rapid repetition of a guitar sound or chord.
What is a manouche guitar?
It is a guitar dedicated to manouche jazz, a jazz style fed by gypsy musicians from Central Europe and French song.