Guitar Beginners’ FAQ Part 2 – How Long Will It Take To Learn?

Hi everyone,

Here’s part 2 in our new series of answers to Guitar Beginners’ FAQ.  Find Part 1 here and General Guitar Lesson FAQ here.

Onto question 2 then,

“How Long Will It Take Me To Learn?”

Just like Question 1, this is something you probably know the answer to better than we do.  If you’re someone who is willing to put in the practice time, and who perseveres with things, and perhaps even more importantly loves music and has a strong desire to play it, then the answer is not very long at all.  If these things don’t apply, then a lot longer, if at all!

But before getting into all that, we need to define “learn”.  – Learn what? How will you know when you’re someone who “can play”?  Furthermore, just about all the greatest musicians of our time and recent history have at one point or another said something along the lines of “you have to never stop learning”, “The journey is never over” and so on.

If you’ll consider yourself somebody who plays the guitar once you can strum “Wonderwall” then generally speaking, it won’t take as long as it takes to play Stairway To Heaven start to finish.

So our outlook, and advice to you would be that playing the guitar is a concept that is made up of a multitude of different elements and aspects, each differing to another in difficulty, and again from person to person, based upon how naturally musical you are, previous instrumental experience, or willingness to put in the practice time.

So the quickest way to learn is to forget about having a number of weeks in mind and immerse yourself in the material, the practice and the passion for the instrument and music as a whole.

– Might sound a bit of a dry, boring answer, but when you’re blasting out songs and riffs really soon you’ll be very happy indeed!

So, ANSWER:  Shut up and get on with it! 🙂

Happy playing!

-Alex

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

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Guitar Beginners’ FAQ Part 1: Electric or Acoustic?

Hi everyone,

Here’s the first part in our new blog series which will answer many frequently asked questions from beginners, or “pre-beginners” – i.e. people who are thinking about starting to play the Guitar.

For FAQ specific to our Guitar lessons please visit our Guitar Lesson FAQ.

Ok, here goes:

QUESTION – 

“Should I Learn Electric or Acoustic Guitar?”

The short answer is:  Whichever one you want to learn!  There are a lot of reasons new why players usually choose one or the other, but often these are the wrong reasons, or not valid reasons altogether.  Here is the most common misconception, followed by the truth!

MYTH – Acoustic Guitar Is Easier

TRUTH – Well, yes it is if you’re playing something easy.  Ok, so objectively Jimi Hendrix is harder to play than Oasis, but then Chet Atkins is objectively harder to play than The Cribs.  There is almost infinite repertoire on both instruments, ranging from the beginner strum-alongs, to the virtuoso solos.  The difficulty is determined by the song, your level, your practice, and certainly by how easy to play the guitar itself is, but this means how high the strings are from the fretboard (“the action”), how bulky the body is, what size (or “gauge”) the strings are, and so on.  But not on whether the guitar is made the be amplified or not – That is a stylistic concern.  And so should your decision be.

ANSWER – Think about these things –

– Who are your favourite guitarists/bands?

– What music do you want to play?

– What are your aims for your playing?

If you love Bob Dylan or Ed Sheeran and you want to be able to play an open mic night or get hold of the guitar at a party, then the answer is Acoustic.

If you’re into the Foo Fighters or Red Hot Chili Peppers and you want to start a band, it’s electric all the way.

So think about what and how you want to play, and follow that route.  Ultimately, the instruments work in exactly the same way, so you’re not too far committed down one road, it’s just that each type lends itself slightly better to different styles of music.  So consider the styles!

And if you’re still confused, buy both and enjoy!

– Alex

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

Twitter Competition

Hi everyone,

We’re running a Twitter competition that can win you a free Guitar lesson or Piano lesson anywhere in London, the surrounding areas, or via Skype if you’re based elsewhere.

Until 31st July 2015, all new followers will be entered into a random draw, the winner of which will be entitled to a free 1 hour private lesson with one of our fantastic Guitar teachers or Piano teachers.

To enter, just head over to our Twitter profile, and follow us.

Good Luck!

-Alex

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

Quick Practice Tips – Daily Blog – Day 5

Welcome to part 5, Friday’s final instalment in our daily blog series offering you a professional practice tip each day.

Tip 5:  Don’t Always Play With Songs

For some guitarists, this advice should be “Start Playing With Songs” but for most of us, it’s don’t always play with songs!

Especially if you’re preparing for a gig/performance/exam etc.  you need to know the song you’re learning inside out, and that means not coming to rely on cues in the vocals or production which you can’t necessarily trust to be present when you perform.

Practising material to a metronome or backing track can help you solidify and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the piece, and have you ready for anything.

So do it!

Good Luck

-Alex

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

Quick Practice Tips – Daily Blog – Day 4

Welcome to day 4 and another brand new expert Guitar practice tip from our London Guitar Teachers

Tip 4:  End on a high note!

Whatever’s In your practice routine, or whatever new things you’re covering that day, finish on a positive.  Don’t walk away from the guitar having just had an unsuccessful moment.  You’re a guitarist who is always improving and developing and aspiring to something, so don’t finish a session on a negative note.

Of course, this includes being aware that what a positive note is can be a sliding scale.  If you’re trying to increase your speed of a solo from 60 bpm to 200 bpm, then finishing a practice session having worked it up to 90 bpm is a hugely positive step.  Remember this!  You don’t have to have literally completed everything in order to finish positively.

The point is – resolve any problems or confusions before you finish

Day 5’s tip coming tomorrow.

Good luck and happy playing!

-Alex

Guitar Lessons In London

Piano Lessons In London

Quick Practice Tips – Daily Blog – Day 3

Welcome to the third day in our new daily blog series offering you expert practice tips, to maximise your time and your improvement on Guitar or Piano

You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here

Tip 3:  Slow Down!

Learning and practising new material at slow tempos is advised so often that most of us are sick of hearing it, and we were almost tempted not to include it.

The problem is, aspiring Guitarists and Pianists generally speaking are still not taking this advice.  It’s too tempting to try and play at full speed, or at least faster than you should, straight away.  This is because you’re frustrated at not being able to play at the actual tempo yet.

However, this approach will extend and multiply your frustration!  If you’re willing to put in a relatively small amount of time, learning the correct techniques, fingering and phrasing at a slow speed, then once you’ve nailed it, speeding up is easy!  Often, in fact, unless what you’re learning is some sort of Satriani/Chopin speed shred-athon, you can instantly speed up to the required tempo.  Simple!

So slow down!

Tip 4 coming tomorrow.

-Alex

London Guitar Lessons

London Piano Lessons

Quick Practice Tips – Daily Blog – Day 2.

Here’s part 2 of our new daily blog series offering you a quick practice tip each day, to improve your Guitar or Piano playing.

Tip 2 – Little & Often

2 hours per week, split into 6 sessions of 20 minutes, is infinitely more valuable than 1 long 2 hour session.

Breaks are important to process the practice that you’ve done.

Over a period of 2 hours straight your concentration, focus and technique will drop off very heavily, your playing could become quite sloppy and you are unlikely to take onboard the benefits of regular, shorter practice sessions.

If you currently do long practice sessions, try splitting them into shorter, more frequent sessions.  The results will be obvious!

Tip 3 coming tomorrow.

Good Luck!

-Alex

Guitar Lessons In London

Piano Lessons In London