Fastest way to learn guitar (4-Step Method) – Play your first song

This guide will show you the fastest way to learn guitar. It is a complete guide with time duration you need to allot each step to perfect it and points to follow for making playability of guitar easy – so move along systematically and take the route of the easiest way to learn guitar.

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When I was 13 years old I thought to myself, “What is the fastest way to learn guitar?”.

That led me to compile a list of options that I had to go ahead and learn guitar.

My choices were -

  • Go to an expensive guitar teacher
  • Learn from YouTube lessons
  • Take favors from friends who would half-heartedly teach me

My pick was to self-learn from YouTube and other online sites because it seemed convenient.

But the only problem that I faced was – as a beginner, what should my structure be for learning the guitar?

This article will give you answers if you are facing the same problem as I did and guide you step-by-step towards becoming proficient in playing guitar.

Genre is king

We all have specific genres that we want to play. And it is a little known fact that picking the right guitar for the right genre plays an important role in how quickly you can learn to play it. 

Most of us begin with an acoustic guitar for genres such as folk, indie, or country. But, you don’t have to stay limited to acoustic.

Don’t be afraid to begin on an electric guitar. A genre like funk is better played on an electric guitar. You don’t have to fall for the common misconception that you have to begin with an acoustic and then move on to an electric guitar.

Now, when you need a guitar for a groovy genre like reggae, you are looking at something that offers you more playability and comfort. As a beginner, this provides you with ease to start picking up nuances of the genre.

And if you want to get into some heavy genre like death metal. You obviously have to concentrate more on the right hand and less on your strumming hand. So guitars definitely vary from genre to genre and play an important role in deciding how quickly you get comfortable with and learn to play the instrument.

If you are looking for more ease in playability, check out –

This is our method of the Fastest Way to Learn Guitar

1. Strumming

Duration of Practice: for a few hours

DDD, DU – That’s how you play Let it be by The Beatles.

That’s the language of guitarists. Strumming is what you do with your right hand if you are a right-handed guitarist. The sweeping action where you hit several strings in one motion.

Don’t use your left hand at all, just strum up and down to any rhythm and free your hand.

And that’s how you write it in notes. You can look up some strumming exercises for beginners to practice your ‘D’s and ‘U’s.

2. The 1-2-3-4 Exercise

Duration of Practice: Every day as a warm-up

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Your fingers need to adapt to this new skill and this will make the process of playing guitar x10 smoother.

Here is a video of 1-2-3-4 exercise

Consider it to be push-ups workout for your fingers. Even the finest guitar players do this before hitting the stage.

3. A Chord, Em Chord Song

Duration of Practice: 1 week

A song is made out of chords (A, B, C, D, E, F, G – Major Chords).

These chords also have a variation called Minor Chords (Am, Bm, Cm, Dm, Em, Fm, Gm – Minor Chords).

As a beginner, this is all you need to know to start playing the guitar. You can get started by playing many famous songs just by learning to play these chords.

Here’s how you can begin with chords

You can make your own ‘A chord, Em chord song’ by switching between these two chords and playing your own strumming patterning (Down and Up strumming).

4. Pick a song to Learn for Yourself

Duration of Practice: Every day – Gradually try new chords

If you are a beginner, you will need quite some time to reach point 4. You need to practice all the 3 points above daily for a week at least for learning your first song. 

And once you do that, you can start practicing easy songs.

This video compiles all the simple songs where all you need to know are chords and these songs can be great first songs to implement your learnings.

This is the fastest way to learn guitar but do you want to make the playability of the guitar easy for yourself? Checkout the points below to double check your technique.

Ways to make learning guitar easy for you:

1. Choose the Perfect Guitar for you

We’re all different. Unfortunately, you may not be able to play the exact same guitar as Slash just yet. So you have to look for a guitar you are comfortable with and one that is proportionate to your body.

Once you have the guitar that seems fit, it’s time to learn how to hold it correctly. You might feel like holding it is odd at first but once you get the position right, it will all make sense.

This video explains how do you exactly hold a guitar in position 

2. Is your Guitar Tuned?

Stop whatever you are doing. Search for ‘Guitar Tuner’ in the application store of your phone.

Download it, open it, keep it on top of your guitar and gently turn the knobs until you see excessive green on your phone.

If you wanna be the coolest person in the room and then get yourself an old-school guitar tuner. It is more accurate than a mobile app and it can be with you even when you don’t have a phone around.

This video will explain how does it exactly work

Be careful though. I have broken a lot of strings back in my learning days, we don’t want you to go through that same unpredictable string snaps that we did.

3. Hold the Pick Correctly

As a beginner, holding your guitar pick correctly is crucial. Do not worry though, it is no rocket science, you just have to get it right to make it easy for you to play guitar.

Make sure you hold the pick under the center of your thumb and the pick is facing outwards.

Here’s a small video for a beginner on how to hold a pick

Conclusion

This is probably the easiest way to learn guitar. Congratulations! You’re doing it. You have made us so proud.

The last point we would like to add is – Be patient. Good things take time and learning to play guitar is one of them. 

Also, keep a bowl with cold water around to numb all the finger pain!

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