FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

There are different ways of looking at this question. It all depends on what you mean by being able to play the guitar.

As kids we learned to recite poems without knowing how to read, write or understand the meaning of the poem. The same can be applied to playing a guitar. It doesn’t take much time to learn to strum a few chords. A couple of months at best if that’s what you are looking for.

As we begin learning the letters of the alphabet and creating two and three letter words and began stringing them in simple sentences, similarly apply the same principle to music. First you learn the notes and scales all over the fret board, then layer the notes to form chords, and finally play chords in a sequence to play a song. If you practice diligently every single day then it should take you two to four months to strum a few songs and also understand what you are playing theoretically.

Just like we use punctuations in our speech and writing, there are different techniques to playing the guitar which can help one emote better. These are hammer ons, pull offs, bends and slides. Using these techniques while playing scales and beginning to understand a basic form of improvisation generally takes about four to six months. By this time you should be able to listen to songs and recognize the sounds of the chords and play the songs without having to look for chords online or download TABs J. By playing songs I would say playing basic intros, riffs, interludes and chords.

Six months to a year onward gets more interesting with one of the most popular genres of music – The Blues. Learning the pentatonic scales and improvising over 12 bar blues. Moving further, understanding the modes of the major scales and learning to improvise over different chords.

A year onward you would probably like to listen to other genres of music and apply your skills and knowledge there.

Somewhere between two and three years you should be capable of playing with other musicians in a band setup

In five years you realize that what you have learned so far is miniscule as compared to how much more there is to learn.

Learning anything is a never ending process!

Yes of course! There is nothing better than to be able to play an instrument before you are musically knowledgeable enough to become a composer

Today there is a huge amount of information on the internet. If one has come up to a level where there is an understanding as to how to use the videos, then it can be of help. Unfortunately in most cases, the information is not structured enough for a student to understand by themselves. It is advised to get proper tutoring from a basic level till you are capable of understanding and processing the information freely available online

You should have your own guitar. If you plan to borrow a guitar till the time you are ready to buy one, you should make sure you have access to it at all times.

No. Music is not an activity like swimming or cycling. One needs consistent and regular practice to achieve results.

No. Notes will be provided by email.

Most beginners may have heard and even felt obligated to follow the advice coming from well-meaning but ill-informed friends or relatives with little or no knowledge about the art or the instrument. Most will tell you to buy a cheap guitar at first and once you are capable enough, to invest in a good guitar. A beginner should only buy an acoustic guitar while learning to play. Acoustic guitars can’t/should not have electronics. Some will advise you to buy only an acoustic guitar as you are a beginner and forbid an electronic one because you may get an electric shock.

All these precious pieces of advice are not completely true. A guitar is a guitar is a guitar. The style you want to play however could make a difference with the kind of guitar you would want to buy. Let's examine the different types of guitars so you are well informed about what you want to buy and play. Guitars come in two main types: Acoustic and Electric.

Acoustic guitars have steel string guitars, 12 string steel guitars and nylon string guitars. All are used for different styles of music. Electric guitars are made of a solid body unlike the hollow acoustic ones. Electro acoustic guitars are acoustic guitars with pickups and electronics but with a thinner body and sound hole. Once again each type is used for a particular style of playing.

Acoustic or Electric
The steel stringed acoustic guitar is a great instrument to start your musical journey. The sound created from the steel strings is louder than that of nylon strings, and because of this it is a favorite beginner’s guitar. One can just pick it up and play it anytime, anywhere. Students mostly do not opt for an electric guitar because of the budget. An electric guitar requires an amplifier and a speaker or an amplifier speaker combo unit to be heard. Now that is going to raise a beginner’s budget. Another reason why an acoustic guitar is preferred for beginners is because the string gauges are a bit heavier than an electric guitar and this helps a beginner to build finger and hand strength which makes it a lot easier to play an electric guitar later.

Cost
Acoustic guitars may seem cheap and some really are, but the good ones are a lot more expensive than one can imagine. As for buying a cheap guitar while learning to play, it only has its downsides. The main reasons for buying a cheap guitar would be, you really want to learn to play the guitar and have absolutely no money to afford a decent one or you are not really sure if you have it in you, and if you would be able to, or want to continue learning to play.

Whatever the reason, don’t buy a cheap guitar! They are so badly made that they are very difficult to play and beginners usually give up learning to play for the wrong reason. Besides that if ever one has to sell it, there is absolutely no resale value. Buy a reasonably priced guitar instead. If you still can’t afford that, buy a used one!

If you are on a very low budget, a used guitar is a very good option as long as you have an experienced instructor/player to help you choose the right one. There are many who have not been able to move forward with their guitar playing and have chosen to sell their instrument. Many of these people bought very nice guitars. Nice guitars may be a little more expensive than a cheap one but they are good guitars! Buy a nice guitar! You will enjoy the process of learning and playing.

Resources for used guitars
AM Used Musical Instrument Gear
MM Used Musical Instruments
Used Musical Instruments...
All Things Musical
Besides these, one can also have a look on OLX and Quikr.

This is NOT a course. It is a guidance system which will teach you to learn and improve by yourself after a certain point. I will be there to guide you as long as you feel you need my guidance.

When you want to learn a language, you need to know certain elements that are the foundation for the language such as the alphabet. By learning the alphabet you may be able to come up with a few words or phrases but that will not be enough for you to say something meaningful. It will only get you ready to begin to learn how to express in that language. It will be a while before you learn stories, poems and other literature which will help you to understand how to use words to say what you want to express.

Similarly, learning to play the scales all over the fretboard will not be enough. There will have to be a lot of listening to music, transcribing musical passages, understanding and reproducing phrases, until you are able to musically express your own ideas.

    You will need a few things to get started with an online class:
  1. A Desktop or Laptop with Skype installed
  2. An internet connection with a reasonable bandwidth
  3. A web camera, speakers or headphones, a microphone
  4. A guitar
  5. A place where you will not be disturbed

An online class works almost the same way as a class in person. You will see two screens on your computer. As and when required you will see notes displayed on one of the screens while I explain. You will also see music notational softwares and listen to the sounds and play along in real time.

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