“Music is a necessity. After food, air, water and warmth, music is the next necessity of life.” - Keith Richards

We can’t say it enough, people in the UK just love playing the guitar. Everyone seems to know someone who plays the guitar. In fact, it’s a very common instrument that almost anyone can learn to play. Furthermore, it’s one of the oldest stringed instruments.

The oldest version of a modern guitar dates back to 1590.

Interesting, isn’t it?

This is one of the things you’ll probably learn when you first start learning to play the guitar whether you attend a guitar lesson, teach yourself, or learn the guitar as a child. However, not everyone has the means to pay for a music teacher, sheet music, and all the peripherals.

So how can you learn guitar without having to pay for it?

In our fourth article on learning how to play the guitar on a budget, let’s have a look at guitar lessons for beginners and other ways for beginners to learn to play guitar without spending any money.

Why Learn to Play the Guitar for Free?

It’s a good idea to get a private guitar tutor or attend group guitar classes if you want to learn guitar.

That said, it’s also a good idea to consider some of the free options for learning guitar, especially if you're on a really tight budget or just aren't sure if learning the guitar is for you and don't want to spend a fortune on something you might give up.

What are the benefits of playing guitar?
Learning the guitar is an enjoyable activity. However, you need to think carefully about why you're learning to play. (Source: sweetlouise)

But before you start asking how you can learn to play guitar without paying, you need to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Why should you take guitar lessons?
  • Why should you learn to play the guitar without spending a penny?
  • How will it benefit your guitar playing?

There are plenty of reasons to support that music is an art form rather than a product we should buy. Here are some of the reasons you mightn’t want to pay for guitar lessons:

  • You don’t have enough money to pay for a lesson
  • You don’t think it’s important enough to pay for
  • You don’t consider music worth paying for
  • You know there are many ways to learn to play for free
  • You’re cheap (and there’s nothing wrong with that)
  • You want to save money for something else like going on holiday or a large present
  • Someone offered a free class
  • And many other reasons...

The reasons for learning to play the guitar for free mightn’t be obvious and you need to be able to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of learning this beautiful musical instrument without paying for it.

With that said, what are the best ways to start learning the guitar for free?

Learning to Play Guitar for Free with an Association

In the grand scheme of things, music is enjoyable in itself and you don’t need to justify enjoying it. That’s why there are so many associations, groups, and clubs offering music freely.

Many groups run on a volunteer basis and bring people together who are interested in learning to play either the acoustic guitar or the electric guitar. There are also group centred around particular genres of music, too!

Find good online guitar lessons here.

How much does it cost to learn to play the guitar?
To learn how to play the guitar, you need to be passionate about music. (Source: geralt)

Some associations offer free music lessons so that anyone can learn how to play the guitar without having to break the bank. You’ll soon be familiar with metronomes, tuners, tunings, plectrums, and guitars without having spent any money!

Furthermore, these associations can offer classes that are more stimulating than private tutorials and, in many cases, are far more relaxed than the classes you can get at school, a specialised music school, or a conservatoire. You’ll be surprised at just how much you can learn in a relaxed environment.

Learning to Play the Guitar for Free with Taster Lessons

Even in music, you can pick up some bad habits. This is a pretty sneaky technique for learning how to play the guitar for free. This cunning option takes advantage of the system in which the first lesson is often free.

How so?

How can you get free lessons at a music school?
Whether you learn at a music school or with a private tutor, there are ways to get free lessons. (Source: Foundry)

Many beginner guitar lessons offer the first hour free to allow the students to see make their mind up on whether or not they want to attend the following lessons or attend the full course. Since a few simple chords will probably be enough to learn how to play Hotel California, there are a few reasons for just taking free taster tutorials.

For example, you can learn how to read tabs, understand a pentatonic scale, play barre chords, and discover a new musical style all in a taster lesson.

The problem with this method is that there is only one first class. This means you may have to travel all around the region to attend each first class for all the guitar classes in the area, which isn’t really practical or feasible. Furthermore, each first class is at a very basic level and you’ll probably very quickly outgrow them. After five classes, you’ll probably be sick of learning the very basics again and again.

However, this is a useful technique for those wanting to just learn the basics of the guitar without having to spend any money. This is really useful for when you get started and just need to learn about harmony, major scales, and a bit of rhythm.

Learning to Play Guitar for Free: Using the Internet

Are you interested in learning how to tune your guitar, reading tabs or sheet music, choosing the right guitar in a music store, or just learning to play guitar?

If the answer is "yes", your computer can help. While we usually think of this object as a way to find tabs, it’s way more than that.

Which are the best online resources for learning the guitar?
When you decide to learn the guitar for free, you'll probably use your computer a lot. (Source: langll)

You can see this with guitar sites that offer advice on different techniques and tutorials for self-taught guitarists to follow. The guitar is one of those musical instruments that, with the right motivation, bravery, and willpower, you can learn on your own. With these three qualities, anyone can play guitar!

You can spend many hours on different guitar sites, platforms, and forums getting advice from other users on how to improve your playing. The advantage of the internet is that it’s a free platform and learning to play the guitar for free has never been easier. You just need to put the effort in.

On the other hand, a free lesson means that there’s nobody there to set your goals, encourage you when it’s not going well, or correct mistakes you make. It’s all down to you!

As we said, the guitar is a beautiful instrument that is massively enjoyable to play. It’s also true that it’s not an incredibly expensive instrument to learn and you can find plenty of resources on different guitar techniques.

Thanks to free associations, free taster lessons, the internet, and guitar shows, anyone can start learning how to play guitar today!

If strumming along to free guitar lessons online aren't working for you, you could always become a guitar player with the help of a private guitar teacher.

You can learn how to play the guitar with the help of one of the private tutors on Superprof. Whether you're interested in strumming patterns, music theory, a general guitar course, or something more specific like learning how to read tablature, playing certain licks, or learning more about parts of the guitar, you can plan this with your own tutor.

Tell your tutor what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, and how you prefer to learn. Your tutor will then work with you to put together lessons tailored to you. Since you're the only student in the class, all their attention will be on ensuring that you learn as effectively as possible.

Don't forget that there are also online guitar tutors who'll teach you over webcam. These tutors can teach you about playing guitar virtually. Online tutorials are often cheaper than face-to-face private tutorials as the tutor doesn't have any travel expenses.

Finally, if these options are still beyond your budget, there are tutors offering small group classes. Since the cost of the class is divided between several students, it's cheaper per person. Of course, this means that you don't get as much individual attention from your tutor as you would in the other types of tutorials.

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.