Guitar instruction isn’t only about playing the instrument. Even absolute beginners should also learn a bit about the general history and culture of this famous 6-string machine.
So we’ve gathered some fundamental information for you here that you should know before learning to read music or play the guitar.
The origins of the guitar go back over 3000 years before our time.
It was in Persia that this instrument was described for the first time, even though it looked more like a lute than the traditional guitar we’re used to seeing today. There was no electric or blues guitar back then!
In the 10th century, the guitar was exported to Spain, where it witnessed various transformations over the course of the following centuries: classic guitar, folk guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar. Through the years, the technology behind learning guitar has become more and more advanced.
The guitar is a member of the plucked string instrument category, as it’s possible to play several sounds at the same time. This is all part of an introductory music theory lesson!
The origins of the guitar. Photo from The Guitar and Mandolin: biographies of celebrated players and composers for these instruments (1914) courtesy of Visual Hunt.
From the time it appeared, the guitar was considered to be a popular instrument that unified the population through widely-known songs, transcending someone’s place of birth and social class.
With its ability to adapt to all musical genres, the guitar can accompany several instruments as well as get played solo in a range of styles such as rock, blues, jazz, country, classical or reggae.
Each musical style possesses its own codes and characteristics, which is why playing rock, blues or funk is so recognizable, regardless of whether or not one has an ear for music.
The main musical genres for the guitar are: rock’n’roll, rock, blues, jazz, heavy metal, funk, pop, reggae and country.
Enjoy several music styles!
To learn to play all of these styles, you will have to work and develop your fingers and perfect your calluses: this is the efficient way to gain speed, flexibility, coordination and strength.
Learn the fundamentals that correspond to each of these musical styles: the main rhythms, how to strum strings with the right hand, different techniques for the left hand, and the common chords. And of course memorize and master the various parts of the guitar, such as the fretboard and pickups, first! Watching guitar videos will be of huge help.
Beginner guitar players should also pick up a tuner, capo and metronome. Now get practicing on those basic chords and riffs, and learn a song!
There are musicians and songwriters who have literally transformed the landscape of guitars and music, and who are icons of specific musical styles.
Listing the 10 best guitarists on the planet is no easy task, as it varies according to our individual tastes in music and favorite musical genre.
Still, the world of guitarists does agree on a handful of players to cite as global references both in terms of technical skills and melodic talents.
The biggest guitarists on the planet are:
Chuck Berry: A rock’n’roll pioneer. Photo courtesy of Visual Hunt
Hasty criticisms and abrupt judgments give learning to play guitar an even more difficult reputation. We’re sure you’ve often read and heard about these completely harebrained ideas.
Here are 5 of the most commonly false ideas people have about the guitar:
When you know how to play guitar, several career options are available to you.
Opportunities for good guitarists
As you will find, careers for guitarists are numerous and varied.
Still not convinced to buy a guitar?
Playing the guitar also has a number of often-overlooked benefits.
Discover without delay the scientific reasons for playing the guitar!
Guitar playing is an excellent medicine against ennui and depression. It brings numerous physical and mental benefits.
So make your neurons happy by tuning your Fender Stratocaster or strumming the strings of your Gibson.
Quick! Take your dose of serotonin, endorphin or oxytocin by playing a chord progression.
Are you almost ready to dive into a guitar playing adventure?
And here’s a bonus: read a bit further to discuver the final advantage of learning to play guitar…
To help you, we’re revealing 10 songs that every guitarist must play to a woman: