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Which Are the Best Tools for Learning to Play Guitar?

By Joseph, published on 22/10/2018 Blog > Music > Guitar > The Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with the Guitar

“Music is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in things, including, and particularly, the coordination between man and time.” – Igor Stravinsky

Video streaming accounts for half of all music listened to online and YouTube is the first place people go for it.

Nowadays, the internet is a large part of our everyday lives. Almost everyone uses their computer to listen to music but musicians are also using them more and more to learn to play guitar with for online guitar lessons and tutorials on how to play certain guitar songs, licks, solos, or riffs.

Teaching yourself to play guitar is easier with YouTube tutorials, gear reviews for buying guitars, and tablature for learning songs for free online. There are plenty of other tools you can use, too.

In this article, we’re going to have a look at some of the best online and digital tools for budding (and experienced) guitarists such as tuners and recording software for both PC and Mac as well as some nice and easy songs to get you started!

The Best Online Tuners

To get started playing guitar, there’s nothing better than getting your first acoustic guitar or electric guitar and amp. Let’s not forget the plectrum, too. You’ll have to pick one that suits the style of music you’re wanting to play and the type of guitarist you want to become.

How do you tune a guitar? You need to turn the tuning pegs in order to tune your guitar. (Source: Free-Photos)

There are also other guitar tools that you can find online, for free. When you first learn guitar, metronomes and guitar tuners are some of the first accessories to start with.

Tuning your guitar is one of the first things you’ll have to learn how to do when you start playing. You need to be able to do this on your own as you won’t necessarily always be with your teacher or private tutor when you want to play!

You won’t be able to play the guitar correctly if you haven’t spent time tuning it. You can find videos online for learning how to tune your guitar in standard tuning. After a while, this will become second nature to you.

One of the most important tools for tuning your guitar, especially for beginners, is the online tuner. For standard tuning (which is the most common tuning and the tuning you’ll see on chord diagrams), your guitar will be tuned as follows (from low to high):

  • Low E
  • A
  • D
  • G
  • B
  • High E

When you first get started, you should use one of these online tuners:

  • TicTone
  • Cameratabs
  • Tabs4acoustic
  • Fender

Some of these are diatonic tuners, which means that they use your computer’s microphone in order to tell you if a string is tuned. Others are chromatic tuners, which allow you to tune your guitar to other tunings, but won’t listen to your guitar to tell you if it’s in tune.

They just play the note and it’s up to you to ensure that your guitar strings are in tune with the note being played. This requires you to train your ear. Beginners should start with the diatonic tuners.

No tuner is really better than another so you should just pick the one that you like the most and the one that gets your guitar tuned the quickest!

Recording Guitar Songs with Your PC

To get better at improvising, write your own guitar music, or just for fun, you’ll need some equipment:

  • A guitar
  • A device for recording sound: smartphone, microphone, camera, sound card, preamp, etc.
  • A recording device: a computer programme, for example

How do you record guitar music? You’ll need to learn a lot of keyboard shortcuts if you want to use recording software effectively. (Source: Pixies)

You can record your guitar with a microphone or via your sound card. The sound card is built into your computer and you’ll plug your guitar into it via a jack. You’ll need to set up your computer to record the sound from your guitar.

There are a number of programmes available for PC. Each one is different, but they generally do the same things: record, edit, and mix. Some programmes are free while others you’ll have to pay for.

Here are some of the most popular programmes for recording, editing, and mixing music:

  • Audacity
  • Reaper
  • Nero Wave Editor
  • Traverso Daw
  • FL Studio 11
  • Sonar
  • Presonus Studio One

The keyboard commands for each programme are generally the same for each programme so once you’ve learnt how to use one, you can easily transfer from one to another. While you probably think that using the mouse is fine, you’ll be shocked at just how quickly you can actually get things done if you learn some of the most common keyboard shortcuts!

So are you ready to compose your own music?

Composing Guitar Music on Mac

While 81% of homes use Windows computers, there’s a growing number of people using iOS. To record sound from your guitar, the processes are similar.

How do you record music on Macs? With the right equipment, you can actually connect your guitar to your Mac. (Source: markusspiske)

Of course, you can use a mini recorder or make your own home studio (which can cost quite a bit). I recommend investing in a decent sound card to improve the quality of your recording (especially for electric and electro-acoustic guitars). You’ll also need to learn how to adjust the settings in order to get the most out of the programmes you’re using to record your instrument.

Make sure you’re using the right ports, the right bitrate, sampling frequency, quantization, and also adjust the latency and set up the monitors before you start recording.

You can use the programmes to listen to your creations, register several tracks at the same time (if you have several microphones), edit, add effects such as distortion, reverb, etc., mix, and share your compositions directly online.

Here are some of the most popular programmes for recording on Mac. Some of them can also be downloaded for Windows:

  • Garage Band
  • Cubase
  • Logic Pro X
  • Ableton
  • Reason
  • Pro Tools

You should be aware that only the first programme in this list is completely free. The others have free trial versions and the price varies. Let’s not forget that there are also a lot of different versions at different prices.

The most important thing, however, is to let your imagination run wild when making music for yourself or your band.

The Easiest Guitar Songs to Play

If you’re getting started with the guitar, you’ll probably want to start playing some tunes. However, a lot of the songs you like might be too difficult to get started with.

Which are the easiest songs to play on the guitar? There are plenty of great songs by famous musicians that are easy to play on guitar. (Source: Pexels)

That said, some of the best songs in the world are the easiest. The Beatles, for example, were famous for making simple songs great.

Who are your favourite bands?

It’s much easier to learn a song on the guitar if it’s a song you like. Learning a song should be fun. Of course, the song you learn needs to be appropriate to your level. Certain songs may have a riff, arpeggio, or barre chords that’ll cause you problems. If you start with basic guitar chords rather than guitar solos, you’ll find it much easier to learn guitar.

The best thing to do is to break the song down and learn each part at your own speed. Think about starting off slowly and speeding up. Get the hang of chord progressions and strumming patterns before you start trying to play epic rock songs like Lynard Skynard’s Sweet Home Alabama and the solo from Free Bird.

Here are some easy guitar songs get started with:

  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Otherside
  • The Cranberries – Zombie
  • Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
  • U2 – With or Without You
  • REM – The One I Love
  • Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
  • Bob Dylan – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
  • The Beatles – Love Me Do
  • Steelers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle with You
  • Alanis Morissette – Hand in My Pocket
  • John Denver – Leaving on a Jet Plane
  • Wings – Mull of Kintyre
  • Bob Marley – Redemption Song
  • CCR – Have You Ever Seen the Rain

There are plenty of others you could play, too!

Don’t hesitate to have a look online for easy guitar songs. You’ll find plenty of results from basic acoustic guitar songs, rhythm and blues guitar songs, tutorials on fingerpicking, and easy chords, such as power chords.

If you’re ready to start learning the guitar, why not look for a dedicated private tutor on Superprof?

There are plenty of tutors available around the country and many of them offer free tutoring for the first hour so that you can try their lessons!

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