I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar. I have heard this on one too many occasions.
And with my usual reply: So why didn't you?, I’d brace myself for the barrage of reasons to explain their inaction.
So with that, here are the top 5 reasons that hold people back from learning to play the guitar, and more importantly, why they should NOT stop you.
#01 - I don’t have a guitar and I don’t want to spend too much $$ to buy one.
You do not need a Ferrari to learn to drive.
But having said that, owning a decent guitar (low action and good intonation) is important for learning. Using a poorly constructed one will give rise to extraneous pain causing one to give up prematurely.
Use the guide below to help you find a decent one:
A decent entry level classical/ acoustic guitar can be obtained at $100-200.
In fact, I've only owned 2 guitars so far: a Yamaha (classical, $120 in 1995) and a Asahi (classical, $70 in 2000).
Another venue for value buys would be Amazon.com. For $39.99 USD, you can get a decent guitar plus starter pack which includes an extra set of strings, guitar pick, pitch pipe and guitar bag.
You may even consider second hand guitars at Cash Converters. But do inspect thoroughly for defects (warped neck, bloated body, hairline cracks, loose tuning pegs).
#02 - My guitar hasn’t been touched for years/ decades. It’s probably very out of tune and I don’t know how to tune it.
Surprisingly this reason is more common than I thought. Trust me, it is not as difficult as you think it is.
In fact, with the slew of mobile tuner apps available, you can be tone deaf and still be able to tune the guitar.
Check out how to tune a guitar: http://chords-haven.blogspot.sg/2015/06/how-to-tune-guitar.html
For beginners, I'd recommend using an app to tune all 6 strings and then use the fifth fret method to check for relative tuning.
#03 - I don’t know music theory.
Truth be told. Many accomplished guitarists don’t. I didn’t. And I only learned it after I could play the guitar.
#04 - I have short and/ or weak fingers.
#05 - I can’t find anyone to teach me; I don’t want to spend $$ on lessons.
Nowadays, the Internet is a treasure trove of free instructional materials. The challenge comes in picking out the really good ones.
You may wish to use Learn to Play Contemporary Guitar that is designed as a standalone instructional package for aspiring guitarists to pick up the instrument without the need for expensive lessons.
Wish you a fruitful quest for the joy of guitar playing and music making.