Playing the guitar well has an impressive air to it. It’s easy to assume anyone who plays so expertly does so because they have a ‘knack’ for it. We might also assume that this person could be some kind of prodigy and acquired these skills quickly and with little effort.
But, as with many talents, there are a lot of myths surrounding learning the guitar. These range from how long it takes, what you need to learn and even the cost of learning.
Unless you are able to differentiate between myth and fact it could have a detrimental effect on your ability to play guitar or become a proficient player.
Here are 10 of the most common myths about playing the guitar:
- 1 You Should Start Playing By The Time You Reach A Certain Age
- 2 It Is Not Worth Learning Music Theory
- 3 Talented Guitarists Do Not Need Lessons
- 4 It Is A Waste Of Time Learning To Read Music
- 5 You Can Become A Good Guitarist By Just Learning For Free Online
- 6 Using A Metronome Is Key To Building Guitar Speed
- 7 Being Left Handed Puts You At A Disadvantage When Learning To Play Guitar
- 8 ‘There Are Not Enough Hours In The Day For Me Not To Learn To Play Guitar’
- 9 Buying A Guitar And Taking Lessons Will Cost Too Much
- 10 Always Use An Acoustic Guitar For Practice
1 You Should Start Playing By The Time You Reach A Certain Age
Throughout the history of music, there were, of course, those who learned to play an instrument by the time they were barely out of nappies, but these musical geniuses are few and far between. No matter what this myth tells you are capable of learning the guitar at any age. So put those “I’m too old” fears behind you and start learning!
2 It Is Not Worth Learning Music Theory
This is false, especially if you want to progress with your guitar playing ability.
3 Talented Guitarists Do Not Need Lessons
This is another nonsensical myth. Those who are serious about playing the guitar need lessons, either face-to-face with a tutor or online. There may be a top musician somewhere who never needed a lesson, but it is hardly likely to apply to you.
4 It Is A Waste Of Time Learning To Read Music
While you can learn to play the guitar without being able to read music this does not mean it is a waste of time. Admittedly you do not need to be able to read standard notation to write and produce your own songs, but some knowledge of being able to read music is always an advantage.
5 You Can Become A Good Guitarist By Just Learning For Free Online
This is one myth that really needs to be debunked. Admittedly there are some free resources online, but there are also a lot of rubbish ones. Even if you are lucky enough to find a good website when learning to play, you will still need the services of a tutor to become a really proficient guitarist.
6 Using A Metronome Is Key To Building Guitar Speed
This is as much a misunderstanding as a myth. Yes, a metronome will help you build guitar speed but first, you need to improve your two-hand synchronisation to be able to play faster. Once you have mastered that the metronome will play a key role in helping you build up guitar speed.
7 Being Left Handed Puts You At A Disadvantage When Learning To Play Guitar
Jimi Hendrix, rated by many as the greatest rock guitarist ever, was left-handed so that should go some way to debunking this particular myth. Even though the guitar is often seen as a right-handed instrument there is nothing to stop left-handed folk learning to play it. Using a left-handed guitar will make it all the easier for “lefties” to learn, particularly when in front of an instructor as he/she will be like a mirror image during the lesson.
8 ‘There Are Not Enough Hours In The Day For Me Not To Learn To Play Guitar’
This not ‘enough time to learn guitar’ is a big myth that prevents people from learning to play. Actually, more often than not it is just an excuse. If you are keen enough you can create the time to learn to play. If your schedule is truly hectic all you need is just 15 minutes a day for learning and practice.
9 Buying A Guitar And Taking Lessons Will Cost Too Much
This is one of those myths that is all too prevalent. Acquiring a guitar and getting lessons need not empty your wallet. To save cash on your guitar buy a second hand either from a music shop or online. Lessons can be reasonably priced or even free. Go online and check out the guitar instruction websites. Many of the video tutorials are free or you can take advantage of the limited-time free trial offers.
10 Always Use An Acoustic Guitar For Practice
To be fair this is not entirely a myth. In fact, it is a matter of choice. However, many people do learn and practice on an acoustic. However, that should not be written in stone particularly as the electric guitar with its lighter strings, lower action, and smaller neck can be easier to play.