Getting Started with Acoustic Guitar

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When I first decided to learn to play guitar I had no idea of the things I actually needed to get started. So I decided to put everything you need in one convenient place. Fortunately, this list is rather short!


Once you have these things you’ll be good to go!

  1. A BOOK - THE HAL LEONARD ACOUSTIC TAB METHOD As important as everything on this list is, this is probably #1. Without a book you can’t really get started in the first place! The curriculum I recommend for beginner and intermediate players is the Hal Leonard Acoustic Guitar Tab Method. It is an excellent book for anyone who needs to gain an understanding of how to read tablature as well as playing chords and scales. It will even take you to the point of playing classics like, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn“, “Dust In The Wind“, and “Take Me Home, Country Roads”.

  2. GUITAR PICKS We will begin using these right during our first lesson. As we move forward, it is vital for you to become comfortable using a pick and then over time (in book 2) we will begin with finger picking and other techniques where a pick is less essential.

  3. GUITAR STRAP A guitar strap is necessary to make playing easier no matter whether you are sitting or standing. They help provide support which will help you control your guitar and it provides the added bonus of helping you improve your posture.

  4. GUITAR TUNER If your guitar is not in tune, nothing is going to sound right. As such, it is vital that you have a proper tuner! These Snark guitar tuners are especially nice because they use the vibrations in the guitar neck to determine which note you are playing instead of using a microphone. This makes them much more accurate than your phone or older style tuners.

  5. A CAPO (OPTIONAL) A capo is a clip that goes around the neck of your guitar that allows you to easily change keys without the need to change what chord shapes you are playing. This will become a very useful piece of kit for playing singer-songwriter type music.

  6. NEW STRINGS Many beginning guitarists are not aware that the strings on their guitar should be changed every few months (if not every few weeks). Yet, this is an essential maintenance practice to make sure your guitar is easy to play and sounds great. If you are brand new to playing I would recommend the Custom Light strings for a full size guitar and Extra Light for a 3/4 travel size guitar.

Congrats! Now that you have gathered all of this basic equipment you are ready to begin learning to play guitar!


I will see you at your first lesson!


Written by Donnie Emmack

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