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How to Start Learning Guitar

Question by Donna

Hello and thank you for being available to answer questions about things of which I know nothing.

My son is interested in playing the guitar, but I don't know the first thing about purchasing a guitar and about where to start in support of his interest in playing.

My first inclination is to buy a guitar and start lessons. However, I don't know what kind of guitar to buy, what kind of quality to buy for a first-time/beginner.

Can you help me help him get started? Thank you so much!


Hi Donna. As your son has shown interest in guitar, perhaps you could ask him what has inspired him to learn?

This might help answer your question of what type of guitar to get him.

If he's into heavy metal, for example, he'll want an electric guitar.

If he's more into the whole singer/songwriter thing, an acoustic guitar would be more suitable.

Fortunately, the quality of cheap guitars today is excellent, so you don't need to spend a lot to get him something that will last a lifetime if necessary.

See the linked guide above (another site I set up) for a round up of the best inexpensive guitars - good for beginners or advanced players.

If your son is under the age of 10, it might be worth considering a 3/4 size guitar, such as the Luna Muse Safari (see this page).

The next step is to figure out what kind of lessons are appropriate for your son to start learning guitar, based on your/his finances, his time and how serious he is.

My article What is the Best Way to Learn Guitar? should help you weight up the pros and cons of the different types of lessons.

If you're willing to pay for private tuition, I would always recommend face-to-face learning over online and book learning.

However, if he's the kind of person who picks things up quickly, has good practical skills, good hand-eye co-ordination, good concentration span etc. he might find a mixture of online and self teaching the best (and most economical) way to go.

Remember, you can always mix private with online lessons. For example, a one hour private lesson per week and an hour a night going through some online lessons.

The tutor should help with providing materials, keeping the student focused and setting goals for the following week.

I've had many tutors recommend my lessons to their students (sorry, just blowing my own trumpet there!).

I hope this helps with getting him started. Let me know if you need further guidance using the comments form below.

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