What Should I Learn on Guitar?

Learning to play the guitar is an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. Yet, for those setting out on this musical journey, the question often arises: What should I learn on guitar? In this article, we’ll navigate the diverse world of guitar playing, helping you make informed choices that align with your musical aspirations.

Understanding Guitar Learning Pathways

The world of guitar playing is rich and diverse. It’s crucial to recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what you should learn on the guitar. Your path should be guided by your musical preferences, goals, and the styles of music that inspire you.

Foundations of Guitar Playing

Every guitarist’s journey begins with the basics. Learning about the anatomy of the guitar, understanding how to read chord charts, and practicing proper finger placement are fundamental steps to provide a strong musical foundation.

Chords: The Heart of Harmony

Chords are the building blocks of many songs. Whether you’re into county, rock, or jazz, mastering chords and chord progressions is essential. Starting with open chords and gradually progressing to barre chords will expand your musical repertoire.

Melody and Soloing

If the allure of guitar solos beckons you, focus on melody and soloing techniques. Delve into scales, phrasing, and techniques like bending and vibrato to craft captivating solos that express your musical personality.

Rhythm and Strumming

Rhythm guitar is the backbone of most music. Learning various strumming patterns and rhythmic techniques is crucial for playing in bands or accompanying yourself as a singer-songwriter.

Fingerstyle Mastery

For those who prefer a softer touch, fingerstyle playing is a rewarding path. It allows you to pluck individual strings with your fingers, creating intricate melodies and harmonies. Building finger dexterity and control is key here.

Music Theory: The Key to Understanding

Understanding music theory can open doors to creativity and improvisation. Learning scales, intervals, and musical concepts empowers you to navigate the fretboard with confidence.

Exploring Different Genres

Guitar offers a vast landscape of musical genres, from blues and classical to metal and funk. Explore different styles to find what resonates with you most, and develop your skills accordingly.

The Power of Technique

Technique is the secret sauce that separates good guitarists from great ones. Master techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and bends to infuse your playing with character and flair.

The Art of Practice

Effective practice is the key to improvement. Establish a practice routine that includes warm-ups, scales, and songs you love. Set achievable goals and track your progress to stay motivated.

Guitar Maintenance and Gear

Taking care of your instrument is vital for longevity. Learn to restring your guitar, adjust the action, and maintain your gear. Understanding the impact of different types of equipment on your sound is also valuable.

The Role of Inspiration

Draw inspiration from guitar legends who’ve shaped the instrument’s history. Listening to and learning from guitar icons can fuel your passion and drive for improvement.

Seeking Guidance and Learning Resources

Consider taking lessons or finding a mentor to receive personalized guidance. Additionally, there is a wealth of online tutorials, books, and courses that can complement your learning journey.


In conclusion, what you should learn on the guitar depends on your musical journey. There’s no one right answer, but by exploring the diverse facets of guitar playing, you can find your unique path. Remember, the joy of playing the guitar lies in the discovery of your own musical voice.


1. Is it necessary to learn music theory to play the guitar well?

  • While not mandatory, learning music theory can greatly enhance your understanding of the instrument and your ability to compose and improvise.

2. Can I switch between acoustic and electric guitar styles as I progress?

  • Absolutely, many guitarists explore both styles as they advance, allowing for versatility in their playing.

3. How long does it take to become proficient on the guitar?

  • The time required varies from person to person. With consistent practice and dedication, you can make significant progress within a few months to a year.

4. Should I take formal lessons or learn independently through online resources?

  • It depends on your learning style and goals. Formal lessons offer structure and guidance, while online resources provide flexibility. Many guitarists combine both approaches.

5. What are some tips for staying motivated during the learning process?

  • Set achievable goals, practice regularly, play music you enjoy, and seek inspiration from your favorite guitarists to stay motivated and inspired.
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