Which Guitar Genre Should I Learn First? The Top Styles For Beginners

Which Guitar Genre Should I Learn First? The Top Styles For Beginners

Picture this: You’re sitting in your living room, a shiny new guitar cradled in your arms. The strings feel cool under your fingertips and the instrument’s body resonates with potential. But where do you start? What genre of music should you tackle first? It’s a common question for beginners and one that can shape your entire guitar journey.

Guitar music spans an incredible range of genres, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques. From the soulful bends of blues to the intricate fingerpicking of classical, the driving rhythms of rock to the smooth chords of jazz – there’s a world of sound at your fingertips. Choosing which genre to learn first isn’t just about personal preference; it can also influence how quickly you progress and how much you enjoy playing.

So, let’s take a closer look at some popular guitar genres perfect for beginners. We’ll discuss their key features, difficulty levels, and why they might be a good fit for someone starting out on their musical journey. By understanding what each genre has to offer, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision about where to begin.

What are the Different Genres of Guitar Music?

What are the Different Genres of Guitar Music?

When you’re starting out on your guitar journey, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is which genre of music to focus on. There’s a world of styles out there, each with its own unique techniques and characteristics. Let’s take a closer look at some popular genres that beginners often gravitate towards.

Rock Guitar

Rock guitar is arguably one of the most popular genres for beginners. It’s characterized by its heavy use of power chords, catchy riffs, and energetic solos. The beauty of rock guitar lies in its simplicity – many iconic rock songs are built around just three or four basic chords! This makes it an excellent choice for beginners who want to start playing recognizable tunes right away.

If you’re a fan of bands like AC/DC or Guns N’ Roses, then learning rock guitar can be incredibly rewarding. For instance, AC/DC’s “Back in Black” is known for its powerful riff that even novice players can learn quickly. Similarly, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses has an unforgettable opening riff that’s perfect for practicing string skipping and bends.

Blues Guitar

Next up is blues guitar – a genre steeped in history and emotion. The blues originated from African American communities in the Deep South and has since become a cornerstone of modern music. Its influence can be heard across countless other genres including rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, country and more.

Blues guitar typically involves lots of bending notes and sliding between frets to create that distinctive ‘wailing’ sound associated with the genre. One reason why it’s great for beginners is because many blues songs follow a standard 12-bar structure – once you’ve got this down, you’ll be able to jam along with countless blues tracks!

A prime example would be B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone.” This song is a classic 12-bar blues in minor key and provides an excellent introduction to the genre. The slow tempo allows beginners to focus on their technique, while the expressive bends and vibrato offer plenty of room for emotional expression.

Classical Guitar

Classical guitar might seem intimidating at first due to its complex fingerpicking patterns and intricate melodies. However, it’s actually a fantastic genre for beginners to learn. Not only does it teach you precision and control over your instrument, but it also exposes you to some of the most beautiful music ever written.

Classical guitar pieces often involve playing multiple parts simultaneously – melody, harmony, and bass – which can be challenging but incredibly rewarding once mastered. A great piece for beginners is “Romance Anonimo,” an anonymous Spanish composition that’s been a staple in classical guitar repertoire for decades.

Jazz Guitar

Finally, we have jazz guitar – a genre known for its improvisation and complex chord structures. Jazz can be quite challenging due to its heavy reliance on theory knowledge and technical proficiency. However, don’t let this deter you! Learning jazz as a beginner can greatly enhance your understanding of harmony and rhythm.

Jazz standards like “Autumn Leaves” or “Blue Bossa” are perfect starting points for beginners interested in this genre. These songs introduce common jazz chord progressions (like ii-V-I) while offering ample opportunities for improvisation.

What Factors Should Influence Your Choice of Genre?

What Factors Should Influence Your Choice of Genre?

When it comes to choosing a guitar genre, there are several factors that you should consider:

  • Personal musical taste: After all, you’re more likely to stick with learning the guitar if you enjoy the music you’re playing.
  • Level of difficulty: Some genres like jazz and classical can be quite complex whereas others like pop or folk might have simpler chord progressions.
  • Long-term goals: If your dream is shredding solos at rock concerts then start with rock. If you prefer soothing melodies by a campfire, then folk or country music might be more suitable.

Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here – what works best for one person may not work as well for another. The key is to find something that motivates and inspires you because this will keep you practicing even when things get tough.

Now let’s move on to discuss why many experts recommend rock as an ideal starting point for beginners.

Why is Rock Recommended for Beginners?

Why is Rock Recommended for Beginners?

Rock music, with its catchy riffs and power chords, is often recommended as the ideal starting point for beginners learning to play the guitar. Why? Well, rock music is known for its simplicity and repetition. It’s not uncommon to find a rock song that only uses three or four basic chords throughout the entire piece. This makes it easier for beginners to pick up their first songs without getting overwhelmed by complex chord progressions.

The beauty of starting with rock lies in its accessibility. Many popular rock songs use simple open chords like A, E, D and G which are easy to learn and play. These are foundational chords that every guitarist should know, making them perfect for beginners. The strumming patterns in rock music are also generally straightforward, allowing new players to focus on mastering rhythm and timing without worrying too much about intricate fingerpicking techniques.

Another major advantage of starting with rock is the sheer abundance of beginner-friendly material available. From classic bands like AC/DC and The Rolling Stones to more modern acts like Green Day and Blink-182, there’s no shortage of easy-to-play rock songs out there.

Finally, let’s not forget about the motivational aspect: nothing beats the thrill of being able to play along with your favorite rock anthems! It’s an amazing feeling when you realize you can actually play “Smoke on the Water” or “Seven Nation Army” all by yourself – these little victories can be incredibly motivating for beginners who might otherwise get discouraged easily.

So if you’re just starting out on your guitar journey, why not give rock a shot? You might be surprised at how quickly you progress! And remember – once you’ve got those basic skills down, you can apply them to any other genre you want. Speaking of which, have you ever wondered how learning scales can help you master a particular genre? We’ll be covering that in our next discussion.

How Can Learning Scales Help You Master a Genre?

How Can Learning Scales Help You Master a Genre?

Have you ever wondered why some guitarists seem to play effortlessly, hitting all the right notes without even thinking? The secret lies in understanding and mastering scales. In the world of guitar playing, scales are like your roadmap. They guide you on which notes to hit and when, giving your music structure and coherence.

Scales form the backbone of most musical genres, especially when it comes to lead guitar techniques in rock music. According to a study by Fender, 72% of new guitarists say they picked up the instrument to gain proficiency in rock music. This genre is heavily reliant on scales for its iconic solos and riffs.

But what exactly are scales? Think of them as sequences of notes that create a specific sound or mood. For instance, if you’ve ever listened to blues music and noticed its distinctive melancholic sound, that’s largely due to the use of the blues scale. Similarly, if you’re into heavy metal or hard rock, chances are you’ve heard plenty of solos based on the minor pentatonic scale.

Mastering scales not only helps you understand how songs are structured but also gives you tools to improvise and create your own melodies. It’s like learning a new language – once you know the grammar (scales), you can start forming sentences (melodies) with ease.

The beauty about learning scales is that it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your playing style. No matter what genre interests you – be it jazz with its complex improvisations or country with its catchy licks – knowing your scales will give you a solid foundation from which to build upon.

Now that we’ve established how important scales are in mastering any genre on guitar let’s turn our attention towards another crucial aspect: equipment selection based on your chosen genre.

What Equipment Do You Need Based on Your Chosen Genre?

What Equipment Do You Need Based on Your Chosen Genre?

Choosing the right equipment is a vital first step in your guitar learning journey. The genre you’re interested in will significantly influence the type of guitar you should pick up.

Electric Guitars

Electric guitars are versatile instruments that can cater to a wide range of genres. If you’re into rock, metal, or jazz, an electric guitar might be your best bet. These genres often require amplified sound and effects that only an electric guitar can provide.

Rock music, for instance, is characterized by its heavy use of distortion and overdrive effects – something that’s easily achievable with an electric guitar. Metal music also relies heavily on these effects but takes it a step further with faster playing techniques like palm muting and tremolo picking which are more comfortable to execute on an electric guitar due to its thinner strings and lower action.

Jazz music, on the other hand, requires a clean and warm tone which can be achieved using the neck pickup of an electric guitar combined with some light overdrive or reverb effect.

Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic guitars offer a different experience altogether. They’re perfect for genres like folk, country, bluegrass where the focus is more on melody and chord progressions rather than effects.

Folk music often features intricate fingerpicking patterns which resonate beautifully on acoustic guitars due to their rich natural tones. Country music also leans towards acoustic guitars as they lend themselves well to strumming chords – a common technique used in this genre.

Bluegrass players typically opt for flat-top steel-string acoustic guitars because they produce loud and bright sounds ideal for fast-paced bluegrass tunes.

Choosing the right equipment based on your chosen genre is crucial. But remember, while the type of guitar plays a significant role, it’s ultimately your skill and dedication that will make you shine as a guitarist. And guess what? Online guitar courses like those offered by Breakthrough Guitar can help you master these skills regardless of your chosen genre.

How Can Online Guitar Courses Help You Learn Your Chosen Genre?

How Can Online Guitar Courses Help You Learn Your Chosen Genre?

Online guitar courses are a revolutionary way to learn your chosen genre. They offer the convenience of learning from home, at your own pace, and with personalized instruction. Unlike traditional in-person lessons, online courses provide an interactive platform where you can rewind, pause or fast forward through lessons as needed. This flexibility makes it easier for students to absorb information and practice skills.

The beauty of online guitar courses is that they cater to all levels of experience – from beginners who have never held a guitar before, to seasoned players looking to refine their technique or explore new genres. For instance, Breakthrough Guitar’s course taught by Jonathan Gilmour offers a unique method focusing on the freedom key system. This approach allows students to play freely without overthinking, making it an excellent choice for those interested in genres that require improvisation such as jazz or blues.

Another advantage of online guitar courses is the wealth of resources available at your fingertips. Many platforms include supplementary materials like sheet music, backing tracks and video tutorials that enhance the learning experience.

Finally, one cannot overlook the community aspect of these platforms. Many online guitar course websites feature forums where students can interact with each other and share their progress or challenges. These communities foster a sense of camaraderie among learners which can be highly motivating.

Overview Of Online Guitar Courses

Online guitar courses are structured programs designed specifically for digital learning environments. They typically consist of pre-recorded video lessons accompanied by written materials and interactive elements like quizzes or exercises.

Breakthrough Guitar’s course stands out due its unique teaching methodology developed by Jonathan Boyd himself – The Freedom Key System – which is designed to help students play without overthinking. This approach has proven successful for many students, with some progressing faster than they ever thought possible.

Online guitar courses often offer a range of genres to choose from, allowing you to specialize in your preferred style. Whether you’re interested in rock, blues, jazz or classical music, there’s likely a course tailored specifically for that genre.

How They Can Provide Structured Lessons Tailored To Your Chosen Genre

One key benefit of online guitar courses is their ability to provide structured lessons tailored specifically to your chosen genre. Traditional face-to-face lessons can sometimes be generic and lack focus on specific styles or techniques.

With an online course like Breakthrough Guitar’s, each lesson is carefully crafted with a particular genre in mind. For example, if you’re learning blues guitar, lessons will cover essential techniques such as bending notes and playing pentatonic scales.

Furthermore, these courses are designed with progression in mind – starting with basic concepts and gradually introducing more complex techniques as you improve. This structure ensures that students don’t feel overwhelmed and can see tangible progress after each lesson.

GenreDescriptionExample Songs
RockCharacterized by heavy use of power chords and catchy riffs.“Back in Black” by AC/DC”Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses
BluesKnown for its emotional depth and use of bending notes and sliding between frets.“The Thrill Is Gone” by B.B King
ClassicalFamous for complex fingerpicking patterns and intricate melodies.“Romance Anonimo”
JazzA genre known for improvisation and complex chord structures.“Autumn Leaves””Blue Bossa”

In conclusion, online guitar courses offer numerous benefits for aspiring musicians looking to learn their chosen genre. With flexible scheduling options, personalized instruction methods and access to a wealth of resources – all from the comfort of home – it’s no wonder why so many people are choosing this method over traditional face-to-face lessons. Learn more about choosing your first guitar style here. Here is another resource on choosing a guitar style to try out.

For further discussions on what genre you should play to become better at playing the guitar, check out this Reddit thread.

If you’re interested in knowing which music genres are easiest or hardest to play on the guitar, this article might be helpful.

For a detailed guide on different guitar playing styles for learners, visit this page.


As we wrap up this discussion, it’s clear that choosing a suitable guitar genre is an essential first step for any beginner. It sets the tone for your learning journey and can greatly influence how quickly you progress and how much you enjoy playing. At Breakthrough Guitar, we understand this and have tailored our courses to cater to all genres, ensuring you get the best possible start on your guitar learning journey.

We invite you to join us at Breakthrough Guitar where our unique method of teaching focuses on the freedom key system. This allows students like yourself to play freely without overthinking. Our lessons are designed in such a way that they’re neither confusing nor overwhelming but rather engaging and easy to follow. We believe in making guitar learning fun and achievable for everyone, regardless of age or experience level.

Key Takeaway: Choosing a suitable guitar genre as a beginner is crucial as it influences your progression rate and enjoyment level while playing. Breakthrough Guitar offers tailored courses catering to all genres with an emphasis on making learning enjoyable and manageable for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions about Which guitar genre should I learndf

What are the main guitar genres?

The main guitar genres include rock, blues, jazz, classical, country, folk, metal, and funk. Each genre has its own techniques, styles, and sounds.

What genre is easiest to start with?

Acoustic folk and acoustic blues are generally considered the easiest guitar genres to start with. They rely less on advanced techniques and allow you to focus on basic chords, strumming patterns, and melodies.

What genre is most popular?

Rock guitar is currently the most popular genre worldwide. It incorporates elements of blues, country, and other styles. Rock spans many subgenres like classic rock, hard rock, alternative rock, and more.

What genre is most technical?

Jazz guitar and classical guitar are often considered the most technically demanding genres. Jazz requires improvisation skills and a mastery of scales, chords, and theory. Classical guitar features complex fingerpicking patterns and repertoire.

What genre is best for songwriting?

Folk, blues, country, and singer-songwriter styles are excellent genres for learning songwriting on guitar. They emphasize vocal melodies and relatable lyrics along with basic chord progressions and strumming.

What genre is best for fingerstyle playing?

Classical and folk are ideal genres for developing fingerstyle guitar skills. Classical guitar features solo instrumental works played with the fingers rather than a pick. Folk and blues also incorporate fingerpicking patterns into their styles.

What genre is best for learning scales and modes?

Jazz guitar really delves into scales, modes, and improvisation. Learning jazz gives you a solid foundation in the major scale, pentatonic scale, blues scale, and other important scale patterns used across many genres.

What genre is best for learning guitar solos?

Rock, blues, and metal are prime genres for learning lead guitar and solos. They make prominent use of single-note melodies, bends, vibrato, and other techniques showcased in guitar solos and leads.

What genre is best for beginners interested in electric guitar?

Rock, blues, and classic rock styles are very beginner-friendly for electric guitar. They rely more on basic open chords and pentatonic licks that translate well to electric guitar. Metal requires more advanced techniques that are better worked up to.

What genre should I learn if I want to play in a band?

The genres most conducive to playing in bands include rock, blues, country, folk, and classic rock. They have standard band instrumentation of guitars, bass, drums, and sometimes keyboards or other instruments. These styles also have the simplest parts for beginning band players to learn.

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