Ask Tyler: “How do I teach myself to play guitar?”

What’s up, ladies and gentlemen? Mr. Tyler Preston here coming back at you with another lesson in this video. We’re going to be answering the question for the ask Tyler series, which is Tyler. How do I teach myself how to play guitar? So I’m just going to Riff on this for a minute for you for starters. Nobody teaches themselves how to play guitar. Okay, even if you learn on your own by playing along with YouTube videos or getting up music book from your local guitar store?

Or you just learn through experimentation and listening to records the way that the old blues guys used to do it. You’re not really teaching yourself guitar. Okay, you’re always learning guitar within a community of guitar players just by virtue of the fact that you listen to guitar music and you try to figure it out on your guitar. Alright, so you can’t teach yourself guitar really because you don’t live in a bubble. You’re not gonna you’re not gonna just sit in a room all by yourself.

Or the next I don’t know however many years and figure out a whole system for playing guitar that you invented for yourself. I suppose you could I suppose theoretically that’s possible. But let’s be real not going to do that. So nobody teaches themselves guitar, but I don’t think that’s really the essence of the question here. I think the I think the question is really being asked is like is it possible to learn guitar on my own and the answer to that is a resounding? Yes. There are tons of resources out there myself included, but also I love Justin Guitar.com

I think he does a great job with his videos. There are paid sources like guitar tricks.com or use ition. There’s all kinds of apps. There’s Rocksmith. There’s fret Zealot like a light up thing for your guitar keyboard. That was about a bazillion guitar books. There are lots of ways to learn guitar and none of them is really any better than any other one though. I would debate that some are some are more useful for some people than others and vice versa. You know, it’s going to depend on what

Your learning style is and how how your yeah, what’s your learning style is, you know my thought on how to teach yourself guitar, like can you teach yourself guitar like yes, it’s definitely possible. But I think the most valuable and important thing of learning guitar is to be in community and be in connection with players who are at the same level as you and who are ahead of you because that’s how you’re going to pick up those little tricks those little subtle.

Things that add up to a rich musical understanding. Okay. I think it’s all well and good to play along with apps like you just use ition and Rocksmith and whatever other apps there are out there, but I think if you treat guitar playing like a video game, then you’re never going to develop that robust intuitive understanding that comes from playing guitar with other guitar players around, you know, I studied Guitar by learning first.

Just a few basic open chords, and then I learned from my mom and dad’s old guitars. They both had two guitars or they each had a guitar. There were two guitars behind my couch. When was a six string of one with a 12-string both of their guitar cases were loaded with old copies of chords for like old Beatles songs and old Simon and Garfunkel sauce and stuff. And so I got my mom to show me a couple chord shapes and then I was Off to the Races. I started working my way through those songs practice.

Strumming a little bit and kind of figuring it out as I went along by listening to the records playing along with the music after a few months of that I transition to starting to look at YouTube YouTube was in its infancy at that time. And so the number of lessons out there was much lower than it is. Now. There are still a ton of information there and just from marinating in that looking up songs that I wanted to learn learning chords as I needed to going to YouTube for some advice here and there I was able to patch

Together a pretty decent guitar education and now you know I teach so obviously I did okay along the way but I’ll tell you the number one thing that really influenced my learning and the number one thing I would push you to do. If you are thinking I want to teach myself how to learn guitar is go out there with the goal of I want to teach myself to learn guitar and I’m going to put myself in community with other guitar players who I can learn from and pick up tricks from okay because you’re not going to figure it all out on your own. You’re just not

You’re going to learn all the great tricks for picking them up from different different Folks at Jam sessions Open Mic nights and stuff like that. And that was the last thing that I wanted to cover with you is that though I started with just learning songs from chord sheets and a little bit of YouTube kind of glum together in a not very organized musical education the real breakthrough for me as a musician came from going to blues jams when I was about 19 20 21, I used to go to this place called the Alaskan Bar.

Our and on Thursday night. They have an open mic. They been running that open mic for 30 years and there’s always a couple of guys there who are ready to jam on blues and also some folk and country music and getting up on stage and starting to learn how to jam with those guys is what taught me how to improvise how to use pentatonic scales effectively how to use Nashville numbers and how to be a musician among musicians because it’s very different to go be with a group of musicians whether you’re just in a jam Circle at somebody’s house or you’re on stage.

And learn how to speak musically through your instrument with them versus just practice in your room alone on top of that. You’ve got the added benefit of being in conversation with them after the state after the show or after the jam you like man Greg. That was a really cool chord that you did. Can you show me and Gregg’s like? Yeah sure that was you know, an E7 sharp 9 Jimi Hendrix chord, right? My man’s got some sauce. So shows you the shake. Well now you start.

Playing around with that shape at home and incorporating it into your own playing and that’s how you start to really develop that robust intuitive knowledge. Okay, so can you teach yourself guitar sort of should you teach yourself guitar definitely get out there learn as much as you can absorb everything that you can from everybody that you can find most valuable way to learn guitar learn a little bit on your own and then get out there and hang out with other guitar players and let

R knowledge just soak into you be a sponge draw it all in and it’ll start coming out through your instrument. So that’s my chat on how to teach yourself guitar, or can you teach yourself guitar love answering your questions guys. If you got more questions for the ask Tyler series, please hit me up at. Mr. Tyler Preston on Twitter, or you can email me Tyler at Tyler Preston.com. As always be sure to subscribe to the video, please join my newsletter. It’s available on my website Tyler Preston.com.

Calm and until next time my friendly friends. Good luck. Have fun and happy strumming.

Tyler Preston

Tyler Preston

National touring singer-songwriter & music teacher. I'm a country boy at heart, but I paid my dues singin' the blues. Find me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.