Top 10 Ways to Learn Guitar Music Chords
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
September 21, 2011
Filed Under Music
Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
When it comes to learning guitar music chords there are some good ways, and some, well, shall we say off the beaten path ways.
But hey, different strokes for different folks, right?
So here are some common – and some not so common – ways to learn how to play guitar music chords. Remember, this is a top 10 list, so the best ways are going to be closer to number one.
10. Train your ear
Listen to your favorite songs over and over again and try to make the same sounds. Believe it or not, a few people have learned this way. But it requires a really good ear and at least some basic knowledge of music, so it’s probably not the best way to go. You’re chances of learning to play by ear are better if you work on training your ear to hear and understand music.
9. Use a synthesizer
Get a synthesizer and use the preset guitar chords. Now before you get all upset, remember, this article is called the top ways to learn music guitar chords. It says nothing about actually using a guitar! Yeah, I know, this one is cheating. But it was too much fun to leave out.
Watch other guitar players and try to remember what they did. Unless you have a really amazing memory, this is probably not your best choice either. You might actually remember one or two of the guitar music chords, but odds are you won’t know when to use them. And just be sure they’re playing an actual guitar – air guitar won’t help of course – and play along on your own guitar. So keep on reading …
7. Get a book
Learning to play music from a book might not sound like a good idea, but with guitar music chords, it actually works pretty well. There are entire books that just show you how to position your fingers for the guitar chords. Try to find one with big pictures, though. You don’t want to be looking at a tiny illustration while you’re trying to figure out whether your finger goes on the third or fourth string.
6. Learn to read tabs
Tabs are a lifesaver for people who want to learn to play songs but can’t (or don’t want to) read music. Once you learn some basic guitar chords, you can find guitar tabs for almost any song out there, from rock to jazz to country. And if you come across tabs with a chord you don’t know, you can always look it up and add it to your repertoire.
5. Use YouTube
Watch YouTube videos that teach guitar chords. One of the great things about YouTube, besides all the music, is the number of how-to videos people have uploaded. Do a search on guitar chords, and you’re sure to find hundreds of them. Some are excellent; some are two steps below awful. But they’re free and easy to get to, so it’s worth sorting through to find the good ones, like this:
4. High school classes
Take guitar classes at school. Before the budget crunches, lots of high schools and middle schools used to offer guitar classes as a part of their music program. If your school still has them, consider yourself blessed and sign up. The classes are free, and sometimes they even have guitars you can borrow while you’re learning.
3. Community center classes
Take a class at a community school or rec center. These classes are usually pretty cheap, and will probably be a lot smaller than the classes at school. Plus there are usually different classes for beginners and advanced students, so you can move up to the next level as your guitar playing improves.
2. Take private lessons
This is the most expensive option, but for some people it’s the best way to learn, at least at the start. A private music teacher will have the time to help you with your technique as well as teach you the chords. If you can’t afford a whole series of private lessons, consider taking a couple to start, and then one or two whenever it feels like you’ve hit a plateau in your skills.
1. Practice, practice, practice
In the end, it all comes down to this one because no matter how many classes you go to or guitar videos and DVDs you watch, the only way to really learn guitar music chords is to practice. A lot. Get friends who play other instruments like drums or saxophone or keyboards to play with you. Just practice.
And just like the hokey pokey, that’s what it’s all about.