“Sometimes the nicest thing to do with a guitar is just look at it.” - Thom Yorke
Science has been shown to improve the productiveness of workers. Additionally, many people enjoy music and the guitar is one of the most popular instruments for people to learn.
So how do you do it?
Learning to play the guitar is easier than you might think, you just need to find beginner guitar resources, learn about finger placement on the strings, how to tune a guitar, learn some guitar chords, and start strumming.
Whether you choose online guitar lessons, free tabs or sheet music, music festival, or different guitar techniques, you can learn the guitar for pennies!
In this series of articles, we're going to look at how you can learn the guitar on a budget, find sheet music for free, get free lessons, learn more about guitars at guitar festivals and shows, and improve your guitar playing by studying music at A Level.
If you're ready to start learning guitar for less, just follow our guide!
How Can You Find Guitar Sheet Music?
Learning how to play the guitar without spending money is becoming easier and easier. Lots of musicians start by teaching themselves. You don’t necessarily need to attend group music lessons if you want to become a seasoned guitarist.
However, you need to learn the basics of music theory in order to be able to get the most out of learning the guitar for free. You can choose either sheet music or tablature! Tabs are more and more common and can easily be found on the internet regardless of the artist you want to play.
That said, more and more sheet music is being made available online. To work out how to read sheet music, there are a few things you can do. You can start by going online. You can find tabs put online by another guitar player to help people learn to play the guitar. Whether you view them online or download them, you can easily find the best versions.
You should be aware that there are always multiple versions of tabs for the same song. There are also simplified versions you can get. You need to choose the version that works for you.
Word of mouth is also a useful way to find the best sheet music or tabs. Ask any of your friends who know how to play the guitar. It’s highly likely that they’ll have some sheet music know where to find them. By borrowing them, you can save a penny or two.
Going to the library is another way to get your hands on printed music. A lot of them usually have a music section with books filled with sheet music. Whether you’re looking for rock, blues, classical, jazz, etc., you’ll be bound to find something. You just have to get a library card and borrow the sheet music you want to learn.
Sheet music will help your guitar playing as long as you know how to read it. To learn more about music theory (notes, tempo, rhythm, etc.), don’t hesitate to borrow a book on music theory from the library, too.
The sooner you get started, the better since these things take time!
Music at GCSE or A Level
Learning the guitar for free doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to learn how to play the guitar on your own. You can also learn how to play the guitar at school by studying music at school.
That said, you have to learn how to play guitar to some extent before you take music at GCSE. In fact, each student studying music at GCSE or A Level will need to know the basics of their instrument including basic chords, barre chords, arpeggios, strumming patterns, fingerstyle, picking etc.
Studying music is a good way to deepen your understanding of the subject and learn more about music in general. It’s not recommended if you’ve never played the guitar in your life or if you want to teach yourself how to play it.
Studying music at GCSE and A Level will help you to improve your playing as you’ll have a better knowledge of music. Of course, you can’t be shy as there are exams and performances you’ll have to do. You’ll have to compose your own music as well as perform it. You’ll also need to perform pieces written by other artists.
If you study music at A Level, you can even play with your band as part of your performance pieces.
How to Get Free Guitar Lessons
There are other ways to enjoy guitar lessons without having to spend a fortune. GCSE and A Level music won’t necessarily teach you about guitar technique and playing the guitar. This is for learning more about the music itself, which can improve your playing.
To learn about where to place your fingers on the frets, you’ll need to start looking for guitar lessons.
So where can you find these for free?
There are music associations, groups, or societies. Look for local societies which may be open to members from any background. In many cases, membership is quite cheap and certainly much cheaper than attending a music school or conservatoire. They may even offer free guitar lessons there. This is great for families on a budget. Have a look around the town and find a musical association.
The large majority of music lessons offer a taster session at the start of the year. The first class or two can be used to see if this style of teaching is right for you or whether or not the classes are what you expected. Of course, you won’t master the guitar in these lessons, but you will get an introduction to the guitar.
Perhaps you might decide that it’s worthwhile investing some money in a few hours of tuition to help you learn the basics. You might even decide that you want to teach yourself. You can learn the guitar for free thanks to the internet. There are plenty of video websites that have guitar tutorials available for free.
You just need to put the name of the song and “tutorial” into the search bar. You’ll find videos with guitarists explaining, step by step, how to play a certain song.
Now it's over to you!
The Best Festivals for Discovering the Guitar
Each summer, there are thousands of festivals around the country. This is a great opportunity for families and friends to get together and share their love of music.
There are more and more great festivals popping up everywhere. They all offer an opportunity to either discover new artists or admire those that you already know. For budding guitarists, this is a great opportunity to watch your favourite musicians playing. Listening to songs may also give you ideas about your own music and ways to play the guitar.
Going to music festivals will also motivate you to learn more about the guitar. By watching the great musicians play, you’ll feel inspired to put a bit more effort in. Motivation is really important when it comes to learning a musical instrument like the guitar.
You should also know that there are also festivals dedicated solely to the guitar. There are luthier stands, musicians, and plenty of different guitars (acoustic guitars, electric guitars, etc.)
Here are some festivals for discovering the guitar:
- London Guitar Festival
- London International Guitar Show
- Leeds/Bradford Guitar Show
- The UK Guitar Show, London
- The North East Guitar Show
- The North West Guitar Show
- The Merseyside Gitar Show
Learning and playing the guitar is an incredibly rewarding endeavour. We highly recommend you pick up an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar attend a guitar lesson or guitar course for beginners with an amazing private guitar teacher.
With just a quick search on Superprof, you can find private guitar tutors who work near you and find guitar lessons for beginners and learn exactly the kind of lessons you want. With a private tutor, you get to choose exactly what you want to learn. Just tell your tutor why you want to learn the guitar, what you want to achieve, and how you'd prefer to learn, and they'll put together a programme that works for you and your learning style.
Don't forget that you can also get online tutorials via webcam. This is when the tutor using video conferencing software like Skype to talk to their student. As long as both the tutor and student have a decent internet connection, you can learn digitally.