Common Questions From Beginners

Today I’m going to answer some of the most common questions beginner students tend to have.  Some from absolute beginners, some from students a month or two down the line.  Hopefully you find it useful!

1)  What Guitar Should I Buy?  Should I start on Electric or Acoustic?

  • Our website has a whole page on what guitar to buy.  So make sure you have a look at that.
  • Electric Vs. Acoustic –  That’s really down to you.  On Electric Guitar it’s easier to play in the sense that the strings are usually closer to the neck and therefore require less pressure and the frets and body are smaller.  However, with an Acoustic, you don’t require an amp, you’ll get a fuller “strum-along” type sound and you’ll keep your neighbours happy!  It’s your choice.

2)  How Do I Tune My Guitar?

  • First of all – Buy yourself a guitar tuner.  Preferably a clip-on one, as these work on vibrations so you can use it on any guitar, electric/acoustic/classical/bass, even a ukulele or mandolin.  You’re not having to also buy or rely on leads and cables, and it’s a very small, portable item.
  • Make sure you know what notes the strings should be – E A D G B E
  • With your tuner on, play each string at a time, and adjust it higher or lower (tighter or looser) until the display shows the correct pitch.

3)  How Do I Change Between Chords Faster?

  • Firstly, look out for common notes between the chords, are there fingers that don’t need to move in a chord change?
  • Try to move your fretting hand from one chord to the next as a whole, rather than one finger at a time.
  • Look ahead.  Don’t leave the chord change until the last second.  Be prepared, looking ahead as you play, ready to change.
  • Use the last up-strum in the bar / last half-beat as changeover time, strumming up across the open strings as you change chord shape then strum down into the new chord


4)  How Can I Get Better With Barre Chords?

  • Make sure your thumb is halfway down the back of the neck, squeezing the neck between your thumb and index finger.
  • This shape is all in the fingers, not the wrist.  Your arm shouldn’t be bending in a crazy almost-right-angle at the wrist.  Bend at the elbow and fingers!
  • If you practise changing from an open chord, to a barre chord, in a loop, for 1 minute, every day for a week, you’ll be pretty close.  Just do it!

5)  What Songs Should I Learn

  • In your lessons, we will ask you what your favourite songs/bands/artists are and teach you some of those that are simple enough for your current level
  • We will also teach you some of the classic, tried-and-tested, useful songs to learn for your development.

Through these 2 simultaneous approaches, you will both develop in the style you love and also be exposed to new material.


For any questions of your own, please feel free to leave a comment below, or get in touch via our website : Guitar Lessons London