The benefit of learning to play acoustic guitar is that you can practice anywhere - and you are going to be practicing a lot! You are not restricted to being close to an amplifier socket, but apart from that there is not all that much difference between learning acoustic and electric guitar.
The most important thing you must do is to make sure that your guitar is properly tuned. Invest in a set of pitch pipes or tuning forks, and learn how to get each string exactly in tune. If not, then you will never develop an 'ear' for your strings and their pitch. There are lots of sites online that explain how to properly tune your instrument - and remember that the guitar is a musical instrument and not a toy.
A good tip right at the start is to begin strengthening your grip: you can do this any way that suits you but there are inexpensive grip strengtheners available that you can use daily. Along with this, you will have to develop calluses on your fingertips, and while that will be painful for a time you can help it along by rubbing some surgical spirit in to them. All good players go through this, so don't think you are damaging your fingers when the pain starts - it is normal.
Get to know your instrument. Learn what the various components are and what their function is, and check out how the tension and length of your strings change the tone. Practice with steel and nylon strings, and use those that give you the sound that you want. The same is true of your pick, or plectrum. You can use a soft or hard pick so test a few and use the one that provides you with the type of sound you want: a soft tone or a harsh twangy sound.
A lot will depend on the type of music you want to play: classical, pop, country or folk, or perhaps some style that you have developed yourself. Keep in mind that nylon strings are easier on your fingers, so switch to these if you are starting to cut your fingers with the steel, then back to steel once you have toughened up a bit.
Get online and download some tunes that you like; it would be great if you could also download the sheet music showing the chords needed to strum along. With acoustic guitar you will have to spend time learning chords, and not just the chords, but the various ways of playing them on the fret. That's why it is important to get to know your fret well, so that you understand the various ways in which to get the same note using each of the fret positions for each of your strings.
The best way to learn is to practice playing along with some of your favorite tunes. Try to find a guitar learning book with a CD or DVD that lets you hear how the lessons should sound, and also gives you some backing tracks to play along to. The more you practice the more you will learn, and once you have mastered a few of the essential chords you should start to learn about keys and a little about the theory of music. This will help you when you begin to practice the more difficult and advanced pieces.
If you are finding it hard to play a particular piece, or even a particular chord such as barre chords that most people find difficult to finger correctly when they first try, keep at it. Keep practicing the difficult stuff and it will eventually come to you. You will never get anywhere if you give up on the difficult and stick to the easy. You will also find it easier to get started learning to play acoustic guitar if you have a buddy learning with you. Or perhaps they are learning bass and you acoustic - you could jam together at least once a week to lighten up once in a while.
Learning acoustic guitar should be fun, and you will have more fun playing along with somebody else than just by yourself. That's also why you should practice with tunes you like, rather than just those that happen to be in the learning book you are using. If you can't find a book with your tunes then look on the internet. You will find standard sheet music and guitar tab, and you can try both if you want. You will be a more accomplished player if you understand how to read music, but it is not essential. You can play without.
Finally, a few words on purchasing your first guitar. If you aren't sure whether or not you want to play seriously, buy a cheap guitar at first. There's no point in wasting money. However, once you find that this is what you want to do, then get the best you can possibly afford. There are no doubts at all that with guitars, money buys quality.
So, get started and take the most important piece of advice of all. Practice, practice, practice, and once you feel you have practiced enough, put in another half hour. It is easy to get started learning how to play acoustic guitar - its keeping doing it where most people fail...
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How To Get Started Learning To Play Acoustic Guitar was originally published at http://www.guitarlearningcourse.comlatin music artist