This question should be answered by the time you’re in high school, just like the question, “How do you learn to drive?” The order I would hope the information would be given would be as follows:
1) Basic guitar skills
2) Improvisation with the guitar
3) Advanced learning
And you can’t learn guitar without working on them!
My advice, however, would be to try to do both at the same time. You don’t need to become a master at all three skills when learning the guitar.
I’m a drummer, and I’ve heard so many times from a musician’s dad or aunt that they say, “We try to learn the drums first and then the guitar,” before they can get the guitar down in their head.
You learn to play drums first. You learn the guitar first. You both get the drums down in your head and then the guitar – you get them on a level playing field so you’ve got a foundation. You have the foundation to go back to as you continue to learn.
Then the lesson begins: you need to play like that so that you can understand all the music.
If you practice only the fundamentals of music on what you already own and are good at, you get stuck and end up with a poor set of skills to work on, and even worse, you can’t use your own practice time to grow those skills.
As soon as you have something that you can use as your foundation to practice – the drums, the rhythm guitar, the barre chords – you’ll start to see real and significant progress with your guitar playing.
In fact, you can go back and see when you were learning the drum stuff, what your mistakes were and you may know what to avoid.
Then the next step would be to go back and make sure you’re not only using it but also that it’s helping you learn the things you didn’t know you needed.
Once you’ve learned a new skill you’ve never had before or at all previously, it’s pretty easy to go back to the beginning and learn at least a part of what you just did to learn that new skill.
In fact, this is a big part of the process of becoming a better musician. One of the biggest benefits I’ve experienced after the death of my guitar teacher is that I actually started playing drums again.
Now, I had this very specific goal of learning to
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