I grew up listening to some amazing guitarists. I don't have enough space to list them all, but a few of my favorites were Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, the highly underrated Robby Krieger, and all the blues playing Kings. These guys were phenomenal guitarists and, to me, were nothing short of inspirational. The more I heard, the more I wanted to learn to play the guitar like them.

I became obsessed with the idea that I could learn to play guitar as well as these guys. However, at the time, resources were limited. I didn't know anybody who played the guitar, there was no Internet, no guitar lessons at school, and no money for expensive lessons. It was up to me to grope my way toward my goal. I was like a blind man searching for a light switch. I didn't know where enlightenment would come from.

When I was about 15 years old, I acquired my first acoustic guitar, a cheap no-name with bailing wire strings. Then, in a second-hand store, I found a book that contained guitar lessons for beginners. From the book, I learned to restring my guitar with some decent strings and how to tune it. I learned some basic major chords and some old simple classics, like "On Top of Old Smokey" and "Greensleeves."

However, my most useful resource was my collection of rock and roll records, LPs, wax disks, or whatever you want to call those old vinyl anachronisms.Once I figured out how to tune my guitar to the same frequency as my turntable, I could listen to the music and try to reproduce the tones on my guitar. And that is how I acquired the guitar fundamentals. By trial and error and determination.

I don't believe that there is a right way or a wrong way to learn how to play the guitar. I do believe that, with determination and persistence, anyone who is serious about it can do it, regardless of what resources are available. The most important piece of advice that I can give to the aspiring guitarist is to practice, practice, practice. Learning to play could be considered hard work, but to the serious student, it is not work at all. It is more like an extraordinary learning experience.

Next, to save time, find an instructor or a good book from which to learn music theory. To be a well rounded musician, it is essential that the student learn to read music and tab and to discover how the two are interrelated. Technique will come with practice, and eventually the fundamentals will become second nature and you will develop a distinct style that you can call your own.

From experience, I can tell you that you can learn to play the guitar without guitar lessons. However, it behooves you to find some source of instruction. It will save time and a good instructor will steer you away from time consuming mistakes and bad habits.

If you would like to hear more, visit my blog at http://joe-guitar.blogspot.com/

Author's Bio: 

My name is Joe Clements. I was born in Georgia and raised in Southern California. After working in San Bernardino for many years, I move to the Bay Area. Now I live and work in Emeryville, across the bay from the beautiful city of San Francisco. I started learning the guitar when I was young and I am still learning. Each day brings another opportunity to learn more about the instrument I love. I have played rhythm and lead in a few bar bands. I never made much money but I had tons of fun. Now, I play for pleasure and try to help other aspiring guitarists as much as I can. for more info, go to: http://www.superguitarlesson.com/