The Stress-Free Way To Playing Your First Song on Guitar as an Adult Beginner

Learning your first song on the guitar can be an incredibly rewarding experience, no matter what age you are. If you're an adult beginner guitar player over 40, the idea of learning a song might seem intimidating, but with the right approach, it can be a fun and enjoyable experience.

Here are some tips to help you learn your first song on the guitar:
1. Choose a song that speaks to you
As an adult, you have more life experience and may have a deeper connection to certain songs. When choosing a song to learn, pick one that speaks to you and that you enjoy listening to. It could be a song you loved in your younger years, a favourite from your favourite band, or a tune that brings back happy memories.

Some good options for beginners include "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King, "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton, and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan.
2. Get the chords down
Once you've chosen your song to learn, the next step is to learn the chords. Most songs consist of a series of chords that are played in a specific order. You can find the chords for your chosen song online or in a chord book. Take the time to practice each chord until you can switch between them smoothly.

Learning guitar chords can be challenging, but it's essential to start with the basics. Start with simple chords, like C, G, D, and E, and practice until you can switch between them smoothly. Don't worry if it takes you longer to learn than someone younger - everyone learns at their own pace.
3. Practice the strumming pattern
The strumming pattern is what gives the song its rhythm and feel. It's important to practice the strumming pattern until you can play it without thinking about it. You can find the strumming pattern for your chosen song online or by listening to the original recording.

There are plenty of great YouTube tutorials dedicated to most of your favourite songs to help you learn the strumming pattern. Look for tutorials that start with the basics and gradually build up to more complex techniques.
4. Start slow
When you're first learning a song, it's important to start slow. Break the song down into smaller sections and practice each section until you can play it comfortably. Once you've mastered each section, you can start putting them together.
5. Practice regularly
As an adult beginner over 40, you have other responsibilities. It can be challenging to find time to practice regularly. However, practising for even just 10 minutes a day can help you make progress. Set aside time each day to practice, even if it's just a few minutes.
6. Use a metronome
A metronome is a device that keeps a steady beat. It's a great tool for practicing your timing and rhythm. Start by playing the song at a slow tempo and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable.
7. Play along with the original recording
Once you feel comfortable playing the song on your own, try playing along with the original recording. This will help you get a sense of the song's rhythm and feel. It's also a great way to practice playing in time with other musicians.
8. Celebrate your progress
Learning guitar can be frustrating at times, but it's essential to celebrate your progress. Keep track of the songs you've learned and the techniques you've mastered. Every small victory is worth celebrating, and it can help keep you motivated and engaged.

Learning your first song on the guitar as an adult beginner over 40 can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the right approach and a little bit of practice, you can master your first song and start playing more complex songs in no time.

Remember to choose a song that speaks to you. Start with simple chords. Use YouTube tutorials. Practice regularly, and celebrate your progress. It's never too late to start learning guitar, and you're never too old to rock out!
Author: Allen Hopgood
Allen is the founder of Gold Coast School of Guitar, where he helps adults over 40 to have fun playing songs.

You can find out more about Allen and his guitar school here:
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