Can You Learn Guitar From A Book?

One of the most time-honored ways that people get started when learning the guitar is to buy a “primer” – a book which explains, often using pictures, how to learn the correct fingering techniques to get a tuneful sound from a guitar. There is certainly a benefit to being ready to learn from such a book – it lets you see the basics, how to nail them down and should enable you to at least play a familiar note. However, the process is a lot like learning to ride your first bike. Eventually the training wheels will have to come off and you’ll need to go for it without that support.

The “training wheels” analogy is a good one. When a bike has training wheels, it is stable and can be moved from place to place without too much worry. But with those wheels on it is impossible to do much beyond pedalling in a straight line and very basic steering maneuvers, Once they come off, you can try something more impressive – but there are dangers inherent in going without support. Similarly, you can get a recognizable sound out of a guitar by using a primer. But eventually, you’re going to have to try playing a tune without looking at the book – or your fingers – if you want to be successful.

Learning the guitar is not an easy process, and you may take time to move away from the primer, but it is worth the time and effort. There are ways to learn without the book, but it is an option for many inexperienced guitarists.

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