Is Guitar the Right Instrument for You? (What To Know First)
When you’re first starting out it’s hard to know what instrument suits you best and there’s plenty to choose from.
Maybe you have played for a few months and aren’t sure if you should continue, or could be thinking of switching instruments? There’s also many of you who have started learning guitar for a few months and have come to a point where you don’t know if you should continue.
Nobody can tell you guitar is or isn’t right for you, it’s really a personal decision that only you can make. Regardless of your height, age, or musical talent – if you are interested in guitar then give it a try and you will soon know if it suits you.
I don’t like to push people into playing guitar if it’s not the right instrument for them. Rather, it’s best to explore each person’s motives for wanting to learn an instrument to help them discover if guitar suits them or not.
“A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument”.
Eddie Van Halen
If You imagined yourself in a band, what sort of band is it? What instrument would you play?
Do you have a secret guitarist hiding inside you?
Is Guitar The Right Instrument For Me?
First, take our test to see which instrument suits you best:
Question 1: What sort of music do you like listening to?
Question 2: Which instruments do you like best? Brass, woodwind, percussion, or strings?
Question 3: Do you want to learn how to play music yourself?
Question 4: Which instrument are you most interested in right NOW?
Ok, so we’ll admit – there is NO test to find which instrument suits you best, the only way to find out is to choose one that you are interested in and start playing!
It’s really that simple, and after you have played for a while you will soon work out if you want to continue learning that instrument. You can always swap to something else or learn more than one instrument, there is no right or wrong.
Often the best way to find the answer of which instrument to play is simply to choose one and make a start. In many cases your gut instinct will lead you in the right direction straight away.
“It’s important to choose an instrument that makes sounds that you like. Many people fall in love with the sound of specific instruments when they are children. That is a great motivator.”
Dr. Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist, musician, and author of “This is Your Brain on Music”
Guitar is not for everyone, although most musicians no matter what instrument they play love picking up a guitar for song writing or just noodling around and can be a relaxing way to spend some time.
So all you need to ask yourself is “do I like the sound of guitar” and “do I like music with guitar in it?”.
If you answer “Yes” to these questions, then there’s a good chance you will like guitar.
If you feel like another instrument is more interesting or you can’t decide between two instruments, then just make a choice either way and you will soon work out what you really enjoy the most.
Check out this article on playing guitar as a hobby.
Am I Right For Playing Guitar?
Maybe you’re wondering if guitars are too big or small for you, or if your fingers can stretch across the frets to make those difficult looking chords?
The good news is that people of all different sizes play guitar, from young small children up to very tall adults.
Don’t get hung up on whether your hands are too small, or fingers too thick – everyone can learn to play, it’s just a matter of practicing for a while until it begins to feel more natural.
If you are small then there are guitars available in smaller sizes, and if you are growing up you can get bigger guitars until you can handle a full-size guitar.
Just because a guitar is small doesn’t mean it will sound bad, many smaller guitars still have a great sound.
Have a look at Ed Sheeran playing guitar – he prefers playing a ¾ size Martin guitar in many of his performances, and it sounds great.
Guitars are available in many different sizes, have a look at these charts to get an idea of common guitar sizes. Keep in mind that each manufacturer uses slightly different lengths for each of their guitar models.
Small To Large Guitars
|4-6||3'3" to 3'9"|
|5-8||3'10" to 4'5"|
|7-11||4'6" to 4'11"|
Full Sized Guitar Chart
|SIZE||GUITAR TYPE||BODY TYPE|
|Smallest / Small||Parlour Guitar||00-000|
|Large / Largest||Slope-shouldered|
Are My Fingers Strong Enough For Guitar?
Usually when learners first pick up a guitar they press the strings down too hard when playing notes and chords, this hurts their fingertips and can give them a sore fretting-hand.
The good news is that you don’t need strong fingers to start playing guitar, and if you want to make even easier it can be a good idea to start learning on a nylon string classical guitar.
- The nylon strings on a classical guitar have less tension and are softer on your fingertips than the strings on a steel string guitar.
Another great option is to learn on an electric guitar as the strings are thinner than an acoustic steel string and are very easy to hold down on the frets.
It doesn’t matter how you start out, if you keep playing regularly your fingertips harden and your finger strength will also increase naturally.
It will take a bit more finger strength to play barre chords on a steel string guitar, but this is not until you reach an intermediate level of playing, and by then your fingers will be strong enough.
In general, playing guitar is less about strength and much more about your style and playing form. A few lessons from a guitar teacher will quickly get you playing the right way and make it easier to learn.
I Started Guitar but It’s Hard– Should I Keep Learning?
Learning any instrument has its challenges, and no matter what you choose to learn in life there will be good times and hard times.
“Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded”.
As you can see, even the most famous players have pushed through hard times to get good at playing their instrument. It doesn’t matter what instrument you learn to play, I guarantee that your many hours of practice will give you great satisfaction later.
If you have started learning guitar but aren’t sure anymore, then it’s ok to put it aside and try something else, just keep it in the corner in case you change your mind again in the future.
- Learning guitar is like anything else we learn in this life, some days everything seems easy and you feel like you have made great progress, and other times you hit a wall that you feel like you can’t pass.
If things seem hard or impossible, just keep trying for a bit longer and you will surprise yourself when you skills jump up a level and you hit that deeply satisfying moment again when it all comes together.
Is Guitar Worth Learning?
This is a question that only you can answer, as we all have a different dream of what we want from leaning an instrument.
Check out our article about the benefits you get from learning guitar, and if it’s worth the effort.
Some people dream of being a professional musician, while others just want to play a few songs they like in their bedroom.
It doesn’t matter what your goals are, it’s always worth learning to play guitar or any other instrument.
Many people as they get older look at others who can play guitar and wish they could play too. I’ve lost count of how many people have asked me how to get started playing guitar, or have said to me “I wish I had learnt when I was younger”.
So if you think you might like guitar, then don’t wait …just jump in and have a go, and the same goes for any instrument you are interested in. If you start now, then you’ll look back in a couple of years and be happy you did.