4 Tips that Can Make Private Guitar Lessons Easier

If you’ve never played an instrument before, starting private guitar lessons can be a little overwhelming. You’ll have to find your way around your instrument, get to know your teacher and, of course, learn to read music, recognize notes, play scales and much, much more.

Fortunately, as long you choose the right instructor, private guitar lessons won’t be as challenging as you think. To make your initial lessons a bit easier, try out these four helpful tips:

  • Buy a guitar that fits your body. Too many beginning guitar players buy instruments that are much too big for them. This makes it a pain to hold, difficult to get comfortable with and, more importantly, really hard to play. For children and teens, it’s usually best to purchase a smaller sized guitar, one that fits their size and stature better. That way, they’re able to hold and play it comfortably and without straining.
  • Invest in a few crucial tools. If there’s one tool that can make your lessons significantly easier, it’s an electronic tuner. These ensure your instrument is always in tune and ready to play, and they don’t require a lot of time or expertise to use. Other important tools include a sturdy strap, so you can play while standing and sitting, a capo, to raise the pitch, and a few packs of extra picks and strings.
  • Learn to read tabs. Learning to read music is difficult, but learning to read tabs is much more straightforward. Tabs are a good way to get started before you transition to traditional notation. Plus, tabs make it infinitely easier to pick up new songs, and they don’t take much time or effort to understand.
  • Watch your calluses. The more you play, the more calluses will start to build up on your fingertips. While these might not look physically appealing, they actually protect your fingers and make it easier to play in the long run. Don’t pick at them, cut them off or do anything else to remove them. At most, you can smooth them out a bit with a nail file; otherwise, let them be.

Think you’re ready to take on private guitar lessons? Then contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today. We’ll match you with the ideal instructor for your needs and goals.

4 Ways to Make Your Guitar Lessons in San Antonio Easy

Guitar lessons (or lessons in any instrument, for that matter) are never easy. They take lots of dedication, time and effort – especially if you want to be good. They’re even more difficult if you’re a beginner. As a beginner, not only are you learning a new instrument from scratch, you’re also trying to pick up the basics likes scales, music reading and more. It can be pretty overwhelming, to say the least.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your lessons a little bit easier. Are you having a hard time with your guitar lessons in San Antonio? Then try a few of these tips:

  1. Buy the right supplies – This is crucial. With the guitar, there are a lot of tools and supplies that can make learning your instrument even easier. An electronic tuner, for instance, can help you tune your guitar in a pinch, so you never miss a second of playing time. It will also help you get more accustomed to the sound of each note and string and make you a stronger player.
  2. Carve out time in your schedule – Sit down with a calendar, and carve out three one-hour blocks each week. These should be dedicated “guitar” blocks. Use them to research new songs, practice your lessons, do your homework (if your instructor gave you some), or just watch videos of other players for tips and tricks.
  3. Work with your instructor –Use your instructor to your advantage. Talk to them about your interests and goals, and work with them to create a lesson plan that’s just for you. When you’re having problems, be honest about them, and let your instruct help you along the way. You’d be surprised how many tricks they have up their sleeves!
  4. Practice often – It sounds cliché, but the more you practice, the better you’ll be. And the better you get at playing, the easier and more quickly your lessons will come to you. Practice is a vital part of taking any type of lesson – not just guitar lessons in San Antonio, but driving lessons, horseback riding lessons and everything in between.

Need more advice? Interested in enrolling in guitar lessons in San Antonio? Then contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today.

Taking Guitar Classes in San Antonio? 6 Items You’ll Need to Purchase

When you’re about to start taking guitar classes in San Antonio, obviously, you’ll need an acoustic or electric guitar. But those aren’t the only supplies you’ll need if you want to have a successful lesson.

Before you head to your first class, be sure to stock up on these six crucial items:

  1. Tuner – If you’re taking guitar classes in San Antonio for the first time, then you’ll definitely need a tuner. This will help you keep your instrument in tune before, during and after your lessons. Over time, you’ll be able to tune your guitar by ear, but this can take years to master.
  2. Capo – A capo is a small device that you place on the neck of your guitar. It helps raise the pitch of your guitar, allowing you to play higher notes without retuning your strings. Many popular songs require a capo to play, so you’ll want to invest in one early. A spring-clamp capo or a strap-on capo are both great options.
  3. Case – To protect your guitar while you travel to and from lessons, you’ll want to invest in a good, quality case. Though soft cases may save you cash, generally, you’ll want a hard case. This will best protect your guitar if you drop it, hit it against a wall or make any other error.
  4. Strap – Straps help you keep your instrument close to you, without having to use your hands. This makes it easy to play while standing – a crucial skill you’ll need to learn.
  5. Extra strings – Strings don’t last forever. In fact, chances are you’ll break one or two in just the first couple of lessons. Try to buy a multi-pack that offers you at least two or three of each string.
  6. Instruction book – Contact your teacher, and find out what instruction book they want you to purchase. This will have all your lessons, songs and assignments that you’ll need to use throughout your classes.

Are you considering taking guitar classes in San Antonio? Then come to the Musical Arts Center. Our expert teachers can help you master the instrument of your choice in no time. We even offer performance opportunities! Call 210-697-7111 or fill in our Interested in Lessons form.

Don’t Stop at Private Guitar Lessons – Get Performing!

Enrolling in private guitar lessons is one thing, but if you really want to succeed in the music scene – either academically or professionally – then you can’t stop there. You also need to hone your performing skills, too. And what better way to do that then performing in and around San Antonio?

If you’re enrolled in private guitar lessons, you should be showing off the skills you learn in local performances and concerts on a regular basis. Though it may be a little overwhelming at first, the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Soon enough, you’ll grab that first chair in your school band, you’ll make the cut in the school musical, or you’ll get into the music college of your choice.

Not sure where to start? Here are some ways to get performing:

  1. Participate in competitions – Compete in local, state and international festivals with other musicians your age. At MACSA, we can even help you enroll and prepare for these!
  2. Take part in our rock shows – We host regular rock shows and acoustic shows in public venues around San Antonio and at our outdoor plaza in Stone Oak. Perform a song or two at the next one, and show off your skills for the community.
  3. Join Performance Club – We even offer a Performance Club, where you and other musicians can participate in regular recitals. These help you improve your performance skills and get noticed.
  4. Look for local open mics – Many coffee shops, restaurants and bars in the area offer regular open mic sessions. Just show up with your instrument and you can take part for free.
  5. Get involved at school – Take advantage of the musical opportunities your school provides. Whether its band, orchestra, choir or even a school radio station, it will help you improve your performing skills immensely.

Are you taking private guitar lessons? Then improve your skills even further by getting out there and performing. Contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today to learn more about our performance opportunities.

San Antonio Guitar Lessons: What You’ll Learn in the First Few Lessons

Heading to your first San Antonio guitar lessons can be overwhelming – especially if you’ve never picked up the instrument before. You may be wondering if the lessons will be hard, if you’ll be good enough, and what you’ll learn. The questions can seem endless!

Fortunately, we’re here to help. If you’re about to embark on San Antonio guitar lessons for the first time, here’s what you can expect going into your first few sessions:

  1. Parts of the guitar – First, you’ll be walked through all the parts of the guitar: the frets, strings, neck and head. You’ll also learn how to string your guitar, as well as how to take good care of it.
  2. Music theory basics – You’ll get an introduction to reading music, if you don’t already know how to. This may include interpreting time signatures, reading notes, and figuring out rhythm.
  3. Tabs – You’ll discover tabs, a quick and easy way to learn popular songs on the guitar. You’ll use tabbed songs in many lessons to come.
  4. Basic chords – You’ll be exposed to a basic set of chords, most likely G, A, C and D. You may even play a short song or two with them.
  5. Strumming patterns – You’ll begin to use different strumming patterns, and you may strum along with a song or two to get a feel for how they work.
  6. Songs – You may begin to learn some simple, basic songs. These will help you practice the skills you’ve learned and begin to master them.

Your instructor will also likely assign you some homework. This could include learning a song, working your way through a part of your instructional book, or mastering a strumming pattern or scale.

Want to learn more about San Antonio guitar lessons? Contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today. We’ll match you with the perfect instructor for your musical goals.

4 Best Practice Songs for Electric Guitar Lessons

When you’re just starting out with electric guitar lessons, nothing is more important than practice. Unfortunately, just reading out of an instructional book or playing the same old scales over and over again can get pretty boring. If you want to keep yourself interested and stay motivated about your daily practice sessions, then you need to vary your practice material often.

To help, we’ve pulled together some of the best practice songs there are. Use these to reinforce the skills you learn in your electric guitar lessons and have some fun while you’re at it:

  • “Wish You Were Here”, Pink Floyd – This song is a great one, because it includes a lot of different techniques. You’ll use hammer-ons and pull-offs, you’ll try a riff or two, and you’ll learn some basic chords around the G major scale. Plus, it’s on the longer side, so you’ll look pretty impressive if you can pull it off.
  • “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Nirvana – An iconic song of the 90s, this one is perfect for new guitar players. You’ll not only use the four most important power chords, you’ll also try note bending and riffing.
  • “Summer of ’69”, Bryan Adams – This 80’s classic uses open, power and barre chords, as well as lots of palm-mutes, so you’ll get plenty of hands-on practice. It also has a simple riff you can learn in just a few minutes.
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, Guns N’ Roses – Though the riff is a little difficult, this song’s slow tempo makes it easier to learn and grasp. It also has consistent patterns and simple solos, so mastering it comes pretty easily to most beginners.

If you’re just beginning your electric guitar lessons and need a way to improve your practice sessions, try your hand at some of these classic songs. Want more guidance? Contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today and sit down with one of our expert instructors.

Practical Uses for Acoustic Guitar Lessons

It might not seem like there’s a huge difference between electric and acoustic guitar lessons, but you’d be surprised at how unique the two actually are. The electric guitar is generally only seen in musical groups, so lessons are reserved for students who have aspirations to start a band, perform on stage and join group acts. The acoustic guitar, on the other hand, is much more easily integrated into everyday life.

In fact, even if you don’t have aspirations to become the next big singer-songwriter, there are plenty of practical uses for the acoustic guitar. Taking acoustic guitar lessons can allow you to:

  • Perform at holidays and get-togethers – Want to entertain your friends? Looking to sing some Christmas carols? Whip out your acoustic and play a few tunes on the fly. Encourage your loved ones to clap, dance and sing along. It’s a low-key, low pressure situation, but it can bring a lot of joy to both you and your friends and family around you.
  • Teach your children – Give your children the gift of music by teaching them what you learn in your lessons. Who knows, you may even inspire a life-long passion or start them on the path to super-stardom!
  • Play at church or in other service organizations – Are you a member of a church or other organization? Many groups have their own in-house musical acts. You can show your support by bringing your instrument, joining up and performing for your fellow members.
  • Serve as accompaniment to friends and family – Have a friend who likes to sing? Does your child want to be in a talent show? Support them by providing background accompaniment for their performances. You’ll be a huge help, and you may even have a little fun while you’re at it!

Acoustic guitar lessons aren’t just for the Hollywood hopefuls. They can actually provide real, valuable skills that can be used in everyday life. Are you ready to enroll?  Contact the Musical Arts Center today to get started.

Electric Guitar Lessons for Beginners: Determining Your Style

Are you thinking of enrolling in electric guitar lessons for beginners? If so, you’ll need to decide what style of guitar you’re interested in. You could go the standard route, and learn pop and rock songs, or maybe you’d prefer to opt for a more classic style, like jazz, blues or Spanish guitar. You could even decide to “get back to your roots” by choosing country or bluegrass. Either way, there’s always a style to fit your needs.

Are you starting electric guitar lessons for beginners? Here’s how you can determine the right style for you:

  • What music do you like? It’s important to choose a style of music to play that you actually like listening to. That way, you’ll have more fun, as well as be more dedicated to your lessons and excited about your instrument. Sit down and think about your favorite types of music – your favorite songs and favorite artists – and consider giving those styles a whirl first.
  • What are your goals? Are you looking to start a band and put on local concerts? Would you prefer to join your school musical groups or marching band? Maybe you’d rather enter competitions and contests? Rock, pop and country may be a better fit if you want to start a band, while more classical styles may be better for competitive environments or school musical groups.
  • Where will you be performing? Take a minute and think about where you’d like to perform. Do you want to do your school’s talent show, or put on local shows and concerts? Or do you simply want to play in your room, in private? These possibilities will all play a role in what style will be best for you.

Once you’ve determined what style you want to learn, this will help you hone in on your equipment needs, too. For country, you may want to invest in a slide, and for rock music, different distortion pedals may be the right fit. Be sure to talk to your instructor ahead of time and find out exactly what you should bring for your style of lesson.

Want to learn more about electric guitar lessons for beginners, or are you ready to enroll? Contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today.


Guitar Lessons for Kids: Learning the Parts of the Guitar

After you’ve enrolled your child in guitar lessons for kids, you can help prepare them for their first lessons in a few key ways. Help them pick out their instrument, purchase all supplies and accessories their instructor recommends and, most importantly, walk them through the parts of the guitar. Being knowledgeable about their instrument and how each part works will set them up for success in their lessons.

Guitar lessons for kids can be just as difficult as adult lessons. Give your child a head start by teaching them these guitar parts:

  1. Tuners – These are the little keys located at the very end of the guitar’s neck. There should be six, one for each string of the instrument. Turn a string one way and it will tighten, making the string sound higher. Turn it the other way, and it will loosen, producing a lower note.
  2. Head (or headstock) – This is the rectangular piece at the end of the neck, where the tuners are located.
  3. Neck – The neck is the long, thin piece that connects the head to the body of the guitar. It’s where the fret board is located, and is where your child will manipulate their fingers to play different chords and notes.
  4. Frets – Frets are the small metal bars located along the neck. They separate notes on each string, and they’re a huge part of learning to play the guitar.
  5. Sound hole – This is the round opening where the sound is projected from the guitar.
  6. Bridge – On the body of the guitar (opposite the headstock), there is a long bar next to the sound hole. It should have six pegs, which each anchor a string.
  7. Pick guard – This is a small, black semicircle mounted below the sound hole. It’s designed to protect the guitar from damage when picking or strumming.

Armed with this knowledge, your child will be well on their way to guitar lesson success. Want to learn more about signing your child up for guitar lessons for kids? Need to find the perfect teacher? Contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today.

What to Bring to Your First San Antonio Guitar Lessons

If you want to learn the guitar, choosing a teacher and enrolling in San Antonio guitar lessons is just the first step. Before you can head to your first lesson, you’ll need to gather the proper tools and resources to bring along. These will help you get the most out of your lessons and ensure your training is an overall success.

Want to prepare for your first San Antonio guitar lessons? Be sure to bring these 6 things:

  1. A guitar – Obviously, you’ll need an instrument first and foremost. If you’re not sure what type of guitar to purchase, talk to your teacher and get recommendations for brands, sizes and other requirements.
  2. A book – Most teachers will have a preferred book they like to teach from. Email your professor early on, and see what books and resources they want you to purchase. Having these on hand for your first lessons will ensure you can get right to work!
  3. Accessories – In addition to your guitar, you’ll also need some accessories. You’ll need picks, a capo, a tuner and a strap, and if you have an electric guitar, you’ll also need cables, an amp and maybe even some pedals if the teacher requests them.
  4. A binder or folder – Your teacher will likely bring in some sheet music, handouts or worksheets for you, so be sure you have a place to store them. This will help you stay organized and on track in your future lessons.
  5. Pencil and paper – Chances are you’ll want to take notes at some point during your lesson, so bring along a pencil and paper just to be safe.
  6. A recording device – A recording device can be extremely helpful, especially at the beginning of your lessons. Use it to play back and practice to, or just to refresh your memory before the next lessons.

Are you about to begin San Antonio guitar lessons? Then be sure to get these items before your first session rolls around. Have more questions? Still need to enroll in lessons? Contact the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio today to get started.