How To Learn Guitar At Home | Without Expensive Lessons Or Coaching

Learning to play guitar is an amazing skill to have. There are several great things you can do with that talent.

It’s a great party piece, you can sing songs with your friends at a house or party. You can even make money from it.

Play in a bar, maybe with a band for weddings, even teach it down the line and make some extra cash.

Knowing how to play guitar is a brilliant skill to have. I am here to help you how to learn guitar at home.

Is guitar easy to learn? Well, it can be, if you do it the right way. Hopefully, this post will get you started in the right direction.

10 Steps How To Learn Guitar At Home

Here are my tips that I think can help you learn guitar in the comfort of your own home.

I have created an infographic summary that explains it a little quicker for you.

1. Get A Starter Guitar

How To Learn Guitar At Home

This one is pretty obvious. If you want to learn to play guitar at home, you need to have one at the ready whenever you need it.

There’s plenty of options out there for acquiring a guitar without breaking the bank.

You can buy a starter guitar off Amazon or eBay for $100 – $200.

There’s plenty of guitar listings out there that are perfect for starting.

If you need some help, I have a full post that goes through some tips on how to buy a guitar for beginners.

Do you know any musicians? Chances are they could have an old one lying around they don’t use.

Ask around and try and acquire one in decent condition.

2. Learn How To Hold The Guitar Correctly

OK, so you got your guitar. Great. Now you need to figure out how to hold it properly.

There are generally are 3 ways the hold the guitar.

  • The Casual Method
  • The Classical Method
  • Standing With Strap

The Casual Method

You set up your guitar on your right leg (if you’re right-handed).

This is the most natural-feeling way to hold a guitar.

When you do this at first you will find that you naturally slouch when you place your hand around the guitar and on the strings. 

To avoid slouching, you should get a little footstool to place your leg on.

This elevates the guitar closer to your chest. making it easier to play and limit any slouching or bending.

Believe me, you will need a guitar stool if you are doing any long sessions or practices.

If you don’t have one, you can buy a cheap one on amazon.

A sturdy box or a couple of thick books will also suffice, but if you are gigging, a nice little stool looks the part.

The Classical Method

The easiest way to explain this one is placing the guitar on your left leg, rather than your right leg.

This raises the guitar neck, making it easier to play and reach all the notes.

It’s a common way to play the guitar, but a lot more comfortable with a strap.

Standing With A Strap

This is more for guitar players who play in bars or sing as a profession.

It’s the best position to be in while performing as it’s comfortable and easy to maintain.

However, it’s a little more awkward to practice this way for long periods.

Why? Because you will exhausted standing and playing.

If I were you, I would buy a cheap guitar strap and practice both sitting and standing.

3. Learn The Parts Of The Guitar

If you want to learn how to play the guitar at home, you need to learn the parts of the guitar and what they do.

The same goes whether it’s electric or wooden, the same parts apply.

I could go into details about each part, but at this stage, it might sound like gibberish, as you are just starting to learn how to play guitar at home.

So to make things easier, here’s an image showing you each part.

How To Learn Guitar At Home

4. Fingers, Strings & Frets

Ok, you probably got the first 2, strings and fingers, but what are Frets?

Don’t worry, when I started I was like “What the hell are frets?”.


When it comes to fingers and playing guitar, you have 4 fingers with your index finger being number 1, the middle being number 2, and so on down to your pinky being the 4th finger.

Sounds simple I know, but this is necessary for later when you are reading chords and music sheets.


Learn the strings of the guitar. Pretty obvious really, but you will need to know them to play guitar.

At first, it can feel pretty overwhelming but don’t worry, you will get the hang of it quickly.

The easiest way to do this is to number the strings.

The first string is closest to the floor, and is also the thinnest.

As you go up in strings, each one gets thicker to the sixth string.

After you know how the strings are numbered, you will find out how they are named.

See below the image that clearly shows the names of each sting

learning to play guitar at home


Guitar frets are small narrow strips of metal that are along the neck of the guitar.

Frets divide the guitar into sections or intervals to show where the guitar notes are.

Each fret is a separate semitone.

5. Start Learning The Chords

If you want to play guitar at home; you will need to start learning the chords.

The easiest way of doing this at home is by following some eBook, Youtube Videos, or even better an online guitar course that will guide you through the process of doing this.

You will probably be best off learning the Em, C, G, and D chords.

Again, if you are learning from home; its best to use some an eBook, YouTube tutorials of an online guitar course.

6. Learn To Tune Your Guitar

Learning to tune your guitar is extremely important.

But beware, it’s also one of the most frustrating parts of learning to play guitar.

It feels like a lifetime to do at the beginning, but believe me, it’s necessary.

If you don’t tune your guitar, you will not sound good, no matter how well you play.

So take your time to get it right.

You should tune your guitar every time you use it.

Over time you will tune it quicker and quicker so it will feel easy to you.

Once you know how to tune your guitar, it should only take about 30 seconds. 

There are several free smartphone apps you can download to tune your guitar.

7. Learn How to Read Guitar Tabs

If you want to know how to play guitar at home, you will need to know how to read guitar tabs.

Reading guitar tabs is how guitarists know what chords to play.

Using guitar tabs, guitarists can play the right chords without reading your general music sheets that used ordinary symbols and numbers.

Reading guitar tabs is much easier as you do not need to know all the complicated music notations.

If you want to learn guitar on your own, you will need to at least have a basic understanding of how to read guitar tabs.

8. Learn to Play Some Simple Songs

After you know the basics like how to hold the guitar, the strings, the chords, and how to read basic guitar tabs; you will want to start playing some songs.

Don’t go straight for anything too challenging as it will likely frustrate you.

Google some simple guitar songs and download or print out the chords.

You will enjoy it more if you can find and play some of your favorite songs.

The key goal here is to keep it simple. Play them, perfect them, and then grow from there.

Start to choose more difficult songs as your skills improve.

I have a post done on easy guitar songs to learn you should check out.

There’s about 40 recommendations made and it will direct you to the chords.

Online guitar courses like Guitar Tricks, JamPlay, and Fender Play also have some very good step by step song tutorials that are easy to follow.

You are playing along live with an online tutor; where the show you how to play the correct chords, finger placement, etc.

9. Get Online Guitar Lessons

learning guitar at home

If you want to know how to learn guitar at home, and how to do it quickly: online guitar lessons are the answer.

Online guitar lessons like Guitar Tricks or Fender Play are great options to learn to play guitar at home.

Their courses are easy to follow, have heaps of video content, are reasonably priced.

But more importantly, they WORK! You can go cold turkey and scour the internet for tips and tricks and some try the tips I mentioned above.

However, this way is a lot quicker.

Using an online course you are working with an instructor like you would if you were getting face to face lessons.

Are guitar lessons worth it? To be honest, I don’t think so.

There’s way more value in online lessons rather than face to face lessons with an instructor.

The same structure and teaching method is there, but it’s far more convenient and quicker.

For example, if you were to sign up to use Guitar Tricks (Free Trial Here); you can learn guitar from your own home.

Not only that, you are not restricted to weekly lessons.

If you want to fly through hours of lessons in a day; you can.

Here’s a sample lesson For Guitar Tricks Below:


10. Practice, Practice & More Practice

If you are playing a lot, you will find that your fingers will start to hurt.

You will need to battle through this at the beginning.

But don’t worry this will pass.

If you want to learn to play guitar at home, you will need to apply yourself and put in the time.

The more you practice, the quicker your skills will improve.

As you notice improvements, you will become more motivated to keep improving.

Try and set aside a few practice times each week.

When I first started, I found the weekend was where I got the best practice sessions.

You have more time as most people are off for the weekend (unless you are a musician of course).

The reason I found the weekends most beneficial was when I was getting the hang of it, I just kept going.

Before I knew it one day I had done 4-5 hours in one sitting without even realizing.

30-60 mins a day should be OK, but I wouldn’t include your guitar tuning in that time, at the beginning anyway.

I mentioned learning to tune your guitar can be time-consuming and frustrating when you are starting; this will eat into your practice time.

How To Learn Guitar At Home

I hope these tips are helpful and will get you started learning to play guitar at home.

If you would like some help learning to play guitar, you should check out some of the online guitar lessons I reviewed.


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