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Probably 20-25 years ago I bought an electric guitar but did not put forth the effort to learn much. At the time the internet was fairly not as advanced as it is now. I don't even remember if youtube existed back then, in any event I have always wanted to learn to play guitar. I am now 44 years old and have decided I better start now or I will never start.

I am left handed and cannot hold a right handed guitar for the life of me so I decided that I want to buy a left handed guitar. I found a couple of guitars I like (they are both from Taylor one is 214CE and the other is 314CE, the 314CE being much pricer due to being all wood). In any event, I then decided to look for lessons and boy are they pricey. Most of the lessons near me are around $45-50 (USD) every half hour, sometimes more. I dont mind investing in this maybe when I am a little more comfortable with guitar.

As much as I want to be tutored or have an instructor, I decided at first I will try to do this alone. However, I am having a very hard time knowing even where to start. There are practically millions of sites claiming to teach you how to play guitar, along with millions of youtube videos, etc. As much as I feel it is great that so much information is out there I feel it is overwhelming me to the point where I get tired just trying to look to learn.

Is there any recommendation for a total beginner like myself. I don't know much aside from what the guitar is composed of, how to hold it, and that I want to and can only play left handed (please do not try to convince me to play right handed, I just cannot no matter how hard I try to hold a guitar - I have tried). Should I start with chords? Should I learn scales? What order or what reference or even is there a path (possibly free or inexpensive at least for now) I could take to learn the guitar?

If it helps I am interested in artists like John Mayer, the Fray, Dave Matthews, Owl City, and similar artists. One thing I have to mention is as much as I wish I could play a lot (I see there are stories of people practicing 6 or more hours a day) it is just not practical for me. I have 3 kids, a wife, a job, and the daily responsibilities of life. I could commit to possibly 1 hour a day, and I know it isn't a lot but it is probably the maximum I can put in. Can anyone point me to a path I should take to get me going without overwhelming me with so many different random sites / videos?

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  • Although this is not asking about l.h. versus r.h., (where we have many q/a dupes), it is asking for resources, and as such, won't stand on this site, as it doesn't cater for such questions. Sorry.
    – Tim
    Mar 12, 2023 at 8:08
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    You do not need to practice 6 hours a day to get somewhere. Practicing 15 minutes a day will still be much better than practicing 2 hours each month or so.
    – Lazy
    Mar 12, 2023 at 13:52
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    Does this answer your question? Need Help in Starting to Learn Guitars? (and numerous others)
    – PiedPiper
    Mar 12, 2023 at 16:51
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    If you can't play a righty guitar then you're either in need of a good teacher or some resetting. Take a look at the number of "lefty" violins, flutes, saxophones, pianos and ask yourself how all those left-handed musicians can play a "righty" instrument. Mar 12, 2023 at 21:57

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EVERYONE'S a left-handed guitar player! It's the LH that does the clever stuff, fingering all those chords and notes. RH has a much more basic job to do.

But, whatever. Whichever side you decide to hang, you'll need some lessons at the very outset in order to set up a basic technique. THEN move over to self-study if you must.

One hour of daily practice is fine. And try also to find a REASON to play, other than solitary self-development. Join a band, play at church, etc. etc. Otherwise I guarantee you'll go the way of most adult beginners, rapid initial progress but frustration with the long business of consolidation and loss of interest.

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First of all: There isn’t really left- or righthandedness in music. Music requires high control over very specific muscles, both on the right and the left side. This is the reason why many left handed players are able to learn a "right-handed" instrument just fine. But if in your case playing on a mirrored guitar feels more natural to you, go for it. Making it harder for yourself will force you to put much effort into making it work and will mean you can focus less on musicality. (The disadvantage of doing this is of course the availability of such instruments, which is not that much of a problem for you as you probably do not want to go full professional mode anyway, so you will be able to stick to one instrument.)

So then how do you start? Learning guitar is not really different on a left handed guitar, so you should start like on a regular guitar. Learning guitar (just as any instrument) requires you to build up specific muscles and coordination. So simply saying "start by practicing scales" or "start by practicing chord" will not really give you a good start.

The best way would really be to get lessons. You do not need weekly lessons, even a lesson every two weeks or even once a month are better than nothing. You might feel like investing into a lesson when you are not yet comfortable is a waste, but in fact it is the fasted way to get started because a teacher will be able to quickly correct you, making the learning process much more efficient. Also a good teacher will give you a lot of structure. A teacher will consider what techniques you should practice at any point, and a teacher will be able to help you pick literature that is not so easy you get bored but not so hard that you get frustrated. (Also a teacher will be able to cater to your wishes of what you want to do. Do you want to go classical? Do you want to be able to simply play an accompaniment using chords? Do you want to go rock guitar? Jazz guitar?)

If you really do not want to invest into lessons at this point get yourself a guitar book targeted at your level and age. You may ask your music store for a recommendation (even if it is an online store), and there are many recommendations to be found online.

A guitar book will usually have a decent concept on how to proceed learning the instrument, even if it cannot give you the feedback a teacher can give you.

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Although it was a long time ago, I got my start on guitar in beginner group lessons, which in my case were held weekly at a park district community center by an instructor who also directed band at the local public school.

Group lessons were much more affordable than private lessons and still established the fundamentals of the instrument. There was a mix of ages, from elementary schoolers through adults.

You still get the benefit of a live person watching and correcting your technique (which you wouldn't get from a YouTube video).

Once you've gotten a good start, then you could think about investing in private one-on-one lessons.

Your left-handedness shouldn't make a difference at all if you buy a left-handed instrument.

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