I would start playing the guitar with the app called Yousician, where it shows the string, and the fret's number. This feels too easy.

  • 1
    Can you tell us what your goals are as a guitarist? If you want to play in a rock band, being able to read sheet music probably won't help much (although it could in some situations). If you want to play jazz, classical, or be in the pit orchestra for a musical, then you will need to be able to read sheet music. Jan 12, 2018 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


Yes, or no, or maybe!

To get started quickly, play a few riffs and chords, there's no great need. And it'll depend a lot on what sort of future your guitar playing holds for you. If you want to play in a pop band, doing covers, blues, etc., there's thousands of guitarists out there doing just that - yes, famous, rich, great players, who never read a note in their lives.

If you start in that fashion, then maybe being able to read proper dots will become attractive later, when you may get asked to play off the charts in different bands - ones who don't waste a lot of time at rehearsals, as they can read what they have to play, and get on with it. Or you want to play in pit bands, or dep., where you just turn up and play from the dots.

Learning to play guitar from music is not an easy option. No doubt about that. One of the problems is that there are several different strings and frets on which any particular note can be played, so it's quite confusing at the start. But believe me, well worth the extra effort eventually - it puts you in a happy position where you can pick up some music and simply play it ! That's got to be good. No need spending ages going over and over trying to learn something. But that's really when your sight reading gets good.

So - get going without it initially - learn some chords - there's no great reason to be able to read the dots making chords yet. Play by ear, learn some riffs and simple tunes. However - try NOT to rely too much on tab - as already stated, it's one man's take on how something should be played. And one man is often a still wet-behind-the-ears kid who thinks he's wonderful. A lot of us realise he's not ! There is good tab out there, but as a beginner, how'll you know?



I believe what your describing is called tabs, which is short for tablature notation. It doesn't teach you how to play guitar; rather, it teaches you how one person thinks a song should be played on guitar. If that's what you're looking for, then you're set. But if you want to learn how you would play a guitar piece, learn to read sheet music and chord symbols.

I Googled guitar chord symbols, and came up with this and this. There are probable better options, but these were the first two search results I saw that looked promising.

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