Learning Guitar for Girls

7 things girls must know about guitar

You’ve probably heard before that the guitar is a boy’s instrument.

I’ll admit, there are probably more boys that play guitar than girls in the world. However, this stigmatism might just be the cause of those statistics!

And let me tell you right now: Guitars are for girls too!

Today we’re going to bust some of the biggest myths about girls playing guitar.

After that, you’ll get a sneak peek into my top tips for girls who are just starting to learn guitar, as well as some fantastic resources to learn fast!

Calling all girls: It’s time to learn the guitar!

Free PDF: Click here to download The Insider's Guide to Online Lessons, which is a 71 page report that covers the best ways for EVERYONE to learn guitar this year.

Busting the Myths

Guitars are for Boys

No. Just, no.

While we might have that image in our head of sweaty boys on stage ripping it up on electric guitars, this shouldn’t limit us to thinking the guitar just isn’t for us!

There are plenty of girls who rock the guitar, and they can be your inspiration.

We’ll talk more about some of my favorite girl guitarists below, but just remember this fact: The guitar is not just for boys!

Playing Guitar is Painful

This myth is based on a half-truth.

Does it hurt when you learn the guitar? Well, yes.

Playing the guitar involves pressing the strings of the guitar down to the fretboard using just the tips of your fingers. So at first, yes, this is going to hurt.

However, when you play regularly, this pain goes away. You’ll form callouses on the tips of your fingers within a couple of weeks (or maybe even less, if you play a lot).

The boys might think we’re not tough enough to handle it, but they’ve got another thing coming! We’re girls, after all! We can take it!

Don’t think that you need to play guitar until your fingers bleed. There is no need for blood to be involved in playing guitar. Just keep playing regularly, and soon you won’t feel any pain at all!

Guitars are too Big for Girls to Play

I started learning guitar when I was ten years old. My first guitar was a full-sized Washburn acoustic.

Was it large? Yes. Did I occasionally bang it against walls, doorways, or other inanimate objects? Quite possible. But was it too big for me to play? Absolutely not!

All it takes is a bit of a learning curve. If you start on a full-sized acoustic guitar (which I recommend), you’ll have to learn to stretch your fingers a bit to reach certain chords.

However, don’t believe that this is impossible for girls to do. It just takes time and practice!

To Play Guitar, You Must Have Weird Fingernails

Many classical guitarists (and other types of guitarists) have short fingernails on the left hand and a super long thumb nail on the right hand. And I’ll agree: that looks weird.

However, playing guitar doesn’t mean you need to have your fingernails like that!

That being said, playing guitar is 100x easier when your fingernails are short. With long fingernails, it’s nearly impossible to play the guitar well. Your nails get in the way of pressing down the strings all the way.

Although the requirement of weird fingernails is definitely a myth, short fingernails is a reality that girl guitarists have to live with.

Inspiring Women Guitarists

Kaki King

This epic alternative guitar player is truly different.

She includes a lot of finger tapping and rock percussions into her guitar solos, and is truly an inspiration for experimental guitarists of either gender!

She toured with the Foo Fighters when Dave Grohl invited her, and she has become even more mainstream since then.

Taylor Swift

For all young girl guitarists (or those hoping to learn), Taylor Swift truly is an inspiration!

Her sweet vocals and skills on an acoustic guitar give all young girls something to shoot for. She is the epitome of a mainstream singer/songwriter, and plays both electric and acoustic guitars.

Best of all, Taylor’s songs are relatively easy to play on the guitar, making her a good inspiration for girls who want to learn guitar.

KT Tunstall

Soon after I started learning guitar, my dad and I found a video on YouTube of KT Tunstall playing ‘Black Horse and a Cherry Tree’ live. We were instantly fascinated.

Her incredible skills as a solo guitar player, percussionist, singer, and even backup singer make her the perfect one-woman band. That song ended up being one of the first songs I learned on guitar, and I still keep it in my repertoire.


7 Things Every Girl Should Do Over the Next 7 Days for Fast Results

7 things girl guitar players should do

Okay, girls!

Are you ready to learn guitar fast?

Here are my top 7 steps for you to learn guitar quickly.

I can tell you right now that these are all things that I did when I started playing guitar 12 years ago, and they helped me to start playing fast. They can do the same for you!

1. Make a List of Songs You Want to Learn

I love making lists. I love music. So it just made sense for me to start with a list of songs I wanted to learn!

This list became my inspiration and motivation for learning guitar. Every time I was able to check another song off that list, I felt like I had accomplished a major goal.

I had everything from Anna Nalick’s ‘Breathe’ to Santana’s ‘Samba Pa Ti’ on that list. The easier songs made me feel good about what I had already learned, and the harder songs motivated me to keep learning.

So make a list!

What easy songs would you like to learn, and what are some ultimate goals you have for your guitar skills? Keep that list with you and you’ll maintain your motivation to learn.

2. Have a Focused Practice Time

It will probably be tempting to spend hours playing the guitar when you first start. And if you have the time, I highly recommend you do so!

However, don’t get into a habit of thinking that every time you sit down with the guitar, you need to spend hours playing.

Consistency is more important than the amount of time you spend.

So even if it’s just half an hour, make sure you spend at least a certain amount of time focused on playing the guitar every single day. That will make a huge difference.

3. Learn Basic Chords

Chords are the basis of guitar playing. They are combinations of two or more notes (usually three) that form a certain sound.

Once you learn basic chords, you can play almost all songs. Learning them may seem hard, but once you have those down it’s pretty much smooth sailing!

In fact, learning just four chords will actually give you the ammunition you need to play a large number of popular songs. Those chords are G, D, E minor (abbreviated as Em), and C.

To learn these simple chords and other essential beginner’s guitar tricks, check out this quick overview.

4. Practice Strumming

Playing chords is great, but now you need to get your playing in time with music.

There is a large variety of strumming patterns that you can use on the guitar, and switching between these different patterns will depend on the song.

When you tap your foot along to a song, you’re keeping a beat. Normally it’ll be a 1, 2, 3, 4, beat. You can strum like this as well, but it won’t sound very natural.

Instead, you’ll need to mix up and down strums on the guitar strings. Down strums go from the lowest string to the highest, and up strums go the opposite way.

A basic strumming pattern would be simply strumming down and up to the beat. Add an ‘and’ between the beats above, strumming down on the number and up on the ‘and’:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4
D U D U

However, you can try to vary that. One strumming pattern I learned early on looked something like this:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4
D D U U D U

You can also check YouTube, or this resource, for other strumming pattern suggestions.

5. Practice Switching Between Chords

Once you’ve learned the basic chords, it’s time to practice switching between them.

When I was learning, I gave my mom a list of the chords I knew how to play and she would shout out chords to me while I played. That made me practice switching quickly, and got my speed up.

Switching between certain chords can be difficult, especially for women’s hands. That’s why practicing these switches is so important, because it will help you play smoother and faster down the road.

6. Get a Stress Ball

Don’t worry, it’s not because guitar playing makes you stressed.

When you squeeze a stress ball, you’re working the muscles in your hand. This is a handy trick that many guitar players use to strengthen their left hand muscles.

This helps you when you’re playing chords by strengthening the hand that holds down the guitar strings. You’ll be able to hold those strings tighter, and get a cleaner sound when you play.

7. Pay More Attention to Your Music

If you’ve already started to play guitar, you’ve probably started to notice more about the music you listen to. Specifically, I want you to pay attention to the guitar itself.

Try to listen for the chords that you know. Also, keep your ears out for strumming patterns. You can even try tapping them out with your hand while you listen. This prepares you to play better, and is a free and easy way to learn from the masters!

It’s easier to do this with songs that don’t have too many instruments and sounds in them. Focus on acoustic guitar songs to start, and listen to the way the chords are strummed.

So Where Can Girls Learn Guitar? Try Online!

girls should learn online

Do you want to learn from the comfort of your own home, while sitting in front of your computer in your pajamas?

Do you want a real person teaching you each step of the way, from the basics to the advanced tricks and tips?

Then it’s time for you to try online lessons!

This is a simple way to learn everything from strumming patterns, basic chords, reading tablature, and more!

Online lessons give you the flexibility to practice and learn whenever it is convenient for you, and you don’t even have to leave your house to do so!

So, where's the best place you can learn online?

I want to recommend a program that can take you all the way from the very beginning right to the most advanced parts of guitar playing.

This program has real people in video speaking to you about how to play guitar. More than that, each lesson gives you practical steps to follow, so you’re able to make music as you learn.

The program is from the website GuitarTricks.com.

And a bonus for all you girl learners:

ALL of the lessons in the beginners’ section are taught by a woman named Lisa McCormick.

Lisa McCormick from Guitar Tricks

Lisa McCormick from GuitarTricks.com

She’ll teach you all about your guitar, how it works, and what you can do with it.

She shows you how to play the basic chords that we mentioned above, as well as others that are common in many songs such as barre chords, power chords, and minor chords.

More than that, Lisa teaches you how to use chords that sound good together in songs, as well as how to improve your tone, how to strum naturally, and how to use scales to your advantage.

And that’s just the beginning.

GuitarTricks.com is a fantastic resource for learning all different types of guitar playing, including rock, blues, country, and more!

You’ll get insider tips from expert players who are willing to share their knowledge with you. They even teach you how to play specific songs!

Learn more about GuitarTricks.com here, and find out how it can take your guitar playing to the next level!

Final Thoughts

Obviously, the guitar is not just an instrument for boys. In fact, there are many incredible female guitarists who are totally rocking the world of music!

These girls can give you the inspiration you need to break into the world of the guitar. This incredible instrument can become a lifelong passion for guys and girls alike, and offers you a wide variety of musical styles and ranges.

So get learning! You can show the world that the guitar is for girls too.


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About The Author

Amy Copadis

Amy Copadis is a freelance blogger whose love of music started at age 8 when she started taking piano and voice lessons. She has been playing the guitar for over 10 years, and most recently started to learn the ukulele!