The first way is ruled by the attitude that you need to learn musical theory and to read conventional music notation, usually called sheet music.
People who teach guitar this way are giving you the road with the most possibilities for the widest range of people.
If you have learned to read music and know your theory, then it does not matter how talented or otherwise you are, you have what it takes to go get a job in a band or as a session musician or a guitar teacher.
The thing about this way of learning guitar is that it needs to be started in childhood or early teens when you are more teachable.
A lot of people do not think about learning to play the guitar until they get into their late teens or even into their twenties, thirties or beyond.
Once you start to get more mature the prospect of learning musical theory and sheet music can be too much to think about.
This is where the other way of learning how to play the guitar comes in.
You begin with the genre of music or the work of the particular artist you enjoy listening to, and just do what it takes to learn this narrow niche of music.
You probably will not need to learn to read music because most songs are available in the form of tablature.
Guitar tablature, or tabs, is a simpler system of writing down music than regular sheet music, and it can be learned in a few minutes even though it might take a beginner guitar player a day or two to get the hang of it.
With the help of chord diagrams to show you where to put your fingers to make chords, tab is all you need to learn how to play songs on the guitar as long as you already know what the music sounds like.
So we have two basic approaches to how to play the guitar.
Can either one be said to be the best? Actually it is a little more complex than that.
If you want to learn to compose music or to improvise on the guitar, if you have already learned music, then you can take a course at a college in improvisation or jazz or composition.
But composition and improvisation are still available to the guitarist who has not learned music in the conventional way.
You see, if you have been playing the guitar for some hours every day for a year or two, and you have worked on learning new material, something happens that the music college teachers do not tell you about.
You develop an instinctive familiarity with the guitar.
If you have allowed your love of the guitar to develop, you will find that you have the same control over the fretboard that music readers have, but you have achieved it in a different way.
So what is the best way to learn how to play the guitar? The way that involves you taking advantage of every opportunity to learn, whatever form it is in.
Take advantage of the hours in the day, the free tabs and guitar forums on the internet and the joy that you feel when you experience yourself becoming a real musician.