The Do’s And Don’ts For Beginning Guitar Players
I can remember the excitement I felt when I got my first guitar. Staring at the guitar case, taking the guitar out of the case and feeling it in my hands. You are probably feeling the same way about your first guitar.
This is a very exciting time. You have finally decided that you are going to play guitar and play the music that you love to listen to. You also might not be sure about what you need to do first.
Should you take lessons?
Should you teach yourself?
You may have lots of questions about what to do first and the answers will vary. Some may tell you that you should teach yourself. Some will tell you to take guitar lessons.
What advice should you take? If you do take lessons, should the teacher be a jack of all trades kind of teacher? Should they specalize in they style that you want to play? Does it matter if they know anything about the style of music that you want to play?
Let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t do.
- Think about what type(s) of music you want to play
- Look for a qualified teacher that can help you
- Make sure that you have everything that you need (aside from your guitar) to start playing
- Be patient when you are going through the learning process
- Take advice from people who don’t play guitar and/or have never actually learned how to play
- Rely only on books and videos to help you
- Develop bad practice habits
- Expect to master the guitar right away
Let’s take a deeper look into each topic:
(Do) Think about what type(s) of music you want to play –
Know that this could change as you go but when you start you want to have a good idea of the type(s) of music you want to play. Knowing this can help you seek out the right teacher to help you get on the right path and keep you there.
(Don’t) Take advice from people who don’t know anything about playing guitar or learning how to play
They may be well intentioned but if they don’t know about the process of learning to play, can they really help you? The answer is no, they can’t. The truth is that the fastest way to become a good guitar player is to take guitar lessons. You also want to make sure that you are learning from a teacher who is qualified to teach you.
(Do) Look for a qualified guitar teacher to help you
You may be tempted to go it alone at first and teach yourself how to play guitar. If you don’t know what to do at first, how can you know if the method you are using to teach yourself is the best way for you? The easiest way to know that you are getting the right information is to find a great teacher in your area. Don’t be afraid to call teachers and speak with them.
Also, if you decide to take guitar lessons, make sure that the teacher: Teaches the style of music you want to play and knows how to teach guitar for beginners. Think about it this way, if you needed surgery on your knee would you consult a general practicioner? Or would you find and orthopedic doctor who specializes in this type of surgery? You don’t want to waste time with a teacher that doesn’t teach the style that you want to play.
(Don’t) Rely on books or videos to help you
Books and videos are a one size fits all way of learning. There is no way for either medium to see what you are struggling with and help you fix it. You don’t get any feedback and are left to figure things out on your own. This can be very frustrating
(Do) Make sure that you have everything you need (aside from your guitar) to get started
Have things like:
For guitar picks I would recommend starting with a medium thickness pick. Thin picks have too much give when strumming or picking individual notes. Thicker picks produce more volume without any extra effort when picking and strumming.
Having a guitar strap is important because it will hold the guitar in place when you are playing. Doesn’t seen like a big deal at first but if you don’t have one, the guitar will slide while you’re trying to play. This makes it more difficult to focus and play because you are always fighting with the guitar to stay in place.
Though you may not know how to use it at first, having a tuner is important. You want to make sure that you are alwasy playing with a guitar that is in tune. A guitar teacher can show you how to use the tuner properly.
(Don’t) Develop bad practice habits
Regardless of whether you take guitar lessons or not, you will need good practice habits. The amount of time that you practice isn’t as important as how you practice. Figuring this out on your own could take a very long time, if it happens at all. Find a teacher who can show you how to practice correctly.
(Do) Be Patient when you are going through the learning process
Learning to play guitar is a marathon, not a sprint and you will need to be patient. Some beginning guitar players give up because they don’t master something right away. You need to understand that some things may come to you quickly and others will take time. This is perfectly normal. Stay focused and keep practicing.
Guitar is such a fun instrument to play and like anything else, it can be frustrating at times. Especially in the beginning. One thing that should inspire you is that every guitar player EVER has gone through the same things as you. The guitar players that you look up to had the same problems. They made it through and so can you. If you give up when you have a frustration, you will never know how far you could have made it.
If you are working with a great teacher who teaches beginners how to play guitar, you can get past the things that are frustrating you. You can make consistent progress. You can get to the point where you are able to play the music you want to play faster than if you learn on your own. Don’t quit
If you are a beginning guitar player and don’t want to struggle like others who have decided to teach themselves, tell me more about you and how I can help you transform into the guitar player you want to be.