7 Top Tips to Start Get You Started
Author: Artist Guitars
1. No Need to Rush into it!
Limit you goals to what you want to achieve. You run the risk of becoming overwhelmed if you try to take on too much. Pick a few good exercises or a song you want to learn and focus on this.
Say you want to learn a particular song. Spend the first session learning the finger positions of the chords. Next time come back and practice changing between the chords. Then you can put them in the right order and Bingo, you’ve learned a song!
You can do the same with scales and strength building exercises. One goal at a time!
It may seem like it takes longer, but by learning this way and focusing on one aspect at a time your practice time will be much more productive.
2. Play Often
In the ideal world you would play 8 to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week! This is not realistic for everybody, so if you are spare-time-poor the best thing you can do for your musical development is to practice for shorter periods, more often.
Practicing for 30 minutes everyday will be much more effective than 5 hours once every fortnight. The constant playing will build your strength and muscle memory much better and you’ll improve much faster.
3. Theory or Practical?
Both! It’s important as a beginner to distinguish between these so that you can focus your practice sessions on both areas.
When you start out on the guitar there is so much to learn about the guitar - How the guitar makes a sound, how the fret board works, how the separate notes in a chord make up that sound, the list goes on. This knowledge about your instrument and music is vital to progressing on your instrument. To play it properly you should know how it works, right?
Practical session are about using the theoretical knowledge and putting it to good use. Playing and switching between chords, scales, bends, drills, timing….
4. Learn songs or learn exercises?
Again, Both! Exercises will build your skill level to be able to play the songs you want to play. And so that you don’t go insane on the same repetitive exercises every day, you should break up the monotony by learning to play some of your favourite songs! There is a wealth of information out there for learning popular songs. You can find some more info on how to find this Here.
If you’re not sure what to song learn or where you should start when it comes to scales and exercises, we recommend starting with a teacher. We offer an introductory lesson with a teacher in your area ,with every guitar! This is completely free, no strings attached so you should take advantage! A good teacher will set you up with the correct technique from the beginning. There’s nothing harder as a musician that un-learning bad technique!
5. Slow it down and play it again.
If you’re having trouble with a certain exercise, or part of a song, don’t give up! The most frustrating part of playing is when you brain wants to do something that your hands can’t play… yet. The key is to s l o w i t d o w n. Slow down and play it over and over. Once you start to play it correctly you can very slowly start to speed it back up. It you fall off the wagon again, just slow it back down and keep repeating it. Eventually your muscle memory will take over and you won’t have to think about it!
This is where a metronome or a drum machine comes in handy. You can slow it down and play in time with the beat or click and work on your timing at the same time. Two birds with one stone!
6. Get inspired!
Listen to a wide range of music and try playing different styles. Listen to the parts that ware being played. It’s funny how your perspective on music changes when you morph from a mere listener to a player. Everything changes. You start to hear the instruments individually instead of just the song. And you learn to appreciate music you may not have given a chance previously, because now you understand that somebody actually played that!
By listening to a wide range of styles you take inspiration and techniques from here and there, and compile it into your own Frankenstein knowledge base. This eventually becomes your own personal playing style so you should nurture it and feed it as often as you can!
7. Look back and smile
Every now and then think back a few months or years and give yourself a giant pat on the back at how far you’ve progressed. The learning curve is very steep in the beginning stages so it’s an exciting time. Make sure you stock of your progression, so that you can see that all the hard work is paying off!