Welcome back, readers! Today we will discuss the top 5 things you should know before you start playing the guitar.
This article is based on my experience and points which I wish knew before I started my musical journey. Read on if you are willing to learn guitar and want to know all the information before starting out.
It is also applicable to those beginners, who have just started out. I expect to make their guitar journey easier once they read this article.
Buying the best guitar gear
While starting out, it is important to keep a balance between the price of your guitar and its quality. Many start out with ultra-cheap guitars which are cheap knock-offs of famous brands like Gibson, Fender, Yamaha, etc.
“Always buy the best guitar that you can afford” – repeat that again.
Let’s keep the above mantra in mind and stay away from brands like – Givson, Fendar, Yemaha, Ebanez, Chibson, Hobner, etc.
These brands may make really appealing guitars at the first glance but provide poor quality and craftsmanship.
Pro tip: To be on the safe side please check this article which will help you to choose the right guitar.
Thank me later!
Fingers will hurt. A lot!
As we are starting out with learning guitar, our fingers are not at all familiar with steel or nylon strings. Neither do our fingers have the strength to withstand long hours of playing.
Therefore, our fingertips will hurt a lot once we start out and give us muscle cramps while learning chords. However, it is a part of the guitar learning process, and our muscles and skin will get accustomed to this pain.
Developing calluses on the fingertips and strong muscles are the only solution to the above problem.
Pro tip: In case you have not bought a guitar yet, try to buy a classical guitar with nylon strings. The nylon strings will really help in reducing the pain and learning new chords will be easier.
Build a strong foundation of music theory
Your guitar teacher may ask you to learn some pentatonic scales and some chords which you might find stupid in the beginning.
But, these are the building blocks or the alphabets of the musical words. Therefore, build a solid foundation of your music theory.
Pro tip: Check out this article in case you want to know what a beginner guitarist should know.
Practice makes permanent
We all know that in order to learn acoustic guitar or electric guitar we must practice regularly and with dedication. However, if we practice the wrong stuff it just makes our lives more difficult.
For example, if you are learning the C-major scale and you play some other note and keep practising it. You have actually practised the wrong scale which is now permanent in your muscle memory.
This also applies in learning rhythm sections, practicing the wrong timing will make you play the wrong rhythm only.
Pro tip: Invest in a good metronome, and practice rhythm sections with its clicks. The metronome is your life-long guitar buddy which will serve you in all stages of guitar learning.
Start slow, finish fast
The most common mistake almost everyone makes is trying to learn that song as fast as possible. This “race” eventually makes them learn the song in a poor manner.
I have fallen into this trap multiple times when I started to learn fast guitar licks and solos. I just wanted to impress my friends by learning the songs as quickly as possible. Looking back, it was a terrible mistake.
Pro tip: Here’s how you should actually be learning guitar songs –
- Avoid learning from online tabs at all costs. Use your ear at all times. If you cannot, try reading the chord charts but avoid tabs.
- Start with an easy song.
- Divide the entire song into small chunks.
- Learn each chunk slowly and practice untill you can play along matcing the track’s tempo.
- Keep the guitar solos for the end. These take more time to learn and have more complex timings as compared to riffs.
- Mould all the chunks together and try playing them in one go without the wrong timing.
- If you cannot do the above, keep practicing with the tempo you are comfotable with and gradually increase your speed.
- Once you are comfortable with the riffs, incorporate the solo and try playing the entire song once again.
- If you cannot, slow down again and practice.
With the above guidelines, I believe learning any song will be much easier and will be a lot of fun to play.
Learning the guitar is a commitment in itself and many give up as they either find the initial steps too difficult or boring. However, if learned properly guitar is the most fun instrument to play and explore.
I hope these tips will help you in learning guitar and if you have any other tips to share, please feel to share them in the comments. I will respond to as many as possible.
Till then, happy learning!