Guitar Tips For Beginners
Are you a beginner? Confused about the type of guitar you need to buy or what budget is right or where to find the right teacher?
To start with, the first thing you need to understand is that learning the guitar requires time and patience. Nobody plays like Jimmy Page, Hendrix, Clapton or Slash on day 1, month 1 or year 1. Think of it as an ever evolving skill, you keep getting better if you keep on practicing and its extremely important for you to enjoy yourself along the way.
A great many people start off and purchase a guitar, they start learning and that lasts about a few weeks. Repeated frustrations due to a lack of hand to guitar co-ordination or getting overwhelmed by seeing better players, results in them slowly putting the guitar in the corner of the room and eventually give it up, feeling they will never play like the greats.
Understand this, the greats are great because they kept on practicing.
The first milestone would be to cross the 2 month mark. If you cross 2 months, chances are that you will continue to play and as time passes, you will become good at it. What makes it easier is having a good roadmap. Here is our 10 step guide on how to start playing a guitar –
- The absolute start– Get yourself a guitar, you can also take a look at these beginner guitars on the musiconica website. Be sure to purchase these additional accessories… a tuner, metronome clock, guitar cover, plectrums, strings.
- Find your teacher– Though online learning has its benefits, specially the convenience it brings, nothing matches up to having a real teacher sitting in front of you telling you more about your guitar.
A non-virtual; real teacher, is a must in the first 2 months. A real teacher will also get his/her guitar and save you from spending on it, before you are sure about it. You can book guitar lessons through musiconica here.
- Be the beginner– Your first focus should be simply on understanding the basics. Learn about basic notes, there is no need to study the intense music theories just yet. Learn the following 5 simple concepts and you would have already learned major portions of guitar theory.
what is a note
what is a scale
what is a chord
what is a key
what is a tuning
You can learn all of this online.
- First Week– Learn how to play single notes. Play the first 4 notes on your guitar, left to right, once on each string, top to bottom along with a simple metronome beat of 1-2-3-4. Repeat this exercise for 3 days, 10 minutes each day. Your focus at this point should simply be to make your hands and fingers get used to the guitar.
Learn the C Major Scale on a simple 1-2-3-4 beat with the metronome. Do this for 3-4 days 10 minutes each day.
- Second Week– Learn the 7 most basic chords, E, E minor, A, A minor, C, G, D. Your focus should just be on holding all the notes in a chord and playing them clearly. Don’t worry about rhythm or beat or timing just yet. Focus on playing the full open C major chord formation properly, using all 4 fingers. This same formation is going to come in very handy later.
- Third Week – Learn about upstrokes, down strokes and few simple rhythm strumming patterns such as these.
- Crossing the 2 month mark– Learn how to play the 7 basic chords in BARRE formations. Keep in mind that your hand to guitar co-ordination will just start to form during this phase. Though you may find the lack of accurate control on your own hands frustrating in the beginning, over time, it will become second nature and you will be able to play with ease.
Try and stay clear of any form of written tablature, try to avoid playing from any form of sheet music. This is important as it will help your ears get accustomed to the notes.
You should be able to recognize the notes and be able to slowly tune your guitar without a tuner by the end of 2 months.
- Select the type of music you want to learn– Now that you are decently versed with the guitar and know your way on it, its time you choose the kind of music you want to learn.
Even though you are free to play in any guitar playing style like classical, fingerpicking, flamenco, bass, lead, rock and roll and more. Choosing a specific guitar style in the beginning is extremely important, it will define the first few years of your style of playing. Eventually, good guitarists are flexible enough to play in any style.
- Sheet Music & Tabs- Around 3 months into your playing, you should be in a position to decide whether which kind of music theory is for you. Be it classical sheet music or modern tabs, reading and playing from sheet music is important at this stage as it will help you in being able to pick up cover songs much faster.
- Practice, practice, practice and find other people to play with- If you cross the 6 month mark, you are definitely on your way to becoming a musician, be it for passion or profession.
It is important that after you get the hand of your instrument and can play basic songs with ease, you start playing with others. This greatly impacts your playing skills, style as well as influences. Incase you find jam partners who play much better than you, do not be over whelmed, playing with them will only improve your skill greatly. Lastly, remember, enjoy your instrument.