The 7 Deadly Sins of Learning to Play the Guitar

2 months ago 15

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There’s ne'er been a amended clip to thatch yourself to play the guitar than now. The fig of escaped (or practically free) guitar resources online is staggering, from gamified learning systems to YouTube gurus to apps that assistance you support successful clip and connected tune. But if you’re going to leap successful without an instructor, you’re going to marque mistakes and person nary 1 to close them. Below are 7 rock-bottom mistakes that conscionable astir each “I conscionable started” guitarist makes. Catch them aboriginal truthful they don’t crook into atrocious habits.

Not playing connected time

For beginners, learning basal bushed is arsenic casual arsenic counting to 4 oregon tapping your foot, but it’s astir apt the astir neglected facet of learning guitar for the self-taught student. No substance what benignant you’re playing, bushed is much important than immoderate different constituent of making music—you could memorize each chord, cognize however to sweep-pick successful Lydian mode, and play a $10,000 Gibson, but if you can’t groove, you suck. On the different hand, if you’re stone coagulated connected the beat, each you request to cognize is 1 powerfulness chord signifier and you’re Johnny Ramone. So usage a metronome oregon a beatbox, play on to songs, pat your foot, and number to yourself.

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Being excessively hard connected yourself

Being excessively hard connected yourself

Learning guitar is highly difficult. If forces you to contort your fingers into weird shapes, marque unnatural movements, and admit to yourself that you dependable terrible. It physically hurts until your fingers turn callouses, and it doesn’t commencement being amusive for a while. But don’t get discouraged. This is the aforesaid process that each guitarist (except Prince) went done erstwhile they started, and there’s nary mode to skip it. A batch of learning to play guitar is re-wiring your autonomic tense strategy done repetition. Once that happens, guitar-feats that erstwhile seemed impossible, similar switching from an F chord to a C chord successful little than a minute, volition go automatic responses that necessitate nary thought astatine all. It’s mind-blowing, really.

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Not listening to yourself

Not listening to yourself

Lots of beginners, particularly self-taught beginners, signifier guitar without listening to themselves arsenic they bash it. They’re concentrating truthful hard connected wherever to enactment their fingers, however to strum, what’s coming next, and everything else, that they’re not proceeding the sounds they’re making. You person to consciously perceive to yourself arsenic you play. Record yourself and play it back. Play successful the dark. Play with headphones. Just find a mode to perceive yourself.

Along the aforesaid line: Try to play by ear. Don’t beryllium intimidated by this, but walk immoderate clip listening to euphony and trying to replicated however it sounds without looking up the tab online. You won’t beryllium capable to to bash it astatine first, but you’ll get better.

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Not playing with different people

Not playing with different people

Play with different radical arsenic soon arsenic you tin play a mates of chords halfway confidently. Even if you suck. Even if you’re nervous. Even if they privation to play (shiver) blues. Just bash it. Nothing volition amended your musicianship much than getting successful a radical of radical and dicking around. Don’t effort to impress. Just perceive to however it sounds to play with different instruments. Play 1 note. Who cares? Just marque definite the radical you’re playing with cognize your accomplishment level and are chill capable to beryllium like, “Yeah! Plug in!” Instead of “I don’t know. We’re beauteous serious.” (Avoid “serious” musicians astatine each times. Music is for fun.)

Not tuning up

Guitars spell retired of tune each the time, truthful earlier you play, cheque that your strings dependable harmonious. Start by trying to tune by dependable unsocial to enactment connected your ear, but erstwhile that gets frustrating, usage a tuner. You tin get tons of tuners for escaped for your phone, oregon wage similar $10 for a clip-on one. Both options enactment great.

The video supra covers two of my rules. A talented guitarist playing connected an out-of-tune instrumentality illustrates however overmuch tuning matters. But it besides shows the value of playing connected time. His de-tuned opus sounds incorrect and weird, but it doesn’t dependable bad exactly. Even playing lone random notes volition dependable weird-but-OK if you play successful clip (and the remainder of your method is on-point.)

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Playing accelerated earlier you’re ready

Playing accelerated earlier you’re ready

The corporate contented of each guitarists, ever, is arsenic follows: Learn to play a portion correctly arsenic dilatory arsenic you request to, past gradually velocity it up. Everyone knows this is the lone mode it works due to the fact that everyone has tried to bash it otherwise and everyone has failed.

It’s highly annoying to play precise dilatory and makes you consciousness stupid, but you are ne'er going to maestro “Thunderstruck” astatine afloat velocity until you’ve played it astatine 40 beats-per-minute a fractional a cardinal times, and past astatine 45 BPM a fractional a cardinal times, and truthful on. To marque it easier, cheque retired The Amazing Slow Downer, an app that slows down audio without changing pitch.

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Playing “Stairway to Heaven” successful a guitar store

Playing “Stairway to Heaven” successful a guitar store

“Stairway to Heaven” is simply a kickass opus for a beginner to learn, truthful you mightiness beryllium tempted to proudly bust it retired connected a level exemplary astatine your section Guitar Center erstwhile you get it down. But if you do, cognize the consequences. “Stairway” contains 1 of the “forbidden riffs,” a philharmonic transition your section guitar clerk has heard mangled truthful galore times that they mightiness halt you from playing it oregon prohibition you from the store altogether. Other forbidden riffs see “Iron-Man,” “Wonderwall,” and “Smoke connected the Water.” This is much of an in-joke than a rule, but you should astatine slightest cognize what you’re getting into earlier you bust retired the Led Zeppelin.