So you got your first guitar, after checking out some guitar player videos on Youtube, and thought to yourself, I can do this. But as soon as you first took your guitar in your hands, you realize that this is not as simple as it looks. I am here to provide you some beginner tips on how to play the guitar, regardless off whether you have an acoustic or an electric.
1. Patience is key.
First off, I want to tell you that this will be a long process, but as long as you are patient and are willing to learn and practice every day, you will see progress.
I know that when first starting out, you will experience frustration and will want to rush your process and just jam with your friends.
But remember, patience is key. Take it easy at first, master the basics, and through trial and error, you will see that your playing techniques will improve and settle.
2. Tune your guitar before every practice.
It is important to tune your guitar frequently, and it is easy to do so, even without buying an expensive guitar tuner. Now you have tons of apps that will help you to correctly tune your guitar.
If you make a habit of practicing on a guitar that is out of tune, you will experience frustrations as to why your guitar playing doesn’t sound as good as your friends, and more on that later.
This leads to self-doubt and loss of confidence that many beginners experience and this is the exact moment that many players quit.
Practice tuning your guitar before starting to practice, even double check it, and try to learn to ear tune it as soon as you possibly can so you will instantly know if your tuning is on point.
3. Don’t compare your skill to others.
Don’t be jealous or discouraged when you hear a guitarist play better than you do. They most likely have practiced for years the correct techniques and basics for years.
Just appreciate the art and try to see what he or she is doing right that you can improve on. You can even ask on some tips as to how to improve your skills, and they will be more than willing to help, thanks to the community aspect of guitar playing.
The only one you can compare yourself to is you. Nobody else. Make a habit of recording your practices after you have learned something new, or better yet record your every practice session. Then compare your playing and techniques, with your past self.
If you are not improving than something is clearly wrong, troubleshoot your problems and seek tips on various techniques.
Just remember focusing on yourself and nobody else, Petrucci or Frusciante will always be better than us.
4. Challenge yourself.
As you will start mastering basic techniques, such as fretting, strumming, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, the basic cords will not challenge you.
Try different songs that you enjoy, get the chords and try to play it, it’s alright if it’s hard for you. It is supposed to be hard, or everybody would play like Eric Clapton. There are tons of videos out there for various skill levels on how to play a song.
Try to master the tricky chords, don’t shy away from it, the sky is the limit there is absolutely no need to set up mental barriers.
Do you find Frusciante’s finger-style in the Falling track amazing and impossible? Give it a try, and practice it religiously, until you get it perfect, you will be surprised by what you can achieve, by sticking to good habits and perseverance.
5. Never quit.
It is true that you will hit a wall in the process of learning, and it will feel like the end of the world for you, but whatever you do, don’t quit.
Look back at your practice sessions, and see how far you came. It is natural to hit a plateau and feel like you do not progress despite the practice.
Just take it easy for a while, play something you enjoy and relax. After a while, you will figure things out, and you will prevail.
6. Get The Proper Gear For Your Skills
If you’re a beginner and want to play the classical guitar for example, don’t buy the most expensive guitar you can get your hands on. If you’re a beginner, get a classical guitar under $1000 and see if you like it. If not, you can just return it and get something else. Buying a $5,000 guitar as soon as you start is a waste of money.