Few instruments can trump the guitar when it comes to enjoyment. Most people associate it with calm and relaxation. Its popularity is not surprising because it is portable. Unlike a piano, you can take it with you whenever you need it.
That said, it is a challenge to learn. If you have just started to do so, you will need to know a few basic guitar playing techniques. Some essential tips will serve you well. Learn how to avoid the common mistakes often made by beginning players.
Tips for beginning guitar players
Learning the guitar is a thrilling adventure. These suggestions will start you on your musical journey.
Many musicians choose to play the guitar because it has a cool factor. A guitar makes anyone who knows how to play it stand out from the crowd. Hence, beginning players want to learn it fast.
Mastering any instrument takes time and practice. To get an edge, prepare yourself for hours of hard work.
2. Do some stretching
The guitar is tiring to play, especially if you have small fingers. Take deep breaths and relax.
To lessen the chances of tendonitis, do some stretching. Stretches reduce back pain as well.
Set up a practice area with a music stand and a comfortable chair. If you want to sit on a stool, make sure that it has no arms. You do not want any obstruction.
3. Learn to tune your guitar without an electric tuner.
Electronic tuners allow quick tuning, but they can make a guitar player lazy. Learn how to tune your guitar using other methods.
If you already have experience playing a keyboard or piano, use it to tune your guitar. This chart shows you which notes on the keyboard correspond to the E, A, D, G, B and E strings on a guitar. http://www.get-tuned.com/tuning-keyboard.php
If you do not have a piano, use a pitch pipe. Set it to the note corresponding to the guitar string you wish to tune.
4. Know the strings on the guitar.
Of course, every guitarist needs to know the names of the open strings on his guitar. He must hold it with the thickest string at the top.
A guitar has six strings. On the top of the guitar is the thick E string. It emits the low E note. The A, then D strings follow. The next three strings are G, B, and E, in that order, with the last E string being the thinnest of them. It represents the high E note.
5. Play easy songs.
You may want to learn the latest song that is all the rage, but its chords may be too hard to grasp.
Play easy songs instead. You will gain a sense of accomplishment once you have mastered a few simple tunes. It will push you to grasp the harder ones.
6 Use saltwater
One of the pitfalls of playing the guitar is that it hurts the fingers. To prevent this, soak your fingertips in saltwater.
7. Learn when you feel relaxed.
Do not try to learn the guitar if you are feeling stressed up. It will only add to your frustration.
Play it in a calm mood. You will master new skills if you feel less tense.
8. Learn from other players.
It is hard to learn anything by yourself. Talk to other players. They may have tips for playing the chords that you cannot grasp.
Try not to compare yourself with others. Someone else will always have better technique. Pressuring yourself to be the best player will take the enjoyment out of learning the guitar.
9. Use your imagination
Close your eyes and imagine chords or notes as you play them. Doing this will prompt you to put your fingers in the correct positions.
10. Have patience.
Learning anything takes time. Do not rush learning riffs, as you will not be able to play them well. Learning needs reinforcement. Remember that it takes years to be able to develop the confidence to perform in front of an audience.
11. Learn chords at a slow pace
When playing guitar, do not run before you can walk. Learn how to play individual notes before you start on chords.
Take your time to finger chords. Remember that your fingers must be in the right place. C major and E minor are the first chords all guitarists must know. Here is a chart of the fundamental chords for beginning guitarists. http://www.guitarchordsmagic.com/images/guitar-chord-charts/basic-guitar-chords.gif
Before playing chords, play each note to see if it sounds correct. If the notes sound awkward, your guitar needs tuning.
Switch between chords, keeping a steady rhythm and beat. Do this without stopping. Strum only on the first beat, so that you have the time to switch chords.
As you progress, strum on the first and third beats, then on all four beats as you gain confidence. Do not forget the hard chords. F Major, for example, is not easy to finger but is necessary for even simple songs.
Make sure that you are using the correct chord fingering. Small changes can make a chord sound different than it should.
12. Try not to look at the fretboard
Experienced guitarists do not need to look at the fretboard. They know where their fingers should go. To get to know your fretboard well, try looking away from it.
The common mistakes beginning guitarists make
Even experienced musicians will make occasional mistakes when they play. It comes as no surprise that beginning guitarists do so too.
That said, it is important to try to avoid them. Here are some common errors that beginning guitarists often make.
1. Neglecting timing
Beginners often try to get their notes right. Playing the correct notes is important, but not at the expense of timing. Rhythm can be more important than playing the right notes.
2. Using amps
Nothing is more annoying than an over-enthusiastic beginning guitarist being too loud.
Beginners will play the wrong notes. Avoid using amps and cut down on harsh sounds.
3. Using effect pedals
Effect pedals are fun, but may not enhance the way you play. Like amplified chords, guitar distortion grates on some listeners. Invest in a solid guitar instead of pedals.
4. Using the wrong fingering
Beginners often form chords using the wrong fingers. Poor fingering results in wasted effort and movement.
5. Not playing for others
New guitarists often avoid playing for others. They fear mistakes and seeming foolish.
Putting yourself under some pressure helps you to learn. Play for an audience and take in its feedback.
6. Not holding the pick the right way
Many beginners do not hold a pick in the right way, so they do not play fast enough.
Hold the pick between your index finger and thumb. Do not pinch it. Pinching the pick will make the guitar harder to play.
7. Not using other approaches
If you have problems playing chords, try various methods. Ask other guitarists for their opinions. They may offer you simple solutions.
Guitar Fingering Techniques for Beginners
Beginning guitarists must know a few basic fingering techniques. They are how guitarists create the sounds you love.
Fretting is an essential skill that all beginners must learn. The key to playing a fret well is to have the correct finger arch. It will allow you to reach all strings.
Place your thumb under the neck instead of over it. Play closer to the fret to avoid buzzing.
To play most chords, you will need to press down on the strings with your fingertips. You will get the clearest sounds possible.
To play chords like F major, you will need to press your first finger on the B and E strings.
Fingerpicking is essential for playing the guitar. To start, put your hand in the right position before you pluck strings. You use your thumb, middle, ring and index fingers to do so.
Your thumb plucks the E, A and D strings. Use your index finger to pluck the G string. Your middle finger plucks the B string and your ring finger, the first E string.
With these techniques, you will be able to learn your favorite songs fast.