If you are a novice guitarist or are considering taking up the guitar, then congratulations. You have picked an instrument that is used in virtually every genre. In short, the world is your oyster. The versatility of a guitar does provide you with a lot of opportunities. Still, if you want to learn how to play this instrument properly or even succeed as a musician, there are a few things you need to know. Luckily, you won’t have to learn these the hard way. Instead, just check out all the important tips and tricks here:
Come to a Decision: Acoustic vs. Electric
Even if you have already picked out a guitar, you may be wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. Well, perhaps the first thing you should know about your guitar selection is that there is no right or wrong choice. The main thing is that you are happy with it. As long as this is true, there isn’t much else to worry about.
Still, if you are looking for some direction, there are a few facts that may change your mind. For instance, acoustic guitars tend to win when it comes to price, as they are often cheaper. Also, due to the design, you will find it easier to focus on learning the most important aspects of guitar playing. As for electric guitars, ease is certainly an alluring factor for any beginner guitarist. Also, if you are looking for some low-volume practice, these guitars can be turned down to surprisingly low levels.
Make Pain Your Friend
Now, this isn’t something you would want to hear, especially if you haven’t even picked up the instrument yet. Still, you will learn this soon enough. Guitar strings aren’t kind to your fingers and in the beginning, there is going to be quite a lot of pain. You can even develop blisters.
An odd silver lining with this situation, though, is that your fingers will have some rather impressive calluses after a while. This will help to cushion the more sensitive parts of your fingers from the strings. Therefore, you won’t even notice the discomfort anymore!
Chords are Critical
Playing guitar is sexy – learning to read and play chords… not so much. Unfortunately, you can’t actually have one without the other, particularly if you want to be a good guitarist. The good news is that it is actually easier to learn than you might think. As long as you dedicate yourself, you should have it figured out within a short time.
There are a few things to keep in mind in the meantime. First, start off as slow as you want. It doesn’t matter if you are moving at a snail’s pace, it isn’t the speed that is going to matter later on. Rather, it is about getting your fingers used to the right position. Once you have got the hang of it, you will automatically become faster.
After nailing down the basics, don’t forget to make things a little difficult for yourself. To start with, stop looking at your fretboard so much when playing. You need to get used to glancing down occasionally. On that note, make an effort to challenge yourself to learn tricky chords as well. It will help you improve as a musician.
A Metronome is a Must-Have Tools
When you think of Hendrix, Page, and Clapton, metronomes aren’t the first things that come to mind. After all, aren’t those the tools that classical musicians rely on? Believe it or not, some of the best guitarists in the world will work with metronomes. Why? Well, it helps to get their rhythm in order.
If you ever plan on playing in a band or even with other musicians, you need to figure out how to line up with the rhythm section, aka the drums. This can’t be done just by focusing on your guitar playing. A metronome, nonetheless, will train you to keep time and strum in rhythm. So either buy a physical one or find a virtual version online.
Develop an Ear for Music
It isn’t just about chords and tools when it comes to the guitar, although they are significant. To become a good guitarist, you also need to hear what you are playing. Now, this may seem like an odd thing to point out but it is relevant. When you are starting out, it can be easy to get caught up in the lessons, booklets, and more.
This can result in you becoming a little too dependent on such things. In turn, this may stunt your ability to progress. So, every now and then put down the sheets or screens and really listen to the way you play. This, alone, can be enough to adjust your mistakes and improve your skills.
Find More Experienced Guitarists
Most guitarists imagine that just because they don’t have grand plans to join a band or become famous, they can practice alone. This isn’t exactly true, though. See, if you insist on only playing your guitar by yourself, there is a good chance that you become pretty good. At the same time, there will be limitations.
There is a reason that world-famous guitarists play together – they can learn from one another. Now, there are a lot of tips you can learn from books or online tutorials. At the end of the day, though, they aren’t going to be enough. Some tips can only be picked up by watching someone more experienced than you play, in a whole new way.
Play Across Genres
People tend to fixate on a particular genre at a rather early age. In fact, a certain category of music may have inspired you to pick up your guitar in the first place. Despite this, you really should think about venturing into unknown territory as well. After all, there is no need to stick with that genre if it isn’t really your thing.
However, trying out different genres can improve your overall playing ability. See, each category has something unique to offer since it requires you to play your instrument in a certain way. So, by mastering some of these techniques, you should be able to stretch your guitar skills even further.
These are the top things every guitarist should know. Once you are aware of them, you can easily become a better player.