9 Guitar Learning Tips for Beginners and Intermediates
9 Guitar Learning Tips for Beginners and Intermediates
If you are musical, learning the guitar must be something you really would want to do. This is basically one of the most enjoyable instruments to play and mastering the art can be rewarding both in your recreational and career life. Unfortunately, many people normally start their guitar lessons only to quit after a few sessions while others reach a point where they are no longer interested in advancing their learning and thus stop growing in their knowledge.
As you approach the process of learning how to play a guitar, it is important to note that the process normally takes time and requires your effort and concentration. However, this does not take away the fun from the process and the rewards are always incredible. All you need it to set some personal goals for yourself, do some practice and with a bit of help from someone considerate, you will be playing the guitar like a pro soon. Whether you are doing it so that you can perform in church, in front of an audience or just for personal enjoyment, the following steps will be of great help for you as a beginner or intermediate player.
Some tips to help you learn how to play guitar enjoyably
Step 1: Know and choose your guitar first
The most basic thing that you should do when approaching your guitar lessons is to have a feel of an electric or acoustic guitar first. This is very important even before you invest your money buying a guitar of your own. You can try your hands on one in your local church or ask a friend whether they could allow you to have a feel on their guitar. Doing this could allow you to know at least one or two chords to set you on the journey ahead.
While at it, a feel on either of these two guitars will help you decide whether you intend to start your lessons using an electric or acoustic guitar since the two are a bit different from each other. For many beginners, acoustic guitars are always great and many actually begin their learning using one. It is ok to start with an acoustic guitar and then upgrade to the electric one as you advance in your lessons. This is good also considering that acoustic guitars are more portable and do not require an amplifier not to mention that they are also cheaper. Additionally, acoustic guitars will require you to apply a bit more pressure when playing the heavy strings and this helps you develop more hand strength when learning basic things such as hand positioning, chords, strumming and notes.
Electric guitars can be a bit confusing for a beginner as they produce many tones and sounds thus making acoustic ones better during the early stages. You can choose a guitar that best suits your budget, taste and preference but always remember that acoustics are cheaper than electric ones.
Step 2: Choose the right accompanying equipment
Apart from your guitar, you will need to select the right accompanying equipments for use in your day to day learning or playing. You will need to pick the right strings, right strap (length is important) and the thickness of your guitar as well. These have a very important role in determining your style of playing and the sound you produce when playing. You will also need to get a good guitar tuner to help you in the early stages of your learning until such a time when you will be able to tune your guitar properly with the help of your ears. A tuner helps you tune all the strings to the right pitch thus ensuring that there is coordination between what you are playing and what you are hearing.
Step 3: Learn the Scales, Chords, Rhythms and Arpeggios
Once you learn how to handle your guitar properly, the next thing you should do it to familiarize with different sounds produced by your guitar. You will need to learn how to combine different notes and produce a harmonious sound quickly. This calls on you to learn things such as minor and major scales and know the difference between the two of them. First, minor scales normally sound a bit sad with major scales sounding a bit lively and happy. You will need to learn how to combine different notes properly so as to produce the right sound. By so doing, you will be playing what is normally called a chord, which is a group of notes that is held and played together. During the early stages of learning the scales, you might feel a little bit bored but you should not quit at this point. This stage is very important in giving you a solid foundation and knowledge on how to create catchy riffs pr improvise intense lead guitar solos on your own.
Step 4: Know how to position your fingers
How you place your fingers on the strings can make the whole different into your playing techniques. Start by placing your thumb on its rightful fret and then follow up with other fingers. When putting down the small finger as the last one, just make sure that all the others are pressing down each on its rightful string. This helps you to develop the correct stretch between your fingers thus making them more responsive, stronger while working your muscles a little bit. Always make sure you are using the finger tips as opposed to letting the fingers go down flat on the wires. Depending on the size of your fingers, always look for the right guitar thickness so that you do not struggle a lot when positioning them around. Always make sure your posture is relaxed by relaxing your arm and body without removing your hand and fingers from position. Practice this process at least ten minutes each day and you will be able to do it without straining.
Step 5: Use video guitar lessons
As a beginner, you will find it very helpful to take your lessons as you are inspired by visual guitar lessons like those ones found online. There are many websites from where you can get free lessons and these can help you enjoy properly designed ideas that will help you in your learning. Mostly, watching systematic guitar lessons via videos or under the guidance of a pro can help you cover more ground if you regularly practice what you see. Always try to learn different styles from different guitar players to help you know how you can play a chord differently. You are always better of when you learn different styles as they help you locate your own with time.
Step 6: Find your personal style
As you continue with your lessons, it will be good to develop or identify your personal style. This might largely be influenced by the kind of music you love. For example, if you love listening to jazz or blues, the most likely thing is that your guitar style will fall along those lines.
Step 7: Experiment with new playing techniques
Guitars are very resourceful instruments. Although you will begin your lessons with basics such as picking and strumming techniques, you will need to advance further so as to experiment with your own creativeness. You can learn different guitar playing techniques by getting some ideas and approaches as you watch and listen to your favorite music.
Step 8: Practice frequently
As with every other instrument or lesson, practice is very important as you develop your guitar playing skills. It is easy to forget your newly acquired skills if you do not take time to practice and play around with your guitar. Take time to play around but also spend time for serious practice sessions each day. It’s these moments that will help you strengthen your weaknesses and understand your style much better with time. As you do this, make sure you are enjoying every moment as opposed to taking it as a matter of life and death. This will help you overcome the frustrations that many people face when taking guitar lessons.
Step 9: Engage professional help
In line with the above tips, it is always important to be trained by a professional instructor. This exposes you to greater skills and knowledge which can help you learn faster and become a pro within a short time. if you are passionate about your guitar lessons, the help of a professional will help you acquire greater skills quickly and sharpen any identifiable weaknesses that manifests in the progress of your learning.
As you continue acquiring guitar playing skills, it will be advisable for you to try your hands on different kinds of guitars including electric ones. This will help you enjoy quality sounds and have a better experience with each and every playing session. You will need to consider things such as decent action (the distance between fret-board and strings) and go for something that isn’t too high as this could end up hurting your fingers and lead to more frustration. Always remember, practice, practice makes perfect. Don’t just learn theory and practices and then leave it at that. Play your guitar frequently and try to sing along with your favorite songs and with time you will be playing with your eyes closed.
Let’s learn to play “See You Again – Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson”
Here we have several suggestions for you to learn guitar in Malaysia:
- Classical and Acoustic guitar lessons in Taman Permata KL
- Contemporary guitar class in Wangsa Maju
- Private guitar lesson in Pandan Indah
- Classical guitar lesson in Kepong
- Classical and pop guitar lesson in Mahkota Cheras
- Guitar group class in Kajang
- Classical and Acoustic guitar class in Bukit Rimau, Shah Alam
- Beginner Guitar Class in Sungai Dua, Penang
Also, from our freelance guitar teacher, Hong Kai Wen, who teaches in Kepong, Ampang and Setapak.