5 most important tips to learn guitar

guitar
Credit: slonme

Learning to play the guitar can really enrich your life. It can entertain you, help you to meet new people, and it gives you a new way to express yourself – through your music. While it’s definitely not something that you’ll learn overnight, there are some tips that can help to keep you on the path to playing guitar like a pro.

Let’s talk about the 5 most important tips to learn guitar so that you can see for yourself. It’s not really that complicated, you just need to follow a simple roadmap that has led others, just like you, to proficiency and success.

Tip 1: Practice

There is no avoiding it. You’re going to have to practice! This doesn’t mean that you have to devote 5 hours a day to learning to play, but you do need to set up time to practice and be consistent with it.

Whether it’s an hour a day or something minimal, like half an hour, the more that you practice things like reading music and playing your chords, the closer you will get to becoming more intuitive about the guitar.

Once those chords and shifting between them becomes intuitive, then you’ve unlocked the possibility of combinations, and what you can do with your guitar increases exponentially. It’s just going to take a little time and a whole lot of practice. Don’t sweat it, you’ll get there! Just set yourself a schedule and stick to it.

Tip 2: Take classes

While you can read about music theory and how to make various chords, there is an enormous benefit to taking classes that you simply cannot get any other way. If you can’t afford them, you can certainly find tutorial videos on YouTube and other online sources and this is definitely recommended. You can get the benefit of human experience and there is simply no substitute.

That said, check around to see if you can get some actual classes, as the difference is like night and day. They can be more motivating, for instance, because you can ask questions when you are frustrated. You can also get tips on how to play something that you specifically want to learn.

Taking classes also helps you to ensure that you are getting practice, as you’ve made the commitment by agreeing to a class schedule and that can make it easier to stick to your practice plan. Finally, the best advantage is that a good teacher knows your strengths and your weaknesses and they can help you to move forward much more quickly.

It’s well-worth the investment, so consider classes if you want to move forward as quickly as possible. There’s no substitute for experience.

Tip 3: Don’t neglect music theory

This is one area that a lot of people neglect and it’s a shame. Music theory isn’t some ‘useless conceptual exercise’, it is a foundation that make all of the difference between a ‘dabbler’ and a ‘professional-grade’ musician.

So, what exactly can music theory do for you? Well, music theory advances your knowledge of the importance of things like scales, pitches, and intervals. It also expands your options, but advancing your knowledge of how music is written and how you can read and interpret musical notes.

Once you can read and understand music at this level, you’ve unlocked a whole world of materials that you can take advantage of as you craft your own individual style. Think of it like the difference between simply owning a sports car and owning one that you can soup-up or repair on your own.

Music theory helps you to understand and expand what you have learned, so at the very least you owe it to yourself to explore this a little. Once you do, everything that you’ve learned will ‘click’ into place and you’ll be very happy that you took the time to explore Music Theory.

Tip 4: Play with other people

You’ll be scared of this at first but once you try it, then prepare yourself to be amazed. Playing guitar with other people can teach you things that you simply won’t learn any other way. You can learn how to set up beats and rhythms and how to modify them on the fly – and it’s like magic when you do.

Don’t be afraid that more experienced players aren’t going to want to do this with you. Every single player that you meet has been in your shoes and musicians are a supportive bunch – we all love the music and jamming with someone else who loves what we love is what it’s all about.

There are a few jerks out there, of course, but the odds are in your favor that if you ask someone to play with you then they will be happy to do it. If you don’t know someone, you can always meet someone for a jam-cam online or simply go to your local music store.

Give it a try and see what you think. You’re guaranteed to learn a lot and there’s really no other experience quite like it.

Tip 5: Explore

As your experience starts building, you should push your boundaries a little and check out other styles to see what you like and what you don’t like. You’ll be surprised when you do.

Things like the fast, vibrant strumming of Spanish flamenco style, making your guitar ‘cry’ with the Blues, setting the mood with intricate fingerpicking, or the roar and energy of heavy metal… there’s a little nugget of gold in each and every style and it’s up to you to find it.

Exploring is also a good way to make sure that you keep practicing, because sometimes you can get frustrated with something that you are trying to learn and you simply need a break. Instead of putting your guitar somewhere to get dusty, take that break in a different musical location by exploring other styles for a day or so.

As far as what you should select, just follow a simple rule. If it’s music and there’s a guitar involved, then there is something you can learn from it. Keep an open mind and explore often. You’ll learn all kinds of things that you can keep and it’s really going to help you to develop your own particular style.

Some final words on learning guitar

Today we’ve discussed the 5 most important tips to learn guitar and as you can see, it’s not so complicated. First and foremost, you’re going to have to practice and you’ll want to take classes if you can. You should also consider a little music theory, because this is going to expand your horizons and help you to understand what you’ve learned.

You’ll what to practice and play with other people when you can and don’t be afraid to explore – you are developing your own style and you can take what you like from any kind of music and make it uniquely your own.

Keep consistent with your practice and follow these tips. Before you know it, you’ll be taking your guitar with you wherever you go and that’s how it should be.

Story by Nikki Sorenson


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