Guitar has always been viewed by many as a musical instrument associated with glitz, glamor and a means to impress girls or just to show off on stage. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that provided you are well grounded and always working your way up to becoming a better guitar player!
These misinformed folks fall prey to all kinds of notions that guitar is an easy instrument to master, and their favorite guitar icons are demi-gods possessing superhuman abilities to belt out the blazing fast solos without practice, and they think playing guitar comes second nature to them.
Playing guitar doesn’t come naturally to anyone and your guitar heroes didn’t attain their envious skills overnight. It took them a whole lot of practice! An awful amount of solid, consistent practice for years – most importantly, by following the right practice methodologies!
There is no denying that talent obviously has a role to play in one’s ability to master an art or skill, but little do they know that it is their unfailing determination; boundless amount of hard work and their undying passion for learning and practicing the instrument that has helped them scale greater heights as guitar players.
This wrong notion about the guitar in your minds can passively stand in your way of becoming a matured guitar player and can also make you desperate and depressed when you cannot accomplish your goals within a short span of time.
Then the most imminent thing happens – you give up learning guitar altogether!
No, never do that, there’s still hope!!!
Never let your hard earned money that you have spent on buying your guitar and other gear and your precious time and hard work, go down the drain!
So it is very important to stay well informed of the ground realities and how you must go about learning this magnificent instrument called guitar before you lay your hands on it.
This article gives you some valuable tips on how to go about learning it – the right way.
With all glitz and glamour aside, learning guitar is just like learning any other musical instrument or art or skill that requires
- an awful lot of hard work,
- step by step learning approach,
- a lot of discipline,
- diligence and
- the right kind of learning to attain a certain level of success as a guitar player.
If you have ever thought that playing guitar is a naturally acquired talent or a walk in the park, then you are wrong! It’s sheer hard work and of course, the passion to help you keep at it and accomplish your goals!
How to get started??
There are some core guitar learning tips that you must follow in order to turn your guitar dreams into reality! And here are a few of them.
What kind of guitar must you go for?
Are you a passionate guitar learner or just a hobbyist who just want to learn a couple of chords and ramble it for fun for your bed room walls?
You must first decide what you want to accomplish with your guitar before you buy an expensive guitar, amplifier and/or effects pedal for yourself. If playing guitar is just a pastime hobby for you, then an inexpensive acoustic guitar is enough.
Start practicing it for few months and get the hang of it, see whether you enjoy playing it and love spending more time exploring it, check whether your interest is gaining traction during that period. If so, then you can buy a basic electric guitar and an amplifier. This is more than enough for a hobbyist.
Whereas if you are a ‘dead serious’ guitar learner who wants to make it big in the music world, then you must definitely approach it with all the professionalism, discipline and dedication. But it is still better to start off with a basic kit of guitar and amp initially until you have the need for an expensive kit. Again it all depends on your budget if you can afford, why not buy your favorite gear?
Where and how should you start learning guitar?
Well, many of you might go straight over to Youtube.com in the quest for finding some free video lessons to get yourself off the ground.
If you are an absolute beginner, I wouldn’t ever recommend that method.
It can only help you get overwhelmed than getting your basics clear, in a step by step manner. But you must definitely milk this avenue to the fullest if you are an intermediate or advanced level player, it is a massive repository of lessons/songs and ideas that you must utilize.
To attain a high level of success as a guitar player, it is quite essential that you learn it in a logical fashion, starting off with the basic stuff, then the intermediate and finally working your way up to the advanced concepts.
The best logical approach to learning guitar would be as follows.
- Knowing the guitar
- Advanced concepts
Music theory is CRUCIAL!
Music theory plays an integral part in grooming you into a highly successful guitar player, so it’s very important that you learn music theory from the day one.
It will not only help you become a terrific guitar player, but also a highly versatile, flexible and well-rounded musician.
Music theory will save you a lot especially when you are playing with other musicians in a band.
You may check out this page that lists several good guitar resources and sites that you can bookmark and save for future reference.
What are the best ways to improve guitar speed, versatility, and skills?
It’s every aspiring guitar player’s dream to play fast solos, quick chord changes or progressions and melodic licks on their guitar. In order to accomplish this dream, you just need to follow these steps.
In order to accomplish this dream, you just need to follow these steps.
Objective-oriented practice sessions – Each practice session, no matter how long or short it may be, should be geared towards accomplishing a definitive goal or objective. It may be an effort to perfect a solo, a speed building exercise or an exercise to strum and master certain chord shapes. Whatever the task is, it should be result oriented. You must utilize your practice time fruitfully without fooling around.
Practicing scales – This is your first step towards playing fast licks and solos on guitar. Take any scale and practice it slowly, if possible with a metronome. A Metronome can greatly improve your timing and perfection. Never be impatient to play it faster, it takes time to build up your muscle memory, so be patient and stay consistent and try to devote at least 1 or 2 hours daily, just to practice the scales up and down across the fret board. This is also great way to improve your finger strength and dexterity.
You can take this skill to the next level and try playing the scales by utilizing the entire fret board. This can help you come out of the rut of getting locked on to a single position on the fret board. This skill will be highly beneficial when you are trying to create your own solos.
If you are unable to squeeze out 1 or 2 hours daily, a practice session of just half an hour can be highly rewarding, but the higher the better. Also, make sure that you don’t go out of touch for days. Regularity is the key!
Practicing chords – Chords are also as important as scales, and they form the backbone of any musical composition. So as a guitar player you must be well-versed with this skill. You must be able to play different chord shapes, voicings, and change them quickly on the fret board. And this needs a lot of practice.
And mind you, this also needs A LOT OF practice.
The best way to practice chords is by practicing a 12 bar blues progression on different keys (or scales)
You will surely get sore finger tips and achy shoulders after you start practicing for the first time, you should not push yourself harder, just take a break for a day or two and continue, but never give up, and in few days you will notice that your fingertips have grown thicker to help you slide and bend the strings effortlessly and your shoulders attuned to the new body requirement. In course of time, your fingers will develop strength and dexterity for playing guitar easily.
Probably, this lesson will get you started with developing strength and dexterity,
In course of time, your fingers will develop calluses, strength, and dexterity for playing guitar easily and efficiently.
Listening and replicating – Listening to a lot of solos and licks by other guitarists, especially the pros, and trying to replicate them on your own can help you a great deal in developing your creativity, versatility, and skills on the instrument. You will learn
You will learn plenty of new techniques, phrasing patterns by doing this on a regular basis. You will also hone your skills of learning by ear. Youtube is a great resource for this.
If you want to learn a new fast solo or quick chord change patterns, practice it slowly (with a metronome or drum machine) until you gain speed naturally – you must give enough time for yourself to gain muscle memory for your fingers (on both the hands) to be able to pick the strings and run your fingers naturally over the fret board. Never be impatient to play it as fast and perfect as soon as you start practicing it, you will surely accomplish it slowly and steadily if you are patient and consistent.
Never be impatient to play it as fast and perfect as soon as you start practicing it, you will surely accomplish it slowly and steadily if you are patient and consistent.
Who are some of the best guitar players in the world that I can learn from?
Some of the best players that you can set as your role models are Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore, Eric Clapton and B.B. King. Of course, there are many other great guitar players out there, but I would highly recommend listening to these absolute virtuosos in every sense, that I have listed above.
This incredible course titled ‘Rock Discipline’ (down below) by John Petrucci will surely help take your guitar practice, skills, and playing to a whole new level (Highly-Highly Recommended)
Go to Youtube.com and search for their videos and try reproducing them on your instrument. Believe me; you will learn a lot of new and exciting stuff from them.
Who are the best guitar tutors on Youtube?
There are many guitar tutors on YouTube!
One of the best guitar tutors that I highly admire on Youtube is Marty Schwartz, he has an incredible skill of breaking down difficult stuff into easily digestible chunks.
Justin Sandercoe is another cool guitar tutor on YouTube who is immensely popular among beginners.
The 5 pillars of learning guitar are patience, determination, regularity, hard work and the urge to explore. If you have these 5 traits, you will conquer unimaginable heights as a guitar player and musician.
If you have found this article useful, please don’t forget to share it with your guitar friends. Thank you very much for taking your time and reading my article. I am sure this article will help you in your guitar journey.
Thank you very much for taking your time and reading my article. I am sure this article will help you in your guitar journey.