The guitar has always been seen as a musical instrument associated with glitz, glamour, and an instrument to impress the girls or show off on stage by many. And they think it’s quite easy to play this instrument, and their favorite guitar icons are singing fast solos without doing any kind of practice, and they think it’s just their talent that makes them play effortlessly. There’s no denying that talent obviously has a part to play in one’s ability to master an art or skill, but little do they know it’s their unwavering determination; unlimited amount of hard work and their undying passion for learning and practicing the instrument that has helped them scale greater heights as guitarists.
This mistaken notion about the guitar in their minds can wreak havoc on their dreams when they finally start learning it and it can also lead to utter disappointment and despair when they can’t play it as expected in a short period of time. Then the most imminent thing happens: you stop learning to play the guitar altogether! And the hard-earned money you’ve spent on buying an expensive guitar and amp will be blown away by the wind! Therefore, it is very important to keep yourself well informed about the basic realities and how you should learn this beautiful instrument called the guitar before you get your hands on one.
This article gives you some valuable tips on how to learn it.
All glitz and glamor aside, learning the guitar is just like learning any other musical instrument or art or skill that requires a lot of hard work, a step-by-step approach to learning, a lot of discipline, diligence, and the right kind of learning to achieve. some level of success as a guitarist. If you’ve ever thought that playing the guitar is a naturally acquired talent or a walk in the park, then you better change that right now!
Learning tips you should adopt
There are some basic guitar learning tips you should follow to make your dreams come true! And here are some of them.
What type of guitar should I choose?
Are you a serious guitar learner or just a hobbyist who just wants to learn a couple of chords and play them for fun on your bedroom walls? You must first decide what you want to do with your guitar before buying an expensive guitar, amp, and/or effects pedal for yourself. If playing the guitar is just a hobby for you, then an inexpensive acoustic guitar will do. Start practicing it for a few months and get a feel for it, see if you enjoy playing it, and if you love spending more time exploring it, check to see if your interest is picking up steam during that period. If so, then you can buy a basic electric guitar and amp. This is more than enough for an amateur.
And if you are a serious guitar learner who wants to make it in the music world, you should definitely approach it with all the professionalism, discipline and dedication. But it’s still best to start with a basic guitar and amp kit initially, until you have the need for an expensive kit. Again, it all depends on your budget, if you can afford it, why not buy the equipment of your choice?
Where and how should I start learning guitar?
Well, many of you may head straight to YouTube.com for some free video lessons to get you off the ground. But if you are an absolute beginner, I would never recommend that method. It can only help you get overwhelmed than getting your basics straight, step by step. But you should definitely take full advantage of this avenue if you are an intermediate or advanced player, it’s a massive repository of lessons/songs and ideas that you should use.
To achieve a high level of success as a guitarist, it is very essential that you learn it logically, starting with the basics first, then the intermediate, and finally moving up to the much more advanced level concepts.
The best logical approach to learning to play the guitar would be the following.
– Know the guitar
– Advanced concepts
Music theory plays an integral role in becoming a highly successful guitarist, so it is very important that you learn music theory from day one. It will not only help you become an excellent guitarist, but also a very versatile, flexible and well-rounded musician. Music theory will save you a lot, especially when playing with other musicians in a band.
What are the best ways to improve speed, versatility, and guitar skills?
The dream of every aspiring guitarist is to play fast solos, fast chord changes or progressions, and melodious licks on his guitar. To achieve this dream you only need to follow these steps.
Goal Oriented Practice Sessions – Every practice session, no matter how long or short, should be geared toward achieving a definite goal or objective. It can be an effort to perfect a solo, a speed-building exercise, or an exercise in strumming and mastering certain chord shapes. Whatever the task, it must be results oriented. You should use your practice time fruitfully without wasting your time.
Practice Scales: This is the first step in playing fast licks and solos on the guitar. Take any scale and practice it slowly, if possible with a metronome. A metronome can greatly improve your timing and perfection. Never get impatient to play it faster, it takes time to develop your muscle memory, so be patient and consistent and try to spend at least 1-2 hours a day just practicing scales up and down the fretboard. This is also a great way to improve finger strength and dexterity.
You can take this skill a step further and try playing the scales using the entire fretboard. This can help you get out of a rut of being locked into one position on the fretboard. This skill will be very beneficial when trying to create your own solos.
If you can’t squeeze 1-2 hours out of a day, a practice session of just half an hour can be very rewarding, but the more the better. Also make sure you don’t lose touch for days. Regularity is the key!
Practicing chords – Chords are also just as important as scales, and are the backbone of any musical composition. So, as a guitar player, you must be well versed in this skill. You must be able to play different chord shapes and change them quickly on the fretboard. And this needs a lot of practice.
The best way to practice chords is by practicing a 12 bar blues progression in different keys (or scales).
Your fingertips and shoulders will surely hurt after you first start practicing, you shouldn’t push yourself any harder, just take a break for a day or two and keep going, but never give up, and in a few days you will . notice that your fingertips have become thicker to help you glide and bend the strings effortlessly and your shoulders adjust to the new requirement of the body. Over time, your fingers will develop strength and dexterity to play the guitar with ease.
Listen and replicate: Listening to many solos and licks from other guitarists, especially professional ones, and trying to replicate them on your own is very essential to develop your creativity, versatility and skills on the instrument. You will learn a lot of new techniques and patterns by doing this regularly. You’ll also hone your learning skills by ear. YouTube is a great resource for this.
If you want to learn a new fast solo or fast chord change pattern, practice it slowly until it picks up speed naturally; strings and run your fingers naturally over the fingerboard. Never get impatient to play so fast and perfect as soon as you start practicing it, you will surely get there slowly and steadily if you are patient and consistent.
Who are some of the best guitarists in the world that I can learn from?
Some of the best players you can set as role models are Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore, Eric Clapton, and BB King. Of course there are plenty of other great guitarists out there, but I would highly recommend these absolute virtuosos in every way, which I have listed above. Go to YouTube.com and find your videos and try playing them on your instrument. believe me; you will learn many new and exciting things from them.
Who are the best guitar teachers on YouTube?
One of the best guitar tutors that I really admire on YouTube is Marty Schwartz, he has an incredible ability to break difficult things down into easy to consume parts. Justin Sandercoe is also another highly talented online guitar tutor.
The 5 pillars of learning the guitar are patience, determination, consistency, hard work and the desire to explore. If you have these 5 qualities, you will conquer unimaginable heights as a guitarist and musician.
If you found this article useful, don’t forget to share it with your guitarist friends. Thank you very much for taking your time and reading my article. I’m sure this article will help you on your way with the guitar.