Category Archives: Beginners

How to Deal with General Pain When Practicing the Guitar

What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar

You may experience issues with pain while playing the guitar. This is a common occurrence, especially when first learning how to play. Here is how you can deal with pain and some ways to eliminate it completely.

 

Don’t Over Practice

One reason why you experience pain is that you’re playing guitar too often and for too long at one time. This is common with younger players as they feel the need to learn everything all at once. This can set you up for serious injuries later on if you play all the time.

A solid practice session should be 30 mins to 1 hour and not longer than that. You can’t play guitar for endless hours as it puts too much strain on your body. You may not feel this strain initially, but it can build up and lead to injuries like a pulled muscle, tendonitis, or another repetitive stress injury.

Tips to Finger Pick Acoustic Guitar Effectively

Rest if Sore

If you’re sore from playing the guitar, you need to rest. Don’t ignore any sort of hand, wrist, or neck pain. You will make things worse if you don’t take the time to rest your body. If the pain is significant, take pain medication or use ice. If the pain persists, see your physician. Serious pain should not occur when playing guitar. Speak to your guitar teacher about what you may be doing wrong.


Warm-Up

Make sure you warm-up prior to digging into your lesson. This might induce flexing the fingers and wrist for a few minutes or running some guitar scales to loosen up your fingers. You can’t just launch yourself into a complicated song without some warm-up. Aim for a 5-10 minute warm-up session to ensure that your hands are limber. If you’re not sure what to do, ask your teacher for some tips. You’ll avoid a lot of stress and strain if you warm-up first. Make sure you don’t overlook this.

 

Proper Position of the Guitar

Make sure you hold the guitar on your lap in the right position. If the guitar is at an angle, this can bend the wrist too much or put a strain on your wrist or arm. Ask your teacher about the correct position to hold your instrument. You may also want to purchase a footstool, as this can reduce strain a great deal. This is considered the classical position, but it can work for other styles as well. The proper position of your instrument is critical.

If sitting down, make sure your feet are flat on the ground and that your back is straight. Use a chair that allows your feet to touch the floor. Put your thumb behind the neck and keep the fingers relaxed on the fretboard.

What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar

 

Guitar Straps and Standing Up

You need to take care when standing with your guitar. Far too many players use loose and long straps. They wear their guitar practically near the knees. While this may look like a cool rock pose, it can put a lot of strain in the shoulders, neck, and back. You need to reach down to play your guitar.

 

Your strap should be about mid-range on the body. Try t have it a bit above waist height. This will be the most comfortable and will eliminate the strain on your body. You should sue a comfortable strap and one that has some padding on it. This reduces the strain and pain that you feel in the shoulder. You may have to adjust your strap a few times until you need the right sweet spot in terms of comfort. If your strap hurts your body, buy a new one. Look for straps made out of solid leather as they last a long time and are comfortable to wear.

 

Barre Chords

When learning chords, the biggest hurdle is barre chords. These can cause a great deal of hand pain if you’re not used to playing them. You should practice these a few minutes at a time. If you feel pain, you need to relax and try again. Some pain will occur as you learn them as there is no way around this. The trick is to not stain yourself or push yourself too hard as you don’t want to set yourself back with an injury.

How To Learn the F Chord

Conclusion

These tips should help you deal with general pain issues when practicing your guitar. Take your time when learning how to play and take care of yourself to avoid injury. Common injuries on the guitar are easily avoided when you employ the right techniques.

 

How To Learn Chords as a Beginner

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

One of the key components of guitar playing is the ability to play chords. It can be difficult in the beginning to master guitar chords. This guide will help you as a beginner, so you can play chords and enjoy having fun on your guitar.


Dedicated Practice

To gain proficiency with guitar chords, you need to practice them. You should dedicate at least 10 minutes per session for guitar chords. Learn the chords that your teacher gives you from each lesson. The more time you can dedicate to learning chords, the better off that you’ll be.

Students that don’t progress when playing chords usually don’t practice them enough so they can’t make progress. Take the time necessary to learn your chords.

Blues Soloing Tips for Beginners


Keep your Nails Short

Keep your nails short on your fretting hand. This makes it easier to play the notes of chords cleanly. If you have long nails, the strings can get caught under them and cause you some pain. This also allows you to apply even pressure form each fingertip on the notes of the chord.

Short nails make fretting a lot easier to keep them as short as you can. The fingertip will toughen up with calluses, and it then takes a lot less effort to play guitar chords the right way.


Finger Placement on the Strings

How you place your fingers on the strings is key. You want to apply even pressure on each string of the chord. If you press too hard, you may get buzzing frets, or the notes won’t sound clear.

Keep your thumb behind the neck and angle your wrist to finger each note of the chords. For some chords, the thumb can come up to block the sixth string, so it doesn’t ring when strumming.

Make sure your fingers aren’t brushing against the string next to the one that you want to play. When this occurs, the note that you want to sound may buzz or not ring at all. You need enough space between the notes, so everything is clean and rings correctly.

How to Write Your First Song using 12 bar blues


Use Correct Fingers

Chord diagrams have numbers on the notes of the chord for a reason. These are the fingers that you should be using for each note of the chord. The finger placement in this manner makes the chords easy to play and helps facilitate the transition to the next chord. Often, there is very little finger movement between each chord. If you use the right fingers on each chord, you’ll have smooth chord changes and won’t have to worry about bad notes.


Finger without Strumming

Finger each chord, but do not strum. Get used to changing chord to chord. For example, finger, G, then, C, then D. This is a common chord progression. Get used to moving between each one of those chords. Your chord change should happen in a rapid fashion. Once you get good at it, close your eyes and try to change without looking at all once you can change quickly, then your set to add in some strums and make music.


Keep the Strumming Going

When you are strumming strings, don't stop the strumming hand.

A lot of beginner guitar players make this critical mistake. Keep the hand going as you move from chord to chord. The change must happen fast. Play the progressions slowly but change chords when you have to without stopping.

What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar


Master Major and Minor First

Master the open position major and minor chords first. Your teacher will probably show you these right away. These are the basic foundation chords that you need to know. You will be able to play thousands of songs by just knowing these first few chords. Learn them backward and forwards as this is key to unlocking more complex chords such as barre chords.


Use Light Strings

Many beginners use guitar strings that are too heavy. Light strings on acoustic guitars or a nylon string guitar are ideal as the strings are easier to press down. You should avoid using heavier gauges as these will hurt your fingers and make it harder to learn chords in the beginning. On electric use a 009 set as these are lighter than the 010. The lighter set makes chords way easier on your electric guitar.

Parts Of A Guitar

Parts Of A Guitar

Whether you're a beginner, or an experienced guitar player, it's good to know the parts of your guitar. It helps you to understand your instrument and care for it better. Also, when you encounter discussions or articles regarding guitars, it is helpful to have knowledge of the parts of the guitar if it comes in on the discussion.

Parts Of A Guitar


The Three Basic Parts

A guitar (acoustic or electric) has three basic parts. For this article, we'll limit ourselves to the acoustic guitar. An acoustic guitar is a guitar that produces its sound inside a hollow sound box. As opposed to an electric guitar that produces its sound through a magnetic coil pick up that is amplified through electrical wires and a loud speaker.


Head or Headstock

The head is found on the narrow end of the guitar. It is where the tuning keys are found. 

In a 6-string acoustic guitar you will see six tuning keys, often three on each side of the head. These tuning keys are also called tuners, tuning pegs, or machine heads. They turn clockwise and counter-clockwise depending on whether you are tightening the strings (higher pitch) or loosening them up (lower pitch). 

You will also see string posts or capstans attached to the tuning keys. These hold the loose end of the guitar string and rotate in sync with the tuning keys.

Parts Of A Guitar


Neck

The neck is the long segment of the guitar. The back side of the neck is often curved to be compatible with the grip of your palm. 

The entire length of the flat side of the neck, divided commonly into 21 frets, is called the fingerboard or fretboard. The fingerboard is where you play the chords. 

The thick metal wires that divide the fingerboard into segments are called frets. If you observe, the fingerboard segments nearer the head are wider, while those nearer the body (sound box) are narrower. 

The main fret that divides the head and the neck is called the nut.It's often made of a thick, hard plastic or other material that is raised slightly above the fingerboard.

You'll also see position markers. They often appear as white dots on the fingerboard itself. Position markers start on the third fret. Then on the fifth, seventh, ninth, twelfth (double dot, indicating an octave), fifteenth, seventeenth, nineteenth, and twenty-first. They guide finger placement.

Acoustic guitars also have (hidden) truss rods that run along the length of the neck. This is used to maintain the stability and curvature of the neck against the tension of the strings.


Body

The body is where the sound reverberates. Usually, the body of an acoustic guitar is hollow with a backboard, sideboards, and a face. 

On the face you'll see the sound hole, where typically, the sound comes out. 

The decorated patterns around the sound hole is called the rosette.

Usually, an acoustic guitar has a pick guard or scratch guard. This is a hard plastic or synthetic material designed to protect the face from scratches caused by a pick.  

The end point in the guitar body after the sound hole is the bridge. This is where the strings are saddled. Pegs or bridge pins lock the strings in place on holes in the bridge. 

The white and slender hard material where the strings rest on the bridge is the saddle. The level of the saddle is elevated slightly to give the strings clearance from touching the frets. 

Parts Of A Guitar


These are the basic parts of an acoustic guitar. We hope you'd learn to appreciate and love your guitar more as a result of reading this article.


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The Importance of Daily Guitar Practice

The Importance of Daily Guitar Practice

Daily practice is critical to your success as a guitar player. Here is why you need to make guitar playing part of your daily routine to see success with the instrument.


It Takes Time to Learn

You will not go far on the guitar if you don’t practice. One of the common complaints that many guitar teachers have is that their students don’t practice enough. You should dedicate 20-30 mins around 4-5 times per week and stick to that schedule. Once you make it part of your routine, it’s easier to get in quality practice sessions. Try to work it around your other daily activities such as work or school.

Learning to play the guitar


Helps with Memorization

If you don’t practice often, you will forget the material that you previously learned. You should work on songs, chords, scales, and other materials that your guitar teacher gives you on a consistent basis. You need a lot of repetition to ingrain the material into your brain and muscle memory. The more you practice, the easier you will retain the knowledge that you have already learned.

The Importance of Daily Guitar Practice


Song Review

By practicing on a consistent basis, you’ll grasp songs at a faster rate. You need to review old songs as much as you need to learn newer ones. Make song practice a large part of your practice sessions as it will help you grow as a player if you review your songs often. You want to develop a large repertoire of songs that you can play fluidly, so practice them often.


Scales and Chords

You need to practice often to master your scales and chords. If you practice, inconsistently, you won’t master these important concepts. Make sure you devote a portion of your practice time to your scales and chords. The more you play them, the better off you’ll be.


Prepared for the Next Lesson

By going over the material you learned in your previous lessons, you’ll be ready for the next lesson. It’s difficult for your teacher to show you new concepts if you haven’t mastered the material already given to you. By practicing on a regular basis, you’ll progress through the lesson materials at a faster pace and be ready for the newer concepts your teacher gives you.


Helps You Overcome Problems Areas

Some aspects of guitar playing, such as barre chords are hard to master. If you dedicate a lot of practice time to areas that you have difficulty in, it’s easier to overcome the area of difficulty. For example, barre chords are a major stumbling block for a lot of new guitar players, and they require a lot of dedicated practice to master. You will never learn these chords if you’re not practicing them on a consistent basis.

Make a note of the areas that you have a problem with and work through these issues. Dedicate a few minutes at each practice session to work on the areas that you’re weak in.

 

Better Hand and Finger Strength

One of the other main reasons to practice often is that you’ll develop a better finger and hand strength. This allows you to do more on the instrument. Your fingers will develop the calluses necessary for longer practice sessions or for playing live.

If you neglect your sessions, you will have difficulty developing your calluses, and if you go for a long duration without picking up your guitar, you will need to develop the calluses all over again, which can be frustrating.

The Importance of Daily Guitar Practice


Avoid Over Practicing

It’s important to practice your guitar often, but you can over practice as well. Do not make the mistake of practicing for endless hours at a time. This can have the opposite effect that you intended it to have. You may injure yourself and have a setback where you can’t play for months.

If you are new to guitar playing, your fingers need rest between sessions. If you push yourself too much, you can get finger strains and muscle pulls, which take a long time to heal.

You should practice around 30 mins or perhaps an hour. If you play longer than that, make sure you take adequate rest breaks to give your fingers time to relax so you don’t get a repetitive stress injury.


Conclusion

Aim to practice guitar 4-5 times per week. Make each session around 30 mins. The more you practice, the faster you will get better on the instrument. Practice hard but avoid over practicing as you don’t want to develop a repetitive stress injury, which will set you back a long time.

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

When you first start playing the guitar, you're going to experience finger pain. This is unavoidable and a part of the learning process. There are ways that you can work around finger pain so you can minimize how much you experience while you are practicing. 

 

Some Pain is Normal

There is no real way to get around finger pain. It is going to be a part of the learning process. Your fingertips have to develop calluses. Once the calluses have developed enough, the finger pain will go away for the most part. Even with calluses, you may experience a little bit of finger pain. This is a part of playing the guitar. If you use thick guitar strings, you will experience more finger pain.

 

It can be to your benefit to use a lighter gauge string on your instrument, which will reduce instances of finger pain. You can experiment with different string gauges to find one that you like the most. Even with light guitar strings, you may still experience a little bit of pain in your fingers. Don't give up practicing if you have a little bit of finger pain.

 

Short Practice Sessions

If you experience finger pain, reduce the length of your practice sessions. Most beginner guitar players will get by fine with a 30-minute practice session. If you try to play more than this, you may experience more finger pain, and you might otherwise want. Reduce your session to a manageable amount of time, and this won't hurt your fingers as much. 

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

Rest

If you find that your fingers are hurting you a lot after a practice session, take a few days off and then return again. This will give your fingertips time to heal. If you keep pushing your practicing when experience finger pain, you won't make much progress. It is difficult to learn the guitar when your fingertips start to hurt you.

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

Warmup

Before you play the guitar, you should warm up your hands. This will help reduce finger pain. For example, you'll find bar chords difficult to play if you don't warm up your hand for at least 10 minutes before you start to play them. You can run scales up and down the fretboard, and this will help to loosen up your fingers. When your hand is warmed up, and your fingers are loose, it's much easier to play complex things on the guitar.


Avoid Plastic Protectors

Some people buy plastic finger protectors to go on their fingertips. This is not the way to go as you won't develop calluses if you have finger protectors over top of your fingertips. These devices will reduce finger pain, but they don't allow your fingertips to strengthen properly for playing guitar. You want natural calluses. It's much easier to play guitar with proper calluses instead of relying on gimmicks such as finger protectors. Some pain when learning guitar is normal.

 

Get Help for Severe Pain

If you find your fingertips or hand is experiencing extreme pain when you're playing guitar, this is not normal. You may be developing a muscle strain or tendonitis in your fingers. If you happen to experience severe pain when practicing, you should stop right away. Call your physician and have your hand examined to ensure that you're not developing any sort of stress-related injury.

 

This is why it's important to have shorter practice sessions. Don't push yourself too much to learn guitar. You can practice a lot, but this may result in a finger strain issue that you will have to address. If you allow the problem to get worse, you may not be able to play guitar for a long time as your hand will have to heal. 

 

Play Each Day

The fingers will develop calluses at a faster rate if you play all the time. This doesn't mean you should have lengthy practice sessions. A session of between 15 to 30 minutes on most days of the week is enough to develop your calluses to a high degree. If you go a long time without practicing, then your calluses will disappear. When you go back to playing again, you'll have to redevelop your calluses.  Try to play on a consistent basis, and you will see proper callus development.

How to Work Around Finger Pain as a Guitar Player

Conclusion

You should expect to experience some finger pain when learning the guitar.  If you experience a lot of pain, this is not normal, and you should have this address to buy your physician. Try to practice for a few minutes each day so you can develop your calluses. Make sure you don't overdo this As you don't want to strain your fingers. Take time before you practice to warm up your hand, which will reduce finger pain.

How to Start Your First Band

How to Start Your First Band

If you have been playing the guitar for a little while, you might want to start a band. It's to your benefit to play in a band because there are many benefits to playing with other people. Here is how you can start your first band.

How to Start Your First Band

You Don’t Need Talent

You don't need to be a talented guitar player to start a band. If you only know a few chords, you can still start a band with other people. You can play simple songs and learn together. This is one of the best things you can do for your guitar playing. You learn about timing, rhythm, and how to sound great with other musicians. Some of the most famous songs in existence are only three or four chords. There are many songs you can play with other musicians that don't require a lot of talent.

 

You can't get this sort of training if you play in your bedroom only. Try to get together with other musicians as soon as possible. You don't necessarily have to start a band, but you can try jamming together. You never know where this may lead, and you may find people you like to play with and want to start a band with them.

 

Play with Friends

If you have friends that play musical instruments, try getting together with them and ask if they would like to start a band. The more you know someone, the easier it is to get along with them and to have a successful band. Many of the most successful bands were friends in high school, and they got together with them to form a band.

 

If you do audition someone for your band, make sure they are a good fit if you don't want someone in your band that's going to be a negative influence. It can be worth it for you to take your time to find members for your band.

 

Check the Egos

One of the common problems with bands is that someone has can have an inflated ego. This is often a cause of bands breaking up. If you're going to be a musician in a band, you should check your ego at the door. You are not there to impress anyone. You are there to create great music together and to put the audience first.

How to Start Your First Band

 If you have someone like this in your band, it can be a good idea to find someone else if they start to be a problem. You want musicians that are going to get along with each other and ones that will support the band. You don't want to have to deal with problem members because that's not the way to make good music together.

 

It Won’t Sound Good at First

When you start your first band, you should expect that the music is not going to sound that great at first. It takes time to develop timing with other musicians. Allow yourself enough time to get proficient together.

 

Start off playing songs that everyone knows. These songs should be simple and not complicated. It will be easier if you can work on the basics together and get that sounding good, before you try more complex arrangements.


First Gigs

It can be difficult to get into a bar or a nightclub if you're not already an established band. You can gain experience by playing shows around your town. Perhaps someone has a birthday party that you can play at. You might be able to play at a graduation party, wedding, or other events. These are places where you can gain experience.

 

You could also just get together with a few of your friends and play some music for them. This will get you established and get people talking about your band.  Most bands start out of their garage and build from there. 

 

Jam Nights

One way to get into bars and clubs is to see if they have a jam night. You may be able to go on stage and play a couple of songs. Not all members of your band can probably do this. You could have the guitar player or singer get together with the house band and play a couple of songs. This can help you gain more experience and develop your confidence. 

If you can establish yourself as being professional, you might get to play a set with your own band. You will probably need to work out an arrangement with the bar or club owner.

How to Start Your First Band

Conclusion

You can start a band as a beginner guitar player, and this is a great way to gain experience. You will learn more about playing with other musicians than on your own. It can be worth it even if you only know a few chords to start your own band.

Learning To Play The Guitar

Learning to play the guitar

You Need To Love To Play

There is one thing you need to know about learning to play the guitar in order to be really successful: You need to love to play. Don't get into learning to play the guitar unless you are really into it. Don't let anyone "force" you into it.

Playing the guitar -- because you love it -- is a lasting affair. The skill you learn doesn't go away as you grow older. In fact, for people who are more enthusiastic about guitar playing, you learn more and improve your skills as you grow old with your guitar. For many of us, the skill and the love for playing the guitar stays on for life.

Having said that love is the most important ingredient, there are some basic things you also need to know in order to be a successful guitarist or guitar player. 


Practice is the key

To be an excellent guitarist, you need to practice at least two hours per day. But, since you're a beginner, an hour a day or every other day is good enough. 

You need to believe in the saying, Practice makes perfect. You need to spend time familiarizing chords, hand and fingers positions, shifting, and strumming. This takes time to familiarize and master. 

You will sleep with your guitar in hand. You'd wake up with your guitar in hand. If you love your guitar and if you are intent on learning to play, then your guitar will be your constant companion and best friend (soul mate). Consistent practice will make your relationship with your guitar a personal one. 

Learning to play the guitar


Choose your guitar well

This is the reason why you need to choose your guitar well: because it will be a lifelong relationship you begin when you own a guitar. If you were given the choice, you need to get a good grip (literally) of your guitar. Since playing the guitar is a matter of getting a good, comfortable grip. 

Don't choose a guitar based on how it looks or appears. Yes, that is also important. But that is secondary. Like a shoe, you need to see if the guitar fits you. And the most important thing in choosing a guitar is if you have a comfortable grip on its neck (where you play the chords). 

If you have long, outstretched fingers, a wide neck (fingerboard) won't be a problem. But if you have short stubby fingers, you need a narrower neck to suit your limitations. It's not a problem because there are acoustic guitars with necks that have a narrow width.

Learning to play the guitar


Start with the fundamentals

If you are a beginner, start with the fundamentals. In choosing songs to play, choose songs that have basic chords and chord patterns. Most of these would be the major and minor chords and open chords. 

I know you would want to play Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, or John Mayer. But unless they have songs that have basic chord charts that beginners can strum, you'll have to save that for later. 

The more important skill you need to learn right now is how to play simple open chords in familiar songs, how to shift from one chord to another, and how to position your fingers correctly during the change up. It is also important for you to learn to recognize chord patterns. There are many popular songs that will help you go through the basic chords and chord patterns and prepare you to play some of the more current popular songs. 

As the saying goes, there is no fun without learning the fundamentals.

 

Never give up

Last piece of advice: Never give up. Persevere!

Learning to play the guitar

How to Master Your First Guitar Solo

How to Master Your First Guitar Solo

Playing rhythm guitar is a lot of fun, but many guitar students want to learn how to play solos too. When you play a solo, it's a little bit harder than a rhythm guitar. You might be a little confused or apprehensive about learning a solo. This guide will show you how to master your first guitar solo.

How to Master Your First Guitar Solo


Master Pentatonic Scales

Before you begin playing guitar solos, it's a good idea to have a solid foundation in the pentatonic scale. You should learn both the pentatonic major and minor scales. Most guitar solos use these two scales. While some solos use different scales, these two form the foundation of a lot of the music that is popular today.

 

It's also a lot easier to learn other guitar scales if you master the pentatonic first. Play through each scale about ten times each during your practice sessions. This will help get the scale under your fingers. Try to learn all of the positions of the scale up and down the fretboard.

 

Short Solos

Start by learning a solo that is short. At most, it should only be a few bars of music. You don't want to try something too complex as this will just confuse you, and you'll get frustrated.

Learning a short solo will also teach you the basics of soloing, before you move onto anything harder. There are many different songs that have short guitar solos. Pick something you like and try to learn how to play the rhythm guitar parts and the guitar solo.

 

There is nothing better than learning all the parts of a song, and this includes a guitar solo. Once you're ready to begin guitar soloing, try something that is short, but that’ll give you a good foundation in guitar solos.

 

Learn the Solo Phrases

Solos are broken up into what we call phrases. These are short chunks of music. Make sure you feel comfortable playing each phrase of the solo before you go on to the next phrase.

Have a look at the notes and how they connect together. Try to look for patterns and how the notes are played.

How to Master Your First Guitar Solo

Once you feel comfortable playing one phrase, add more phrases to that first phrase until you can play the whole solo. You can think of phrases as building blocks of the solo. You work on one block, and then you add another block until the solo is complete.

Phrases can be both long and short. Most short solos that you learn will have phrases that are quite short.

 

Slow it Down

Before you play the solo up to speed, make sure you can play it slowly. If you try to play too fast all at once, your fingers are going to trip up, and you'll make mistakes. Try to play to the solo at a slow pace. It won't sound the same as the solo that is played at full speed, but you'll be able to learn the notes.

 

Once you can play the solo at a slow speed, using a metronome, speed it up until you can play it at the speed on the record. This will take a lot of time and practice. Practice the solo as much as possible and work on your speed. You have to walk before you can run, so slowing things down is one of the best things you can do to learn the solo effectively.

How to Master Your First Guitar Solo

Watch for Problem Areas

You may find that you have some problem areas when you are learning a guitar solo. For example, this might be a bend that is giving you problems. Try to concentrate on the areas of the solo that are giving you the most problems.

It can take time to work through harder parts of the solo, but it's well worth it. Try to see what exactly is giving you the issue and work to correct it as much as possible.

 

Slow down and play what problem notes until they sound right. Once you can play the problem area at a slow pace, try to speed it up a little bit. Once you can speed it up, try to play it to the tempo of the record.

 

Repetition

To learn a solo properly, you're going to have to do a lot of repetition. You'll probably get tired of playing the solo, but this is how you learn it. You need to be able to play it without thinking about it. You can only do this through diligent repetition.

The more you repeat the solo, the faster you will gain the muscle memory necessary to play it through without mistakes.

 

Conclusion

You can learn and master guitar solos. You don't have to stick to just the rhythm guitar. It takes time to learn guitar solos, but it is a lot of fun. Slow down and take your time with them. You should be in no rush to learn the solo.

Practice repetition and look for areas that are giving you problems and try to correct it. Practice to solo as much as possible, and soon you'll be able to play it without any mistakes.

Common Problems Learning Guitar Chords and How to Overcome Them

Common Problems Learning Guitar Chords and How to Overcome Them

When you're learning guitar chords, there are several common problems that may impede your progress to learn the chords. This guide will help you eliminate problems with your chord playing.


Fret Buzz

One of the most common problems when you are learning guitar chords is fret buzz. There are several reasons why you might have buzzing frets. You will notice that the notes are not ringing out as clearly as you might like them.


To eliminate this problem, you need to press down firmly on the strings so that they hit the frets properly. If you don't use enough finger pressure, you're not going to get a clear sounding note. You want to apply even the pressure across the strings with each finger in the chord you are playing. Try to press down firmly, but don't press too hard as you may put the chord out of tune. This will require some practice, so don't worry if you don't get it right away.


No Sound from the Strings

In some cases, you might not get any sound from the string at all. This is usually because the finger isn't placed properly on the string, or it is hitting the string next to it, and you're not getting any sound. It's important to place the fingertip in the middle of the fret and to ensure it's not touching the other strings.


Watch the spacing between your fingers and the strings while you're playing the chord. Try to play each note individually in an arpeggio as this will show you which notes are not as clean as they could be. Once you can determine which string is producing the problem, you'll be able to correct the issue so that the string sounds cleanly when you play it.


Can’t Reach the Notes in the Chord

Sometimes you might not be able to reach all the notes in a chord with your fingers. This is usually caused because your fingers are not stretched enough. You will have to practice other chords before you can Master some of the more difficult chords. Your fingers need to stretch gradually, and over time, you'll be able to play more chords and ones that are more complex.


For example, barre chords take more finger stretching than a regular open-position chord does. You should practice those open position chords before you move on to bar chords. Try not to stress your hand too much if you're struggling to reach a note that is out of reach. Take your time and allow the hand to stretch properly. You will soon find that you are able to hit that note you've been trying to reach.


Diligent Practice

You will find it easier to play chords if you practice often You should devote around 5 to 10 minutes of each practice section to work on your chords. You will make more progress if you spend the time to master each chord. You should also review all of your materials, as this will help to develop your muscle memory.


Try to add one to two new chords each week. This will give you a nice repertoire of chords that you can draw from in the future. Just make sure to review all of the old chords as you add new ones.


Changing Chords

Another aspect of chord playing is changing from one to another. This takes a lot of practice. First, you want to be able to strum one chord without making any mistakes. You can use a simple beat for this. Try playing four downstrokes on one chord. For example, play four down Strokes on a G chord. Once you can do this, try playing four downstrokes on the G chord and then change to the C chord and play four downstrokes.


The trick is to change chords without stopping the rhythm. You need to be able to change chords quickly. This is why it's important to use the proper fingers for each chord. Look at the chord chart and make sure you're using the right fingers on the right strings. This helps you change chords. Once you can change your chords with a simple beat, try something a little more complex. You can use a metronome to help you stay on time.


Conclusion

These tips and you'll be able to master chords in no time at all. Make sure that you practice diligently as it takes time to master your chords playing. Watch your finger placement and how you change your chords. Make a note of problem areas such as buzzing frets or dead strings and correct the issue at the root source.

Tips to Finger Pick Acoustic Guitar Effectively

Tips to Finger Pick Acoustic Guitar Effectively

Learning to fingerpick an acoustic guitar is a rewarding experience. Finger-picking takes more skill than strumming regular guitar chords. Here are some tips to help you with your fingerstyle guitar.

 

Light Strings

One of the most important things that you can do is to use lighter guitar strings. Many acoustic guitars have medium gauge strings. While these are fine for strumming chord progressions. They are harder on your fingers, and this can be detrimental to your fingerstyle guitar.

 

Try to use a light gauge set of strings or a custom light gauge. These strings and make it easier on your fingertips for learning fingerstyle guitar. Once your fingertips have developed enough and you've gained calluses, you can always switch to heavier strings if you prefer them. You can also switch to a nylon string guitar to try some fingerstyle as these strings want to dig into your fingers as regular steel strings do.

Tips to Finger Pick Acoustic Guitar Effectively


Take Care of Your Fingernails

Try to take care of the fingernails on your strumming hand. You want nails that are long, but not too long. It's important to look after your nails if you want to improve your fingerstyle guitar. The nails should be at a consistent length. You don't want one finger to have a nail that is too long and the other finger to have a nail that is too short.

 

Make sure you file them on a regular basis so that they are rounded and that you take care and not to break them.  I wouldn't rely on false fingernails as these won't work as well as your regular nails do for fingerstyle guitar. You should keep the nails on your fretting hand short because this makes it easier for you to fret chords or play single notes. It's the nails on your strumming hand that need to be longer.

 

Bass Notes

When playing bass notes, you want to ensure that these are ringing out nice and clear. It's the bass notes that are going to give you the nice melodies. When using your thumb to pluck these the notes should be ringing out nice and cleanly. Your thumb will play the bass notes and your other fingers are playing the treble strings. It's the bass note that will move the melody along so these notes are the most important part of the fingerstyle piece that you are playing.

 

The bass notes are more often than not the root of the chord. You want the listener to hear those root notes as you are playing. Play a simple chord progression and concentrate on making sure that the root note is ringing out during the finger-picking progression. Put more of an accent on the bass note so that it rings cleanly and moves the progression along.

Tips to Finger Pick Acoustic Guitar Effectively

Go Slow

You should practice your fingerpicking pieces at a slow pace. It takes time to develop any sort of speed with fingerpicking. You cannot rush the process of learning a finger-picking guitar. It's a good idea to get yourself a good metronome as you can use this to increase your speed.

 

Once you can play something at a slow pace without making any mistakes, then you can begin to speed it up. It's far better to play something slowly without making those mistakes and it is to try to speed through something and make a lot of mistakes. You will keep making the same mistakes if you don't go back and correct the issue. Consistent and diligent practice at a slow pace will make it easier for you to master complex fingerstyle arrangements.

Tips to Finger Pick Acoustic Guitar Effectively

 

Break It Down

Whenever you play a fingerstyle piece there will be different sections of music. You should break it down and play music into small sections. You can work through each individual section and master them one at a time. Try to look for patterns in the music and how the chords are changing.

 

In some cases, you might only need to make small adjustments with your fingers to get to the next chord. If you run into a section that gives you difficulty, analyze it, and figure out what exactly is giving you the problem. You should focus your efforts on this section until you can master it.

 

Listen to Fingerstyle Players

To get proficient at fingerstyle guitar you should listen to all of the fingerstyle masters. This will give you inspiration in your own playing. Have a look at how they play chords and see if you can mimic what they are doing.

 

Try to learn one or two songs from your favourite singer style guitar players even if the music is really complex. Take the time and effort to learn those pieces as they will be valuable learning tools for you. You'll get great satisfaction from learning a complex fingerstyle piece from one of your favourite artists.

Tips to Finger Pick Acoustic Guitar Effectively

 

Constant Practice

It will take a lot of time to gain finger independence for both your fretting hand and your picking hand. Fingerstyle guitar requires you to concentrate more as you're not just strumming through a chord progression. You will be picking individual notes and it's easier to make mistakes.

 

You'll have to sit down with your guitar and do a lot of consistent practice. You should start with simple chord progressions and then work your way up. Once you can play through simple chord progressions, you can try songs. Start with songs that are easy and work towards ones that are complex. The more time you put into fingerstyle, the more reward you will get in the end.

 

Conclusion

Fingerstyle guitar is fun, but it is challenging. You have to sit down and do a lot of consistent practice. You should take care of your nails and use lighter guitar strings. Listen to your favourite artists for inspiration. Break down sections that you don't understand into easy and manageable chunks. Talk to your guitar teacher about fingerstyle guitar as they can help you what areas that are giving you difficulties. 

Why You Should Not Use Guitar Finger Protectors

Why You Should Not Use Guitar Finger Protectors

As a new guitar player or student, you may experience frustration at the amount of finger pain you experience while learning guitar.

Some individuals try to learn guitar using guitar finger protectors. These are small plastic pieces that fit on the tips of your fingers. 

This might sound like a great idea to reduce finger pain, but there are many drawbacks. Here is why you should not be using guitar finger protectors.


No Calluses

When you practice the guitar, you will develop calluses over time. These are hard layers of skin on the tips of your fingers. The skin may also peel and flake away as you are developing calluses.

This might seem like it would be a concern to you, but these calluses are good. They play a vital role in how well you play the guitar. 

When you have hard calluses, it's much easier to play the guitar for a longer duration. The strings no longer hurt your fingers.

If you don't develop calluses, you will never improve your fingertip strength, and you're playing won't be as good as it could be.

Why You Should Not Use Guitar Finger Protectors

My Experience

When I was first learning guitar, it took several weeks before I started to develop calluses. During this time, my fingertips hurt quite a bit, but I kept playing my guitar. As my calluses got thicker, the strings on my guitar did not hurt as much.

If you want to improve your guitar playing, you also have to improve your calluses. You can only do this by playing the guitar with your fingers and not relying on plastic finger protectors.

When you use these sorts of plastic pieces, you're not going to develop calluses on the fingers.


Guitar Technique

Your guitar technique will also suffer if you use finger protectors. You won't be able to judge the string as well. These plastic pieces interfere with techniques such as bending or finger vibrato.

It's the strength of your fingers and the calluses that helps you perform these various guitar techniques.

If you don't have calluses, these techniques may not be as good as you could get them.


The Learning Experience

Learning the guitar takes a lot of effort. If you try to cheat the process, you're not going to get as much out of your guitar lessons. Finger pain is a part of that process.

We all have to go through issues with finger pain. Once the calluses have developed, this pain goes away, and you will rarely ever feel any finger pain when you're playing your guitar.

 

Use Lighter Strings

There are steps you can take to reduce finger pain without relying on finger protectors. The first thing you can do is to use lighter gauge strings. Many instruments ship with thick guitar strings.

If you lower the gauge, playing the instrument will be easier. For example, put on a set of 009s on an electric guitar and don't use 010s. The 009 gauge string is a lot thinner than the 010 gauge.

On an acoustic guitar, you can try light strings and not medium. Mini acoustic guitars have medium strings. The problem with this is that they are heavier and thicker. These will hurt your fingers if you are a beginner. Lighter strings will be much easier for you to play.

Why You Should Not Use Guitar Finger Protectors


Nylon Strings

Any way to reduce finger pain a great deal is to try a nylon string classical guitar. These guitars have nylon strings. They are much easier on the fingers.

You can learn the basics of guitar on the classical instrument. Then you can graduate to an acoustic or electric. These strings won't develop your calluses as much, but you learn guitar without frustration.


Electric Before Acoustic

Many players start with a steel-string acoustic and get frustrated. This is because the strings are thicker than the electric guitar.

I recommend beginners try the electric guitar first. The strings are easier on your fingers, yet you will develop finger calluses. You won't have as much of an issue with finger pain.

If you start on the acoustic and then graduate to the electric, you'll find the switch to the electric even easier.

Why You Should Not Use Guitar Finger Protectors

Conclusion

Guitar finger protectors seemed like a good idea. I don't recommend them because they don't allow your fingers to develop. You need to play and practice your instrument to get better. Finger pain and the development of calluses is part of the process.

Once your fingertips are strong enough, you will not feel the guitar string digging into your fingers. You will be able to play for a long duration without any finger pain. 

Learning Guitar Over the Age of 50

Learning Guitar Over the Age of 50

When you get older, you often have some free time for hobbies. People over the age of 50 often take up hobbies such as fishing, golf, they go traveling, and so on. A lot of people don't think hobbies such as playing a musical instrument are possible after the age of 50. I want to show you that you can play the guitar and learn at any age. 

 

You Are Not Too Old

You can play guitar at any age, and even if you are over the age of 50, you can still learn. It can be a fun and rewarding experience to learn the guitar when you are older.  A lot of older people think you can't learn an instrument because too much time has passed. We have this misconception in our mind that musical instruments are just for young people. While it does take time to learn to play guitar, you can do it when you are older.

Learning Guitar Over the Age of 50

 

Benefits to Playing Guitar At Age 50

There are numerous benefits to playing guitar over the age of 50, such as the following:


  • Playing a musical instrument is very relaxing. It can help you deal with stress in your life. You may be working a lot or need some time to yourself. Playing a musical instrument such as the guitar can help you deal with your stress levels.
  • Learn something new.  When you pick up a guitar, you are learning something new. You will help your memory and cognitive function by learning. This can help reduce the risks of illnesses such as Alzheimer's or dementia. Research shows us that people that engage their memory more often have reduced risk of these illnesses.
  • Play with friends. You may have people you know that play musical instruments. Learning an instrument, yourself, you can get together with your friends and play some songs. There is a social aspect to playing music that you can take part in.
  • The fun factor. One of the best reasons to pick up the guitar is that it is fun. You can learn all of your favorite songs and have fun playing them. You don't have to worry about joining a band although you can do this. There are plenty of places such as bars and clubs where older bands play. You could live out your dream of playing on stage.
Learning Guitar Over the Age of 50

 

How to Learn Guitar Over Age 50

The best thing you can do if you want to learn guitar over the age of 50 is to find yourself a qualified guitar teacher. There are several basic concepts that you need to learn. You will get the most benefit out of the instrument if you find a good teacher. You will progress at a rapid rate if you have a teacher. You may become frustrated and not know where to turn if you try to teach yourself. This is one of the reasons why many older people put the guitar back in the case.

 

Once you find a good teacher, speak to them about what you want to learn. This will help your teacher tailor the right program for you.  Your teacher is there to help guide you through the process of learning the instrument. By putting in your own input, they can tailor the right program for you too.

 

Go at Your Own Pace

When you learn an instrument as an older individual, you can go at your own pace. You can pick it up and play whenever you want. There is no rush to learn anything. You should pick up your guitar and have fun with it. 

 

My Experiences

When I was teaching a guitar, I had several older students.  They were picking up the instrument for the first time in their life. I had an enjoyable time teaching them how to play the guitar.  I had students over the age of 50, and they were able to pick up the instrument as well as my younger students. 

 

You should have no fear when you're older about playing the guitar. You may have some free time on your hands, so why not devote that time to learning an instrument. You may have dreamed about this in the past, so now is the time to live out your dreams.

Learning Guitar Over the Age of 50

Conclusion

When you learn a musical instrument such as the guitar, it’s a fun process. You can learn this instrument at any age. You do not have to be a young person to play the guitar. If you've always wanted to learn and you are older, find yourself a qualified teacher and enjoy everything that music can bring to your life.

Fingerpicking Basics

Common Problems Learning Guitar Chords and How to Overcome Them

Once you have learned your basic chords on the guitar, it's time to try new techniques. One of the most common techniques is called fingerpicking. This might seem intimidating for new players, but it is easier than you think.


What is Fingerpicking?

Fingerpicking involves using the fingers and not a pick. In some cases, you may use a pick, and we refer to this as hybrid picking. Your thumb and the first three fingers of your hand will pluck the strings when you fingerpick. Here is how this works:

 

  • Thumb plays 6th, 5th, and 4th string bass notes
  • 1st finger plays 3rd string
  • 2nd finger plays 2nd string
  • 3rd finger plays, 1st string
Fingerpicking basics


Basic Chords

To understand the concept of finger-picking, let's look at a common example using the D major chord. 

D Major

  • Thumb plays 4th string
  • 1st finger plays 3rd string
  • 2nd finger plays 2nd string
  • 3rd finger plays 1st string


We can also think of this using the following formula, which makes it easy to play the strings.

  • T(bass) 3, 2, 1 (strings)


Depending on the chord that you are playing, the thumb plays the bass note of that chord. In this case, the thumb is playing the 4thstring. You then play the rest of the strings in the chord with the corresponding fingers. Just remember that the numbers above refer to the strings and not your fingers.


Full Arpeggio

Let's take this basic concept and play a full arpeggio.


  • D Major = T(4),  3, 2 ,1, 2, 3


Play the 4thstring because it's a D major chord. You then play the 3rdstring, then 2nd, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  This would give you a full D major arpeggio.  Let's look at another chord and see how this works.


G Major Arpeggio

  • T(6), 3, 2, 1, 2, 3

If we look at the G major chord, the bass string is on the 6th string. We play the 6thstring with the thumb, and then we play 3, 2, 1, 2, 3. This gives us a full arpeggio on the G major chord. Let's look at a full chord progression and see how this would work.


G, Em, C, D

  • G = (6), 3, 2, 1, 2, 3
  • Em = (6), 3, 2, 1, 2, 3
  • C = (5), 3, 2, 1, 2, 3
  • D = (4), 3, 2, 1, 2, 3

 

You may be wondering why the G chord and the E minor chord are the same. This is because the bass note for the G and the E minor are both on the 6thstring. You simply change chords, but the strings for the arpeggios stay the same. The only thing that will be changing will be the chord position.

 

This simple pattern can be followed for every single open position chord. There are many different fingerpicking patterns, but this is a great one to start out with. It is a simple arpeggio that goes down the strings and then up the strings. The thumb is playing the bass note of the chord, and your fingers play the treble strings.

Fingerpicking basics

Fingerpicking and Calluses

When you start fingerpicking, you'll be developing calluses on both of your fingers. You'll be developing them on the picking hand because you were plucking the strings with the tips of your fingers. You’ll also develop them on your fretting hand because you are fretting the chords. Some people like to use plastic fingerpicks, but you should stick with the fingers at first as the plastic fingerpicks are harder to use.


Play Slowly

Play these basic arpeggios slowly to start with. You want to build up speed, but to do this, you have to play the chords slowly before you can speed it up. Try to keep an even tempo through the arpeggios. You could use a metronome to help you accomplish this. Once you start to get good at playing smoothly at a slower tempo, then you can start to speed it up slightly.

 

Fingernails

Fingerpicking will be easier if you grow out the nails on your picking fingers. You don't want them too long, but you want them to be a reasonable length. You should round them as much as possible and take care of your fingernails while you are fingerpicking. Some people don't like to play with their fingernails and instead use the tips of their fingers. You can do this as well, but you won't get a sound that is as loud as the fingernails produce.

Fingerpicking basics

Conclusion

This is a basic introduction to fingerpicking. Try the simple pattern above and see how you do with it. Fingerpicking does take time to master, but it is not as difficult as it seems. Feel free to try other fingerpicking patterns. The number of patterns you can play are almost limitless!

How To Learn The F Chord

How To Learn the F Chord

One of the hardest chords to learn as a beginner is the F chord. New players struggle to play this chord effectively. This guide will show you how to master the F chord, so you don't struggle with it.

 

Your Strings

The first thing you should do is to ensure that you're using a light gauge string. This will make it easier for you to press down on the strings, and your hand won't get fatigued. If you're using an electric guitar, I recommend the 009 set. This is a lower gauge and easier to play. If you're playing an acoustic guitar, go for the light set and not the medium set.  If you have a classical guitar, the nylon strings you already have will be suitable. A lower action on the string height will make it easier to play the chord. You can have this set up by a guitar technician. If your string height is too high, pressing down the chord will be more difficult.

How To Learn the F Chord


Warmup

You should always warm up your hands before you attempt the F chord. Play the guitar for 10 to 15 minutes to get your hand loosened up. You can do this by playing finger exercises or running through scales. The F chord takes a lot of effort from your fingers, so you want to have your hand warmed up if you want to master it.

 

Learn the Basic Open Position Chords First

It’s best to learn the basic open position chords before you attempt the F chord, leaving this one till last. If you try to attempt it in the beginning, you will just get frustrated. You will build up finger strength and stamina by learning the basic open position chords first. By learning these chords before you attempt the F chord and other barre chords, you will strengthen the calluses on your fingertips making the harder ones easier to press down and hurt less too.

 

1st Fret basic F Chord

First F chord you will learn is the basic F chord at the first fret. You will bar the first two thinner strings, which are the B string and the E string.  The first finger needs to be flat against these two strings. You'll have to press down quite firmly on the notes, so they ring. You want to put the second finger on the 3rd string at the second fret. The third finger will go on the 4th string at the third fret. This gives you the basic F chord.


F Barre Chord

The basic chord for F can give some players problems. It's easier to play the full F barre chord at the first fret. Here is how you do that:

 

  • First finger bar across all of the strings 6 through 1
  • Second finger 3rd string 2nd fret
  • Fourth finger on the 4th string third fret 
  • The third finger on the 5th string third fret

 

The second, third, and fourth fingers underneath the bar make up an “E” shape. The F major barre chord is based upon the E chord. You make the E chord and place the bar across the strings with your first finger.

How To Learn the F Chord

 

Try the Barre Chord Higher Up

If you struggle with the F chord at the first fret, try making the bar chord at the 3rd fret or the 5th fret. At the third fret, this would be the G major chord. At the 5th fret, this would be the A major chord. Once you can master these two positions, move it back up to the first fret, and that would be the F chord.

How To Learn the F Chord


Hand Fatigue

When you try to learn the F chord, you're going to get hand fatigue. It takes a lot of time and practice to master this chord. This is the basic, or do you need to learn for all of the other barre chords. Once you can do this, the other barre chords will be a lot easier. You can expect to have some hand fatigue when you are learning the chord. Try playing for around 5 minutes and then relax your hand.

 

If you have hand pain or finger pain, stop what you're doing and give yourself a longer time to relax. You may have to struggle with this chord for several weeks. Every player goes through this process as the F chord and the related barre chords are the harder chords on the instrument to learn. 

 

Buzzing Strings

When you are learning this chord, the strings may buzz. This is a common experience many guitar players have. You need to press down firmly on the strings to stop them from buzzing. You should also ensure that the action is low enough and that you're using light strings. If you continue to play and practice the chord, the buzzing will go away. Also, have a look at your fingers and make sure you have proper finger placement. 

How To Learn the F Chord

Conclusion

You can master the F chord. It will take some time, but it opens up a lot more chords on the guitar once you can Master it. You will find the other barre chords a lot easier once you learn the F chord. Your guitar teacher will be able to help teach and train you on these chords so that you do them with the correct hand placement and minimise any risk of injuries and less frustration too. 

Basics of What You Need to Know to Play Blues Guitar

Basics of What You Need to Know to Play Blues Guitar

Lots of people want to learn how to play blues guitar, but they don't know where to start. Playing blues is a lot easier than you think. It's an easy style to play, but like most musical styles, it is difficult to master. Here's how you can get started playing blues guitar and what you need to know.

 

12-Bar Progression - The Foundation

The foundation of blues guitar playing is the 12-bar progression. There are variations on this progression, such as 8 bars, 16 bars, and so on, but the main progression is 12 bars. Here is how that would look in the key of E using 7th chords.

 

X = bars

E7 4x

A7 2x

E7 2x

B7 1x

A7 1x

E7 1x

B7 1x 

 

In blues, we usually use 7th chords because they have a bluesy feel to them. You can use whatever chords you want, but seventh chords sound pretty good. There are plenty of songs written with major chords as well as minor chords. These chords come from the major scale. They come from the first degree, fourth-degree, and the 5th degree. Progression is also referred to as the one, four, five progression.  There are thousands of blues-based songs that use this type of progression. 

Basics of What You Need to Know to Play Blues Guitar

The Turnaround

The last four chords of a blues progression or what we call the turnaround. This does what it says. It turns the progression around to the top again. The turnaround is usually quite pronounced in the music. It has a distinct flavor to it, and it gives blues music it's bluesy feeling. The turnaround can be quite simple or complex. Try playing to the chord progression above and then the turnaround. Which is:


B7, A7, E7, B7

 

A lot of times the turn around is a guitar lick at the end of the progression, which turns the progression around to the beginning. Your guitar teacher can teach you many blues turnarounds.

 

Pentatonic Scale

Blues music makes liberal use of the pentatonic scale. It uses both the major pentatonic scale and the minor pentatonic scale. A lot of music is written in minor pentatonic just because it sounds so good next to blues-based chords.

 

The Pentatonic scale also allows for a lot of string bending, hammer-ons, pull-offs, vibrato, and other guitar techniques, which are common in blues-based music. To become a proficient blues guitar player, you need to master the Pentatonic scale.

 

Some blues music will also make use of the major scale and the modes of the major scale, but this isn't as common. You should concentrate on learning the Pentatonic scale first before any other scales if you wish to play blues music.

Basics of What You Need to Know to Play Blues Guitar

 Feeling the Music

Blues guitar focuses a lot on feeling the music, not how many notes you play. Blues guitar is usually not played at a lightning-fast speed. Although there are some songs that are played quite quickly, it's a style that is slower than others.

 

To get the feeling of blues music, have a listen to lots of blues records. I would recommend listening to all of the old artists. This would include Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Howling Wolf, Albert Collins, Robert Johnson, and similar artists. This is where true blues music comes from. To play the style in a proficient manner, listen to these artists to hear how they play, and get ideas from them.

 

Soloing

Guitar soloing is a large part of blues music. Many blues songs have several solos throughout the piece. To get used to playing blues music, have someone play a blues chord progression. You can then practice playing the pentatonic scale over the progression. For example, if the progression is in the key of E, play the E Pentatonic minor scale over that progression.

 

Try to listen to the chord changes and feel the beat of the progression. It will take quite a while until your soloing sounds the way you want. You should practice playing over progressions as much as possible because this will help train your fingers to play the right notes at the right time. Try to incorporate bends, slides, vibrato, hammer-ons, pull off, and so on in your playing.

 

Don't focus a lot on speed. Focus on playing clean and articulate notes over top of the progression. A lot of blues players don't play a lot of notes. You can get a ton of mileage out of the Pentatonic scale.

Basics of What You Need to Know to Play Blues Guitar

Conclusion

This has been a very basic look at the first steps to blues guitar playing. If you want to play blues, talk to your guitar teacher, and they will teach you the progressions and scales that you need to know. Playing blues guitar is a lot of fun, so try a few songs today and enjoy the power of this classic style of music. We would not have rock and roll if it wasn't for the blues.

Blues Soloing Tips for Beginners

Blues Soloing Tips for Beginners

You need a few skills if you want to play blues guitar solos. Many players approach blues in the wrong way. This guide will help you get used to playing these sorts of solos, so they sound amazing.

 

Slow Down

The first thing you should do when playing a blues solo is to slow down. I see many players trying to play blues at a fast pace, but most blues solos are not fast at all. You should try slowing down and creating more space between the notes allowing the music to breathe.

 

By slowing down, you'll get more in touch with the music. If you find yourself playing too fast, slow down a little bit, and you'll find that your blues playing sounds better.

 

Master the Pentatonic Scales

You should Master both the minor Pentatonic scale and the major Pentatonic scale. These are the two scales that are used the most in blues playing. Another useful one to learn is the blues scale. This one is also common. Once you have mastered these three scales, you'll be well on your way to playing great blues guitar solos. 

 

Try to learn all of the various positions of these scales and not only one of them. Your solos will sound better when you are moving all over the guitar neck. Remember that once you learn the positions in one key, all you have to do is move them to the new key. There are no new finger positions that you need to know.

Blues Soloing Tips for Beginners

Phrasing

One thing that makes a blues guitar playing unique is the phrasing. You want to play short phrases when you are playing this type of music. Play a short phrase, give the music a pause, and then play another phrase.

 

This sounds a lot better than playing a million notes. You can still play some longer phrases but try to break them up. You can say a lot with a few notes. Listen to players such as B.B King. He was able to do a lot with his music but only playing a few notes. You can add things such as slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, and so on. This makes your playing more interesting.

 

Vibrato

One of the key aspects of playing great blues guitar is your vibrato. You should work on this a lot. This is what gives the music so much feeling. You don't have to play a straight notes all the time. You can add vibrato to different notes while you are playing. Vibrato makes the music sing and gives it a personality. 

Blues Soloing Tips for Beginners

Bending

String bending is found throughout blues guitar playing. This is a skill that you need to master to become a great blues soloist. Bends add a lot of dynamic to blues guitar playing. You should work on your string bending as much as possible. 

 

Guitar Licks

Learn a lot of guitar licks and put them in your solos.

You want to avoid being tiresome in your guitar playing. This is where guitar licks come into play. Try to learn as many blues guitar licks as you can. This way, you can put them in while you are soloing. The more licks you know, the more interesting your solo is going to be. Try not to stay on the same lick for too long. You want to mix and match them as much as possible. 

 

You could play a lick in one position, and then move it to a different position and play the same thing. This can make the music sound more interesting. Try to learn licks from all of your favorite artists and then meld them together into your own style.

Blues Soloing Tips for Beginners

Turnarounds

Pay attention to the last four bars of the 12 bar blues progression. You want to create exciting phrases during the turnaround to bring the music back to the top. There are many different turnarounds that you can learn. Ask your guitar teacher to teach you some blues turnarounds.

 

Listen to Many Artists

Listen to blues masters to learn from them.

Spend a lot of time listening to different blues players, and analyze what they are doing. Most blues players use the same scales and the same chord progressions. It's how they play these that make them unique. You will gain a lot of knowledge by listening to different blues players and figuring out exactly what they are doing. 

 

Conclusion

This guide will help you get started playing blues guitar solos. Try listening to blues artists as much as possible. You will gain a lot of knowledge from studying blues music. Work on your phrasing bends and master the scales. Before you know it, you'll be playing amazing blues guitar solos.

How Guitar Playing Improves Your Mental Health

How Guitar Playing Improves Your Mental Health

You may not think that guitar playing can impact your mental health in a positive way, but it can. Playing guitar has several positive impacts on how you feel. Here is how the instrument will improve your mental health.


More Confidence

When you play guitar, you'll have more confidence and self-esteem. You may end up playing for people in a live setting. This can do wonders for your well-being. You will feel energized and have plenty of confidence after playing the instrument. When you're practicing at home, you may play something that you really enjoy. This can help you feel better, and you're less likely to suffer from depression. If you want more confidence in your life, try picking up the guitar.

How Guitar Playing Improves Your Mental Health

Great Therapy
Improve your well being by playing guitar.

Think of all the wonderful songs that were written about life. When you play the guitar, it's great therapy. It can help you deal with a lot of stress in your life. For example, perhaps you're going through a bad relationship or breakup. By writing a song about that situation, you can deal with it in a positive manner. Music helps you express your innermost emotions. You may not let those emotions out normally, but they come out when you write a song.

You will feel better about the situation when you play your guitar. It doesn't even have to be a song that you wrote. You can pick up your guitar as a way to cope with the situation. Playing music helps you to express your feelings so that you are better able to deal with them.


Makes You More Creative

Playing music gets your brain working. You're able to tap into your creativity when you play guitar. You have to think about the chord progression you're playing. You then need to come up with something to go over that chord progression. You're always looking for new ideas when playing the guitar. It keeps your brain engaged and allows you to tap into your creativity.

You may be doing a regular task you normally do, such as working, going to school, or shopping. In those moments, you may have an idea for a song pop into your head. Once you get home, you can then expand upon that idea by picking up your guitar. You're always thinking creatively when you play an instrument.


Better Social Life

Connect with others when you play the guitar.

When you play guitar, it's normal for you to connect with other individuals. These people enjoy playing the guitar as much as you do. You can find them on forums, guitar sites, guitar lessons and so on. If you play live, you're always meeting new musicians. You will spend time with them as you play or discuss music. 

This can help expand your social network by a wide margin. You will have more friends in your life when you play the guitar. You can use the guitar as an outlet to meet new people. When you connect with people that think the same way you do, you're going to reduce your stress. Think of how fun it is to get together with friends for a camping sing-along or barbecue. 

How Guitar Playing Improves Your Mental Health

Better Productivity

When you play guitar, you end up being more productive. You have to learn songs, scales, and chords. All of this takes organization and effort. You may have only a certain amount of time to practice your guitar. If you want to get better during that time, you have to be more productive.

By playing the guitar, your productivity increases as well as your organizational skills. You have to take the things that you were learning and organize them in a specific way to see results when you practice. Playing guitar teaches you how to organize your time. You get your brain engaged as you work through your practice session.


Connect with Yourself

Playing the guitar helps you connect with yourself. You may be extremely shy or not know how to express yourself. The guitar brings out the person inside of you. When you play, you get good feelings about yourself. You can dig deep into your emotions and let them all out as you play.

This self-expression is one of the best aspects of playing the guitar. It allows you to be you, and you do so through music. A lot of musicians use music to write about their lives and things that have happened to them. You connect to your emotions when you play the guitar.

How Guitar Playing Improves Your Mental Health

Conclusion

Playing the guitar is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. The instrument can reduce stress, enhance your creativity, help you be more productive, give you a better social life, and enhance your well-being.

How To Get Used To Playing Barre Chords

How to Get Used to Playing Barre Chords

One of the hardest things to play, especially for new guitar players, is barre chords. These need a lot of finger strength as well as patience when you are first learning them. This guide will show you how to play barre chords and make it easier for you to learn them.

How to Get Used to Playing Barre Chords

Learn Open Position Chords First

You should learn open position chords first. The reason for this is that these chords form the foundation of barre chords. You will learn all of the basic chord shapes by learning open position chords first. Your hand will also get stronger when you learn these chords.

 

The tendons in your fingers will start to stretch as you learn the chords. This will make it much easier in the future to learn barre chords.  It's essential that you learn all the open position chords before you move on as it will be much easier.

How to Get Used to Playing Barre Chords

Warm Up First

You will need to warm up your hands before you start learning the barre chords. Try playing a few scales up and down the neck of your guitar to warm up your hands. Once your hand is warm enough, you can start to practice your barre chords. You will notice a lot of pain in your hand if you try to play a bar chord when your hand is cold.

 

Play Them Slowly

You can't rush into barre chords. You should play them slowly and only play them for a few minutes each practice session. For example, take a common chord progression and play it as barre chords. Your hand is going to get quite fatigued at first while learning these chords as barres, so go slow.

 

If you try to rush the process, you may end up with an injury, or your hand will be too sore from playing other things on the instrument. As you get better at playing them, you can add more time to your playing session.

 

Keep Your First Finger Flat

One of the hardest things people have is keeping the first finger flat. This finger has to be as flat as possible because it is recreating the nut of your guitar. Lie the finger flat across all of the strings. Once the finger is flat, you can put the rest of the chord shape down.

 

For example, if you’re playing a G major barre chord, You play this at the third fret. Put the first finger down at the 3rd fret and the E major shape underneath it. Keep the finger as flat as you can as you put the rest of the fingers down to form the chord.

 

Don't Tighten The Grip

A lot of players will try to tighten their grip when playing barre chords. They think that a tighter grip is going to make the chord easier. If you tighten your grip too much, your hand will get tired, and you won't be able to play the chord at all. You'll get better results with the chord if you keep practicing it as relaxed as possible.

 

Some of the notes won't ring at first. This is common when learning barre chords. You should keep your hand as relaxed as possible. Place all the fingers in the right position and hold a gentle grip. You still have to press down enough on the strings, but don't press down and strain your hand. Have a relaxed grip, and then try playing the chord.

How to Get Used to Playing Barre Chords

Evaluate Problem Areas

When learning in these chords, you may come into problem areas. Some of your fingers may not be sitting on the strings correctly. This will create a situation where the string starts to buzz. You can usually get rid of this buzz by changing the angle of your fingers. make sure they are not interfering with any of the other strings. If your hand is resting on some strings it shouldn't be resting on, you'll get buzzing strings.

 

Play the chord one string at a time and notice where the buzzing is coming from. This allows you to locate the problem areas so you can adjust your fingers. If it’s still buzzing after you do this, you probably just need to practice the chord more.


Patience Is Key

You are not alone if you have problems with barre chords. This is one of the major stumbling blocks that all guitar players face. You have to give the process enough time. Try using lighter guitar strings. These are easier to press down and won't tire out your fingers as much. Practice barre chords every day if possible, but only for a few minutes. As you get better, they will start to ring out clearer and sound a lot nicer.

 

Conclusion

Learning barre chords can be a frustrating process. It will take time before you can play these chords. Be sure to practice some each day but only for a few minutes. Allow your hand to rest if it gets tired. Don't try to rush it when learning these chords.

How to Have a Successful First Jam Session

How to Have a Successful First Jam Session

If you've been playing guitar for some time, you might want to get on stage and start jamming. This can be intimidating for a first-timer, but it doesn't have to be. This guide will show you what you need to do to be successful in the jam session.


Find Out What Is Going On In Your Local Area

The first thing you need to do is to find out what is going on in your local area in terms of jam sessions. Many clubs and bars have jam sessions. In normal circumstances and not much is required of you. All you need to do is show up with an instrument and be ready to play. 

Most players will be allowed between two and three songs. Often, you'll be playing with the house band. These are musicians that play at these clubs or bars. These musicians know a wide variety of different songs so you shouldn't have trouble finding something to play.

How to Have a Successful First Jam Session

Practice a Lot

You should be practicing quite a bit if you want to jam. You want to know your songs backward and forwards, and not have any difficulty playing these songs. It should be natural for you to play them. If you know the complete song, it's going to be easier to play on the stage.

If you only know certain parts, such as the rhythm for the solo, this is fine. The musicians on stage can give you these parts to play when it comes time to play them. The more you practice, the better you're going to sound on the stage. Since you're going to be nervous, you don't want to hesitate with the song, so constant practice will eliminate this hesitation.


Pick Your Favourite Guitar

You don't want to bring a lot of equipment with you to a jam. You should only bring one guitar with you. In most jam sessions, there is not a lot of room on the stage for multiple instruments, so take your favourite guitar with you to the jam and use that one.

How to Have a Successful First Jam Session

Know How to Improvise Somewhat

If you have some improvisational skills, this will help you on the stage. In many Jam sessions, the song is often played note for note. If you're able to solo over the chord progression, this will help you on stage. You'll be able to play the song without having to know the solo note-for-note. It’s a good idea to have it the feel of the solo down, but you don't have to memorize it note for note.


Avoid Alcohol and Other Substances

If you're going to get up on stage, refrain from taking any alcohol or other substances. You want to have a clear head while you're playing. You may be intimidated at first, but alcohol will only make the situation worse. It's fine to have a drink or two after the jam session, but don't make alcohol a priority when you're playing. It's far too easy to consume alcohol in excess and this won't improve your playing while you're on the stage.

How to Have a Successful First Jam Session

Help Out After The Jam

It's stick around for the entire jam if you can. Once the jam is over, you can help move the equipment off the stage. This also gives you an opportunity to talk to the other musicians. If you're looking for a band, they may be able to direct you to people who are interested in other guitar players.


Jamming When Younger

Even if you're not in an adult and going to clubs, you can still jam. Get together with your friends and decide what you're going to play. For example, one person can play the chord progression of the song while the other person can do the solo. You can do this as an adult as well.

Make sure the song is something that everyone knows how to play. This is how bands get started. Everyone picks a song that they like, and you start playing it. You shouldn't focus on your technical ability while you're jamming. The idea is to have fun and to let out your musical creativity. Your first jam sessions are not going to sound all that great. You have to get used to playing in time and keeping the rhythm. This takes a lot of practice.


Conclusion

When you jam, the idea is to have fun. Getting on stage for the first time can be intimidating. A few songs that you know and jam on those.  Once you have jammed a few times, the process gets a lot easier.


How to Help Young Children Practice Guitar

How to Help Young Children Practice Guitar

Many young children want to play guitar. The problem is that a lot of them have difficulty practicing their instrument once they come home from their lessons. As a parent, you can do a few things to ensure that they practice and get the most out of their music lessons. Here are some tips to help your children practice their guitar.

 

Make Sure They Want to Play

As parents, we sometimes pressure our children into doing things they don't want to do. We get them involved with sports other extra-curricular activities after school. In some cases, your child might not want to do what do you think they want to do. You should ensure that your child is enthusiastic about their music lessons. Ask them if they enjoy playing the guitar.  It's going to be a waste of your time if your child is not interested in the instrument. Many students end up quitting because they're not interested as much as you think they are.


Personal Practice Space

Make a room dedicated to their practice if you can.

Many students practice in their bedrooms, but this is usually a poor place to practice. There can be lots of distractions in the bedroom. There may be a stereo system, television, or they might have easy access to their phone. You could decorate this room with some music themes.

It makes more sense to have a dedicated room if you possibly can for practice. In this room, you should have a music stand, comfortable chair, and all of the learning materials that your child is using within easy reach. This will make it a lot simpler for your child to practice when they have everything that they need, and there are fewer distractions.

How to Help Young Children Practice Guitar

Let Them Choose When to Practice

Your child is capable of making their own decisions. Let them decide when they want to practice their guitar. You should not pressure children into playing guitar. You can gently remind them that they should be practicing, but don't pressure them into doing it. The activity of practicing their guitar should be something fun for them, so they should not feel like they are being forced to practice.


Make it Fun

One way you can encourage practicing is to make it a fun activity. For example, you can design a board that has stickers or stars. Perhaps the music stickers could be guitars. You could have a book made up where you can place each one of these stickers from the board when your child finishes practicing. This way, they have a record of their practicing.

This gives them a little bit of reward after they finish practicing the guitar. It can give them that little push or incentive to play their guitar more often. You could try other incentives such as making them their favorite meal, or some other type of small reward. As your child gets used to practicing their guitar, they will probably want to do it more often.

How to Help Young Children Practice Guitar

Have Them Pick Out Their Favourite Songs

Another trick you can use is to have them pick out their favourite songs. Ask them the songs that they would like to learn. You can take this to their teacher and tell them that this list is their favourite songs that they want to learn. As a former music educator, this was one of the first things I used to do when a child came to me for music lessons.


I would have them write down on a piece of paper their favourite songs. This was a homework assignment that I gave them the first day. Most children do not want to learn the boring beginner songs that you find in many music books. Those are old ancient songs that no one today really cares about. By having children learn something that is exciting to them, they will have more motivation to play the guitar.


Encourage Them

You should become the cheerleader for your child. Make sure you are always encouraging them when they practice, and try to always give them positive reinforcement as much as possible.


Your child will pick up on this positive reinforcement, and they will want to keep playing guitar. Take as much interest as possible in their guitar playing. Perhaps you can go together to a music store for books, guitars picks, or to get a fancy new guitar strap for their instrument. 

How to Help Young Children Practice Guitar

Conclusion

These are just a few of the things that you can do to help your child practice guitar. You should never pressure them to practice the instrument. Let them learn on their own, but encourage them to practice. Give them some small rewards after they have finished their practice session and take an active role in their lessons.

How to Write Your First Song Using 12 Bar Blues

How to Write Your First Song using 12 bar blues

Once you have learned a few guitar chords, it’s possible to start writing your first songs. It may seem like it's a complex process, but really it's not. This short guide will show you how to write your first song.

How to Write Your First Song using 12 bar blues

Why Write a Song?

It’s a lot of fun to play other people’s music, but writing your own song is a huge step up. When you write your own song, it’s something that you created. It doesn’t matter how simple the song is. Many popular songs are quite simple, but we don’t realize that they are. Songs can sound complex but only have a few chords in them. Writing your own song is a milestone when you play guitar. Try writing one and see what you can come up with.


Song Topic

The first thing you need to do is to pick the song topic. This can be anything, but here are a few suggestions:

 

  • A past love
  • Heartbreak
  • Life in general
  • A past historical event
  • Tell a story about something going on in your life
  • Faith or spirituality
  • Coming of Age
  • Friendship
  • Something you like or don’t like

 

The list of song topics is virtually endless. You can write about anything you want and turn it into a song. All you need is an idea in your head. You should walk around with your smartphone or some scraps of paper and jot down your ideas. Whenever an idea comes into your head, write it down, or record it into your smartphone. You never know when you might come up with a great idea for a song. If you don't write it down right away, you're going to forget it.

 

Create a bunch of ideas and then pick from your list to write a song. You should pick something that inspires or moves you. It doesn't have to be a positive emotion. Some of the most memorable songs are written about things such as heartbreak or loss. The song should move you in some way. If it does, then you know you are on the right track.

How to Write Your First Song using 12 bar blues

Chord Choice

The easiest way to write a song is to limit it to three or four chords. You should do this at the beginning when you are not used to writing songs. For example, in the key of G major, you could use the three major chords, which are G, C, D. There are countless songs written with these three chords in the key of G major. You could throw a minor chord in there for some variety, but try to stick to the three major chords.  Other chords to use include 7th chords, but feel free to use whatever chords you like.


Structure

There are many ways to structure a song.  One of the simplest ways is to use the blues formula called the 12 Bar Blues.  Here is an example of a verse using the 12 bar formula.

 

My hound dog is barking

And I am lonesome too 

C

Said my hound dog is barking

G

And I am lonesome too

D

Rain keeps falling down

C                                    G   D

I don’t know what I’ll do

 

Of course, this is a simple example, but it shows you how easy it can be to write some lyrics and then make a song. All you need is a chord to match the first line of the lyrics, and then you can build from there. Listen to some of your favorite songs and see what the artist is using for the chords. Make a note of how the chords are arranged. Many songs follow the same formula.

How to Write Your First Song using 12 bar blues

Don't Worry About Singing On Pitch

Your first song isn’t going to be on the pitch for the most part. It takes time to develop your singing voice. Take some vocal lessons along with your guitar lessons, as this will help you a great deal. As you practice, your voice will get better.

If you can’t get your vocals on the exact pitch you want, use a capo. You can slide this up and down your fretboard until you find the pitch that works for your voice the best. Many guitar players use the capo to match their own vocal range.

 

Conclusion

Don’t be afraid to write a song. You will gain experience as you write more. It’s a big step on the guitar to write a song, so get started now and see where it takes you. Have fun with the creative process, and you never know what you’ll come up with.

The Basics of Learning How to Strum

The Basics of Learning How to Strum

This short guide will get you used to strumming your guitar. When you strum the guitar, you rake your pick across all the strings to sound the notes.  Strumming is one of the key concepts you need to learn on the guitar. Here is what you need to know while you practice strumming.


Practice Chord Changes without Playing

One way to get better at strumming is to practice chord changes without strumming at all. Let's take three popular chords. Let's play G, C, and D. Start by fingering the G chord, then move on to the C chord. Finally, move on and place your fingers on the D chord. Practice moving your fingers and back and forth to each one of those chords. Say each chord name out loud as you move your fingers. When you are strumming, you have to be able to move your fingers quickly from one corner to the next. 

 

Practice this on chords, you know already. If you don't know these chords, try some that you already know. The idea is to make quick chord changes while you are strumming.  Make sure you don't stop strumming as you change chords, keep strumming through the chord changes. This is why the chords change has to be a smooth process. Try changing the chords without a strum and then add the strum in once you can make the chord change smooth.

The Basics of Learning How to Strum

Simple Strumming Pattern One

Let's do a very simple strumming pattern.  We are going to play each chord once as we count to four. This is typical 4/4 time. Each chord will get one beat. you want to practice strumming each chord once and then changing to the next chord. This chord progression, we are going to use all pick downstrokes.

Strum G, Strum C, Strum D, Strum G

Count: 1 2 3 4

Try tapping your foot on each chord change and count. One, two, three, four. Once you can do this say the chord names out loud as you play them G, C, D, G.


Simple Strumming Pattern Two

This next strumming pattern is a little bit more complicated. We're going to play a G chord for four beats, but we're going to add in an upstroke. It will look like this:

1 2 3 + 4

The + means “and” or play an upstroke. Play G for three downstrokes. When you get to +, you want to play an upstroke, which will be followed by another downstroke to complete the rhythm. As you play tap 1, 2, 3, and 4. Once you can do this change to C and do the same thing, move to D and finally, back to G.


Simple Strumming Pattern Three

This next strumming pattern is going to be continuous. We're going to play a G with down and upstrokes through one bar of music. It looks like this:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 

Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up

Do the same with C, D, and back to G.


Strumming Tips

Stay relaxed.

When you strum your guitar, you want to keep your hand and arm relaxed. Move your arm in an up and down relaxed motion as you are strumming up and down. Think of your arm like a pendulum. It goes up and down the same way a pendulum moves. You want to keep the movement of your arm steady. It's this steady movement that will keep the rhythm going. You don't want to make jerky movements with your hand as you're strumming. The key to rhythm playing is keeping that movement going.

The Basics of Learning How to Strum

Tap the Beats

You may notice people on stage tapping their foot as they're playing. This is a great way to keep the pulse. You tap your foot to the pulse, and this helps you to keep in time. Try tapping your foot as you play a simple rhythm - you can also do this with a metronome. You can have the metronome play at a slow pulse, and then you play the chords on the beat.


Slow Down

Play everything as slow as you can, to begin with. You don't want to rush the process as you learn how to strum. Get used to strumming a few chords and then add in a more as you learn new chords.  Once you can play something slowly, you can start to speed it up a little bit. You want to keep a nice and relaxed rhythm.

The Basics of Learning How to Strum

Don't Stop

Don't stop during the strumming. Keep your strumming hand going even if you happen to fumble around with the chord. Keep the strumming hand going as much as possible. As you get better, you'll find changing chords, and strumming becomes seamless. It takes quite a bit of effort to be able to play chords, change them, and keep the rhythm going at the same time. You need to get used to keeping the rhythm going as this is what will drive the music forward.


Conclusion

This guide should get you started with basic strumming. Start as slow as you can and work your way up. Make sure you keep your strumming hand going as you play. That is the key to getting a good rhythm. Work on it as much as you can until it is smooth and seamless.


Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords

When you first learn the guitar, open position chords are some of the first chords that you'll learn. A lot of beginner guitar players struggle with these chords. Here are some tips to make it easier for you to play them.


Play Slowly

Try not to think of guitar playing as a race, you want to play each chord slowly. You will only increase your speed once you can play chords slowly. If you try to play too fast, you will end up with sloppy playing that doesn't sound good, so slow down your playing until you can do it correctly. This is one of the top tips for learning open position chords. Make sure that you can do something slowly before you speed it up.

 

Use The Correct Fingers

Many beginner guitar players try to use different fingerings for the chord they are learning, which is not a good idea. You want to try to use the exact fingering required to play the chord. The reason for this is that the standard fingering makes it easier for you to change chords. Unless you have some sort of impairment that requires you to use different fingers, I would learn the chords with the recommended fingering. You will find it much easier to learn chords when you use the right fingering.


Use The Finger Tips

You should be playing the chords with your fingertips. Look at the angle of your hand on the fretboard. Your hand needs to be comfortable on the back of the neck. You should curl your fingers up until you can reach the chord.

 

Watch the spacing in between the strings. If your fingers are leaning on an adjacent string, you will get string buzzing. You can eliminate this buzzing if you arch your finger and use only your fingertips. You don't want to be laying parts of your finger down on any other strings. You only want to play the strings that are required for the chord.

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords

Practice Without Playing

Practice changing your chords without strumming them. This technique helps to build your muscle memory.  For example, finger G, followed by C, followed by D. You want to place your fingers in the right position for each chord. Practice moving back and forth between the three chords, just using your fretting hand.

 

This technique helps to train the fingers. Try doing this with your eyes closed. Once you can move to the next position with your eyes closed, you're probably getting used to fingering that chord. As you get used to moving the chords around, you can start strumming a chord progression.


Don't Break Your Strumming Pattern

As you play through a chord progression, you don't want to break your strumming pattern. Make sure you keep a nice relaxed and even rhythm as you play the chord progression so that it sounds musical and the sound doesn't stop dead. One common mistake guitar players make when they are first starting out is that they stop between chords. Try to keep the strumming going as much as possible.

 

If you stop between chords, it means you don't know the fingering as well as you should. Try practicing moving the chords back and forth without strumming for a little while so you can get used to the fingerings, and get it into your muscle memory. Once that starts to feel easier, try adding the strumming back in.

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords


Master a Few Chords First

Don't be in a rush to learn a lot of chords. It takes time to master chords, so just work on a few at a time. I recommend mastering G, C, D, E, A, Am, Em, and Dm, first. They are some of the easier chords. Once you master these, you can move on to the other ones.


Play Songs

Find a simple song that has the chords you are learning and try strumming along with the song. You don't necessarily have to get the strumming pattern exact. To start with try changing chords to the beat of the song. This will help you learn the individual chords and it also teaches you timing as well as the correct rhythm. Make sure the song is a simple one. If you try to do something that is too advanced, you're only going to get frustrated.

 

Once you can master a simple song, try one that's a little bit harder. Your guitar teacher will be able to help you in this area. They can suggest songs that you can learn based on the chords you already know.

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords


Conclusion

These tips should help you master open position chords. Take your time while you're learning them and make sure you use the correct fingers. Try playing them all along with songs, and don't try to overwhelm yourself with too many chords at first. With consistent and dedicated practice, you'll master the open position chords in no time at all.

Tips to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time

Tips to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time

Many guitar players want to learn how to sing and play guitar at the same time, and some think that this is impossible. The truth is that most people can learn to sing and play the guitar together. Your voice will get better the more you sing with your guitar. You take guitar lessons, so you can take vocal lessons as well. Here are some tips to help you play the guitar and sing at the same time. 


Strumming and Singing

When you sing as you play guitar, your strumming has to be in sync with your singing. It's important that you start out with simple songs. This will allow you to strum the chords and sing along as you're playing them. You will fumble all over the place if you try something that is too complex, so I would recommend that you start with a simple blues song. This is normally three chords, and the pattern is quite easy to follow.

Don't worry too much about your vocals being in tune with the music. You need to practice getting the strumming and singing in sync with each other. This process will take some time so try not to get frustrated.


Know Your Chords

To sing and play guitar, you have to know your chords. You should have a foundation in at least basic chord playing before you try to sing. You need to be able to change chords in a smooth and rapid fashion.

Try to practice your chord changes without singing. Once you can make the change without any effort, add in the vocal part and see how it sounds. Get the chords down first before you try to sing anything.

Tips to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time


Metronome and Strumming

Use a metronome to get your rhythm down.

You have to be able to play rhythm guitar well if you want to sing. Get yourself a metronome and practice your strumming, and make sure you can strum in an even and smooth fashion. This will make singing along with the music a lot easier. You want to improve your timing and rhythm before you start singing. Practice the song along with the metronome as much as possible, so you get the feeling for the song.

Using a metronome is the best way to improve your rhythm guitar playing. Once you can master the rhythm, you can add in the vocals. The metronome helps you keep the beat and is the best way to improve your timing. 

Tips to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time


Know the Vocals

To play and sing a song, you need to know the chords as well as the vocals. One of the first things you need to know is where the vocals land in terms of the chord that is being played. Try singing the song without any vocals - an easy way to do this is to listen to the song and try to sing along with it. Don't worry if your voice matches the song or not.

The idea is to get used to singing in the song. You will more than likely end up singing the song in your own style. For example, you may have to change the key to get the song into a vocal range that you're comfortable with. This is easy to do if you use a capo on your guitar.

Tips to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time


Hum the Melody

One trick that makes singing easier is to hum the melody as you play the chords on the guitar. You don't want to sing the actual lyrics, just the melody of the song. This will get the feeling of the song in your brain. You will be practicing the chord changes of the song as you hum.

Once you're able to hum the song successfully, try adding in the actual vocals. Try to master the song one verse at a time - once you're able to master the first verse, add in the second one. You can then add in the chorus and the rest of the song. Play the song as slowly as you have to. You may not be able to play it up to speed for some time. This is where working with the metronome can help you.


Complex Songs

Some songs are quite complex. They may have intricate finger-picking patterns, and you'll find these songs quite difficult to sing if you are a beginner. Simplify the process and play a simple strumming pattern over the finger-picking portion of the song. This will still give you the general feeling of a song, but it will be easier for you. You don't want to complicate the process of singing and playing the guitar.


Lots of Practice

You'll get better playing the guitar and singing at the same time with lots of practice. Singing and playing do not come naturally for most people, so the more you practice it, the better you're going to get. Start off slow and work your way up.

Tips to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time


Conclusion

You do not have to have a masterful voice to sing and play guitar. You can take guitar lessons to improve your playing, and vocal lessons to improve your voice. Pick up your instrument, find an easy song, and start singing. The more you work at the process, the easier it will be for you.

What I Learned Taking Guitar Lessons

What I Learned Taking Guitar Lessons

I began taking guitar lessons at age fifteen. There were several things I learned while taking guitar lessons. Here is what you can expect when you take lessons. 


Patience

When I took lessons, I learned how to have patience. When you first start playing, you can struggle at times. This is normal when learning how to play the guitar. You have to build up your skills slowly over time. Playing an instrument is not something that happens overnight.

Most people tend to forget that it takes quite a bit of skill to play an instrument at a professional level. You need to have patience while you were practicing and allow yourself time to develop your own guitar skills. I learned to have patience and enjoy the process of learning the instrument.


Organization

As a young guitar student, I learned how to be organized. I had a lot of materials that had to be covered, and I kept a detailed and notebook with me where I wrote down everything I needed to do. When you learn how to play guitar, you have to keep yourself organized so you don't get overwhelmed.

As I got older, I kept a filing cabinet with all of my learning materials. I organized my music according to scales, chords, songs, and so on. This helped me keep track of everything that I was learning. This also came in handy when I started to teach guitar myself. I kept all of the materials for my student in my filing cabinet, and it made it easy to refer to the materials when I needed them.

What I Learned Taking Guitar Lessons


Confidence

One of the best aspects of learning how to play guitar is it taught me to have confidence in myself. Like most teenagers, I was quite shy. As I got better on the instrument, my confidence started to soar. I felt confident in my own playing abilities. This confidence gave me what I needed to explore other areas of music, such as music theory.

Playing guitar is one of the best ways to gain confidence in yourself, and I saw this in many of my own students when I started teaching. I would have students come to me that didn't have much confidence whatsoever or were quite shy. They were able to overcome this shyness and gain confidence as they learned how to play guitar.


Motivation

Learning how to play guitar taught me a lot about motivation. I knew if I didn't practice, I wasn't going to get any better and I found that the more I practiced, the better my playing was becoming. This gave me the motivation to keep going. I was motivated by the end result and what I could accomplish with practicing and knew I couldn't play my favorite song unless I practiced. 

Most guitar players that are not motivated don't want to put in the effort required to play guitar. The thing you have to understand is that it takes a lot of practice to get good. You should be motivated by what you can accomplish in the future. If you want to play like your favorite rock star, you have to practice the scales, chords, and so on. This is what motivated me to get better.

What I Learned Taking Guitar Lessons


Coordination

I learned how to be more coordinated by playing guitar. You have to be able to sync your hands together to play an instrument. You have to get it this coming down as well as chord changes. You have to move your fingers up and down the fretboard in sync with your picking as you're playing a solo. You learn to be better coordinated when you pick up an instrument. This takes time to develop, but it will over time as you put in more practice with your guitar. 


Communication

Playing the guitar helps you to be a better communicator. If you want to play live with other people, you need to be able to communicate with them. You need to share the language of music with them so you can all make music together. If you end up teaching guitar as I did, you need the ability to communicate music to your students.

What I Learned Taking Guitar Lessons


Conclusion

You will learn a lot of skills as you practice guitar. It's a great way to build confidence in yourself. You will have more coordination, and you'll be a better communicator. You will learn how to motivate yourself and how to stay organized. Learning music is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself in life. It will stay with you forever.

What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar

What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar

Many guitar players end up quitting the guitar. 

Some of them do this after taking a few lessons. 

Others have been playing for a few years and put the guitar away in the closet. 

Here is what you should do if you feel like quitting the guitar and why you might want to give it a second chance.


I Wanted to Quit Too

When I was learning how to play guitar, I wanted to quit too. It was very frustrating for me to try to learn certain things on the instrument. My fingers are smaller than average. It was difficult playing. I wanted to throw my guitar away in the garbage.

 

I didn't end up doing this. What I did was focus on areas of guitar that I had a lot of skill in it. While I struggled a lot with chords, I found playing scales to be easier on my fingers, so I concentrated on them.  I worked on my scales as much as possible. This allowed me to developed great lead guitar techniques. It became my main focus on the instrument.


You Can't Learn It All

You can't learn everything on the guitar. There is no way for you to master every aspect of the instrument. There is always something to learn on the guitar. You will end up failing if you think that you can learn everything. A lot of people want to learn things fast. This does not occur when learning an instrument. 


It takes time for you to master certain aspects of the guitar. You may have a weakness in your playing like I did, but you probably have strengths as well.  There is no need for you to try and master everything all at once.


Take a Break

Sometimes you need to take a break from the instrument. I did this for several years. I didn't play my guitar for quite a while. When I finally pick the instrument up again, I had a new passion for it.


I ended up teaching guitar because I was so passionate about it. The guitar can be a part of your life; there's no reason for you to quit because you find some things in the instrument to be difficult. You have to understand that playing the guitar is difficult. It takes a long time for players to become proficient on the instrument. 

 

No one is born with great guitar skills. This is something you have to learn. There are very few people that are naturally gifted. For most of us, it's something we have to work. We have to put the time and effort into playing the guitar.

What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar


Play What You Love

You probably have music that you love. You'll get more enjoyment out of the guitar if you focus on music that you like. You could sit down and learn the songs of your favorite artists. This will give you a passion for playing the guitar. I did this myself, I learned the songs of my favorite artist, and this helped me strive to get better. 


What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar


Try Something New

Another way you can rekindle your love for the instrument is to try something new. Perhaps you could analyze a new guitar style. If you enjoy playing rock guitar, try playing country guitar for a while. Maybe you could try a different guitar tuning than standard.

 

When you try something new, you need to learn all over again. This can rekindle your love for the instrument because it gives you something else to strive for. Perhaps you might end up becoming quite skilled in that new thing that you tried.


What to Do If You Feel Like Quitting Guitar


Play With Others

If you're frustrated playing the guitar, try to get out and play with others. It is exciting and beneficial for you to play with other people. You will learn a lot about timing, rhythm, and how to make music. It's difficult sitting in your bedroom trying to learn.

 

The thing is, you don't need a lot of guitar skills to play with other people. You can make great music knowing a few chords or scales. You don't have to be a master at anything to play with others. Many of the most famous songs we know are quite simple. To get out of your rut and to rekindle your passion, find others to play with. 


Conclusion

There is no real reason to quit playing guitar. It takes time to learn the instrument, so you have to accept the process. Take time off if you need to and do something else. Try to get together with other people and jam for a while. You will find that you will rekindle your passion for guitar if you approach the instrument in a different way.

 

You Can Learn Guitar At Any Age

You Can Learn Guitar at Any Age

Many people think they are too old to learn the guitar. Some of these individuals are still young. They may be in their late twenties or early thirties. The truth is you can learn guitar at any age. Here is what you need to know about playing the guitar and age.

 

Children and Guitar

As soon as a child is able to hold a guitar, they can start taking guitar lessons. Any child can learn how to play the guitar. They will learn faster and gain the most knowledge when taking lessons from a qualified teacher.  When learning, children pick up a whole bunch of different skills. They learn skills such as increased dexterity, sight-reading, and they gain a lot of confidence.

Children that are quite young might have decreased attention spans when it comes to learning the guitar. They should be taught at their own pace. They should never be rushed into the instrument. Children will start out with simple songs, notes, and other beginner guitar lessons. They will be taught a lot more once some progression is made. I recommended that children start out with a nylon string guitar. It’s easier for them to press the strings down. The nylon strings won't dig into their fingers as acoustic strings do.

For younger children that take lessons with us. Some of them were extremely shy when they first took lessons. As they learn to play, their confidence grew. They are excited to come to their guitar lessons each week. They are learning something that’s fun, and it’s something what they want to do. 

You Can Learn Guitar at Any Age


Teenagers and Guitar

Playing the guitar as a teen, boosted my confidence in myself.

I started playing the guitar as a teenager at around age fifteen. I didn't have a lot of confidence at that age in myself. I wanted to play the guitar because I was interested in rock music. Playing the guitar improved my confidence by a wide margin. I had an excellent teacher, and he taught me a lot about the instrument. I also ended up taking some music theory lessons from a piano teacher.

I learned the basics of the instrument, and this boosted my confidence in myself. Any teenager can learn how to play the guitar. It's an excellent instrument for them to explore. I had great fun learning. It's best if teenagers take lessons from a qualified teacher. They will learn the basics of the instrument, how to hold it, and, more importantly, they will reduce bad habits. These bad habits crop up more often when you try to teach yourself. This isn't to say you can't teach yourself, but it's easier with a good teacher.

You Can Learn Guitar at Any Age


Adults and the Guitar 

I want to focus on adults and playing guitar. Many adults feel that they're too old to pick up the instrument. This couldn't be further from the case. You might have had visions as a teenager of being onstage, but you never picked up the guitar. You can still pick up the guitar as an adult and go on stage.

There are many places in your local town or city where you can join a jam session. At our school here, we even hold our own jam sessions and Open Mics for our students. 

Performing gives you the thrill of playing on stage and help fulfill those teenage dreams. You might think that you can't learn how to play guitar when you are an adult, but you can learn at any age.

You Can Learn Guitar at Any Age


My Guitar Student Rick

I want to tell you the story of my guitar student Rick. He was in his late fifties when he started taking guitar lessons from me. He had no experience with guitar whatsoever. His dream in life was to learn how to play the guitar.

Rick became one of my best students.

He was one of my best students. He was always on time for his lessons, and he never missed one. He dedicated himself to playing the guitar. He did this in his spare time even though he was working. After several months of lessons, he was capable of playing a wide range of songs. He was having a lot of fun learning the guitar. As long as you have some faith in yourself, you can learn the instrument. It doesn't matter what age you are as an adult; you can learn to play the guitar.


Conclusion

You are never too young or too old to learn an instrument. You'll have a lot of success with guitar playing if you take lessons with a qualified teacher. You will learn all the basics, and this will give you the foundation that can help you move forward with your playing. If you have a guitar that is sitting in your closet and you've always wanted to play it, now is the time.

Practical Tips To Playing The Electric Guitar For Beginners

choosing electric guitar to buy

Playing the electric guitar is easier than playing an acoustic guitar for beginners.

Why does a beginner find an electric guitar easier than an acoustic guitar?

There are lots of reasons why.

The strings on electric guitars are thinner. The electric guitar is slimmer and more portable as well. So you don't have to lean over so far to reach the fretboard.

If you are still deciding on your first guitar, then read our "Ultimate guitar buying guide"to help you.

 

Here are a few tips to help every beginner on their journey of learning the electric guitar.

 

Getting An Electric Guitar

The first step in your journey of learning to play the guitar is to own one.

It is almost impossible to learn the instrument without it being available to practise at home.

I know it sounds silly. But we do get students who think they can just come to the lessons and not have a guitar available at home to practise.

What if inspiration strikes?

You want to be prepared.

It's useful to get time to practise the guitar away from lessons whenever you can. This will help you progress faster.

For children, buying an electric guitar is different from adults. Be sure to go with them in person to the shop to measure up the size of the electric guitar. Making sure it's comfortable for them and not too heavy.

 

Getting Picks And Straps

You can use a guitar pick with your electric guitar to create a specific sound. It's different from playing with your fingertips.

We would always recommend learning to use a guitar pick when playing the electric guitar.

For all guitarists, not just beginners. It's useful to have a guitar strap, for a couple of reasons:

  1. Electric guitars can be less comfortable to sit on your leg. (This is definitely true if you have a flying V guitar). Having a strap means you can have some of the weight on your shoulders instead.

And if you do lose feelings in your leg from the weight of the guitar, and start getting pins and needles...

  1. You can stand up.

Also - if you are ever going to play standing up at any point, you want to have already practised this before.

As a beginner, when buying a strap, you should stick to something that makes you feel comfortable.

Though leather straps look awesome, they often crack and look old quickly.

Woven/polyester straps have much better durability. Pick one that isn't too thin and feels comfortable.

 

Know Your Guitar

Another important point to take note of is learning the parts of the electric guitar.

The Fret: These are the metal pieces which you use in playing notes
Tuning Nut: The nut holds the string in place across the fingerboard
The Neck: The neck contains your fretboard, which you press down to create a sound.
Pickup: It picks up the vibration from the string and converts it to an electrical signal.
Bridge: The bridge regulates the position of the strings to the fingerboard.

 

Parts of an electric guitar


Practice

The importance of playing regularly is very useful for your progress on the guitar.

A lot of beginners have this false belief that they can learn the skills to play the electric guitar by learning for only a few months.

As a beginner, it's important to manage your expectations. It may take a little while for you to get the hang of how to practise. And your guitar playing may not sound pleasant from day 1.

But with time, practise, and appropriate instructions and feedback, you will get better.

 

You Do You!!!

As beginners who are training to gain mastery of the electric guitar, one golden rule is to do you.

Play the music you enjoy, buy the guitar that makes you excited about playing it.

Get a teacher that you get on with that inspires you to play and improve your guitar playing.

And if you have big goals for your guitar playing, that's great too! Work towards them with your guitar teacher so that you can achieve what you want with your guitar playing.

 

Introduction to learning to play acoustic guitar

choosing classical guitar to buy

Introduction to the introduction

Getting started with learning the acoustic guitar doesn't have to be overcomplicated. It should be fun and be an exciting journey to explore

And while playing the guitar takes a certain level of patience and commitment. However, it pays off in the long run. 

learning to play guitar London guitar lessons

The awesome thing about the acoustic guitar is that, it's really accessible. And it's used for so many different genres of music too. 

Being able to play the songs you love is going to be motivating and inspiring. Not to mention more fun.

It is also useful for singer-songwriters, actors or just anyone who is passionate about music. 

A few things we are going to take about in this introduction: 

  • Choosing the right acoustic guitar 
  • Getting to know your new acoustic guitar
  • Getting started with learning to play the acoustic guitar 
  • Posture position with your acoustic guitar 
  • Learning the basics of playing the acoustic guitar  

Let's get started!

Choosing the right acoustic guitar

Acoustic comes in various body shapes & sizes ranging from small to bigger ones sometimes called "Jumbo size". 

It's fair to say that it's not always easy getting the right guitar for you.

Nonetheless, here are some factors to consider while choosing your acoustic guitar:

Size of your guitar

Depending on your age, you should choose a size that fits perfectly well and stays within your arms reach. And you should be able to reach the top of the guitar. 

Budget

Make sure the guitar stays within your budget and remember to think about getting guitar lessons, and accessories on top of just buying the guitar. 

Durability

One other important factor to consider when picking out a guitar is durability. Many guitars take a fancy look on the outside but are without quality materials.

If you can go to the store with an expert or professional. They can help you to examine the acoustic guitar before making a purchase for your first one. 

You will probably be taking your guitar to different places too, so make sure you get a good quality one. 

If you need more help, read our "Ultimate Guide to buying your guitar" to help you. 

sizes and shapes of acoustic guitar

Budget

Make sure the guitar stays within your budget and remember to think about getting guitar lessons, and accessories on top of just buying the guitar. 

Durability

One other important factor to consider when picking out a guitar is durability. Many guitars take a fancy look on the outside but are without quality materials.

If you can go to the store with an expert or professional. They can help you to examine the acoustic guitar before making a purchase for your first one. 

You will probably be taking your guitar to different places too, so make sure you get a good quality one. 

If you need more help, read our "Ultimate Guide to buying your guitar" to help you. 

Getting to know your new baby

After purchasing your acoustic guitar, the next thing on the line is identifying the various parts of the guitar.

Having a better understanding of the functions of each part helps your learning process go smoothly.

Different parts of your acoustic guitar

Let's check the parts of the acoustic guitar out:

Diagram of Acoustic Guitar

Introduction parts of an acoustic guitar

The main three parts:

Head 

On the head of your guitar, is your headstock. Which has your tuning pegs on. The tuning pegs are what you will use to adjust your strings - and tune your guitar with. 

Neck

The neck of your guitar is the fretboard. 
On your fretboard are metal ridges that separate individual frets. 

Most guitars will have markers on your fretboard so you can easily count which fret you are playing.

Body

The body of your guitar is where the sound hole of your guitar is. 

And be careful.... the sound hole will swallow up your picks whenever it can. 

You've also got the bridge of the acoustic guitar.  Which is what your guitar strings attach to. 

You might also have some electronics on yours to amplify your guitar. And some even have a tuner included. 

There is also a pickguard most acoustic guitars. Because you are going to be strumming a lot, it's good to have something to protect your surface of your guitar. 

strumming guitar learning to play guitar

Getting started with learning the guitar

As you proceed in with learning to play the guitar with the help of your guitar teacher or instructor. You will begin to get familiar with how to tune the guitar and get started with strumming some basic chords. 

The main trick about the guitar for a beginner is to keep to the pulse of the music. 
Every-time you drop a beat, it will really disrupt the groove of the music. 

pulse of the music learning guitar

To aid your lessons on the guitar, you should get an instructor acting as a guide on your journey as a guitarist.

Postures and sitting positions to help you

Also, there are certain postures you need to aid your finger movements and body balance. Some steps to these postures are:

  • Make sure the chair is not too high or too low to balance the guitar well on your lap
  • Ensure that your fingers are able to pick each string and notes well and easily.
  • Maintain a comfortable arm posture, ensure it's not too high.
playing guitar posture position

All things have been said, here are basic steps you need to follow as a beginner when you want to play the acoustic guitar.

Understanding what you are playing 

In the beginning

In the beginning, the whole guitar will seem like a massive puzzle. And might feel very overwhelming. 

When you first start, it's okay to just experience the instrument, learn some basic chords. And get playing. 

If we had to understand every single thing before we do it. That would take the fun out of things. 

For example. If you had to understand all the rules of football, and how a ball is made. Before you kick a ball around the field. That would be a lot less fun. 

When to introduce music understanding ?

Understanding music is an important part of learning to play guitar. Because it makes it easier for you to progress in the long term. 

If you have a great guitar teacher, they will be drip feeding you this understanding every step of the way. 

repertoire of songs learning guitar for beginners

Coming up on your own, try reading our "Understanding music for beginner guitarists". This will be useful for you if you have no previous music lessons. 

What to do about practising the guitar?

In the beginning, practising the acoustic guitar can feel uncomfortable. Especially when you are learning on a steel string guitar, because it hurts to press down on the strings. Slowly and surely, you will start to build callouses on your finger tips. 

And you will get used to have your wrist and arm in a strange position. 
Changing chords might seem like the hardest thing in the world in the beginning, but it does get easier. 

Read more about tips on practising guitar for beginners

What to get started with?

There are so many things you can tackle first. 
And if you are learning on your own, I would recommend picking some easy chords that are used often in songs. Such as Em, A, G, D. And don't worry too much about understanding what they mean right in the beginning. 

Find songs with these chords in and start playing. Focusing on keeping with the pulse of the music. 

If you have a guitar teacher, then they should be able to help you get a good head start. And to avoid getting bad habits along the way. 

The beginning of learning the acoustic guitar can be frustrating. But having someone to guide you along the path will help. 

I would like to find a guitar teacher

If you are looking for a guitar teacher in London, come speak to us to find out how you can get a free guitar lesson. To find out how you can get over this tricky hurdle in the beginning. And to have a tonne of fun playing guitar in a fun and supportive community. 


Top 10 Accessories You Need as a Beginner Guitar Player

As a beginning guitar player, there are several accessories that you should pick up.

These accessories will make playing guitar easier for you.

Many of these accessories are perfect for your guitar case. Have them on hand before practicing as they will save you a lot of time.

Metronome

One accessory that you should have is the metronome. 

accessories guitar metronome

This helps you keep time and is perfect for practicing. 

There are many different metronomes that you can buy. You can find ones that are small enough to fit in your guitar case. 

There are downloadable metronomes apps onto your phones. But the trouble with that is you could get distracted picking up your phone. 

Peg Winder 

The peg winder is another accessory that will save you time.

This guitar accessory makes it easy to put strings on your guitar as well as take them off. The winder goes on the guitar tuning pegs.

Peg Winder accessory for guitar

If you change strings a lot, this accessory will be very useful for you. 

Staff and Tab Paper

When you're learning a guitar, you'll be taking a lot of notes. Try to have some staff paper and tab paper on hand. You can buy these in notebook form. You’ll always have a piece of paper or notebook ready to go when you need to take some notes, jot down a chord, and so on.

If you are really modern, you can download apps that have guitar tab on. 

We like Goodnotes on the iPad Pro with the pencil

Here's my notes from my own personalised template: 

ipad goodnotes guitar tab

Guitar Picks

You can never have enough picks. 

Make sure you have plenty of these in your guitar case. You can buy a bag of pics for super cheap. Try to not get the super thin ones. Medium and thinner picks are our preference. 

Single Guitar Strings

Another accessory you should have in your guitar case is some single strings. Try to have or three sets of full replacement guitar strings as well.

The single strings you should have on hand include the G string, B string, and the small E string.

Single guitar strings guitar accessory

The reason for this is that these strings tend to break the most often. The larger thicker strings don't break as often as these do.

Try to have a couple of these strings on hand as replacements. You can get replacement strings in bulk to save the money.

Strap Locks

You should have some strap locks. These buttons keep your strap in place on your guitar. They prevent your strap from falling off your guitar.

The regular strap button on your guitar isn't strong enough to hold the strap if you've got your guitar upside down. Or if you decide to do any rockstar moves.

Strap Lock for guitar straps

 A strap lock will keep the strap in place on the strap button so it doesn't fall off and damage your guitar.

Guitar Capo

accessories guitar capo

Another accessory to consider is the capo. This allows you to play songs in a different tuning. 

If you want to sing along while playing your guitar, the capo is ideal.

 It puts your guitar in a range that is comfortable for your voice. While not a complete essential, it will help you if you want to be a singer.

It doesn't have to be expensive, but we do love this G7th Capo

Guitar Multi-Tool

The guitar multi-tool is an excellent accessory. This often includes Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, a string cutter, and so on. You can use these tools for minor guitar adjustments.

They are also super small, and can save a lot of room in your guitar case by having this type of multi-tool on hand. You won’t have as many tools taking up space in your case.

Guitar Tuner

your first guitar tuner

Make sure you have a tuner on hand.

It is important to tune your guitar every time before you play. Just like you wash your hands before you eat.

There are a whole host of different tuners that you can buy.

Some of them are small enough that you can click them onto your headstock. This makes it easy to tune your guitar using the vibration of your guitar.

The right chair & Music Stand

Tiger music stand

Another accessory to have is a solid and dependable guitar stand. You don't want one of those cheap flimsy ones. Pick up a decent guitar stand that has a heavy base so it doesn't move around.

You also need to be comfortable while playing guitar.  

Make sure you have a comfortable guitar stool or chair. You can get chairs designed for playing the guitar.

Make sure the chair doesn't have armrests. If you have armrests, they can get in the way while you were trying to play. 

In summary

These accessories make practicing guitar easier. By having them on hand you'll save yourself a lot of time. Make sure you have picks, extra strings, a tuner, and other accessories before starting your practice session.

A bonus accessory that I want to mention is: Nail clippers. Keep a set in your guitar case. And whenever you nails feel a little long, you've got them ready to trim your nails. 

Don't want those nails digging into your beautiful fretboard.

Haven't bought a guitar yet?

If you haven't got your guitar yet. And want to know what else to consider when buying your next guitar. Read our "Ultimate guide to buying your guitar" to help you. 

Want to learn to play guitar?

Whether you haven't gotten started at all. Or you can already gotten started but want to improve faster. 

Find out more about our beginner guitar lessons on how you get help you build a solid foundation. So that you can keep advancing on the guitar, but more importantly. Have lots of fun while learning.